Proposal: Registration Must be Mandatory


Hi, all:

    I've been frequenting this forum for several years now, and
    I'm frankly absolutely disgusted and upset with the increasing
    rate of 'unpolite people' (for lack of a stronger term) which
    hide behind anonymity to post all kinds of attacks, disrespectful remarks, and such.

    Besides, there's the fact that a number of otherwise intelligent contributors cannot resist the bait, and usually do reply to that kind of posts, to the utter delight of the moronic trolls, whose only purpose is to waste precious bandwith and time, as well as filling the forum (and eventually the archives themselves) with any number of threads, most of them repeating ad nauseam the usually insulting "Subject:" of the original poster.

    I think this is unacceptable, and further, I am even against hiding one's identity from the rest of the contributors, even if not insulting anyone. It's unpolite, it's unrespectful, and I for once wouldn't accept any opinion from anyone at all if talking to me or trying to argue with me without properly introducing themselves.

    That being so, I'm not for suffering that improper behaviour here as well, so I firmly make a proposal and two statements.

    • The proposal: that to be able to post to this Forum, registration with a valid e-mail address and other data shall be
      absolutely mandatory.

    • The first statement: Personally, I won't reply, nor read, nor communicate in any way with anyone who hides themselves under any kind of obvious alias, fake name, or whatever that I might detect, and strongly suggest that the rest of you do likewise. If noone will read nor reply to the obviously anonymous posters, no matter the content of their messages, perhaps they will learn and use a proper identity.
      Else they will be absolutely ostracised and will probably leave. Good riddance !

    • The second statement: Mr. David Hicks is perfectly entitled to do whatever he wishes with his forum, and to stablish or enforce any policies he wants to. But I'm equally free to stop visiting and contributing to this forum if I don't like them, and if nothing is done to stop dead on its tracks this constant posting by anonymous non-persons, I for once might consider leaving as well if I feel I can't stand it anymore.

Your opinions welcome and thanks for them.

Best regards from V.


Enough is enough.



You also have my vote, even if I'm here since not a long time...


I agree. If someone has a legitimate need or desire to use an alias or nickname, I don't see a problem, as long as it is used consistently and Dave knows who it really is. Requiring registration would make that possible. But being able to use a different alias for every message and not having a record that points to an actual person makes it too easy for the sort of cowardly sniping we've seen here lately.

It's a shame it's come to this, as the majority of the people here are mature enough to behave properly without needing a babysitter. But as in many other situations, it only takes one person who feels "above the rules" to make things unpleasant for everyone.


I do not think you can stop by a mandatory registration the trolling. There are many "sign up for free" eMail accounts, and it is impossible to have a list of all and exclude them. On the other hand, you cannot make a list of "valid" eMail providers to allow only these. So any troll can register, and continue trolling.

I don not think trolls come here for fun, it seems to be kind of revenge for harsh comments. With regards to OpenRPN: I too wanted to support the project at the beginning but soon became frustrated , mostly by the organization of the project. I know of others having experienced the same, and maybe this lead to comments about OpenRPN.
Some newbies show up on this forum and often cause controverse discussions, which also create frustration on both sides and may cause the trolling.

We all visit this place for fun, so let's treat each other positively and let's control ourselves.

Just my opinion!

Cheers, Klaus


How about a new Forum feature whereby the chosen view (Daily, Full, Archive, and Search) could be optionally filtered to include only messages posted by registered participants? (I'd be surprised if this proposal is at all novel -- no doubt it has been mentioned before.) Technical difficulties aside, it might offer the best of both worlds.


Hi, Paul:

Paul posted:

"How about a new Forum feature whereby the chosen view (Daily, Full, Archive, and Search) could be optionally filtered to include only messages
posted by registered participants?"

Yes, it's certainly one of the best options. It seems to me that there are 5 main options to deal with this alleged problem, in order:

  1. Registration with valid data is mandatory for posting, so that only registered users can post to the Forum, though anyone at all can *read* messages in the forum without registration being required.

      This is the usual accepted practice in most if not all professional forums dealing with software, hardware, and most other serious disciplines. Professionals do not have the slightest desire to deal with spammers, trolls, and other unpolite species, nor can they afford to lose any time dealing with them. While I understand this is not a 'professionals' forum, I don't quite see why we have to resign ourselves to lower standards.

  2. No registering, all messages by unregistered users aren't posted immediately but they're sent for moderation instead. They'll only get published if they pass the moderating process.

      However, this will mean more work for Mr. Hicks and/or other appointed moderators, and can bring issues about uneven moderation policies, etc.

  3. No registering or moderation, but visitors can either see all messages or filter out the ones submitted by unregistered users.

      This would mean little, one-time work for Mr. Hicks, and it's quite similar to the Adds/Adds Without Auctions already in use.

  4. No registering or moderation, but each visitor can filter out messages from any users they don't want to see (PLONK!), so that
    messages from the users included in that list will not appear.

      This means keeping a filter list per user, but this is not too much work and the list can be stored as cookies with the rest of the Preferences in each user's own PC. This makes the filtering process absolutely individual, but messages from new spammers/trolls/morons won't get filtered out the first time, so we all will still get to see them and this doesn't actually solve the problem.

  5. Doing nothing about it.

      This is an option, but I don't honestly think it's the best one, specially in the long run. Spammers/Trolls/Morons will only increase in time, and sooner or later something will have to be done about it. That being the case, 'Sooner' would be more sensible.

Personally, I would vote for option 3 above, but whatever is done (or not done) I'll firmly stick to my two statements, the first one in particular: I won't communicate at all with anyone whose identity I don't know, whatever they might have to say or ask.

I've been long enough in professional circles to suffer unprofessional behaviour and I'm certainly not used to anyone talking to me in person or calling me by phone to say something to me or ask something from me, without previously introducing themselves properly. I'd be surprised if you are.

Best regards from V.


Spammers/Trolls/Morons will only increase in time

I do not think this is a proven fact.


Hello Valentin, all.

I also differ for the same reasons as Klaus' even if I'm also fed up with the moronic posts.

As I remember an anonymous contributor who posted VERY interesting contributions a few years ago, I wouldn't like him to be censored/excluded just because he wanted to stay anonymous.

Valentin, maybe you remember his pseudo : "Ex-PPC Member"

Best regards from France.




Mandatory registration will not solve the problem, but will block welcome newcomers.

Being able to post somewhat freely is a great thing in these times of more and more limited citizen rights. You know what I mean, not only in remote countries but in the US too (from what I hear from my place).

Freedom doesn't come for free, it must be fought for every day like the founding fathers said (from what I know). Fear gives power on your life to others.

The general tone of the posts here just make it hard to behave badly.

Of course, I can stand this position because I'm not the one who does the clean up - so it is all in Dave's hands.

Regarding the possibility to edit a post, I don't care as I re-read anything to be posted here at least once. Mistakes are part of life, who would criticize you for an error made in good faith ?


I've been resisting this for a long time because most of the abusive posts over the last years have been by a single person. However, it's becoming clear that he needs a little more help than just the occasional deletion of his worst efforts.

The new forum software that I rolled out last year has a number of features to at least slow down abusive posts. So far, they've been turned off, but I'm probably going to turn one or more of them on for a while. I can set it up so people must register, but I can also set it up so unregistered posts must be approved before they appear. I'll probably try the latter first. I'm going to continue to go slow because I don't want to make it too hard for newbies to ask a question due to one person.

I would also like to remind registered users about the "Report Post" link on each message. Sometimes I get busy and abusive posts slip under my radar. The "Dave Hicks doesn't like free speech" post has already been reported this way but I'm leaving it for now. I'd rather have him attacking me on my forum than his usual targets. In 2006, the "report post" feature has only been used 4 times - and the first time was just a few days ago. (And all reports were about the same person.) I want to encourage people to report early and often. There's no need to wait until you're boiling mad. I may not take action on every report but I won't penalize anyone who reports a post either.


Thanks Dave,
I think that your approach could be the right one, at least for now.

That said I don't see why anonimity should be a must and registration felt like an imposition: you don't want to appear under your real name? Fine: choose an alias and stick with it. It's the ever changing impersonation of different characters that makes me mad.

I, for one, like to build my e-vision of the friends I knew here. Not knowing who is writing what simply destroys these e-images.



On the topic of newbies: I have seen plenty of newbie questions. Of course the most common one is the 12c comma-decimal format one. Luiz and I and others all "compete" in a friendly way to help those posts.

I don't have statistics, but I think you might find that there are a good number of newbies showing up from time to time. Not all of them become regulars. But I think they pretty much all go away smiling.

I know I was smiling when I first discovered this site :-)


Hi Bill, guys;

Just to thank you, Bill, for mentioning my name this very considerable way. I appreciate.

This is one of the main reasons I read the subjects everyday: guys like Bill that are here to tell us we make a difference.

And that politeness is aways welcome d8^D


Luiz (Brazil)


... could you please restore the ability to edit posts after a reply is posted? The restriction was imposed after minimal "voting", in response to the, um, "DW" stuff a few months ago.

Most of us want the ability to correct things after-the-fact, and would not embarrass anyone by changing the meaning of a post after a response.

And, once again, I offer a sincere thanks for the service you continue to provide us.

Best regards,

Karl Schnneider


I'm going to continue to go slow because I don't want to make it too hard for newbies to ask a question due to one person.

OTOH, a question not worth going through the registration process for it is likely a question not worth being answered.



Hi Valentin, all;

thank you for inviting us all to post our opinion about your suggestion.

I know it is actually unpleasant to 'see' such a place being invaded by unpolite people. But I'd not interfere in Dave Hicks´ main interests, which are based on a place free for users with the same interest.

I for one read and contribute only with the subjects that are of common interest, but this selection is based on my onw judgment and I may fail, too. Some (not all) of the issues that I do not see as for common interest are:

1 - e-bay policy;

2 - auctions and related 'actors' in general;

3 - other-brand equipment than Hewlett-Packard´s.

By no means reading about these subjects is annoying for me, and I'd never complain. I just mention here that they do not seem to completely fit in a Hewlett-Packard dedicated site, but this is just my opinion. Also, some (not all) issues that are not related to the main subject of this e-museum but I like to read and contribute with (when I'm not the one calling them myself):

1 - Hewlett-Packard technology in general;

2 - Scientific, Math and cultural related issues and subjects.

I confess I have added a few comments, mainly funny stuff, without using my personal ID when the subject (or the poster himself) was not serious, like some Coburlin related posts. I also did not like the last policy that does not allow us to edit posts after at least one answer is added, because if I have to change or correct something I wrote, that would be because whatever I wrote is my responsibility, so I should have the right to step back and retreat. And the guy that started the discussion that ended up in this particular policy was a new visitor/contributor at the time, and it seems to me he is no longer posting. If he is reading, I cannot say.

But I think these decisions are up to our host, Dave Hicks. He 'owns' the place, I am a guest. I for one do not participate in any other e-forum but the MoHPC Forum because of so many reasons that I may not even remember them all (I read some posts in a few of them and I did not identify myself with them). And although this particular, above mentioned last policy looks to me as not exactly MoHPC Forum related because of the main profile of the regular visitors, I'm still posting and will be posting for as long as I make a difference.

If Dave Hicks agrees with these suggestions and they do take place, I'll accept them and will do whatever needed to fit in. It´s worth doing, for the sake of keeping the good relations and spirit.

If we all are conscious about our actions, none of these would be needed; neither would we be talking about this. I confess I feel uncomfortable when I'm told to do what I am already doing, and that what I have never done and will never do is forbidden, and that it is mandatory and that I'll be watched to make sure I’ll keep this way.

But these are my opinions.


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 2 Mar 2006, 1:28 p.m.


I agree with Luiz on pretty much all of this, including the edit feature. (Please bring it back?)

On the subject of alternative or cloaked identities for humorous purposes, I miss Captain Zener!

As for this being Dave's place: yes, it is, and he made it what it is in form and structure, and it is unique and great and whatever he says works!



If editing was allowed, I'd not need to add a new post to this thread...


I try to make it my personal policy to not register for any board, chat group, or message system if at all possible. So, if this board goes that way, I will likely just drop off from posting. I don't usually make inflammatory posts, I just don't feel it is necessary.

This is for fun, and it should stay that way.

One way that Dave might handle it is to empower a certain number of "Moderators" who frequent this board in such a way as to cover the times when he is busy in other activities. I have seen this work in other areas.

...certainly the choice of moderators would have to be made carefully to ensure a consistent standard of adherence to the board "rules of conduct".

Edited: 2 Mar 2006, 3:12 p.m.


I'm on a microprocessor list serve on Yahoo that people have to register on in order to post, but the requirements apparently are too easy and the forum was mostly destroyed by spammers a couple of years ago. It's still there, but there's no activity because the spammers left such a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

I'm on another related forum that's on a website using phpBB. People sometimes sign up just so they can post spam; but since it's not a list serve, the spam gets deleted before most members get around to checking for new posts every day. Spammers are shown the door when their spam is deleted. There's nothing to keep them from signing up again, but it would be too time-consuming to keep doing it over and over for their advertisements that almost no one will see.

A microprocessor design list serve I'm on required quite a stringent sign-up procedure. I felt like I had to apply, present a resumé, and write an essay on the subject to prove I wasn't there to post spam. I didn't really mind, but as you can imagine, there's hardly anyone on that forum and it goes for long periods of time with no activity at all. That's definitely not the way to do it on the other ones if you want to encourage new enthusiasts to ask their questions and get some help.

None of these forums require actual names, but it doesn't really matter since posters' "handles" are shown automatically with every post. Most people give their names anyway, even if their chosen handle is their amateur radio licence call letters or whatever else. I don't remember any insulting or outright hostile posts on any of these, although one of the most knowledgeable and helpful people on one of the forums does have an abrasive way about him sometimes. He knows it and he's improving though. Seeing others always respond graciously and being given credit when appropriate has an effect on one.

I hope this is found to be relevant and helpful.


...I'm frankly absolutely disgusted and upset with the increasing
rate of 'unpolite people' (for lack of a stronger term) which
hide behind anonymity to post all kinds of attacks, disrespectful remarks, and such.
Your opinions welcome and thanks for them.

And no whining should be allowed! :^)


Hear Hear! 2nd that motion!


I guess I might be included as one of those "anonymous" posters, although I always include the (Smithville, NJ) in my Name and have included my e-mail address at various times in my messages. So, hopefully most of you know who I am.

I have mixed feeling on requiring a Registration in order to post. I would probally register, if it was absoultely required, but at the same time would probally resent it. At present, I have over 50 different accounts at various web sites. Some are forums such as here, others are web sites required for my work. It gets over wheming to try to remember my login's, passwords, etc. I have actively taken the approach to NOT register unless I absoutely have to. The Web site has to provide some direct benefit to me in order to get my registration. Obviously, the HP Museum site would qualify.

As to the posts that we all feel are inappropriate due to either content, those trolling for an argument, those posting just to get a rise out of us, etc....

Well, if we each just exercised a little restraint by NOT responding to them or rising to the obvious bait, then most would just go away. I have seen several instances where the original poster was "looking for an argument" and what do we do - we rise to the bate by responding. There's nothing like no respose to cool most inapproprate posts.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

If Dave wishes to impose a manditory registeration, I will register. Otherwise, I'd perfer to continue as I do now.


Smithville, NJ

bjunk **** at **** vpres **** dot **** com


It gets overwheming to try to remember my logins, passwords, etc.

I feel your pain, but that's just the way it is these days. It's something I had to learn to cope with while working for a certain major U.S. telecommunications company, where at one point I had about a dozen different logins within the company alone... Add things like, my bank, several airlines, etc., to the picture, and there's just *way* too much to remember.

I solved the problem by buying some software that lets me store passwords, encrypted!, on my PDA. That way, the only password I have to remember is the one that lets me into that software.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to push anyone into buying a PDA and software just to cope with trolls. But, the days when the Internet was a civilized place are pretty much over... It's just like a formerly pleasant neighborhood gradually going bad. If you can afford to move to a nicer neighborhood, by all means do, but otherwise, invest in some good locks.

- Thomas


what about just ingoring the unacceptable posts? When we reply to these people, we encourage them. If no one responds, they probably will not keep posting but seek somewhere else to go to indulge themselves. Having said that, I have on occaision taken the bait and responded, but I have learned from my mistake, and will never do it again.


The one thing that experience of Usenet groups and web sites like this has taught me is that the strength of the community is what prevents the problem of trolls and spammers getting out of hand, just as in the real world, the strength of a community is key in dealing with other forms of anti-social behaviour. This community is strong and will easily overcome its occasional problems.

I'm always cautious about the use of technological solutions (registration and/or moderation) to address what are actually social problems.


Not only do I agree, but I also believe that each user should be required to register in the "Biography" section.

#58 to be a formal proof that you have collected at least two thousand HP calculators by the time you register and that you recharge them on a regular basis. You shall deposit a list with their serial numbers in moHP, somewhere in a form that cannot be publicly seen.

Additionally, you should prove your ability to develop an emulator of, say HP97 on a, say, fax machine or a toaster.

This will keep the moHP community clear!

...I just couldn't resist...

Now seriously, I completely share Valentin's and Dave's opinion about registration, though it would prevent me using a young-girl's-newbie-nick-name when I need an extremely fast response to my extremely stupid question.

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