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Tom's 20th Anniversary: A Retrospective With The Editors-in-Chief

Chris Angelini (July 2008 - July 2014)

Tom's Hardware: What are some of the highlights that you recall from your time at the helm of Tom’s Hardware from an industry happening standpoint?

Chris Angelini: There were three segments that I enjoyed watching evolve from my front-row seat: graphics, host processing, and storage.
The week before I was hired on as the managing editor for Tom’s Hardware U.S., Nvidia launched its GeForce GTX 280. AMD followed up in my first days at the site with the Radeon HD 4870, which couldn’t quite catch Nvidia’s flagship, but offered better value than the GTX 260. From there, we saw Nvidia stumble over the GeForce GTX 480 and then recover with the 500-series. Ping. Pong.
Host processing evolves a lot more slowly, but I remember sitting in on Intel’s Nehalem briefings and getting more excited about CPUs than I’d been in a while. Eight years later, Intel still hasn’t topped that transition from Core 2 to Core i7.
Then, at the same IDF, we got to hear about how the Nehalem architecture was so fast that it’d choke up on storage, so then here were these new X25 solid state drives, which would eventually make solid-state storage a mainstream commodity. 

TH: What about from an internal Tom’s point of view — here I’m talking about milestones or significant achievements on a brand level?
CA: By far, I was most proud of having new feature content posted every work day for six consecutive years. Tom’s Hardware reviews can be incredibly in-depth, so to make sure something new was/is available to read involved many all-nighters and collaborative efforts with a worldwide team of editors.
TH: What are some of the technologies that excite you most today? What do you think holds the most promise?
CA: This question couldn’t be timed any better—having just had the Rift to play with, I’m most excited about VR. I can’t help but liken it to my first experience enabling GLQuake in the late ‘90s—except even more impactful. My kids are five and two, and knowing that gaming for them will be completely unlike what I experienced makes me feel a lot older than I’d like.
TH: Are there areas where you feel as if the hardware technology providers are failing?
CA: The easiest targets are the segments where consolidation, mismanagement, shifting market share, and the resulting disparate resources negatively affect competition. A lack of innovation follows, and we’re left to write uninspiring reviews of hardware that the manufacturers themselves don’t even seem proud of (Skylake? Broadwell? Shoot, even Haswell and Ivy Bridge to a degree?). I’m hoping that VR—the brightest star in the gaming galaxy right now—pushes the host processing and graphics vendors harder. We can clearly see early software already pegs the best components available.
TH: What are you up to now?
CA: Many Tom’s Hardware readers probably don’t know this, but I’m still active behind the scenes, editing much of the content for technical and grammatical accuracy. During the day, though, I run a metrology laboratory in Bakersfield, CA, calibrating electrical, temperature, pressure and gas safety equipment mostly for our local oil and agriculture economy.

Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson is Editor-at-Large of Tom's Hardware US.