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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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Platform Update

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    Platform Update

    Hello everyone,

    Just a quick update on the process for determining where we want to go with these forums platform wise.

    Firstly, thank you to everyone who voted on the poll, it was very helpful and was a big part of our discussions around what we want to do. For now we have not decided if we are going to move away from vBulletin or not, but we have decided to pilot both Discourse and XenForo.

    There are pros and cons to both platforms and we feel that their feature sets are similar enough that they are worth digging deeper into them and giving them a try. So at some point in the coming months we will be announcing an open beta on both platforms and will be opening them up to the community to jump into and really give them a test drive, try to break them and just see how they work for us. So stay tuned for more info on that.

    After the two platforms have been thoroughly vetted, we put up another poll to see if the people have changed their minds after trying them out, and only then will the decision to move or not be made.




    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

    #2
    Great news, thanks for the update.

    Comment


      #3
      Looking forward to some progress... Keep up posted.

      Comment


        #4
        I am looking forward to the open betas on the new platforms. I personally don't like the direction vBulletin is heading in (I get it's not the forum's fault though) and recently I've had better luck with forums based on other software.
        Currently looking for: IBM PS/2 Model P70, Compaq Contura 3/25, Any Toshiba Libretto laptop from theLibretto 50CT up to the 110CT.

        Comment


          #5
          Sounds good! Thank you!
          Compaq - It simply works better

          Comment


            #6
            So, working with a couple of other XenForo sites, I find their search to be inadequate.

            Turns out XenForo offers an advanced search add on that requires an external service (ElasticSearch). So, not only do they charge for better search, it complicates the install (ElasticSearch isn't necessarily difficult, but it is "one more thing" to have to maintain and install and for all those familiar and fluent in PHP, ElasticSearch is NOT PHP).

            Another forum I use has just switched, and it's been quite nice, but the search is just terrible. I can't find all of my posts, and it doesn't support word stemming (so if you search for "computer" and "computers" you get 2 different results, since they're different words). I've searched for legacy posts that I "know" are there, and can not find them on these sites.

            Having a history of posts is not very useful without a competent search function.

            So, I wanted to just add that in to the discussion.

            Comment


              #7
              Is this the basic XenForo search? It works fine for me. Not as many options as vBulletin's search, but vB searches are always flooded with false positives.

              Comment


                #8
                The issue isn't the options available, it's the results.

                Simply, on this other forum, I have examples of posts that I can not find using search. On another forum which is in the processing of moving over, on their beta site, when I search for my name, I get 2 pages of results. I'm much more prolific than that.

                But, notably, the lack of stemming is a real issue. I assume today that basic level of functionality. "computer" and "computers", honestly, should return the same results.

                My fear, the pain from my tight fitting tin hat, is that the basic search is "sub par", that it is compromised because they have it as a value add. There's nothing more neglected than a feature that you're also charging for.

                I've brought it to the admin attention on the other two forums, to see if there was something that slipped through during the conversion. But if this forum is considering this, then I feel they may want to pay some extra attention to this facility during their evaluation.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The * wildcard works in XenForo searches. If you search for comput* it will match computer, computers, computing, etc.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Does it also support regular expression searches? That would be cool.
                    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by whartung View Post
                      So, working with a couple of other XenForo sites, I find their search to be inadequate.

                      Turns out XenForo offers an advanced search add on that requires an external service (ElasticSearch). So, not only do they charge for better search, it complicates the install (ElasticSearch isn't necessarily difficult, but it is "one more thing" to have to maintain and install and for all those familiar and fluent in PHP, ElasticSearch is NOT PHP).

                      Another forum I use has just switched, and it's been quite nice, but the search is just terrible. I can't find all of my posts, and it doesn't support word stemming (so if you search for "computer" and "computers" you get 2 different results, since they're different words). I've searched for legacy posts that I "know" are there, and can not find them on these sites.

                      Having a history of posts is not very useful without a competent search function.

                      So, I wanted to just add that in to the discussion.
                      I've worked with ElasticSearch in one of my former jobs. I never really liked it and found it not user friendly. But I was on the configuration side. Maybe in actual use it's not as bad? This was many years ago so things probably have changed.
                      PDP-8 and PDP-11 enthusiast. But enjoy most older PC stuff too.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
                        The * wildcard works in XenForo searches. If you search for comput* it will match computer, computers, computing, etc.
                        He specifically stated he was searching for two similar words based on the same root. Don't think he was using "compute*". But I may be wrong. I am assuming he used "computer, computers"? This may be due to ElasticSearch working weirdly.
                        PDP-8 and PDP-11 enthusiast. But enjoy most older PC stuff too.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by tradde View Post

                          He specifically stated he was searching for two similar words based on the same root. Don't think he was using "compute*". But I may be wrong. I am assuming he used "computer, computers"? This may be due to ElasticSearch working weirdly.
                          I'm assuming they're not using the ES option. I just assume stemming "comes for free" nowadays. I shouldn't have to wildcard my searches. And, boy, I sure would hope it DOESN'T support "*compute*", which is an absolutely awful search (unless it's actually designed for that, which I doubt).

                          MySQL does support full text search, but it seems to only support stop words, rather than stemming. It supports wildcards, but only in a certain search mode, which is perhaps what they're using, but then you lose relevancy in your result set. Obviously, I don't know what kind of searching they're doing.

                          Just, kind of a mess all around. If I have to use wildcards, then so be it. But there's no mention of that in the search dialogs (which consigns the secret to folklore).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            As this seems to have evolved into the website feedback thread

                            Does anyone know why, in Blogs when you change the filter to 'all time' you get nothing. Last month, last week and today all filter correctly, but 'All time' displays nothing. The blogs exist, but they keep being hard to find.
                            Last edited by Gary C; November 6, 2021, 05:59 AM.
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