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

David Strom (2005)

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?

David Strom: ​I ran Tom's during 2005 when the company was nearing its end as an independent business actually still connected to its founder. We were head-to-head with AnandTech, who at that time wasn't even covering Mac-based systems. We had writers delivering stories to us in French, German and Australian. 

​My favorite show was Computex in Taipei: That was a lot of fun, seeing entire halls filled with USB fabricators. My favorite interview was of Vint Cerf, when he went to first work at Google. That and meeting the pro-level girl gamer group PMS Clan. And back in '05, Carly Fiorina was still a computer exec and hadn't entered politics.

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

DS: In 2005, we launched four new websites on a single day (TwitchGuru and other "Guru" sites that have been consolidated into the main Tom's site and the Tom's IT Pro site). That was crazy, but fun.​ Barry Gerber was hired for that launch and has remained with the company ever since. Barry and I had worked on numerous publications before then, by the way.

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

DS: Containers are where it is happening. ​SQL Injections were still the number-one problem for web attacks then and now, which is pretty depressing.​

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

DS: I think the days of the overclocker are mostly over. You can get a decent PC with very fast components off the shelf without having to go through extremes as we once did back in the day. I think the hardware vendors don't really understand virtualization: While both Intel and AMD have made efforts to incorporate support into their CPU chipsets, the rest of the computer components have lagged behind. More corporations are designing and building their own PC servers (see Facebook for its Open Compute servers as one example). That to me means that the major computer server vendors are missing out on this important market.

TH: What are you up to now?

DS: ​I am freelancing for a number of tech sites including Network World, Dice and Techtarget. And speaking at a variety of conferences with an IT focus. Still testing enterprise products after 30 years!​

  • 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