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 Creepingnet Collection 2021

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    The Creepingnet Collection 2021

    Probably should be called "A Fist-full of NEC" given how much NEC gear I have at this point....

    1985 Tandy 1000A - Bought $10 Value Village 2007 - i8088, 640K, 2x 360K, 3GB HDD, XT-IDE 1.0, TGA, Tandy 3-voice, RTL8019 LAN, original Tandy 85 key keyboard, NEC MultiSync II Color Monitor, Tandy Deluxe Mouse. This is my XT-class 80's megabeast. I'm currently still dabbling in building a lightpen for it. I did get close to getting a working prototype. Will probably break it out and upgrade to an 8087 and V20 this summer, and/or fabricate my own gamepad. MS-DOS 6.22 & Deskmate II.

    1989 Apple Macintosh SE FDHD - Bought $10 Value Village 2007 - 68000 @6Mhz, 4MB RAM, 20MB SCSI HDD (sounds like a Star Wars robot when it starts up), 8-bit DIgital Audio, 10" LCD, External 800K Drive, Trackball, 2x Mouse, Original Keyboard, Manuals for the Mac SE Series, and a boxed copy of MS BASIC for the Macintosh. I don't break it out too often but it's a nice unmolested vintage Macintosh that runs 100% on it's original parts. I wiped and reloaded it 2 years ago as I got sick of having the Everett City Schools software on it. Wish it had Ethernet though.

    1989 GEM Computer Products 286 - Bought $35 on E-bay in 2005 when I still lived in Alabama. i80286 10 oc'd 12MHz, IIT 802c87 Math CoProcessor, 3GB SCSI HDD, SCSI CD-ROM (guess....NEC), TSENG Labs ET4000, 4MB of RAM, SoundBlaster 16, Linksys EtherFast TP PnP ISA NIC. Runs MS-DOS 6.22/Windows 1.01/2.03/3.0/3.1 - yep, I have FOUR Windows versions on it. Micron SVGA monitor, NEC Keyboard, Microsoft Dove Bar Mouse, Gravis Gamepad, Altec Lansing Speakers. This has got to be the closest thing to a "Ultimate 286" I have ever seen. It feels more like a 386 SX than a 286. Turbo brings it down to a perfect speed for XT class software.

    1994 NEC Versa 40EC - Bought off E-bay for around $40 in 2019, was my first vintage Laptop in 15 years. i486 DX2-50 SL, 20MB RAM, 80GB EIDE HDD, 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy, 640x480 TFT Active MAtrix LCD, WD90C24 Graphics 1mB VLB, Ciscio Aironet LMC-352 PCMCIA Type-II WiFi. MS-DOS 7.01 & Windows For Workgroups 3.11. Shares a Versa Dock with the other Versas. Has a Marble "Skin" on the screen to cover up my first hinge repair (kinda ugly compared to what I pull off now).

    1994 NEC Versa M/75 - Bought off E-bay and kit bashed with another M/75 with Touch (I'm restoring the touch screen). i486 DX4-75, 40MB RAM, 80GB HDD x2 - uses one for Windows 95/WFWG/DOS 7.0, the other for FreeDOS 2.1, Crystal CS-4231-KQ WSS compatible audio. Similar in specs otherwise to the 40EC except the upgraded 800x600 panel via a hack I did a block post about. This one is my personal favorite of the laptops because unlike the other three Versa it's not very tempermental at all, runs off it's own battery, and is not cracked anywhere. It just does what I want it to do and almost never crashes/hangs/locks up. I just wish it had OPL audio. CIsco Aironet WiFi. The first one came with a Words+ System 2000 AAC unit I plug into Autotune and use for Bandlab vocals - lol.

    1995 NEC Versa V/50 - Bought recently off E-bay for about $50. It's a 486 DX SL2 50 with 20MB of RAM, and another 80GB EIDE drive with FreeDOS 2.1 loaded on it. Other than clockspeed and non-removable 640x480 active matrix screen it's identical to the other Versas. I usually keep this one at work to tether to my Cell Phone for diagnosing access issues, and act as a sandbox for things like malicous files and software - as well as lunchtime web surfing, and occasionally programming scripts/batch files.

    1995 NEC Versa P/75 - Bought for stupid cheap on E-bay in late 2020. 800x600 screen, pretty much the same as the M/75 except a less as sturdy structure, SoundBlaster compatible ES688 audio, cantankerous home-rigged CMOS Battery setup, and the sound system is a little tempermental due to lack of a mixer in FreeDOS. But I love it for audio. I just find it a little too delicate for frequent travel, and it has some internal modifications to improve ruggedness. It might overtake the M/75 if I make an acrylic case for it or something.

    1995 XT Cased 486 DX4 System - A "kit bash" of several old "Creeping Network" systems I built. It has a N.O.S. XT clone case I bought in 2004 from e-bay, with a 486 PVT motherboard from someone on here. AMD Am486DX4-100 CPU, S3 805 2MB SVGA VLB, 17" Dell Monitor, Chicony 5661 101 Key XT/AT keyboard from the original Creeping Net 1, Microsoft Dove Bar Mouse, Altec Lansing Speakers, PTI-255W Super I/O VLB Card with a DVD-RW on one channel and my 5.25" Mobile rack on the other that runs everything from my Versa's old 2.5" megabytes-sized hard disks all the way to a 256GB mSATA SSD in a 44pin converter (ever seen a full FreeDOS install on a 486 DX4 in 10 minutes using a CD? This PC does that!). 64 MB of RAM with 512K L2 Cache - WriteBack capable, runs everything from DOS to Windows 2000 Professional SP4 without a hiccup. Has a 17" Dell CRT. Soundcard is a SoundBlaster AWE64 - the cheaper one.

    1995 NEC Ready 9522 - Old bandmate gave me this. It's a Pentium 100, 128MB of RAM, DVD-RW Drive, 1MB Alliance video (the 486 above this and my NEC Versa P/75 eats the graphics on this for lunch), SoundMax integrated audio. Runs Windows 98 SE off a 80GB ATA HDD. I don't mess with it much. NEC Speakers. Most of the stuff on my VersaDock is from this system.

    The Versas all share a AT&T DS Docking Station (rebranded VersaDock). So lately I've been experimenting with NEC Versa as a retro-computing platform a bunch and so far I've been very surprised. I even have a working battery my M/75 usually drains out fully once a month for maintenance and somehow gets as much as almost 2 hours out of if the sun and moon align just right and power management behaves. I have a KDS 15" SVGA monitor and the LAnscing speakers on that one. Once I get the touch screen going, and maybe find some kind of OPL music source - that Versa M/75 is going to be a beast of a portable retro-system.

    486 era is still my favorite. For some reason I have the best luck with them and they are - because of all the options and whatnot - like an erector-set, even the Laptops, DX4 being my favorite generation - they just run anything you put on them no matter what - I even ran the last version of Firefox in W2K on a DX4 and it was not nearly as bad as I expected. The M/75, DX4, and Tandy all get the most attention these days, but I am rigging up another Versa for my wife and I do to net gaming on over Aironet WiFi AdHoc Networks. She seems to like the Marble 40EC so that'll probably be it.