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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"Lifetime" warranties

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    "Lifetime" warranties

    Has anyone recently tried to return a failed floppy carrying a "Lifetime Warranty" (e.g. Kodak, Memorex...)

    What was the outcome?
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

    this would be interesting.-- i imagine you would need some receipt for proof of purchase.
    Wanted: Sony CDU-535 or CDU6250 CD-ROM Drive (Caddy drive) for 8-bit Sony Interface Card
    sigpic <-- This is me using my IBM PC 5150 over Ethernet TCP/IP network with assignable drive letters


      Receipt with proof of purchase and a sent in the warranty card and proof you still live there.
      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


        Is Dysan still around? I saw a box recently and wondered about surprising them I also have a 'free subscription to Macworld Magazine' card I was going to fill out and mail to see what would happen.
        Last edited by snuci; February 19, 2015, 04:38 PM.
        Maintainer of


          I've had some surprising lifeitme warrany experiences, such as with Le Creuset cookware. A 30-year old Dutch oven developed a chip in the porcelain and LC paid shipping both ways and send me a new pot. My water heater has a "forever" warranty on it (transferable if you sell your home) so I wonder how good that will turn out to be. I note that Sears Craftsman no long offers the "no questions asked" on their hand tools.

          I recall that for a short time, Kodak offered free data recovery services on their floppies.
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


            I remember seeing something on twitter or youtube where somebody did send in, to 3M I think it was, and got a replacement set of disks.
            But personally I would've expected "Oh we meant the lifetime of the product, which is actually 5 years, lolz to you".

            I've seen a few "Lifetime" warranties where that has been the case, in small print.
            Twitter / YouTube


              Well, considering that "Lifetime warranty" doesn't actually mean the lifetime of the owner.. it means the lifetime of the product (or product line, at best). I thought that was a joke first, but that is how it works. So if that particular product went out of production five years after you purchased it, no more warranty.
              Those (very few) *real* 'Owner's lifetime warranty' specifically state so. I believe my Les Paul guitar is of that kind. But I'm not sure.. must double-check.



                It's purposely misleading so consumers don't check the warranty period and/or to make it sound better than it is. I'm aware of it, but I'm sure the average consumer isn't. Most people I say "lifetime of the product" to are genuinely surprised it's often the case.
                Twitter / YouTube


                  It's a bit like the car warranty which is '3 years or until the car fails, whatever comes first'.



                    I recall someone doing that before for a floppy but I think they had to pay for the s&h or had to send it to them first or both. The result in most cases would be lost income for the user.
                    Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800


                      I sent in a laptop memory module to Kingston (IIRC) under their lifetime warranty a few years back. It was a non-standard module for an older Toshiba so it would have been hard to replace so I figured it couldn't hurt to try. I had to pay shipping to them but they sent me a replacement no questions asked.


                        Supposedly Radio Shack still honours the Lifetime warranty on tubes no matter who bought them. I haven't put that to the test lately.
                        Be polite and I may let you live.



                          Non computer thing, but my current Craftsman socket set was retrieved from about 45 feet of water about 15 years ago. I brought it all rusted and messed up into sears and they gave me a new set. All it cost me was a couple of refills for my scuba tanks and if I recall correctly, a minor repair to my dry suit. One of my best deals on tools yet.



                            Originally posted by Corey986 View Post
                            Non computer thing, but my current Craftsman socket set was retrieved from about 45 feet of water about 15 years ago. I brought it all rusted and messed up into sears and they gave me a new set. All it cost me was a couple of refills for my scuba tanks and if I recall correctly, a minor repair to my dry suit. One of my best deals on tools yet.

                            I had the same experience with Craftsman tools. I broke my grandfather's 1/2" ratchet. The clerk in the Sears tool department was suspicious because the ratchet was so old that it was never chromed, and called the store manager. The store manager approved the replacement, and kept the ancient broken ratchet for his collection.
                            Member of the Rhode Island Computer Museum


                              I have had similar luck with Craftsman tools while in the States. I used to search flea markets for broken Craftsman, Mac, and Snap-On tools that cost next to nothing. Then I'd return them for replacement. he only time the tool wasn't replaced was when it was a ratchet with a stripped gear. Instead of replacing the ratchet they gave me a replacement gear set for it.