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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Anyone have or read Bowkers Complete Sourcebook of Personal Computing?

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    Anyone have or read Bowkers Complete Sourcebook of Personal Computing?

    This book came up when I was searching for games for one of the early portable systems (can't remember which) but the search result portrayed itself like this book might be a catch all with programming/source code for lots of vintage systems. Does anyone have a copy of this book? I can't find any good samples of what it would contain. If it covers multiple systems from the era with code and internals, etc it sounds like a great read but since I can't tell and I'm not really wanting to buy it that blindly I thought I'd ask.
    Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800

    I don't think I have a copy (I'll look though) but a DealOz search turns up a LOT of copies in several different editions. From the descriptions (Used - Acceptable Slight wear to cover, corners, and edges; loose glue to binding inside cover but book remains sturdy; creased cover; some highlighting and writing) it sounds like a textbook more than a do-it-yourself manual (if that makes any sense).
    This one is only $6.19, not a huge gamble.


      Yeah thanks, I did see those and was sorta hesitant to ask vs buy it cheap lol. But in reality I'm really curious what the book is about. Sounds like a potentially great resource but for the life of me I can't find any details I did find an odd link in which acts like someone perhaps uploaded it (although perhaps in some reading disabled format?) but as far as I can tell there is no download link. Perhaps I need an account to make that an option? Anyone dealt with this before?
      Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800


        Well as an update to myself I couldn't find any references to what the book contained so I ordered one and I'll post when it arrives
        Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800


          Following up from a while back, I did end up ordering it and it arrived. Not at all what I expected. I found the book from some google results while I was searching around for games for I think a Kyocera or NEC portable. Either way, what the book really is is just a price guide for the year covering most common computers and then the rest of the 800 pages are lists of companies and addresses, accessories, software titles (not all with prices), user groups in each city/state, etc. So it's interesting and would be a great pdf to search through for prices or products during the era some day but not all that useful unfortunately. Mostly a salesman catalog and company yellow pages type of book.
          Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800