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
  • 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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Tandy 2500 SX/20 CF-IDE Adapter | Lowercase 'j' at boot

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    Tandy 2500 SX/20 CF-IDE Adapter | Lowercase 'j' at boot

    I've got a Tandy 2500 SX/20 I've been working on and I'm having some issues getting a compact flash adapter working.

    Originally I tried a 2GB card out of a Tandy 1000 TL/2 I just finished working on and it was nothing but problems, so I bought a new 64mb SanDisk card and tried that. The BIOS picks up the CF card no problem both on automatic and manual mode if I give it the correct geometry. I'm able to boot from a DOS disk and read/write files to the CF card problem. Both FDISK/FORMAT have no problems with the card and DOS 5/6 install with no problems reported. When I try to boot from the card though it doesn't give an error but just displays a lowercase 'j' character on the screen and I have no idea what to make of that.

    Searching around for posts about the 2500 shows that most (everyone?) has had problems with it using CF cards but usually they can't get them working at all, I seem to be the only one that has it reading/writing/installing. Searching around for boot failures with just the letter 'j' on screen returns more results than expected, mostly on newer hardware though which makes me think it's some sort of error code that either isn't understood or isn't displayed/rendered correctly. Basically I'm wondering if anybody's ever seen anything like the 'j' before and knows what it could indicate since it seems common enough.



    I don't own any Tandy's but i've seen it before on other computers, I think it's basically an incompatibility with the Bios and CF card, ie: the CF has a different drive configuration to what the Bios is expecting to see, Have you thought about using the XTIDE Universal Bios.


      I had similar issues when I set one up in a Pentium machine. Someone suggested executing an FDISK /MBR command to fix the master boot record. That worked for me.


        Originally posted by lafos View Post
        Someone suggested executing an FDISK /MBR command to fix the master boot record.
        Absolutely Fantastic, that worked like a charm. I feel kinda dumb now but my knowledge with FDISK was limited to say the least. Thanks!


          Originally posted by lafos View Post
          I had similar issues when I set one up in a Pentium machine. Someone suggested executing an FDISK /MBR command to fix the master boot record. That worked for me.
          Thanks! That was it. I feel kinda silly it was that simple, but I'm not that great with FDISK. Learn something new every day!


            Thanks! FDISK /MBR worked like a charm!