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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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The New Forums

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    Originally posted by Erik View Post

    It was scheduled to vanish next week, but I've taken it down early since it seems to have fulfilled its purpose.
    Thanks!
    Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts

    Comment


      Originally posted by mbbrutman View Post
      I've "liberated" those two users from the horrors of this forum. I couldn't take their suffering anymore. (Read: They were banned because enough is enough.)
      This is a another poor response. I was going to ask you in a private mail why you are acting so poorly over comments lately about google. But I am loosing confidence now in this forum over banning people for their opinions. I've seen alot worse forums than this, and this situation doesn't even compare. I consider this a rather quiet forum when it comes to discussions here.

      Comment


        Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
        Now that the FB and Twitter bits have been eliminated from the side panel, how about putting the poster's location there?
        Or remove the useless "reputation bar" thing and put the location there ?.

        Comment


          Originally posted by geneb View Post
          Another nail in the JS login window coffin... LastPass is unable to automatically recognize the fields, so you have to manually trigger the autofill in order to make it work.

          VERAULT, I think the little "light bar" is the forum designer's attempt at gamification. It's some kind of "fame" thing that you appear to get when your posts get "likes".

          Here's a new favicon you guys might want to use:
          tiny-dumpster-fire.png


          g.
          Yeah I am all in favor of losing that if that is what is is.... and the "like" button as well. I thought we were a forum of grown ups. I like being an adult and copying things the Kids are doing would be the last thing I would ever do.....
          fonzie2.jpg
          Attached Files

          Comment


            "It's truly astounding how badly they ****ed this forum up. shock and awe."

            That's what triggered the ban.

            It's abusive. It's part of a pattern. It won't be tolerated here. The people who keep the forum running deserve better than that.

            Comment


              For whatever it's worth I'd like to thank the admins for muscling through and fixing as much as they have over the last week. Not going to lie and say I'm thrilled with the new look but so far as I can tell the actual day-one *breakage* is at least consigned to the dustbin of history.

              If there's one thing I'd like to see, and maybe it's an easy fix: we have the "New Topics" view which shows a list of threads that have been updated recently, but my usual landing point on the old forum was the "Activity Stream" showing the first few lines of the actual recent updates to posts, because it made it easy to quickly scan and see if anything looked interesting without having to click into the individual threads. It would be sort of nice to have that link back.

              (I have basically replicated it with a search bookmark that shows "Default" instead of "Topic" view for recent discussions, but that of course is not quite as handy as having the link built in.)
              My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

              Comment


                "...The people who keep the forum running deserve better than that."

                Yes, you do. That is undoubted. No one should face abuse for doing their job.

                However, banning users who have been widely helpful in providing assistance to others doesn't accomplish a great deal other than diluting the value of the forum as a whole to people wanting to use it.

                Moderating a forum is a tightrope walk at the best of times, and I do appreciate that having done it for years myself. But it can also be an unfortunate opportunity to overreact when one's investment of time and expertise seems to be questioned.

                You guys are what keep this forum working, but we are the ones it is for. On that basis, I'd suggest these two have the ban removed, upon reminding that their words have consequences - not least the potential to disrupt the site, and the resolution of genuine problems. They have investment here too, and I suspect that's part of the problem.

                On a brighter note: thanks for removing Facebook and Twitter buttons, and for the arrival of the option to set display choices - that's MUCH better.

                And while I can't log in or view anything on my iPad, the forum works perfectly on a Raspberry Pi.

                Comment


                  AndyO - I happen to get a lot of hate in particular because I am the most active and visible moderator. Who I work for doesn't matter; it was repeated abusive behavior and violation of the forum policies. We're here to discuss vintage computers, and people do not have a right to use our platform to attack other people, China, large corporations, etc. We had to close the politics area years ago, and we had to close the rants section because people abused the privilege. Whether you bash Google, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, etc. it really doesn't matter to me - it's not allowed here. Telling people that actions have consequences doesn't seem to work - there have been countless warnings. Banning somebody is a last resort.

                  "The standard you walk past is the standard you accept." We've allowed for corrosive behavior here for too long. This is not a free speech zone, and it never was. This is a place to discuss vintage computers. And when people can't accept our policy and they keep butting heads (for no really good reason) or become abusive, it's our right to escort them off of our virtual property.

                  Once again, the other moderators and the board of directors are aware of what happened. You don't see anybody rushing to change the outcome. To understand it you would need to have a more full picture of the problem, and that's not something we can provide here. (Nor would it be appropriate.) Other moderators and admins will be stepping up and being more visible too.

                  Let's get back on topic.

                  Comment


                    In the interest of helping people get back on topic ...

                    Please, no more discussion here. If you want a neutral third party to speak to please contact erik@vcfed.org, corey@vcfed.org, jeffrey@vcfed.org, dag.spicer@vcfed.org, or bob.roswell@vcfed.org. That is the board of directors for the VCFed.org. If they feel that something has gone wrong they can discuss it and propose fixes, including policy changes. If you don't trust my judgement or the judgement of the other moderators (who also support these bans) then that is who you should talk to. Going around in circles here is not productive.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by mbbrutman View Post
                      In the interest of helping people get back on topic ...

                      Please, no more discussion here. If you want a neutral third party to speak to please contact erik@vcfed.org, corey@vcfed.org, jeffrey@vcfed.org, dag.spicer@vcfed.org, or bob.roswell@vcfed.org. That is the board of directors for the VCFed.org. If they feel that something has gone wrong they can discuss it and propose fixes, including policy changes. If you don't trust my judgement or the judgement of the other moderators (who also support these bans) then that is who you should talk to. Going around in circles here is not productive.
                      Please clarify: When you say "Please, no more discussion here", I am assuming you are referring to the bans issue only and not the "The New Forums" thread in general.
                      Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

                      Comment


                        Yes ... please continue to rant about the forum upgrade here, or file bug reports in the "Vintage Computer Forum Support" area.

                        But discussing the recent rude behavior and the resulting bans is off topic. The board of directors can intervene if warranted.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by mbbrutman View Post
                          That is the board of directors for the VCFed.org. If they feel that something has gone wrong they can discuss it and propose fixes, including policy changes.
                          Are any of them, besides Erik, active in the forum? Especially during a major overhaul like this, I think they should all be monitoring the feedback directly from the users here, rather than waiting for someone to knock on their door.

                          Comment


                            I note that sending a message with the subject of (...reply to my personal@email.xxx) seems to get people to respond via email. Just a reminder; I've got a temporary mailbox set up at vcfblackhole@protonmail.com/
                            Is there an option where, as a registered forum participant, that I can send a message directly to someone's email?

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
                              Are any of them, besides Erik, active in the forum? Especially during a major overhaul like this, I think they should all be monitoring the feedback directly from the users here, rather than waiting for someone to knock on their door.
                              Excellent point.

                              Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by lutiana View Post

                                but it is super easy to implement SSL, why wouldn't you?
                                Not sure if you are seriously hunting for an answer, and this wasn't just rhetorical...

                                I think there are a certain number of people that like to connect on older computers that can't handle SSL. I'm not super knowledgeable about this stuff, but I would imagine there are some users here with lots of vintage microcomputers. Maybe C64 wouldn't be able to?

                                Comment

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