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Primary sources?[edit]

It's not clear to me what the problem is here: one could possibly consider the PERQ brochures to be primary sources, but as they are only used as a source of facts and figures, and no analysis or interpretation of the sources is being made, then these should be acceptable per WP:PRIMARY. Also, this article is reasonably well-referenced compared to most - tagging with {{refimprove}} seems a little excessive. Letdorf (talk) 22:37, 4 June 2009 (UTC).

Hi, Letdorf. Thanks for your note and for opening the dialog. My read of WP:PRIMARY requires the source be published by a reliable, independent source; the salient requirement being:
Our policy: Primary sources that have been reliably published (for example, by a university press or mainstream newspaper) may be used…
I think the common sense exception is probably applicable for material published by the company in brochures – given how dated and rare the information is – but I'm not as comfortable that an online FAQ passes muster as an acceptable primary source under any circumstance. Is there Wiki history showing editorial consensus to the contrary? (Such references inspired my addition of the {{refimprove}} tag.)
Related to this, I think this article contains a level of information that is too detailed. For example, that 74S181 chips were used is really too deep for an article about a family of computers unless there's something that especially distinguishes that family by its use of that chip; here, I think it adds more to the article to just say that the machine used a bit-slice architecture. This applies to other elements of the article, too; does an internal project codename that was not broadly discussed outside the company warrant mention? Can I convince you that such minutiae distracts from the real meat of the article?
Cheers! Jim Ward (talk·stalk) 00:47, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Surely online FAQs in general are compendia of information, and hence classified as tertiary sources in WP? I agree they may perhaps not be the most reliable of sources, but this article covers a fairly obscure subject and top-quality sources are not easy to find. As for the level of detail, this is an article about a computer system, and hence quite technical by nature. The details of the devices used to implement the CPU illustrate the fact that the PERQ 1/2, unlike other workstations, were not microprocessor-based. I'd expect an article about a microprocessor-based system to specify at least the particular microprocessor used, and IMHO, the level of detail in this article is analogous to that. Other articles on proprietary computer architectures, such as MicroVAX, are no less technical than this one. Letdorf (talk) 18:31, 5 June 2009 (UTC).
I would agree that FAQs that cite secondary sources are tertiary, per WP:PSTS. That said, what secondary sources are referenced by the FAQ entries cited by this article? I can't find any. Rather, the FAQ at issue reads like material created by subject matter experts. It doesn't meet the standard set by the WP:V policy. (More later, I'm rather crunched for time at the moment.) Cheers, Jim Ward (talk·stalk) 20:49, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Removing the reference to the ALU and sequencer chips cited in this article would be like removing any reference to the 8086 CPU chip from the IBM PC article. One of the first questions anybody asks about any computer is, "what's the processor?" and they ask because they want to know whether they can compare it to anything else they may have heard of. Granted, there aren't many people out there who are familiar with any other CPU that uses the Am2910 or the 74LS181; but as a fraction of the handful of people who are ever even going to find this article, they are significant. (talk) 14:57, 10 February 2014 (UTC)