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.
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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.
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Taxpayers benefits in California?

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    Taxpayers benefits in California?

    I am not resident of California, but read much(or too much) about taxes there. If I understand well, You must pay tax even buying something old and obsolete on ebay for (example) 1$ worth. Does taxpayers in California have some unusual benefits because they collect so much tax?

    Is this going to be another pointless “used sausage is tastier in Poland” thread?

    At least thirty states require the same sales tax applied to new items to be paid on sales of used ones. (With some variation in the exact details of whether it’s the seller’s job to collect it.) California is not even remotely unique.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot


      Sales tax is old as markets themselves. CA also doesn't have anywhere near the highest sales tax rate in the country, that goes to Louisiana, Washington and Tennessee.

      If you want to blame someone for online sales tax, you can blame South Dakota. They were the ones that overturned Quill Corp v. North Dakota with South Dakota v. Wayfair.


        Yeah I feel we all rode this roller coaster a couple years ago now.. Seems like old news.


          I was resident in California when the "temporary" sales tax was passed. IIRC, it was about 2% with lots of non-taxables, such as gas, food, books, newspapers, etc. Some of the exemptions were silly--if you went to your local garden store and bought flower seeds, they were taxed; vegetable seeds were not. Also gave the collection authority to the criminal BOE - California Board of Equalization. As a business owner, getting a notice from the BOE was worse than getting one from the IRS. I don't know if anyone ever went to prison over the BOE corruption.

          Now, the monster has been mostly stripped of its responsibilities and those have been dispersed to other agencies.

          Just shows to go you that taxes are never "temporary", no matter what the politicians say.
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


            Sales tax versus VAT is the subject of long debates by economists. It would take some research to compare the California state plus local sales tax rates of about 8% with Poland's VAT of 23%. Both have some exclusions and reductions for certain items making the comparison yet more complex. The sales tax has the virtues of the being seen by the purchaser and being a bit harder to game.


              The sad truth is that everyone hates taxes, taxes in one form or another are needed to run any state with anything higher than a hunter-gatherer level of sophistication, and all methods of assessing and collecting taxes are unfair (to at least somebody), unreliable, and aggravating.

              And it is also universally true that everyone who pays taxes has suspicions about how efficiently or wisely their hard earned money is being spent regardless of the "objective" level of waste or corruption actually present in their local government. I deeply question the point of and motivation behind these ***t-stirring topics.
              My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot


                Originally posted by pgru2 View Post
                Does taxpayers in California have some unusual benefits because they collect so much tax?

                We get to live in California.

                Despite all the headlines, CA is still an incredible state to live in.


                  Its an incredible state with a lot to see and the weather is nice. But as far as living there.. I moved back to the east coast as "locals" in the Socal area... Hell I just couldnt relate to any of them.. they all seemed aloof.


                    Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
                    Its an incredible state with a lot to see and the weather is nice. But as far as living there.. I moved back to the east coast as "locals" in the Socal area... Hell I just couldnt relate to any of them.. they all seemed aloof.
                    Yeah, nice place to visit. I would not want to live there.
                    PDP-8 and PDP-11 enthusiast. But enjoy most older PC stuff too.


                      Originally posted by tradde View Post

                      Yeah, nice place to visit. I would not want to live there.
                      Not now--but when the Santa Clara valley was the "Valley of Heart's Delight" and not "Silicon Valley", it was a great place to live.

                      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                        I pay ebay taxes here in Ohio, you just factor it in when bidding.

                        My only experience in CA was going there in the 90's for a few weeks for work. Visited San Fransisco but mostly was in San Jose where most of the semiconductor companies were located.

                        The weather was nice but there was so much fog/smog you couldn't even see the Golden Gate Bridge when you were driving over it. Taxes are high, regulations are many, and property prices are insane. And traffic was insane. It was the first time I ever seen freeway on ramps that were multiple lane and had stoplights.

                        A friend lived there around that time and said he could see the place he worked from his apartment window and it still took and hour to get there with traffic. My old neighbors kid both mover to CA when she got married, and moved back here when she retired. Selling her small house there and buying very large house on the lake here.
                        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


                          yeah its foggy every day in SAN Fran.. Part of what makes it beautiful is the bay and the microclimate. I do remember how vastly different it was from when I was there in 1998 to when I returned in 2017. It went from being a gay-centric city to a Hipster tech city... Alot less homeless people when I last visited.


                            *taxation is theft intensifies*

                            *hides behind sandbag fort in Appalachian cave-home*
                            -- Lee

                            If you get super-bored, try muh crappy Odysee channel: Old Computer Fun!

                            Looking For: QBus SCSI Controller, Type 4 HDC for Tandy II/12/16/6000, Mac IIci drive sled, PC-era Tandy stuff, Old Unix Stuff, Serial Terminals (HP and DG in particular)


                              50 years ago, San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara and Cupertino still had canneries and was still largely agricultural. In the summertime, the air was filled with the smell of cooking tomato sauce. Lots of seasonal workers at those canneries.

                              The CDC building on Moffett Park drive (just moved from smaller digs on Porter Drive in Palo Alto) was in the middle of an onion field. When the autumn arrived, the crickets would get into the building and be everywhere. Moffett Field ran P3 Orion sub chasers that flew so low at times, you could figure out what brand of gum the pilot was chewing.
                              Los Altos Hills was largely gravel roads, horse people and hipsters. San Jose had wineries in the hills and orchards along North First Street, where most of the traffic was garbage trucks headed to the dump near Alviso. Santa Clara was known for its Italian prunes (plums to most people).
                              Most of all, it was affordable, friendly, with lots of open space. I used to fly kites where Great America is now. There was a state mental hospital in San Jose on Agnews road--there was a train stop there. San Francisco was quirky.

                              After all the money came in, it gradually turned into a rat race and got a lot nastier. I haven't been back in more than 30 years, nor am I likely to ever again.
                              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.