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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.

  • beetlejuicegr
    Nice to finally see who was tom's founder. nice to see him being active and on an important thing too. Good points of view on VR and cars :)
    Reply
  • Onus
    While it may seem like blasphemy, I'm going to basically agree with David Strom about overclocking. In the "old" days, people had to overclock to keep up with new software. Today, while some improvement is possible, it does not seem that overclocking is a make or break requirement when it comes to running certain software.
    I would have liked to have seen some references to the evolution away from print media like PC Week and PC Magazine, which old guys like me used to devour for current tech and the state of the industry. Matching wits with those guys was always fun. Were mags like that an influence? Did they provide a starting point? Were they guides for what to do, or what not to do?
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    It's funny that this coincides with my birthday. :)
    Reply
  • nycalex
    "The industry is divided in very few truly innovative businesses, and then a myriad of companies that sneakily wait for others to have the courage of bringing real novelties to the market so that they can make their very own "me too" product. It's a sad situation, but look at Tom's Hardware's history and all the "me too" hardware websites that came up a few years later. It's human nature. There are few with vision, and many simply driven by jealousy and greed."

    wow! This man KNOWS!
    i could not agree more.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    I find Tom's remark about smartphones to be quite telling. It seems to be the greatest irony to have a social network, like Facebook, that is supposed to increase your social interactions/connections, become the reason why you see groups of people (even families) not interacting with each other because they are all on their smartphones.
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    happy 20th anniversary tom's! :D
    this site has helped me so much. thank you!
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    18028736 said:
    "The industry is divided in very few truly innovative businesses, and then a myriad of companies that sneakily wait for others to have the courage of bringing real novelties to the market so that they can make their very own "me too" product. It's a sad situation, but look at Tom's Hardware's history and all the "me too" hardware websites that came up a few years later. It's human nature. There are few with vision, and many simply driven by jealousy and greed."

    wow! This man KNOWS!
    i could not agree more.

    Tom is a smart man. He started one of the first tech sites that is currently the largest. He also knew how to have fun with it and show off some fun things.

    18028920 said:
    I find Tom's remark about smartphones to be quite telling. It seems to be the greatest irony to have a social network, like Facebook, that is supposed to increase your social interactions/connections, become the reason why you see groups of people (even families) not interacting with each other because they are all on their smartphones.

    It is sad but true. I remember going to a restaurant one time and seeing a family with everyone's nose in their phones. I just can't seem to understand why they can't put them down for a meal with the family. I barely use my phone when I am eating a meal let alone out with family/friends.

    I love Toms. 20 years of great fun and technology.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    I agree with Thomas Pabst's comments.

    Everything has changed quite a bit since this site came online 20 years ago. Not all of it has been good(in my opinion, so feel free to disagree).

    I have been reading almost since the start and later joined the forums here.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    Sounds like Tom has something secret up his sleeve, as per his final statement.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    18029352 said:
    Sounds like Tom has something secret up his sleeve, as per his final statement.
    For sure.

    It will be interesting to see what he does next.
    Reply