Content by Peter H. Wendt (original HERE). Edited by Tomáš Slavotínek.
About "Our Thing"
Who Are We
We are a world-wide operating non-commercial group of enthusiast for IBM PS/2 with Micro Channel Architecture (MCA).
We offer help and support for owners of PS/2 machines. We want to keep the PS/2 machines up and running above the level of a museum item, which is only used for exhibition purposes. Our PS/2 machines shall be used in daily life, being powered up and running in useful tasks.
Where to Meet Us
The main forum is the CSIPH Usenet newsgroup, but you can find our Members Pages anywhere on various locations on the World Wide Web as well - see the Links page.
Is There any Kind of Membership Required?
No. It is a voluntary group, no static organization. Either you are in - or not.
Do We Sell Anything?
No. We don't have any product to market.
Our help is in most cases of immaterial kind. We are willing to exchange knowledge, supportive software (written by the members mostly) and -sometimes- parts. While we are non-commercial we prefer exchanging rather than payment. Some of our members run a business nonetheless and sell parts for PS/2 - but this is independent from the supporting nature of this enthusiasts group.
The members however agree to the common rules of proper business, which is a question of honor anyway.
What We Are Not:
The borders are a bit unclear to define. Some people may think that disassembling machines, their internals, their codes and the software running on them is already a criminal act - but we understand it as a method to learn more about these machines, which are no longer officially supported. In our understanding this is a form of adding more details for a better support, so our members are predestined to be busy with digging in the "secrets" of their machines to find clues for solving problems.
We do not judge this as 'criminal act'.
Why 'MCA Mafia'?
Because we are -in a way- one family.
The relations between the members of the group are often far over that of ordinary "fandom". We are sitting "in one boat" figuratively spoken after IBM left the support field and left us alone with our problems. It is the legal right of a company to give up a product line - no question - but there are still a large number of machines out... and also a large number of people being busy with them and still are interested in keeping them up. The idea of doing someone else in this group a favour rather than taking money is one of the base-lines of the concept. We cannot do the same commercial support that IBM did - and we don't want to to be true. Therefore the idea of voluntary information exchange and offering help outside the commercial pathes is closer to the concept of "undergroud networks" and masonic organizations.
Hence "MCA Mafia".