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.
  • 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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5150/5160 IO "attachment"

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    5150/5160 IO "attachment"

    Does anyone know what these port expanders are called? I can't seem to find one on eBay separate from a whole computer:
    Once upon a time, the internet sucked because it came through the phone. Now the phone sucks because it comes through the internet.

    Are they an IBM stock item or a third-party addon?

    Personally, I'd call them a "bracket".
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


      I've been curious about that thing for a long time as well, never seen one in person


        I've seen one and they were available with the AST Six Pack Plus and other type 3rd party add on cards that would provide you with additional parallel, serial, and game ports. Not an issue if you have an XT, but you couldn't fit all that into an PC, if you were okay with the cable and connector just hanging out the back.
        Daniel P. Cayea - The Lyon Mountain Company - Plattsburgh, New York 12901
        Vintage Equipment: IBM 5150 * IBM 5161 * ThinkPad 770ED
        Modern Equipment: MacBook Pro 13 * Alienware M15R3


          It's a Quadram Quadboard I/O bracket:

          You would add one of those to a 5150 due to the limited slots/backplates available. Not as much of a need for it on a 5160, but obviously some people added them. They might have been available for other I/O expansion cards too.

          Off hand, I don't see they had any special name for the bracket component.

          I doubt you would find one on its own unless someone parted out a machine or had a new-in-box Quadboard.


            As SomeGuy said, comes with the QuadRAM expansions. I have one in an early 5150 with a black slot cover on the back (so from ~82/83), and has that exact same attachment.
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              I've got a very old 256K Quadboard that I bought for my 64K 5150. It came with slot brackets for the additional ports. No "hanger bracket". Must have been for a very narrow product range.
              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                I don't suggest you bother getting one. I have one, and it blocks some card's ports which I want to use. So I let it hang out anyway. True I could move it over to where the power supply is. But then that leads to the second negative, is it may warp or require bending the case to fit. I don't know, but the system I have came this way, so it's just a guess. I don't want to accidentally warp the metal frame any further.