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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.


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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How do YOU flip a dip switch?

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  • alank2
    replied
    I use a very small flat blade screwdriver.

    Leave a comment:


  • DeltaDon
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • NeXT
    replied
    Are we seriously this bored?? :P






    Whatever pointy tool I have on hand.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary C
    replied
    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'

    Leave a comment:


  • modem7
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • voidstar78
    replied
    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)

    Leave a comment:


  • bladamson
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • jafir
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Eudimorphodon
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Agent Orange
    replied
    Large paperclip.

    Paperclip.jpg
    Last edited by Agent Orange; September 3, 2021, 10:50 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • norwestrzh
    replied
    >> Some people use a pen, but then that leaves a mark revealing that "someone has mucked with these dip switches!"

    What's wrong with that? It might be critical information that someone "has mucked with the switch"? AND, the mark left behind could also help a person see which way the switch has been set (as in looking at a photo where it is difficult to see which side of the switch has been depressed (assuming a "rocker type" DIP switch))?

    Roger

    Leave a comment:


  • jlang
    replied
    I use the pointed end of a HEXACON soldering aid. Nice hi temp plastic. it leaves no proof behind ;^)
    It's been in my tool box for about 50 years....

    joe

    Leave a comment:


  • maxtherabbit
    replied
    Originally posted by daver2 View Post
    I use a small flat-bladed screwdriver (commonly known as a watchmakers screwdriver). But I think Al takes the prize for identifying the bespoke tool!

    I must admit, I have seen a similar tool being used on a tour of the factory manufacturing our PCB assemblies. Some of our cards have DIP switches (with 'sunken' switches so they are very difficult to operate accidently). It also makes them difficult to operate without the correct tool! The tool they use is antistatic.

    Dave
    also use the jeweler's screwdriver, and it cracks me up that the bespoke "tool" is just a fake pen

    Leave a comment:

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