Forum 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.

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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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Inserting ICs

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    Inserting ICs

    This article covers the insertion of [wiki="IC Socket"]socketed[/wiki] [wiki="Integrated Circuit"]IC[/wiki]s. For the fitting of soldered-in parts, see [wiki]soldering ICs[/wiki].

    Before inserting a DIP part into its socket, ensure all pins are straight and evenly spaced. If pins are bent ?sideways? such that the pins are not evenly spaced, they can be gently bent back using a small pair of pliers. If the pins are bent ?inwards? or ?outwards? such that they are no longer aligned with each other, this is easily fixed by pushing the row of pins evenly against a hard surface, like a workbench, with a slight rolling motion. This trick can also be used to adjust the spacing between the two rows of pins to ensure a good fit in the socket, and must be done with new ICs, which come from the factory with the pins bent slightly outward. If this spacing is not correct, the spring action of the pins can contribute to the chip working itself loose over time.
    There are special tools designed to facilitate the insertion of DIP chips, but the task can still be accomplished without one. With the pins straight and evenly spaced, position the IC on top of its socket. Check for proper location of all pins so that none will be bent when the chip is pushed in. Using firm (probably firmer that you?d expect, if there are a lot of pins!) even pressure, push the IC fully home into its socket. Check again that no pins are bent outside the socket or under the body of the chip (if so remove it and reinsert).

    Inserting an IC into a ZIF socket is simplicity itself. Ensure the locking mechanism is in the open position, to accept the IC?s pins. Observing correct orientation, (usually indicated by a slightly different pattern of pins in one or more corners or a mark for pin #1 on a DIP), drop the IC into place. If the IC doesn't drop easily into place, there is something wrong. DO NOT FORCE IT! Lift the chip and look for bent pins, etc, and ensure that the socket is open and not closed. After the chip is properly seated, close the socket. Some ZIF sockets utilize a lever to tighten on the pins, others use a screw with an eccentric head. Push the lever down into the locked position or turn the screw to clamp the IC in place.

    Although there are special tools designed for this purpose, PLCC chips can also be simply pushed into their sockets. Use the beveled corner to orient the part correctly in the socket and, ensuring all pins are correctly aligned, apply even pressure to push the chip home.
    See Also

    • [wiki]Removing ICs[/wiki]
    • [wiki]Reseating ICs[/wiki]