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.
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  • 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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Apple IIc

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    Originally posted by thenzero View Post
    (I guffawed at the Silverchair reference)
    I'm happy you got it, wasn't sure anyone would.


      He is free to ask what he wants for it. Others are free to buy or not or negotiate a price. At the same time I agree with those who say if you want top dollar for something (or even crazy dollar for something), you have to do the work of cleaning it up and testing its condition some. I've got mixed feelings on "ad-stomping". Again, the person is free to ask what they want, but at the same time people should be free to express their thoughts. This is a forum after all.


        I haven’t been here long, but I would think it would be more of a problem if you came in here saying that a computer was a piece of crap or no one would want it or something like that. Just coming in to state how much you think something should sell for or that an asking price is unreasonably high in your opinion shouldn’t be a big deal (in my opinion). In fact I hope someone will always keep us straight on that score. Sales between enthusiasts ought to be more about the love of these machines than making a buck, right?
        Toshiba T1000 w/ modem & memory upgrade
        Compaq Deskpro 4/25iS (Win3.1)
        Apple //e

        wanted: dx2odp66 or similar (169 pin overdrive chip)


          Sadly, I think we are going to see more of this. People who have not done their homework, or any research on an item, and expect absurd eBay prices. Thing is, in a case like that, all it takes is a couple of cold, dry facts to burst someone's bubble.

          Perhaps they saw a pristine Apple IIc Plus sell for $500. It's the same thing.... right? (Fact: No)

          I don't believe I have really heard the term "ad stomping" before. Had to search for that a bit.

          "Ad stomping" is the act of posting disparaging or derogatory comments or reviews about an item listed for sale, possibly with the intent of preventing a sale or reducing a price below what it is worth. That may even include making absurdly low low-ball offers.

          If there were a reasonable sale posted, and someone came along saying "Your machine smells of elderberries!", that might be ad stomping.

          I can see how on some forums, where selling things is a major part of what they do, that that could be a serious problem.

          We haven't had much of a problem with that here. Most of those kinds of sellers just go directly to eBay.

          Ug, case in point:

          Zenith OEM OS/2 1.0 for $2000? Facts: Most collectors would probably want genuine IBM packaging, Zenith stuff isn't exactly sexy. Looking at recent eBay sales I see a couple early OS/2 server products sold for around or over $500, but those are a different ballgame than client stuff. I'd love to know if any OS/2 1.0 sold for that much somewhere. Also, that seller mis-typed "OS/2" as "O/S 2" so they probably won't even get many views. From what I have seen, that might sell for a couple hundred dollars, so certainly worth something. Any of that too negative? Perhaps Bill Gates would pay that much for a copy to throw darts at? Too negative now? :P

          Of course, on a forum, sellers can come back and somewhat counter negative comments. Things like "I think it is worth that much because [insert good reason that should have been stated originally, here]".


            Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
            Yeah, you really cant trust a new user whose first post is trying to make a sale. I wish there was a 6 month hold or something on things like that. Coming to our forum and thinking we are crack addicts for what they are selling.
            Hardforum has a good system. The FS/FT section is not visible to guests, you need to log in to see it. If you are a member, you need a minimum post count of 100 to start threads in the section, but you can reply to threads. It's up to the seller/trader whether they'll deal with you or not.

            I also feel we need something similar here. Been too many fly by night scammers here over the years, or people that post trash and never come back.


              That sounds like a really good implementation to me. Straightforward and it makes sense.


                Yeah that sounds like a great idea.
                Toshiba T1000 w/ modem & memory upgrade
                Compaq Deskpro 4/25iS (Win3.1)
                Apple //e

                wanted: dx2odp66 or similar (169 pin overdrive chip)