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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Do You Use Dialup to Connect to the Inernet?

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    Do You Use Dialup to Connect to the Inernet?

    A large percentage of people in North America use dialup to connect to the internet but I don't know about other parts of the world. I'm curious how many on this forum do that. I know there are a few, and the reasons seem to vary between liking the price, thinking it's good enough, and having nothing else available. What are your experiences?
    Use dialup only.
    Use dialup occasionally.
    Never use dialup.
    Would use dialup if it was available.
    I never connect to the internet.
    Last edited by Ole Juul; April 22, 2012, 03:11 AM. Reason: brevity
    WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.

    Up until 2006, that was our primary way of getting online. Like probably everyone else who used it, it was extremely slow. I didn't have much patience when I would download a simple 3 or 4mb file that would take some 20 minutes to download. And in that time too, I'd never think about updating my AV software.

    Now that almost all of my computers connect via ethernet (thanks mTCP), that officially kicked the modem from our house. But now that it has been gone for a few years, it would be nice to bring it back for a while and re-experience the wonders of a v.90 modem.

    Remember, wherever you go, there you are.


      Didn't see that about North America.. I had already voted when I read it.
      I voted 'occasionally', but the thing is that my father would vote 'always', and the reason I voted 'occasionally' is that I handle his networking from his place when he's away or have some technical issues. So then I go online through dialup as well.

      However, it's getting worse and worse. The network banking sites, in particular, are loading more and more junk into their pages, to the extent that it now often takes 20 minutes for my father to log in. I've been working four months now to get ADSL to his house, but that turned out to be incredibly difficult. His phone is connected to a telephone exchange (right term?) which is so old that it can't be used for ADSL. The exchange-end of the line can be connected to a newer system which supports ADSL, but the old one has all phone numbers hard-coded, so if they switch he will lose his phone number.. unlike for newer systems where they can just program the number into the new exchange (presumably they can't move any of the numbers off that old system until _all_ the users are moved away).

      There's a second, unused line into the house, connected to another exchange and incidentally closer to the house (1km vs. 3km), so it could support higher speeds. But that line is broken! And it's too expensive to dig it up and fix it, so the phone company won't do that. For the last month or so they've told me they may want to rig up an aerial line, old style.. sounds insane to me, and they were supposed to do that last week but they never showed up.
      In the meantime the netbank keeps slowing down their hopelessly inefficient web site.

      So yes, dialout, and it used to work fine on V90, until the most important (for my father) site started slowing down their web pages to the degree they're unusable. Sometimes I simply have to bring his bills to work and use the 50Mbit line just to get something done that could not too long ago be achieved on dialup.

      Last edited by Tor; April 22, 2012, 01:36 AM.


        I was actually an early adopter of cable internet. Actually I think it was either late 99' or early 00' when Comcast came to town. We actually paid for a 2nd line for internet since 93' and dropping that for cable cost only $10 more a month. Never looked back. I think I still have my original Motorola surfboard modem around... Going from dial-up to 1.5mbit was a shock to the system. Now I get 6/2 on my PHONE. What a wonderful world eh? To be honest I do feel bad for the people who are stuck with dial-up. Personally, I'd pack up and move in a blink of an eye if they cut any possibility of high speed service.
        It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


          Originally posted by Tor View Post
          Didn't see that about North America.. I had already voted when I read it.
          I meant everybody here, regardless of where they live. I just mentioned NA because I know that the phone connection is used a lot here. I know some people like the price and find dialup adequate. Others have need for more bandwidth, or just like popular media a lot.
          WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.


            I haven't used Dialup since I got my first ADSL cable connection, more than ten years ago. Main reason: better speeds. Second reason: here (in Norway) we pay per minute rates on dialup, even for local access.
            Recently, I changed from ADSL to cable for better upload speed. We will see how that plays out, stability-wise.


              I moved back to Oklahoma 5 years ago, and live on a small family farm 8 miles from town, unless you go around by the road. Until then, I was pretty much up to date, cable tv, telephone, and internet, the only problem with that was when one goes out, they usually all go out. I'd hoped to use a cellphone here for my primary number and since no cable or DSL was available this far from town, was stuck with dial-up on a land line since I couldn't afford a satellite setup. The cell phone got terribly undependable reception here, so I let it go and had a second line installed, doubling all the fees for that, but I needed a dependable phone and internet connection (unless it's too wet after rain, or too dry during drought).

