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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.


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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.

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To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
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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.

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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.


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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
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How do YOU flip a dip switch?

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    #16
    I've never understood why manufacturers of slide-type DIP switches don't color the sides of the slider differently, so that you can see the settings immediately and visibly. Probably shaving a tenth of a cent or two, is my guess.
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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      #17
      Originally posted by voidstar78 View Post
      Thoughts? I confess, it annoys me sometimes to see nicked up dip switches, it's like The Three Little Bears Story "someone's been fiddling with my dip switches!"
      When you consider that for most applications a DIP switch is likely to get touched all of once during the product's lifetime it seems like a pretty silly thing to get wound up about. And in that case maybe a nick is good, it lets you know instantly when you look at the card that someone set it to something other than the default.

      Frankly if I had a dingus that required me to pound on the DIP switches constantly I might almost rather have jumpers. I could sub the regular ones for those ones with the long easy-to-grab tails on them.
      My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

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        #18
        Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
        I've never understood why manufacturers of slide-type DIP switches don't color the sides of the slider differently, so that you can see the settings immediately and visibly. Probably shaving a tenth of a cent or two, is my guess.
        I think the engineers at my company have finally stopped putting dip switches on the equipment I have to service. I always have to stare at both the switch and manual for a few seconds before I can figure out which direction I need to go.... the switches are white, but in a black and white manual, is the white box the switch, or is the black printing the switch?

        They've actually done everything they can to make it clear, even writing the words ON and OFF in the manual above each switch position and giving an example near the front of the manual showing ON and OFF with arrows, but it still takes a second to overcome seeing the white switch as black print.

        dip switches.jpg

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          #19
          -- Lee

          If you get super-bored, try muh crappy Odysee channel: Old Computer Fun!

          Looking For: QBus SCSI Controller, Type 4 HDC for Tandy II/12/16/6000, Mac IIci drive sled, PC-era Tandy stuff, Old Unix Stuff, Serial Terminals (HP and DG in particular)

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            #20
            Originally posted by Eudimorphodon View Post

            When you consider that for most applications a DIP switch is likely to get touched all of once during the product's lifetime it seems like a pretty silly thing to get wound up about. And in that case maybe a nick is good, it lets you know instantly when you look at the card that someone set it to something other than the default.
            Fair point


            I used to use the 5150 onboard dip switches to throttle the system back down to 64KB, 256KB, etc. to verify which programs would still run. And for sure, that's not a suite of dips you want to break. But since then I discovered EATMEM.COM, so less need for that.

            Clean dip switches run faster, it's good practice like using premium blinker fluid. :P

            Appreciate all the great idea, the awl or an old stylus are great. Can 3d print one of those stylus these days! For the awl, placing metal inside the case makes me a little nervous (such as if you're hands aren't all that steady - I'm not quite there yet, but the day's coming I'm sure)
            IBM 5110 ['78], PET 4016 ['80], C64 ['82], IBM PC 5150B ['84]. A retired SysOp, creator of destinyhunter.org, VUC, ANT

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              #21
              Originally posted by voidstar78 View Post
              For the awl, placing metal inside the case makes me a little nervous (such as if you're hands aren't all that steady - I'm not quite there yet, but the day's coming I'm sure)
              Normally, these switches are flicked with power off, so I presume that you are worried about scratching something. I use an very old threading awl [example], the end blunted over many years of use.

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                #22
                If its the ones with the little knurled bit that slides or the rocker ones that sit proud, then its fingernails every time.

                If its the recessed ones, then its what ever I can lay my hands on, pen, screwdriver, paperclip, nail, random twig, anything. When your out on plant and need a DIP switch changing, Im not walking all the way back to the office and there is always something lying about that can be adapted.

                Doesn't happen much anymore though, ah to be back 'on the tools'
                Current fleet
                TRS80 Model 4 - BBC B - Tatung Einstein - PCW9512 - PET 3032 - C64 - ZX81 - Spectrum 48K - Amiga A500 - Apple II europlus - Apple iMAC G3. Sharp MZ-80K. - IBM 5160 XT - Multibus 286/10 - Micro PDP 11/73 - Rainbow PC100A - MicroVax II - MicroVAX 3100, 3300, VAX 4000 VLC & 4000 Model 96 - AlphaStation 225 Apricot PC - Apple Performa 6200 - Apple Mac IIcx - Osborne 1 - ACT Sirius 1

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                  #23
                  Given a choice, I'll take a 0.1" header with jumper blocks every time. If it's a 3-row header, then you can do SPDT things that a DIP switch cannot easily do. I've run into bad (i.e. intermittent) DIP switches from time to time. I don't like them.
                  Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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                    #24
                    Are we seriously this bored?? :P






                    Whatever pointy tool I have on hand.
                    [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

                    = Excellent space heater

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                      #25
                      Small screwdriver most often. The slide type can often be worked with a fingernail.

                      I wish the switches all went the same direction for "on". Some have "ON" on the right, some on the left, doesn't seem be matter if it a rocker or a toggle. More so on vintage switches.
                      Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts

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                        #26
                        I use a very small flat blade screwdriver.

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