Although it’s hard to believe, benchmark.pl is already 25 years old. The story of the portal began exactly a quarter of a century ago – what was the internet like then, what was the technology and what was reigning in pop culture?
25 years of benchmark.pl – a piece of history
It was August 17, 1991. Rafał Pietrak, working at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw, sent the first TCP/IP e-mail to Copenhagen, symbolically giving birth to the Internet in Poland. However, it took another year for the first commercial Internet service provider (ATM) to appear on our market, two years for the first web server to be launched and five years for Telekomunikacja Polska to finally allow many Poles to connect to the global network via a telephone modem. For those who are raised at this time, it is enough to give seven numbers: 0-20 21 22 and everything will be clear.
Shortly afterwards, also in 1996, Wojciech Kiełt launched the site www.quake.org.pl, dedicated to – what a surprise! – a game from the Quake series. A year later – in June 1997 – the author decided to change his profile and create a national performance ranking. Users tested their computers and uploaded the results to show, share and compare with others. Naturally, a new name appeared in this context: Benchmark3D.
This is what Benchmark3D looked like in 1998
Thus begins the twenty-five-year history of the benchmark.pl portal, the domain he acquired at the end of 1999. The portal, which shortly after the events just described, became one of the most important places to which enthusiasts of computer hardware and new technologies have flocked. They found the latest news from the computer world and the results of meticulously conducted tests. Just as you find them today.
And this is what benchmark.pl looks like today
Currently, benchmark.pl is a portal where not only hardcore enthusiasts can find something for themselves, but also moderately advanced people, even complete amateurs. The publications relate not only to the material itself, but also to everything related to cyberspace: from news from various parts of the Internet, through topics related to online safety, to digital entertainment understood both as games, movies and series. You will also find texts on mobile gadgets, software, audio-video and household appliances, as well as exciting scientific and technical curiosities.
1997 in technology, science, pop culture…
1997 brought many important events. On Earth, Scottish scientists boasted of the first successful cloning from somatic cells of an adult individual – yes Dolly the sheep is born and Pathfinder lands on Mars – the first rover controlled from Earth and moving on the surface of another planet. Just two months earlier – in May – created by IBM Deep Blue’s computer defeated Garri Kasparovbecoming the first system to beat the current world chess champion.
In 1997, the brands Netflix (when it was a DVD rental at the time), E Ink (with a patented electronic paper – the basis of the operation of e-readers), HTC (beginning its adventure with laptops) or Mediatek (currently one of the most important chipset manufacturers in the mobile market). Let us mention, for the record, that it was also then registered google.com domainSteve Jobs returned to Apple and Bill Gates became the richest businessman in the world.
Twenty-five years ago, many interesting pieces of equipment also made their debut on the market. DVD players began to appear, Nokia 3110 and Siemens C10 phones made their first appearance, along with HP LaserJet 4000 printers and Power Macintosh computers. Except that
we died we have also raised many pets on Tamagotchiand those who had PlayStation could buy themselves the first Dual Shock series controllerwhich changed console gameplay.
Importantly, the IEEE 802.11 protocol has been officially approved, giving the beginning of Wi-Fi technology. The first generation already operated in the 2.4 GHz band, and offered dizzying speeds: up to 2 Mbit/s!
What was going on in pop culture? Well, for example, it appeared the first book in the Harry Potter series, cinema screens have entered films that are now considered classics of cinema. Principally Titanic, but also The Fifth Element, The Game, Mutineer by Choice, Cube, Jackie Brown or the Devil’s Advocate, and in Poland – for example Kiler, Sara and Sztos. Millions of viewers on smaller screens, on the other hand, began to attract series such as South Park, Stargate, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Johnny Bravo or Pokémon. It is also worth mentioning the 13th station and the Złotopolski family.
1997 was also a big year for the gaming industry. The history of great series like Grand Theft Auto, Age of Empires, Diablo, Carmageddon, Fallout or Gran Turismo began there.. Find out more about what we played 25 years ago in our other article (to be published soon).
A lot of interesting software also made its debut on computers at this time. We started listening to music in Winamp, burning tiles through Nero, and sending and receiving emails through Outlook..
Still on the subject of software, it’s also worth mentioning that in 1997 Netscape began to seriously say goodbye to its leadership in the web browser industry. Here it is – Internet Explorer 4.0 – efficient, stable and fully compatible with HTML and CSS. Speaking of internet browsing, so…
How was the Internet 25 years ago (in Poland, but not only)?
If anyone was lucky enough to have a computer in 1997 and access to the Internet, then… there wasn’t much to do here. Wikipedia – it didn’t exist, YouTube – it wasn’t there, Allegro – it won’t be created for two years, and Facebook, Twitter or Instagram weren’t even thought of. From the large Polish portals only Wirtualna Polska and Onet worked – the latter was still called OptimusNet and looked like this …
Onet did not stand out with its graphic design from other websites – that’s what the Internet looked like twenty-five years ago. For example, here is the Gazeta Wyborcza website:
All Global In 1997, the Internet created just over a million pages (which was a huge jump from around 250,000 a year earlier). For comparison, there are currently around 1.9… billion websites on the web.
What famous sites already existed in 1997 and what could you do there? Well, the first stores were starting to appear – including Amazon and eBay (although back then it was still called AuctionWeb). You can also read about music on MTV or Ultimate Band List and movies on IMDb, as well as look up garden maintenance tips, recipes and computer instructions. Technology sites included ZDNet, Tom’s Hardware and CNET.
Where could you find all this information? Well, Yahoo! already existed for three years at the time, and it looked like this (which is exactly the same as everything else):
Or maybe you know what, just… check out the 1997 family guide on the internet. In an American house, a new Compaq Pentium Pro 200 networked with Windows 95 appeared, which opened up completely new possibilities for the family …
How has the appearance of benchmark.pl changed over the years?
Finally, I invite you to a brief summary of the evolution of benchmark.pl over the years. We already showed what Benchmark3D looked like in 1998. So let’s start two years later, when as benchmark.pl our website was much more modern and transparent – these were our priorities from the beginning, right after reliable articles .
Over the next few years, the website developed seriously and the number of publications increased. So a new website was needed that would allow easy and quick access to various types of content. In 2003, a new logo appeared, which accompanied us for a decade and a half.
In 2005, the site underwent a minor facelift:
… And three years later, the completely redesigned benchmark.pl website appeared on the Internet, which over the next few years was modified with other changes. Many of our current readers (and editors) joined the benchmark ranks just during this time. Do you remember this look (screen from 2011 here)?
However, we needed something more modern, so instead of introducing another modification to the previous one, we introduced a completely new one at the end of 2011. In the following years, benchmark.pl was as follows:
The years have passed, the Internet has changed and the reference has remained the same. In 2015 we introduced a version for m.benchmark.pl phones.
A year later, we changed our logo and the website received another refresh. In our opinion, it was one of the most beautiful.
The internet was racing and smartphone traffic was starting to drive out desktop traffic. We couldn’t ignore it anymore and – finally – in 2019 we presented a new version of the benchmark.pl site. One that works well on mobile devices, loads quickly, and offers intuitive content navigation. Either way, you know, because this is our dress to date (with minor changes).
benchmark.pl is people. You and us
Of course, benchmark.pl is first and foremost about people: the readers (after all, we wouldn’t be without you, and your comments motivate us to act and make it clear that what we’re doing makes sense) and the committee editorial (both the team on the spot, in Poznań and colleagues from different regions of the country). That’s why, at the very end, we present this gallery, photos taken over the years of our work for you 🙂
25 photos for the 25th anniversary of benchmark.pl: