Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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Forum Updates

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    Forum Updates

    Hello everyone,

    Just wanted to take a second let you all know that we (the mods) met with the VCFed leadership to discuss the various issues that have been going on with the forums since the change to the new version and have started to make some steps towards getting them resolved, at the same time we discussed some other changes.

    Firstly, Michael Brutman, whom most of you knows mbbrutman is stepping down as lead moderator, and I am taking his place. He will still be around to help with moderating spam posts, and of course will continue to be an active member in the community.

    Secondly, the forum issues. I will be closing the long unwieldy thread that was opened in order to get some feedback. Suffice it to say we got plenty of good and bad feedback there, and it has become impossible to track any real issues there. But we have listened, and we have heard that there needs to be more done on our end in the way of transparency and general communication. To that end, later today or tomorrow I will be posting some more updates that will focus on specific issues, the initial post will describe the issue and some steps we are taking to get it resolved. Subsequent posts from there will be from the mods with updates on the issue. We feel that this is the best way to keep the community informed on what is going on.

    Moving forward, if you encounter any tech issues, please open up a thread in the "Vintage Computer Forum Support" forum, describing the issue, approximately when the issue happened, what you did to get it to happen and any other relevant info we may need to dig into it. We ask others only respond with relevant information on the issue and/or to get their name added to the list of people who are having that particular issue, or alternatively, if you know how to fix the problem OP is having you are welcome to chime in. We just want to keep those threads as on topic as possible.

    If we determine that it is a larger issue, or one that will need our intervention to solve, then we, the mods, may opt to close the thread there and open a new announcement outlining the issue and any will post any relevant updates there.

    And of course, the last thing I need to talk about is the look and feel of the new site. People have made it very clear that they do not like it. We have been looking into the various theme options for vBulletin, but have not found any particularly great ones, but we will keep looking. If there are any people out there that are good with vBulletin theming, or have the skillset to create us a custom theme, then please shoot ajacocks a PM.

    An lastly, none of the admin team for this forum are vBulletin wizards, a lot of this stuff is pretty new to a lot of us, so if there are any people out there that are well versed in the back end of vBulletin and are willing to help out, then please let us know ASAP.

    IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
    IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
    Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10