Three years of The Tech Report

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, it’s been three years now since we left the comfortable confines of Ars Technica and set up our own little web site here called The Tech Report. The scene has changed dramatically since then in a hundred different ways. We’ve seen competition come and go—and in many cases, kind of fade away. We’ve come down off the dot-com boom into a lingering turn-of-the-century economic stagnation.

Three years ago in the PC world, top-end systems were running 750MHz processors, PC100 memory, and TNT cards—and we were aching for more. Today’s fastest systems are running dual banks of 333MHz memory on processors just under 3GHz with Radeon 9700 cards—and we’re mostly aching for software to take advantage of it all.

But we still enjoy the thrill of new hardware, the rush of speed, and that feeling you get when you see a computer do something new and impressive for the first time. We still enjoy lifting the curtain on a hot new product and showing you just how it performs, and we get to do that much more often (and in a much timelier fashion) than we did at first.

(Andy reminisces: ” Ah, three years ago, I was on my way to Comdex, trying to get review hardware for our week-old site using business cards printed on card stock and cut apart using an X-acto knife in the hotel room.”)

Other things haven’t changed, like our sad web design (by yours truly… not my specialty) and our simple, quirky little news comments system.

Instead, we’ve focused our efforts on one thing at the expense of nearly all others: producing the best darn articles we possibly can, with the aim of making TR one of the very best hardware sites on the web. We may not be cunning marketers, web design gurus, or savvy businessmen, but I am proud as can be of the quality of our articles. In the core technology areas we target—CPUs, graphics, and chipsets/motherboards—we’ve made amazing strides. I’d put our graphics hardware coverage up against anything on the web or in print. This past year, we’ve tackled new product areas, like sound cards and LCD monitors with success, thanks to Andy’s and Geoff’s hard work. If you want to know the lowdown on a particular piece of hardware, the TR review is a great place to start.

As we’ve grown, the size of our audience has grown, too. And our server needs (Slashdot is a cruel mistress). And the number of unanswered e-mail messages in my inbox (which currently stands at 640). Heck, I’ve even tried to grow TR as a business, although I have about as much business sense as a 3dfx engineer. It’s truly humbling to see the amount of support we’ve received from you guys in the form of encouraging e-mails, donations, and general good sentiment.

I think we’ve carved out a decent niche for ourselves in the massive, chaotic online world of PC enthusiast and hardware review sites. However, we’re facing some daunting challenges in growing beyond that niche or perhaps expanding its size. The web is no longer the Wild West frontier it was back when I first started putting words to FrontPage over four years ago. Back then, anything seemed possible, and nearly anything was. Nowadays, “hardware review sites” are a known quantity, and in the case of the highest traffic sites, big business. The order of things at the top has cooled and hardened, and everyone knows who the big players are. The dollars and the energy flow copiously in their direction.

Unfortunately, TR is on the outside looking in, as often as not. We don’t yet have millions upon millions of readers each month, so we’ve had to claw and fight for every bit of success we’ve had.

These realities make it especially difficult at times for us to take TR where we want it to go. You know—solvent business, full-time employment, better coverage, and all of that. Those things may come, and they may not, but that’s OK. Three years into this, we’re still enjoying the journey. We’ve had unwavering support from the community, especially from Kyle Bennett at the cold, HardOCP. Our own key staffers—Ronald, Geoff, and Andy—have worked selflessly and tirelessly to keep TR going strong.

Plus, hey, cool toys.

That said, we are determined to keep improving TR. One way we’re looking to improve the site is to bring back regular editorials, of which this here would be the first. These brief articles should give us a chance to talk about the scene without the need for bar graphs.

Mmmm.. bar graphs.

Anyhow, thanks to all of you in our little community here for three incredible years of impassioned e-mails, heated discussions in the comments, pick-up Quake games, and late-night IRC bull sessions. I can’t wait to see where we are three years from now.  

Comments closed
    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I loooove being an Anonymous Gerbil an TR is the only site that lets me do this!!!
    Thanks TR

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Thank you TR!

