Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

7.19. Knowbots? Cool! What are those?

Well, it sounds much cooler than it is, at least in my opinion. Knowbots are an organized set of autonomous programs that know how to search a specific database of information on the Internet. When they're done, they report all their results to a master program, which can then report back to you the results of the multiresource search. The problem is that this service is just fantastically resource-expensive, so as fast as people are learning about Knowbot sites, those sites are limiting their access or shutting down completely. A quick search with Veronica found lots of descriptive documents, including one that explains that the Knowbot service is available through the Corporation for National Research Initiatives computer in Virginia. Based on that information, you can check out the Knowbot Information Service by using Telnet to connect to You'll need to specify that you want to connect to port 185 (for example, on UNIX, you can type telnet 185 to do this).

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