With regard to this question: I have taken apart a Mac Book G4 is there any way I can use the old keyboard mouse and screen, do we not accommodate people's hacking tendencies, when it comes to using RPis in somewhat unorthodox ways?

I appreciate that this is not instructables.com, nor ifixit.com, but, for example, (and forgive me if I am mistaken in this belief) using a RPi in conjunction with a Motorola Atrix Lapdock is quite a common pairing, amongst the DIY computing community.

So, when I saw the above question, it piqued my interest, as it seemed a valid question - given the (encouraged) hacky nature of the RPi platform (i.e. use it with an Arduino to do such and such, how can I get a Pi to water my plants whilst I am on holiday, etc., etc.) . After all, was the RPi not designed to encourage people to wonder about the devices that they have in their pockets and the nuances of how they work, instead of just using them blindly? A return to the early 80's homebrew mentality if you will.

However, the question got put on hold, before I could contribute that which I had discovered on my research. Yes, the question is not strictly about programming a RPi, but it is about using one.

Please note, that this is not a rant at all, I am genuinely confused. So, I respectively ask, or rather would like to clarify: Are hardware hacks off-topic?

I see this question could be a duplicate of Are questions of the form 'How do I wire…' on-topic here?, although I have tried to expand the reasoning behind my query. The answer, given by Jivings, to that answer admits that this is a bit of a "grey area".

I'm afraid there's no clear answer to this question. All I can say is that it depends.

1 Answer 1


I stick with my previous reasoning for this. Questions must be judged on a case-by-case basis.

In this case, since the the OP wants to integrate his hardware directly with the Pi, I believe that knowledge of the Pi (not just of electronics) would benefit the question, rendering it on-topic.

However, the question is also very bad quality, which I expect is part of the reason it was closed.

It shows a lack of effort, research and understanding, as well as requiring users to email for more information, and thus it is likely to quickly become obsolete.

This question should remain on-hold in it's current form.

Don't forget that you, as a member of this collaborative community, can always edit and improve questions as you see fit, and subsequently vote for their re-opening.

  • Thanks for the answer. I agree that the quality, and wording, of the question was not good to start with, and I was about to edit it (tidying up, clarifying, removing the email, etc.) when it got put on hold. Admittedly it is no excuse but the fact that the user had just joined SE is reflected in the poor quality of the question. When I get some time, I shall attempt to redress the situation, fix up the question and vote for reopen, as I feel that the essence of the question is a valid one, even if it may not actually possible to achieve the OP's goal. Jul 14, 2015 at 14:47
  • 1
    @Greenonline That sounds like an awesome solution :)
    – Jivings
    Jul 14, 2015 at 15:15

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