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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Please fix the PM system

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    I e-mailed Erik about this situation and here's the response I got:

    "I'll see what I can do about a post.

    We have been looking into the issue and it does appear that it's an issue with the software, not our configuration.

    Because of that we don't currently believe that we can do anything about it.

    I've tried setting up different environments here and haven't yet reproduced the problem.

    I've asked some of the folks who are seeing it what their environments are and, frankly speaking, they show me that the problem isn't environmental... Nobody is using IE 1 on Windows 286.

    So I'm stumped.

    I've got a couple of geeks trying things (we have a test instance of the forums running) and monitoring the vBulletin support forums, but we're stuck.

    I wish I had better news."


      Thanks for relaying that. It at least explains the situation better.


        Erik - If you're looking maybe it's time to move on to a better platform. Suggestion: Run a contest with inputs as to what works best. Also, as far as expenses go, there are lots of here that would contribute.
        Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting


          I posted a message on Vbulletin's forum and got a very quick and terse response. See image below. I find it hard to believe nobody has contacted vbulletin about our issues, but that's what the reply seems to suggest.
          Screenshot 2021-06-09 082721.jpg
          Last edited by ibmapc; June 9, 2021, 07:59 AM.


            Well, with a response like that I can believe nobody has contacted them. :P

            I wonder how much they are getting paid to put those Facebook(R)(TM) and Twitter(R)(TM) logos on every post there? Barf. I smell a sinking ship.


              Unfortunately, I smell the same odor also. What a shame!
              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                We have indeed been talking to them, but they might well not know who we are. The possible solution to the repeated-edit-spam issue came from there.

                - Alex


                  PM system is definitely broken. I have not received anything since the forum software update, but can attest to the fact that outgoing PMs end up in the bit bucket.


                    Originally posted by ajacocks View Post
                    ... but they might well not know who we are....

                    - Alex
                    That wouldn't surprise me! Especially since I typed (by mistake) VCFED.COM instead of .ORG in my post on their forum.



                      PM problems continue, making the 'for sale' and 'wanted' topics somewhat useless. Haven't received a single incoming PM since the software was updated and none of mine are reaching the intended parties.


                        Mine still shows I’m not authorized to view this page when I click the “message center” That seems like an obvious permissions problem. I know the mods couldn’t see a problem, but maybe an admin can look at my account to see if I’m missing permissions to my own message page.


                          Do what I resorted to--open a temporary email account somewhere (I used and use that address with your post. It's an annoyance, but it's better than nothing.
                          I fear that before the problems with the software have been resolved, that most of the chickens will have fled the coop, however.
                          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                            Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                            I fear that before the problems with the software have been resolved, that most of the chickens will have fled the coop, however.
                            My fear as well. Traffic on this site is down quite a bit.


                              I have a possible fix for folks who are not receiving messages. This may be just a coincidence, but try going to User Settings --> Account, uncheck the 'Use vB messenger' box under 'Private Messenging' and save changes. I did that on a whim and immediately received my first PM (from VERAULT). I responded to it and if Mssr. VERAULT could try this setting change he might receive it. Worth a shot, anyway.

                              I've since received one additional PM, so something has definitely changed for the better.


                                Nope, mine is on--just checked.
                                Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.