    The articles around here are by far the most extensive and best-written. They are interesting to everybody from the graph-gapers to the technical wizards, with a lovely bit of humor thrown in.

    The attitude of the guests is second to none, also.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[http://www.hardocp.com/newsarchives.html<]ยง

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    Kyle, the reason I brought it up was because you went to the trouble of doing a “3 years ago today, 2 years ago today, 1 year ago today” post in your news the same day tech report announced its “3 years ago today” anniversary. obviously there was inspiration and opportunity to credit.

    On a lighter note, your post about “warez d00dz” being at dictionary.com is hilarious. The definition for “b1ff” is pretty funny too.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • lenzenm
    • 17 years ago

    My hats are off to the good gentlemen here at the Tech-Report. I was here on Day 1, and it supplanted the [H] (which I still visit daily) by the end of Week 2. Huzzah to the best tech-oriented site on the web!

    • mattsteg
    • 17 years ago

    [q]Forge missed the shift key once, and somebody though “forge” was an imposter.[/q]

    I remember that. It was quite humorous.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    …………….and we are still waiting for BitBoys to do their thing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Unanimous Hamster
    • 17 years ago

    LOL @ Thresher …

    that’s so true!

    • Thresher
    • 17 years ago

    Unanimous:

    The only bummer is that we’ll STILL be waiting for Duke Nukem Forever to be released….

    • Unanimous Hamster
    • 17 years ago

    Just wanted to add my congratulations …

    Happy birthday T-R !!!

    Just think, by T-R’s gala tenth anniversery (broadcast live from Hollywood in Holovision-3D) we’ll all be using the latest terahertz CPUs and multi-exabyte quantum-state storage units powered by zero point energy generators …. and we’ll laugh about the primitive state of technology way back in ’01, when fast CPUs came in 1GHz speed grades and 80GB was considered a lot of storage space … and computers couldn’t even read your mind or anticipate your actions!

    • R2P2
    • 17 years ago

    Yoda sativa is?

    It would also have been cool if there’d been something on Ars about the departure of the Drs., but I guess if Damage didn’t want to spread the word we can’t expect Ars to remember a traumatic event like that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • primitive.notion
    • 17 years ago

    Congrats!

    Tech-Report is about tied with DrudgeReport in my daily visit list. Only site I visit more is Google.

    You guys are up there with the best!

    • Damage
    • 17 years ago

    sativa:

    Lay off it. Kyle and Steve didn’t post about our three-year deal because I didn’t send out a mailing about my “three years” article. I figured that was TR business, not news for everyone else, so I didn’t ask other sites to post about it.

    Sheesh.

    • MaceMan
    • 17 years ago

    Followed you guys over from Ars-Technica (Damage and Dr. Evil). You quickly became my number one site. In fact, this is the only site I’ve ever bothered to register with to get a nick and post my observations. I value this website and the content enough to not just read, but to invest a little of my time too. And that, gentlemen, is pretty amazing. When you can suck us all a little deeper into the community and get us actively involved… then you’re not just reporting. You’re teaching and leading as well.

    Thank you (all Tech Report staff) for your time and effort. I directly gain from it.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    sorry, but if i didn’t say it, no one would.

    your comment here is commendable though

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    Kyle, then why no mention of them on your front page when you do the 3-year, 2-year, 1-year ago stuff on your page. Its not like you didn’t get inspiration for that shit. Diplomat you are not.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Congrat, AAs a relatively new gerbil, I hate that I ,issed out on more than 2 years of the great articles and forums.

    Keep up the great work, and CONGRATULATIONS!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Wow, has it been that long? It was a Damage review that brought me to Ars Technica and later to Tech Report. When I want information on hardware, I always come here first. Keep up the good work. Oh and Happy Anniversary!

    Sarah

    • IntelMole
    • 17 years ago

    You know what I think is the greatest thing about TR?

    The community and the information.

