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.
See more
See less

Grabbed from alt.folklore.computers

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Grabbed from alt.folklore.computers

    Many of you may have seen this:

    which is a history of computing at Columbia University. If you haven't,
    you might be surprised at how many "firsts" and "biggests" and "fastests"
    happened here, especially in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, including (perhaps

    . The first automatic scientific calculations (1933-34)
    . The first computer book (1940)
    . The first computer course (1947-1957)
    . The first "personal computer" (1948-56)
    . The first supercomputer (1950-54)

    Herman Hollerith got his engineering degrees here (1879, 1890); the ACM
    was founded here (1947), etc etc.

    The golden age was 1945-70, when IBM's Watson Scientific Computing
    Laboratory was at Columbia. Recently some prominent personalities from
    those days have come forward with copious new information, photos,
    artifacts, and even a book:
    "Computer: Bit Slices of a Life" by Dr. Herb Grosch, 600+ pages,
    a memoir covering the 1940s through about 1960, full text in HTML.
    including material on World War II, Watson Lab, the Manhattan
    Project, IBM and its early machines, GE, ACM, NBS, and a great
    deal more. This is the Third-Edition-In-Progress. New chapters
    might be added from time to time; so far it has 56 (the First
    [printed] Edition of 1991 had only 23).
    The IBM Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator, designed at
    Watson Lab in 1946-47 and installed at IBM headquarters in 1948.
    Its calculations were used as the basis for the Apollo moon missions.
    NORC, the first supercomputer, and the fastest computer on earth for
    about ten years (1954-63).

    The latter two pages existed before, but are now greatly expanded with text
    and pictures. Much else is new besides; I've added a "New / Recent / Updated
    Sub-Pages" list at the top for quick access.

    Frank da Cruz
    Columbia University
    The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
    The Vintage Computer

    Thanks Eric for the great links to those sites!
    MY IDEA I wish that there was a G.U.I. keyboard one that could be programmed by an application to display icons or text on each Key\'s L.C.D. screen.


      Re: Grabbed from alt.folklore.computers

      "Erik" wrote in message:


      > NORC, the first supercomputer, and the fastest computer on earth for
      > about ten years (1954-63).

      > The latter two pages existed before, but are now greatly
      > expanded with text and pictures. Much else is new besides;
      > I've added a "New / Recent / Updated Sub-Pages" list at
      > the top for quick access.

      This site seems to be a problem for my computer. I have
      no idea how big those black & white picture are in size,
      but they just seem to freeze up my computer. Is there an
      alternative site?

      Anyway I never thought they had supercomputers back
      then, but now I know. When you compare this one to
      a system of that simular period (e.g. EDSAC) it must be
      an absolute monster compared to it. How they have it on
      the Fifth Floor is beyond me, I always thought there
      wasn't a building that high up which could support it. But
      I guess that system goes down another 4 stories!

      Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3