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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5150 and 5160 problems

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    Hi guys,

    Just an update for those who might be interested - thanks to Ray's generous help with the Landmark ROM I was able to get it booted - it seems I had quite a few bad RAM chips on the motherboard (plus the original problem of a short due to a bad tantalum cap on my 384k RAM expansion card) - so now I am just sorting through what RAM chips I have lying around to get a full 256k of good ones again. I have a toasted xt clone board with a few so I might have enough. Needless to say I'm a happy chap!

    Thanks again to all who helped / contributed!



      Originally posted by bobba84 View Post
      it seems I had quite a few bad RAM chips on the motherboard
      Yes, 10 bad RAM chips is "quite a few".

      I have added your faulty motherboard to the list at [here].


        Originally posted by modem7 View Post
        Yes, 10 bad RAM chips is "quite a few".

        I have added your faulty motherboard to the list at [here].


          Hi guys,

          Another update - the 5160 is going well now! But I have another strange problem with the 5150!

          It boots up okay now, but the floppy drive goes mental!

          This video will explain it... Does anyone know what on earth it happening?

          I've tried a different floppy drive and another cable. Should I pull the floppy controller out of the 5160 and try that?



            Hi guys!

            An update on the 5150 (hopefully this post works, I've had trouble posting lately!)

            It boots fine, but the floppy drive goes insane! I can only show you what I mean:


            I have tried two drives and two cables. Do you think the controller is stuffed? I could pull the floppy controller out of the 5160 but I kinda don't want to unless there are no other suggestions.

            Thanks in advance


              Does that drive have the terminator pack installed? I couldn't tell from your vid.
              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                I think so. I tried another drive which I know works, but it acts the same. I'll have to try another floppy controller.


                  Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                  Does that drive have the terminator pack installed? I couldn't tell from your vid.
                  I'm with Chuck here. I replied to your other thread HERE
                  Last edited by ibmapc; July 26, 2014, 08:37 PM.


                    Thanks guys I'll try and chase one up and see what happens!