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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Check this one. Seriously.

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    Check this one. Seriously.

    Take a look

    it seems we can do it with our current technology for the most part, even using a 100mw laser as a weapon mounted in the sensor dome.
    Last edited by k2x4b524[; June 25, 2012, 10:10 PM. Reason: Typo.
    Nothing beats the roar of a 36yr old drive coming to life after a decade in storagg

    We will revisit this topic in 20 years...


      lol I was stumped trying to figure out who to forward the link to. The lack of my reply was my brain exploding.
      Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800



        The Enterprise of Star Trek fame is a great exercise in pure fantasy but utterly impractical as a design. If we (meaning the whole world because that's how much money it would take and decades to plan and build) were to decide to make a space ship I think the Discovery is a much more realistic model.

        You'd need some serious separation between the crew and the engines (think kilometers due to intense radiation) which would almost certainly be some form of nuclear power with truly massive output. Add in literally tons, like very many tons, of fuel and supplies. Don't forget the counter-rotating disks for centripetal simulation of gravity without producing an unbalanced torque. Also add some big-time shielding from hard cosmic rays if you want your crew to arrive while they are still alive.

        In my opinion we are generations away from such technology not to mention the management capability. The technologies necessary for such a project simply do not exist at this time. Certainly we are looking at massive construction in space requiring materials and personnel being sourced in space as well (asteroid mining and colonization). The expenses involved with creating even the smallest structures in space are truly mind-boggling (ie, the international space station).

        I'd love to see it some day but doubt I'll live long enough. My great grandchildren probably won't either but I do hope we start anyway.

        Andrew Lynch


          Heh, look at what the Mars One project is planning in just a few years.


            Isn't that the one way ticket project? They're speculating to get volunteers to go there with no plan on returning (a follow-up plan I think was in the works but it's as of now mostly a one way stunt).
            Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800


              Originally posted by barythrin View Post
              Isn't that the one way ticket project? They're speculating to get volunteers to go there with no plan on returning (a follow-up plan I think was in the works but it's as of now mostly a one way stunt).
              I'd go in a heartbeat. I'm sure there are countless others.
              It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


                What would be the point of building a colony on Mars? Earth's deserts, ocean floors, and even Antarctica are more hospitable to human life, and it doesn't take nearly as much time or energy to reach them.
                Searching for NEC Powermate SX/20 parts:
                KTN-8101/2 (NEC OP-410-8101) and KTN-8102P/2 (NEC OP-410-8102+ or OP-410-8103) memory boards


                  Well, obviously we've trashed this planet and have given up hope for humanity here so we're looking for our next resource to pollute. The base would see if plants can survive and rebuild the atmosphere and return rain to the plane for a similar earth like experience.

                  Interestingly I have a plum tree that's the spawn of the space station plum experiment in a pot on my back porch. Very unfortunately it's been not doing well with the weather and I'm trying to figure out how to help but Texas and Mars offer similar rainfall.
                  Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800


                    I wish we would just limit our population growth here and wait for it to level out until its able to grow at a sustainable level...
                    Too many people, not enough resources. I think if they had an eco-friendly way to inhabit mars or make it more habitable ( could be discovered once we have people there! never know) its a great idea.
                    Im curious to know if they still had that far fetched idea about Cryogen. Freezing?