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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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"High speed Internet"

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  • Doug G
    replied
    I had to run a FULL frame relay setup to the house, to get decent bandwidth back in '96, ...
    I thought I was the only one with a whopping 56k frame relay in my house, around the same time. It took up 2 of my 3 pairs of telco wires to the house, so GTE had to install a mux to get two voice lines to the house over 1 pair. Our isp was PSI, they were actually pretty good for the day.

    Leave a comment:


  • griffk
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I may still have the emails (I was using UUCP for email back then and have saved quite a few archives). At any rate, the guy running the local ISP operation changed his IP address and somehow forgot to change the nameserver records for two weeks. Thank heavens I still had a Compuserve account to fall back on for email and was still running a BBS.Good times.
    I think we had the same ISP in those times--:}

    I had to run a FULL frame relay setup to the house, to get decent bandwidth back in '96, and the ISP guy was a pig! He constantly was going up and down, and I never got an explanation out of him. I think I also had some early domain problems with him, but I switched almost immediately to dealing straight with NS--yeah they were REAL fun to work with!

    Now, I have Frontier FIOS 150/150, and I can honestly say; they have been OK! (I better find some wood to knock on right away)

    You'll LOVE fiber!
    gwk

    Leave a comment:


  • Moondog
    replied
    But anyway, I say a discussion on a local reddit page and it was telling how what internet access you had could change the value of your home by a LARGE margin.
    13 years ago when I bought my house, AT&T was introducing U-verse and DSL in my area. They were pulling fiber, and upgrading their distribution equipment. For whatever reason, they didn't finish out area, and 13 years later, they still haven't updated the segment I'm on. I dropped their landline service, and when they asked why I was dropping them, I told them about how for the last 10 (at the time) years I received advertising DSL and U-verse, however when I call it's not available. When I asked when it would be available, they said it should be soon. I heard rumors they're going to drop landline service in my area completely, and get their current customers switched over to cell phones.

    Comcast is available a mile down the road, however they have a "20 house per mile" regarding where they will install service. There's only 5 houses between me and them.

    Leave a comment:


  • luckybob
    replied
    I was talking to comcast earlier this week, and I'm now "on the list" for the first batch of fiber installs in my area.

    I got a "promo" rate of $150/month, but I still need to come up with a $500 deposit and $500 install. I have until december to pay it, because that's when the install will start.

    2GB internet over fiber... OH YEA BABY.

    Leave a comment:


  • pearce_jj
    replied
    UK is fortunate, something like 75% of the population can get either FTTC or cable. Sadly business are second fiddle to residential areas, which means there's a big gap between 1/8Mbps standard DSL (maybe 30pm) and a 30/30Mbps leased line (300pm+) for many smaller businesses.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    Got an update here as well.

    It seems that Century Link's buried copper has been sliding down the hill (soil movement) for the last few years and they were faced with replacing it (very expensive) or doing something different. So this summer they've been stringing fiber on the (electrical) utility poles, which terminates at the "telephone temple" right in front of my house. There's a new 200-pair cable running down the hill to provide service to my neighbors. Crews have been fitting new units inside the cabinets at the telephone temple. I witnessed them installing a buried interconnect between two boxes--1800 pairs(!). It took special equipment just to unwind the bugger from its spool. At any rate, they expect to be complete sometime in August. The nice part is that the setup, since the fiber's also carrying voice circuits (POTS) will have its own backup batteries, which means that I'll have internet connectivity even when the power fails. This was gathered by chatting with the guys doing the work at the "telephone temple", so I imagine that it's pretty reliable.

    So I've got my fingers crossed...

    Leave a comment:


  • Agent Orange
    replied
    Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
    I gave that some serious thought, however, here southeast Michigan, home of the AT&T local long distance charge policy (in most cases you can't even phone across the county without a toll charge), I would have to pay a premium for my DSL if not for the phone service, so the difference wouldn't be worth the hassle. Same goes with Comcast. A standard cable modem with normal cable service runs about $40 or so per month. That same stand alone cable modem goes for about $69.00. So, they gotcha. And why is the situation like this? The answer lies with the Michigan "Public Services Commission", all politically inspired.
    Update

    Maybe AT&T is feeling a little heat from the field. I was able to upgrade my home phone and DSL service for only $51.00 monthly for 12 months. After the deal runs its course, the rate will jump to $87 per month, which is about $5 more than the current rate. The phone and DSL are now both VOIP, with the DSL on a separate line. The phone service adds unlimited long distance calling which is part of the package. The DSL package advertised 6 MB down. A quick speed check on AT&T's site shows about 6.7 MB down which is fine. Proportionally, a lot more realistic than the pitiful .74 GB up. There are various residential increments available all the way to 18 MB down, however, the top end not presently available in my area. This is all a welcome change, as the old system only provided about 2.8 down of the advertised 3.0, and a paltry .28 up. The tech told me that I wouldn't live long enough to see fiber in my area. He said that the emphases is on 'new construction'.
    Last edited by Agent Orange; July 18, 2015, 09:34 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • geoffm3
    replied
    Originally posted by ClassicHasClass View Post
    Only recently did my unincorporated area get fiber. Prior to that, it was cable, period (too far from the DSLAM), and Time Worthless sat on their hands for six weeks until I wrote a complaint letter to the FCC and got released from my contract (to be fair, they never charged me, they just didn't do any installation).

