That's right folks, www.hardwarezone.com is now officially 10 years old and is on to its eleventh year of operation. Time certainly flies fast and a whole lot has happened in this period. Needless to say, technology has improved heaps over this last decade and to cover it all, the www.hardwarezone.com editorial has been busy reflecting back on past events and recollecting them here in this special 10th anniversary article series.
In this first article, we'll touch on a bit of history and how this once hobbyist site grew to become one of Asia Pacific's top IT portals; an overview into our articles (including some key highlights) and the review team; our forum community; and of course a quick overview of key technology segments from CPUs to notebooks that spanned this last decade.
But that's not all. Following this in quick succession, we'll have dedicated articles peering into each time segment to check out the major highlights that happened there and then. So sit tight and be prepared for a rollercoaster ride through history, as we stir up tech nostalgia and share with you our fond memories, achievements and events.
It all began in 1997 with the zest and drive of one man, Dr.Jackie Lee, to reach out, communicate and share matters on overclocking and other aspects of PC hardware. Then an undergraduate (and now our CEO), he stepped in with his simple personal website to give it a shot. Interaction was limited at best given the restrictions on the ISP side, but that didn't stop him. Soon after his exam phase, he turned to revamp his personal site into one that helped serve the small but growing community of overclockers.
In May of 1998, the Singapore Overclockers Group (SOG) was born. No sooner then that took place, Dr.Jackie Lee teamed up with other undergraduates who shared his same interests, Eugene Low (now the Managing Director) and Ang Chi Hoe (our current CTO) to get SOG into the next stage by developing a better web interface, an overclocking submission database, hardware price guides and getting into proper technical reviews. Jereme Wong (now the Media Director) and Poh Swee Hong (current Circulations Director), both undergraduates at the same university as the rest joined in the fray and played the roles of reviews manager and web development back then. Finally, Dr.Jimmy Tang who was an ardent follower and contributor to the infant forums joined the team as Editor-in-Chief. Together, the team of 6 founders re-launched the site as the Singapore Hardware Zone under the www.hardwarezone.com domain on the 9th August of 1998 and established the foundation of what consists www.hardwarezone.com today.
With further pioneers such as Vijay Anand (now the Editor for www.hardwarezone.com) and Matthew Fam roped in to help shape www.hardwarezone.com in the reviews, news, forums and price list sections soon after the site's official launch, as well as Poh Leng Wee who managed the site's hardware infrastructure, the HardwareZone group was poised for strong growth as they consistently brought its readers the Coolest Hardware and Hottest Reviews - literally speaking.
In October of 1999, Hardware Zone Pte. Ltd. was incorporated to reposition the massively popular tech hobbyist site into a formal publishing business entity. From just 10,000 pageviews per month when HardwareZone first went online, today this leading regional IT publication draws more than 35 million pageviews per month and has several localized portals to cater to needs of various regions. We'll delve into more details on the services, offerings and initiatives (some of which will surely surprise you) that the team put out over the years in forthcoming articles, but we'll keep to the overview in this part.
In September 2006, SPH Magazines Pte Ltd (SPHM), a wholly-owned company of Singapore Press Holdings Limited, announced its acquisition of Hardware Zone Pte Ltd and its subsidiaries (HWZ) for S$7.1 million dollars. With an even bigger group backing the team at Hardware Zone now, there's no doubt that the best is yet to come.
But before we move on, we would like to share with you an interesting, lesser known fact. HardwareZone's sister publication, www.gameaxis.com is widely known to have been online since 2002. However much less known is the fact that GameAxis actually first went live in 1998 as a small project that was managed by Dr.Jackie Lee's brother, Crono Lee. While it went into an extensive overhaul phase in-between when the company was refocusing its efforts to beat the dot-com gloom, theoretically speaking GameAxis too shares the 10-year glory with www.hardwarezone.com. Here's to both publications and wishing them more years to come!