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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Compaq SLT/286 - My Review

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    Compaq SLT/286 - My Review

    This is a little review of my favorite 1980s laptop, the Compaq SLT/286, a reliable, solidly-built machine with great features.


    Some history first: the SLT/286 was released in October of 1988 and was the very first laptop to feature VGA display. It was sold as a high-end desktop replacement system, and the price started a $5,399. Battery life was 3-hours minimum. Very good for 1988 standards.

    I own three of these units and they all work fine (I did have one issue with enabling EMS support on one of them, but I think it's a bug of the first-revision system board, not a failure). They spared no expense on the construction of these, so they use very high-quality components (no nasty SMD electrolytic caps to worry about). They are also very easy to service in my opinion.

    Here are the specs:

    12MHz Harris 80C286 CPU

    640KB of RAM (expandable to 12.6 megabytes, my three all have 3.6 megabytes)

    20 or 40MB Conner Peripherals hard drive (standard IDE with special three-pin power connector, but can be adapted to standard molex)

    10" 640 x 480 VGA grayscale LCD display

    1.44MB 3.5" floppy drive

    2400 baud internal Hayes compatible modem (optional)

    The pros:

    Not terribly hard to find or expensive (lots of these were produced)

    Easy to service (they really are. Please just take the time to read the official Compaq service manual that can be found on

    Very reliable

    Great form factor

    Solid construction

    Really nice feeling removable keyboard

    Looks awesome

    3-hour minimum battery life (probably even more with modern Ni-Mh cells)

    Bright, easy-to-read display

    Uses standard IDE hard drive

    Nice n' chunky

    The cons:

    I'm drawing a blank here. I've really got nothing! For me, this machine really is perfect. It has everything I like and lacks everything I don't. I'm sure others would have a different opinion, but this is my opinion.

    I suppose the Dallas DS1287 RTC chip would be a big con for most people, but they really aren't that hard to fix (especially now that I have found a relatively safe way to hack into them without unsoldering it), and I would way rather have that over a NiCd battery that would leak and ruin the board.

    Well, that's my review of the Compaq SLT/286. All in all, I give it a 10 out of 10.

    Keep in mind this is all just my personal view/opinion on this machine.

    And also, on the software side of things, I run Compaq DOS 5.0 on my "main" one, along with 4 different versions of Windows, Premier Edition, 1.04, 2.11/286, and 3.0. Also got WordPerfect 5.1, DeskMate 3.02, some games and a few other odds and ends.

    I've got something else on the way I plan on doing a review of as well if I can get it running. It'll probably end up being one of my favorites too if everything works out. I've gotten to the point where I only buy systems I actually think I would like to use, rather than buying merely on curiosity like I used to. Don't have the room for that anymore, and I would honestly rather have a slightly smaller collection of things I really like, rather than a massive collection of things I "kinda" like.
    Last edited by compaqportableplus; April 30, 2020, 01:04 AM.
    Compaq - It simply works better