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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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    #46
    Originally posted by whartung View Post
    Out in left field, I've had good experiences with Discourse. I don't quite know how appropriate it is for here. https://retrocomputingforum.com uses Discourse. It seems like decent software, but as a cross grade from vB, it may be a bad match.

    But I will say one specific thing about Discourse. It looks all fancy and such and uses a lot of Javascript, but it's works really well without it. You can use Discourse in Lynx and be "happy" (for assorted values of "happy" and green screen web pages). Which I think is a nice feature, especially for a site like this.
    I'm testing out https://try.discourse.org/ from my DEC VT340 and it is frankly awesome!

    I was already inclined to suggest Discourse because it has, IMHO, by far the best user interface of any of the options out there. While I use the w3m browser a lot, it hadn't occurred to me to even check if Discourse falls back gracefully when Javascript is not available. I'm impressed that it does since it feels so much more modern than VB sites.

    The mission statement from Discourse about making civil communities doesn't bother me. Sure it might seem cringey, but it's just admin tools they're providing. VCF doesn't have to use them if they don't fit.

    My one worry with Discourse is how expensive it is. The cheapest pricing they have listed on Discourse.org is $100/month. https://www.discourse.org/pricing
    Last edited by hackerb9; September 6, 2021, 08:09 PM.

    Comment


      #47
      Originally posted by hackerb9 View Post

      I'm testing out https://try.discourse.org/ from my DEC VT340 and it is frankly awesome!

      I was already inclined to suggest Discourse because it has, IMHO, by far the best user interface of any of the options out there. While I use the w3m browser a lot, it hadn't occurred to me to even check if Discourse falls back gracefully when Javascript is not available. I'm impressed that it does since it feels so much more modern than VB sites.

      The mission statement from Discourse about making civil communities doesn't bother me. Sure it might seem cringey, but it's just admin tools they're providing. VCF doesn't have to use them if they don't fit.

      My one worry with Discourse is how expensive it is. The cheapest pricing they have listed on Discourse.org is $100/month. https://www.discourse.org/pricing
      I doubt that $100 will fly for this site.

      Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting

      Comment


        #48
        $100/mo.!? Criminy, I gotta get me into this racket.
        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

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          #49
          Discourse is open source. You can host it yourself.

          Comment


            #50
            Discourse doesn't like old/unusual browsers. In pre-Chromification MS Edge all I get is a blank screen on their site. And in browsers it does like, it looks too "smartphone-optimized", with lots of wasted space -- something people already have been complaining about here with vBulletin 5.x.

            Comment


              #51
              I vote a HARD NO for discourse!

              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
                I vote a HARD NO for discourse!
                Discourse is probably the only alternative that would make me leave and never look back.

                Comment


                  #53
                  Might as well move it to Facebook at that point

                  Comment


                    #54
                    While I understand that people will have some hard feelings about some platforms, but I ask that you keep and open mind, especially if we switch to something you are opposed to. All of the software solutions out there that I have looked at can be highly customized, so the platform you hate, may not look or even function the same if we adopted it.

                    Also, drawing a line in the sand is not helpful to any of the mods, who have to balance the needs of the entire community, and if that has to mean a few members end up leaving, then we have little option but to say Goodbye and wish them well.

                    That said, the whole idea of this thread and plan is to involve as many people in the decision as possible, and hopefully not lose any in the process, assuming of course, that we switch at all.

                    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


                      #55
                      Plz no discourse

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
                        Might as well move it to Facebook at that point
                        If it ever moves there you won't see me there. I don't use it and never will. I doubt that will happen. Hope not anyway.
                        PDP-8 and PDP-11 enthusiast. But enjoy most older PC stuff too.

                        Comment


                          #57
                          Originally posted by tradde View Post

                          If it ever moves there you won't see me there. I don't use it and never will. I doubt that will happen. Hope not anyway.
                          As far as I am concerned we'll go to morse coded telegrams before that would happen.

                          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


                            #58
                            Why can't we move to newsgroups? I think that would be perfect considering the field of discussion here.
                            Daniel P. Cayea - The Lyon Mountain Company - Plattsburgh, New York 12901
                            Vintage Equipment: IBM 5150 * IBM 5161 * ThinkPad 770ED
                            Modern Equipment: MacBook Pro 13 * Alienware M15R3

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
                              Might as well move it to Facebook at that point
                              Facebook? Are people making the (quite reasonable) assumption that Discourse and Discord are the same?

                              Discourse is forum software inspired by phpBB and vBulletin. Someone else pointed out that Discourse is Open Source so you could self-host if you wanted full control. Not every group has the admin expertise to do that, but Open Source is still a positive as it means you're not locked into one hosting provider.

                              Discord is a social media company that tries to try to compete with Facebook, WhatsApp, and Slack using its own Proprietary system. It has carved out a niche with gamers. And yes, I wholeheartedly agree that moving to Discord would be hardly better than moving to Facebook.

                              Whatever the admins here decide, I am quite relieved to hear that Morse Code is higher than Facebook on the list of alternatives.

                              —b9

                              Comment


                                #60
                                Originally posted by lyonadmiral View Post
                                Why can't we move to newsgroups? I think that would be perfect considering the field of discussion here.
                                You were expecting something different from the people who can say,
                                "APPLE ][ FOREVER!!!1!"

                                and literally mean it?

                                Thank you for a reminder of the "good old days". I wonder why "trolling" and "spam", which had their genesis in Usenet, are widely known now, yet "flamewar" has been forgotten.

                                Comment

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