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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Could it be any more obvious?

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    Could it be any more obvious?

    I got this 486 computer yesterday. Very nice condition, just need to put a hard drive in it.

    And then I found out the brand of it......
    Could they show it in any better way?

    Remember, wherever you go, there you are.

    Computer Computers has a nice ring to it.
    Searching for NEC Powermate SX/20 parts:
    KTN-8101/2 (NEC OP-410-8101) and KTN-8102P/2 (NEC OP-410-8102+ or OP-410-8103) memory boards


      Thank god for truth in advertising! I actually really like that for a case badge.
      It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


        better put that in a safe, undisclosed location it "could" be the first one that ever happened!


          So I got this computer made by Computer computers at a computer recycling event where people brought in many computers. Typing twister!

          I do like that badge. Neat design with the stars.

          Remember, wherever you go, there you are.


            I'm going to have nightmares now.

            When I first started at my current job they had a old 386 in that exact case, sans awesome case badge, running some machinery
            It chewed up in no particular order, a 1.2M floppy drive, a PSU, 2 more drives, a keyboard, a monitor, and quite a few cables.
            Whoever put that thing together had no appreciation for airflow and must have used the longest internal cables he had on hand.
            Add that that to the lovely sharp edges that were honed to a range between Ginsu knife and fresh scalpel.

            I had many a lovely lapsed moment of sanity telling Mr. 386 about the hot new babe in town, Ms. Thermite.
            The HP Pavilions I used to replace all the older systems must have been listening from the other room; nary a problem from them.


              Boy am I kicking myself! Back before I knew how to work a computer other than my 98 machine, I found one of these! It even had a freshly formatted HDD! When it booted and told me to insert a boot disk, I didn't know what the heck that meant and figured it was broken. I threw it out. That was one of the worst mistakes of my life. I haven't owned a 486 since, and they are my favorite type of PC!


                In your case, the label should've said, (small letters) Working (regular letters) Computer.

                Remember, wherever you go, there you are.


                  I love that case style. I wish they'd make one for ATX motherboards. *wistful sigh*

                  Proud owner of 80-0007
         - The only one of its kind.


                    It seems like those case styles were very popular, with the big sized power switch on the right side. Just find the video of "Ultimate DOS Computer."
                    I'd like to add a MHz display to it since it does have the space for it. I hope the motherboard has a plug-in for it.

                    Remember, wherever you go, there you are.


                      Ian, those Mhz displays didn't actually pull anything from the motherboard. The ones I've seen were configured using jumper blocks on the back of the 7 segment display board. One set for turbo, one set for non-turbo. The turbo switch typically piggy-backed off that board in order to change the display when it got pressed.

                      Proud owner of 80-0007
             - The only one of its kind.


                        Yep. That's exactly how those work. A long time ago (before I knew what a vintage computer was), I had a similar computer to this with a display on the front. Somehow this one was configured to display the time, date, custom messages, and the MHz reading by a program on the computer. (Is that how a PS/2 Server 95 does it?) I'd love to pull that configuration out of it and put it in this computer, but since it didn't have a hard drive, I threw it out.

                        And then I've amazed my friends in the past by setting the jumpers to display a custom mesage. They still don't understand how a computer can read "Hi" on the display.

                        Remember, wherever you go, there you are.


                          I personally hate the "HI/LO" on the display... I always found it MUCH cooler to have the MHZ displayed... but now, with swapping boards in and out of a case, all of which may have different speed ratings... I've went to the hated hi/lo display. Just for functionality.
                          Currently seeking:
                          * Roland MPU-401/AT (with daughter card header)
                          * Magitronic K-156 Keyboard (5pin DIN w/ XT-AT switch)
                          I also collect PC and C64 Sierra On-Line software!


                            And with it just displaying Hi or Lo, you can't really tell what Mhz presets the motherboard has been set to when the turbo button is pressed. I think it is much neater to see what speed the computer is running at, then actually use the computer at that operating speed.

                            Remember, wherever you go, there you are.


                              Unfortunately, the clock speed has only a tenuous connection to the actual performance of a system. The CPU itself, memory and peripherals all have a material and substantial effect on performance.

                              I'd like to hail back to the old 1960's GE days when the operator's console had an analog meter calibrated in "thousand operations per second".

                              FWIW, my old systems all indicate "Hi" and "Lo". It was just too much trouble trying to figure out the display jumpers every time I changed out a motherboard. A simple sticker on the case indicates what's inside.

                              (BTW, I place the manual for the motherboard inside the case as well--it never gets lost that way)
                              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.