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I think a “retro” tag would help indicate projects that use older technology for the sake of using that older technology. There’s definitely a separation between just more historical posts and say, the series of articles on the 8088 MPH demos (1 2).

I almost always learn from the hacks that people have accomplished on older hardware or the problems they encounter in those kinds of projects, rather than just a paper on that technology design (from the time period) or a description on it’s history (not that those aren’t valuable).

Examples:

One of the 8088 MPH stories: http://www.reenigne.org/blog/1k-colours-on-cga-how-its-done/

Writing an OS… in QuickBasic: http://back2basic.phatcode.net/?Issue_%231:Writing_an_Operating_System..._in_QuickBasic

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    And not just projects that use older technology, but projects that are ABOUT older technology, like http://artpacks.org or the Internet Archive’s efforts with their Internet Arcade https://archive.org/details/internetarcade

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      Definitely a good addition. Do you think “using older tech in a modern way to use older tech” includes that?

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        If that wording is actually going to be written somewhere (do we have a directory of extant tags?), I would suggest changing “to use” to “for the sake of using”. It’s clearer to me.

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          I knew it was off somehow. I kind of was thinking of the filters page when I was trying to get a concise description.

          Edit: fix mobile auto correct space between ] and (

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            Ah, indeed. Thanks. :) I haven’t used that page because I prefer to see everything that’s being discussed, although they’re not all to my interest. But I’m glad to know about it.

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      Yeah, I like this idea.

      As a thought experiment, would you apply the tag to the retrospective we had yesterday on the Intel 432? It was pretty much pointing out, hey, there’s this cool classic paper on why this “classic” design was so universally hated and commercially unsuccessful. That seems very different from, say, a primer written for a modern audience on the graphics of the NES, which was the top-selling console of its decade.

      I don’t think there’s a right answer to that, I’m just curious.

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        I actually went over that article when I was looking for examples. I don’t think it falls into the retro category for the same reasons Threaded Interpretive Languages (1981) wouldn’t either. I feel retro is more of the older, classic technology being used in a modern way but with the focus still mainly on the classic technology. The Intel 432 article used a classic technology as a way to get a point about modern microprocessor design across. If the modern microprocessor point was made as an aside (not the final paragraph) then it might fall into retro.

        If I had to say one line it would be retro is “using ‘classic’ tech in a modern way for the sake of using ‘classic’ tech.”

        Edit: “for sake of” fix

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          That makes sense. :)

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        Given that FOSS issues don’t merit their own tags for fear of abuse[1], I think “retro” might have exactly the same problem.

        [1] : https://lobste.rs/s/r4ipep/add_a_foss_open_source_tag