SL: Tell us a little bit about yourself (Age, Location, etc.)
AnandTech: I'm currently 17 and I've been in Raleigh, NC for the past 9 years now. Before then I used to live up north in a small town called Keene (yeah like Commander Keen) in New Hampshire
SL: What exactly got you started working on AnandTech?
AnandTech: Back in 1997 I caught myself smiling at AMD's release of the K6, I wanted one, and I wanted one bad. I was using a trusty ol' Cyrix 6x86 PR150+ and I was about to upgrade to a K6 and a new motherboard. I was so psyched about the upgrade that I thought I might as well help out those that may be in a similar position by releasing a sort of "diary" of my upgrade, documenting everything from the purchasing and installation to the performance aspects of the upgrade. I went around a few newsgroups and asked to see if anyone wanted a copy of the report after the upgrade was complete. I got about 70 people that were interested and I told them that I'd email them the report as soon as it was ready.
Time went on, the release of the K6 was finally upon me, I called around looking for one and I came up empty handed. The only place I could find that had the K6-233 I was looking for tried to sell it to me for $799, I laughed and decided that I'd wait. I obviously couldn't put together the report I was working on, so instead I made an account on Geocities (it was much better back then, no $*#(in popup ads all over the place) and put up Anand's Hardware Tech Page. That was the start.
SL: How long do you spend working on AnandTech a week?
AnandTech: On a normal week, about 60 hours. Don't get me started on how long I spend when I have a big review coming up ;)
SL: How many people do you have working for AnandTech?
AnandTech: We have a total of four writers (two of them are new additions), three news guys, an editor and two developers. We also have an advertising sales force on the West Coast.
SL: Who designed AnandTech, and what sort of technologies did they/you use?
AnandTech: The logo was done by an excellent artist named Tom Burns from Canada. The rest of the site was done by Anders Hammervald, but the technology behind it was all developed by Jason Clark (our Cold Fusion developer) and Sam Mayes (our Oracle DBA).
All of our news and reviews are stored in an Oracle Database, this is considered our "back end." Cold Fusion is the "front end" of our setup which takes the data from the Oracle Database and presents it to you in a nice, easy to read fashion; it's what makes the site look "pretty."
SL: Who are your influences in life and why?
AnandTech: As a person, my parents were my greatest influences in life. I have been around them for the past 17 years and when it comes down to the basics, they are the two people that have been around me enough to influence my thoughts and my life the most.
Other than my parents, the greatest influences in my life would have to be the friends that are closest to me. As a teenager some of the most influential people you will ever meet are your peers, and I feel that it is always important to cherish the time, albeit limited, you have with them.
SL: When did you realize AnandTech was a winner?
AnandTech: If by winner you mean success, I don't view AnandTech as a success. Maybe I'm too hard on myself, but if anything, I view AnandTech as a company with a great deal of potential. If by winner you mean something beyond a little site on Geocities, I think it would have to be the day I received my first email from the CEO of a company. I was 15 at the time so it was the most important interaction I was able to recall at the time, and it was then that the potential for the site truly came into focus.
SL: What are some of your future plans for AnandTech, new features, etc?
AnandTech: There have been quite a few changes in the background of AnandTech that will surface shortly. Although I can't discuss everything I can say that there will be a focus on expanding the staff within the next 6 months. We are looking into building the site into a much larger and more prominent entity in the next 6 - 8 months and are currently working on some deals that will make that more of a reality (don't you just love vague responses? ;)…)
SL: Other than computers, what do you like to do in your spare time?
AnandTech: Ah, spare time, what a wonderful thing that was. I spend every free minute I get away from computers, far, far away. After writing a large review I usually like to go out for a little drive, but in general I'll go out with a few friends to a movie, grab some dinner with ma' honey, or just invite a few guys over and chill around the lab. As for other hobbies, basketball is my choice for a sport (although I haven't hit the courts in 5 months) and I, like the rest of the AnandTech team, am a car nut.