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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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I think I'm going to leave Adobe Flash out...

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    I think I'm going to leave Adobe Flash out...

    I've just recently rebuilt my desktop machine after complete system failure (except the hard drive, which was pulled, luckily). I took the opportunity to do a fresh install of Arch Linux, removing my defunct (and unused) Windows partition to free up the 100 GB set aside for it. I've been installing software from the Arch package repositories as I needed them, and yesterday I got a link from a friend to YouTube, which reminded me that I didn't have the Adobe Flash plugin installed.

    I think I'm going to skip it, though. Flash ads and embedded content are some of the things that help make the WWW a less pleasant experience. If I really need to view Flash content, I can do so either in a WinXP virtual machine or by downloading the FLV file directly.

    Does anyone else run without Flash installed? Have you noticed a negative effect in your browsing ability, or just a lack of annoying content you weren't looking for anyway?
    Check out The Glitch Works | My Retro Projects | Vintage Computer Services | Glitch Works Tindie Store -- Vintage Computer Kits and More

    #2
    At least in more recent versions of IE (and problably lots of other browsers too), you can disable/enable flash and other plugins, which means that it can be enabled just in the cases it is needed.

    However, then flash-based ads are usually replaced with either still images or animated .gif's.
    Last edited by per; March 10, 2011, 07:14 AM.
    Current systems owned by me:
    Vintage:IBM PC/XT submodel 087 ( 1983 ), [Kon]tiki-100 rev. C (1983), Compaq Portable I ( 1984 ), IBM PC/XT submodel 078 ( 1985 ), IBM PC/XT286 ( ~1986 ), 3x Nintendo Entertainement Systems ( 1987 ).
    Obsolete:Commodore A500 ( ~1990 ), IBM PS/2 model 70/386 type 8570-161 ( 1991 ), Atari Lynx II ( ~1992 ), Generic Intel 486SX PC ( ~1993 ), AT/T Globalyst Pentium w/FDIV bug MB ( 1994 ), Compaq 486DX4 laptop ( ~1995 ).

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      #3
      I don't have flash installed on most of the machines I use. For one, it doesn't work very well, and two - I have no interest in most flash content. It's definitely one of the detracting things on the internet.

      -Ian

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        #4
        I really hate Flash and think it's horribly misused, but unfortunately any time I try to go without it, it's just a matter of time before I end up finding one thing I actually need that uses it.

        My workaround is installing the Flashblock plug-in, which replaces all of the blinky Flash crap with a play button. Then, if it turns out that I can't use the page without the blinky Flash crap, I can press the little play button and let it start. Frequently a page uses multiple Flash components, and I can just hit play on the one I need, to spare myself some blinky crap. If there's one thing the web absolutely, positively doesn't need, it's more blinky crap.

        Installing Adblock Plus with the malware domains subscription is another good move. If there's any malicious Flash crap going around, the malware domains subscription will block it. Along with other ways of delivering fake defragmenters, antivirus software, and other trojan horses.
        my blog: http://dfarq.homeip.net
        I wanna live where it's always Saturday. --Guadalcanal Diary

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          #5
          If you use Firefox, you can install Flashblock, which disables Flash by default. You will have to click on the specific item to activate the Flash content. It's pretty handy. As Dave mentioned, Adblock Plus is a really good addition to Flashblock.

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            #6
            Another vote for the Firefox Flashblock plugin.
            Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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              #7
              i use firefox and noscript. Its basically flashblock on steroids. Blocks all scripts from running. I can enable specific ones when I need to. Once I installed it, i havent had any malware on my system on over a year.
              It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

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                #8
                I've got one of those iPads, which Apple has absolutely refused to support flash on, and considering that it's supposed to specifically be an internet device I find it quite annoying just how much of the internet is broken with a total lack of flash support.

                The Firefox/Flashblock method is much better in my opinion as well, since it keeps the annoying bits at bay yet still allows you to use flash when needed.

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                  #9
                  I have Flash installed, since there's a few sites I want it for and none of the lightweight browsers have HTML5 support yet, but I'm a zealous user of Flash-block plugins, since every goddamn site these days has half a dozen stupid ads that slide out over the page and cover up what you're reading until you click to make them go away. It's the same reason I use Noscript - 90% of the non-HTML/CSS content on the Web is just flagrant abuse of the reader.
                  Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
                  Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
                  "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

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                    #10
                    I kinda enjoy it on my off topic 64-bit windows 7 system. I've been using Shiretoko (64-bit compiled version of Firefox) but there is no support for a 64-bit version of Flash. On the bright side I safely browse without it and still with most other firefox plugins working. Doesn't Opera also support disabling of web features/plugins.. been a while since I played with it but I recall it also having similar but less fun plugins like Firefox but with theoretical smaller memory footprint (and less memory leaks though Firefox points out those are commonly caused by the plugins not their native application).

                    Although for truly safe browsing I still use ob1 (off by one) where you can disable all java and just have a plain view of a website. That's usually only if I'm going to some strange website that I want some clear text data on but don't trust.. not an every day browser.
                    Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800

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                      #11
                      I'm not really worried about it from a security standpoint, since I'm running Linux, and a not-super-popular distro at that, also on a 64-bit system. Flash has become what I remember banner ads in the late 90's becoming...rarely does it present me with information that I wish to see!

                      I don't use AdBlock as I redirect queries to most of the really annoying ad people (DoubleClick and friends) at the premesis router...they all fail to resolve. I wasn't aware of the FlashBlock plugin...I'll definitely keep that on hand if I discover Flash is more useful than not having Flash.
                      Check out The Glitch Works | My Retro Projects | Vintage Computer Services | Glitch Works Tindie Store -- Vintage Computer Kits and More

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                        #12
                        The "NoScript" plug-in is another useful tool. Requires permission to run scripts on pages.

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