Tom Jennings

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Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings (Budapest, 2013)
Thomas Daniel Jennings

1955 (age 6869)
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Thomas Daniel Jennings (born 1955) is a Los Angeles-based artist and computer programmer, known for his work that led to FidoNet (the first message and file networking bulletin board system, or BBS), and for his work at Phoenix Software on MS-DOS integration and interoperability.



In 1983, Jennings created the Fido program, which spawned FidoNet, [1] the first message and file networking bulletin board system (BBS). The FidoNet protocols were authored by Jennings in the Fido program, and they were ultimately implemented by numerous authors in other software to create the full BBS, network using a multiplicity of platforms. [2]

Aside from creating the protocol for networking BBSes, Jennings: built Wired 's first internet presence; wrote the portable BIOS that led to Phoenix Technologies BIOS, contributing to on MS-DOS integration and interoperability; [1] ran an early regional internet service provider The Little Garden (later incorporated as TLGnet, Inc); [3] and maintains an informal archive of Cold War science and technology.

From 1988 until 1991, while he lived in San Francisco, Jennings was the publisher and co-editor, with Deke Nihilson, of Homocore , one of the earliest Queercore zines. The name came from the pages of J.D.s zine, and featured musicians and writers such as The Apostles, Steve Abbott, Donna Dresch, Larry Livermore, Daniel Nicoletta and G.B. Jones. [3] The co-editors' other activities, such as organizing Homocore shows where bands such as Fugazi and Beat Happening appeared, and writing for and creating other publications, helped popularize the Queercore movement in the United states and internationally. [4]

In 2002, Jennings was interviewed for the series BBS: The Documentary , released online (partial content) and to home video in DVD format (full content) in 2005. [5]

Personal life

In a 1996 Wired article he was described as a "punk activist" and "anarchist". [3]

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  1. 1 2 Doctorow, Cory (2019-08-05). "'IBM PC Compatible': How Adversarial Interoperability Saved PCs From Monopolization". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Archived from the original on 2023-09-17. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  2. Rheingold, Howard (1993). "Chapter Four: Grassroots Groupminds" . The Virtual Community. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley. pp. 136–139. ISBN   0-201-60870-7. Archived from the original on 2023-04-08. Retrieved 2023-09-18 via Internet Archive text collection. [note: "archived" copy is author Howard Rheingold's free electronic version of the applicable chapter of his book]
  3. 1 2 3 Borsook, Paulina (April 1996). "The Anarchist" . Wired . Vol. 4, no. 4. pp. 120–124. ISSN   1059-1028 . Retrieved 2023-09-18 via Internet Archive text collection.
  4. Fenster, Mark (Winter 1993). "Queer Punk Fanzines: Identity, Community, and The Articulation of Homosexuality and Hardcore" . Journal of Communication Inquiry . Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publishing. 17 (1): 73–94. doi:10.1177/019685999301700105. S2CID   144552864 . Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  5. "Name of Interview: Tom Jennings". BBS: The Documentary . 2002-08-02. Archived from the original on 2023-09-12. Retrieved 2005-06-06.