Is it acceptable to ask hardware (mostly embedded systems) questions on Stack Overflow? And, if not, is there another site out there with a quality reader base for such questions where answers will likely be forthcoming?
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 11 '10 at 22:05
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The term "Embedded Systems" covers such a huge area that there's no easy way to answer this. Here's a helping:
Great for programming embedded systems. Questions about compilers, build process, software testing, etc are all warmly welcomed. Don't ask about chip programmers, and other hardware specific stuff here.
Much to my dismay, some people are referring to thin clients, kiosks, network advertising displays, etc as embedded systems. Technically they are, but questions about integrating particular products with your servers, setting them up, handling software and user issues with these are best left to the IT crowd.
If you are using an Intel Atom, Micro ATX, Beagle board, or some other Common Off The Shelf hardware with an OS such as windows or linux, and you have questions about integrating them with various USB motor controllers, microsoft robotic software, or such, then you may find some help here.
Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, soldering, chip programming, wiring, sensors, best way to measure some real world phenomena, etc all are best placed here. You can pretty much ask all of the above at Chiphacker, but you may get a better response for some problems on the above various sites - for instance C algorithms on an 8 bit microcontroller are perfectly well suited for StackOverflow, and even assembly language questions, but if you prefer you can mount those questions at Chiphacker.
Questions about programming embedded hardware are welcome, as are questions about cross-compilers targeting such hardware and questions about embeddable OSs, and libraries that are designed to support programming cute little boards, and and and...
Questions about soldering, designing PCBs, ground loops, why the magic smoke got out of your chip, and so on, are not appropriate.