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
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  • 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.
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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:
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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 computer is this, in the movie Hackers?

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    What computer is this, in the movie Hackers?

    I can't find anything on it, even on the website starring the computer.
    IBM PS/2 Model 25, NEC V30 8MHz, 640KB RAM, ATI VGA Wonder XL, 2GB SSD, Ethernet, DR DOS 6/GeOS, Xircom PE3 Ethernet

    Is that a camera on the front? Looks more like a video teleconference device with a keyboard in front of it.

    And vivid color graphics next to an acoustic coupler? Really?


      It's been opined that this thing is s studio-modified Compaq Portable/486--the keyboard is Apple and probably the guts were also Apple, since Apple furnished the hardware for most of the props. The trackball in the front panel is just funky.

      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


        I think that is not a camera but rather the Powerbook trackball with the grey button turned into the smiley face. The main hardware looks like a Compaq portable with a changed screen and the altered (added) side panel. The keyboard looks to be an Apple keyboard modified with a cover that conceals the function keys.


          One minute apart, but at least we agree. This thing never rolled off of any standard assembly line.

          The overwhelming presence of Apple iron in the film tells me that Apple would never have allowed an unvarnished Compaq box.
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


            It could be an Apple box. I remember just before the PowerBooks came out, one of Apple's transportable computers had a track ball to the right of the screen. I remember it because I made fun of it to one of my Apple friends because it seemed to copy a similar trackball layout used by IBM.


              Wow, never would have guessed Compaq. The trackball was throwing me off, but having had a PowerBook 180 with one of those, I thought it looked a little familiar.
              IBM PS/2 Model 25, NEC V30 8MHz, 640KB RAM, ATI VGA Wonder XL, 2GB SSD, Ethernet, DR DOS 6/GeOS, Xircom PE3 Ethernet


                I doubt it was Apple who made them cover anything up. Films often have to hide manufacturer logos for licensing reasons, so sticking something over the Compaq logo makes sense.


                  Looks like the Apple IIgs keyboard with a cover over it. Macintosh keyboards didn't use that style of key caps.


                    I have not found any articles describing how the computers were selected. Mildly surprising because one thing Hollywood loves to talk about is how to get someone else to pay for making a movie.

                    Apple provided a translucent prototype and a prerelease PowerPC laptop. If the prop guys did the Compaq mod, great job capturing the look of what a teen with unlimited time and a well stocked junk bin would try to put together. If it was Apple using a Compaq shell to test logic board design before springing for a new clamshell mold, then there is an interesting story.

                    One of the images I have seen shows the keyboard close up. It is not a solid plastic cover hiding the Apple original but there are 3 smaller plates concealing each group of function keys. In the picture, the smaller plates are pulling up from the surrounding shell. Having the ability to pop the covers off and gain access to the function keys is a bit more work than a prop designer would do but might make sense for an engineer testing the idea of function keyless laptop keyboards.


                      Let me see if I can get that closeup. I have the movie in bluray so it should be very clear.. I'll need to try and find it though.
                      IBM PS/2 Model 25, NEC V30 8MHz, 640KB RAM, ATI VGA Wonder XL, 2GB SSD, Ethernet, DR DOS 6/GeOS, Xircom PE3 Ethernet


                        Definitely an Apple keyboard, but that is not an Apple IIgs keyboard.


                        Looks like it might be a M0116 in disguise. No function keys, but does have numlock, and the buttons being slightly grey, along with not being the odd IIgs shaped keycaps.
                        IBM PS/2 Model 25, NEC V30 8MHz, 640KB RAM, ATI VGA Wonder XL, 2GB SSD, Ethernet, DR DOS 6/GeOS, Xircom PE3 Ethernet


                          Not an Mo116 (wrong Return key shape) but perhaps an Mo118 inserted into a hacked up Compaq keyboard shell (it would fit without too much mangling, but then you'd need to plug the holes for the function keys, which I think was done with the "plates" you see.
                          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                            Isn't it an Apple Keyboard II?


                              I don't think so, the keycaps are definitely grey, not beige, and the shape of the keycaps don't seem quite right to be the Keyboard II.
                              IBM PS/2 Model 25, NEC V30 8MHz, 640KB RAM, ATI VGA Wonder XL, 2GB SSD, Ethernet, DR DOS 6/GeOS, Xircom PE3 Ethernet