Talk:Suggested hardware

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May I suggest using seperate hierarchical categories under Hardware instead of sections? I know it's a bit of a hassle since we're the first, but I'm hoping everybody will add their own hardware over time. Anyway, thanks for helping out, much appreciated. --Zaerc 08:49, 8 July 2007 (MST)

I suggest this page should be redirected to tested good hardware and tested bad hardware.--Macca 02:56, 3 September 2007 (MST)

  • Uh, you can't redirect to 2 different places. Maybe you could provide some argument for maintaining 2 separate pages. Otherwise your comment is not useful.

Macca, I think that the opposite should happen. tested good hardware and tested bad hardware should be redirected here. There's nothing worse than having to look on 2 pages and still not knowing the answer. There are 3 states of hardware good, bad and unknown. So you should at least promote a page called "untested hardware". Now if I have a piece of hardware I'd have to check tested good hardware, tested bad hardware and "untested hardware" in order to know the status of my device. IMHO that sucks. Why can't I just go to 1 page and see what the status of my device is ? I suggest a table with a status column. --Trout 16:49, 4 September 2007 (MST)

I don't want to get into a turf war or pissing contest here. That helps no-one. A few notes;

  • Any list of this kind needs to be clear and concise. Currently the suggested_hardware page is neither.
  • For ease of use, the list should be alphabetised. Is there a way to do this automatically?
  • The device naming convention should be standardised. ManufacturerName_ModelName works well and seems to be widely in use on this wiki.
  • Similarily there should be a standard layout for the device articles. At the very top should be a status section stating if it works, what version of linuxmce it works with (future-proofing. Like all things, easy doing it from the start, hard to add on later) etc. This should be short and to the point, any extra information about why it doesn't work etc should go in the problems and pitfalls section. This layout should also include a personal experience section (at the end) which users should tag. This allows follow up questions on the forum or the discussion page. Maybe we should create some templates called template_motherboard or motherboard_layout for each device type?
  • If the status of a device is not known, it doesn't go on the list. Otherwise you end up with a list of every motherboard etc known to man. There are [other sites] that do this, and far better than we could here.
  • Is it possible to set up a table that can be filtered or sorted?
  • Maybe a traffic light system? Green works, Red doesn't and Yellow works but maybe isn't worth the trouble( or maybe experimental).
  • Page naming. Maybe hardware_status? The name suggested_hardware sounds like it should perform the same function as what_hardware_will_i_need or maybe a list for a complete, top-of-the-line do-everything system. Tested_hardware doesn't sound quite right either.
  • It should be linked prominently on the main page of the wiki, maybe also a sticky subject in the forums.

There's probably lots more, but its late here, and i'm tired :) --Macca 07:08, 7 September 2007 (MST)

Our options for a hardware status list

A table

No good. Sure, we could make a kick-ass table that users could sort on manufacturer name, device type, device status etc. But it would be impossible for users to add new hardware to. Even a simple 2 column table is difficult to add new data to. For a new user, they will take one look at the edit page and run screaming. Not the effect we are after. Unless we have a sole person maintaining the table (which defeats the point of a wiki) it wont work.

  • In a wiki, you must assume that editors have the know-how to edit rather than just type. You are trying to say the opposite here. Your argument of only one maintainer is absurd.
    • I don't think you know what goes into creating a table. I thought a table would be the perfect solution, but i went and did some research before i wrote the 'options' piece. Even a table with only two columns is difficult to add new data to. Add in another column or some different sections or start colouring cells and even experienced wiki users will find it incredibly difficult adding new devices. Tables in wikis render differently in each browser, so a user (even if they know what they are doing) could add something in IE, for example, that will look fine to him, but break the page for firefox users. Having a page that breaks if a user puts a space or a single quote in the wrong spot is not a good idea. It would be an incredibly frustrating experience for the user and not only would they not add their device to the list, they may not add information to any other wiki pages. The harder a page is to edit and the more knowledge required to do so reduces the likelyhood that users will add their own information. What we should be aiming for is lowest-common-denominator. If a page is easy to add information to then more users are likely to add theirs, especially if all they have to do is copy what was done before them, no special knowledge needed. The point of a wiki is that ANYBODY can edit it, creating complex pages just adds barriers to entry. --Macca 18:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)
      • ANYBODY can edit. At the end of the day, they'll always find a way to communicate that they have hardware they'd like to add. And it may need to be formatted in the table correctly. I disagree with The point of a wiki is that ANYBODY can edit it because the point of a wiki is that EVERYONE can edit it. The point is important because it means 1. we don't rely on a single user to maintain. 2. One person can add it incorrectly and another can format it more correctly. Also I don't know why you are trying to please the editors rather than the readers. Typically a page is read significantly more than it's written. So why not make it good for the readers and *slightly* harder for the writers? Trout 02:41, 10 September 2007 (MST)
        • If the wiki is easy to edit then more people will edit it. this makes our community stronger and the wiki better. Why would we want to make it hard for people? What we should be aiming for is for every reader to be an editor. If users have to send an email to someone or post in the forums to get their hardware added to the list then we may as well scrap the wiki and just have a standard web page. If a user adds something to a table incorrectly, it may break the table completely or worse. There is a very insidious flaw with tables. the data isnt added in one place, its all over the edit page. if the user doesn't get every bit of data in exactly the right place then almost every device on that table is going to show the wrong data. The table will look normal, but the data will be wrong. It could go unnoticed for months, and every device added in that time will have be removed and readded once the flaw is found and fixed. There is not much that can go wrong with a simple list, and if anything does go wrong ANY user can go in and fix it, even one with no wiki knowledge at all.--Macca 16:05, 10 September 2007 (MST)
    • Also, it could be an HTML table. This is a bit easier for editors and still gives a good look. We'd have to for go the column sorting possibility, but maybe it's a good compromise. Trout 02:46, 11 September 2007 (MST)

