Forum 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.

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.

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Stay close to the original topic being discussed
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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.
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"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:
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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.

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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Epson Actionnote 500C Battery Works, AC Does Not

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    Epson Actionnote 500C Battery Works, AC Does Not

    Originally posted about this laptop here:

    I ordered an AC adapter with the proper DC output and sufficient current and I'm waiting for it to come in. In the meantime, I discovered that my work laptop's AC adapter and battery were the proper voltages. This laptop wants 15.5VDC and 1.8A, my work laptop's AC is 15.6VDC and 7.05A so the voltage is pretty damn close to perfect and I've got more than enough current to work with.

    I attempted to attach the AC adapter with some jumper wires. Before attaching, I verified with a meter that I was reading +15.6VDC at the jumper leads, positive to negative. Then I removed the power cable from the outlet, and attached the jumpers per the pinout in the Actionnote 500C manual I found online:


    I plugged the power supply in and tried turning the laptop on. The system would not power on, and I'm not sure why.

    The system DID finally boot when I took the battery from my work laptop and connected that to this laptop's battery terminals with jumper wires. The laptop has a DC-DC power board that's separate from the motherboard, and I can't see any obvious damage on it. Something tells me that the pinout in the manual is not entirely correct, but I couldn't verify that. The pin labeled "ground" in the diagram seems to actually be ground (it's tied to the "frame ground") but the board is so cluttered and small that I can't really trace out the pin that is supposedly +15.5VDC.

    Anyone have any other suggestions for things I can try or things I potentially missed?
    -Damien C.

    Nevermind, problem solved!

    The pinout in the manual is wrong, or is at least oriented wrong. Looking at it from the side, what they have labeled as "pin 3" is actually ground, and "pin 1" is 15.5V. No clue where this labeling came from.
    -Damien C.


      I'm not fully sure whether that picture shows the pin-out on the notebook or of the adapter's power plug. Depending on that, pin 1 and 2 would be on the opposite side.

      It's also possible that the notebook simply will not turn on without a battery connected.

      With the AC adapter connected, did you check if +5V and +12V are generated by the internal DC-DC board?

      Okay, so first assumption was apparently the case.