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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What is the worst virus you have encountered in ANY computer, ANY vintage.

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    What is the worst virus you have encountered in ANY computer, ANY vintage.

    To date, I have encountered FBI Cybercrime twice, and the makings of Cryptolocker once, thankfully that was gotten rid of before it could do damage.
    Nothing beats the roar of a 36yr old drive coming to life after a decade in storagg

    I've thankfully had my antivirus catch most of what's been thrown my way.

    One time, when I was still running Win98, I got some shenanigans that managed to tilt all the standard Windows icons before it got caught. That was kinda weird.
    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 ).


      Hong Kong flu. Terrible stuff.
      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


        Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
        Hong Kong flu. Terrible stuff.
        If you remember that, you're no kid.
        Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting


          The worst I had was the Stoned, and once or twice Michaellangelo virus. The kids would keep bringing it back from school. In those days kids would bring games to school on a floppy and an infection was guaranteed.

          I haven't had anything since. Perhaps I'm lucky. Perhaps I'm ignorant. Possibly both.
          WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.


            I had a worm many years ago that embedded itself in my NO$GMB emulator. Didn't do anything serious. Just made the machine shutdown when you logged in.
            [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
            [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

            = Excellent space heater


              I haven't had any devastating viruses yet. But within the last 2 months I've received a barrage of them in my email.

              I received several like this:


              Your parcel has arrived at June 8th, 2014. Courier was unable to deliver the parcel to you.

              Print your label and show it in the nearest post office to get a parcel.

              Print Shipping Label.

              As soon as you click on print label, it launches a virus.

              Then I start getting ones saying "Thank you for your purchase." Indicates a receipt is attached.
              Open the e:mail and it shows a purchase with a credit card I don't have and an attachment to the e:mail.
              The attachment is obviously a virus.


                Originally posted by Ole Juul View Post
                The worst I had was the Stoned
                I still have disks infected with that.
                Be polite and I may let you live.



                  I have disks with Stoned, Musicbug, Form and 1575 on them. Better yet, I have images of them.
                  PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step


                    Originally posted by Chuckster_in_Jax View Post
                    I haven't had any devastating viruses yet. But within the last 2 months I've received a barrage of them in my email. .
                    I noticed a similar uptick--but only on one email account; it's the one I use for eBay access. I wonder if the eBay security breach was as benign as the good PR folks at eBay would have us believe...
                    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                      I have run across a few boot sector viruses back in the day. I recall back in 1993 a computer teacher claimed that a disk of mine somehow got the Monkey virus and "cleaned" it with Mcafee AV, which killed the disk in the process. To this day I think it was a false positive, none of my other disks or my home machine was infected. Damn you John Mcafee!

                      Another boot sector virus I came across in 2003 (!) was the NYB virus. A customer's machine was somehow infected with it, which gave Windows 98SE fits. What tipped me off was the disk I/O was running in MS-DOS compatibility mode. One of the former tech support people must have had it on a disk and it somehow survived into the 2000s!

                      By far the worst "infection" I encountered recently was that stupid Cryptolocker ransomware. A customer lost some data from it that was thankfully mostly backed up.


                        The Thunderbyte (Anti?!)Virus

                        After each user installed a Windows 95 scanner driver with a USB update, this would happen:


                        Notice the default action. Guess what happens next..


                          I had nVIR on my dad's mac. Its still there actually...
                          It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


                            On this subject, does anyone know of a pro-active virus detector?. In other words, one that says, "this program is doing something strange and it's not on the list of viruses that I know about.' Most anti-virus programs are just pattern-matchers, which is why the people at Symantec/Norton are saying that they're poised to exit the business.

                            Right now, it's just plain impossible to anticipate viruses. Someone first has to contract it, an appropriate action taken, then the database and fix have to be distributed. By then, the virus could have infected a billion systems.

                            In the bad old days, it was pretty simple job to check for boot-sector viruses, but that was long before the distributed-by-i nternet trend started and viruses got more sophisticated.
                            Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                              There are several heuristic plus whitelist programs geared to the enterprise security market. Block all non-authorized software and keep any software that runs from delving into places it shouldn't. The problem with some of these is that any update to software would prevent the software from being used until the whitelist is updated. Might actually be more useful for the vintage software market; all the software is known to be safe for 20 years and modified files can be easily detected.

                              See and for examples.