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.
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How to NOT clean your vintage IBM PC

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    How to NOT clean your vintage IBM PC

    Only for strong stomach...

    keynotes - 10:46, 12:11, 15:15, 18:14, 24:06
    IBM PC 5150(A): IBM PC 5150(B): IBM PC 5160 (64-256k): IBM PC 5160 (256-640k): IBM PC 5170 (099): IBM PC 5170 (319/339): IBM PC 5140: IBM PC 5162: IBM PC 5155: IBM PC Expansion Unit 5161:
    WANTED!: IBM 5175 monitor, IBM 5145 monitor, IBM PC/XT/AT rear screws, Intel INBOARD 386AT card, IBM 5140 keyboard, very early IBM PC (S/N: under 5000)
    My IBM PC hardware collection



      Wow! I've washed motherboards before. But even I wouldn't be stupid enough to do anything this crazy...


        OH ..

        well I watched the first 20secs and I had that sinking gut feeling..

        Ok then I fast forwarded to 10.30 and let it run.. YES the 10.46 shows this ID..T was dropped on his "learn" head at birth !!

        How could he snap front panel when he was handling everything with 'such' care.///

        The next highlight you point to about his choice of tools.. "sigh".. says one thing does another.

        at 16.04 if he has not damaged a piece of pcb thin track I would be VERY surprised.

        and at 18.14 on I had to pause video and get up, go to loo and throw up. THAT is the most idiotic thing I seen in a long while. Even worse than the reality females that loose clothing whilst getting out of a car door.

        Am I game to look at the rest of the video ?? mmm

        I got to 24.40 and just beyond.. BEAM me up Scotty has no transport skills like this guy.. PCB's that fly though the air... AMAZING !!!

        now compare 0.26 screen shot to the one at end near 20.40 as I have fixed it .. YEA RIGHT


          Holy cow, heat pump/air conditioning manufacturers warn you not to use a pressure washer to clean the condenser coils because it can damage them. So you should use that 3000 PSI washer on your vintage computer gear. FWIW, note the cheap nickel-plated screwdrivers used to disassemble the PC. Not even a real nutdriver to be seen.

          Some people shouldn't be allowed to own or handle tools.
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


            Pressure washer? I gotta see this one.

            I used to work with a guy that removed all the skin from his arm trying to wash a spot of dirt off.
            Be polite and I may let you live.



              Originally posted by KC9UDX View Post
              Pressure washer? I gotta see this one.

              I used to work with a guy that removed all the skin from his arm trying to wash a spot of dirt off.
              My dad told me once that he knew a guy who's friend was washing a boat with an industrial pressure washer, he tried to clean his boot with it, and ended up losing his foot... Not sure how true that story is, but it shows that pressure washers shouldn't be used by people who don't know what they're doing :P


                I don't doubt it. High pressure water is very good at cutting things, and, impregnating things through your skin. When a blast of water pulverizes something (boot? Sock?) and blasts it into your meat, they usually amputate.

                The waterjet industry is full of horror stories from people doing stupid things.
                Be polite and I may let you live.



                  I'll admit I've taken risks by putting boards in the dish washer and suing the drying mode after but pressure washing, especially outside is insane. When you aren't stripping parts you're ripping the covers off the EPROMS and letting the sun do the rest.
                  [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
                  [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

                  = Excellent space heater


                    Originally posted by NeXT View Post
                    ...taken risks by putting boards in the dish washer...
                    That's not too risky as long as you don't have any components that can be penetrated by water (i.e.---open relays, transformers, etc.). Used to do it all the time at a former job and never had any problems.

                    But the video above just shows stupidity...


                      Could a high-powered pressure wash like the one in the video shear passive components off the board?

                      The IBM PC has a relay on the mainboard for controlling a cassette deck motor, I am not sure how sealed it is.

                      Definitely a very careless cleaning, the video poster is lucky that the system posted after his "treatment"
                      My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog :


                        It could blast active components off too.

                        I thought he as much as admitted at the end that he killed the hard drive. I'm not going to go back and watch it again to make sure though.
                        Be polite and I may let you live.



                          This guy may have a YouTube channel, but he has no business being anywhere near a vintage machine.


                            I once saw the crew at a Sears Auto Center dismantle a guy's entire dashboard looking for the cause of a small arc they witnessed when installing the hot lead on the new battery he'd just purchased. Turned out to be caused by the dashboard clock.

                            On another occasion I saw a young man who was supposed to be putting new shocks on my car walk under the lift with a lit cutting torch. He was outraged when someone (me) shut off the acetylene valve. We had a "frank and meaningful exchange of our positions" on his skills as a mechanic.

                            I call it "brute force and ignorance" after a photo I once saw many years ago on a photo caption. Amazingly I was able to find it on the web. Look at the photo on the top of page 35.


                            Yep, they're out there, Folks. And nowhere as rare as we would like to think. :-0
                            "It's all bits on the bus, Cowboy! It's all bits on the bus!" -- Tom Beck, #1ESS Instructor, Southern Bell Opa Locka Training Center


                              Originally posted by T-R-A View Post
                              This guy may have a YouTube channel, but he has no business being anywhere near a vintage machine.
                              Do you think I should start a YouTube channel in opposition to this guy...? I could could call it BRICKING a modern computer

                              I would show taking a modern computer, putting it outside on ground, building a temporary wood frame around it. Grab two bags of quick set cement and pour around and over it. Then add water and wait for it to dry.

                              I could even go so far as pre-cable the unit so power, and monitor cables were connected outside concrete area, with wifi mouse and keyboard and then try powering it up.

                              MM could become an internet hit.. ????

                              BUT seriously its a shame this idiot is able to leave this video on, someone else with limited electronic/computer/tool skills could think this is ok and copy him.

                              Also DONT buy any vintage computers from eBay or like that have the words "Freshly pressure cleaned and ready to get working" !!
                              Last edited by inotarobot; October 16, 2016, 12:48 PM.