Van's Hardware Shifts Gears

By Van Smith

Date: August 30, 2001

I mentioned about two weeks ago the imminent new job I was taking.  I am scheduled to start work Tuesday (this job is important in itself and I will discuss it in the near future).  In the meantime I will be packing and moving, so updates from me will be few to none until I get settled in.  After that, I plan to concentrate on reviews and analyses and, due to time constraints, will rarely post news unless the item is of major importance.

If you become aware of a breaking news story that you would like to see us publish, let us know about it.  If you want to contribute news regularly, please contact my wife, Kathy, who will be overseeing news updates.

I have not been happy with the content of the site lately.  My history is in producing detailed analyses and reviews, but time constraints have prevented the sort of focus and dedication that is necessary for that level of work.  I am committed to publishing quality, in-depth articles even if it means at times that the update frequency will suffer a little.

I am pleased to state that both Phil and Joel will continue their association with the site and I hope to get them more involved with VHJ.  I value their contributions and insight.

We need extra help.  If you live in the Austin, Texas, area and are an idealist interested in providing analysis, commentary and hardware reviews and have good writing and organizational skills then submit a sample article to me for review (having a sincere passion for the material is perhaps the greatest quality I am looking for).  Articles containing profanity will be rejected.  Because we have no significant cash flow, these articles will have to be done out of your desire to educate our readership. 

We are also looking for assistance with COSBI, the yet to be formalized "Comprehensive Open Source Benchmarking Initiative."  I believe this project has the potential for transforming the industry by providing an incisive, verifiable and comprehensive testing suite.  We have gotten support from across the hardware enthusiast community, but we need to build upon this momentum to drive this project to success.  COSBI is about verifiability and will be drafted so as to ensure that the project and the source code will forever remain free and open to all.  From personal experience I can state that there is a lot of money to be made in developing benchmarks.  It is my earnest desire to ensure no commercial interests ever gain control of COSBI. 

Crucial to COSBI is an "Open Testing Methodology" for using the tool set.  We solicit your help on developing these methodologies as well.  A documented testing methodology will ensure that test results from various web sites, users, companies and analysts are comparable and were obtained under the proper conditions.

There is the potential for a major site upgrade in the next few months, but I am not at liberty to discuss the details.  Whatever happens, I will remain in charge of site content and will keep our same independent, honest, hard-hitting focus.

Finally, I would like to preemptively apologize if I become unresponsive to email over the next month or so.  I will be very busy.  If you have an urgent message, please set its importance to "High" (click the little red exclamation point in Outlook), otherwise I might accidentally overlook your note.


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