Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What happened to Dr Thomas Pabst, founder of TOMSHARDWARE

After a bit of digging, here is what's available:

Starting from this page:


Within here, first link came across is dead. The content is as below:


How Tom's Hardware Guide pwnd the industry then lost it

Has the famous Tom hammer smashed its own site?
Has the famous Tom hammer smashed its own site?
When Dr. Thomas Pabst launched his eponymous website Tom's Hardware Guide in 1996 the internet was a relatively new phenomenon on the world stage. Practicing as a medical doctor in his native Germany and with no firm computer technology background, Dr. Pabst's website was at first intended to be a place where connoisseurs of personal computer components could meet and chat about the product reviews the Doctor was posting from his own hobbyist experiences. Tom's Hardware Guide was not the first, or even the most comprehensive such website in 1996, but what put it firmly on the internet radar was that within a year it became the epicenter for a seminal moment in the development of the world wide web.
Dr. Pabst had obtained through Ziff-Davis magazines in Germany pre-release versions of the Pentium II CPU and published critical reviews on the chip, pointing out its various failings. These reviews made world-wide David vs. Goliath headlines when Intel threatened to withdraw its ads from those publications unless Dr. Pabst's articles were taken down from the Tom's Hardware Guide website. The media had a field day in pointing out on how the typical arm's length relationship between technology editorial coverage and advertising placement had been violated by Intel. The New York Times trumpeted that this was an "incident shedding light on the sometimes too-close-for-comfort relationship between computer publications and the companies they cover."
Intel's actions and the resultant media firestorm drove an unprecedented amount of traffic to Dr. Pabst's hobby website. Within months, American Megatrends purchased a then-unheard-of $10,000 of banner advertising per month, and mighty IBM became an advertising partner. Tom's Hardware Guide quickly became "the" site for personal computer technology information. Within three years, the website was being visited by an astonishing 120,000 readers per day, and when Dr. Pabst wrote a highly critical test of the new Pentium III flagship, the 1.13GHz CPU, Intel actually withdrew the processor outright. This incredible turn of events drew readers to the site in even greater droves and quickly put Tom's Hardware Guide into the rarefied stratosphere of websites with technology advertisers lining up for the available ad space. The quality of reporting and testing at Tom's Hardware Guide became the industry's Gold Standard and challenged the long established large circulation print magazines for content.
This marked the zenith of Tom's Hardware Guide's dominance as a long, slow decline soon set in. When Omid Rahmat became General Manager of the website many of the keen-eyed vociferous participants in the site's lively forums began to notice that the quality of the articles was beginning to fail and outright errors were creeping into the tests. Dr. Pabst soon had no further connection to the site, and Mr. Rahmat had begun to pepper his front page with wholly unrelated articles about boutique accessory gadgets and automotive spyshots, alienating many of the site's hardcore PC tech enthusiasts and driving them to the plethora of competing sites such as Anandtech.
By the time that France's BestOfMedia purchased Tom's Hardware Guide in 2007, the site was generally acknowledged to be a mere shadow of its former self, its articles incomprehensibly mangled in translation from their original German, and the majority of the long established "forum gurus" chased away to Xcpus after a feud with a rabid AMD enthusiast nicknamed Baron Matrix who later disappeared (most likely in shame) when AMD launched its disastrous Phenom line. In a marketing decision which has to rank as one of the most absurd in technology publishing history, Mr. Rahmat kept the rights to Tom's news pages and proceeded to staff them with writers known for their fact-light sensationalism. To this day, many of the site's remaining knowledgeable forum participants still are not aware that these are now two separate companies and still wonder out loud about the befuddling content of those now-unrelated pages.
The history of Tom's Hardware Guide is a perfect parabola: A website which came from nowhere to reach for the stars and then return back to nowhere. It is a cautionary tale which illustrates to all website owners that even in the fast moving ethereal world of internet websites, there is never a substitute for quality and integrity.
This Hub was last updated on July 2, 2008

  1. I was searching in Google to find out the background of my estate's management council member (and neighbour) Dr Thomas Pabst and was surprised to see his photos online and that he is the founder of the Tom's Hardware Guide website that I used to visit often years ago.

    Thomas is now staying in a 2-storey town house unit at my condominium estate in Singapore. He just had a months-old infant son with a local Chinese wife.

    I would try to snap a photo of him if I can ...
  2. Given that he has chosen to lead a very private life, I think it would be inappropriate to publish an unauthorised photo of him. It would be nice just to tell him how grateful many thousand of folks are for the Forum he founded.
  3. Given that he has chosen to lead a very private life, I think it would be inappropriate to publish an unauthorised photo of him. It would be nice just to tell him how grateful many thousand of folks are for the Forum he founded.