A single page

2 options here, separate working and nonworking sections, or everything together relying on comments to tell the difference between them.

  • 2 sections. Easy to read, easy to navigate, easy to edit. Alphabetising sub-sections means both sections will keep same heirachy. Page size is larger. Chance for users to put devices in the wrong section.
  • Comments. Messy, hard to tell status at a glance. Problems with users adding long-winded comments or not adding comments at all (especially when there is no page for the device). Page size grows at least 2x faster than number of devices. Is there an upper limit for wiki page size?
    • Actually there are more options than 2.
  • Create a traffic light system Red = not working, yellow = partially not working, green = fully working (non-existance in the table means unknown) Then you can tell at a glance, what the full story about a device is.Trout 09:09, 9 September 2007 (MST)
    • Thats really just the same as the comments option. You are relying on aditional information to know the status of the device. What if a user doesnt put the colour in? what if the page for a device doesn't exist? The text will be red. Does that mean that the device doesn't work? Introducing a partial option is not a good idea. How many shades of gray should we cater for? If a device works (that is performs its primary intended function) then it goes on the working list. If i have to do some mucking around first, recompile the kernel, add text to a config file, sacrifice a goat on the full moon, but my video card outputs video or my sound card outputs sound then it goes on the working list (even if secondary features dont work yet). If i do all of the above and my sound card works as a DAC for an oscilloscope but doesnt output sound, then it goes on the nonworking list.--Macca 18:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)
      • It must be nice to see the world in such black and white. Okay, so what about a video card that works but does not support transparency ? Which pile ? Trout 02:33, 10 September 2007 (MST)
        • You mean any video card that doesnt use an nvidia chipset? Quite obviously the working pile. Transparency is not necessary for running linuxmce and the lack of it doesnt prevent any of the core features from working. i can still watch vidoes, surf the web and control any device in my house. There are going to be few devices that work 100%. Say i have 2 tv tuners, one supports fm radio reception and one doesnt. both cards allow me to watch tv and record flawlessly. Most users arent going to care about fm radio. AFAIK it isnt even supported by linuxmce. So why should one card be labelled partially working when it performs equally as well as a card that is labelled as working? The point i am trying to make is that information about each device, what functions it performs (or doesnt perform), what voodoo it requires to get recognised, how many rs232 ports it has etc belongs on the page for that device. Requiring that information on multiple pages means thing will get out of date much easier. It is not that onerous to add just a link to a device page on the working or non working list, but if users have to retype what they just typed on another page, many are not going to bother. If we have a page that is just a list of links, no extra information, we can tell users that if a page for their device doesn't exist, they can create one simply by adding their device to the list. Hey presto, instantly users are adding their devices. (Sure they could create their device, edit that page and then add it to the list, but we just cut out a step and got the users to do our job for us. If only there was a way to automatically create a page based on a template. we wouldn't have to do any work at all!)--Macca 15:44, 10 September 2007 (MST)
          • You mean any video card that doesnt use an nvidia chipset? No, I mean cards that don't support transparency. Yes, today's answer is ones that don't have NVidia chipset. But what about when someone else produces one that also works? So a user 1. sees the cool video and 2. sees that all the video cards are working perfectly. Then you tell them: "oh, I didn't know you wanted trasparency, you have to look at each hardware page for that information." Sorry, but that is not an acceptable situation. It's important to know that the features demanded by LinuxMCE are all working with a particular device. It will probably drive purchase of devices that have it. Also it's not always clear which cards use the NVidia chipset. and this rule can change in the future. That said, we need a partially working or a partially not working indication. Trout 02:53, 11 September 2007 (MST)
            • I never claimed any devices on the working list worked perfectly, i said their primary intended function works (We can make this clear to the users by stating it at the top of the list), and where exactly does linux mce demand that my video card support transparency?. Even if you do have a partial working status, the user still has to look on the page for that device to find out exactly what works and what doesn't. It adds no value when (as i have pointed out before) virtually all devices will be 'partially working' (Hardly anything has plug and play support, devices that perform no useful function (read: don't work) are recognised by the system(putting them above the level of 'completely not working' and therefore into the category of partially working)). What about different levels of partially working? do you provide a percentage? how do you decide what percentage each feature that works is worth? Even if you come up with a fair and even system, users still have to go to the page for each device to get the full story, and if they have to go there any way, why bother with the extra information in the first place?(It all comes back to simplicity. The simpler the page is, the more likely users will add data to it and keep it up to date, the more likely it is to be a useful resource). It is not sensible to have every feature for every device listed on a single page, why even have individual device pages at all? Why have any extra pages? The entire wiki should be on a single page, that way users can find all the information they need without having to click on any pesky links at all.--Macca 05:42, 11 September 2007 (MST)
  • Take a look at this page and see if it is one that can be adopted. HCL It appears to be a hold over from the Pluto guys, but it looks like it may have potential.--Rwilson131 11:29, 9 September 2007 (MST)
    • Thanks for your input. That page is too complex, Imagine having 50 devices on there. all that information belongs on the page for each individual device.--Macca 18:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)

