Forum Rules and Etiquette

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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.

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.
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  • 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:
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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.

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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Lookimg for advuce-- decent mechanical keyboard

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    Lookimg for advuce-- decent mechanical keyboard

    Okay, the title doesn't say exactly what I'm after. Let me explain.

    Model M's around here are on just about everything, except for my 19" rackmount system. Standard-sized keyboards are too wide.

    I've seen some inexpensive gaming keyboards around with "blue switches" (not Cherry). They are about the right size, but how is the feel compared to a good old Model M?

    PS/2 or USB doesn't really matter.
    Last edited by Chuck(G); December 17, 2017, 09:44 AM.
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

    Can you live without the numeric keypad (or live with a divorced one)?

    I've seen industrial keyboards which are genuine Model M and are reduced width, probably intended for rack mount though I usually see them mounted vertically on control panels. The reduced width is achieved by deleting the numeric keypad. There is a matching separate numeric keypad which actually has a duplicate cursor/screen key section.
    Be polite and I may let you live.


      This is the Model M industrial space saving keyboard:

      PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step


        Yes, that's precisely the one I've seen (and occasionally had to replace due to normal wear and tear in a very harsh environment). Thanks for finding it.
        Be polite and I may let you live.


          Yes, that'd be fine, but the prices for used model Ms are too high to justify the application--the keyboard freaks have hit the market. I can remember when they were given away free used and that you could buy new surplus ones in the box for about $20 from Surplus Software in Portland (alas, long gone).

          Right now, I've got a Compaq keyboard on my system and it's terrible for a Model M typist.
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


            I used to have a source for those, new, or probably NOS, from an industrial supplier. They charged somewhere between $100 and $200. I might be able to dig through some stuff and find it if you like.
            Be polite and I may let you live.



              If it's not too much trouble. In the meantime, I'm going to goof around with that $10 IBM iPoint keyboard and an ATMega IR-to-PS/2 converter that I discovered. The IBM keyboard is rubber-dome, but not as bad as the Compaq--and it's very compact.
              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                It was only a matter of time before good keyboards jumped in value to match the machines they were made for.

                Looking at an old Industrial Computer Source magazine (1991 edition 1) they have a decent looking compact keyboard IBM PC/XT/AT compatible model KB3/A ($99 at that time). No idea who makes it and if that model # is generic or brand name.
                What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems