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Welcome to the FAQ

The PICList is a collection of people interested in the Microchip PIC processor who have requested that email sent to the PICList email address be forwarded to them.

There are about 2046 people subscribed to the PICList (as of  2001/03/15) so sending a post to the PICList results in a lot of people spending the time required to read your message or question. They would all appreciate it if you would the PICList PIC FAQ and Project List at
, or the SX FAQ at
and search the Archives at
before posting a question. If you are just starting with the PIC microcontroller, please read the Beginners checklist at

Many of our members enjoy reading posts on topics other than the PIC but that may be interesting to PICers (engineering, ideas, technical jokes, etc...) but many others do not wish to spend the time required to read these off-topic posts. They would appreciate it if you would put the text [OT] at the beginning of the subject line of your post so that they know its not about PICs. If you are replying to a post that is not about PICs and notice that it is not marked [OT] , please edit the subject line to add that flag.

Remember that the PICList is a world wide thing and that if you are talking about an item that may change with physical location you should mention yours (at least country and maybe state or province).

Questions answered by this FAQ:

Q : How do I send messages to the list?

A : Step by step:

You may not see your message echoed on the PIClist, and it may take more than a day before anyone responds since most people only read their PICList mail once a day and they are all over the world. If no one responds after a few days, read the rest of this page,  and Myke Predko's general list guidelines at,  rethink your post and add a "Nobody responded to my last post, what am I doing wrong?" to the beginning and send it again.

If you decide to leave, you may unsubscribe at the PICList Mailman page

Q: Is the list moderated, how do I contact the moderators,  and what are the guidelines?

A: The list is administered, by James Newton, Dan Smith, Herb Graf, Josh Koffman, and Jory Bell (who setup the list in 1993). New users will be moderated for a while before being released. Posting messages to the "PICList Administration Port", at PICList-ownerspam at MIT.EDU ( mailto:PICList-ownerspam at MIT.EDU ), causes that message to be distributed to all admins who then read your post & try to help. They have now published guidelines at this site. Admin's guide the list by asking that people mark off topic messages with [OT] at the start of the subject line (not OT, {OT], or off topic) and PICLIST related but not PIC related messages with [Admin] so that people who do not wish to read these postings can filter them out via their email programs. Non-PIC related threads are common and the volume of messages can be several hundred per week. Several respected, valuable, and otherwise caring people have, in the past, unsubscribed due to a temporary peak in the volume of fluff and bad attitudes. When bickering and non-technical posts reach a fever pitch, the admins have been known to step in and put a stop to it by warning people and throwing them off the list.

If you want to be accepted and get the most help, please read some general list guidelines at

Q: What are these [PIC:] and [OT:] things in the subject lines? What are Topics?

The PICList is currently experimenting with the use of topics and topic filtering to try to allow a greater range of discussion while still respecting the fact that many hardcore engineers, who are valuable resources to the list, may have little time to read off topic posts and need a reliable way to filter them out so that they can spend what time they have concentrating on the topic they are most interested in. Despite our name, the PICList also hosts discussions related to other embedded controllers.

Topic tags must be at the start of the subject line, enclosed in brackets "[" and "]" . For example, the current topics are:

Which should be at the start of the subject line for most postings to the PICList. This says that a PIC microcontroller (or clone like the SX line) is directly involved, connected or the entire subject of your post. Any person who works with PICs would want to read it...
Items specific to the Scenix SX microcontrollers
Items specific to the Atmel AVR microcontrollers
Items which have little connection to PICs, but may be of interest to electrical engineers.
Items which have little or no conection to the PICLIST, but are asked by its members anyway.
People looking for parts, equipment, or consultants should use this topic.
This is for advertisements of a commercial product or service. Don't SPAM, do post [AD:]

If you don't use one of these, other people will not see your posts. People who are interested only in the PIC itself listen to [PIC], people who are also interested in general engineering issues still listen to [PIC] and also listen to [EE] and people who are also interested in anything PICListers have to say also listen to [OT]. People who are interested in buying or selling also listen to [AD] and [BUY].

Please pick ONE that matches the subject of your post and type it at the start of the subject line (don't forget the colon) and then continue. Putting a topic tag in, filters the post IN to that topic rather than filtering it OUT of the other topics like it used to. Ok? Let me say that again...

Putting a topic tag in, filters the post IN to that topic rather than filtering it OUT of the other topics like it used to.

The point of this is that it will reduce the likelihood of people posting comments about the space program with [PIC] at the start of the subject line. It also breaks up the PICList in to "Channels" where each topic can be turned on or off with a command to the list server. If you are very busy, then you can only turn on the [PIC] channel and turn the others off. Just tell the list server to only send [PIC] topics by editing your subscription options at

We have included the brackets in most topic tags so that people can subscribe to both [PIC] and [OT] and then filter the [OT]'s into another folder for later (low priority) reading... or other such stuff like that.

Q.Why do my replys to list messages sometimes go to the list and other times go to the person who posted the message?

A. The listserver respects each members setting for replyto address... if non is specified, the replyto address in the post will be set to the PICList, if the members specifies a replyto address, the replyto address in the post will be that address.

