Here we go again (Ebay)


It seems like about once every year or so there's an ebay discussion argument and I end up asking whether people want to make any changes relative to ebay discussions on this forum. Let's try it as a poll this time. Please reply with one (or MORE) of the following in the subject line:

No Change

Don't Care

Create Ebay Forum

Ban Ebay Discussions

If you list multiple items like "Create Ebay Forum or Ban Ebay Discussions" then I will take that as an ordered list of your preferences. (i.e. if there isn't enough support for a forum, then you'd just like to ban them.)

"Create Ebay forum" may consist of a separate forum or some subsetting of this forum like we have in the ads.

You can include other comments in the body of your message but please include one of the subject lines above so we get a clear idea of what people want.

It looks like the person who made many of the ebay posts has already announced his departure but I'm still willing to make changes if this bugs people.

By the way, many (not all) of the anti-ebay posts made here recently come from a few people using multiple names (Matt, Jerry, Fed Up, Mr Angry for example are one person.) Multiple votes from the same person won't be counted and it is against the forum rules to use multiple identities here.


It's easy enough to ignore what you don't want to read.


Agree that it is easy enough to skip them.


Hi Dave,

Thank you for your polling. I also feel that no change is warranted. The problems with ebay are rare.

Perhaps however an auction discussion location might be attractive and yet in doing so, it would balkanize the overall involvement which may have unintended social consequences.

Your administration of this forum is superbe and one of the greatest aspects of that is your judiciousness along with freedom--a rare combination these days and I really appreciate what you have encouraged here.


Although ebay rants are sometimes helping to identify overprized auctions (not to mention eventual scams), I think especially this list has build up strong creditibility over time to provide quality information by dedicated professionals (surely not me ...).

A huge lot of these fine professional people have spent many hours already to educate newcomers (like me) in the use and exploration of the hidden beauty of the HP calculators, we all have such a strong affinity to. Don't let the spirit of the list get spoiled by too much noise!

If there is a technically feasible way to stop anonymous postings or multiple accounts - so be it!

Ban Ebay Discussions

With the Best Wishes for a peacefully year 2007,

Peter A. Gebhardt

Edited: 2 Jan 2007, 4:59 p.m.


It's boring at times and funny some other times.
No need to ban what can be easily skipped and/or ignored.



No change, I'm a big boy and can do selective readings. I also can understand other people may be interested in other topics than I. Thank you Dave.



I am happy with things as they are as far as the structure is concerned. I am less happy with the number of personnal attacks that seem to appear as a result of the eBay discussions. While it is useful from time to time to be reminded that certain eBayers have dubious practices (and the first time I saw this I was really thankful), a periodic reminder is good for new users, but it does get tedious when the criticism goes on and on. If the info had beeen buried in a separate sub-forum, I would have missed it. I agree with the people who say that you don't have to read the items you are not interested in. But that applies to all subjects: I don't have a 41, so I often skip the 41 items if there are a lot of other posts.

At the risk of repeating myself, I am happy with people being told that they are factually wrong; but I find it tedious to have constant criticism.
This is supposed to be fun! And if there are users who use multiple ids so they can criticise several times, then perhaps they should have their messages removed or their usage suspended.


Hi Dave.

Given your choices, I think to have a separate "room" for discussing only

about Ebay could really help to steer the HP Forum back to its "core" subjects AND provide (sometimes) useful discussions, hints ans tips about Ebay.

Thank you for your additional effort to make things clearer.

Best regards.



Or at least ask (or require) people to put the word 'ebay' into their subject line.


Require by policy that "eBay:" be the first in the heading.

Script it so that if the subject does not contain "eBay" but the body does, insert "eBay:" first in the subject.


I only said I would post nothing more about ebay; but I would love a place to discuss ebay and calculators without upsetting so many people! It would be very useful to help sellers improve ad quality.


Create Ebay Forum or No Change



A separate forum will make these messages easier to skip, especially when searching through hundred of messages in the archives.


Edited: 2 Jan 2007, 5:20 p.m.


My personal solution is to not feed the trolls.