multiple pages

No confusion over whether device works or not. Hardware support on linux is pretty good, the list of working devices is going to be far longer than the list of those that dont work. Keeping the lists separate makes both of them easier to read and edit. If the sections are alphabetised then both pages will keep the same heirachy automatically.

  • Big time confusion. Ok if I look at the "good" page and I see my device, then there's no confusion. But if it's not listed, I am absolutely confused. Hmmm is it not working? Is it unknown? Maybe it's partially working and not listed on this "good hardware" page.
  • the list of working devices is going to be far longer than the list of those that dont work. Keeping the lists separate makes both of them easier to read and edit. - Uh no, it does not.
  • If the sections are alphabetised then both pages will keep the same heirachy automatically. - again, no. especially when more and more cross devices come about. for example the iPhone. should it be listed under PDA or phone? Hmm I wonder if it'll match the separately maintained good/bad hardware page. I assume that when you say automatically you mean naturally.Trout 09:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)
    • Naturally is a better word, thanks. Motherboards may have video chips or sound chips on board. Does this mean it should be listed under video cards or sound cards? I think not. Most devices will have more than one funtion, each device should be listed under the section that matches its primary intended function. The iphone is primarily a phone, and so goes in the phone section.--Macca 18:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)

working and nonworking categories

No need to maintain a separate status page, just go to category:working and there it is, automatically alphabetised for you. How do you separate the motherboards from the mobile phones from the tv tuners though?

  • Traffic light system.Trout 09:17, 9 September 2007 (MST)
    • I am not sure what you mean here. There is no way to add additional information for each device to the categories page.--Macca 18:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)
      • Oops, you're right. Trout 02:28, 10 September 2007 (MST)

no status list at all

Rely on individual device pages. Not really a good solution, provides no overview so users wanting to get a list of known working components to build their system have to trawl through each device page individually.

  • Agreed :) Trout 09:18, 9 September 2007 (MST)


The categories option seems elegant at first, making use of inbuilt wiki tools to do our job for us, but it only does half the job. It can't categorise the working devices by device-type on the one page. Most devices don't have helpful names, so users wont know if sony_xyz123 is a television or an a/v reciever or a dvd jukebox. This makes it almost useless.

