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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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Anybody else live back in time??

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  • mbbrutman
    replied
    "Dad" is here.

    Here is the bottom line. This web forum is for discussing vintage computers. We allow for the occasional off topic threads because we are human, we have manners and behave civilly most of the time, and we expect others to do the same.

    If in the course of a single day on a single thread (this one) the word "retarded" is used and cell phone usage is compared to the Holocaust, then those expectations are not being met. I'm sorry, but welcome to 2018 - the word "retarded" is quite offensive to a lot of people and we don't use it in polite society anymore. Cell phone usage has nothing to do with genocide. And quite frankly, how people use their technology is their business and not for anybody else to judge.

    We want our web forum, and all of our activities to be open and comfortable for everybody. When people read this kind of garbage it looks bad on the hundreds or thousands of other people who know how to control themselves in public. I don't want it happening here. Our mission is to preserve computing history and enable others to enjoy it. It is not to provide off-topic areas for people who post using aliases to spew utter garbage.

    You have the right to free speech, but you also should be willing to accept the consequences. This is not a free speech zone; it is a private web forum. Get with the program or decide you can't abide by our guidelines and leave. If threads like this keep happening I will just simply delete the problem areas of the forum. We had to do it with the politics section years ago. Do not make us put the baby gates up.

    Leave a comment:


  • Unknown_K
    replied
    Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
    cell phones, smart phones,... easy access to the internet... has changed our behavior as people.. For the worse. The holocaust was a horrible display of how bad people can really be to one another, and as sad as it is to say we came out stronger because of the whole horrible war..
    We are not coming out stronger because of cell phones. People have lost the ability to communicate with other people. Kids are growing up socially retarded. Common pleasantries and manners are a thing of the past.. And thats just the start, like I said long lasting consequences.. IT will only get worse.
    In WW1 and WW2 the US was dragged into going to war by other nations. We were mostly pacifists with a small navy and pretty much no army. Military spending was a small part of the US budget before WW1 and the period between the end of WW1 and the start of WW2. After WW2 we have spent trillions of dollars we don't have STARTING wars left and right for no national gain or reason. I would not call that being strong.

    Texting on a cell phone is communicating, just like when I type a post here that you are reading. The problem we have is that technology is making us not need to interact directly with another human being. Younger people don't go out to eat anymore they just order food from an app and have it delivered. Want to see a a movie you just stream it. You can work from home now, and all our electronics, clothes, etc are ordered on the net and good luck finding a real person to complain to if the order is wrong. Sure there were pleasantries between people 50 years go, but that was only if you were of the same race, social class, religion.

    Leave a comment:


  • VERAULT
    replied
    I have a slide rule. Its beautifully made. Came with one of those hip leather holsters with a belt clip.. real leather. ITs plastid inlaid over bamboo, made in japan.,. Quite nice.. I have no idea how to use it.

    Leave a comment:


  • VERAULT
    replied
    Originally posted by commodorejohn View Post
    So, uh, how many millions of people have cell phones rounded up and gassed to death?
    cell phones, smart phones,... easy access to the internet... has changed our behavior as people.. For the worse. The holocaust was a horrible display of how bad people can really be to one another, and as sad as it is to say we came out stronger because of the whole horrible war..
    We are not coming out stronger because of cell phones. People have lost the ability to communicate with other people. Kids are growing up socially retarded. Common pleasantries and manners are a thing of the past.. And thats just the start, like I said long lasting consequences.. IT will only get worse.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    Age and arthritis has me using a felt-tip pen nowadays. Easy to hold; easy to see. Eventually I hope to graduate to crayons...

    Leave a comment:


  • commodorejohn
    replied
    I've been using the same Pentel mechanical pencil for probably ten years now, and it's still going strong. I just wish it wasn't so hard to come by the simple, no-nonsense top-clicker designs these days...and don't get me started on the weird thin little twist-out erasers the new ones all use that seem to be made out of soft plastic and are only good for smearing graphite across the page...

