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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.
  • 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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Cleaning foam contaminated documents

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    Cleaning foam contaminated documents

    I have a manual that was stored with its computer in a carrying case. The problem was that it was lined with that black foam that decays into a goopy mess. The pages are salvageable but it's all covered in crumbled foam that smears if brushed with effort. If I feed this through my scanner it will surely gum everything up. Is there a way to remove most of the foam or do I have to just manually run the entire binder through a flatbed one page at a time?
    [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

    = Excellent space heater

    #2
    There might be a solvent that you could use to remove the foam, but you'd have to experiment to ensure that it also didn't remove the ink/toner on the page.

    Was the original manual printed on an ink printer (e.g. dot matrix), laser printer, or was it printed commercially?
    @LegalizeAdulthd | Computer Graphics Museum | Terminals Wiki | Manx Documentation Database

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      #3
      Probably anything you do will just smear the goo before removing it. It seems that old foam fails in one of two ways--it gets dried out and crumbly or it turns to viscous goo. The second type is by far the worst.
      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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        #4
        Perhaps white vinegar. To alleviate the strain of flat bed scanning the whole thing, just use a digital camera.

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          #5
          I have that problem in my 31 year old truck, it has that nasty foam as insulation in several places inside the dash. Some of it has disintegrated, while other parts of it have turned to mush. I've tried several things to remove it without harming the plastic and metal around it and nothing will remove it without causing at least a bit of damage to the underlying material.

          The best thing I've been able to do is use a dremel at low speeds with a brass brush, which will rip away the foam and not really do much to whatever is below it. I think nylon bristles would work better, but I haven't been able to find any rotary brushes with nylon.

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            #6
            I'd try carbon tet. But then I might someday be jailed for posting this.
            Be polite and I may let you live.

            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5NBVfKX5471R9U

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              #7
              Because the papers were in a binder I was able to brush each sheet clean enough before putting it on a flatbed and scanning it in black and white to reduce some of the lighter particles.
              I did have to clean the platen once but WD-40 and a rag works well followed by Windex to remove the residue.
              [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

              = Excellent space heater

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                #8
                Goo-gone might actually be a better choice for this than WD-40.

                If it has a platen though, I don't think it's a flatbed.
                Be polite and I may let you live.

                https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5NBVfKX5471R9U

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                  #9
                  I have two different scanners. One is an older HP desktop unit with SCSI and USB but it also has an ADF on top for bulk scanning and the other is a newer USB-only Canon LiDE flatbed. Both are conveniently Plug and Play compatible for XP and 7 and work as-is under the Microsoft Scanner and Camera Wizard.
                  [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

                  = Excellent space heater

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                    #10
                    You might try to remove some of the crud with either talc or cornstarch dusted over the surface of each page.

                    I've never tried it--just tossing out an idea.
                    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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