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

Patrick Schmid (2005 - 2006, U.S.; 2007 - 2010 Worldwide)

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?

Patrick Schmid: One of my favorites is the Tom’s Hardware Overclocking Competition that we executed in five countries in 2008. We took care of all winning teams from the United States, Germany, France and Italy, and flew them to Paris, France, where they battled for high scores on liquid nitrogen. It sounds almost common today, but in 2008 no one before Tom’s Hardware had executed such an event. We called the event "Overdrive," which reflects pretty much how it felt.

TH: What about from an internal Tom’s point of view — here I’m talking about milestones or significant achievements on a brand level?

PS: Few tech magazines have been available in multiple languages for so many years, and even less have managed to maintain a balance and be attractive to grassroots enthusiasts as well as for decision makers that need to be sure their budgets are spent the right way. Tom’s is the bank, so to speak.

TH: What are some of the technologies that excite you most today? What do you think holds the most promise?

PS: I’m looking forward to industries working on ease of use and interoperability when it comes to IT topics. There is plenty of technology: smart home concepts, mobile infotainment, the entire IoT spectrum, mobile connectivity. I personally don’t need killer features, but I want things to be really accessible and reliable. We should not have to deal with dropped calls, with device incompatibilities, or with complicated interfaces anymore. I would love my parents to be able to utilize new technology with confidence.

TH: Are there areas where you feel as if the hardware technology providers are failing?

PS: History will tell. Hardware tends to fail if there is no ecosystem, no application or no software to create a solution.
 
TH: What are you up to now?

PS: I’m still hanging with Tom’s Hardware in Europe. I guess I cannot let go.

  • 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