IMO, for those who think this should be their own personal board and only contain those subjects which they happen to be interested in, sorry, that wouldn't be very interesting.

A little tolerance goes a long, long way.


Anybody who doesn't like this stuff or can't stand it can always decide not to read about it.



Ditto that such discussions are easily skipped.

Also, subject matter censorship is annoying. I'd hate to have to refer to "TAS" ("That Auction Site") instead of saying "eBay". 8)



Most of the time I'd rather not see the eBay related threads, but it's easy enough to ignore them. Perhaps if everyone ignored such posts, we wouldn't see so many of them?

Granted, they might be useful in pointing out things for buyers to watch out for, or for sellers to make their sales clear, but most of us are adults and have probably figured such things out for ourselves.



Hi, David:

Thank you very much for your prompt addressing of this serious problem.

I vote for "Create Ebay Forum" and if that's not possible,
then for "Ban Ebay Discussions".

It should be obvious to any well-meaning contributors and/or visitors of this forum that its spirit is being horrifically abused when among the latest 500 messages posted, just some 193 are *not* eBay-related, and of those a very large percentage are just the seasonal Greetings, Happy New Year, and Merry Xmas.

This is obviously badly damaging the quality of the MoHP Forum, and some usually active members like Hrastprogrammer and myself, have already expressed our reluctance to enter here or contribute in any way just to see our postings lost among wave after wave of the latest adventures of Coburlin et al, or the latest unwanted announcement of yet another scrap of mostly worthless info from eBay auctions.

It's also plainly obvious that something is very wrong when a search in the archives will reveal that there are many times more postings with "Coburlin" on them (or its many aliases and mock-names) than with "HP-25", "HP-15C", or "HP-41", so that even the archives are getting very badly corrupted with tons and tons of rants, crybabies' postings, and such garbage.

I don't think you want your once magnificent Forum to degrade to such useless and embarrassing depths, which is what will happen when the people who once thought of it as the worthiest site for sharing advanced information and discussion on vintage and modern HP calculators will have left the place, fed up to the dregs with Coburlin, its peers, and its fleas.

HP became KinHPo when they utterly disregarded quality and alienated their loyal customers' base. Only you can avoid your MoHP Forum to fall in the very same trap and go the way of oblivion and irrelevancy.

Best regards from V.


Today Ebay ist *the* market for classic HP calcs. One cannot impossibly ignore that fact. In addition, there is not too much traffic IMHO, so seperating the ebay discussion would be pointless.

Since this is also a collectors forum it would be strange banning eBay topics here. I agree the latest eBay thread have become unusually annoying but most of them are harmless, a few are funny and some are really interesting. Anyway, those not wanting to read them don't have to. The suggestion of including (eBay) in the subject line is interesting, not as an obligation but as a courtesy to other participants. This might mean "The thread I have just started is about something interesting or funny I found at eBay. I know some of you don't stand it, so be warned!"



Dave --

Thanks again for hosting the Forum.

I'd recommend no change to standard procedures, because the eBay-related "outbursts" are sporadic. Occasionally, the information presented is of some value besides entertainment.

If the discussions get out of hand or too off-topic, you still have the privilege of purging them in the interest of preserving quality in the Forum Archives.

The previous "voter-demanded" change to procedure, which involved the suspension of editing privileges after any response had been posted, inconvenienced those users who wanted to ensure quality and correctness before their posts became "finalized" in the Archives.

-- KS

Hi Dave, hi to all of you,

I don't know what's the level of complexity to accomplish the following but why bot switch the actual forum engine to a phpBB forum so that those who want to endlessly flame on bad eBay sellers can always do it in separate parts of the forum engine.

The reason why I propose phpBB is that it's an effortless mechanism, at least for brand new sites. Maybe the effort to keep existing archives makes it more difficult to adopt.

Otherwise, I don't care about boring posts. I just keep them in mind next time I read their authors... :-)

Thanks again to Dave for hosting the forum.

I vote for "Create Ebay Forum". Discussion of Ebay -- which is, as noted above, the primary marketplace for old HP calculators -- is clearly warranted at the MoHPC. But I would prefer that Ebay issues be addressed in a separate forum, as the classified ads already are.

