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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Compaq Portable Plus- HardCard issue (again)

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  • PhilipA
    Resolved this issue.

    Unfortunately no pics because I was trying to keep the insides of the drive as clean as possible.

    The bump-stop had turned to sticky goo. The arm was getting stuck to it! Removed the remains of the bump stop, replaced it with a bit of plastic tubing from my fish tank because it was the right size.

    Result? A now very happy HardCard. (Mostly, bad sectors notwithstanding).

    Definitely worth taking it apart and cleaning it out


    Leave a comment:

  • PhilipA

    I gave it a try in several sockets with the same symptom. With the lid off the drive and it warbling away, tapping the arm's counterweight got it working, so I think it's more the drive than the I/O to the PC.
    The HardCard actually sits solidly in the support runner, is securely held in place (surprising!)

    I'm thinking it's just slowly dying and might be coming up due... retirement.


    Leave a comment:

  • krebizfan
    I remember that the HardCard that was used in a former employer's office would often get loud. I don't know if it is the same symptoms.

    Options that might help:
    1) Reseat the HardCard in its slot in case it is wobbling loose.
    2) Figure out a way to support the HardCard on the opposite end of the slot from the bracket.

    Leave a comment:

  • PhilipA
    started a topic Compaq Portable Plus- HardCard issue (again)

    Compaq Portable Plus- HardCard issue (again)


    I know we've been here before with these things, but there's nothing like flogging a dead horse, so here goes.

    Having resolved some of the issues with my Compaq Portable, the hardcard-20 has started on an annoying habit. Upon power-up, it spins the drive up and then immediately begins to tremble the r/w arm with a high pitch thwthwthwthwthwt noise.

    I'd had some issues with it previously but it cleared up. Took the case apart, cleaned the head location encoder thing (little striated glass that asses through a sensor to allow it to determine where the head's moving to) because the glass was filthy front and back. It spun up and started to do the same. Gave it a thump and it did a full seek and started to boot. The head parking lock isn't getting stuck.

    That resolved the really slow seek times, but it's still doing the warbling tremble when first turned on. Today it refuses to stop, regardless of how many times it is agitated (I know, I know, it's not good for it. I know the mechanics behind it) but has anyone else had this trouble with these drives? My initial thought is the media's degrading but no tests I can get it to perform under DOS show that as an issue.