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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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My collection

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    My collection

    I appreciate a lot of machines, but there isn't the time or the space to master them all so I keep a fairly small set of machines. My favorites are the PCjrs.

    Think of a PCjr as a clone put out by IBM that just wasn't quite compatible enough. Lots of clones were more compatible with the PC than the PCjr was, but the PCjr had the magical 'IBM' letters on it. That made owning and living with a PCjr kind of interesting.

    My Jrs range from unexpanded 128K models to monsters with SCSI adapters, bi-directional printer ports, clocks, hard drives and CD ROMs. Some have three floppies. It's quite a range of hardware.

    Other machines in the collection are:

    - PC AT upgraded to a 386, which serves as a 'big brother' to the Jr. All of the original parts to make it back into a 286 are still here, and I'm still running the Seagate ST225 hard drive that came original on the machine.

    - An older PC with a BIOS date of 10/19/81. This makes it a 'PC1', and it's old enough were it doesn't count past 544K of memory and it doesn't scan the ROM areas for add-in cards.

    - Timex Sinclar 1000. This is the Sinclair ZX81 clone. It was my first computer, and I really need to revisit it - it has a lot of potential, and I know almost nothing about it. Twenty years later, I'm finally ready for it.

    - Spare parts for the PCs. I'm rediculously uptight about being able to keep these things running for years and years. Luckily most of the parts are easy to come by.

    - Williams Defender arcade game. Yes, the real deal - in my basement. Runs a Motorola 6809.


    I wouldn't mind having an Apple ][ or Apple ][+, but that would be require a parallel universe to spring up in the house. It's at least as complex/rich a machine as the Jr and would take a while to get back up to speed on it. C64s are in the same category.

    In 20 years, is anybody going to brag about their Dell 8100 desktop?

    #2
    I'm still amazed when I think of a Peanut with a SCSI subsystem. It just strikes me as so far beyond what IBM envisioned for the machine.

    By the same token it's just so cool to have that set up.

    You've got tons of interesting stuff. I wish you luck on that parallel universe gig so you can expand even more!

    Thanks!

    Erik
    The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
    The Vintage Computer

    Comment


      #3
      You are monitoring this forum way too much. Then again, it is your virtual house.

      A Jr with a SCSI hard drive and CD-ROM is definitely cool. Especially since it's a real SCSI adapter, not a parallel port hack. However, these adapters are *impossible* to find. Not many were made, and if you know you have one you guard it carefully. Which brings up an interesting discussion ..

      As these parts get harder and harder to find, the number of people who can keep these things running is going to have to be narrowed down. That and the prices will go up. That part of the hobby frustrates me. On many desirable machines (Lisa 1s) the checkbook is the winning factor now, not technical know-how. Jrs and parts aren't that rare yet, but the SCSI adapter is a good example. (I can point to Lisa auctions on eBay. In 3 years of looking I have *never* seen any PCjr hard disk system on eBay, SCSI or not. Which is more valuable?)

      As for the SCSI adapter, my pet project is to make a new one. This particular adapter is based on the Future Domain 850 chipset, which is one of the classic SCSI chipsets of the 8 bit PC era. (8 bit slot that is.) I have an adapter that lets me plug 8 bit ISA cards into the Jr bus. I've gotten a Future Domain SCSI card to pass diagnostics while on a Jr. I just need a little more debug work and luck to get devices to work. If I can get devices talking on the SCSI bus, then it's just a matter of some BIOS level programming before the Jr boots a hard drive from the card.

      To me, that's the joy of older hardware - having a project. I can understand most of the aspects of the project and keep it in my head. It's all well documented, except for the chipset which can be reverse engineered from the software drivers. And I potentially can make something from scratch that hasn't been available new in 10 years ..

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by mbbrutman
        You are monitoring this forum way too much. Then again, it is your virtual house.


        Originally posted by mbbrutman
        That part of the hobby frustrates me. On many desirable machines (Lisa 1s) the checkbook is the winning factor now, not technical know-how.
        There's definately that. I'd love a Twiggy Lisa (I'm happy to have Lisa 2s) and other machines like a Scelbi, an Apple I or a Mark-8. Unfortunately, aside from reproductions, those are WAY out of my price range.

        Erik
        The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
        The Vintage Computer

        Comment


          #5
          Erik,

          Have you seen those Mark-8 kits that come up on eBay from time to time? They are repros built up from the old parts. They go for between $125.00 and 250.00.

          --T
          Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
          _____________________________________________

          Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.

          Comment


            #6
            I've seen the kits and I know (via email, mostly) the guy who sells them.

            I may buy one someday but, having seen two at the VCF, I'd prefer an "original."

            BTW, I think the last few complete kits I saw went over $350.

            Erik
            The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
            The Vintage Computer

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mbbrutman
              You are monitoring this forum way too much. Then again, it is your virtual house.

              A Jr with a SCSI hard drive and CD-ROM is definitely cool. Especially since it's a real SCSI adapter, not a parallel port hack. However, these adapters are *impossible* to find. Not many were made, and if you know you have one you guard it carefully. Which brings up an interesting discussion ..

              As these parts get harder and harder to find, the number of people who can keep these things running is going to have to be narrowed down. That and the prices will go up. That part of the hobby frustrates me. On many desirable machines (Lisa 1s) the checkbook is the winning factor now, not technical know-how. Jrs and parts aren't that rare yet, but the SCSI adapter is a good example. (I can point to Lisa auctions on eBay. In 3 years of looking I have *never* seen any PCjr hard disk system on eBay, SCSI or not. Which is more valuable?)

              As for the SCSI adapter, my pet project is to make a new one. This particular adapter is based on the Future Domain 850 chipset, which is one of the classic SCSI chipsets of the 8 bit PC era. (8 bit slot that is.) I have an adapter that lets me plug 8 bit ISA cards into the Jr bus. I've gotten a Future Domain SCSI card to pass diagnostics while on a Jr. I just need a little more debug work and luck to get devices to work. If I can get devices talking on the SCSI bus, then it's just a matter of some BIOS level programming before the Jr boots a hard drive from the card.

              To me, that's the joy of older hardware - having a project. I can understand most of the aspects of the project and keep it in my head. It's all well documented, except for the chipset which can be reverse engineered from the software drivers. And I potentially can make something from scratch that hasn't been available new in 10 years ..
              Imagine the look on your face if someday you actually find that scsi adapter. Thats the joy of collecting the ultra rare things.
              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


                #8
                yeah, i like the ultra-rare... i have a 1400 baud microchannel modem im pretty fond of it
                IBM PS/2 fanboy
                The Kevcave, my little slice of the web.
                Admin, the llama-X Project .

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