Can we please discuss whether the closure of my question on SuperUser was reasonable and justified? It was closed swiftly by a moderator, with a single vote. Here it is:

Do Seagate Momentus XT SSD Hybrid drives perform better than a good hard drive + flash on ReadyBoost?

Thank you.

p.s. If you think my question should be re-opened, please vote at Super User above if you can. The moderator that closed it is exercising his right to be stubborn.

p.p.s. While you're at it, you might also believe in voting for the following relevant feature-request here at meta: Add a way for moderators to cast a normal, non binding vote.

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    @The Cat: No, I didn't need a lengthy explanation from the swift moderator - I needed to make an appeal to objective third parties. We need a role like Ombudsman. Trying to make the case to a moderator who closed a question in the first place is an uphill battle since ego is invested in defending the original decision. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 14:13
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    @The Cat: Actually, I had exactly such a dialog with quack in his answer (below) and the comments following. I wasn't being presumptuous about his position. I directly appealed, and he directly said no. While this conversation at meta has been helpful to resolve, I think we need a "Flag for appeal" function directly in the site to get other mods' opinions. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 14:58
  • (I retracted that feature request for the reasons given on that page anyway, so cleaning up comments.) – Gnome May 31 '10 at 15:58

Since the hardware exists and is on the market, I don't see why it would be closed, though Quack is right that it may not get many answers on SU. I don't think SU has enough of the 'Tom's Hardware' crowd yet.

But it's obviously still a real question.

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    in hindsight, "subjective" may have been a better choice for close reason than "not a real question". ah well. i won't fix that now since reopening-then-reclosing would lose the current reopen vote(s). – quack quixote May 30 '10 at 16:52

I have to say that I agree completely with Chris on this. This is a totally appropriate SU question.

Maybe what's confusing is the focus on the first specific product of this type (hybrid SSD+HDD) to be released, but .. something had to be first. The bottom line is, it's a really interesting bit of computer technology that deserves discussion.

  • it is interesting tech; it just struck me as too new. ivo made a comment on the gadget site proposal about the horrid speculative questions that tend to crop up when new products are announced or hit the market, and that's what i thought about when i first saw the question. @chris: my apologies for the incorrect closing -- but i think we now have a firm idea of what an acceptable new-product question looks like. thanks for your patience. – quack quixote May 31 '10 at 4:32
  • Thanks, @Jeff. Thanks, @quack. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 11:42
  • See my question. NARQ annoys askers more than any other tag. meta.superuser.com/questions/7693/… – Milind R Feb 15 '14 at 5:06

I'm very suspicious of questions posted about brand-new products. I admit yours is one of the better-written ones I've seen, but Super User gets a host of awful questions about whatever new technology was just announced, even if it won't be released for months. Super User is not a product review site, or a discussion board, and most of these new-product questions are more appropriate for one of those.

Your question's title asks if the new product "performs better" than the older tech, and the question body goes on to ask why the older tech wouldn't perform as well. It has that subjective smell to me. In particular, you state the new tech seems "at a glance" to do what the old tech does, which sounds to me like marketing fluff.

So that's my take on the overall class of questions, and why in particular I think it applies to your question. Thanks for asking this question, though. If the community or the other Super User moderators reopen it, I'll take this into account when reviewing questions in the future. I'm happy to get the community's feedback on it.

