Thanks for a simple, easy to use forum


Okay, I know I have previously made comments on why the HPMuseum forum should change to one with categories, etc.


I have come to realize the beauty of the current forum. I participate in many web based forums. Most are ad supported and have flashing ads all over the page. Every sentence has underlined words that if you mouse over will either pop up more ads or links or useless definitions. I have to watch the page to make sure my mouse pointer in in a "no-pop-up zone". Each page takes forever to load. I could go on and on. If it wasn't for the good information that is buried on these sites, I wouldn't even think of particpating.

So, thanks to Dave for giving us a clean, easy to use, web site and forum. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but it has what it needs to do the job.


Edited: 25 Aug 2011, 1:01 p.m.


You're right!
A forum is a forum is a forum...




In the greatest and most useful forums, you don't have ads scattered everywhere, categories of limited value and unwanted restrictions to post.

One good example is this one :-) :


Mmmmmm, I think I know this one!


fantastic walk, some wine, cheese and bread and sit down by the columns.

I recommend it if you can do it, especially in september!

You guys in Italy are lucky



Sit down by the columns and think about the politics they made there some 2000 years ago, what changed and what didn't ...

You pilots are lucky, too. Very nice place! d:-)



spot on considering both statements!

Cheers, Geoff


Sit down by the columns and think about the politics they made there some 2000 years ago, what changed and what didn't ...

If we only had now some of those politicians... given their descendants! ;)


Categories would be a nice upgrade, as would a functional search feature. But mostly I stop by to read the intelligent conversation that is lacking in many other places. I'm glad there's a place to read about HP calculators.


Categories would be a nice upgrade, as would a functional search feature

Agreed, but not at the cost of going with another software.

I would prefer tags over categories. The problem with categories is that all messages are members of a single category. Whereas with tags a single message can span multiple categories.

With tags you can filter. E.g. I want to read all messages not tagged with 34s AND development.

Just my $0.02US.


Most are ad supported and have flashing ads all over the page.
Use AdBlock.

This is a small forum and I rather enjoy the simple interface. But please allow an old fart to vent his spleen about web forums in general.

Coming from Usenet, I was amazed at the lack of features and general unusability of web forums, compared to a decent late-1980s vintage NNTP newsreader. I imagined it would soon be corrected, but that was more than 15 years ago, and there have been few improvements.

No threading, no scoring, no regexp-powered searching or killfiles, no way to automatically read all new articles just by pushing the space bar. Plus, every forum lives on its own web page with its own password and its own idiosyncrasies, and of course you cannot type one command that will fetch all new articles from all forums that you frequent and cache them locally, so you can read them without having to wait for the network.

Web forums in general are awful to use, and that's why I only read a handful these days, compared to the dozens of newsgroups I used to follow in the 1990s. Thanks to scoring and killfiles, it was easy to find what interested me, and since I never had to wait for a web page to load in order to read the next message or thread, I could skim a newsgroup as fast as I could read.

But now you can type :-) and get a yellow smiling face. I guess that counts for something.


Hi Paul,

I was a CompuServe member back in the dial up days. I used an offline reader, TAPCIS, that would let you log on, grab all the threads/forums you were interested in, then logoff. You then could review the threads at your leasure, reply to them, even mark files for download, and then the program could log back on and upload your comments, update the threads, download the files, etc. Not exactly real time, but boy was it efficient.

I remember when I lost interest in CompuServe - they went to WEB based that was just awful. Of course I was still on dial up, so that didn't help my experience.

I really like the TAPCIS program and the way it worked. Sometimes simple and elegant works best.



I was on GEnie (CompuServe's competitor) and there was a similar program called Aladdin. With a $7/hour fee and a 1200 bps modem, it was pretty much the only way to go.


I came from Usenet as well--since the early '90s. All of the capabilities that you list, and one that you didn't (offline/local reading/posting), was a feature of the newsreader.

Web forums are the evolution of the BBS. Neither are client/server, both require that you are online with a terminal or browser. And they all vary with pros/cons, but you are correct, none come close to eclipsing Usenet/Newsreaders in capabilities.

Usenet is still active. But not to the extent of the past. However, the quality is good since it is old-timers that remain. I still read each day: comp.sys.apple2, comp.sys.hp48, comp.sys.cpm, and alt.folklore.computers.

Newsreaders are available for all platforms. I use NewsTap on my iPhone/iPad.


Recently my provider Deutsche Telekom has shut down its NNTP server. Do you know a free server to connect to?


If you do not mind using a Web interface, then there is Since Google has every Usenet post, I use this for searches. The Web UI is not that bad. See for yourself: Tip: Click "Options" in the upper-left area to switch to threaded view.

If you need a free (text-only) NNTP server for your own client, then use Visit for details.

If you want binaries via NNTP, then you'll probably have to pay. I hear that giganews is good for that.

P.S. I forgot to plug my ISP. For $10/month you can get a shell (Linux) account with Then you'll have access to their NNTP server, have about 5-10GB of storage, your own website, e.g., etc... It's owned/run by a friend of mine. We both got on "the net" and Usenet via UUCP in the good-ol-days. I do not think Pete will ever give up on NNTP.

P.P.S. I think NNTP is text only. I do not do binaries, so I never checked.

Edited: 29 Aug 2011, 3:25 p.m.


Thanks for the list. I already have my own website but the link seams worthwhile to look at.


Yes, T-online no longer supports usenet. But that's no problem, there are even better options. IMHO the by far best one is the newsserver at Freie Universität Berlin.

Please take a look at - their service is simply great and has an excellent reputation in Germany. Simply click on "Überblick" and see what they offer. They provide a fast and complete newsfeed in excellent quality, messages come in virtually in real time. The whole thing will cost you not more than 10 Euros per year, giving access to their nntp server with the newsreader of your choice. Yes, it's not "free like in 'free beer'" but 83 Cents per month comes quite close. ;-)



Time to get back to the UseNet.

Thanks for the pointers.

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