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I'm currently trying to mod an original Xbox, and I'm running into some trouble with the specialized bootable distro of Linux that I need to use to do so. Despite spending several hours on Google, there's no information specific to that distro regarding my problem. I'm pretty sure that the Unix & Linux section of StackExchange would be of great help, but I'm hesitant to ask.

So, on the StackExchange network, is it permissible to ask questions regarding console modding and homebrew, or are those taboo subjects? I don't want to step on any toes, but I do need a hand here. I didn't see anything in the FAQ, but I want to make sure before I ask.

Edit: Based on the feedback I've gotten, I decided to go ahead and post it in Unix. Here it is.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't think there's any general policy against it. I'd be careful about posting questions/answers/photos that prove you've voided your warranty, but I wouldn't take any action to stop you.

You might want to check out the Electronics & Robotics site (in addition to other technology-related sites like Unix & Linux, which you mentioned). I don't see any similar questions yet, but maybe you can ask on their site-specific meta to see if your questions will be welcome there.

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Great news. I figured that if there was a strong policy against it, that there would be a flood of seasoned members all trying to be the first to tell me not to do such a thing ever. Thanks for the heads-up. I'm just now discovering how vast the StackExchange network is, so I'll be sure to check out Electronics & Robotics soon... but for now, I'm going to post my question here; the problem is occurring on my computer, while I'm trying to copy some files. Anyhow - thanks again, see you around. –  kivetros Mar 3 '11 at 19:11

Sadly most of the communities that have developed on the relevant sites shy away from questions that are perceived as to discuss practices with questionable legality/morality. I've been pushing back against that, as it's impossible to define what is legal and ethical or moral on a universal basis, given the worldwide reach of the site.

However, it won't hurt to ask on the relevant communities, and it's possible that you might open them up to the possibility of being the site that supports console modding questions. The worst case is you get a bunch of downvotes, you delete it, do a rep recalc and move on with life.

I would consider http://gaming.stackexchange.com :

What kind of questions can I ask here?

Gaming - Stack Exchange is for passionate videogamers from all platforms, including consoles and computers. If your question generally covers …

  • PC video gaming
  • Xbox, PS3, Wii gaming
  • Nintendo DS, PSP, iPhone gaming

… then you are in the right place to ask your question!

Although that one might be the trickiest to handle. If you are talking about gaming, then modifications in that context are usually only used for development (and there's a game dev site already), cheating, and bypassing copyright protection. Other uses of gaming consoles wouldn't be covered under gaming (scientific applications, media players, etc).

You might, in fact, want to ignore the processes and methods you are having trouble with and consider the end result:

  • If you are building a system into a media player --> Superuser
  • If you are hacking it so you can make indy games --> Gamedev
  • If you are modding it so you can tinker with the system --> Electronics
  • If you are trying to build a cluster of xboxs --> Superuser and/or Serverfault
  • If you are interested in using as a server or general purpose linux box --> Ubuntu, Unix, Serverfault, or Superuser

The trick will be portraying the question within the bounds of the site you are approaching. It's not too difficult, I've asked all sorts of questions on offtopic subjects on stackoverflow (such as hamburgers and baby names) by properly framing the question within a programming problem, usually due to challenges from other users.

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You just described perfectly the reasons for my trepidation. I'm definitely planning on installing Linux on it as soon as I can, so I think I'll ask on the Unix board. Thanks so much for your insight. –  kivetros Mar 3 '11 at 19:24
3  
We do allow some degree of questions about homebrew on Gaming, as our policy has something of a "If it's not illegal, it's acceptable". That said, we aren't lawyers so it's less trouble for everyone involved if items of questionable legality are avoided. As far as content is concerned, the actual act of console modding and homebrew is probably out of our scope. –  Grace Note Mar 3 '11 at 19:58
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Noted. Thankfully, I was able to get some help on my question over in the Unix board (see the post here). –  kivetros Mar 3 '11 at 20:39

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