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Forum 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.


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.


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.



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.


"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.

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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Back to dial-up in 2021!

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    #16
    Originally posted by maxtherabbit View Post
    Is it even possible to get a true copper loop phone line anymore?
    I have no idea, but there are enough advantages you would think people would be lining up for it. But everyone is so hell bent on buying whatever the TV tells them to buy, they don't even want to consider other possibilities.

    Comment


      #17
      Out here, it depends on your location. Some lines are hooked into a fiber-fed terminal; others are direct copper to the CO. No particular rhyme or reason, either--one type can be across the street from the other. CenturyLink knows that they've got a hodgepodge of hardware here and probably don't want to do anything about it. I should take a photo of the "line in a bag" up the road a ways. A quick patch done about 3 years ago still existing in a black plastic garbage bag hanging on a pole. I sold them the land to put in a fiber-fed terminal, so my hookup's pretty good. Not so much a half-mile down the road.

      Comment


        #18
        I think the only copper wire to my house is power, everything else is fiber based. Single sourced "land line" and cable company.

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by whartung View Post
          We're on the brink of having the new low orbit satellite internet providers going live. Those are going to be far better experiences for folks living in remote area that aren't hardwired.
          But with 40,000 satellites up there it's going to suck for astrophotography.

          Some progress aint so cool.
          Spread the joy of Vintage Addiction

          -->www.chronworks.com/<--->www.i8008.net/<--

          Comment


            #20
            Do they still charge by the minute?
            Never Bin or sell your old computer's you will regret it!!
            Vic 20 x3,C64 x2,128D,C128 flat deck,A1000 x2,A500 x3,A2000,A600,A1200,Apple ][e,2x Apple][ GS rom 01,03,Apple ][c x4 with only 1 PSU,2x Laser 128EX EX2,Atari 600XL,2x 800XL,130XE w/320 mod With a MyIDE plus,Atari 1040stf w/2.5meg..

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by maxtherabbit View Post
              Is it even possible to get a true copper loop phone line anymore?
              Its still the norm in the UK as most internet is delivered over ADSL or FTTC so needs a copper pair to deliver to the home. Some places where cable TV was installed there is Cable.
              Its planned to remove this as FTTP is installed but I have no date for that.
              Dave
              G4UGM

              Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

              Comment


                #22
                The last Dial up's I used were compuserve and AOL
                Never Bin or sell your old computer's you will regret it!!
                Vic 20 x3,C64 x2,128D,C128 flat deck,A1000 x2,A500 x3,A2000,A600,A1200,Apple ][e,2x Apple][ GS rom 01,03,Apple ][c x4 with only 1 PSU,2x Laser 128EX EX2,Atari 600XL,2x 800XL,130XE w/320 mod With a MyIDE plus,Atari 1040stf w/2.5meg..

                Comment


                  #23
                  My last dialup was 'Mindspring' which I used until DSL became available in my locale. It was solid and seldom ever had any dropouts. I don't remember the exact date, but AT&T had a 'deal' on a second line if you went with their DSL. Being that I had satellite tv, I had DSL up until about 5 years ago when I dumped it for Comcast.
                  Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

                  Comment


                    #24
                    With CenturyLink here, you can still opt for a POTS connection--but often your wires wind up at a terminal where there's a VoiP box. Since a voice line here costs almost twice what a VDSL+ connection costs, you might as well have your own VoIP box. We use the ones from Obihai.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by ChrisUnionNJ View Post
                      The last Dial up's I used were compuserve and AOL
                      AT&T Worldnet for me. That was a very long time ago. I still kind of remember using Prodigy on my new 286 back in the day (2400 baud).

                      Out of curiosity did anyone come out with anything better then 56K over a copper phone line before DSL took over?
                      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

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
                        AT&T Worldnet for me. That was a very long time ago. I still kind of remember using Prodigy on my new 286 back in the day (2400 baud).

                        Out of curiosity did anyone come out with anything better then 56K over a copper phone line before DSL took over?
                        I had ISDN for a long time which in the UK was 2 x 64K voice/data and 16k signalling over a normal exchange copper pair, so you get 128k but paid for two calls. (no free local calling in Europe)
                        Call setup time was better than 1 second and and the 64k was rock solid fully error corrected so you could use it for streaming high quality audio.
                        Because you always had the signalling available and call setup time was short you could nice tricks like only bring up a link when needed (no windows updates in those times) or have both links up for data but drop one when a phone call arrived. Also had sub-addressing so you can address multiple devices by the same number, e.g. FAX , Voice and Data.

                        It was very popular in Europe. In the UK it was a little expensive but in Germany it was the standard offering. They phased it out in 2018 and as far as I know only offer DSL based services with no voice on the phone line.
                        Dave
                        G4UGM

                        Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Back when, I investigated ISDN, but apparently, there's a wire-mile issue and the RBOC wasn't very responsive on that.
                          Sprint offered me a T1 line for $1K/month, which was a little steep for the time.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by jafir View Post
                            ...but I can see the box at the and of the street. It looks like itís been hit by every car and truck in the neighborhood and most of the time is covered in a plastic bag. I cannot imagine the quality is what it once was.
                            Sorry, but this made me chuckle. Yeah, probably should skip. LOL

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                              Back when, I investigated ISDN, but apparently, there's a wire-mile issue and the RBOC wasn't very responsive on that.
                              Sprint offered me a T1 line for $1K/month, which was a little steep for the time.
                              Yes there is a distance limit on ISDN, typically 5 or 6Km. Really its a group delay and an attenuation limit. This caused issues in the UK where in some places where the Post Office and British Telecom had installed aluminium cable to save money. This stuff continues to cause issues as it limits ADSL services. As usual the British approach of "lets do it as cheaply as possible and hope it works" triumphed over "lets do this in a well engineered way, with adequate margins so we are sure it will work" ....
                              Dave
                              G4UGM

                              Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

                              Comment


                                #30
                                I am using DSL right now.... I went to a friends once who had fibre. Had no idea such speeds were possible. To be frank people are happy with DSL, only the very wealthy can afford fibre not to mention how much it depends on location. At least the phones stay awake when the power goes out. I live at the end of the electricity pole. The local electricity supplier got booked recently (I reported it) when I discovered it was changing voltage by +-10V every 2 seconds, not ideal :/.

                                Comment

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