Both single page options will become unwieldy as the list grows. It is too easy for users to add devices to the wrong section or not put comments in etc. Separating categories reduces confusion. Have a look at the suggested hardware page. Tell me which of those tv tuner cards work and which don't. You can't. None of them have any information, one doesn't even have its own page. Now look at the tv tuners on the tested good hardware page. No confusion there, all of them work. The need for a list of known working hardware is far greater than the need for a list of hardware that doesnt work. Why clutter up the former with the latter? It just doesn't make sense. If a user has a specific peice of hardware and wants to know if it works or not, they can type the name in the search box and get the answer instantly. If a user wants to know what hardware definately works with linux mce so he can write a shoppping list, he doesn't want to be confronted with a list that contains both working and nonworking devices, especially if he is not sure which is which. If a developer is looking to increase linux mce's hardware compatability, he doesn't care what already works, he only wants to know of those devices that don't work. There is no need for both categories to be on the same page or in the same list, it just adds clutter and confusion. The only way the separate page option could be confusing is if the same device ends up on both lists, but this can just as easily happen with any of the other solutions. There is no additional cost in having a second page (seeing as how there are over 1800 of them), it costs the user nothing to add their hardware to working_hardware rather than hardware_status#working. If the nonworking page doesnt get visited much, then there has been the benefit of not cluttering up information people do want with information they don't. If, on the other hand, the non working page gets visited lots, those users will have benefited by not having to trawl through a list containing hundreds of working devices to find the information on the few they are after. It's a win-win situation. --Macca 05:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)

Both single page options will become unwieldy as the list grows. 

that's contradicts what you said about the good hardware list being much bigger than the bad list. I get that you just want two lists, but for users who are not so inclined to do a bunch of digging and comparing and searching between lists, we need a single page to do this job. It would be very helpful to have a table with an at-a-glance graphic that told the overall story about the device. r/y/g I think that you also overlook how difficult it is to know when something has an unknown status. It'd give me a much better feeling if I went to a single hardware page and saw all the other Hauppauge devices, with r/y/g statues and not the one I have or consider buying.. It would tell me instantly that the status is not known. How can I get this with your multiple pages ? Trout 09:23, 9 September 2007 (MST)

  • Why would users have to do 'a bunch of digging and comparing and searching between lists'? If a user wants to know if tv tuner brand_x model_y works in linuxmce, they type brand_x model_y into the search box. Instant result whatever the status. If a user is looking to get some new hardware and wants to know what works with linuxmce, they go to the working list, pick a tv tuner card and do some research on price, availabliity, features etc. If they dont like it, they go back to the list and pick another one.--Macca 18:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)

Categories are just fine

Users can either find their hardware by name, or use the subcategories to find specific hardware by type. As far as I'm concerned all the other lists can go since they are a nuisance to maintain and add very little extra value.

-- Zaerc 10:51, 9 September 2007 (MST)

  • so you are for no status list at all. For me that's insane because you then need to goto each hardware page to find the status. On this issue, I agree with Macca Trout 13:30, 9 September 2007 (MST)

other concerns

In my opinion the focus should be on getting more information in here, and making 1, 2 or 3 more pages on which extra information has to be kept up to date is not really helping. This is not supposed to be a shopping list, but a growing source of information to which people should add themselves with as little hassle as possible. But if you guys want to maintain such lists then you have my blessing. I just think that every piece of hardware deserves it's own page.

--Zaerc 14:07, 9 September 2007 (MST)

  • Zaerc, i know that you are an active user here and i appreciate your comments. No doubt you have seen posts in the forum along the lines of 'what hardware will work with linux mce'. There are a fair few of them at the moment and it is only going to get worse over time. This is the problem that i am trying to address. If we have a sticky subject in the forum pointing these individuals to a page in the wiki it frees up users from answering the same questions over and over, and the important or interesting posts wont get lost in the noise. We definately need a seperate page for each device, no arguments there. See my notes about templates above, i would value some input.--Macca 18:16, 9 September 2007 (MST)
  • I agree that each piece of hardware deserves it's own page. But also an overview page with links to all these individual hardware pages is needed IMHO. Trout 14:42, 9 September 2007 (MST)

Yet another opinion

First of all, lets keep things simple:

We make categories, motherboards, tv-cards, gfx-card, soundcards etc.

Then, list all hardware that's been tested, on that page and the result, if i want more info about a particular motherboard, tv-card etc - I click it and get additional info. Easy to maintain, easy to add entries etc.

As it is now, it's like a huge pile of info, not much structure too it, I'd love to help out and see this grow into something really useful and easy.

Samme 04:52, 10 September 2007 (MST)

Haven't had much to do today so I made a little proposal, what do you think?

Look at this testpage and say what you think.

I think this is a quite good solution.

Samme 06:10, 13 September 2007 (MST)

Yet more pages to maintain...

I wish people would just stop adding more redundant lists that nobody is going to maintain anyway, and just add the hardware they have experience with instead, much more usefull.

Another thing that would be nice is if certain people would stop removing pages from the "Spammed" category, it is there for a reason. The way things are going those spammers are likely to be around long after you lose interest.

I don't think the problem is that nobody won't maintain pages - I think the biggest problem is that there's no people in charge of things.

And about spammers...isn't it better to fight them then to let them loose? Samme 10:05, 13 September 2007 (MST)