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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Across the board is the vintage computer enthusiasm and Forum interest waning?

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    Originally posted by 8008guy View Post

    This is a funny comment...

    Might I remind you that much of the relevant content on this forum comes from "us" the vintage people who lived the history of exactly what we are trying to discuss on this forum. Many of "us" are at the end of our careers, and some nearing the end of this worldly existence. Many of us come here because it's fun to relive and share our knowledge. Myself, being very close to the end of my working career am getting tired of chasing the next new "exciting" apple device or microsoft OS. I've lived on the cutting edge of microcomputesr and the commercial Internet. At this point in my life I just want to play with the toys I am interested in.

    If I can easily access this forum I will participate. If you make it difficult I won't. I know others who feel the same way.

    At the end of the day this is all about tools. You can either keep older tools relevant, or break them. It's exactly the same reason why the US has not moved to the metric system, because it make zero sense. You have a massive install base, why screw with it. That is exactly where we are here. You can rationalize the merits of your new software at the cost of a small percentage of your user base. At some point you will whittle away the stick in the name of progress.

    At the end of the day a toilet seat is still the most universal API.
    I am behind you all the way up to but not including the metric system.

    Its so much easier to add up in 10's rather than 12's & 14's (and all the other stupid factors)

    I can just remember old coins, just glad I didn't have that many before they were phased out but I have had to work in many other imperial measurements and being a 'betweener' I think in both imperial and metric, often mixing different line standards depending on what I am measuring !
    Current fleet
    TRS80 Model 4 - BBC B - Tatung Einstein - PCW9512 - PET 3032 - C64 - ZX81 - Spectrum 48K - Amiga A500 - Apple II europlus - Apple iMAC G3. Sharp MZ-80K. - IBM 5160 XT - Multibus 286/10 - Micro PDP 11/73 - Rainbow PC100A - MicroVax II - MicroVAX 3100, 3300, VAX 4000 VLC & 4000 Model 96 - AlphaStation 225 Apricot PC - Apple Performa 6200 - Apple Mac IIcx - Osborne 1 - ACT Sirius 1


      Originally posted by 8008guy View Post
      Might I remind you that much of the relevant content on this forum comes from "us" the vintage people
      If I can easily access this forum I will participate. If you make it difficult I won't. I know others who feel the same way.
      I enjoy using my vintage equipment as much as anyone else, but it is a bit ridiculous to assume that the majority of people who use the forum want to do so only from equipment made more than 10 years ago.

      I'm not defending the forum software upgrade; my use of the forum has dwindled to a trickle since it happened because I find it actively hostile towards users. But expecting any volunteer-run website to make broad changes just because someone can't be bothered to access it within a reasonable hardware/software expectation is presumptuous at best and arrogant at worst. Go browse the web using if you want it to work with all your vintage devices.

      (For the person who said the site doesn't work on a 1st-gen ipad, maybe try using the mobile version of the site and see if that helps. If it doesn't, then submit a bug report in the appropriate forum with details on what isn't working.)
      Offering a bounty for:
      - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
      - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)


        I used to be on here and on IRC a lot, then dad got diagnosed with dementia and slowly I had less and less time to myself. He's now in home and I'm back again, VCF has always been my first stop for all things old computer.

        Though I have to say, since I got back, I've noticed the website is bloody picky to which mobile device it will work on. I'm currently typing on a P20 Lite and the keyboard keeps vanishing depending of where on the document I select. Not had any issue with my Pc, not even my old Windows XP system.

        Since I joined VCF, discord and Reddit have become popular platforms. Yes I use them, bit I personally prefer a forum. Discord drives be nuts at times.

        ​​​​ ​​​​​
        Last edited by Haemogoblin; November 6, 2021, 09:48 AM.
        Collection thus far:
        A500, A500+, A600, A3000, A1200, A1200T, CD32, ZX Spectrum, 128k +A & +B, C64, Apple Macintosh Plus, Classic, Sharp Pc-7200, IBM-PC360, Powermac 8500.


