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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If we were to move away from vBulletin, what would you recommend we use?

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    NASIOC has over 500,000 members and 45,000,000 forum posts, and is still using vBulletin 3.7.0:

    But maybe they're big enough that they can get vBulletin to make custom security updates for them.


      I thought that IB had declared vB 3 as EOL.

      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


        I have no experience with the administration end of things, but I do want to join the chorus of "keep it simple!" here. A forum that requires Javascript just for core browsing functionality (i.e. clicking the link to the next page of the dang thread) to work, and breaks with long-established web-forum conventions (like PM views) for no compelling reason is just plain unreasonable, and likely more fragile anyway.
        Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
        Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
        "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup


          I spend a lot of time on a forum using XenPorta 2 Pro. Easy to use and seems very reliable.


            I help run a website running vbulletin5 and ran into much of the same problems you guys have had. We've been on VB5 since 2015.

            In addition to gathering ideas of products, it will be necessary to gather the features that the good vcfed folks currently know and love. For example: are sigs important? Avatars? PMs? Is responsive web design preferred to support mobile browsers, or less frontend code so folks can view the boards on their Commodore or IIe?

            To port over the data, you will want a product that has a VBulletin5 importer. That limits the pool to a small few. Many forum products offer VB3/VB4 importers, but VB5 has a significantly different database.

            The most interesting to me have been Invision Community and Xenforo. Both have a significant market share, though are priced accordingly with annual maintenance fees.
            Last edited by rouar; August 28, 2021, 07:45 AM.


              XenForo seems pretty good. I spend a good bit of time on BushcraftUSA, which uses it, and (please don't take offense at this, admins) my experience there from a user experience perspective is far more positive than this new forum software here.

              I would ask to please NOT use Discourse. It is terrible.
              -- Lee

              If you get super-bored, try muh crappy Odysee channel: Old Computer Fun!

              Looking For: Type 4 HDC for Tandy II/12/16/6000, Mac IIci hard drive sled, PC-era Tandy stuff, Weird Old Unix Stuff, Aesthetic Old Serial Terminals (HP and DG in particular)


                Maybe this:

                THE BIOS MASTER


                  I don't have many strong feelings. XenForo seems to be popular and has a reasonably good vBulletin import function, and a number of heavily-customized VB sites have moved to XF (for example, OTOH, if this site were to switch to Discourse I would run away screaming and never look back.

                  However, I frequent a number of forums still running varous VB releases and the things that are broken here are not broken there, so...


                    Anyone else getting freezing when trying to load VCfed? Ive been getting it prety bad for a week now. Just happened when trying to read this post.


                      Almost all the sites I visit have switched to XenForo. No surprise since VerticalScope, which owns many online forums, has been migrating all the forum communities they own to their forum product.

                      68kMLA was the latest one to move to XenForo. I don't know the reasoning behind it as they had recently abandoned phpBB for Invision. One forum I frequent uses Simple Machines, but the editor is irritating, namely the quick reply lacks formatting tools and preview forces you to the advanced reply page anyway. vB was fine until version 4.x came out, its just been slow since then. I think the program has suffered a bit under Internet Brand's ownership.


                        Why does everyone seem to hate Discourse?


                          Dunno, perhaps you should post this on a Discourse BB and find out how hard it is to use--and any reliability problems. I can see performance problems with vB here, when I click on a topic and it take 40 seconds to load.
                          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                            I dont use it nor do i see the need for it. Seems likr any of the many fads going around.


                              Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                              Dunno, perhaps you should post this on a Discourse BB and find out how hard it is to use--and any reliability problems. I can see performance problems with vB here, when I click on a topic and it take 40 seconds to load.
                              I use a couple of discourse based sites, and I never had any real problem with any of them.


                                Originally posted by whartung View Post

                                I use a couple of discourse based sites, and I never had any real problem with any of them.
                                My point is that the view from a user and one from an administrator could be quite different. If the admin says "trying to do anything is like getting a root canal with a rusty deck screw", you'd best take that under consideration.
                                Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.