by December 5, 2007 0 comments

1987: India’s first technology magazine, PCQuest, is launched as PC World

That’s right, when PCQuest was first launched, it was called PC World India,
with the name being licensed from the international PCWorld magazine. The actual
name PC Quest came into being two years later. Earlier there was a space between
PC and Quest, which was removed later. Even the logo was different


PCQuest Online BBS
Before Internet came to the country, technology enthusiasts and IT users
used something called a Bulletin Board System (BBS for short) to interact with
each other, share information, answer technical queries, debate over things,
etc. PCQuest became the first Indian magazine to launch a BBS, called PCQuest
Online. It ran on a 386 machine with a modem, and was first setup into the then
editor, Prasanto Kumar Roy’s home. Later, it was brought into the PCQuest
office. Users would use their machines to dial into the BBS and exchange

PCQuest distributes CDs with every copy
In August 1995, PCQuest came out with its 100th issue, and to commemorate
the occasion, distributed a free CD with it. This trend had a significant impact
on the sales of CD-ROM drives in the country, and in a way helped bring the CD
revolution to the country. The first CD itself contained IBM’s OS/2 Warp OS,
Lotus Notes, Vn’gineer, PC DOS 7, and lots of demos from leading software giants
like Microsoft, Novell, Aptech, SCO, Ramco, Tata Unisys, Wipro, and Aztech Labs,
among others. Incidentally, the CDs became so popular that they were sold in
black in the market.

First magazine globally to distributePC DOS 7
On the first CD that PCQuest gave out, it distributed the then very popular
Operating System for IBM PCs-PC DOS version 7.

PCQ Labs
PCQuest was the first Indian magazine to have setup its own independent test lab
facility. Called PCQ Labs then, the facility helped PCQuest become a credible
authority for product purchase decision making. Today, the entity is called
CyberMedia Labs, and caters to other publications of the group as well.

DVDs with every copy
When even multiple CDs became insufficient, PCQuest moved to DVDs. The first
DVD was called DVDXtreme, and like the CD, helped significantly ramp up DVD
drive sales in the country.

Dual layer DVDs with every copy
Again, as software grew larger, and users found it difficult to download
from the Internet, PCQuest started distributing dual-layer DVDs, which could
hold 8.4 GB of data. Today, every copy of PCQuest ships with a CD and a
dual-layer DVD.

India’s first multi-boot DVD for penetration testing
This was a boon for all security professionals, because it contained five
live Linux distributions having the best collection of security tools. Moreover,
the DVD was configured as multi-boot, meaning you just had to insert it into
your system and boot from it. A multi-boot menu would pop up from where you
could select the Live Linux distro to boot into. The five distros were ChaOS,
PHLAK, Whoppix, Auditor and L.A.S.

Enterprise class product shootouts
While most other test labs in the country were busy doing comparatives of
PC-based products and peripherals, PCQuest moved to testing enterprise class
products like hardware servers, tape drives, NAS boxes, firewalls, UTM devices,
and even software products like enterprise class anti-virus software, etc.

Creates its own videos for distribution with its DVDs
We caught all the excitement from labs, created a video out of it and gave
it on our DVDs. Initially called QTv, and later TechLive, this video comprised
of a variety of useful videos. We’ve given a collection of the 20 best videos
from TechLive on this month’s DVD.

Institutes the Best IT Implementation Awards
Launched four years ago, PCQuest introduced the Best IT Implementation
Awards as a mechanism to recognize and honor all the good work going on inside
IT projects in the country. The latest issue of Best IT Implementations carried
more than 250 IT projects.

Distributes a Linux distro
The first distro to be given by PCQuest was not its own. It was Slackware
Linux, and PCQuest was the first Indian magazine to carry a Live Linux distro
with every copy.

Distributes PCQ Linux with every copy
One of the most revolutionary moves to be carried out by PCQuest was to
bring out its own Linux distro. Called PCQ Linux, the distro became so popular
that at one time, there was shortage in the market, and it was selling in black
for 400 bucks at eBay!

Sets up its own High Performance Cluster
One of the greatest technical feats to be achieved by any IT magazine,
especially in India was to setup its own HPC, and PCQuest was the first magazine
to do it out of 20 ordinary P4 based machines connected over a Gigabit Ethernet

Enterprise Solutions Showcase-An event to showcase IT solutions in action
to the CIO community
This was the first event ever in India that showcased IT solutions in action
to the audience. So there were no small 3×3 stalls-just enough space for
everybody to setup their IT solutions and show them to their customers.

The SMB Handbook
As the SMB market grew hot, PCQuest started a separate quarterly magazine
just for them, and sent it out free of cost.

Online ePaper version of SMB Hand book
After the success of the SMB Handbook, PCQuest took the same thing online,
so that it could reach out to more SMBs.

Online forum
Need we say more? We’ve been running it successfully for more than 3 years

Reader Query Service and PIMS
This allowed readers to send back a post-paid post RQS card, asking for more
information about a particular product carried in the magazine. Each reviewed
product had a unique RQS Code. This was later converted into an SMS service,
also called PIMS or PCQuest Instant Messaging Service. Now users can get
information about specific products via SMS also.

Users’ Choice and Most Wanted IT Brands
Users’ Choice Awards was the only survey in the country that captured the brand
preferences of key IT purchase decision makers across the country. We later
converted it into Most Wanted IT brands, which did a more thorough analysis of
IT brands and their movement.

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