I don't know what php BB means, but what I do know is that I love the way this interface looks and works (except it would be nice to be able to search across archives...) and I would hate to see it replaced by some more generic freeware thing. I think Dave designed this whole interface custom from scratch which is a very beautiful and astounding thing.

I don't know what php BB means, but what I do know is that I love the way this interface looks and works (except it would be nice to be able to search across archives...) and I would hate to see it replaced by some more generic freeware thing. I think Dave designed this whole interface custom from scratch which is a very beautiful and astounding thing.

No doubt Dave did a real nice thing, not to forget the whole site, but phpBB or any other engine would give the flexibility to moderate, reassign, stop threads and much more and, as you say, search multiple sections with no effort.

It's only my modest opinion.

Hi Olivier,

OK I looked it up, and realized that I'd seen that format many times. One example I recognized instantly:

Nowhere near as cool as Dave's creation, but then again I am not biased or anything :-)

A bientôt,


I think Dave designed this whole interface custom from scratch which is a very beautiful and astounding thing.

I agree. This is the only web forum I visit on any sort of regular basis, because it's the only one that I think is well-designed and efficient. Everything else I've seen is clunky and/or inconvenient. The best part is that when Dave adds something new, he doesn't ruin or eliminate the "good stuff" that he already had. I wish all software designers could learn that lesson.

Hi Dave, I can select my own thread. I prefer No change or to create a new eBay Forum. Good luck to every body in this new 2007! Albert.

Again, sorry. Albert.

Hi Dave.

I'll choose the option that will result in no extra work for you. I know that we are all grateful for what you do. Besides, you will set a bad precedent if you ban Ebay discussions now. Keep the forum free and open, like the marketplace.

It's entertaining when Dumb and Dumber (maybe their real names?) discuss auctions but it seems to be a waste of space. I wouldn't want it on my next DVD.

Charlie O.

I read the posts that interest and skip the ones that don't, and mostly the ebay posts don't interest me. Those who don't like the ebay posts are under no obligation to read them.

I suggest a special forum for eBay-related discussions.

A few people who are focusing on eBay auctions seem to be annoying the majority. I say give this vocal minority their own HP Calculator eBay forum.


Edited: 2 Jan 2007, 10:32 p.m.


thanks again for managing this site, and thanks for asking!

I vote for "No Change", because everyone of us as a user of this nice forum may choose to either not react on certain posts or respond a bit less politely to the 217th rant about TCS ("that certain seller"). I'm pretty confident this will help, and you don't have to purge the forum too often. The latter I see as last emergency exit only if things get out of control.

If feasible, I'd support to require "Ebay" in the subject line of a post focussed on TAS. BTW I'd encourage subject lines carrying meaningful information and reflecting the progress of discussions. Recently, several long threads were observed wandering away from the original subject, turning to interesting other aspects (which may and shall happen as discussions develop), but the subject lines stayed unchanged forever.

Just my 0,02 Euros.


I vote No Change.

I'm not sure how creating a second forumn would eliminate posts in the main forumn. I really don't want you spending your time determining if a post is in the correct forumn.

Last year, I was against making all posters being registered, but I'm beginning to think that might be of some help. ALL of the forumns I belong to now require registration to post - of couse any one can read the posts. Maybe it's time to revist this. Just a thought.


No change

As mentioned David


10% of the time it's informative, 90% amusing

Ebay comes up often in a peripheral way and I think it would be confusing for both posters and readers if a separate forum existed.

1) I can choose to read or not read a thread or post. However; i do remember that this forum was much more fun when i could lurk and read a post on how to fix something by Tony, Joe, Katie, Dr. Mike, Randy, Luiz or any number of folks without having to wade through treatises on whether paypal has a hyphen in it or not.

2) The present question came about because of one thread that started as a direct question and recieved a simple and succinct answer by Namir. That should have been all there was but it was turned into a serial rant. Namir never would have seen that post to answer it if it had been shunted into the ebaby gheto, and we all have had a question like that.

3)What WE need to do is to moderate OURSELVES, stick to the point, and not babble on.
With that said; i'll stop now.

Edited: 2 Jan 2007, 11:06 p.m.

1. Create Ebay Forum

2. Ban Ebay Discussions

Mike Head

This whole thing was started by one Troll. Just ignore him and dont respond to the post. Everyone that shops and/or sells on eBay knows to read the ad and prepare the ad correctly to get the best value.

I can choose to ignore any ebay thread, so it doesn't really bother me. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) ebay is part of the calculator collecting environment.

It is no never mind to me.

No change, no comment.


I vote to create a new forum for ebay discussions. It's not that I can't skip over those, and I don't have to be a "big boy" to ignore stuff I'm not interested in -- I already do that. It's just that by creating a separate forum, those that want to post (and read) such topics will be appeased, and those who don't care can simply ignore the new forum. Simple, neat and everyone wins.



First off - Happy New Year! And thanks for providing this forum and caring enough about users that you are willing to consider spending some of your time making changes for us.

When I started (re-)learning about the 41 (and later 71) this forum was the single most valuable resource for me. Your DVD was one for the first things I bought after my CX arrived.

And I do admitt that I find it lately a bit harder to find discussions of interest to the HP enthusiast, as even the Grandmasters of the HP like Luiz, Valentin, Tony, Meindert, Raymond etc are drawn into eBay discussions, even if just to (rightfully) complain.

I wonder if a seperate forum would not create peace once and for all and - utopical as it may sound - make all parties happy. Those that want to talk/advise/rant/complain/whatever about ebay auction have a dedicated place to do so and everyone interested in such information finds it conveniently packed in one place. And all others who are annoyed by such discussion, don't have to see them.

For example, I find the separation of ads/auctions from the forum MOST usefull and elegant.

Anyway, just my 2cents.



No further explanation ...

I don't care. Most of the time, most of the threads on this forum are of little or no interest to me. What keeps me coming back is the fact that every now and then, there are threads that I *do* find interesting. I don't want to ban the un-interesting threads, and I hope that the other forum regulars are equally considerate.

One thing that *might* be a good idea for this forum (or any Internet discussion group, for that matter) is a way to selectively remove certain threads, or certain individuals, from the main forum view -- so you can do things like: make Annoying Person X disappear from your view for a month, or make some boring eBay thread disappear forever, etc. Like the "killfile" feature of some Usenet newsreaders. (This feature would only make certain users or threads disappear from *your* view -- I'm not suggesting that regular users should be able to make anything disappear from *everybody's* view!)

Not an easy thing to implement, of course. I'd love to see it happen, but unless the eBay-haters start to completely swamp this forum, I'll keep coming back regardless.

Many thanks to Dave for maintaining this forum!

- Thomas

I don't care either.

The ONLY beef I have is the sorting/searching/filtering issue Thomas noted, but I really don't mind browsing and scrolling.


Not much else to say...


"Prices and rarity" is an important issue for most collectors - and since eBay seems to be becoming more and more important for establishing guide prices, why not discuss about it?

Greetings, Max

I apologize for picking something other than one of the choices offered...

- Doing nothing is ok with me, but it doesn't address what seems to be a legitimate complaint of numerous others, and the problem could get much worse.

- I expect a separate forum or ban would not remove the pollution; for these to work, someone would need to make a continuous effort to review and re/move posts.

I believe the problem is a result of differing opinions on what is a suitable topic for discussion. Setting some guidelines might allow better self-moderation, and provide an authority for those willing to take the time to point out that some post/er is outside the aims of this forum.

Idea: Postings should not mention (directly or indirectly) specific eBay listings, sellers, or buyers

This could eliminate some useful posts, so perhaps it should be limited to postings that are essentially criticisms, or have an exception that allows inquisitive postings.

When I know there are diamonds to be found, I don't mind digging through whatever amount of dirt. Let's make sure there'll be diamonds in the first place.

Moreover, sometimes I find emerald I wasn't looking for.

Good luck with your decision making, Dave.


