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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Advice--best P4 heatsink

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    Advice--best P4 heatsink

    All of the sudden, one of my systems just quit working. Turns out that the stock Intel heatsink plastic retainer clips decided to quit.

    CPU is running at 3.00 GHz. This is an industrial PC with ISA slots, so replacement with a newer motherboard isn't really an option.

    I don't want to invite another failure because of cr*ppy plastic, so I'm open to suggestions as to what a solid substitute might be.

    I realize that P4 is yesterday's CPU, but this is what I have.
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

    While avoiding plastic also shun aluminum, but I guess you knew that.

    A P4 with Isa slots? I didn't suspect they existed. Socket 478 or 775? I have an HP lga 775 box with quite an impressive cooling system. But that's specific to the HP Mobo. Includes plastic ducting. Pretty well made.

    I bought a cheap Rosewill 2 pipe heatsink that I want to adapt for my Athlon XP board. The Masscool aluminum h/s isn't sufficient. If I leave the side door off and blow a fan at it, it makes a significant difference though.

    I want to say 775 heatsinks are available on Newegg.


      Yup, it's an Advantech AIMB-742. Has ISA slots, dual Gbit ethernet and even a place for a CF card. A regular kitchen-sink of a motherboard.

      I was thinking about trying to hack a socket 775 cooler--478 coolers are generally inferior for the price.
      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


        What's plugged into the Isa slots?


          Interface card of my own design. The other slot is empty.
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


            That tells us a lot.


              Tape controller. Don't see what this has to do with anything.
              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                I'm nosey.


                  they exist, i'm looking for one as well for a board I just bought that came without one


                    You could always get a water cooler. I have Corsair? unit nib if anyone is interested.


                      Originally posted by Al Kossow View Post
                      they exist, i'm looking for one as well for a board I just bought that came without one
                      I'll see if I can get over to Excess Solutions. They have a shelf of 20 year old PC heatsinks
                      What I'm finding on line is mostly sleeve bearing garbage


                        The best air coolers to exist for S478 are these:

                        I own a few of them, and they look to still be available for sale. The socket 370 ones are also EXCELLENT.
                        It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


                          I opted for the big Dell heat-pipe passive unit. If it gets too warm, I can add a fan. I've got room--it's a 4U case.

                          In the meanwhile, I'll bodge the stock Intel one with a couple of cable ties and a bracket. Should do for now.
                          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                            Zalman made a super chunky copper fin cooler for socket 478/754/939/940 called the CNPS7000B-CU


                            It's a bit awkward to install, but it has metal retainers that clamp to the PGA478 retainer shell. I've used it with 3.2 GHz Pentium 4s and it keeps them plenty cool.


                              While waiting for the Dell unit, I've taken some stainless steel wire and sheet brass and bodged a couple of brackets onto the old fan assembly. Held down to the retention bracket with zip ties. Nothing fancy, but it works for now.

                              I've seen a number of old P4 boards with broken retention brackets as well, which is another reason I opted for the Dell server heatsink--bolts right to the PCB. I've seen this also on old Socket AM2 boards.

                              Plastic is going to kill us off. Two days earlier, my portable induction cooker started shedding bits of itself. Fortunately, that was ABS and I repaired that--for now--with good old black ABS cement.
                              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.