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

Introduction

I feel like an interloper on 20 years of history, having been at the helm of Tom's Hardware for less than three years. I know all but one of the former editors-in-chief personally. Omid Rahmat is the lone exception, but he graciously acquiesced to my request to share some of his thoughts on his bit of history with Tom's Hardware.

On the other end of the equation, I've known David Strom, who was at the editorial helm only in 2005, for more than 25 years, and he gave me my first job in journalism where I served as his Reviews Editor at Network Computing Magazine, back when they used to put printed words on paper; it was there that I got my first spark of interest in hardware, and it was there where we reviewed everything from Sun and IBM Unix servers to early campus Wi-Fi gear (including microwave technology) to storage area networks to heavy duty routers and switches at big labs on university campuses, and even client/server applications and middleware.

Meanwhile, Chris Angelini, who preceded me here, is still very much a part of today's Tom's Hardware team, providing lengthy and critical technical edits on our content, and serving as a trusted advisor while also leading our major CPU and GPU launch coverage. I have a feeling -- it's just a feeling, mind you -- that you'll see his name and his words on these pages with some frequency before summer officially begins.

I've also partnered with former EIC (of Tom's Hardware U.S. and Tom's Hardware WorldWide) Patrick Schmid, who works closely now with our European Tom's Hardware team.

And finally there's "Tom," as in "the Tom," as in the founder and namesake of Tom's Hardware, the inimitable Dr. Thomas Pabst. A man I met for the first time at Computex in Taiwan last year, and with whom I've stayed in touch, and whose budding little infant boys provide the gleam in his eyes much brighter than I'm sure Tom's Hardware ever could.

You'll hear from all of them in the following pages. I asked them each to answer the same five questions. I'll take my turn to answer them all here first. The rest of the editors-in-chief follow in reverse chronological order.

We'll let this piece stand alone as our tribute to 20 years of Tom's Hardware. We've posted a new About Us page on the site, along with some history about our forums. But feel free to share some of your favorite Tom's moments and memories from over the years in the comments below.

In exploring the expanse of the web as background and research to satisfy my own curiosity in working on this, I came across a fascinating letter that Thomas Pabst wrote at the turn of the millennium (Tom's Blurb: Thoughts To The Turn Of The Millennium). That piece is chock full of history (the true, early history), with references to some important industry milestone's and this publication's role in them. Along with realizing that our colleagues at Tom's Hardware Russia have wisely held onto some of these historical bits, thankfully, I'm also inspired by Tom's letter and have returned to it often in the days after first reading it. As we set foot on some new hardware landscapes, like VR, it will be important to remember the spirit with which Tom's Hardware Guide was created, and the work Tom (and so many others after him) did to understand hardware performance, and so much more.


MORE: About Us

  • 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