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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Zenith ZFL-181 and ZWL-183 comparison

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  • hex4
    I would like some documentation and pictures of the pop-up mechanism on the laptop on the right, I own the same laptop but someone has took the mechanism out. Thanks in advance for any help

    Leave a comment:

  • compaqportableplus
    Originally posted by SomeGuy View Post
    Thanks for documenting this. Details like this get lost from history too easily.

    Those older pop-up drives are Citizen brand drives that are also used on the Kaypro 2000.
    No problem. I agree.

    Yep, I believe we discussed that in my thread mentioned above where I reviewed the ZFL-181-93. They are cool drives for sure. Seem pretty robust too. The drive in the ZWL-183 is actually a Citizen too, just a newer and more conventional design.

    Leave a comment:

  • SomeGuy
    Thanks for documenting this. Details like this get lost from history too easily.

    Those older pop-up drives are Citizen brand drives that are also used on the Kaypro 2000.

    Leave a comment:

  • compaqportableplus
    started a topic Zenith ZFL-181 and ZWL-183 comparison

    Zenith ZFL-181 and ZWL-183 comparison

    Since a particular person in this thread told me I was "imagining things" when I said that the Zenith ZLF-181 and ZWL-183 were completely different machines, despite the fact that they look similar, I am now doing this little comparison of them side-by-side, since I just got a ZWL-183-93 yesterday (from eBay of course).

    Here they are both on a powered-up (the ZFL-181 is on the left and the ZWL-183 is on the right in all pictures here):


    I was told the keyboard was "the same." Don't they look a little different? YES! The layout is considerably different. They are not even remotely the same.

    Here they are both shut:


    They share the same case? Hmm... the ZWL-183 seems bigger, has the latches positioned differently AND a handle... once again completely different, although similar looking.

    Here are the ports at the back:


    Different once again.

    Now lets compare the floppy drive design:


    Completely different parts yet again. You see, the pop-up feature is actually a part of the disk-loading mechanism on the older ZFL-181 (the drives have to be shut to work), where it is just a standard 3.5" drive in a pop-up bay on the newer ZFL-183.

    I don't feel like taking them back apart right now, but the insides are 100% different. The way they come apart is completely different as well.

    Now the LCD panel is definitely the same, and the modem is too, but everything else is different. Hell, they even use a different battery pack (the one on the ZWL is much larger than the older ZFL's). Now my ZWL is missing the battery, but the compartment is way, way bigger than the one on the ZFL, so I know it used a bigger pack.

    Hope this clears things up. I had been wanting to do this comparison for a while now, so I'm glad I could finally do it. There will be another thread outlining how I got the ZWL-183-93 running also.

    Looks like I'm not "imagining things" after all.