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.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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My Gateway 2000 P5-120 is stuck at 90MHz. What setting fixes it?

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    My Gateway 2000 P5-120 is stuck at 90MHz. What setting fixes it?

    Hi guys,

    I found a Gateway 2000 P5-120 fulltower that looks just like the one pictured below. It was manufactured in Feb 1996. The system works great and all, but the CPU speed is reported at only 90MHz, not the 120MHz we want. I checked under the hood and the CPU is indeed a real Pentium 120.

    The motherboard has several dip switches to control settings instead of jumpers. I saw a row for CPU speed and the only options are 75, 90, and 100. This is the original motherboard for the system because it has a sticker with the same exact date as on the back of the PC tower, being Feb 29, 1996. Does anyone have a manual handy, or has a Gateway like this that has the switches set correctly so I can find out what the right settings are please?

    Thank you very much for any answers.


    Which motherboard is in it? Gateway used a couple of different boards at that time.

    You may want to get a speed testing tool. 90MHz might be the correct setting. The 90 MHz Pentium has a 1.5 multiplier so the bus speed is 60 MHz. The 120 MHz Pentium has multiplier of 2 which means the correct bus speed is 60 MHz. Yeah, it means the motherboard design did not get new labels when the new processors were made.


      According to this Vogons thread:

      This is the motherboard it uses:

      It should support non-MMX Pentiums up to 166 MHz.

      If you can find one of the now rare Evergreen Spectra upgrades, you can get the machine up to 333/400 MHz AMD K6/2. I had one back in the day, and it was nice. The 66 MHz FSB is limiting though, it won't perform the same as a motherboard with a native 100 MHz bus.


        I hang out with my bff on Wednesdays, so I'll try to remember to check what motherboard it has when I'm at his place.


          Depending upon how old the BIOS is, it might not be able to report speeds faster than 90MHz. I've seen this with some laptops I worked on way back then. A BIOS update sometimes solved the issue, but a few motherboards just couldn't handle the faster CPU's even with an updated BIOS. Rare, but it did happen. AMD K6 processors used tricks with the multiplier table Intel used for the Pentiums in the socket 7 motherboards and used the 3x or 4x (haven't checked - too many years ago) as a 6x multiplier for their CPU's. So even if the mobo didn't support 6x you could kick it up a notch. Assuming the K6 played nice with the BIOS and mobo.
          Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts


            Depending upon how old the BIOS is, it might not be able to report speeds faster than 90MHz
            Unlikely, since that is not a custom-built PC but one actually sold as a P5-120 by Gateway 2000.

            Of course, the mainboard may no longer be the original one. Post a picture of it, please.


              Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
              Of course, the mainboard may no longer be the original one. Post a picture of it, please.
              That's kind of what I was suspicious about. Could be that the original MoBo failed and someone dropped in something close that only supported up to 90MHz.