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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Tarbell Cassette I/F

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    Tarbell Cassette I/F

    I have an S100 Tarbell Cassette bd (given to me by Don in Compton/Carson circa 1976) and would like to test I/O, but I can't seem to find any of the media I had. Does anyone have any Tarbell cassettes they will part with for a trade or $?

    Doesn't matter if it's Chess or whatever-just need a reliable tape to test read.


    I have a tarbell cassette board but it's in a box somewhere, but I do have some 20 or so tapes made with it (wayyy back when). I'm getting the urge to convert them to mp3 files on my pc; then I could record them back to tape and send to you. I need to get a cassette tape deck this weekend from goodwill first though.

    Plus, I'm just down the road from you, so shipping will be cheap. Or even easier, I could email you the mp3 files and you could record them to cassettes yourself.

    Edit: also, I totally forgot I have a nice panasonic cassette recorder/player that I got specifically to do this... So this weekend I'll see if I can get some tapes converted to mp3.


      Thank You for the offer!

      I'll look forward to hearing what you come up with--cassettes are so last century, aren't they? :}



        Well I got the cassettes out and have been fiddling with recording off them, not done yet. I found one cassette with some basic programs on it for an Imsai 8080 (life, star trek, etc), and a piece of paper with a track listing, so I can tell which program is which! Basic programs will be pretty useful as a test, as even if it won't run on the basic you have on your s100 machine, it should still be readable as ascii.

        I can get the sounds into my pc, and am experimenting with amplifying the signal via the audacity sound editor program (it's pretty weak off the cassette player), seems to work pretty well. I should have something for you tomorrow night (pacific US time).

        I'll actually not save them in mp3 (lossy) format, but in some lossless format. Since audacity runs on windows, mac, and linux, I'll save the files in FLAC; I know audacity can write and read that on all platforms. Then you can for sure use audacity to play back the audio to your computer's speaker out and plug a cable from there to a cassette tape recorder and recreate the cassette tape.

        It's been pretty fun listening to the sounds, takes me back to the old days. I only used tapes for a little while, but the sounds are similar to a slow modem. I can hear bits in my headphone!

        Last edited by Soupwizard; July 27, 2015, 12:02 AM.


          Ok, I've done one side of one tape, let me know how it works for you. I've amplified the original recorded sound on my pc by 15db as the original was fairly quiet.

          Link to google folder with audio file and jpb of contents sheet:

          Btw, tonight I realized you wouldn't even need to record this back on a cassette - you could play it straight from your pc into the tarbell cassette board.