    I’ve never built a system in my life before, but the reviews and articles on this site, plus the helpful advice from many members of the community have inspired me to go for a dual proc system straight away…

    Thanks, unless I short out the house :-),
    IntelMole

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[http://www.tech-report.com/news_reply.x/506/<]ยง However, I was here the first week, I\'m an annoying old timer. :)

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • mattsteg
    • 17 years ago

    [q]By the way, one of the funniest days i ever had reading the web was when that site stole one of your reviews, and even linked all the pictures from your servers. I ‘ll never forget how hard i laughed when you changed the pictures they were linking.
    Talk about 0wned.
    That pic with Damage jr. with a toy drill and the line that was something like;
    “Is this how you run a timedemo?”[/q]

    That was truly great, didn’t realize that I’d been around here that long, but I still remember that. You guys truly run the best general hardware site on the Internet. Along with 2cpu tech-report is the only tech site I still hit daily. The first article I read here was the 4-port KVM roundup ยง[< http://www.tech-report.com/reviews/2001q3/kvm/index.x?pg=1<]ยง which HEMI (now a newsposter for 2cpu) was kind enough to point me to. I brought the IOGear model based on that review over a year ago, and I've never regretted the purchase for an instant. Performs great, just like the review said. After being pointed over here for that review I've hit TR on a more and more regular basis, and now I hit you guys several times a day. TR always seems to be a little ahead of the curve when it comes to reviewing truly useful pieces of hardware. At the time, yours was the only review of consumer level KVMs I could find, and it's still the best written and most complete I have read. I can't think of anyone else who has yet to do a multimonitor shoot (admittedly that was less important to me since I have been using dual screens for quite some time - if I was new to multimon it would have been a goldmine). While Tom, Anand, et. al. write up reviews of 5 million motherboards or offer up relatively meaningless comparisons of whatever their sponsors feel like providing, TR consistently reviews exteremely useful hardware which up until then may well have been under-reviewed or not reviewed at all. Hopefully the manufacturers will finally begin to realize how worthwhile your site is, more and more of the /.ers who seem to be drawn th TR with every major article will become regulars, the site will grow, and we'll all be treated to even more great content. Keep up the good work guys, you truly are one of the best resources on the web.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Congrats!

    • Kilroy1231
    • 17 years ago

    Happy birthday, T-R!
    I haven’t been here all three years (maybe a year at most) but the site is great, definately my number one computer related site. I try and get here every day to see what is going on in the tech world. I appreciate the fact that the articles don’t seem, well, Hardocp/Tomshardware-esque in their bias and that there is humor in the articles as well. T-R, along with Amdmb.com… well, their forums at least, have replaced what used to be my number one computer site (Hardocp)
    The friday discussion things are always good for debate and such.

    Congrats on making such a good site and here is to many more years of T-R

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    So who do I spank first for the b-day?

    • Dposcorp
    • 17 years ago

    Congrats and keep up the great work.
    I was here from day one, having followed you from Ars, and i still remember the old damage boxes. Thanks for a great site, and everything you do.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Let us all wish Damage and Co. best of luck in the coming years!

    All of us regulars should make it a point to click the ad banners at least 5 times a day. Every little bit helps.

    BTW–what’s the going rate for click-throughs these days?

    ~red0510

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Don’t fool with the site design. It’s readable, loads quickly and is not subject to the tyranny of black that seems to afflict various l33t sites.

    Keep up the good work

    • Zenith
    • 17 years ago

    I have had many of my favorite sites go down (mostly after the terrorist attack) ,many of which where D/L sites for tweaks,and what not. But i tell you,if TR where to go down….im not sure i could even stick with the whole “computer” thing. Seriously.

    i first came here…oh say 2 years ago,on my dads OLD A$$ 300 celly (compaq *shudders*) and i have a been addicted to its simple,strait forward,and yet informitive format. Great job damage,keep up the AWESOME work man (ryu is mean to me in the IRC room,no love for him! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Happy B-day…

    I’m not an avid poster, but I have become an avid reader… I have really come to trust and enjoy this site… it’s one of the few places on the net that I actually feel as though I don’t have to go and automatically second guess what I’m seeing as a bought-off bias review… thanks for everything…

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Hunter Viking
    • 17 years ago

    Great site and that Bread.. MMMMMMM
    Been here since the ol Ars days, will stay till they kick me out.

