This question Where can I find an external 8-inch floppy disk drive?

Raised a couple of issues for me while I think it's just about on topic (given the age of hardware and difficulty) it does leave me wondering what the correct response to questions like:

Where can I buy a replacement Apple II PSU in Europe?

While it's on topic is a list of vendors (which I assume would be the answer) a good stackexchange answer.

Another similar question is "Where to buy a 6502 chip".

2 Answers 2


In general, any question related to where one might buy equipment or software (retro or otherwise) or asking for buying recommendations are usually off-topic across all SE sites. As stated in other answers, the answers for such questions will get stale fast, and will need constant grooming. Not to mention that list-type answers will have to be organized into general- and system- specific sections.

No one really wants to maintain such a FAQ-style document, and SE doesn't really want us to.

That being said, Retro is a bit different, in that where to find things is invariably part of the hobby.

We might want to check how Amateur Radio SE handles these, as digging around for old equipment is a shared love between us. I suspect the answer will be "your local meetups and clubs can point you at online vendors and swap-meets" but I am happy to be surprised.

There is talk on this Meta about a blog. This might be a good subject for someone who wanted to maintain a series of blog entries in a FAQ-style manner for finding old equipment online.

  • 1
    A quick browse and I couldn't find much about spares on the Amateur Radio SE they do have "shopping recommendations for specific products " as being off topic. I do think where can I get spares questions should be called out as being off top on the help centre page.
    – PeterI
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 21:12
  • 2
    It was just a guess. If the hams don't have a way to allow shopping to be on topic, I don't think we will either.
    – user12
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 21:16

I don't think it would be a good question for the SE format. The answer would invariably be a list and would require constant updating as various suppliers entered and exited the market, changed web addresses, etc.


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