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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Miscellaneous Vintage Components

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    Miscellaneous Vintage Components

    Hello VCF'ers:

    As I'm going through my stuff, I'm starting to break down and separate PCB's from metal for recycling, but will list here for a little while the vintage stuff before that stuff goes to the recyclers:

    1. AST ComboPlus, Fully Populated (Does not have Printer Port Dongle). $20 shipped Priority Mail (US).
    2. IBM 5250 Emulator Card (8-Bit) $10 shipped Priority Mail (US).
    3. IBM 8525 (PS/2 Model 25) System Board with 640k RAM. $20 shipped Priority Mail (US).
    4. IBM Asynchronous Communications Card (8-Bit) $10 shipped Priority Mail (US).
    5. 3Com EtherLink II/16 (8 & 16 Bit Modes) $20 shipped Priority Mail (US).
    6. IBM 5170 System Board (Rev. 3 BIOS) $20 shipped Priority Mail (US).
    7. IBM 5170 Power Supply $25 shipped Priority Mail (US).
    8. Paradise Systems Multi-Display Card with Parallel Port $20 shipped Priority Mail (US).

    All prices include shipping.

    PM with me questions, offers.

    Last edited by lyonadmiral; September 23, 2012, 08:45 AM.
    Daniel P. Cayea - The Lyon Mountain Company - Plattsburgh, New York 12901
    Vintage Equipment: IBM 5150 * IBM 5161 * ThinkPad 770ED
    Modern Equipment: MacBook Pro 13 * Alienware M15R3

    Have you thought about using the marketplace? It makes it a lot easier to find what you have for sale when compared to threads on a web forum.


      Mike, I sell a lot of things here and I've thought about the marketplace on more than one occasion. In all honesty, I've not yet used it because it just seems to me that there is little or no traffic there and very little response to listed marketplace items. Do correct me if I am wrong in that appraisal as I still have plenty of things to sell and if it would actually be worthwhile for me to spend the time to list some things there I will surely have another look at it. It just seems (to me) that nothing or very little at best sells there.
      PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step


        Not to hijack the thread ...

        In the past two years I have been able to sell close to 40 items, including some things that I never thought I would get rid of. (Limited interest/market) I generally sell to clean out the basement, so the stuff is priced right. But even on some of the more expensive items (still priced below ebay) I have been able to sell them. So there is probably more traffic there than you think.

        Purchasers have been all over the world. I have shipped to Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Moscow, Mexico City, and Canada. I have had one or two people who purchased an item and then never followed up. I have also had a few who threw in extra for a beer. In general it has been a very positive experience.

        The key advantage is that once an item is listed it can be re-listed over and over again with no effort. I don't have to worry about the thread getting stale and passing out of view, prompting people to do the dreaded 'bump'. The auction format is more structured too - all of the pictures, shipping information, details on the item, etc. are present. Each item has a view count so you can gauge interest in it.

        Listing is not difficult after you get the hang of it.

        And we have a chicken and egg problem. Putting in a little extra effort to take pictures and make a listing on these things will help us get past that problem.

        I love that people are making their items for sale here instead of on eBay. But I think the marketplace is usually overlooked, and that puzzles me. It's been great. We're never going to get eBay prices because the market is smaller, but it is far more convenient and my items have been getting more exposure than if I posted them in a thread.



          I hear what you are saying but when I look over there I see ~ 150 items listed and just 1 bid and that's what makes me skeptical. With bids on < 1% of the listed items I think you can see what I was getting at.
          PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step


            I always check the marketplace. I've gotten some good stuff off of it. You just have to be patient. Why not have the best of both worlds ? List in the marketplace, and post here that you've got 'X' for sale in the marketplace, and embed the link.


              I have also purchased items from the marketplace. I've also bid on something and never heard from the owner after the listing had ended. It seems to me that if the marketplace is what we should use to buy and sell from this forum, this forum section should not exist. Just have a link to the marketplace, and rule that the forums cannot be used for buy/sell, as that is not the purpose. I'm fine either way, just pointing out the obvious.
              Looking for: Altair 8800, Ithaca Intersystems boards, software, manuals.


                It's not so obvious.

                The forum area is for the occasional sale. Not as structured, and no separate login/account needed.

                The marketplace is for longer term or larger amounts of items for sale. It gives more visibility to items; unlike threads the items just don't disappear from view after aging a few weeks.