BEAM Archive

Welcome to the newest section of ROBOBUGS.NET! This page is dedicated to providing you access to my complete library of accumulated BEAM documents, photos, circuits, and related information.

After the recent discussion of creating a BEAM Archive and the subsequent discovery of the Gmail hard drive software on the BEAM Yahoo! Group, I have created an on-line copy of my COMPLETE collection of BEAM related materials!!!

Some people are worried about Google's ethics and privacy practices but I for one think that if Google NEVER deletes this information, that would be Fantastic! Since this is a public forum to start with, and I haven't provided personal information, I figured this was the perfect place to put this archive.

If you would like to learn about Google and just what the heck I'm talking about, just visit Google Watch.Org. This site has alot of interesting information on Google and is worth a look.

==> How to Access the Archive <==

You will need some simple software to access this "community hard drive" though. The first thing you'll need is the Gmail skin program that manipulates gmail into a hard drive. This will create a "gmail drive" in your "My Computer" folder in windows. This is where the other drives on your system are accessed from too. To get this small program, go to this link:

Gmail Drive Shell Program Homepage


DOWNLOAD this program right here!

After you setup the program, it will ask you for a gmail account name and password. Enter "BEAMARCHIVE" in BOTH the account name AND for the password. That's it! You should be able to access the drive and see the compressed files!

Since Gmail only accepts attachments up to 10MB and no more than 42 characters per filename, I had to compress the data into smaller archived packages called ".rar" files. The main problem was that when creating folders in gmail, the folder directory becomes part of the filename. This quickly led to filenames much longer than the allowed 42 characters or whatever it is. So I had to compress each folder and its contents into a multipart ".rar" archive with each part not to exceed 9MB. This made it possible to upload this large amount of information neatly.

To decompress these into their respective file folders, you will need to download all of the .rar files with the same filename. Then get yourself a .rar archiving utility and start decompressing to your destination folder!

I highly recommend using "winrar" archiving utility. This is a great little program that performs all the functions of winzip and then a whole bunch more! I love it! It is a clean program and it is easy to find a crack if you want to keep it. It is only able to decompress files in it's trial version though, I think.

CLICK HERE to visit the WinRAR Official Download page.

I have also made this program available for download directly from this page.

HERE is the WinRAR program, and HERE is the patch you will need to make it the full version.

I have been using WinRAR for several years now without a single pixel of trouble. There were NO ads bundled into the download package and no "bugs" (he he! robobugs! get it!) to speak of. If you work in newsgroups at all, this program is MUST HAVE!

==> Frequently Asked Questions <==

Q: Do i need a gmail account before i can use the gmail skin thing that makes the 'drive' in my computer?

A: No. Just install the gmail drive interface and when prompted to enter the account name and password for the account, simply enter "BEAMARCHIVE" in both spaces. Then you have full access to the gmail account containing the archive. The account has already been created and filled up with the archive data. Just PLEASE do not delete anything from the archive.

Q: Do i need to be connected to the internet to use the things that i have put on my drive?

A: No. After you access the "web drive" at gmail, simply copy the files to another drive (your hard drive). Once the information has been dowloaded, you will need to decompress the information using a program that can handle .rar files (Here's the program, "winrar", which is the exact program that created the archive files).

Once decompressed on your hard drive, the files are there and are yours to enjoy!
I have also included the "patch" to make winrar fully functional (upgrade to full version). Make sure the patch files are in the same directory as the winrar program files so that the patch works correctly.

I have to apologize for the seeming complexity of this system. It is the only way I could find to provide this much data for free. Now, perhaps, if Solarbotics.Net (hint hint ;) were to graciously provide 1GIG of webspace to my archive, I could provide the information in a SUPER EASY format using my website as a portal with detailed individual files available for download.

For now though, this will have to do. I am anxious to provide what contributions I can to the BEAM community. In this case, it is data gathering and organization for the benefit of all.

==> The Future of the Archive <==

In the future, I would like to create multiple accounts (web drives), each containing a different section of the library. For instance, the Circuits Archive will be one, the Books And Information will be another, and so on. This could ultimately lead to an archive that everyone could contribute to and share as the "BEAM Community Library" of sorts.

I guess I should mention that using this method is a little risky. Google could remove the information, make the gmail shell drive program incompatible, etc. That said, we should not rely on this service as a solid archive and should ALWAYS have a copy or two elsewhere.

If anyone has any questions about how to access my library or how to use any of this software, please contact me. I would be glad to help you, my friends, with anything I can!

Mike Scharf :)

This page last updated on June 4, 2006 ---- For more information, please e-mail me at