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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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    #31
    This is getting to sound like a broken record ...
    • The moderators have not disappeared or have gone on vacation. We are still working.
    • The moderators did not plan or participate in the upgrade. We have tried to fix the problems, but we didn't know any more about it than you did before it happened.
    • It's too late now, the upgrade is done. All that can be done is fix things as we move forward.
    • If you want to send feedback get it to the right people: https://vcfed.org/wp/about/governance/ . Erik and Bob in particular were very involved in the upgrade.

    Comment


      #32
      We're working on it, but it's not obvious what the issue with the PM system is. Additionally, there was testing after the upgrade, and the problem with the PM system wasn't apparent.

      Please do bear with us.

      - Alex

      Comment


        #33
        So now the moderators are throwing the site admins under the bus!? Did they really just dump the forum upgrade on you with no discussion beforehand?

        Can we vote them out?

        Comment


          #34
          Can someone satisfy a bit of curiosity for me? How many other fora are using this version of vBulletin? Can I visit a couple of them to see how they're faring? I sincerely hope that vcfed isn't the test bed for someone's bleeding edge software...

          Comment


            #35
            All the other forums I belong to are either sticking with old versions of vBulletin or switched to XenForo.

            Comment


              #36
              Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
              So now the moderators are throwing the site admins under the bus!? Did they really just dump the forum upgrade on you with no discussion beforehand?

              Can we vote them out?
              This isn't new news ... I've already explained that the moderators were not involved, and have referred people to Erik and other board members directly.

              The upgrade needed to happen. My intention here is to get people to stop bitching about the moderators for something they can't control. We're not in a position to demand fixes from the forum software provider. The BoD planned the change, executed it, and is paying the bills - they have the most leverage to demand fixes to forum software problems.

              Remember, it's an all volunteer organization. People have day jobs too.

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by mbbrutman View Post
                My intention here is to get people to stop bitching about the moderators for something they can't control. We're not in a position to demand fixes from the forum software provider. The BoD planned the change, executed it, and is paying the bills - they have the most leverage to demand fixes to forum software problems.
                Then why not start bitching to Erik and Bob to demand fixes from them, instead of just throwing up your hands and saying there's nothing you can do?

                What are they going to do, kick you out? They clearly have no interest in running this place themselves, and who else are they going to find to run a forum based on a platform that virtually every other forum abandoned?

                They should have noticed when VerticalScope, the largest operator of Internet forums (600+ of them), took a look at the new vBulletin, said "Oh, hell no!" and ran away to XenForo.

                Comment


                  #38
                  I haven't pointed the finger at anyone at all in regards to this upgrade. I have no idea who has worked on the upgrade and to what capacity. My point was that it seemed the upgrade wasn't planned properly and didn't involve the right people for testing. As a user I have some gripes. I'm not alone in that... I think we all just want functionality back we had in the past.

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
                    Then why not start bitching to Erik and Bob to demand fixes from them, instead of just throwing up your hands and saying there's nothing you can do?

                    What are they going to do, kick you out? They clearly have no interest in running this place themselves, and who else are they going to find to run a forum based on a platform that virtually every other forum abandoned?

                    They should have noticed when VerticalScope, the largest operator of Internet forums (600+ of them), took a look at the new vBulletin, said "Oh, hell no!" and ran away to XenForo.
                    Because I have other things to do with my life?

                    All of the board has been made aware of the problems. Erik, Bob, myself, Alexander (a newer mod) have fixed some of them. For the long running persistent problems, keep asking for answers, but ask the right people.

                    I've chased problems on the forums for years, and I have stepped back recently to give others a turn. In the words of Jon Snow ,"My watch has ended."

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Sorry if I sounded unnecessarily harsh to you. I know you've been working hard to make the best of a bad situation.

                      Our main frustration is that we see absolutely no proof that the board members are doing the same thing. It looks like Erik hasn't posted anything on the forum in over a month!

                      Comment


                        #41
                        What other forum can I visit that uses this same version of vBulletin? I want to see how they're getting along. By my evaluation, vcfed isn't getting anywhere near the number of posts it received before the changeover.

                        If vcfed is literally the single test case for this version, the BoD needs to explain their decision.

                        My biggest concern is that should the reception of this vBulletin version be really bad, the vBulletin project itself is in peril of going defunct. Then what?

                        Comment


                          #42
                          NASIOC has over 500,000 members and over 45 million posts and is still using vBulletin 3.7.0:

                          https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/

                          Comment


                            #43
                            All of us agree that the issues with VB5 are extremely annoying. Please believe that it frustrates me, and the other admins and mods, very much, that there have been so many problems.

                            Remember that we really had no choice but to migrate to something other than the existing VB3.x. There are no more security patches available, and haven't been in quite some time. vBulletin marked v3 as end-of-life back in 2017. We did, and do, have the ability to migrate to a different forum software, but that's a risk, as well.

                            The upgrade definitely didn't happen with no testing. However, there's no easy way to do actual load testing without either hiring a company to do that, or having a professional volunteer their time. We did indeed test, before going live, and didn't see the PM issues. As you can see, they are definitely present, but they don't seem to hit everyone to the same level, and we are still not sure why.

                            Discussions are ongoing with regard to what to do to solve the problems permanently. All of us are volunteers, and suggestions or offers of help from anyone who has VB5 knowledge, are always welcome. We had someone volunteer to work on the theme, and I'm not sure the status of that work.

                            - Alex

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Alex, what other group is using this version of VBulletin? I want to see how they're dealing with the issues.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Chuck,

                                No idea how accurate this is, but this site has a list:

                                https://trends.builtwith.com/websitelist/vBulletin-5.x

                                I checked one of them, forums.mightycarmods.com, and it does seem to be running VB5.

                                - Alex

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