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Proposal: Hardware Recommendations

Since there is already a site for Software Recommendations, I decided to create this proposal for the Hardware part. I looked the other Stack Exchange sites, and there is nothing similar to what I am proposing here.

Any comments related to this website are welcomed.

As you probably noted, this website has the same goals of the Software Recommendations site, but for hardware. This means that this website will probably have similar rules regarding the types of questions that are allowed here.

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    I'd suggest including the word computer in the title to avoid confusion with nuts and bolts. – Mark Aug 5 '15 at 20:54
  • I think this is a good idea! – scubaFun Aug 5 '15 at 21:00
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We've discussed the suitability of hardware recommendations on Software Recommendations.

So far, two points of views have been expressed:

  • The name of the site is “software recommendations”, therefore hardware recommendations are off-topic.
  • There are specific issues about hardware recommendations that make them generally unsuitable, primarily the fact that hardware becomes obsolete too quickly.

My personal preference would be to try out hardware recommendations on SR and see if they work at all, then revisit the topic in a year or two and see if hardware recommendations can pass the test of time. But it looks like this isn't going to happen, so hardware recommendations should be tried on their own site if at all.

I expect that the criteria for quality control won't be very different, so I recommend reading SR's tips on writing good questions and good answers.

  • I totally agree with you. For what I have seen on SR (I am following the site beta), questions about hardware does not occur, and sometimes, you want to know, for example, what it is a good router for your home (too broad, but it is an example). This is why I proposed this site. There is still the concern of answers becoming obsolete too quickly, but the future moderators of the site could be in charge of verifying the answers, and if they are obsolete, they can either edit or remove them. – scubaFun Feb 21 '14 at 18:55
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    I see the hardware recommendations being useful for new hardware where there is very limited information on the internet about its performance. Something like (in my case) a GPU. You find a lot of reviews on the GPU and comparisons between them, but knowing how they really perform first hand from people who use it would be a better way to actually understand the hardware. – Ron Mar 25 '14 at 17:23
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    @Gilles : There are specific issues about hardware recommendations that make them generally unsuitable, primarily the fact that hardware becomes obsolete too quickly : This is only the case with IT recommendations. – user2284570 Nov 22 '14 at 13:22
  • @user2284570 The proposal was intended to be about computer hardware. Not hardware as in nuts and bolts. How does a coffee maker count as “hardware”? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 22 '14 at 13:41
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    @Gilles : For me the question is on topic... I never saw (on the site definition) where the site should be restricted to computer hardware instead of hardware in general. The proposal should be edited in that case. (Also because my 25 years old espresso coffee maker started to skrew the Distribution board, and the equivalents I saw cost 550 € at least) – user2284570 Nov 22 '14 at 13:51
  • @user2284570 “Household hardware” doesn't include electrical appliances. And it's pretty clear that the proposal is not about household hardware, but about computer hardware — these are different meanings of the word “hardware”. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 22 '14 at 14:02
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    @Gilles : Then feel free to change to change the title of the proposal fromHardware RecommendationstoComputer Hardware Recommendations. – user2284570 Nov 22 '14 at 14:05
  • I would personally say, Hardware Recommendations is a good antonym for Software Recommendations. Whilst Computer Hardware Recommendations is a more accurate title, it is also a bit of a mouthful. – Greenonline Feb 9 '15 at 23:41
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    @Gilles I totally disagree, hardware never become obsolete, it depends on the choice and the usage patterns. There are still legacy systems that uses old hardware let still working and sometimes its the production machine. – Clain Dsilva Apr 20 '15 at 17:47
  • This question of mine on the SR SE might be relevant. I was looking for hardware with specific software requirements. It wasn't marked off-topic, but I wonder if I would have gotten some better answers from a community focused on hardware, and maybe drivers for hardware – ColleenV parted ways Jul 24 '15 at 20:23
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I think that setting up a Hardware Recommendations site is an excellent idea. Many times, on SuperUser for example, people genuinely ask for help, only to have their questions put on hold and/or deleted. Indeed, one such particular question actually led me to Area51 and this site proposal.

It is a shame when such questions, and their possibly useful answers get deleted, and it would be nice if that information could get migrated to Hardware Recommendations instead.

Just my two cents worth.

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I'm not too familiar with how software recommendation works, but won't most of the questions encourage discussion, and are opinion based? Would answers have to have numbers to back them up? Will VMs be included in proposed recommendations? Like "Well, you could build your own server, but cloud provider can provide vm that you need for cheaper"?

  • Regarding the questions encouraging discussion and opinions, the Software Recommendation beta site seems to be doing a good job avoiding this by requiring askers to include specific requirements about what they're looking for. So "What's a good photo editing program?" gets closed while, "Is there a free graphics editing program that can handle EPS files and runs on Windows?" is OK. The specific requirements turns the rec request into a Yes/No question. – BSMP Apr 20 '15 at 14:00
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Its always best to get a hardware recommendation form veterans and experienced hardware enthusiast's.

I find the following reasons to justify my answer

  • As long as the system exist/runs , its hardware do exist and so does the problems associated with it. So the point that said that the hardware becomes obsolete soon is nonsense. For example I run Lubuntu on a P3 machine [experimental] and I still find compatible hardware for it. And the machine works like a charm.

  • Most people seek help with drivers for non compatible OS's and bits [32 & 64]. And many still want drivers for their favorite hardware on new os. For example using Creative soundblaster cards on latest win and linux Os's.

  • Mixing of incompatible hardwares cause the system to halt or show strange errors. For example a realtek pci lan card mostly conflicts with an Nvidia G force Card, the phenomenon is still a mystery but with experience we know that there exist some issues.

  • Windows still shows the BSOD [Blue Screen of Death] even on latest versions when there is hardware trouble. And you need to be a veteran to understand their error messages example [ STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x00000000, 0x00000002, 0x00000000, 0x00000000) DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL ]. And we still think its human readable?

  • A non paid platform for exchanging suggestions, driver links , driver suggestions, hardware idea's is vital for an open world.

  • New hardware ideas like Raspbery Pi emerge daily and its high time we need to start discussing about hardware.

  • Finally we need to gather the scattered knowledge into one place for the goodness of everyone. Let it be hardware there exist or there need to be a software to run it and hence its according to the policy of Stack Exchange.

I strongly believe that hardware is mostly related to software when you are closely working with your system, you need to know the system to write a software for it and hence we need this in place for a better software and for a trouble less tomorrow.

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The name "Hardware Recommendations" makes me think about all hardware, including nails, plumbing, lasers, keyboards, etc. I do not think the name "Hardware Recommendations" should be taken by a site specifically dedicated for information processing hardware.

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