    Yes on second thoughts it is inappropriate. I am grateful too as his site provided me great knowledge many years ago when I was still addicted to over-clocking and PC stuff. I never expect to bump into the guru himself in my little corner and becoming a neighbour. Anyway, let's keep his private life private...
  4. He's a Consultant at the department of medical oncology of a Swiss university hospital

    Gammalino (MD)
  5. Has anyone bothered to work out how many people named Thomas Pabst there are? Pabst appears to be about the 750th most popular surname in Germany, and Thomas isn't exactly rare.

    Do we know we're all talking about the same person?
  6. This gent looks similar but having suggested he may not wish to be hunted down, I'm disappointed to see gammalino's post.

    I'm removing the link because it leads to private e-mail addresses.
  7. Someone Somewhere said:
    Has anyone bothered to work out how many people named Thomas Pabst there are? Pabst appears to be about the 750th most popular surname in Germany, and Thomas isn't exactly rare.

    Do we know we're all talking about the same person?

    It's not difficult nor intrusive to search his name in Facebook. You should see public photos of Thomas and his young family in Singapore.

    I have nothing more to add other than to say that he seems to have taken up a new interest with his bikes. Maybe he has no more interest in CPUs and systems benchmarking ....
  8. Founder of Tom's Hardware, Dr Thomas Pabst. joins VR World, a IT media company headquartered in Singapore:


    Singapore and Taipei (Taiwan) – March 17, 2015: In conjunction with the start of Supercomputing Frontiers 2015 conference in Biopolis Singapore, we are proud to announce the return of one of industry legends to the ever-hot computing arena. Dr. Thomas Pabst is joining VR World as Industry Fellow, a newly formed think tank of opinion leaders which can share their wealth of experience and positively influence new developments.

    In 1996, Dr. Pabst founded Tom’s Hardware as one of the first globally recognized technology publications. Over the next 11 years, Dr. Pabst built a media organization which spans across North America, Europe and Asia.

    In a new role as an Industry Fellow, Dr. Pabst will work closely with Mr. Nebojsa Novakovic and Mr. Theo Valich, founders and publishers of VR World media publications on building an independent organization focused solely on evolving the global media scene. “We view the world of tech media as stagnant and predictable”, said Mr. Valich. “The way how the current media scene operates stipulates a direct relationship between the allegedly independent news outlets and vendors using third party marketing and PR agencies which dictate what content is allowed to be published… or face expulsion from the limited number of media/blogging/analyst-turned-blogger/journalist seats.”

    “The arrival of Dr. Pabst is just the beginning of a new think tank which will operate independently of PR and marketing agencies, focusing on predicting and depicting future technology trends. The world where organizations maximize every available fund in the budget can only be enabled by enabling an open path between ideas turning into projects, projects turning into technology, technology turning into products and ultimately positively impacting the world around us,” Mr. Novakovic added. “With Tom’s unparalleled understanding of the PC ecosystem and its key vendors on both sides of the Pacific, we are on board to lead the next generation charge.”

    VR WORLD Pte. Ltd. plans to expand the newly established think tank enabling new industry initiatives. More announcements are to follow.


    Mr. Sam Reynolds
    Email. Sam@vrworld.com
    Web. www.vrworld.com
    Twiter. @vrworlddotcom


    VR WORLD Pte. Ltd. is an independently owned dynamic consulting and media company, which publishes VRWorld.com as well as specialized publications for scientific and business community. Headquartered in Singapore with outlets in California, Croatia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, VR WORLD works on delivering news, analysis, interviews and reviews from the dynamic world of ‘computing everywhere’.



