While idly browsing, I have noticed we have a number of tags whose scopes significantly overlap, and should probably be merged:

There’s also the question of what to do with vs vs . Maintenance and repair are clearly distinct from each other, but ‘restoration’ can plausibly overlap with either, with both, or with neither. This can be discussed under Restoration and maintenance?

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    This meta question is probably too broad. But thanks for finding these!
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 16:18
  • @wizzwizz4 Possibly. On the other hand, I didn’t feel like spamming Meta with repetitive questions. Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 16:33
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    We can have one a week, maybe? That'll last us two months (or slightly under, if that would be a duplicate of this one).
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 16:35
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    CPU is a blacklisted tag, and not all microprocessors are CPUs. There are several here that could be synonymised.
    – Chenmunka Mod
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 18:05
  • @Chenmunka Doesn’t seem to be. I just tagged a question with cpu. Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 18:50
  • Cpu was deemed a meta tag in the early days of the site. To fully blacklist a tag rewuires staff intervention, we never bothered. The tag has crept back recently. We now have other, simpler, ways of blocking tags, maybe we should.
    – Chenmunka Mod
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 19:16
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    A cpu certainly isn't only a microprocessor, unless "retrocomputing" is going to exclude really old hardware and most old mainframes and supercomputers.
    – alephzero
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 15:22
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    To me, [display] could include things like one-line LED/LCD/etc. displays - e.g., KIM-1 - that are not [screen]. Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 5:10
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Doesn’t ‘screen’ strictly speaking only apply to CRT displays anyway? A screen is something that shields from radiation, which in CRTs’ case is the electron beam, but LCD/LED displays operate on a different principle. Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 7:50
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    @user3840170 A screen is something that shields from radiation In a movie theatre, the "screen" is the thing that's reflecting the radiation in my direction.
    – dave
    Commented Mar 5, 2021 at 0:31
  • @Chenmunka By the way, which microprocessors are not CPUs? I agree with the converse, but this one surprised me. Commented Mar 5, 2021 at 16:45
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    @user3840170 Think about a microprocessor or a SCSI controller (e.g. the 8085 on the AHA-1542B or the Z80 on the AHA-1542CF). Looking at the whole computer system, they are "processing units", but not central ones. Or go one step further: Chips like the NEC µPD765 are (preprogrammed) microprocessors, but no one calls them CPU at all. Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 6:18
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    chassis has disappeared completely (including the wiki). Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


Regarding the last addition: Emulation vs Simulator

Going by the terms these are in fact two different items:

  • An emulator mimics the observable behaviour of an item - as far as they are relevant for the purpose. It's purpose is to replace the emulated item within the intended setting. How this is done is of no concern. In contrast

  • a simulator focuses on modelling/replicating the principles its of target

For example some Apple II written in JavaScript that uses a JS function for every 6502 instruction is an emulator. It only cares what user side result is visible, not how it's reached - and it needs to do that fast enough so the emulates Apple will give (mostly) the same user experience as a real one.

In contrast the Visual 6502 is a simulator, as its goal is to simulate each element of the 6502 circuit. While it's cool if this would run in real time, it doesn't have to, as all is about exactly follow the way the simulated circuit does.

Having said this, I do see the problem that these terms are often used interchangeable in every day situations. Not at least as a simulation, done fast enough, can be as well an emulations, depending on the interface provided.

The distinction is a bit mood within the area of retro computing as simulations (lets ignore the Visual 6502) are usually not a topic at all. Here next to everything is about emulation.

In addition, and that might have been the reason to include this, the description for both are rather overlapping.

Further, when looking at all questions the great majority (164) are already tagged with 'emulation'. Of the 11 'simulator' tagged 3 are as well marked with 'emulation', so rather badly classified, only 4 would in my opinion qualify as simulator related.

So, what gives?

Personally I would love to keep the 'simulator' tag, as it is meaningful and distinct from 'emulation', but in all practical means RC.SE would be better off if it gets dropped. 4 rightful uses out of 5000+ questions in 5+ years does not make a good case.

My suggestion: delete it - and, if at all, have 'simulation' mentioned in the emulation tag.

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