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.
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  • 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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Why the bleep is eBay so expensive??

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  • VileR
    Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
    Buy-it-now prices have no meaning. Filter for sold items instead. Also tell that anyone who refers to ebay prices. Just *listing* e.g. a C64 for $2000 doesn't make it worth that much.
    Exactly -- and even then, keep in mind that what you see may be more than the amount actually paid.
    Example: a seller listed an item for $250, but included the option to "make an offer". I offered $150, the seller accepted, and that's what I paid. But when filtering for sold/completed items, eBay showed that listing as if it sold for $250.

    I can only agree with SomeGuy's observation that eBay is intentionally designed to encourage price inflation.

    Leave a comment:

  • SomeGuy
    I'd love to hear an actual seller's take on it, but I doubt they want to give away their secrets.

    My observation is that eBay is intentionally designed to encourage price inflation.

    I suspect items like the ones above are intentionally given absurd prices so when the same seller posts a similar item for 1/4 of the price (which is still 4 times what it should be worth) people won't feel as bad about buying it, increasing the probability of sale.

    But then you ocasionally actually get a few people with more money than brains that actually buy stuff at absurd prices. For example, this recent auction for a beat up Laser 128ex plus a compact XT that sold for 645.55 plus shipping:

    That is at least 2 or 3 times the maximum real value.

    You may have also noticed that many buy-it-now items have BS "sale" prices. Perhaps a 40 dollar item is listed at $100 but for the next 7 days it is on "sale" for the low, low price of only $59.99.

    The latest fad seems to be "seller offers". You browse a 40 dollar item listed at $100 and a few hours later your get an eBay message saying the seller is personally offering to sell it to you for the bargain-basement price of $80.

    Then there is the entire eBay monoculture. Face it, most people would rather spend a few more bucks buying through a popular site they know rather than searching for the seller's obscure little web store with a weird name like aliforigblargcee.cerm, navigating yet another poorly randomly designed site, and risking stolen credit card information. (And people like me won't touch Facefook with a 1000 foot pole)

    On top of all that, sometimes sellers probably have to ask absurd amounts just to make a single buck. Lately I've seen plenty ~$10 items listed for ~$10 with $50 shipping because apparently that is how much it actually costs to ship from wherever they are. Then there is tax and eBay fees.

    I don't even want to think about general inflation. Prices were already out of the solar system on some things, and that was before covid hit.

    Personally, I filter my search results so I don't even see items that are priced more than $500.

    Leave a comment:

  • Timo W.
    Buy-it-now prices have no meaning. Filter for sold items instead. Also tell that anyone who refers to ebay prices. Just *listing* e.g. a C64 for $2000 doesn't make it worth that much.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bill-kun
    started a topic Why the bleep is eBay so expensive??

    Why the bleep is eBay so expensive??

    I decided this is better to be in the hardware forum than the auction forum. I donít think Iím succeeding at not wanting to rant.

    I appreciate people who prevent vintage-out-of-production hardware from being destroyed, but I donít see the asking prices on eBay being justified.

    The secondary fan group that Computer Reset set up on Facebook (Computer Reset Buy and Sell) even explicitly states that the prices people ask for in that group be ďwell below eBay.Ē Thatís a direct quote!

    Some examples:

    IBM 5170 AT 286 PC Computer + EGA monitor AdLib XTIDE mechanical clicky keyboard
    $1500 OBO

    AST 286 desktop computer with hard drive - RARE - Vintage Hardware - AS IS
    $585+$85 shipping

    $300+$101 shipping

    $400+$24 shipping