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    "Performs better" is not subjective. Hardware can be measured. Boot times of a hybrid vs. boot times of HD + Readyboost, for instance. Additionally, hardware-minded folks might know of some very specific reasons why the device might outperform an ad-hoc combination. – Chris W. Rea May 30 '10 at 19:05
  • Please reopen the question. Thank you. – Chris W. Rea May 30 '10 at 19:18
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    @Chris W. Rea: i'm sorry, no. please reread my last paragraph, take a deep breath, and exercise some patience. thank you. – quack quixote May 30 '10 at 20:17
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    You said so yourself it is hard to get questions closed with votes; the same applies to re-open. Read the other answers here; those are the opinions of the community. You made a mistake in closing it with your sole vote. You should have let the community decide. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 0:05
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    Not to mention your argument doesn't hold water. Subjective, my ass. Ever heard of benchmarks? And "marketing fluff"? I don't work for Seagate. I meant what I said. Your opinion of it being "marketing fluff" is, in and of itself, purely subjective. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 0:09
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    Besides, you should be saving your moderator super-closing powers for egregious cases that demand attention, not posts that require you to talk in shades and nuance to justify your action. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 0:25
  • @Chris: quack has acted in good faith, while you've consistently hurled insults and been argumentative. This casts you in a very negative light. – Gnome May 31 '10 at 3:26
  • @chris: my apologies for frustrating you with my stubbornness. i felt strongly enough about the original closing that i needed to see much more "community support" than 1 reopen vote and the few upvotes on this thread. had i seen it with 4 reopen votes, i would've cast the last vote myself. as i said, have patience. – quack quixote May 31 '10 at 4:44
  • @The Cat: What insults? – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 14:05
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    @The Cat: As for being argumentative, guilty as charged. I would hope people defend a well thought-out and on-topic question when confronted with swift unjust closure. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 14:08
  • You can make an argument for reopening without being argumentative and inflammatory. It will usually have more impact on rational forums (so politics excepted). @chr – Gnome May 31 '10 at 14:55
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    " You can make an argument without being argumentative " ... yeah, OK .. maybe I haven't mastered that paradoxical skill yet ;-) – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 15:07
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    @Chris "You can make an argument without being argumentative" this seeming tautology is absolutely true and it is a commentary on your manner of presenting your arguments, rather than your disagreement. – devinb May 31 '10 at 15:23
  • @devinb: Well said, but I think you meant "seeming contradiction" as opposed to "seeming tautology". In any case, I'm content with my manner. In this case I felt the treatment to my question was unjust, and I responded to the criticisms of my question accordingly. While I'd like to be able to argue a position like Spock, I am too human to hide my emotions completely. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 15:28

Yes, the product is new and it's likely the majority of SuperUser members have not actually tried it yet, but there are already a LOT of reviews out there on it, benchmarking it to other drives & applications. You don't have to have firsthand experience to provide an answer, just knowledge. Could have very well been one SuperUser member had read an article they could link to & summarize that would answer the question. I do not think it should have been closed. At the very least, changed to a wiki.


I would certainly be interested to know if anyone has performed some actual, real-world tests on those hard drives. Whether such a query actually belongs on SuperUser is another matter, though.

I would think that closing the question because it is speculative is itself speculative. I found the reason given for moderator closing to be odd. Surely it could have been left to the community to decide for itself.

It is my opinion that moderators should restrain their actions to those actions where there is a dispute in the community that cannot adequately be resolved by consensus.

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    you may be more used to Stack Overflow, where bad questions can be closed by the community in a matter of minutes. that's very seldom the case on Super User; we have just over 2 pages of close-voting users. – quack quixote May 30 '10 at 18:01
  • @quack: Consider the similar problem: There are insufficient high-rep users to quickly reopen a poorly-closed question. So, I'd rather not wait for the re-open votes, if you could do the needful please I would appreciate it. Thank you. – Chris W. Rea May 30 '10 at 19:07
  • Robert, I particularly liked the second part of your answer at meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41062/… .. re: I am of the opinion that, unless a question is an especially egregious case of system abuse (i.e. obvious spam), that it should be left to the community to cast its own votes, and decide for itself whether a question gets closed or not. +1. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 0:26
  • Moderators should be able to act as part of the community too---their high-volume and highly valued contributions as part of the community are probably why they were tapped for moderators in the first place. – Gnome May 31 '10 at 3:25
  • @The Cat: Agreed, but a long-standing issue is that a moderator's single vote carries way more force than the vote of a typical community member. I think the shotgun should be reserved for cases when the fly swatters don't work. – Chris W. Rea May 31 '10 at 11:41
  • @Chris: I've been frustrated by that too, but as I said, it seems you initially blew this incident out of proportion. – Gnome May 31 '10 at 12:47

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