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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Hello from Missouri

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    Hello from Missouri

    Hi. My name is Dakota, and I am 21 years old. I have been interested in computers ever since I can remember, Of course, it helps when one of my uncles is also a computer geek. The first computer I can remember is a Sony Vaio laptop that I was given in 2006. I remember playing my first computer game on it. The game was called "Thomas and Friends: Trouble on the Tracks." I remember that laptop having either Windows 95 or 98. The main thing I remember is the green background. I also remember using Word 97 and pretending it was the internet. I wish I could remember the exact model. I remember it was gray and had like a purple color on the touchpad. Unfortunately, the hinges broke and my Mom wouldn't let me keep it. I remember us having a Pentium 4 Gateway with Windows XP. I remember the computer was gray, but the monitor was beige. We used the monitor with our next computer. The monitor was a Gateway FPD-1520. The next computer I remember clearly was an eMachines ET1161-07. That computer had Windows Vista. We bought it in March of 2009. I loved that computer. In 2012, my uncle couldn't get it to work. In 2016, my uncle bought it down for me to look at because I wanted to see if I could get it to work. All that was wrong with it was the fact that my uncle put in a video card. When I unplugged the card, the computer worked perfectly. In 2017, I put Windows XP on it and it ran great. It even ran great with Windows 10. Unfortunately, when I put Windows 7 on it, things started going wrong. Sometimes, it would just start glitching out. Finally, one day, I think the power supply blew. I replaced it with a Dell Dimension 8400, which is still working. It is my secondary computer now that I have a Lenovo ThinkPad T420. It is so nice to use a ThinkPad again. At my Dad's house, I have a Dell Dimension 4400. These are most of my history with computers. It is good to be here

    It was actually really nice to hear your memories verbalised into words! You are most welcome here. Interesting to hear of someone's nostalgia for relatively modern machines. I started like you in the late 80's and early 90's - fiddling with machines that we're maybe 10 years old by that time. I recall the smells of older tech, ozone from leaky high voltage transformers, the very positive sounds made of early floppy disk drives and big old hard drives. Nostalgia is a powerful thing - now in my mid 40s and I have a small collection of machines that represent my strongest memories!

    you learn a lot of technical skills working on these machines - hope to read more from you : -)


      What part of Mis-ER-ie are you in. I'm in Swamp East MO ..Chaffee (120 S of STL).



        @idkraemer I am in Festus, MO. About 30-45 minutes from STL


          Welcome Dakota. I'm sure you will find some good information on VCF. Lots of helpful folks with many years of technical