          One thing that might help with compatibility is putting the site on a dedicated IP address (no virtual hosts) and dialing down the required encryption level a bit. A lot of sites will at least try to load on things like Firefox RZ if those are the case. Then the issue becomes one of HTML rendering - really browser made in the last 10 years should work fine unless someone is trying to do something stupid with HTML/scripting. Unfortunately, web developers always want to do stupid crap.

          I hate it how user hostile this world is, and we are just supposed to put up with it. Almost every site these days is filled with hypnotic seizure inducing animations intentionally bad UI optimized to mine user data. It's not even thanksgiving and stores are blaring repetitive crapmas music - why? Because thanksgiving doesn't sell enough merch. Don't forget to download our FREE news/malware app, but first buy the latest smart phone! Arrrag.

          It does seem like more and more people are mentally locked in to Twitter(R)(TM), Facebook(R)(TM), and other such platforms. I really don't see anything other than a forum (unless newsgroups make a comeback) that can provide open, accessible, searchable, meaningful discussion, and knowledge archival.


            I use Facebook, but only because so many of my friends use it as a primary means of communication. It’s bloody annoying. Other than messaging people, I try to keep off it. I’ve seen over the past 10 years how people have changed since FB came about and I don’t like it. Probably why I enjoy messing with old machines that need no internet connection to work as they should.
            Collection thus far:
            A500, A500+, A600, A3000, A1200, A1200T, CD32, ZX Spectrum, 128k +A & +B, C64, Apple Macintosh Plus, Classic, Sharp Pc-7200, IBM-PC360, Powermac 8500.


              I just cannot understand Facebook success. For me it's the worst example of a so-called social network. The groups are just chaotic. An algorithm decides for you how to order the posts, not by date, and it also decides which replies are interesting and which ones not. The "not interesting" ones get buried or hidden. That's crazy! Yes, you can read them anyway by clicking read more responses but it's still very much annoying.


       enthusiasm isnt waning, my focus just has moved from constant hardware tweaking to making my vintage megabeasts scream around online and offline doing cool stuff. When I was single and 22 I could keep up with a small company's worth of vintage PC "assets" but as a married middle-ager, and years of experience, time consuming issues go from fun to boring real quick when "in a minute" becomes my new catchphrase. Add to it Im doing more advanced stuff across a hospital all day and Im kinda drained. Id rather game and surf the old web on my 486 rather than spend hours messing with goofey oddware or figting some old crappy Windows install.

                I post more on Vogons these days but I blog here more when I feel like babbling about my more interesting activities. Sometimes I post here too but I never have much advice or info to ask about. Usually I just reply to threads that interest me. They do seem to be less, but the window for hot vintage hardware is a bit too new for me at most places (i start to get bored post 486 era....still too much like today), but I'm also not that into anything but vintage x86 pcs 8088-486, so I kind of live in a limited realm for the time being.

                Modern social media is too chaotic and too much groupthink for me usually. Just a chorus of "(shotgun) recap it" or "buy this ultra expensive framerate scaler thing" or "Put a CF Card in it". So Fakebook, Twit-er, and Instacram sort of bore me quickly. Honestly...most of my vintage IT stuff goes on my website that I think I bit off a bit too much with TBH.


                  Originally posted by Mad-Mike View Post
                  "(shotgun) recap it"
                  "Put a CF Card in it"
                  I hate those so much. But if you don't have a good CRT you basically do need an "expensive" scaler if you don't want your IQ to be absolute garbage or have a ton of display lag.

                  Of course people can get a VGA CRT on craigslist for <$20 if they are so inclined and be just fine


                    Speaking for myself my interest has definitely waned a bit - nostalgia's grip only lasts so long. I've collected most of my hit list and am filling my non-existent free time with other things more lately. I find I'm not using my gear much. I'm not watching my favourite 'retro' youtubers a lot these days and often kind of skip through a lot of a video when I do. The thing is, there's only so many stories to tell and only so much you can say on a given topic before it's all covered, esp when 50 other guys are covering it with you. I frequently hear from people complaining about how rote most 'retro' channels are now and the overconcentration on classic 8bit/PC systems. I regret contributing to that - I've actually been reducing my output on my own channel, which I stupidly started during the Youtube dogpile of 2020 and now am using it mostly to master video editing techniques I plan to deploy in another genre eventually.

