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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NorthStar Horizon for Sale

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    NorthStar Horizon for Sale

    Due to tightened space restraints, I will have to reduce the space my classic computer collection takes up.

    I have three systems that are the first on the block.

    NorthStar Horizon with 10MB Hard Drive.
    Z80 CPU, NorthStar FDC, NorthStar HDC, NorthStar 64K RAM board
    200+ diskettes of various types, including a few boxes of NOS blank diskettes. Several manuals and software packages. System does not work as configured. Problem is in memory since dropping a RAM card from another S-100 system into this one allows it to run. Prefer not to ship.

    Zenith Z-121 Amber screen system with 768k motherboard, original 192k motherboard, almost complete set of manuals (Owners, Technical, etc.) Considerable amount of software available as copies from second system's diskettes or possible sale. Prefer not to ship.

    IBM PC-XT with 40MB Hardcard, CGA Monitor, Basic documentation (Owner's Manual, Basic, PC-DOS), 5.25" FH floppy drive. Prefer not to ship.

    I would prefer not to part out these systems. If I can't sell them through classified ads or eBay, I'll post parts that are available before posting on eBay.

    Will deliver or meet buyer within 200 miles of Chattanooga, Tennessee. As all of these systems contain old parts and fragile components, I would prefer not to ship. If delivery or meeting face to face is not practical, I will ship as-is, FOB. (In English that means that once I put it on the freight counter, it's yours. I'm not responsible for the condition of anything when it arrives.)

    I'll entertain offers, including trades for CompuPro S-100 cards and parts.

    You can reach me at

    Thomas Martin
    Thomas Martin

    If you do decide to part out, put me down for the CompatiCard II.

    Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.

    Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.


      The NorthStar Horizon is Sold, pending funds.

      The Compaticard II has been traded for some S-100 cards. Sorry, Terry.

      Zenith is still available.

      Thanks, all!

      Thomas Martin


        Do let me know if the Northstar deal falls through! I had one a long while back, and I still have the hard drive from it. I'd love to get this drive up and running again!


          Well, the NorthStar deal fell through because someone set something heavy on it in the basement. The chassis is a bit warped and I'm trying to 'fix' it.

          OTOH, I did find a 64K NorthStar RAM card, so when I get a chance to work on it, I might have the machine working.

          Thomas Martin


            Do let me know!


              Originally posted by aaron7
              Do let me know!
              I've repaired the damage to the NorthStar's chassis and it's for sale again. The person who had made an offer earlier hasn't replied to my email so if anyone wants a NorthStar Horizon as listed below, give me a shout.

              NorthStar Horizon Computer (Metal Outer Case, not Wooden)
              NorthStar DS/DD Disk Controller
              DS/DD Disk Drive
              10 MB Hard Drive
              NorthStar Hard Disk Controller
              NorthStar 64K RAM Card
              NorthStar 32K RAM Card
              2 NorthStar 16K RAM Cards
              many Diskettes, including CP/M, TurboDOS and NorthStar DOS.
              several Manuals.
              dBase II manual for NorthStar CP/M in NorthStar binder
              and anything else NorthStar I find in my basement.

              The system does not run as supplied, but would boot earlier this year with a CompuPro RAM card installed. This lot is sold AS-IS.

              I'm looking for at least $200 for this system plus shipping (US Shipping & Packaging will be around $50, international will be more).

              If I don't have any offers on this board or comp.os.cpm, I'll spend a few days to get it to boot and post it on eBay.

              I can be contacted at
              Thomas Martin


                I'm sure with that asking price others are going to hate me for this... but last year I sold a Northstar setup with much less than yours for a Buy it Now of $600 on ebay. Who knows how high it would have gone! My Ithaca Intersystems S100 sold for $2100!

                S100 stuff ALWAYS brings a premium on there. I'd suggest selling it like that!


                  I've seen Northstars go for good amounts on eBay, with a non functional floppy only version with no software or manuals going for about $300 a month or so ago.

                  Someone made an offer, and if he keeps his end of the bargain, he's got the machine. Since I've pulled it all out to figure out what I need to pack it, It's a considerable amount of gear, and if he doesn't keep his end, I'll be getting it to boot and posting it on eBay. I've keep thinking that I don't have a 'spare' RAM card to put in it, but if I sell it on eBay I'll be able to replace the RAM 17 I used to get it working a while back without much trouble.
                  Thomas Martin