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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Trident TVGA8900D Color Issue

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    Trident TVGA8900D Color Issue

    Ive been experianceing some strange issues with an old system I'm building. Sometimes on poweron
    the display will be in black and white, and sometimes it will be in color. Sometimes a soft reset will
    get it in color, sometimes a hard reboot, sometimes re-attaching the cable does it.

    The above post mentioned a prolbem with old VGA vards and newer monitors, but this cards from '94
    (not very old in the ISA dept, IIRC) and the monitor is a Sun 21" CRT. Not sure of the age, but i can't
    see it as being any older then 2000 or so. The motherboard has an Opti chipset and appears to be a downgraded VLB board with a Amd 486dx2 and 4MB of memory. I did have a slight issue with grounding out
    (case its in uses non-standard height standoffs) and i managed to isolate it.

    Could this be the same problem as above? I really hope not; my skill at soldering something up as mentioned in the post is something i'm too terrified to attempt
    Currently Looking for Samsung Sens Pro Laptop's (500, 520,800,820) and accessories, specifically a docking station.

    This behaviour is related to the DDC pin (new VGA) vs old VGA has a black&white monitor identification pin.
    See also


      I am guessing its related to your monitor, SUN was never known for industry standard monitors, they were TYPICALLY (but not always) fixed frequency, oddball sync monitors. I know converters/cables existed to make them work with standard VGA PCs, but with mixed results, they were really best suited to SUN or SGI computers.

      It really shouldn't be too hard to come up with a Cheap or Free PC CRT off craigslist or local estate/garage/yard sales or the like.
      My Vintage computer/blog site
      Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.


        You could '', it's worked for me in the past when faced with this problem:


          You will need to make your monitor look like the old VGA monitor your Trident card is expecting, by shorting the right combination of pins 11,12,15 to ground. See the thread references by z80eu above. Note also there is a reference to a Trident-specific software utlity "smonitor" - I haven't tried that though.

          This is a very common problem for people trying to connect later VGA or SVGA monitors to 68k Macs which also have graphics cards that expect hard-wired monitor ID signals on the VGA cable.


            The issue is most likely a speed sensitive video BIOS. You can read about the two different monitor detection methods in the vogons link.

            If old games have problems with fast CPUs, why shouldn't video BIOSes have them too?