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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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Please fix the PM system

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  • jafir
    replied
    I’d imagine it can be repaired. Everything seems to point to permissions getting screwed up during the upgrade. The fact that I don’t have permissions to my own PM page, many cannot see contents of certain PM, certain entire sub-forums are missing (the announcements), etc.

    I wonder if there is an option to set all permissions back to default and then go back and add back in all of the moderators, admins, restricted areas, etc permissions.

    Leave a comment:


  • thenzero
    replied
    How about a vcfed bbs???

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    Okay, so private messaging is not likely to work. There are ways around that--how about a separate email server for private messages? Registered users would be given an email address on that server. Limit attachment size and number of messages per user. The alternative Protonmail account for me has worked for most things.

    Leave a comment:


  • lutiana
    replied
    Originally posted by thenzero View Post

    I hear you, but that has been the response to everyone who has any complaint at all. It starts to sound more like a way to shut people up/stop the conversation than any kind of legitimate request after a while.
    Fair enough. It won't be moving forward.


    Originally posted by tradde View Post

    If you don't have the expertise to fix the board maybe you shouldn't be running it?
    Did I say that we don't have the expertise, or imply it? We do, but multiple people can get things done faster than one, even if that one is the world's best, especially when you consider that running this forum is completely unpaid voluntary work, done in nights and weekends.

    Leave a comment:


  • tradde
    replied
    Originally posted by thenzero View Post

    I hear you, but that has been the response to everyone who has any complaint at all. It starts to sound more like a way to shut people up/stop the conversation than any kind of legitimate request after a while.
    If you don't have the expertise to fix the board maybe you shouldn't be running it?

    Leave a comment:


  • thenzero
    replied
    Originally posted by lutiana View Post

    We are not asking for people to magically have back end access to everything. We are asking if there are any experts who are willing to help us unwind this, and we would obviously promote them to whatever level of access is needed to help out and/or replicate the forum into a "beta" version that they can play around with and allow us to then roll the changes into the main forum.
    I hear you, but that has been the response to everyone who has any complaint at all. It starts to sound more like a way to shut people up/stop the conversation than any kind of legitimate request after a while.

    Leave a comment:


  • lutiana
    replied
    Originally posted by thenzero View Post

    I have to say I really appreciate this insight into the “rhyming” problems the moderators are also experiencing behind the scenes. Reading this makes it glaringly obvious that the new vbulletin is just the wrong software choice for the forums. I hope whoever is making the decisions on that also comes to the same conclusion.
    We are open to the possibility of switching software. But, and this is a big one, migrating content from vBulletin to another forum software would probably be extremely difficult, if not impossible AND we would seek out experts in the replacement software to help us get it up and running. It's just not an easy task.

    For the foreseeable future, the VCFed leadership has decided to stick with vBulletin and get it working.

    Leave a comment:


  • lutiana
    replied
    With regard to the OP's request in this thread. We are working on it, I even have an announcement about it, but it's not visible by anyone right now for some reason, and I am working on fixing that.

    Leave a comment:


  • lutiana
    replied
    Originally posted by thenzero View Post

    Again…that is completely nonsensical. We don’t have access to your code or the details of your configuration or your logs or…
    We are not asking for people to magically have back end access to everything. We are asking if there are any experts who are willing to help us unwind this, and we would obviously promote them to whatever level of access is needed to help out and/or replicate the forum into a "beta" version that they can play around with and allow us to then roll the changes into the main forum.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrArgent
    replied
    Just got a message from a newer user. Came up blank from two browsers on one machine, as well as on my smartphone. Huh.

    Leave a comment:


  • thenzero
    replied
    Originally posted by SomeGuy View Post
    .
    Either way, pucking fathetic.

    I rate this forum software "two flushes down".
    Hahaha

    Leave a comment:


  • SomeGuy
    replied
    What the mother sexting hell?! Earlier I opened my message center and, without explanation, was able to see the entire message. It was actually a rather long message too. Stupidly I closed my browser, stepped away, and tried to open it now to reply, and it is back to not showing any content.

    That behavior suggests some kind of resource issue or perhaps uninitialized variable resulting in random behavior.

    Either way, pucking fathetic.

    I rate this forum software "two flushes down".

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    In my experience, it doesn't have to be a new user; just someone who has been relatively inactive in posting. For example, I was getting blank messages from a user registered in 2015. I just don't trust the PM system here.

    Leave a comment:


  • thenzero
    replied
    Originally posted by SomeGuy View Post
    Is this issue only happening with new users? (users with less than 10 posts that have to get post approval) If so, then it smells like a badly borked anti-spam feature. And is this happening with all similar new users or just some?
    Going just from my own experience, only the message from the very new user was blank. Agreed about the anti-spam; they should just not be able to send private messages at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • SomeGuy
    replied
    Is this issue only happening with new users? (users with less than 10 posts that have to get post approval) If so, then it smells like a badly borked anti-spam feature. And is this happening with all similar new users or just some?

    Leave a comment:

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