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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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    #31
    ...and admins, the last simple edit to the above post took nearly two minutes with the "Working" blob at the top. I submit that vB has some issues...
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

    Comment


      #32
      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.
      We’re civilized.


      Our trust system means that the community builds a natural immune system to defend itself from trolls, bad actors, and spammers — and the most engaged forum members can assist in the governance of their community. We put a trash can on every street corner with a simple, low-friction flagging system. Positive behaviors are encouraged through likes and badges. We gently, constantly educate members in a just-in-time manner on the universal rules of civilized discourse.
      This sounds incredibly cringe

      Comment


        #33

        Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
        ...and admins, the last simple edit to the above post took nearly two minutes with the "Working" blob at the top. I submit that vB has some issues...
        Our own vb5 site has had the same issues. It has taken endless tweaking of my.cfg to get it to a functional state. The benefit is that our other forum (a read-only archive running UBBThreads 7.7) is blazing fast now.

        lutiana, thank you for this thread and everyone for your responses. It really lit a fire under me. I have been playing with the Xenforo demo for the past two days. I have a question out to their support team to learn if the importer supports vb5.6. If the answer is satisfactory, then we will be moving to Xenforo.

        Comment


          #34
          For the admin types: Why not create a sticky, list the board choices and let members select their choices? Maybe that would help sway the powers the be. It seems almost every other post here is a knock on the vBulletin, and most are certainly warranted. Members shouldn't have to spend considerable time attempting fixes. I belong to a few boards and have never encountered that. Also, members shouldn't have to resort to using their own personal email accounts when dealing with VCF business.
          Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting

          Comment


            #35
            Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
            For the admin types: Why not create a sticky, list the board choices and let members select their choices?
            That would be the next step. This thread was to build that list.

            We do intend to demo a few other options, probably around 3 and go from there.


            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

            Comment


              #36
              BTW, just wanted to say thanks to the mods for being clear and up-front about this and getting the community involved. Vastly preferable to having things sprung on us from On High as with the vb5 "upgrade."
              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

              Comment


                #37
                Yes i agree i appreciate being asked and in the loop. Thank you.

                Comment


                  #38
                  lutiana is doing a top notch job.
                  Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                    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.
                    Yea, I can't speak to the admin side at all. I've never hosted it.

                    Originally posted by maxtherabbit View Post
                    This sounds incredibly cringe
                    This is no different than our "first 10 posts are moderated" policy. It's more dynamic. The fundamental premise is that the longer you participate on the site, the more rights you get. If you get sanctioned by an admin, you can get bumped down.

                    Simple examples is that you can't post graphics, or links to unauthorized sites until your "trust" level had improved.

                    I'm sure it can be readily disabled if that's not what the folks wants.


                    Comment


                      #40
                      Originally posted by Terry Kennedy View Post
                      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, https://forums.freebsd.org). OTOH, if this site were to switch to Discourse I would run away screaming and never look back.
                      Please note that XenForo upgrades aren't friction-free either - solely based on posts read in the Feedback forum on forums.freebsd.org; I have no experience with the admin side of things.
                      Other than that (from my user-only point of view) keep it simple, stable and easy to use. Of course, that goes for the admin side of things too,
                      Torfinn

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Originally posted by tingo View Post
                        Please note that XenForo upgrades aren't friction-free either - solely based on posts read in the Feedback forum on forums.freebsd.org; I have no experience with the admin side of things.
                        The FreeBSD forums had a very large number of customizations to VB, some of which had to be made in the actual code and not just templates. IIRC, they were in the areas of:
                        • Many custom tags for things like man pages, linking to bug reports, linking to ports, etc.
                        • Extensive use of custom smilies
                        • Custom handling for a large variety of attachment types
                        • A heavily customized default theme which packed things pretty densely on the page
                        Also, the changeover was done in an unannounced and rushed manner due to a perceived security flaw in VB. So a lot of the stuff that would normally be found when users looked at a dedicated test site were instead found when the new XF forums went live.

                        The only remaining thing that I know of is that a few obscure smilies render as ASCII.

                        Comment


                          #42
                          XenForo is a very popular choice for people fed up with vBulletin. As a user I also like its minimal and clean style a lot.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            There are good and bad XenForo forums. The VerticalScope forums (VWVortex, etc.) are cluttered and try too hard to look like Facebook. Others like AudioKarma are much more streamlined and look a lot more like classic vBulletin.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Flarum is pretty neat. It is not much on its own, but with plugins, it is pretty sick.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Originally posted by HKG View Post
                                Flarum is pretty neat. It is not much on its own, but with plugins, it is pretty sick.
                                Never heard of it. Can you list an URL for it.
                                Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting

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