                    But I do think the explosion of vintage tech channels and the large followings some have very quickly attracted suggests there is still gas in this hobby's tank for now. Perhaps as topics are exhausted and people age out, things will decline. The market is OK - a lot of things have declined recently as people realize there are thousands of these things out there still. Some things have definitely gone up (Altair, etc) and there are some gold miners out there, but even those seem to be off peak. I've recently gotten a whole bunch of things much more cheaply than I would have in the recent past. Like I said, people are getting older and many from earlier eras who would have nostalgia for the corresponding gear have passed on, and some of this gear will have trouble finding new owners. Some day in the not too distant future I think you'll see a bunch of collectors kind of say, 'Okay, I'm out' and suddenly there'll be tons of stuff hitting the market as people try to recoup their 'investment', and space in their homes. It's already happening actually.

                    I do find this forum at times a bit buggy - you'll go to save a msg or something and you'll be waiting literally 5 minutes.. sometimes it doesn't seem to stick. But really there's no other place for me - the help I've gotten here from key people like ChuckG and daver2 has been an invaluable source of learning. The aforementioned overemphasis on classic 8 bit era machines means most other 'gatherings' out there are dedicated to that, which is not my main area of interest. So I appreciate the (volunteer) efforts to keep this afloat. Thank you!
                    Last edited by falter; November 21, 2021, 11:40 AM.


                      I don't think my interest is going to wane all that much. First, because I've never really been consumed by it, and with me it's probably still more focused/narrow than the norm seems to be. Okay, a fair bit of that is because it's so difficult me to get my hands on decent vintage gear... but there's just not enough momentum for the pendulum to swing the other way. Second, because with me it's also a creative outlet.

                      Third, and maybe most importantly, because a lot of it is down to the difference between older tech and current tech. Not in quantitative terms of processing power and the likes, but in how it *relates* to a person and vice versa. Current tech - and this is the most succinct descriptor I've come across - is simply hostile by default to the user, in one way or another, which shapes both how we interact with it and the byproducts of that interaction. And that difference is only going to become more apparent with time, rather than less.

                      Now, as for forums vs. newer form of discussion channels... funny how it boils down to the exact same thing. Yep, the bulk of the conversation these days is going to be on reddit, discord, twitter and so on so forth, not on forums or IRC. But if communicating with others about old tech means continuously rubbing my face in the worst of the new tech (centralization, deliberate ephemerality, crowdism, toxicity, incentivizing the lowest common denominator.. you name it), then I'll be sitting most of it out thank you. If I wanted to celebrate the positive qualities of clean water and fresh air, I wouldn't be doing it by holding a symposium in my local sewage processing plant.

                      BTW, that's not a dig at those of you who do so. If you enjoy it, that's good - it does keep the hobby going and helps attract the interest of new people. Just ain't for me.
                      Last edited by VileR; November 24, 2021, 02:09 PM.
             :: :: :: blog


                        i think that interest in a lot of hobbies has been hit by the plague of the last few years. Clubs and organizations of ANY type, you name it - have suffered. One of the pleasures of having an interest/hobby is being around and meeting other like-minded people, and showing off your acquisitions or projects - and obviously, this has been harder to do recently. Posting picturesvideos and writing about them only goes so far.

                        SOME people had more free time/energy/money over the last two years and some have had less. I've got projects 80% done that have been unfinished for some time. Work (and working from home) sucked up everything I had! I was hoping to have a working 4004 demo board in time for the chip's 50th anniversary. Hardware's been done and is 99% likely to work but no firmware yet.


