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Links to more specific resources:
Help:Basic MediaWiki Syntax -- Help:Introduction to Templates -- Help:Introduction to Categories

To see a list of all Help: pages, click here.

Goals and Content

The Computer History Wiki ('CHWiki', for short) is meant to be an informal knowledge base about classic computers (from early mainframes on through personal computers), for people at all places of the knowledge scale.

In addition to the cold, Wikipedia-style descriptive articles, we want to have funny and/or interesting stories about the machines, practical guides to software and hardware, programming information for hardware devices, tutorials for programming languages and operating systems, and whatever else you can think of.


Due to past problems with spam, you will have to get a user name before you can make any edits; an admin will have to set up the account for you. It also makes you much easier to contact, and it also conceals your IP address.

Once you have an account, and have logged in, to edit an article, simply click the "edit" tab above the article name. If a link is red, this means that the target article does not exist. To create an article, simply click the link and start typing. To create a new article, you can also type the name into the "search" box and click "Go".

If you're not familiar with MediaWiki syntax, and you want to do something that's not obvious (from looking at the existing article source), please read up on it; there's a very handy cheat sheet here.

It's good to create a short User: page (there's a link to this at the left of the top of every page, once you have logged in) to let the rest of us know a little bit about your interests, etc.

If you create a new article, please check first if it might already exist, but worded, capitalized, hyphenated, etc, differently. Remember that article names are case-sensitive, but that the MediaWiki system always capitalizes the first letter of the article, no matter how it's linked.

To make it easier to find an existing article - and, even more importantly, to help prevent creation of duplicate articles - it's a good idea to provide lots of redirects from all the variant names you can think of.

Talk: pages

Talk pages (there is one associated with each content page - click on the 'Discussion' tab to see it) are the way to discuss with other contributors how to approach a non-trivial issue. If you're in doubt about anything, just ask! A good example of that happening is here.

We follow the Wikipedia style of Talk: page formatting; see the page mentioned above for an example of how they look.

Please i) use section headers, and ii) sign posts with ~~~~ (which automagically turns into a link to you, and a timestamp). (Yes, that info is all available from the History page, but it's nice not to have to grovel around there for the info.) Also, it helps to indent replies, using one or more ':' characters at the start of the line to nest them.


There are a few standard templates (a way to include a named block of MediaWiki source) which you may want to familiarize yourself with, particularily the Infoboxes; and also those for displaying registers. Templates are described in Help:Introduction to Templates.


Please try to add the appropriate Category (a way of tagging articles so they can be grouped together) to your articles, so that they can be easily found in the mass of articles. Note that the advice above about article names applies equally to categories. Categories are explained in Help:Introduction to Categories.

Copyright and licensing

(Yeah, boring, I know...)

The text on this Wiki is submitted under the GFDL license (as the icon in the lower left tells you). In short, this means that the text you have submitted may be edited at will, translated to Klingon, spread to the four winds, as long as the text is still kept under this license, and the reader is somehow informed of the license. One advantage of this is that it is the same license as Wikipedia, and we thus may yank text from them, and they may also copy chunks of text verbatim from this wiki for its own use.

Content from Wikipedia

If you include any content from Wikipedia, according to Wikipedia's content license, you must give credit; a link to the source article will do.

To make this easy, a template for use on Wikipedia-sourced articles has been created; just add {{Wikipedia}} to the bottom of the article here. Ideally, one should give the name of the source article; this can be included as an argument, e.g. {{Wikipedia|Foo}} if you're using material from the 'Foo' article.

Note: if the source article name includes any spaces (' '), they must be replaced with underscores ('_') in the argument, in order for this template to work correctly.

Linking to Bitsavers

If you are going to link to Bitsavers, please read the article Help:Linking to Bitsavers.

See also

External links