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!