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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    Maybe available

    I think this is on the way to the dumpster... I'm not interested in it, but could be induced to rescue it if someone desperately needs one.

    I desperately need one Though I'm not willing to pay for the shipping across that blasted Atlantic.

    You will however have absolutely no problem in finding a taker near you.
    Looking for: anything from SGI or DEC/digital
    Pictures of my collection:


      GULP! on it's way to the dumpster!!!!!!


      ...and actually the shipping across the atlantic isn't as desparate as it first appears.

      But you won't have any problems getting rid of either nearer to you!

      If they do end up in the dumpster, let me know where it is & I'll fly over there to fish them out!
      "Don't it always seem to go
      That you don't know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone" (BANG )


        Are you joking? If you want to sell it, please let me know. I would drive out to you and pick it up.

        Last edited by kyeakel; November 19, 2009, 06:47 AM. Reason: added info
        Looking for: Altair 8800, Ithaca Intersystems boards, software, manuals.


          Yes: take it from me, as somebody who accidentally discarded a full populated Cromemco Z2, and then a System 3 ... it is something "the dumper" will regret

          again, and again and again.

          Someone (US bound) please go and save this hardware immediately.


            so has anyone stepped up and said "I'll take it"? If not, allow me to do so!! Please pull it to one side and let us talk turkey!

            steve shumaker


              on the faint chance that no one else has actually spoken, contact info would help:


              drop me a note. yes I could come get it.

              steve shumaker


                Sent Private Message


                  Originally posted by matu View Post
                  I think this is on the way to the dumpster... I'm not interested in it, but could be induced to rescue it if someone desperately needs one.

                  I would drive there myself in the dead of night for that one system. If no one gets it, please consider me.


                    Originally posted by matu View Post
                    I think this is on the way to the dumpster... I'm not interested in it, but could be induced to rescue it if someone desperately needs one.


                    I'm located in Pittsburgh and would like to rescue this machine. I can arrange pickup at their earliest convenience.

                    Dan Roganti
                    my corner of cyberspace
                    Vintage Computer Federation


                      I posted the listing on CCTALK and someone forwarded it to Pat Finnegan at Purdue. He's on it...
                      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                        Safe, but not as available as at first thought...

                        Sorry to disappoint so many people who were offering to drive great distances to retrieve this piece of hardware... I now understand the details of how equipment is disposed of. I'll describe it carefully because it explains one way that hardware can leave an academic institute and end up in your garage.

                        The primary issue is ownership - in this case the equipment is owned by the Physics
                        Department, so it is not so easy to dispose of. In fact, the only way to dispose of it is
                        to either transfer it to another department or to send it to University Surplus. They establish a price and sell it, keeping some of the profit and transferring the rest back to the Physics Department. There are no other legal ways to get rid of this equipment.
                        It is even more difficult to get rid of equipment purchased on a government grant since
                        it technically belongs to the US government, not the university. That's why we still have our card puncher...

                        Anyway, one scenario would be to find a buyer, and work with the University Surplus to
                        establish how to pay for it and ensure that any profit makes its way back to the Physics Department.

                        However the simplest thing for me would be to keep it in the Physics Department and start my own vintage computer collection... That's not what I had originally intended but looks more attractive than sending it to University Surplus without a guarantee that it won't be ground up and sold for its gold content. I have no time to devote to this in the foreseeable future, but the stuff isn't going anywhere now.

                        So, the bottom line is this hardware is safe and may one day be restored to a working condition but it is not quite as available as it first appeared. However, I will be happy to share anything I learn about it.


                          So here would be my 3 phase plan to liberate this hardware based on the Physics departments ownership

                          a) Move the hardware into a cupboard that nobody inspects very often ... out of sight is out of mind

                          b) Slowly but surely take the entire computers home, for restoration and cleaning purposes. This requires strength, some basis disassembly skills and the sure knowledge that a man smiling, carrying bits of old computer equipment to the trunk of his car on a weekend is clearly harmless

                          c) At home restore and clean the equipment, enjoy it, and if ever required "bring it back" to the original Physics department faculty.

                          N.B: probably your employer would not want you to tinker about with this equipment in work time, so surely represents the most responsible course of action.


                            Close, but not quite the correct way to proceed. There is red tape to deal with but since
                            nobody here cares about this hardware, there is no problem getting the right people to sign off on it.

                            a) The hardware has been moved to my lab in the physics building so it isn't going anywhere. At some point, maybe next week, I can take pictures of it in more detail - it may not be quite what you think. It's sort of the body of a Chromemco with the head of an AMSAI stitched together a la Frankenstein. I'm still waiting to hear from the business office as to who originally purchased it and what it was used for.

                            b) I'd prefer to keep the computer in my lab rather than take it home. My marriage is much more important than any S-100 bus.

                            c) I've borrowed "junk" equipment before and there is a form to fill out if it is to leave the department on a temporary (ie, indefinite) basis. There are property numbers on this equipment so it is on file and someone is still accountable for it. The alternative would be to have it sent to university surplus with an arrangement that it would be bought (at whatever price can be agreed on, like $10) and not recycled. As I said before, that is really the only legitimate way to get complete ownership. But given that the people who work at university surplus don't have the time or interest to find a buyer, any price more than what they get for it by weight alone would work.


                              Another approach that works for relieving any responsibility for accounting for equipment is the "destroyed in test" or an equivalent process. Basically the process for items which have been destroyed or otherwise rendered unusable and unrepairable through use. Sometimes an inspection is required, but often it is not. A one-off undocumented piece of equipment with no residual value should be suited for this process. Turning in any recoverable equipment tags is usually liked, but not necessary (since they can be destroyed along with the host hardware), and the equipment can be written off the books.

                              Just another item you may consider.

                              Thanks for keeping this from going to materials recovery, BTW.
                              sigpic Mark, W8BIT