    Great work Fellas!!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Tillykke med f

    • Strabo
    • 17 years ago

    Thanks for being the bastion of integrity and honesty that I’ve always found you to be. Unlike many other sites out there, you haven’t compromised yourselves. Thanks, guys, for some of the best independant hardware journalism and analysis on the net. Hopefully these three years are just the tip of the ice berg.

    • Alanzilla
    • 17 years ago

    Y’all run a nice website here, gentlemen.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Rousterfar
    • 17 years ago

    Way to go TR! I love this site. It’s one of the few I check daily. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hockster
    • 17 years ago

    Happy Birthday!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    great job, Scott, Andy, Geoff et al. You keep me laughing while informed, and this has become one of the five sites I vist daily. You have the info down for what you have, in digestible form, and the links for the stuff you don’t. Wonderful forums, a blistering friday night topic, and information for everyone, from the newbie, to the intermediate PC enthusiast, to the hardcore computer junkies. I remember not knowing a thing about memory, hard drive speed, monitors, processors, overclocking etc. when I came here a little over a year ago. The education has been exemplary, and I truly thank you and all your efforts.

    Best,
    Da Fahq

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Congrats guys!!! TR is one of my fav sites.
    However, for those of you with little ones.
    Potty training should start at 2, not 3.

    • Steel
    • 17 years ago

    Woah, 3 years already? Who’d a thought the link to the little site I followed from Anand’s news page would replace it as the first (and usually only) tech site I go to? Keep up the great work! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Samlind
    • 17 years ago

    Best site around. Less crap and more substance than any other site.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    I can’t believe its been 3 years already, I remember when you guys left Ars. Congrats guys, thanks for the hard work

    • Thresher
    • 17 years ago

    Congratulations to the gang at Tech-Report!

    This has become my favorite stop on the internet. It’s also one of the very few I post to.

    Everyone should stop by IRC tonight and congratulate the guys!

    • Ruiner
    • 17 years ago

    w00t!
    Happy 3rd!

    heh heh huh huh monkey-punch…humm heh heh huh
    that’s almost mokey spank.

    AYBABT T-R

    • Forge
    • 17 years ago

    I have a project. Time to go find my first TR comment, then figure out how long ago that is.

    TR – edjoocating the masses for three years!

    Forge – irritating the masses for X years!

    :p

    Congratulations, Andy and Scoot! Got a successfull hardware site, kids that seem above average, and a devoted fanbase! What more could you want? (Aside from a paycheck for it, look what that did to Kyle/Steve/Tom/ANad)

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Great Job Guys! Excellent, no BS, reviews that really help all of us understand what would work best for our hardware purchasing needs. Here’s to many more years!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I love this site, it has a home in my ‘Link’ shortcuts in my browser’s toolbar. You guys do your best to tell it like it is, and I like that. Stories are well written, benchmarks carried out well, etc.

    Articles need more girlfriend pics, though ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Missense
    • 17 years ago

    Thanks for the great site.

    8^)

    • Aphasia
    • 17 years ago

    What can i say, i spend more time here then at ars nowdays, ive almost jumped ship at the ars forum over to TR forums. But there is two very different things although i feel a bit of the spirit is the same. Nice complementing each other though.

    Hip, Hip, Hurray.

    • indeego
    • 17 years ago

    Korea, starcraft fanatics and we also punch the monkey for three hours on end!

    g{<;)<}g

    • wesley96
    • 17 years ago

    I like those monkeys.. I even HAVE that monkey doll those guys sent me for punching it for 3 consecutive hours. It’s true… and since I’m in Korea no one’s sending snailmail spams my way…

    Anyhow, it looks like TR made me almost forget about THG or [H]… now THAT’s pretty good draw-in.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Oh god, I hate(d) those monkeys

    • R2P2
    • 17 years ago

    Hmmm… the site’s about the same age as Damage Jr. … this wasn’t started as a way to fill the boy’s college fund, was it? I mean people did some crazy things in the dot-com boom. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Happy birthday!!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • mesh
    • 17 years ago

    Reading this has made me realize how much time I spend reading the great articles on this site. The least I can do in return for all that enjoyment is click a few links and start posting on the boards.

