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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3D-printed solution for cracked/broken floppy latches

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    3D-printed solution for cracked/broken floppy latches

    I ran into what appears to be a fairly common problem with the Texas Peripherals internal floppies in my Model III, which is that the bracket cracked that holds the little pins that keep the front door latch connected to the internal arm that clamps the disk. The white plastic pins would no longer stay put. Another post suggested epoxy, JB Weld, wire wrapping, etc., as a means of fixing it. I made a few too many attempts with the epoxy before arriving at the conclusion that it was never going to hold.

    In the end I simply used Fusion 360 and a micrometer to model the original part and then 3D printed a replacement. This turns out to be a perfectly fine solution and appears to perform as well as the original part. If anybody else is in need of the model files for printing, or just needs a replacement or two printed and mailed directly, just PM me.

    I donít know if this piece of the door mechanism was identical in the other drives from Tandon or Shugart that Tandy sold, but Iíd be happy to try to model other parts if there were differences and someone can supply an original, or detailed measurements with a calipers as needed.

    Be sure to share it on thingiverse, so it can be found later. (Like in years...)

    And thanks! We need more of these parts released.



      I've made a substitute bracket for the TM100 pins from sheet brass and used a single long pin instead of the short 2 pins. Works very well.
      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


        Can we see pictures?
        Wanted: Any old clunky 286-P1 machine that has some kind of working battery or replaceable with off the shelf parts. Preferred: 10+lbs 386 machines.


          Here's a pic shot from below the floppy door where you can see the 3d printed part (printed in two halves and welded in the middle with acrylic cement, where there's no stress in operation, to avoid having to print overhangs). Original white pins are still used. The replacement part has closed holes for those pins rather than an open "claw" that is subject to widening over time as in the original design. I'll post to Thingiverse shortly.


          For better viewing, here's the part in Fusion360:


            Originally posted by twistedpneumatic View Post
            Can we see pictures?
            Yup! Without pictures, it didn't happen.


              For future reference: Published at


                For my brass workup or the OP 3D printing?
                Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                  The thing I always find broke is the darn posts that hold the circuit board on.


                    I machined one out of aluminum once. I don't have pictures though, other than the exterior of the drive when I sold it on eBay.
                    Be polite and I may let you live.