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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Atari Portfolio with a problem

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    Atari Portfolio with a problem

    Hi guys,

    I'm new to the forum, and I'm not sure if I should have posted this here, in PC Clones, or in the Atari section, so apologies if I'm in the wrong place.

    I have recently been given an Atari Portfolio that shows no signs of life. I've wanted one of these for as long as I can remember, and I would like to get this one going.

    It shows no visible or audible signs of life when I put the batteries in. I've had a quick check with a multimeter, and power is at least getting around the board, and to the memory card slot. The internals all look OK, even the LCD cable, and the system itself looks to be in good condition.

    Does anyone have any ideas of what I should look for? I can't seem to find any information about any troubleshooting that doesn't relate to the LCD cable.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    This thread would probably be better under the Atari section.

    Does it run only on batteries or can it run on AC power?

    Remember, wherever you go, there you are.


      Originally posted by DOS lives on!! View Post
      This thread would probably be better under the Atari section.

      Does it run only on batteries or can it run on AC power?
      It can also run on AC, I'm currently trying to find a universal transformer to try out. If it makes any difference, I tried two different kinds of alkaline batteries, both fresh.


        Just tested out with two different universal transformers, still no signs of anything happening.


          This is not directly helpful in diagnosing the portfolio, but have you checked out the Atari Portfolio website:

          Looks like it's based in the UK, you may want to try contacting the person who runs the site, although it appears to not have been updated in some time.
          Also there is mention of a UK Portfolio Club on this site, but the link is down. It does give you the email of the person who used to run the club so you may still be able to contact him.
          Just a couple of ideas for you!
          Do you have access to an oscilloscope or logic analyzer? Those have proved invaluable to me in repairing various old computers.


            Thanks for your reply. I sent an e-mail to the site owner, and got a message back saying it hadn't been delivered. I'll try the UK Portfolio Club one now.

            And unfortunately, I don't have access to either of those.


              Well, I think I'm gonna have to call this one dead. I've spent most of today testing as much as I can, and it's doing weird things, like I'll suddenly get 1-2 volts coming out of ground and into positive, if you understand what I mean. Looks like I'm gonna have to keep this as a spares machine and track down another working Portfolio.

              Thanks for all your replies, much appreciated.


                Try these:

                Klaus Peichl makes some adapters and also has written some programs for the PoFo. He's a very helpful guy. There is another german only site which is a PoFo Club forum.

                Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.


                  Thanks, I'll be sure to send him an e-mail.