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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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Is there no hope for VCFED PM?

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    #31
    I have a special account (actually several special-for-purpose accounts) to handle the situation. Note my signature.
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

    Comment


      #32
      So do I but I use them for Online shopping or bill paying. And even though they get some spam I try to limit that too. I dont want to create new accounts and have to remember them.. Thats annoying.

      Comment


        #33
        Originally posted by Hugo Holden View Post
        It baffles me what the secrecy is for.
        That's an aspect of it, yes, but fundamentally it's a "simple" feature that the system should be able to provide with far less drama than it has.

        People have been creating "email" systems for 50 years, and there's no reason this one should be so finicky (obviously there is a reason as to why it's failing, but there's no excuse for it).

        While it may only take a little bit of research to hunt down someones contact information, bots turn out to do that very poorly.

        I just marvel at my phone answering machine. Some machine somewhere is out there blindly calling soulless, empty, stupid other machines.

        "Have your bot call my bot and they'll have lunch."

        It's a complete waste of everything. Power, time, life, everything. But, they're fishing. 1 out of 10,000 they might catch someone. So, we all suffer.

        So, it's not so much trying to prevent folks from knocking on our doors, it's about just lowering the din of waste going on that's systemic in modern communication.



        Comment


          #34
          My vcfblackhole account is temporary--when VCF ever gets private messaging working reliably, I'll delete it.
          I like using Vanilla's "whisper" feature to send the occasional private message. Only the target of the whisper gets to see it, yet it's handled as a normal forum post otherwise.

          My take on PM isn't for long posts--more in the nature of "what do you know about..." or "do you have..." type of questions.
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

          Comment


            #35
            We're still working on it. There are several things going on, in the background.

            - Alex

            Comment


              #36
              Originally posted by ajacocks View Post
              We're still working on it. There are several things going on, in the background.

              - Alex
              Alex,

              There are other issue beside the PM thing. It's a crapshoot whether or not I can even log into the site. Sometimes there is a 30+ second wait and other time I just have to try later on. Also, when attempting to read new threads, maybe I can open 2 to 4 and then the site seems to go dead. Same happens more often than not when I choose to to do a quote. After finishing my entry, the thread takes an abnormally long time to update. Sometime it just spins its wheels and I just have to close out. Something's up either with the server or vBulletin.

              Tom

              P..S. Not complaining, just a FYI to add to the list.

              Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post

                Alex,

                There are other issue beside the PM thing. It's a crapshoot whether or not I can even log into the site. Sometimes there is a 30+ second wait and other time I just have to try later on. Also, when attempting to read new threads, maybe I can open 2 to 4 and then the site seems to go dead. Same happens more often than not when I choose to to do a quote. After finishing my entry, the thread takes an abnormally long time to update. Sometime it just spins its wheels and I just have to close out. Something's up either with the server or vBulletin.

                Tom

                P..S. Not complaining, just a FYI to add to the list.
                We are actually aware of these performance issues, our best bet is that it is a database issue. But it also one of the plethora of reasons we are piloting new platforms. But we do appreciate you letting us know about this from your end.

                IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
                IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
                Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

                Comment


                  #38
                  I don't get any of those issues. The only issue I've had fairly recently is if I use the list of new posts and want to go to the next page of them, it has on occasions just frozen there for several minutes. However there's been no slowdowns anywhere else in this forum.

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Yea, performance has been fine for me. I'm on mostly in the mornings Pacific time, but I pop by a couple times a day, and it's been fine for me. Occasionally, yea, there are some lags. Posting might take a bit longer sometimes more than others. But nothing really impactful to how I use the site.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      I get the extended wait from time to time. Nothing I do clears it. So I just leave the site and come back later. Just seems to totally hang for extended periods.
                      PDP-8 and PDP-11 enthusiast. But enjoy most older PC stuff too.

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Yea, I should clarify my experience.

                        I've mentioned this before, but my workflow is to click on the New Topics, and then when I see a topic I like, I open it in a new tab (Cmd Click on my Mac).

                        Then I go to each tab and read and do whatever.

                        Specifically, if I'm posting, it's not uncommon, like now, to just post a message, hit the button, and then move on to another tab.

                        Just because I don't experience a delay doesn't mean it doesn't happen, it's happening in the background on another tab.

                        Were it the last tab, then I'm more likely to see things trudging along.

                        Mind, I developed this habit (I do it on most forums) specifically to cope with slow response times. By the time I've clicked on the last topic, the first topic has likely loaded and all of the delays and drudgery are done in the background where I don't experience it.

                        Comment


                          #42
                          Originally posted by tradde View Post
                          I get the extended wait from time to time. Nothing I do clears it. So I just leave the site and come back later. Just seems to totally hang for extended periods.
                          Sadly I still try to delude myself that when I get these delays it's just some very specific and isolated routing issue with my ISP. But yes, it does seem like something about either the server or the software sometimes just decides to take a *very* long time. Also happens when trying to post responses out of the blue.
                          My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

                          Comment


                            #43
                            I might browse a bit less if the "New Topics" display actually showed the last person to reply to a thread.
                            Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              I definitely have seen the performance issue, when doing board admin and moderation work. So, I am painfully aware of the issue.

                              We're currently conducting trials with Xenforo, and this involves dealing with the large database size and slowness. The database is quite old, at this point, having been upgraded over many versions of VB.

                              Thanks, everyone!
                              - Alex

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