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Continuing Development: This FAQ will be updated to reflect the new features of JotBot 1.8 within the month.

[Introduction]

Q1: What is JotBot?

A: JotBot is a tiny floating input window that provides access to six different search engines in the fastest manner possible. It's design facilitates both instant and marathon searching at speeds ranging from 2 to 10 times faster then regular -- all by avoiding those large front pages and skipping directly to the data.

Q2: What Search Engines does JotBot use?

A: JotBot currently supports the following search engines:

These comprise a complete spectrum of internet resources, allowing to you search websites, directories, usenet, email addresses, and music -- all via the same highspeed interface. Of these, HotBot remains our favourite and thus is default.

Q3: Why does JotBot perfer HotBot?

A: HotBot scans more standard webspace then any other search engine -- over 54 Million pages, constantly increasing. With SmartCrawl, HotBot refreshes its database by updating documents as soon as they change, adaptively indexing sites at the same rate they're published. HotBot updates up to 10 Million documents a day, and its index of the entire Web every two weeks, delivering results that reflect a Web that actually exists. This combination of depth and frequency has won many an award, and makes HotBot the perfect candidate for our "floating window" scheme.

Q4: Is JotBot better then HotBot and these other search engines?

A: No, JotBot is different than these search engines. JotBot discards all extraneous options to let you do one thing: Find Data Fast. We don't try and provide a "complete solution" like they do, focusing instead on simplicity & speed. Nothing is actually sacrificed, since you can toggle the regular options back on by pressing the "revise" button on the JotBot console.

Q5: Cool. Are you planning on adding support for other engines in the future?

A: Possibly, tell us what you had in mind...

Q6: Okay, what does JotBot cost?

A: Nothing, although we encourage a donation of $10 if you love it to bits. Note there are no banner ads, email grabbers or product placements either. JotBot is a volunteer effort, hosted by Wind Spirit Art and Second Flux -- hosted for free, as there are no sponsors. This is because a) I wanted something to motivate me to learn JavaScript well, b) I dislike rampant commercialism and c) I believe that searching the internet should be as fast and simple as possible.

JotBot 2.0 will be shareware, and will continue to operate for free. You can support the JotBot project (no sponsors also means no budget!) by sending cash, Canadian Cheque, postal money order or pretty postcard to:

Joseph McLean
PO Box 89
Lund BC
Canada
V0N 2G0

Q7: Yay, how do I use it?

A: Usage is straightforward -- if you've used a search engine before, you'll find JotBot even easier. Just don't forget it remains open behind your larger window, and to get it back after your first search you must use the window menu of your browser -- you could do it the old way, but this is exactly 10 times faster (For those of you using Windows95, JotBot will also appear in its own icon along your start bar, clicking this is just as fast). Consult the full Usage Instructions if you're curious.

[Troubleshooting]

Q8: When I access JotBot from my bookmarks (or favourites) menu, it loads in a regular sized, big ol' window instead of the tiny one. Howcome?

A: With the advent of version 1.5, this problem no longer affects JotBot. It's still best to bookmark the main http://www.windspirit.com/jotbot/, rather then the floating window -- but if you do, JotBot's intelligent enough to rearrange your windows, causing a delay of only 3 seconds.

Q9: The JotBot interface doesn't fit in that tiny window, overflowing past the edges, why?

A: JotBot was designed using the default twelve-point Times font. If you've changed your font size to a greater height, larger font = larger words = not enough room. Two solutions avail themselves: Lower your font size (in Netscape General Preferences or Explorer's font size menu) or simply resize the window.

Q10: When I try to launch JotBot, nothing appears -- where's the JotBot window?!

A: Hidden behind your main window! If you launch JotBot once, cover it up with your large main window, and then try to launch it a second time, JotBot stays put in the background. JotBot is a load-once program, not designed for reloading (hence a lot faster). Simply use your window menu to call JotBot back to the foreground in a flash. Update 9/16/97: If you're using Netscape 3.0 or higher, JotBot will automatically jump to the front when reloaded.

Q11: What browsers are supported by JotBot?

A: Netscape Communicator & Navigator 2 and up; Internet Explorer 3 and up, WebTV 1.1 and Up. Lynx, Opera, and AOL users are currently out of luck -- although an AOL version should be ready by 1.9.

Q12: Are there any known incompatibilities?

A: No significant ones yet, unless you email us...

Q13: When I try to pronounce JotBot's "the cute route to Internet searches" slogan, a feeling of confusion washes over me. What's wrong?

A: Your brain is installed with "American Pronunciation". If you where Canadian like us, you'd pronounce route like "root" and everything would rhyme properly. There is no known workaround for this unsettling effect. :)

[Laws]

Q14: May I link to JotBot?

A: Of course! Check our our new linkage page for examples and cool graphics.

Q15: What sort of legalities are at play?

A: JotBot is not associated with any of the seven search engines. They happily invite use of their interface on third-party pages such as mine, including tailoring the code to fit one's own layout. JotBot itself is free and always will be, nor will advertisements ever be accepted (these being contrary to the whole point of "speed"). Taking these facts into consideration, JotBot can coexist with all in relative peace and harmony. Still, all assorted search engines names and imagry are registered to the owners therof, HotBot and the HotBot logos are servicemarks of Wired Ventures Ltd., JotBot and associated logos are servicemarks of Second Flux Information Services, and SmartCrawl is a trademark of Inktomi Corporation. And all rights are reserved.

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