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?

This topic is closed.
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    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.
    Because that's a brilliant and effective solution, so is therefore forbidden.

    Proud owner of 80-0007 - The only one of its kind.


      Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
      Not only is this board somewhat kludged, and obvious to the casual observer, we have lost a good hunk of participation.
      VCF has also managed to create a morbund Discord


        Originally posted by thunter0512 View Post

        Hi Lutiana,

        Thank you for all your work to keep this forum running.

        Could you please share why you consider moving away from vBulletin?

        I have no insight into the administrative side of it, but from a user's point of view it is "good enough".
        I don't like what it does with "Image Uploads" where even after I compress my JPEG images to the small "allowed size" it then re-compresses my image and it becomes larger than the limit (this is a bit crazy in my opinion). Other than the "Image Upload" feature it works well enough from my point of view and I happily cope with a little craziness and some rough edges.

        If it works don't change it.

        Best regards
        Tom Hunter
        Yes, the front end could be considered "good enough" but I do tend to agree with what others have said about that concept, so I won't delve in to it.

        What I will say is that this software is a dead product, development seems to stopped on it nearly a decade ago, with just minor patches and upgrades being released randomly. The support community around it is so bad as to almost be user hostile (one user asked if they were considering a V6 release, and the conversation went south from there *VERY* fast, mostly egged on by the vBulletin folks). So if/when something breaks we have near zero ability to get help with it and the back end admin aspect of it is ridiculously complex and terrible to use.

        We need a platform that has robust support options, and is actively being developed and will take user feedback when considering feature adds. vBulletin ins the antithesis of this.

        Ok, I am going to close this thread now, I think it has run it course.

        The next step on my end is to go trough this thread and pull out the suggestions to make a master list, then use that to spin up a pole to get a vote from everyone. Then once we narrow it down to our top 3 or 4, we can investigate their feasibility and possible spin up some test servers that you all can poke around on for us.

        Thanks to every one who responded with an option.

        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