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Forum Rules and Etiquette

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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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  • Unknown_K
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    We've found that treating the USPS carrier as part of the family helps a lot.

    Same with Fedex drivers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Plasma
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Al Kossow
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    But here's the real kicker on this deal. I bought the thing on eBay.
    I was going to say that the next thing is Amazon taking over distribution and warehousing for all but the biggest guys.
    I didn't remember but I thought I might have gotten similar things from a couple of eBayers recently through Amazon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    Well, in this neck of the woods, a couple of years ago, USPS was talking about shutting down their local distribution center. Sunday shipping is new to us here--I don't doubt that it's been a fact of life in major urban areas for some time.

    Leave a comment:


  • mbbrutman
    replied
    Amazon using USPS for Sunday delivery is actually pretty old news:

    https://www.geekwire.com/2014/amazon...ostal-service/

    Leave a comment:


  • smp
    replied
    Originally posted by gslick View Post
    Just never order anything that gets delivered by FedEx SmartPost. FedEx handles the first part via their standard ground processing, then it get handed off to USPS at the destination for final delivery. Adds 1 or 2 days to already slow shipping plus extra handling and more opportunities for shipping damage along the way.
    I hear you on that. USPS handles their responsibility to deliver the FedEx item, but it does not appear that they give any priority to the FedEx items so they fall to the back of the line.

    smp

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    But here's the real kicker on this deal. I bought the thing on eBay. It came with an Amazon receipt and shipping:

    Leave a comment:


  • gslick
    replied
    Just never order anything that gets delivered by FedEx SmartPost. FedEx handles the first part via their standard ground processing, then it get handed off to USPS at the destination for final delivery. Adds 1 or 2 days to already slow shipping plus extra handling and more opportunities for shipping damage along the way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    Originally posted by Al Kossow View Post
    And this reminds me of a recent experience that tells me big box places (esp Walmart)
    are so hopelessly clueless on web order processing that Amazon will eat their lunch.
    Walmart's local store pickup assumes that someone at the store is going to do something.
    Nothing happened for five days after I placed an order, I went there and spent an hour
    trying to find the person handling the order. I never did, went home, tried to cancel the
    order and couldn't because their transaction processing system was wedged, ordered the
    exact same thing from a location 2 miles away, and picked it up an hour later. I did finally
    get the cancel transaction to go through later that day, the other store couldn't cancel it
    because they can only cancel transactions for their store!

    sheesh..
    I've shopped online at Walmart for a few things, but dread doing it. Their web site is so overloaded with scripts and whatnot, things are very slow going.

    I had an interesting email from TechForLess the other day--I was looking at monitors and bothered to check detailed specs on a few. Two days later I received an email saying that if I didn't like the price on a particular monitor, to make an offer.

    Mind you, all I did was browse.

    Leave a comment:


  • smp
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I was surprised to encounter a USPS truck this Sunday morning pulling into my driveway. On Friday, I'd ordered from Amazon, a USB wall charger. (I won't have one that doesn't bear a UL approval in my house--I've seen the innards of some of the Chinese trash; cheap and dangerous as heck). It was only about $8 with free shipping.

    I asked the driver "Sunday delivery?" and she responded "The Post Office has a special deal with Amazon".

    Blew me away completely. I know Jeff Bezos is out to conquer the world, but this really surprised me.
    If you are an Amazon Prime member, for items that Amazon is in complete control of packing and delivery, their 2-day shipping means 2-day shipping. If the second day falls on a Sunday, you get it on Sunday. Very nice feature. However, even as a Prime member, if you order something kind of late on a Friday, and the vendor (not Amazon) is in charge of shipping, and for whatever reason the vendor normally does not receive orders on Saturday or Sunday, then they get the order on Monday and the two day clock starts on Monday, and you get it on Wednesday. Even worse if Monday is a holiday! It doesn't happen often, but it does happen - it has happened to me. Just a circumstance to be aware of.

    And, yes, we see the USPS trucks shuttling around our neighborhood on Sundays, too. Started to notice this last Christmas time. Thought that might be a special activity for Christmas, but they have continued to be around on Sundays now.

    smp

    Leave a comment:


  • krebizfan
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Al Kossow
    replied
    Originally posted by Al Kossow View Post
    If he could buy USPS, he would
    And this reminds me of a recent experience that tells me big box places (esp Walmart)
    are so hopelessly clueless on web order processing that Amazon will eat their lunch.
    Walmart's local store pickup assumes that someone at the store is going to do something.
    Nothing happened for five days after I placed an order, I went there and spent an hour
    trying to find the person handling the order. I never did, went home, tried to cancel the
    order and couldn't because their transaction processing system was wedged, ordered the
    exact same thing from a location 2 miles away, and picked it up an hour later. I did finally
    get the cancel transaction to go through later that day, the other store couldn't cancel it
    because they can only cancel transactions for their store!

    sheesh..

    Leave a comment:


  • Doug G
    replied
    Sunday deliveries by USPS for amazon have been going on here in SoCal for many months, we get to dodge mail trucks on Sundays. Since I use Prime with great regularity, I even go check my mailbox on Sundays.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stone
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I was surprised to encounter a USPS truck this Sunday morning pulling into my driveway. On Friday, I'd ordered from Amazon, a USB wall charger.

    I asked the driver "Sunday delivery?" and she responded "The Post Office has a special deal with Amazon".

    Blew me away completely. I know Jeff Bezos is out to conquer the world, but this really surprised me.
    It has nothing to do with Amazon -- she was just yankin' your chain.

    USPS has been delivering parcels here on Sunday for quite some time.

    Leave a comment:

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