Forum 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.

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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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    I recently acquired, from multiple sources, two /10s (one empty chassis), a number of spare boards (probably enough to make the second /10 a complete machine), an FD1000, a WD800, and a couple DX10-related QIC tapes (in the standards-based CT60 format, though I believe the QIC in my WD800 uses the earlier non-standards-based format). At some point I may find the time to make them work, and will probably look to part with one of the chassis at that time. I would probably be interested in a SCSI host adapter if one were to be offered.
    Last edited by bear; May 18, 2021, 02:37 PM.


      Originally posted by Caldwelltech View Post
      Right now I have a working system I pulled from one of my clients. It's taking up room that I don't have. I would really like to find a new home for it. system consists of: 990 A13 chassis, 990/12 AU, 990/12 SMI, Cache 2MB, 4) CI403. It had a 990/SCSI and Mass Storage II,PRI,MS100,CT, but could switch out for TPBI and WD800, or FLEX controller with SCSI HD. Could add 10x board or remove CI403's. If anyone is interested let me know. I would want to go through it to make sure all the CI403 ports are working and test whatever HD option wanted to make sure everything is working correctly. Could add 924+ Terminal And Keyboards.
      I'll pm, but color me interested.


        Originally posted by Caldwelltech View Post
        Manuals that I have on hand right now: WD800/WD800A Mass Storage System - installation and operation, Field Maintenance. Model F 880 Magnetic Tape Transport Vol 1 Operation and maintenance. Model 990A13 Chassis Maintenance Manual General Description. Four-Channel Asynchronous Communications Interfaces (CI403/CI404) installation and operation. Model 990/10A Computer General Description. ROM Loaders User's Guide. Error reporting and Recovery Manual DX10 operating System Volume VI. DX10 3780/2780 Emulator Release 4 User's Guide. DX10 Online Diagnostics and System log Analysis Task User's Guide. DX10 Online Diagnostics Self-Study Guide for Operators. Model 810 Printer operating instructions. Video Display Terminal user's guide. Microgate 931 User's Guide. Model 924 Video display terminal User's Guide. Model 931 Video Display terminal general description. 928 to 931 Conversion Kit pamphlet. Model 830 and 835 Printers Technical Reference Manual, Operators Manual. TenX99 Reference Manual.
        More to come.
        I'm interested in getting the info out to folks, so any help would be appreciated.
        This is good news. I see some of these that aren't already on bitsavers going up there; are you're coordinating with him? I hope you run across the 990/10A and the A13 field maintenance and depot maintenance stuff, too. Btw, I've already scanned in the Ten-X 99 Reference Manual here: .

        Richard Norman in the UK has some 990 documentation at . Nice to see all these documents getting online, in addition to what's already on bitsavers and Dave Pitts' site, and I'll be happy to help any way I can to that end.


          Originally posted by bear View Post
          I recently acquired, from multiple sources, two /10s (one empty chassis), a number of spare boards (probably enough to make the second /10 a complete machine), an FD1000, a WD800, and a couple DX10-related QIC tapes (in the standards-based CT60 format, though I believe the QIC in my WD800 uses the earlier non-standards-based format). At some point I may find the time to make them work, and will probably look to part with one of the chassis at that time. I would probably be interested in a SCSI host adapter if one were to be offered.
          Cool, I have a /10 here, and now a 2M 10A system in a custom chassis with a SpectraLogic 46, Ten-X 99, KLE 7ch serial mux and a COMM board. These boards need troubleshooting, but hopefully no insurmountable issues. Also have a number of spare boards: memory, EIA, CI402, 911VDT, COMM and so on. And I have DS10 and DS50 controllers, and some DS10 cartridges, but no drives. I do have a Fujitsu M2322 and power supply. Trying to work down a backlog and get to all this. Hopefully RSN.
          Last edited by jbdigriz; May 19, 2021, 10:48 PM.


            I have had the best luck with 3M DC 300XLP, Verbatim DL 300XLP tapes for the WD800. There is a company that makes new tapes. I haven't used them because of the cost. So far I have been able to find old new stock tapes on ebay. That has worked fairly well, but I have had to rebuild some, and got 2 boxes of tapes still in the original wrapper where each tape had a broken tensioning band. I was able to replace the bands on some of them and some of them worked. Tricky to get them just right.


              people have reported having luck using these as DC300 band replacements


                Originally posted by Uniballer View Post
                I worked for a company that used some 990 stuff in the early '80s. Kind of an odd duck. Much preferred DEC stuff at the time, and wound up helping them migrate to PDP-11s. The 990/12 I played with needed 3 phase power, ran dx10, had a DS50, 1600 bpi tape, and a fixed/removable disk cartridge drive (DS10?), and I don't know how many of those bizarre 911 VDTs. I stuck a 990/5 board on the TIline to handle synchronous serial communications. Two years of that stuff was plenty for me (really? 288 byte ADUs?).
                I used to consult for Royal Air Maroc on their Boeing 727-200 simulator (now decommissioned). I have one page from one of those incredibly expensive industry reports here (PDF). It shows just how varied the host systems were - the company that made that simulator (CAE) lists VAX, SEL, Sigma, and SDS hosts, just on that one page. The Royal Air Maroc simulator used a TI 980 as the host (with racks and racks of D/A, A/D and binary I/O cards) and a Varian 76 for visuals.

                One of the benefits of consulting there was the stack of red carbon paper (anyone remember those) airplane tickets that said "OPEN/OPEN" (any flight, any destination, any airline) that they gave out.