Tom’s Hardware has its name and roots in Dr. Thomas Pabst, who was one of the first people to add technology journalism to the Internet as early as 1996.
Back in these early days the site was still called “Tom’s Hardware and Performance Guide” and its domain was sysdoc.pair.com — pair.com being a Pittsburgh-based hosting company. Today’s domain, tomshardware.com, was added on September 11, 1997, followed by additional language versions over time, including German, Japanese, Polish, French, Chinese, Italian, Turkish and others — some operated by Tom’s Guides Publishing, Inc., and others based on franchise agreements.
The German operation test lab resources were the basis for a majority of the website’s content early on, including our real-time stress testing of power supplies, and some of the first overclocking records, like the 5 GHz project using liquid nitrogen.
In 2007, the French BestofMedia Group took over Tom’s Hardware in an effort to grow its publishing business internationally. While Tom Pabst was no longer part of Tom’s Hardware operations, most of the staff and spirit remained. In 2013, BestofMedia Group, including Tom’s Hardware, became part of the US-based Techmedia Network, now known as Purch.
One of Tom’s Hardware’s journalistic milestones were Tom’s findings regarding the Intel Pentium III 1.13 GHz processor, which forced the company to postpone its launch by months. It wasn’t the first time Pabst ran afoul of Intel – his review of the Pentium II made the headlines of The New York Times. Since then, Tom’s Hardware has kept up the tradition with unrivaled technology scrutiny.
Today, when people ask us “Who is Tom?” we are happy to tell them how everything evolved from the spirit and hard work of the visionary Dr. Thomas Pabst, who referred to himself as Tom. At the same time, the impressive growth of Tom’s Hardware and its communities provides an additional reply: “We’re all Tom.”
By Fritz Nelson, Editor-in-Chief, Tom’s Hardware and Patrick Schmid, former Editor-in-Chief, Tom’s Hardware