Forum Rules and Etiquette

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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
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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.
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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:
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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.
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Problem with Zenith SupersPort 286

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    Problem with Zenith SupersPort 286

    [edit] Oops...posted this to the wrong forum. Should be in Handhelds/Portables.

    I got this Zenith SupersPort 286 off eBay a few weeks ago, and after a new internal battery and BIOS setup, it was working fine. I was installing an app (Band in a Box) that involved unzipping and copying lots of files from a floppy disk to the hard drive, and it stopped mid-installation. I turned it off, and now when I turn it on, it does not boot nor can I get to the BIOS setup screen.

    When I turn it on, hereís what happens:

    -Screen lights up, but I see no characters
    -Caps/Num/Pad/Scroll lock lights flash twice
    -Power light flashes twice
    -Hard drive light flashes once
    -Hard drive spins (noisy)

    I tried disconnecting the hard and floppy drives, both singly and together, but nothing changed. I did a quick inspection of the power supply and didnít see any capacitor leaks, but I didnít take things apart to get a closer look. It has what appears to be the original Conner CP-3023 20 Mb hard drive and PC DOS 6.3. No battery, but the power adapter is good.

    Any suggestions on next steps? For some reason, Iím drawn to these old Zenith laptops. I have a Z181 that works great, but I havenít had much luck with the few 286s Iíve tried to keep running.


    Last edited by Marty C; March 8, 2018, 03:03 PM. Reason: Wrong forum

    Have you tried booting from a floppy?
    PM me if you're looking for 3Ĺ" or 5ľ" floppy disks. EMail ď Ē For everything else, Take Another Step


      Originally posted by Stone View Post
      Have you tried booting from a floppy?
      Yes, I should have mentioned I've tried booting from a DOS 3.3 floppy. When I insert the floppy, I hear a whirring sound for less than a second (is this the head moving into position?), but the lights on the drive and the keyboard don't come on, and I can't get it to boot.


        If it has memory sticks, try removing and inserting them a few times.
        PCjr, DTK PC-XT Turbo, 386DX 33, 486 laptop, Pentium 120, Pentium III 500, various old laptops, Commodore Colt, all working. I also have a 286 that I need to see if I can repair.


          Originally posted by KenEG View Post
          If it has memory sticks, try removing and inserting them a few times.
          I don't have the computer opened up at the moment, but I think the memory (640K) is soldered to the mother board. But, I'll check when I open it up again.

          If the screen is lighting up and power is getting to the hard and floppy drives, can I assume that the power supply section of the computer is ok?




            I know it is very old post but I have the same problem with my Zenith Zupersport 286.

            Marty C did you solve this problem?



              A common failure in these machines is the electroluminescent sheet used for the backlight. Is there a noticeable hum that gets loud when you adjust the backlight brightness slider? If you look at the screen with a flashlight, are there any characters there?
              Toshiba T1000 w/ modem & memory upgrade
              Compaq Deskpro 4/25iS (Win3.1)
              Apple //e

              wanted: dx2odp66 or similar (169 pin overdrive chip)


                Hi thenzero

                There is a hum/buzz when adjusting brightness but I don't think this is the issue. I will double check anyway.

                I also don't hear any beep from bios nor FDD starts any operation.

                Will need to find some working one, and will play with it. I just invest too much time cleaning it up without first fix it