**FIRST EMAIL**/Important 2005 Competition Manual Information

FIRST EMAIL/Important 2005 Competition Manual Information

Hello. This is an important announcement for all FIRST Robotics Competition teams. Please share this information with the rest of your team in a timely manner. If you think that other members of your team would also like to receive these announcements, please encourage them to sign up at http://listserv.leapit.com/cgi-bin/lyris.pl?join=frcpublic.

If you would like to stop receiving these messages, please see the bottom of this message for instructions.

Greetings Teams:

We have some important news for participants regarding the 2005 FIRST Robotics Competition Manual.

The 2005 manual will only be made available online in the form of ‘.pdf’ files. There will not be a printed manual or CD in the 2005 Kit of Parts.

To accommodate timely distribution of the manual, here is the plan:

Encrypted copies of five (5) sections of the manual (Introduction, Arena, Game, Robot, and Tournament) will be posted on the FIRST website at approximately 6:00 pm EST on Thursday, January 6th. Instructions for handling these files appear at the bottom of this message.

There are also some un-encrypted administrative sections that are available for viewing now.

Anyone may download these files starting at that time. The decryption password, which will allow you to open these files, will be announced at the end of the Kickoff on Saturday, January 8, 2005.

Teams are encouraged to download these encrypted versions ahead of time to help alleviate downloading delays on the 8th. The non-encrypted versions will be posted at 12:00 noon on Saturday January 8th. There is no difference in the content of the encrypted and non-encrypted versions.

Individuals traveling to a Kickoff site that wish to have a manual to read for their ride home are encouraged to bring a portable computer with these files saved on the hard-drive.

In order to be sure that you have the capability to decrypt the files at the appropriate time, a test file is currently posted on the FIRST website – see the instructions below.

(Note that if you wish to get yourself a binder and/or tabs, there are a total of eleven sections in this year’s manual)

FYI, the method used to encrypt these files is secure. It is called 128-bit RC4 encoding, and is a current standard considered by the US Government as completely secure for short (weeks) periods of time.


Users may download these files beginning at approximately 6:00pm on January 6 from:


The files will not be readable until the decryption password is released at Kickoff on Saturday.

Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 5 or 6 will be required to decrypt these files. If you do not have it, you may download it for free at:


Kickoff attendees who want a manual to read on the way home are encouraged to bring a computer with these files and Acrobat Reader installed.

To ensure that you have everything necessary to decrypt these files, a test file is currently available at:


You may download this file now and decrypt it with the following case-sensitive password:


Acrobat will prompt you for the password when you try to open the file.

If you get to see the message “Congratulations! You have successfully decrypted the test file”, then you have successfully decrypted the file and have everything you need for Saturday.

Non-encrypted copies of each section of the manual will be posted on the FIRST website at noon on Saturday January 8th.

Let the game begin!

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