Back in the days of Ninjalane I would post a little something in the Forums about what I had planned for the coming year along with some details about what went right and what was a total failure. The previous 2020 year was a total disaster both for PC Hardware and the world. Lockdowns early in the year impacted component shipments which in turn created lengthy shortages that drove prices up created even more supply issues. The world suffered from a similar fate. In the US the lockdown sparked a shopping frenzy that fueled a shortage on the most basic of supplies. People were forced out of work and many had to spend the entire summer locked at home. Sadly “The Situation” impacted groups differently and while many suffered others flourished.
Unfortunately, Hardware Asylum was one that suffered during the lockdown days but, there were a few gems to highlight.
The Hardware Asylum Podcast went virtual with a couple months vidcasts backed by a traditional audio release. It surprised me (well not really) to find out that several listeners don’t actually visit the website to check out the latest episode or even monitor my social media channels but, rather just download the audio via the RSS.
Hardware Asylum was the first interview on Hackfort Live. The show was pretty good and started with some of my background and later jumped into some cool hardware from the “Vault”. This was my first public appearance wearing a mask and overall wasn’t all that bad.
Intel Core 10 Series was launched along with some excellent new motherboards including the X299X Xtreme Waterforce as a compliment to the excellent Z390 Xtreme Waterforce I reviewed in 2019.
I got to review the over hyped Threadripper 3. Much to my surprise it was extremely easy to source motherboards and the sites that got review samples from AMD all had good things to say. Sadly, when I started diving in it became clear that the Hype was not real, the processor has a horrid overclocker and I question the overall power. Sure, it has los of threads but, threads are not the complete picture.
On a sad front I was unable to visit Taiwan again in 2020 due to the worldwide “Situation”. At first the show was delayed until the Fall, similar to what happed during the SARS outbreak in 2003. Interestingly enough that was also my first Computex and what propelled Ninjalane from a small unknown website to one of the larger ones at the time. Since 2003 I had attended Computex yearly having only missed a total of 5 years (05-06 and 16-17, and now 20)
Overall, I still think Computex is THE show for any PC Hardware Writer to attend and while my coverage of the show has changed considerably since the beginning there is still plenty to see and new contacts to be made.
What is Happening in 2021?
The first item on the list is the continuation of the Hardware Asylum Podcast. It would seem that Darren and I still enjoy recording the show and looking at the download numbers plenty of people are listening. Scheduling aside we aren’t planning any format changes.
I still believe that the Hardware Asylum Podcast is one of the best if not THE best show out there dedicated to enthusiast PC activities. Unfortunately, promoting a Podcast isn’t easy and while I find it best to have listeners promote the show, I discovered early on that few listeners are into sharing and when you ask them to, they get offended like you slashed their tires and kicked their cat.
With that said, the show appears to be growing and if that continues, we will find time to deliver more awesome content. You can find the podcast here on Hardwareasylum.com, iTunes, Google Music, Spotify and Amazon. You can also find it on shady sites looking to make money from my hard work by linking to my audio files, not offering links back to Hardware Asylum and hosting ads on every page.
A New Chapter
Ninjalane.com was launched in October of 1999 and consisted of casemodding articles and a web forum. In June of 2000 I launched my first hardware review making this a 20-year adventure in computer hardware.
I never did get to take a trip down memory lane and highlight some of the hardware I kept over the years and due to “The Situation” I never did have a proper 20th anniversary event in June. Instead, the direction I’m planning take is to do a YouTube series that highlights the cool hardware I have in the Vault. It will be like a Retro highlight but, with modern versions as well.
Once again I am hoping for another great year at Hardware Asylum and with any luck my plans can be realized. The challenge will be to step up where others failed or throw in the towel if things don’t work out.