To always reply to the list, just check the reply address in the post you are typeing and change it to if it isn't already.

To reply to the messages author offlist, first open (do not reply) to the message and copy the from address, then reply and paste that address over the top of the reply address.

Q. Is the PICList a good place to ask for / post cracks for PIC related software?

A. Remember that the PICList is a public forum. Most of its members are working engineers. Asking for a crack will typically get you nothing but advice to pay for what you get. In the past, cracks posted to the list have evoked mixed responses ranging from offlist threats, to onlist thanks and have started some flame threads about hacking and cracking and software licenses and prices in general which always end up being a waste of bandwidth. List members have been known to forward cracking related threads to the maker of the product being cracked with full header information (including your email address, and who your ISP is).

We can't stop people from posting things that are not legal. We do not approve of software piracy and will remove from the list individuals who show a flagrant disregard for the rights (and efforts) of others. We will forcibly kill flame threads that have no bearing on PICs and are not appropriate to the list.

Jory says: "...[we can't prevent] PICList people [from pirating] software, since that is everyone's own choice, ... i don't want to police such things, but please keep in mind the nature of your communication, and the nature of a public list and decide what is appropriate."

Let's keep cracking off the PICList, there are plenty of other lists for that, and as always, please mark anything not directly related to PIC engineering with an [OT:] or [EE:] at the beginning of the subject line.

Q: Can I advertise my product on the PICList?

A: Yes and no. Put [AD] at the start of the subject line in any case but... Read on:

Q: Is the list archived?

A: Yes. Please use it:

Q: Why don't I see my own posts to the PICLIST?

A: This was the default setting on the list server. Mike figured out how to change that so now, the default is that you will see your posts echoed back to you. (Thanks Mike!) You can change this by editing your subscription options at

Q: Can I get the list in "digest" format?

A: Yes. You can change this by editing your subscription options at

Note that in digest mode ALL the topics are delivered even if you have turned some of them off. There is no workaround for this.

Q: Can I get only the posts that interest me in digest form?
Q: On my slow internet connection, it takes forever to download all the email and I'm only interested in a few anyway. How can I keep using the list?

A: At one time, you could do this using the Index mode of the PIC List. [thanks to Mike Werner] Unfortunatly, we are no longer able to offer the index mode.

Q: I'm going on vacation / don't want to be involved in the PICList for a while. Should I unsubscribe and then re-subscribe when I get back?

A: You can, but this will reset any configuration related to your account. It would be better to simply disable mail delivery so you are still subscribed, but no posts will be sent to you. You can change this by editing your subscription options at

Also, consider setting digest mode (above) to continue getting PICList posts in a more compact form. In either case, thank you for not just turning on an "Out of Office" auto-reply as these will be sent back to every member of the list.

Q: I've been on the PICList for a while and suddenly I'm not getting any of the 50 odd messages per day that normally come in:

A: Sometimes, on the Internet (being the way it is), mail doesn't get through for a while - it does get through eventually. Situations happen like your mail being handed off to a machine which then gets disconnected due to some problem, be it "backhoe fade" or a hardware crash, things usually get fixed up in a couple days. Usually the traffic all shows up in one HUGE clump, some hours or days later on, whenever that server gets fixed or re-booted. It's annoying to us admins, as we have to tell the difference between not being on the list, being on the list but set to NoMail, or the above, or other problems that can happen. Sometimes, someone's ISP falls onto the RBL (Realtime Black hole List - an anti-SPAM list, this happened to MY ISP recently), or the PICList gets mistakenly ID'ed as a "SPAM" source by someone's ISP due to all the traffic, and all PICList traffic is filtered into the "circular binary file." Rarely, you get a fast response back, but the mail isn't getting through, despite the options the list server's set to looking like it should - When THAT happens, I suggest people unsub & re-subscribe, usually that fixes things. Sometimes just setting to digest & then regular mail a few seconds later can fix it.

Check your subscription options at If everything looks right, this is a good time to e-mail the list admins at PICList-Ownerspam at MIT.EDU and let us look into it.

Q: My email address is changing. How can I forward my PICList emails?

A: You can change this by editing your subscription options at

Q: I want to post to the PICList from my home email account and from work. When I try to post from an account from which I am not subscribed to the PICList I get a "rejected posting" message and if I subscribe from both email accounts, I end up with two copies of every post. What can I do?

A: Subscribe from both accounts then disable mail delivery for the email address where you do not wish to receive (but do wish to send) posts. You can change this by editing your subscription options at

This FAQ maintained by James Newton. Last update 2005.02.07 18:17:55

See also:


  "We have two ears and one mouth, so we may listen twice as much as we speak" Epictetus (Whoever he was) Aha! This obviously explains many people's attitude to Usenet: "We have ten fingers and two eyes, so we may type five times as much drivel as we actually bother to read." -- Arthur Chance, on usenet


a.k.a. Is it worth anything?

If you have enjoyed the PICList and learned from it or used designs and ideas posted by its members, please consider supporting the PICList by honoring its major contributors with a small donation or a word of thanks.

PICList post "piclist Admin #3"



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