Generally speaking, aren't there a lot of problems that can be fixed with just a simple power cycle? Especially with Windows, a reboot will solve the problems (at least temporarily)?

So, would this be the difference between serverfault and superuser? Generally, where as a superuser might just be annoyed by a restart/power cycle, a sysadmin cannot because its a critical system or otherwise production box?

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    Looking at the questions on SuperUser and ServerFault, very few (if any) will be solved by a simple power cycle. Please give examples if you can find them.
    – heavyd
    Jun 14 '10 at 22:00
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    actually, with Windows, i find that reboot isn't enough. shutdown works, tho... Jun 14 '10 at 22:10
  • Super User is not a discussion forum. questions about Super User belong on Meta, so this will be migrated there shortly. Jun 14 '10 at 22:12
  • What's with those tags? always-korn-in-balllabs, or-something ... Jun 14 '10 at 22:17
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    @that: korn? bell labs? get it? oh, i give up... Jun 14 '10 at 22:26
  • As of now, I've posted 375 answers in SuperUser. I can't recall asking the OP to do a power cycle, much less get it fixed. Jun 14 '10 at 22:27
  • I wasn't thinking specifically about the different sites, but between the USERS of the sites and I guess its my fault for being badly phrased. Aren't there a lot of problems where a simple reboot will fix a problem and thats what a "power user" will do, but not necessarily occur to the average user. In contrast, how often can a sysadmin, or maybe a serveradmin, reset a system to fix it.
    – wag2639
    Jun 14 '10 at 22:57
  • @wag Problems where a pro would restart the machine and the average user wouldn't? Usually it's the opposite... Jun 14 '10 at 23:45

Oh so many differences.

  • The cost of the hardware being worked on. Kind of an odd one, but ServerFault kind of questions can involve Very Expensive Things from a consumer point of view.
  • Rental computing. ServerFault is chock a block with questions about running/managing Virtual Private Servers or other Cloudy technologies. This is not the kind of thing end users do much of.
  • Web Application technologies. While actual web-dev is more the home of StackOverflow, getting php/ruby/mysql/python/apache/ngnix working on the server is more of a ServerFault thing. Importing your settings into the new WordPress blog is more of a SuperUser thing.
  • Enterprise Software mentality. Enterprise Software (think Exchange 2007) generally is developed with a different interface mindset than stuff aimed at end users (Outlook Express). The metaphors for interacting with the applications are significantly different, and 'just reboot it' is rarely good enough. And, in many cases, has already been tried before they get to ServerFault.

And finally, the kinds of people who are good at answering question (the kinds of people that make this family of service work at all, really) have their own specialties. Not all server-jocks are good at desktop-oriented questions (much to the confusion of our families...), and those that are good at desktopy stuff may not know thing one about PHP config or care to see it.

Yes, it's an arbitrary line of sorts, but it is very useful for our purposes.

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