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Looking Back


So the end is nigh. I'll be moving on from TrustedReviews this week, making this my last editorial piece. It's been quite a journey with TrustedReviews, having been a first day reader back in September 2003, one of the first freelancers, joining full time as News Editor in June 2004, and later becoming Deputy Editor in early 2005. In that time the site has grown from zero to over two million readers a month. In fact, a wizzy new gadget in the TrustedReviews admin engine tells me that I've authored over nine per cent of all articles on the site, which I like to think isn't bad going.

With the end of my time on the site approaching I thought I'd take a misty eyed view over what I consider some of the highlights and milestones over the past four years or so. It's not intended to be a definitive list by any means but rather a quick and hopefully not too dirty look over what has changed.

1) OK, let's get Apple out of the way first. Over the past few years I've had to defend myself against being an Apple's fanboy, just because I owned an iPod before the rest of the office, and an iBook, and also against the fact that I hadn't had my teeth whitened. I'm not sure which was worse. My first review on the site was of the 3rd gen Apple iPod, which wowed me with its non-mechanical click wheel, and cool red backlit buttons. It's still my favourite looking iPod. It was just 15GB in capacity - and now an 80GB classic is even thinner. We now we have the iPhone and the touch, sporting the remarkable multi-touch powered interface. OK, so the MacBook Air shows that Apple can get the style over substance balance wrong, but Apple's rise and rise is undoubtedly one of the biggest stories of the past few years.

2) The original TomTom GO started a revolution in personal navigation. It was the first device that made GPS both usable and affordable. I described it as, "the satellite navigation system you've always wanted", and it certainly proved to be the case. Its colour screen and straightforward interface set the standard and all current portable car GPS devices are just evolutions of this groundbreaking product.

3) Back in July 2004 I wrote about a Panasonic Blu-ray recorder. I never imagined that come 2008, there would still be a format war on our hand. Probably, due to PVRs and HDCP, recordable standalone Blu-ray recorders will never likely come to fruition in this country.

4) It seems amazing that in September 2004, one of the fastest machines around was a overclocked and watercooled, PC. Of course this was the time of Pentium 4, when clock speed was everything. It's amazing to think how much faster current lower clocked CPUs are with their approach of more efficient architectures with multiple cores operating in parallel. Will there ever be a need for a 4GHz CPU again?

5) The price of memory. Again in September 2004, Kingston announced a 4GB Compact Flash card for only £374! Now you can pick one up for less than £30. Now if that's not progress...

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