I guess it's taboo to get personal anymore so I'll direct this to the managment. I have been gone for quite awhile and I guess my more commonly used screenname has been deleted.
I guess it's not my name that I'm upset about though, it's more that hardware central has changed. What happened to people asking questions about things other than hardware? Like how to bodybuild and talking about completly off-the-wall topics? I guess to me hardware central isn't just a place to talk about work all day, it's a place to kick back with your own kind and talk about some of the things you love the most, whether that be computers or women or whatever. I can't always think or talk about computers and I don't want to go to the trouble of going to a different site to meet other people because it's just twice the reading and meeting.
This site has lost it's human element. It adds a human element for people to make fun of other people, or to tell their friends about a cool site, or to talk about whatever they feel like talking about. If you take away the people you take away the COMMUNITY. And isn't what this site is all about?
Thanks for your thoughtful input, iMatt. The Off Topic forum was created for just the kind of personal, hobby, and kick-back chat you mention ... unfortunately, a handful of members, despite a lengthy sequence of requests, warnings, and bannings, turned it into their playground for spam, smut, personal attacks, and AUP violations, and drove away nearly all of the good community you describe, along with a good chunk of our traffic. So I shut it down. (Extensive feedback and discussion of this, with a couple more detailed statements from me, in the archives; I haven't given up hope of restarting a community in some way but it's not likely to be very soon.)
I hope you, like all but a few members since then, will keep coming and helping other people in our tech forums; if you decide to do your reading and meeting elsewhere, I'm sorry to lose you.
Managing Editor, Hardware Central