No change, I can yet make a selection. Thanks Dave.

Hi Dave,
I think a special Ebay forum would be a good idea. Then this great forum could be used for for productive and positive discussions aiming at helping each other and sharing calculator knowledge. That's really useful for us who are quite new to these fantastic calculators!

Thanks for your job on this great site and best regards from Sweden


Discussions about technical stuff regarding how to sell a calc or for what to look for when buying a calc is OK to me. But discussing items, sellers, or buyers should move to another forum or be banned.


I try to stay away from all this ebay crazyness and find it pretty annoying that these discussions come again and again with the same arguments and flames. Let's use this great forum for what is is intended for: talk about HP calculators between friends!



Hi Dave, guys;

many have already writen what I think about this, mainly: I do not read what I do not want to read. If the forum is filled with subjects I do not have anything to add to, I simply go ahead and wait for (my choice of) interesting subjects.

Maybe, just maybe, visitors and contributors might add something like 'E-bay related: subject' in the beginning of the thread so others might find reasons to read or not to.

I do not feel bad about e-bay discussions here, even if they get into unpleasant and unwanted behavior. I only get myself into thoughts like: 'I´d not believe if I was told this guy could write something like that in this forum... Shame on you!'

My 2¢.

Luiz (Brazil)

I don't think the ebay messages while boring are damaging enough to warrant a ban.

No Change

As others said, eBay is the most common way internet users buy and sell HP calculators.

Can I also add such a split in messages is similar to the classiccmp cctalk and cctech divide.

Thanks Dave for the site & the forum & the ads pages!



While an ebay rant has sometimes proved interesting, it usually isn't. Let people wander into an ebay forum if they so choose.
Ebay shouldn't hi-jack the Hp museums main theme.

In the present form I find this a lively forum and should continue to be so. For HP calculator fans this forum and ebay are complimentary.

Edited: 4 Jan 2007, 1:01 a.m.

For most matters, I would prefer no specific forums (RPN, RPL, etc.); but in the case of eBay, I think it may be a good exception to the rule.

Ebay threads are easy to spot and ignore if one is uninterested. I know this sounds suspiciously like a spammers' argument against mail filtering, but a) for some people, Ebay-related topics may be useful, unlike spam, and b) even if annoying, they are far from endemic. A separate forum would be nice, but not necessary IMO.

Back to lurking,


Sorry for the late post (got flu).

-- Antonio

I edited my vote because I convinced myself that No change could not significantly motivate people from spontaneously avoiding Ebay posts.

Edited: 6 Jan 2007, 5:12 a.m.

They are easy to ignore, so why bother changing the system.

If you don't like ebay, ignore the threads - but ebay is probably the most useful source of HP calculators and parts today, so warnings about fraudulent sellers or hints about good service should be made public (and not hidden somewhere inside a sub-forum).
At times it's entertaining as well and interesting too (whenever something unusual is auctioned off). And I can live with the annoying times too :)

Create eBay Forum

It is easy enough to ignore threads that I am uninterested in, however some of the recent anonymous postings have been at best obsessive and at worst libel. (Especially a few which seemed to have a hidden agenda.) I am not amused by it, regardless of who is victimized by such nonsense-- especially when I frequent the forum to learn from and be challenged by other hobbyists. Ebay is a means to an ends, both for the collector and the businessman, and should not be used to disrupt an otherwise collegiate, professional, and educational forum such as this. To those amused by rants and drama, there are 200 channels to choose from on TV.

The riot of freedom or ... I mostly ignore threads that mention eBay.

Thank you for providing such a usually pleasant forum, and thank you to those participants, as well.

...or simply ban the ebay discussions. i'm a "big boy" too, and indeed capable of selective reading. however, i am not willing to just ignore the corbulization of a forum that in the past always was my definite choice of every day reading (and, of course, contributing). just my 2 cents. i do recognize that many users *want* to discuss HP-related ebay issues here and they are right in doing so. give them an extra forum.

1234 to delete

A separate forum could also be used to isolate all non-technical topics, not just EBay.
But my first choice is not to bother changing anything.

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