HardwareZone's 10th Anniversary: The Y2K Era


Transforming SHZ to HardwareZone

Transforming SHZ to HardwareZone

With Singapore Hardware Zone gaining considerable traction, CEO Dr.Jackie Lee along with the founding group made the fateful decision to transform the popular tech hobbyist site into an established IT media entity when Hardware Zone Pte. Ltd was incorporated in October 1999. With that, the road to establishing a successful IT media portal was set in motion swiftly. One of the first actions to follow suit was renaming the online media entity Singapore Hardware Zone to HardwareZone to reflect the global reach of the site and to influence many more beyond its shores.

As the year 2000 dawned upon us, HardwareZone was busy prepping a brand new site, ditching plain HTML for a more dynamic site using PHP scripting, a fresh outlook and incorporating a lot more services to keep inline with the plan of cementing HardwareZone as a true IT media portal. As you might have guessed, Ang Chi Hoe, Poh Swee Hong and their team would have been pretty busy with the entire overhaul. In fact, the content management systems were also designed in-house by them. Sometime around the first quarter of 2000, the new HardwareZone was launched, along with a new community-centric logo:-

Now if you checked the larger view of the homepage in year 2000, you would notice several new services that weren't around in the 1998 to 1999 era. The most famous of these new services is the File Exchange service or otherwise known as FileX service. It offered extremely speedy uploads and downloads for several shareware/freeware related materials like utilities, drivers, trailers and demos. Internet connectivity speeds outside of Singapore those days were certainly not anywhere as fast as they are these days and a local mirror of sorts for these materials was a real boon to the community back then. To kick start this service, we initiated several community projects where the top 5 uploaders for various monthly themes such as motherboard drivers, graphics card drivers and so forth were rewarded with hardware prizes. Too bad, we don't have a detailed snapshot of the FileX service page.

Other notable services that were incorporated in 2000 are as follows:-

  • HardwareZone Web mail service for members
  • FileX sharing service
  • Pricelist SMS Alert service (notification when a hardware price falls below specified value)
  • Classified Ads service (a dedicated service in addition to the Garage Sales forums)
  • Hosting Service
  • HardwareZone Merchandise (for HWZ branded polo-tees, mugs and more)