    Happy birthday, site!

    • element
    • 17 years ago

    I am a regular reader of TR since they left Ars. Yeah, one day upon my visit to Ars I saw there that Damage started his own site… I went to take a look and never left. Great site guys!
    Sheesh, is that already 3 years ago?

    And Adi, still not registered, still going strong as an AG? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Great article inspires me to open my own sites ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Three years and still no blue shirt with white text with a picture of Junior Damage. How long do we all have to wait? ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Hey guys ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve been a TR regular since the first day that i saw a link on anand about a new tech site… Turns out it bacame the BEST hardware review website out there ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congrats to Damage and the gang for doing what you do best : stating the truth and no bs ๐Ÿ™‚

    Adi

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Damage IS from Missouri.

    Are you sure he isn’t a redneck? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My favorite site on the net, and has been for some time.

    Thanks for putting in your time, TR guys, and thanks for keeping level-headed, as well as for not “beautifying” the site, too. Simple and fast is best.

    • nihilistcanada
    • 17 years ago

    Best non-redneck tech site there is.

    Oh and thanks for the advice Damage to get my Radeon8500 at the time.

    Best choice I have ever made for a video card in a long time.

    • ludi
    • 17 years ago

    Simple site design == GOOD. Saves on bandwidth, too. Just ask LostCircuits.

    Stick with the great articles, and let the “snazz me” crowd wander over to THG for their fix ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    been a TR mainstay since early Jan if i remember right…this is the only web site that can keep my attention….would be a much more boring time on the net if not for TR.

    -Nelliesboo

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    While Ars is still my ‘home’ on the net, just as it was 3 years ago, TR is by far the best hardware review site around. You all do a brilliant job with the site, and I wish you the best of luck going forward.

    3 years from now, I hope you all will be earning a nice living off the hard work you’ve put into this place.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Oh, and I’m still waiting for the day that someone donates a PowerMac to TR. If i win the lottery, that’s #3 on my to-do list (#1 being a BMW 328i, #2 being a 33 inch 16:9 LCD TV/Monitor)

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Gutten Geburstag TR!

    Been reading for two years and I still haven’t registered… heh!@

    TR’s my fav hardware site, mostly because of their excellent articles and quirky sense of humour. Anand is soo… bleh (ie: 57-way KT333 Shootout!!!!), I refuse to read Kyle’s (fuxnut), and Tom’s has plummeted since he stopped writting articles himself (his lackey’s are idiots).

    Other than here, its pretty much NVNews, Ars, or FiringSquad.

    Keep up the good work!

    • atidriverssuck
    • 17 years ago

    potty training has been trialled in various Mac vs PC threads, but now it’s official! Congrats!

    • JohnnyQ
    • 17 years ago

    I, for one, am proud to call myself a TR regular. You guys have made your corner of the web into something with a very real sense of community. (Try getting that from ZDnet et al!)

    Long live Tech Report.

    JQ

    • freshmeat
    • 17 years ago

    w00000000t! Congrats on a good run so far, with more good years sure to come!

    • yarbo
    • 17 years ago

    You guys are awesome! one of these days i’ll order f@h merchandise, i swear, just keep bugging me

    • leor
    • 17 years ago

    You guys are also my favorite, and my homepage. Keep up the good work, and happy 3rd!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Just think… without TR, we’d all be suffering over at Tom’s or Anand’s or even <shudder> Kyle’s… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy Bday, TR, and keep up the good fight!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    hell ya TR is kick @$$

    • dalamar70
    • 17 years ago

    Congrats! Great work so far, and I’m sure much greater things are coming. (Nothing like a little pressure ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    HAPPPPPPPPPPPPY BDAY TR!!!!!

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