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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Browser for Windows 3.11

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    Browser for Windows 3.11

    OK, what's the "best" browser for WFW 3.11? I tried IE 5.01 and NS 4.07. I don't think I found a single site that rendered properly.

    Any opinions?


    I really haven't tried to get my 486 in net yet, but have you tried early versions of Mozilla?
    Current systems owned by me:
    Vintage:IBM PC/XT submodel 087 ( 1983 ), [Kon]tiki-100 rev. C (1983), Compaq Portable I ( 1984 ), IBM PC/XT submodel 078 ( 1985 ), IBM PC/XT286 ( ~1986 ), 3x Nintendo Entertainement Systems ( 1987 ).
    Obsolete:Commodore A500 ( ~1990 ), IBM PS/2 model 70/386 type 8570-161 ( 1991 ), Atari Lynx II ( ~1992 ), Generic Intel 486SX PC ( ~1993 ), AT/T Globalyst Pentium w/FDIV bug MB ( 1994 ), Compaq 486DX4 laptop ( ~1995 ).


      4.08 was the end of the line for Win3.1. Guess you could try 4.08 instead of 4.07. Unlikely much will improve.


        There is also Opera 3.62, but someone wrote it is horrible on Windows 3.11. YMMV, it may be worth checking out.

        Elsewhere the OffByOne web browser was mentioned, but it seems not available in a 16 bit version?

        Anyway, doesn't Windows for Workgroups run 32-bit code as well? I seem to remember it is different than the regular Windows 3.1 in this matter, or perhaps I've been dreaming. Would installing Win32s allow any newer browser (i.e. Firefoxes) to run?
        Last edited by carlsson; January 20, 2009, 08:53 AM.
        Anders Carlsson


          That's true. You could install win32s addon and try later 32 bit version of Netscape.


            I checked the list of compatible software for win32s. It didn't list netscape but I'll try it. IE 5.5 is listed as not working.

            I do have win32s installed. Gotta have my freecell.


              IE 5 works ok if the cpu can handle the load under Win 3.1 (I tried it on a 386 and it was too slow).

              Netscape tends to just blow up when in use for some reason.
              What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
              Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
              Boxed apps and games for the above systems
              Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems


                Years ago I used to use "Arachne" under dos, a few boxes to fill in, so not totally plug & play but it was good & it should work with 3.11, There was also the "Mosaic" browser, but I never got to use that. (perhaps I should have!).
                "Don't it always seem to go
                That you don't know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone" (BANG )


                  I think the problem is that many web sites today have a CSS driven layout, DOM and JS, even Flash which certainly is a big problem on 16-bit Windows if the Flash Player is too outdated. What you would want is a modern browser which can handle all the CSS and other stuff, but compiled to run on Windows 3.x. Even with browsers you can compile yourself, I suppose it isn't quite that easy to get a working 16-bit binary.
                  Anders Carlsson


                    carlsson nailed it. Its the java and flash thats the killer. Flash you can do without, any website that relies on it isn't worth going to anyway, but you're going to need at least CSS and java for a "normal" experience. The older browsers like Netscape 1.0, Cello, etc. won't do it.

                    nige the hippy's suggestion of Arachne is perhaps not so bad. I see it it still out there and has a following. I regularly use a minimal browser called DILLO. It only does text and pictures, but it also doesn't choke on anything. Apparently there is a version for Windows but it is said to be somewhat unstable. It still might be worth a try.
                    WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.


                      Dillo is great fun! In a masochistic kind of way


                        I'm sure there are tens of thousands of web developers out there who think "any user who is stuck with old Windows on a 486 isn't worth bothering about anyway". Actually many may consider people stuck with MSIE 6.0 on Windows 98 out of their target group, but in that case at least there are some decent alternatives.

                        Occasionally I'm using the Links browser in text mode. It actually handles most sites just fine, I can even place bids on eBay although I'd hesitate to go through PayPal without a full-fledged, graphical browser. Actually the Vintage Computer Forum is one of few web sites I'd rather not surf with a text only browser. For some reason I find vBulletin based forums a bit too complex for text browsing. On the other hand phpBB based ones are very easy to traverse.
                        Anders Carlsson


                          Originally posted by chuckcmagee View Post
                          Dillo is great fun! In a masochistic kind of way
                          Not to start an arument here but whats masochistic about it? I use it for browsing sites with heavy java script, like media sites. The reason I do this is so that I don't have to suffer! All I want to do is read the d*** story, and not have to wait for all kinds of "clever" (by half) coding to finish. It certainly makes my life easier. Yes Firefox can do that, just not very well in my experience.
                          WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.


                            Originally posted by nige the hippy View Post
                            ......There was also the "Mosaic" browser, but I never got to use that. (perhaps I should have!).
                            Mosaic did not conform to what eventually became html 2, H1 reversed with H5 for example.

                            It's more than I would be willing to tackle, but I think the trick would be to write a CSS/html 4 addon to the browser of choice, like Netscape 3.
                            @ BillDeg:
                            Twitter: @billdeg
                            Youtube: @billdeg
                            Unauthorized Bio


                              When you get tired of fussing with all that pretty crap, there's always Lynx.

                              Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.

                              Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.