    Leave a comment:


  • ncherry
    replied
    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I still do calculations using pencil and paper at times. I suppose I could write a program to do the same, by my brain is handier.
    I have a program from 1988 I pulled off comp.sources.misc called rpl (supposed to emulate an HP28, not really close). I basically do something like this from the command line (HP48 emulator on my phone from traveling):

    hp28 <<< '20.9 15.5 / 60 *'

    That gives me my minutes if I travel at 15 mph over 20.9 miles. I can't even use a normal calculator.

    But back to the back in time. I live at the command line all day long (Quality Assurance - I break things!) so I don't know what this Windows stuff is.

    Oh and I had 10/5 cable in 1998, beta site for the @Home service.

    Leave a comment:


  • ncherry
    replied
    Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
    ... Still might have some in the wrapper but most are around my desks in my room and the basement lab plus I lost a few here and there. I just love the rubber finger grip and the push button built into it to push out more lead (better design then the ones you needed to use your thumb at the back end where the thin eraser is). I wish I knew where to get cheap click erasers like I had in college in the 80's.[ATTACH=CONFIG]46628[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]46629[/ATTACH]
    Dang, nice job on the pencils, Pentel made good pencils. I like their high end stuff. I prefer the clicker on top (metal cap) but the erasers do dry out and become useless. I have the the eraser block (also from the 80's) and the 'mechanic eraser' (from 2000).

    Leave a comment:


  • Unknown_K
    replied
    Any math I can't do in my head (or simple math using paper and pencil) I tend to either pull out a calculator or fire up a spreadsheet for.

    I tend to like multiple methods to calculate the same thing so I can double check my work before it gets costly. For example I liked using a program for calculating orifice hole sizes for industrial differential pressure flow meters and I would double check those calculations using an old fashioned cardboard slide rule calculators venders used to hand out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    I still do calculations using pencil and paper at times. I suppose I could write a program to do the same, by my brain is handier.

    Leave a comment:


  • KC9UDX
    replied
    Usury is not new, just more publicised.

    I still use slide rules. Sure I could write a calculator program to give me spindle speeds for different cutters in different materials, but a slide rule is handier.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    I suppose I could use a slide rule again, but calculators are so much more convenient.

    This brings up a point--we have inventions that improve on an idea by improving the tools. For example, a typewriter instead of a pen.

    Then we have new entities that are the real agents of change--video games, "social media", etc.

    And then there are things that we accept now, but have not accepted earlier. For example, usury -> payday loans.

    Leave a comment:


  • commodorejohn
    replied
    Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
    I hate cell phones and think they are the worst thing to happen to society... worse than the holocaust as we havent felt all the repercussions yet..
    So, uh, how many millions of people have cell phones rounded up and gassed to death?

    Leave a comment:


  • VERAULT
    replied
    Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
    I appreciate your candor. However, if you're coming from downtown Detroit's Comerica Park after a ball game on some dark Saturday night and suddenly have a blow-out on the Ford or Chrysler freeway, you're sure as hell going to wish you had a cell phone in every pocket or at least a long extension cord on that land-line back home.
    yeah... Im not gonna argue with you on that situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Unknown_K
    replied
    Originally posted by ncherry View Post
    A mostly true story (we didn't order it yet).

    Yesterday, a gentleman asked me for a pencil sharpener (which I didn't have with me this time). So I decided to bust on him a bit and handed him my mechanical pencil from 1983. He liked it so much we went up online and found him one, then ordered it. He should have it today.
    I had a huge smile on my face when a local office chain store went bankrupt around 2000 and they were ditching Pentel made in Japan 0.5 mechanical pencil sets (2 per container) for next to nothing and I snagged them all including enough lead refills to last my lifetime. Still might have some in the wrapper but most are around my desks in my room and the basement lab plus I lost a few here and there. I just love the rubber finger grip and the push button built into it to push out more lead (better design then the ones you needed to use your thumb at the back end where the thin eraser is). I wish I knew where to get cheap click erasers like I had in college in the 80's.s-l640.jpg

    Leave a comment:

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