Forum Rules and Etiquette

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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.
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  • 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:
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  • "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.
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how do YOU define a "tweener?"

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    My favorite computer is a k6-2+ 600Mhz which I have in regular use. It has PCI, ISA, AGP, IDE, and of course floppy. It has a PCI SATA card installed. It has a parallel port, 2 serial ports, USB ports. I've used AT, PS/2 and USb keyboards on it. USB mice and serial mice. You can copy IDE drives to SATA. I've run ISA and PCI sound cards on it. The floppy controller supports two drives, and both 5.25 and 3.5. It also runs a fairly modern Linux (Ubuntu 10). Runs DOS games fine, and ones that benefit from fast cpu like software rendering Descent, Quake, etc run very well, as well has real ISA sound. I've even run a ISA VGA card to see if it works. Oh yeah, it also supports both SIMMs and DIMMs. The only thing its really BAD at is Internet browsing. Running a modern browser in Linux works, but its abysmal performance, and you can forget about video. I can play mpeg2, but anything online now is h264, so forget it.
    [CAT-644 Homebrew Computer] [Other dumb projects]


      When I think tweener I think Pentium to Pentium II/III. Definitely needs to be able to run two floppy drives of all formats, which many P1-P3 boards can do. I think a PII era machine is a good choice. Specifically the ones that have energy saver settings in the BIOS that can throttle the CPU speed down based on percentage. This helps for slowing the speed of the CPU more effectively then a utility like MOSLO.

      But yeah, ISA, PCI, FDC, IDE, Parallel, Serial, PS2, USB, etc. Excellent are ones with no onboard audio/video/network, rather just the basics leaving you the flexibility to choose what cards you want for those functions.


        To me a tweener is a machine that exists between two technological gaps, able to access both. It's a very WIDE term. An example would be a machine that can access a USB flash drive AND 360k floppy drives. Or a machine that can access my LAN but also has an actual parallel port on it.

        Though locally the term "middling" seems more popular than "tweener".

        At least that's how I've always used the term. If I'm sitting there using it to do stuff, it's not "filling a gap" between things now, is it?
        From time to time the accessibility of a website must be refreshed with the blood of owners and designers. It is its natural manure.


          A very interesting thread. My "tweener" as you call it (as a non-native English speaker, I assume it comes from "between", right?) is my Panasonic CF-41 laptop that is Windows / DOS machine and has 3,5 inch floppy drive and CD-Rom. Unfortunately, no USB / SD card / other media.


            Originally posted by OldCat View Post
            as a non-native English speaker, I assume it comes from "between", right?
            A bit more complicated than that from an etymology standpoint as we get into Olde Englisc "tween" and "twixt" which have mostly been dropped from the modern lexicon, but yes.

            I always assumed the term "tweener" was used for the same reason it is in animation. A "tweener" is a low level animator who does "tweening" -- the process of creating sub-frames between keyframes created by more talented (or at least better paid) artists.

            Normally in professional animation -- at least in the pre-computer days -- you would have "master artists" who would generally do images that were more like storyboards showing beginning and end poses. Your second tier "animators" would then do a low framerate animation (typically on onion paper) to flesh things out. Quite often these mid-tier animators had a better grasp of anatomy and movement which is why whilst the character design and 'feel' was left to the masters, the animators are who gave it life.

            Even so, the animators would often only make one or two frame a second animations unless the scene were particularly complex. At the bottom rung are the line animators who would often be the first to transfer the onion skin drawings to cellulose as inked line art, and then the 'tweeners' would come in to draw in-between the frames the remaining lines. Quite often this bordered on slave labor considering the pay, lack of recognition, long hours, mass labor needed, and disposability of the workers -- hence why many animation projects outsource to countries where low wages and child labor laws are a bit lax. Even more true when one considers some of the nastier chemicals used in traditional animation, many of which aren't even legal in the "first world"

            The first pass tweener would draw in between the keyframes, handing off their new frame and the one after it to another tweener, then drawing between the previous frame and the one they just made, repeating until the desired frame rate was met. A lot of anime traditionally 'gave up, close enough' at 16 or even 8 frames a second focusing more on the quality of each frame. Ralph Bakshi on the other hand obsessed about framerate to the point the quality of the art looked like cheap-ass nick-toons AND character deformation from a lack of sufficient keyframes set in.

            It's also why vector animation formats -- like flash (which despite it's decline in the webspace, IS alive and strong in animation circles even if they render to movie format) -- have tweening built into them. You create the objects/outlines as vectors in keyframes, and let the computer do the tweening for you.

            One of the few times I would applaud technology eliminating an entire class of job.
            From time to time the accessibility of a website must be refreshed with the blood of owners and designers. It is its natural manure.


              Thanks to all who replied. Just recently had a chance to log in again after a while.

              I have two Athlon systems that seem to fit most definitions nicely except that they don't have any ISA slots. One has an Asus A7m266 motherboard running a 1.4Gz Athlon and 1Gb of DDR ram. Voodoo 3 3000 AGP card. Right now it has 1.2M and 360K floppy drives installed. Haven't plugged my USB 1.44 floppy into it yet. Right now it's running WinXP but it was quite happy with 98SE, even with 1Gb of ram. Thinking seriously of back-grading it to 98SE again.

              The other is an MSI KT4 Ultra running a 2Gz Athlon and 1Gb of DDR-400 ram. It had a couple of SATA-1 ports on the motherboard, but I couldn't get them to work a long time ago. I've read that one needs SP3 under XP to get that to work. That may be why, as I don't think I had SP3 installed back then. It has an ATI Radeon 8500 AGP card.

              Both have 2 serial, 1 parallel ports along with USB. Both have Ethernet 10/100 controllers, the Asus using a separate card and the MSI using an on-board controller.

              I have an Asus PVI-486SP3 motherboard, but I think I killed the CPU. That's another story. Thinking of getting a 486dx2-66 chip on eBay to see if I can wake it up now I know which jumper settings to use.