              A power surge just shut everything down, it does that sometimes when the guy up the road, my nearest neighbor 1/2 mile away, who started a feed mill to process the grain we pay him to grow, so he can sell it back to us at top dollar, turned something on. While I was waiting for the computer to reboot, turned the TV back on to watch (or sort of hear in the background) the PBS reruns again (that's my only station, but since the digital upgrade there's 2 now channels of the same reruns : ) and realized the movie I'd began watching last night but stopped halfway to save for later, would have to be restarted too. Also realized after the computer rebooted that all the photos I had sorted and had ready for editing would also have to be resorted (i enjoy photographing landscapes, nature, and wildlife as a hobby). Heard something out back and went to check if the chickens were hasseling the ducks again, there's 3 ducks setting so I've been running the chickens out of the pen during the day if they do that, well, i ran the drakes out too, maybe peaceful for awhile so I can concentrate. uhmmm, what was the topic?

              Yeah, I use dialup. Finally found a program that works fairly well with incoming phone calls too, so one phone line would work for both(at least, thankfully, call waiting was available here). Now an incoming call will disconnect the internet and ring on through, and I don't have to pay for two lines. If I've just set up a computer that will need some serious updates I'll take it by Mom's up in town and hook it up on her DSL, it'll get them there in an hour, here it would take 2 weeks.

              Planned to work in the garden this morning, now it's already half gone. As an old farmer once said, "I used to get up early, but with all these modern conveniences, now I can sleep till half past 4" ; )
              Last edited by Le_Bear; April 22, 2012, 07:35 AM.


                We had dialup all the way into 2006, when we finally moved to DSL. But there's family friends only ten or so miles from where we used to live who are still stuck with it, because the local telecom doesn't feel like upgrading their service in that area...this should be a lesson taught to every web designer ever, you do not get to make assumptions about the user's transfer speed, because you will invariably be wrong.
                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


                  The county is doing some road work by us, and are slightly shifting the roadway up a hill prone to ground movement. They've apparently gotten tired of dumping rock on the hillside only to see it slide to the bottom.

                  At any rate, a local contractor showed up to move an underground phone cable (200 pairs). While talking to the contractors, I was astounded to find out that the telco side of the cable wasn't the fiber-fed DSLAM a quarter of a mile up the road, but the CO about 10 miles away.

                  When asked about it, the crew agreed that it would be easier to tie into the DSLAM which has plenty of extra capacity, but they had to follow the work order. When asked about the logic, the response was "budget"--apparently moving a cable counts as "maintenance", but tying into the DSLAM would be an infrastructure upgrade. Forget the fact that since there's no cable TV in the area, most subscribers would probably sign up for DSL service (more income).

                  What a way to run a phone company (Qwest/Century Link)!
                  Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                    What a way to run a phone company (Qwest/Century Link)!
                    Can you say "local telco?"


                      Sorry, I lied. I use dial up once every 90 days to keep an account alive, not because I need to download anything

                      Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals.


                        Dialup is adequate, if you just visit vintage pages on old computer tech and download vintage software. This is why dial-up and vintage computers mix well together. If someone needs to browse the "modern web" there is a trick of installing a java-based mobile browser on the desktop, like Opera Mini or UC Browser. It's doable and the pages have normal desktop appearance, not all pages work properly though (I guess like 3/4 do work ok), but for those that work, it's snappy.


                          We suffered with dial-up for years, paid for the second phone line, the works. A little over two years ago we gave up and switched to tethered cell phones. Much, much better. A little over a month ago we upgraded cell phones to the Photon 4G and bought the HD Station and Lapdock 100. Using the Lapdock to type this.


                            Typing this via dail up, so yeah I use it. But of course it's not useful for anything like participting in auctions, online discussions, posting images, downloading stuff or anything useful like that.
                            Last edited by Caluser2000; April 23, 2012, 08:33 PM.
                            Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."


                              Hey Chuck(G), this is B with the CenturyLink Help Team. It's possible that this is true, but we are more than happy to double check any other possibilities for you. If you would like further help with this, e-mail me at, and I'll take a look.


                              CenturyLink Help Team