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.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

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.

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.

"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.

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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Connecting a Mac 512Ke to a non-Apple printer

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    Connecting a Mac 512Ke to a non-Apple printer

    I just acquired a Mac 512Ke, and would like to connect it to the printer on my workbench. But my workbench printer is an IBM/Lexmark, and I forgot that old Macs used a different connection and typlically Apple ImageWriter printers. Is there any way to connect a non-Apple printer to a 68k Mac?

    Early Macintosh system software only supports the ImageWriter out of the box, so you need the real deal or an emulator. You would need something like the Orange Micro Grappler 9-pin and a properly wired adapter (DB-9 to MiniDIN 8 since the Grappler was made for later Macs). It provides a serial-to-parallel adapter and it converts ImageWriter escape sequences to Epson FX compatible ones on the fly.


      There were also 3rd party drivers for PC printers (Epson, Oki, IBM, HP, etc.) They usually came bundled with a serial-to-parallel cable (or could be used via SCSI or Serial if the printer supported it.) I searched on Macintosh Garden but couldn't find it. I have a couple software packages at home, but I don't recall what they're called. I'd have to hunt around for it.


        Unfortunately, the software I have only supports the following:

        Epson FX
        Epson LQ
        NEC Pinwriter
        HP ThinkJet
        Diconix 150 Plus
        Toshiba P351

        I'm fairly certain I have a second set of software that supports additional printers, but it'll take me more time to go through my stuff and find it.


          The name of one of the driver packs with the cable is "PowerPrint" by GDT Softworks. Thing is it requires a Mac Plus with 2MB of RAM and System 6. A 512ke is much more limited in what it can run.


            Oh, njroadfan is correct. That was the one I was referring to.

            However, I found my second disk, but no cable. It's called "Granny Smith Connection Parallel Print Disk" by Zap Logic Corporation. It's a 400K disk and I think pre-System 6 system files. It has drivers (I think) for:

            Apple DMP
            Apple ImageWriter
            Star PowerType
            Epson MX-100
            Epson FX-80
            Citoh F10
            Brother HR
            Comrex CR
            IBM Quiet
            IBM Wheel
            Juki 6300
            Olympio RO
            Epson RX-80
            Epson RX-100
            Epson MX-80
            Epson FX-100
            Star Gemini

            Generally speaking, if you're trying to print to any non-Apple laser printer, so long as it supports PostScript, you can print to it using a generic PostScript driver. However, it's unlikely the printer supports AppleTalk (otherwise it'd also likely have drivers) so you'll also have the issue of getting your Mac onto a TCP/IP network, which will require a network bridge that supports MacIP.