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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Amazon vs. eBay

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    I order a lot of stuff on Amazon and I always hate when they use USPS for delivery, because the drivers here are lazy SOBs. I much prefer UPS or FedEx chucking it on the front porch.

    With USPS, half the time delivery is at least a day late, for no real reason. (Tracking shows some BS like "driveway blocked" or "weather delays"...on a clear summer day.)
    If it requires a signature, they never attempt delivery the first time, claiming you weren't home. Leaving a card for you to sign or reschedule, which adds another day.
    If they can, they will stuff it in the mailbox, even if it means folding it or leaving the door hanging open.
    Otherwise it might go on the driveway in front of the garage. Even if it's raining.
    If they are feeling especially ambitious the package makes it all the way to the porch. With the rest of the mail just laying on top of it, flapping in the breeze...


      We've found that treating the USPS carrier as part of the family helps a lot.

      Same with Fedex drivers.
      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


        Quite a few FedEx packages from Ebay make the trip to the house on USPS trucks. I think USPS just has the larger distribution centers since they have to deliver mail to everyone unlike UPS and FedEx who just have to make profitable deliveries.
        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


          Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
          We've found that treating the USPS carrier as part of the family helps a lot.

          Same with Fedex drivers.
          Well I work during the day so I never see them...on the rare occasion I am home, they never ring the bell. I don't think it's too much to ask someone to do their job correctly.


            Well, I don't live in an urban area, so even a smile and a friendly wave makes points where I am.
            Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


              Not to rain on your parade, but in all likelihood that charger is still a cheap Chinese piece of shit.

              I've bought these brand before: They are GODLY in quality. A bit pricey, but i've saved money in the long run by not re-buying cables. Plus they had a 5-port car charger on a 3 foot cable, which let me locate it centrally in my truck, letting everyone charge at once.
              It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


                In Japan the post office will deliver on Sundays. They'll even drop by later the same day if you're not home the first time. At least where I live.
                In Norway there's no Sunday delivery of course (by *anyone*), and now the Post Office stopped delivering on Saturdays too. The argument was that there's less mail on Saturdays.. which is of course a very transparent lie - it would imply that less mail was posted on Wednesdays. It's likely that less mail is *posted* on Saturdays, certainly by companies, but then they should stop deliveries on Mondays or Tuesdays, not Saturdays.


                  When this all first started, I could order something from Amazon around midnight on Sunday morning, with next day delivery, and it would show up round noon that same Sunday.

                  Since then they started actually offering same day shipping, and things arrive a little later.

                  I don't know what to say about the eBay thing but a couple years ago I ordered something from Grainger and it arrived from Amazon with an enclosed receipt from a third party, but the same Grainger part number.
                  Be polite and I may let you live.



                    A few years ago i ordered a book from a seller on ebah, The book arrived a couple of days later from Amazon, Amazon packaging and receipt, It was actually cheaper from ebah than the same book listed on the Amazon uk site. Apparently the seller had some sort of account with Amazon and sold stuff a bit cheaper on ebah.


                      Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                      We've found that treating the USPS carrier as part of the family helps a lot.

                      Same with Fedex drivers.
                      AMEN to that idea. We've always been friendly to out US Mail person, and it has paid us dividends.



                        Originally posted by Plasma View Post
                        ...they never ring the bell. I don't think it's too much to ask someone to do their job correctly.
                        Have you read the USPS operations manual?

                        Does it indicate that ringing the bell is part of the delivery procedure?
                        PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step


                          Amazon has their own private delivery service for same-day delivery. I opted for it once and a guy showed up in a Honda CR-V with his trunk full of Amazon boxes.


                            Originally posted by krebizfan View Post
                            In 2013, Amazon signed a 5 year contract with USPS for Sunday deliveries. Given the increase in shipments, USPS will have to either continue offering Sunday deliveries or buy larger trucks.
                            USPS has been due for new trucks for quite a while now. Their current rolling stock of Grumman LLV (Long Life Vehicle) vans were manufactured from 1987 to 1994 and were supposed to last for 24 years, but in 2009 they extended that to 30 years.



                              Originally posted by Stone View Post
                              Have you read the USPS operations manual?

                              Does it indicate that ringing the bell is part of the delivery procedure?
                              Did I indicate that ringing the bell was part of the delivery procedure? "Doing their job correctly" refers to the list in my first post.

                              Please explain how I can be "friendly" to someone I never see if I'm not home or they never ring my bell.


                                Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
                                Amazon has their own private delivery service for same-day delivery. I opted for it once and a guy showed up in a Honda CR-V with his trunk full of Amazon boxes.
                                Why I quit using their same-day service unless I absolutely need it: I'd much rather support USPS.
                                Be polite and I may let you live.