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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"The Computer Chronicles"

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    "The Computer Chronicles"

    I was just wondering if anyone else here finds it fun and interesting to watch a few episodes of the computer chronicles every now and then? I tend to watch an episode or two every month.

    I used to watch it when it was on TV (Saturday mornings I think). Yea, I watch a few episodes a year when I research some old gear.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems


      I pop it up to listen to when I do other things sometimes, or watch it when I want to be transported back to the 80's/90's tech-wise. Kind of funny listening to Gary Kildall talk with some guy about a Tandy 1000 desktop with a 40MB HDD when the one you're typing on as you watch the show has an 8 GB HDD.

      If I took any of my keepers back to the past, people would try to burn me at the stake as the creator of Skynet!


        Originally posted by Mad-Mike View Post
        ...when the one you're typing on as you watch the show has an 8 GB HDD.
        You mean 8TB? Or you must be back in the late 90s still!
        "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me


          I watched it back in the day too. It's fun to see those episodes again (and this time actually know what they mean in most cases).
          I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
          Various projects and oddities:
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            Originally posted by eeguru View Post
            You mean 8TB? Or you must be back in the late 90s still!
            LOL, I don't think my first revison XT-IDE goes up that high.....

            Funny thing about an 8088 with 8GB of space (total - 4X 2GB Partitions (roughly)), there's so much of it even my Games partition has at least a gigabyte left.


              I find the show fascinating to watch. I wasn't around for or wasn't old enough to appreciate the show when it aired(or even knew of it until recently). Some really interesting and rare computers show up from time to time and it fun to see them in use.

              I find the whole presentation of it interesting. It shows what was bleeding edge at the time and how new technologies were perceived when released. I always love it when something comes on like a touch sensitive CRT that seems cool but fails commercially only to be made popular decades later. It's also cool to see how the different rivalries played out. The news portions are always cool as well.


                I find it fun to watch them every now and then. I grew up near Silicon Valley area so we watched the show when it broadcast pretty regularly.

                Great show for sure.


                  I always enjoyed seeing them for the Atari stuff and especially Jack Tramiel talking on multiple occasions. It's nice to see a lot of them from so long ago, many of which have either passed or moved on to retirement. The Virtual Reality stuff is truly fascinating, especially considering it flopped miserably in the 90's and is now suddenly re-emerging again some 20+ years later.
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                    Originally posted by MindThreat View Post
                    I always enjoyed seeing them for the Atari stuff and especially Jack Tramiel talking on multiple occasions. It's nice to see a lot of them from so long ago, many of which have either passed or moved on to retirement. The Virtual Reality stuff is truly fascinating, especially considering it flopped miserably in the 90's and is now suddenly re-emerging again some 20+ years later.
                    I used to watch it on the air in the 90's! I LOVE going back and watching an episode from time to time. It's like a time capsule


                      I watch it every now and again for for the hell of it.
                      Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."


                        Big fan.
                        I have a Major in Post-Apocalyptic Economics.
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                          @ Founder, Vintage Computer Federation -- resigned Dec. 2019
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                            Love watching these. It's interesting to see what the emerging trends were and how people perceived what the future would hold in light of looking back 30 years. There's an episode with Alan Shugart that's pretty fun... semiconductor storage will never beat hard disks in cost / byte and 3.5" disks will never replace 5.25"! Also an episode with a Xerox laser printer that's somewhere around $10-20k. For the laser. A good reality check on the limits of futurologists in any time.


                              Well, semiconductor storage still hasn't beat hard disks in cost/byte (or my notebook would have had vastly more storage..).
                              But 3.5" did replace 5 1/4", although relatively briefly - before floppy disks went out of fashion altogether. And, as it turned out, 3.5" HD format was and is low quality. My old 5 1/4" floppies are still good, I read two from 1985 and 1987 respectively, yesterday. No issues. None of my old 3.5" HD format are readable.