The Year 2000 – It begins
Before we were called FunkyKit.com … our website started out life as a simple home-based hobby website in early 2000 on a free web host (I can’t remember which). Back then it was called AMD3D.com – Advanced Machines Dedicated for 3D, a pure enthusiast hardware website that covered everything from overclocking to modding. Why was it called AMD3D? Well, when I first developed an interest in PCs, Intel CPUs were very expensive, so the next best althernative was an AMD processor, and if you overclock them carefully … you could almost get the same performance (if not better) as an Intel processor at literally half the price.
2001- Opal Computers
In early 2001, an opportunity opened up when my brother asked me to join him, to help him out at his brand new computer store – Opal Cpomuters. I thought ok … this could work, and it would really benefit the website. In my spare time, I’ll get to review all the hardware in his store and publish them on our website. So begins the big push for AMD3D dot com!
My brother was a businessman, and so most of the computers and systems he sold were to small businesses, schools or government departments, which is fine. And there was good money to be made back then. However, if a hardcore PC enthusiast came in to the store, he wouldn’t really know how to serve him. And this my friend, is where I come in … I started to encourage my brother to begin stocking more enthusiast hardware and components. Things like gaming graphic cards, new CPU coolers, gaming chassis and processors for overclocking. By ordering certain higher-quality batches, we able to arrange them in order in terms of their overclocking ability. Usually, out of a batch of 10 CPUs, we can find 2-3 which are particularly good for overclocking, and therefore we could charge more for them. The rest we would sell as per normal.
Using NewsPro (CGI-based system)
Overclocking and Modding
Overclocking, tweaking and tuning PC components can only get you so far … I mean, you really need to know your hardware. This niche market is tiny. So how do we attract more people into the store? By showing off what you can do with a PC! Yes, the age of the PC modding begins … in fact, we were one of the first computer stores in the UK to import a full-on copper heat exchanger for our watercooling system custom designed specifically for a PC. The sh!t was so outta this world, we had people walking past the store … and then suddenly STOP. They would turn back to take another look!
Using Nuke-PHP CMS
2002: The Community
It’s now 2002 … both the computer store and the website were doing very well, and our community started to grow rapidly. Among them was Wing Lui, Loy Lee and many valued contributors including my brother Yao and my uncle George. AMD3D hit the headlines when we “accidentally” broke the NDA (non-discloure agreement) on an Intel chipset found on an Asus motherboard we were reviewing. Well actually, we didn’t sign any agreement (it was overlooked by Asus) … hahaha.
AMD3D was now taking a lot of traffic from the increased amount of visitors. We switched from a shared hosting VM to a dedicated dual-CPU server hosted in Manchester and later re-located to London. At weekends during the quiet periods, we would setup a game server and have regular online Unreal Tornament battles 😉
2003-2005: The Lost Years
Due to personal family issues … I decided to give AMD3D a break. I passed the reins to a small team of contributors, hoping they would expand and grow the site while I was away. Unfortuntely, it wasn’t the same. Slowly, the content dropped and the website activity started to decline. It was a pain to see it happening, but I couldn’t do anything about it. To stop the further decline and to keep the community going, it was decided that the forums would continue. :'( :'( :'(
Using SMF Forums
2006: The launch of CPU3D
After much needed recuperation and soul-searching, I decided to launch CPU3D.com using Joomla 1.x CMS … a new home for the community. It took a while to build up the momentum, but once we got going … it was second nature. It was definitely worth the wait. Existing forum members were estactic and lost forum members re-joined.
My brother Yao was instrumental in keeping everything going … he’s one of the reasons why we are still here today! So before I continue. I would like to say … THANKS YAO!
2007-2008: The Growth
The 2 years after the launch of CPU3D, we grew and grew. Pumping out 5 reviews per week as well as receiving sponsorship from Gigabyte, Coolermaster, OCZ and many more. It was the golden years. We also managed to cover Cebit in Germany, Computex in Taiwan and the Gadget show in Birmingham. With limited funds, we were proud to achieve everything according to our plan. At its peak, we have over 1 million visiitors serving over 3 million pages.
