What topics can I ask about here?

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Retrocomputing Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area 51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

How do we define Retrocomputing?

Retrocomputing involves the restoration, preservation, history and maintenance of computer and gaming systems of yesteryear.

Questions are most welcomed on

What should I avoid asking?

Since their invention, computers have been used in almost every possible context. It's always a good idea to check first if the answer you want is really about Retrocomputing. As a guideline, it might be advisable to check any question in doubt against the above definition first.

Common areas to avoid are (non exhaustive):

  • Questions about modern, currently supported computers are off-topic. This includes questions about earlier versions of a current machine or OS.
  • Questions regarding writing code that emulates retrocomputing features may be better asked on Stack Overflow.
  • Questions regarding configuration of emulators on a modern computer may be better asked on Super User.
  • Questions regarding emulation on specific machines may be better asked on other Stack Exchange sites. For example: Raspberry Pi, Ask Different, etc.
  • Questions about electronics are off-topic unless they are confined to dedicated examples of existing circuitry of an existing and on-topic computer with the intention to understand its workings. For everything else, Electrical Engineering might be a good site.
  • Almost all "What If?" or alternate history questions, as they are fictitious in nature and rarely bring genuine insight.

What's on-topic and off-topic on Stack Exchange sites is determined by community consensus. This page is a summary of that consensus, but is not exhaustive. For more information, see the [scope] tag on Retrocomputing Meta.