Van’s Hardware Journal (VHJ) has been around since the turn of the 21st Century and is one of the oldest computer hardware enthusiast sites on the Internet. VHJ was at one time one of the most influential sites of its kind. The old VHJ website can still be found here. Our website went on hiatus for several years and you can read about some of the reasons for this here. The defunct Google Blogger page can be accessed here.
Van’s Hardware Journal was founded by me, Van Smith, soon after I quit my position as Senior Editor of Tom’s Hardware Guide.
As head of Benchmarking at Centaur Technology, an x86 microprocessor designer, I oversaw performance testing for R&D, system level validation and marketing purposes. My performance analysis there created a marketing message that enabled VIA to become the world’s largest supplier of thin client CPUs. I also contributed to the VIA Nano’s performance improvements by conducting a wide variety of performance experiments for Centaur’s logic team.
I have created benchmarks, validation tools and testing software for Centaur and VIA. I have worked closely with many benchmark designers and have influenced and/or directly contributed to several major computer benchmarks. I represented VIA Technologies within the BAPCo consortium.
I am also an accomplished computer industry analyst* (see Analyst/Writer Milestones below), writer, and software designer.
I have coding skills in C++, Delphi, x86 assembler, AutoIT, perl and other languages. I have coded business applications for the financial industry, transportation industry, and retail industry. I led a team in designing, developing and implementing a sophisticated, three-tiered, object-oriented customer service application. Our team received a prestigious Service Excellence award for this project.
I have a degree in physics and was granted a Top Secret Critical Nuclear Weapon Design Information clearance. I achieved the highest score on record in the U.S. Army’s Nuclear Weapons Maintenance program.
- My articles on Rambus technology were widely credited with causing financial turmoil for the company. One article triggered a massive sell-off of Rambus stock, leading to a precipitous sink of $150 per share on a single day. In that article, I showed that the performance claims the company made did not hold up under testing. That article and a few others were used in the FTC’s case against Rambus which eventually led to conviction.
- I have covered computer benchmarks for many years. Computer benchmarks are typically software programs that are used to measure how fast computer systems are. I have influenced or directly contributed to many of the most widely distributed computer industry benchmarks. For instance, I wrote the cryptography benchmarks in SiSoftware Sandra. Information I uncovered on Intel’s influence over computer industry benchmarks is now being investigated in the FTC’s current case against Intel.
- I was the only analyst in the computing industry to identify at product launch the shortcomings of Intel’s NetBurst architecture underlying the now defunct Pentium 4 line of microprocessors. The flaws I identified caused Intel to gradually lose market share to its rival AMD. Intel eventually abandoned the NetBurst architecture many years ahead of initial expectations and far short of the 10GHz goal because of the very weaknesses I identified. A major news source cited my work on the Intel Pentium 4 as some of the most important analysis produced in the first five years of the 21st Century.
- I am less proud of the fact that I was instrumental in the demise of x86 microprocessor designer Transmeta. Representatives from one of Transmeta’s most important customers told me that they dropped Transmeta products after reading my articles on Transmeta CPUs. Additionally, I created the performance message that allowed VIA Technologies to become the world’s leading supplier of x86 thin client CPUs. VIA took this crown away from Transmeta.