Sorry guys … I’ve searched everywhere, but I wasn’t able to pull any screenshots of CPU3D from the webarchive.org.
Just as things were looking up, one of our ex-partners (sorry can’t say his name here) wanted to take CPU3D to the next level and decided to expand the site. He started Network3D (parent company), PlayIt3D (game reviews), and e-Sports team called ARM3D. There was way TOO many things happening on such limited resources … you can see where all this is heading, right?
2009 – RIP CPU3D
What happened? Er, to cut a long story short … you remember the ex-partner. Well, he’s also the one responsible for the backend of the website. From programming to backups. He did it all. So here’s what really happened. One day, I was trying to log into the admin side for updating one of my reviews, but the page was down … so I thought ok, ex-partner is updating the backend. It turns out that he completely killed the site and the server!
But wait … don’t we have backups? YES we do …but the only things is, he couldn’t get the backups restored. He’s programmed the site in such a way that ONLY he can’t restore the site back to the original state. He always insisted on NOT using open source CMS (content management system) and that his programming is way much better. I did disagree, but he didn’t listen.
I apologise to EVERYONE for this unfortunate disaster which was beyond my control and was ultimately the responsibility of my ex-partner … I may forgive, but I will never forget.
I have no words to describe what I was feeling … 3 years of blood, sweat, time and energy, literally flushed down the drain in a flash! I was like a zombie for several months and it took me quite a while to recover :'( :'( :'(
2010-2015: Launch of Funky Kit (using open source CMS)
After another setback … I think it’s time for a lucky break, right? You know what they say … 3rd time lucky!
During 2010, I moved to Hong Kong to make a fresh start. I decided to worked for HP, Dell and another IT firm. All was good, but there was something missing … my fingers were a little itchy and I knew I had to re-start a website again. So begins the launch of Funky Kit. The website has now been running on open source CMS for the past 6 years with no issues, so I think I’ve proven my point, right? hahaha!
I must say, it’s also a fortunate coincidence that Loy Lee was in Hong Kong during 2010 when I launched Funky Kit, with Wing Lui later joining us in 2012 … and also thanks to the dedicated team of reviewers, contributors and visitors. Special thanks to Chris McCart, Jermey Gulley, Matthew Berry, Ed Smith, Nick G, Matt Harrod, Richard Aizlewood, Bart Waluk and Floris Bouchot.
Currently using WordPress 4.x CMS
It’s been an amazing 6 years from 2010 to 2015 with big changes for our site … we now have a cleaner, friendly and responsive format, we’ve also upgraded our AWS servers and added new features such as podcasts, videos, live video streaming, as well as becoming an Amazon affiliate.
|2010||FunkyKit.com Launch||Gigabyte GOOC Championship 2010|
|2011||Started FK Podcasts||Beijing IDF 2011|
|2012||Mod My Box Special Feature launched||CES 2012 Las Vegas|
|2013||Moved to new AWS server||Mod-My-Box
|2014||Upgraded CMS from v1.5 to 3.x||_|
|2015||New responsive template
Upgraded to new and better AWS server
|2016||New layout – Easy navigation
Restarted FK Podcasts
Relaunched official YouTube Channel
Live streaming via Periscope
|HK Electronics Fair (April 2016)|
|2016 Q2||Migration from Joomla to WordPress
Enhanced plugins for easy editing
|Computex 2016 (June 2016)|
Today, Funky Kit is currently on its 7th year, and continues to be an online publication serving our readers and visitors with content covering tech and culture. In the coming months, we will have more to offer to our readers such as exciting competition/contest as well as coverage of this year’s events.
I would like to thank everyone who have supported us over the years, especially our visitors and readers as well as our contributors and of course our review team.
Again, my brother Yao was instrumental in keeping everything going … he’s one of the reasons why we are still here today! So I would like to say … THANKS YAO!