Hello, how are you?
Yes, it is me, the guy who decided to get out of all the CPU or GPU tests and reviews almost a decade ago. And do I feel regret? Can’t I wait to jump right back into it like Michael Schumacher, God bless him, when he returned to F1 with rather mixed results? Trust me, and please believe me I don’t mean to offend anyone, but the days of motherboard reviews and sleepless nights spent trying and testing the latest and greatest PC components are gone for good.
Funny as it is, time has not stood still in the last eight years, since I finally turned my back on Tom’s Hardware, oh yes, with money in my pocket, yet that wasn’t and couldn’t have been the reason why I was oh-so tired of it all. True enough, there are still those who care about a new chipset, new motherboards, new graphics cards, even overclocking, but the numbers have dwindled and why? Because the PC is dying, along with it the notebook, go figure!
We are running out of excuses for building or buying a new PC system, a new motherboard, a juicier power supply and even a new graphics card. What is so power hungry that would justify the pain, the expense and the time spent on such a project? The latest computer game? Yes, for years that was the one last stand for the power users, but let’s be honest, how many really good games have been released in recent years? Do we really want to sink tons of money into the hottest new components, just to be bored to tears by yet another first person shooter with yet even greater graphics, but a thin or even idiotic story, or a totally dissatisfying end?
So what are we looking at today? Oh yes, there would be this company named Apple. It came out with the greatest gift to man, the first ever true smart phone. Boy did that revolutionise the world, hasn’t it? Today, years later, we are at the nth reiteration of the iPhone, we acknowledge the iPad, we look at all the Android devices, but do we still feel the excitement we experienced when 3dfx, long gone but not forgotten, released Voodoo2? Do you remember that time? Oh how pathetic it looks today, but weren’t we blown away back then? Are we shaking in excitement the same way over the iWatch, or Nvidia’s latest addition to the world or 3D-graphics? Not really, right?
Much has happened in my life in the last eight years. Today, I am the husband to a beautiful wife and the father of an amazing 6-month old boy. Family life has got me in its grip, and I would not want to have it any other way.  You know what upsets my little son the most? It’s mommy or daddy reaching for and staring into their smartphone, instead of giving him the attention he wants as well as deserves. Oh yes, I am a smartphone addict like the next man, but little CiarĂ¡n’s disdain for this device made me realise that this cannot possibly the future of mankind.
It makes us antisocial assholes – thank you so much Apple – and if we should believe that our future might go along the lines of the Terminator movies, then becoming antisocial would have to be the first step of humanity losing what it takes to differentiate itself from and be better than ‘the machines’. I am not gonna be a daddy who hands his child an iPad once he turns one and a half years old. I made that oath, and believe me, I am still as technology savvy and hungry as you remember me, but not at any price!
People asked me to talk about how the PC and other technology business evolved to what we are looking at today, but I better be careful, feeling a little bit of an outsider who hasn’t been invited to the hush-hush back rooms, the trade shows or intimate dinners with vendors for a long time. What I can see is Samsung going to produce everything, and the kitchen sink soon, focusing along with other Asian producers on creating yet the best copy of something invented by somebody else. I see Intel apparently busy digging its own grave, Microsoft also somewhat out of wits, the Taiwanese producers, Asus et al., concentrating on squeezing the last little bit of margin, so they can continue selling their stuff just that little bit cheaper once again, and Apple predominantly concentrating on making money, rather than creating something the world is really waiting for.
My dear friend Anthony, fellow dedicated daddy as well as technology editor, suggested I should write about VR and I would love to. When it comes to gaming, it seems to be the next big thing. However, I haven’t played with it yet, so who am I to comment? I’ll get my hands on one of those funky devices as soon as possible though, and I can’t wait sharing Anthony’s genuine excitement about this technology, … or not.
I have the request to give my view of what things will be like in 2030, and what to tell your child now in preparation for our glorious future. I used to be asked that kind of question a lot in bygone times, and my answer was always the same – I ain’t no oracle! I was just about to go there and embarrass myself, but the word count of my article made me reconsider, so why not wrap things up by speaking about the current state of computer journalism? Has it evolved, improved, withered? Well the landscape has changed, hasn’t it?
It feels very much as if all the good guys are gone, while the bad ones still remain. It has become more and more popular rewording press releases rather than doing research, hard work and arriving at one’s own point of view. I wish I could say why. If you allow me taking a wild guess, I would say it has plenty to do with balls versus greed. If it is money that you are after in this business, you cannot possibly say you’re searching for ‘the truth’ or ‘justice’ or – modestly – ‘the best interest of your reader’, can you? What it takes is drive, ambition, a certain level of fearlessness and inspiration. You have that and the money will come by itself. Just watch it arrive, nod if you have to and continue with your mission.
I have joined a team of people with ambition, balls and the determination to provide quality. I would not be writing this, would I not firmly believe in it. I never wanted to return to publishing, because it is a rather ugly business. However, things are going to change, and I have my own little idea how the publishing of old will be turned into something brand new and very exciting.
I have enjoyed writing this, certainly not exactly ground breaking or overly meaningful little piece and I can’t wait getting back into the scene and mixing things up my way. Give me a chance to assimilate all that I might have missed before I can give any kind of fundamental guidance. I’ll be there.
Tom’s back, for better or worse.

And at last, the internet time machine of the original website



  1. He lives in Singapore with his wife and children.

    He was involved with VR World for a few weeks, then had a big falling out with its owner, Teo Valic. VR World virtually shuttered shortly after as Teo stopped paying contributors.

  2. He is my former employer in Singapore.