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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
- how to use or preserve computing equipment that is no longer manufactured or supported by the manufacturer. restoration maintenance data-preservation
- hardware, including peripherals, and software, including operating systems and applications. hardware software
- identifying specific computers or specific games / software. identify-this-computer identify-this-game
- where and when a picture was taken.
- computing history and persons with a historic relation to computing. history
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.