                          Originally posted by Trixter View Post

                          ... The vintage computer forum is for discussing vintage computers, not serve as a platform to be used by vintage computers.
                          Maintaining compatibility with old browsers would be nice, but what's more important is having the platform work in the first place. The old version of VBulliten the forums were on was riddled with security holes. Besides leaking user info (including passwords) it meant that the whole forum software / database was easily broken into. If we had to do a database restore every other day because the forums were getting blown away by some script, does that really mean the forums are "working"?

                          To those that complain about the forum's look and feel now I have a question: Have you ever moderated a web forum before? Done work on the admin / back end? It's more work that you might think! If you have time to help moderate / administrate, I'd venture that it would be appreciated!

                          My Site (under construction!) | My Apple Lisa 2/10


                            What I've noticed here over the period of a few years is a shift in interests, which I suspect is age-related. Allow me to elaborate...

                            Many of the old-timers were around when the PC technology was introduced in the 1970s. Their interests tend to focus on the technical end. Games weren't yet a thing--although games like Pong were starting to make inroads in the arcade scene. Audio and graphics, not to mention things like pointing devices were fringe technologies. You'll find a lot of old mainframe people here. We're slowly dying out.

                            The later crowd grew up with video games. Much younger people (say, born after 1990) want to revisit the gaming scene. These people find that things that were startlingly new for the first crowd (word processing, spreadsheets, industrial controls) aren't to the young crowd. (How many of the youngsters have even seen a manual typewriter, much less used one?)

                            Both groups have valid reasons for visiting vintage technology. The population shift from the first to the second is inevitable and is quite natural.

                            Eventually, as the second group approaches its "sunset years" and vintage technology becomes very failure-prone because of age, interest will devolve to that crowd whose interest extends to "antiques", such as the folks who rehabilitate steam-powered traction engines or some of the relics in Jay Leno's garage. By 2050 or later, the 1960s gas-powered "muscle car", for most people, will be only a faint memory.

                            In short, will the interest shrink? Absolutely, but it will never vanish.
                            Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                              Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post

                              Eventually, as the second group approaches its "sunset years" and vintage technology becomes very failure-prone because of age, interest will devolve to that crowd whose interest extends to "antiques", such as the folks who rehabilitate steam-powered traction engines or some of the relics in Jay Leno's garage. By 2050 or later, the 1960s gas-powered "muscle car", for most people, will be only a faint memory.

                              In short, will the interest shrink? Absolutely, but it will never vanish.
                              My question here, given Bil Herd's depressing talk about the reality of IC failures in the long term, is *can* people maintain the hobby in the long run, as it exists today. With a car you can always bend new sheet metal. But it's not easy to make direct replacement ICs. Especially not the custom ones on later computers. Kind of points to a future mainly of emulation rather than the actual hardware running?


                                My enthusiasm hasn't waned much, it just heads in different directions. I've been dealing with PC's since the 70's and I've pretty much have everything covered sans Apple, which I never really cared for. So, just about all of my 6510, 8088, 8086, Pentium and AMD boxes/boards are usable. I don't have the space to set everything up, but I do shuffle the motherboards in and out of their cases from time to time. I seem to have a real soft spot for my 1000SX. My SX can run MFM, SCSI, IDE and CF drives without breaking a sweat. It uses an ancient Oak VGA (640x480) and a Dell 15" LCD. I'm too old to be dragging CRTs around. My interests lately have been centered around building a XP gamer using an AMD 3300 chip, and that project went on here for 5 years and saw over 4,000 hits of interest. A lot of people liked that one. Also with XP, I've got a newer system with a more up to date Intel board and i7 chip. Last year I wanted to build a W7 gamer using a modern Ryzen CPU and an up to date motherboard. That project is now complete and runs real well. Currently I've been concentrating on my top 5900X/3080TI gamer. Everything seemed to fall into place with that one and it's a real joy for me to be able to run top games without the hiccups. So, my interest is still there but has branched out a bit. I fully realize that this is a Vintage forum but not everyone is going to have access to the real old stuff these days without paying through the nose. Consider that the Tandy 1000 is quickly approaching 40 years, That's pretty much vintage in my way of thinking.
                                Last edited by Agent Orange; November 26, 2021, 02:18 PM.
                                Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting