New Site!

Dave Hrynkiw
September 10, 2000

Welcome to the new Solarbotics Website! We've been busy whipping Kenny the Web-boy with various types of wet noodles (use Fettuccini - heavier!) to get this new and improved site up to snuff.

This year, we've moved the site to 100% ASP (yes, I hear the "boos" from the Linux camp over in Minnesota), which also means that most of our site is database driven. Most pages are generated on-the-fly according to what you request. This is especially useful when you use the new "Search Gallery" feature on the lower left side of the screen. Want to see any robots with that have the word "Tilden" associated to them? BadaBOOM! There they are in one page, searched across all the types of robots in the galleries.

We wanted to introduce a BEAM forum sort of idea as well, something that would parallel what is done with the BEAM mailing list, but we've yet to find the perfect package yet. We want something that does most of what a regular mail-list would do, but then also have it in forums as well. That is, you would get (if desired) emails of all the posts to the forum, and if you want to reply, it auto-adds it to the forum as well as the mailing list. Right now, the best we can find is a forum that will send emails out, but to reply, you have to click a URL link which takes you to the reply page on the forums website. It's something we'll keep an eye on.

New Order Form!  Enough of this 60 seconds plus nonsense to download the old orderform. The new "Shopping Cart"  is sleeker and much easier to use. Pick what you want from the sub-categories, and "check-out"!

Oh. If it isn't already obvious, we're back from our exhibit at Toronto's "Canadian National Exhibition". Three weeks in a large, dark ("Sun? Does the sun still shine out there?") exhibition hall, eating CNE food ("Noooo! No more Strawberry Fruitopia!"), and dealing with the hot, muggy, humid, non-air-conditioned atmosphere has made me less than enthusiastic about going back to do another exhibit. The highlights of the trip were finally putting a face to some of the people on the mailing list like Mike, Dave & Kyle, and Steve (again). Special thanks to Scott Martin, Amar Bedi, Mark Dalton, Richard Weait and the big Kahuna himself, Mark Tilden for all taking shifts with me at the booth. We didn't get much building done, but BOY did we expose MANY people to the world of BEAM robotics!

Also coming soon are Sherline Machine Tools . For those who don't know, Sherline makes some incredible miniature machining equipment. These aren't toys in any regard. We're loving playing with the units we have for prototyping new robot systems and mechanic. We're just going over the price lists and product numbers before we introduce them, so keep an eye open.

We won't have too much up in the ways of brand new content right away, but now that the hard part is over, you can expect a rapid influx of new material in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

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