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This was inspired by What engineering advances paved the way for "modern" computers?

Are history questions on-topic for Engineering.SE? We decided on HSM that history-of-engineering questions are on-topic as long as they discuss the applications of specific mathematical and/or scientific principles; History.SE doesn't seem to have discussed it but has some questions on engineering. Keep in mind, though, as Robert Cartaino said (gratuitous emphasis mine),

Don't worry about other sites.

Just saying. We shouldn't consider HSM or History in this discussion. At all. But it's something that may be relevant at some point in the far future, though I hesitate to mention it.


An tag has been created, and history questions have popped up.

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With many sites on SE, some of them overlapping, it is often hard to choose which site to ask a question on.

Here, I made a decision that it was more of an engineering question than a history question. That is, an engineer might better explain the (technical) antecedents of a transistor or an integrated circuit than a historian, even though it involves history.

Electrical engineering was actually my second choice of site, except that the historical Babbage machine involved mechanical engineering, and other applications might involve other branches of engineering.

If the question had been something like, what principles of the abacus can be found in computers, or what influence did medieval algebra have on computers, I would have asked in on the History of Science site (I'm on both sites). Neither of them are highly technical, and both might be of greater interest to historians than engineers.

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History question directly related to the topic are generally considered on topic at most SE sites. If the question is on topic at another site, has no bearing. This is THE site for Engineering questions, current or past, after all everything current becomes past in short order.

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