    So since I needed a hard line for my home servers, I gritted my teeth and bought a T1. It's still incredibly exorbitant, and ironically comes to the house over HDSL, but I have no caps, no questions, no latency and no neighbours encroaching on my DOCSIS timeslice. Plus, it's tariffed and has an SLA, so I'm always referred to level 2, and any issues get fixed the same day. The downside is it's still just 1.5 both ways and it required both phone pairs to the house (one for tip and one for ring). It turns out I don't miss having a landline, though.

    Fiber came in January of this year. I'm still on my T1 contract, but I'm not sure if I'll switch. The level of service I get is very good and I know I can always count on the bandwidth. Haven't decided yet.
    Good ol' HDSL. HTUCs and Rs are what I first started writing embedded software on professionally several years back. These days ethernet switches for DSLAMs. Ah, memories.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    I may still have the emails (I was using UUCP for email back then and have saved quite a few archives). At any rate, the guy running the local ISP operation changed his IP address and somehow forgot to change the nameserver records for two weeks. Thank heavens I still had a Compuserve account to fall back on for email and was still running a BBS.

    When I finally got his attention, he responded that there was no need to be abusive (I'd used the h*ll and d*mn words) and that he felt that he would be perfectly within the spirit of the contract to terminate service. This was the same guy who, after I canceled the contract, refused to release the domain for transfer (he was listed as the domain, administrator). If you'll recall--the only outfit who parceled out domains back then was Network Solutions--and they did their business via FAX and required proof of ID and even notarized affidavits--and they worked slowly.

    Good times.

    Leave a comment:


  • lyonadmiral
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Other times, small ISPs would simply cease operation without notification. Fun times.
    I've had that happen just two years ago. I was working for a small start up, we were delivering 1.5+ to rural areas using Motorola's Microwave technology. I can't even remember the name of it now, but it was neat stuff. Our venture capitalist pulled out because we weren't getting the subscribers fast enough (that was the first blow) and then the tower we were renting space on had their "radio shack" go up in flames in which it took months to get it going again and we had apparently no SLA with the tower owner. Most of our customer base despite having in their contract a SSTB (so sad, too bad) flew the coop for the Verizon JetPack. We had the better deal I thought with unlimited bandwidth but that didn't matter. By the end of the year we were done.

    Leave a comment:


  • Agent Orange
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I was thinking about shedding the landline for phone service and using VoIP.
    I gave that some serious thought, however, here southeast Michigan, home of the AT&T local long distance charge policy (in most cases you can't even phone across the county without a toll charge), I would have to pay a premium for my DSL if not for the phone service, so the difference wouldn't be worth the hassle. Same goes with Comcast. A standard cable modem with normal cable service runs about $40 or so per month. That same stand alone cable modem goes for about $69.00. So, they gotcha. And why is the situation like this? The answer lies with the Michigan "Public Services Commission", all politically inspired.

    Leave a comment:


  • dave_m
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I was thinking about shedding the landline for phone service and using VoIP.
    I did that when I switched to AT&T UVerse for high speed internet, but note that the backup battery supplied will only keep the system up for a few hours (not so great for earthquake country) and I had to disconnect my beloved Model 554 rotary wall phone although I think one can find pulse to tone adapters.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tor
    replied
    Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
    What exactly do you need anything over a steady 10Mbs for anyway (at this time)? Streaming HD video doesn't use that much and still allows somebody else to do Windows updates and game at the same time.
    Can't answer for anyone else, but for myself I don't do any HD video streaming (the closest would be the occasional Youtube video - mostly short instructional videos) - and I still need high speed. That's because I push backups upstream, to the company and to my backup server on the net. Just synching my triplicate-backup'ed photos from my camera takes as much bandwidth as I can get, or it takes too long. Not to mention when I need data to process. Gigs of that. Then there's Skype and WebEx, which don't need that much bandwidth, but low latency is the key here. In short, I'm happy about the 30-40 Mbs I have when I'm in Japan. Although I wish it would stay that way all day.. now it varies with time of day.

    Leave a comment:


  • g4ugm
    replied
    I must admit when my wife asks about a little country cottage, I remind her she complains out network is slow....

    Leave a comment:


  • luckybob
    replied
    Originally posted by dabone View Post
    Time to brag about my home town here.

    I live in Chattanooga, TN, and I've had Gig fiber for over a year, it's great, no caps, and I have vpn's setup to the kids houses for sharing media.
    I pay 69.99 a month. (That's total, no taxes, etc.) and no caps.

    I've got 2 teenagers and two adults still at home, and have never had a bandwidth issue.


    (I do run a untangle box as a router, with 2 intel gig nics, and a i5 cpu.)

    Later,
    dabone
    I'm happy to live in an area where I'm most likely to get this: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/com...ado-2015-05-21

    I guess my little Asus XG-DLS router will have to be replaced by something a BIT more robust...

    But anyway, I say a discussion on a local reddit page and it was telling how what internet access you had could change the value of your home by a LARGE margin. The way netflix has gone from little dvd in the mail company to a freaking behemoth that rivals the 3-letter networks... It makes sense to me fast internet access is going to be less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Get on the bandwagon or get left behind.

    Leave a comment:

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