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Jennings in August 2002
|Born||Thomas Daniel Jennings
1955 (age 61–62)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Occupation||Faculty at Calarts, technician at University of California, Irvine|
Tom Jennings (born 1955 as Thomas Daniel Jennings in Boston, Massachusetts) is a Los Angeles-based artist and technician. He is the creator of FidoNet, the first message and file networking system for BBSes. Originally, the FidoNet protocols were implemented in a program named Fido, authored by Jennings, but they were ultimately implemented by other authors in other software to create a network using a multiplicity of platforms.
Aside from creating the most influential protocol for networking computer bulletin boards, Jennings built Wired magazine's first internet presence, wrote the portable BIOS that led to Phoenix Technologies BIOS, ran an early regional internet service provider, The Little Garden (later incorporated as TLGnet, Inc), and maintains an informal archive of Cold War science and technology.
While he lived in San Francisco from 1988 until 1991, 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. The editors' other activities, such as organizing Homocore shows where bands such as Fugazi and Beat Happening appeared, and writing for and creating other publications, were instrumental in popularizing the Queercore movement, particularly on the west coast. (Deke also performed in films, such as The Yo-Yo Gang, and had his own Queercore band Comrade in Arms.) Internationally, Homocore zine, throughout its eight (including the rarely seen issue #5-1/2) issues, along with J.D.s, was influential in the rise of Queercore as the zines found their way into the hands of queer punk kids across North America, South America and Europe.
Jennings currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his partner Josh Stehlik. He is faculty at Calarts Art+Technology program, and also works as a technician at the University of California, Irvine's Arts Computation Engineering graduate program.
- Sensitive Research Website of Tom Jennings
- World Power Systems (older Website of Tom Jennings)
- Photo gallery of Tom Jennings from BBS: The Documentary
- Tom Jennings at the Internet Movie Database
- Arts Computation Engineering UCI Graduate Program
- "The Anarchist", by Paulina Borsook. Wired.com. (Issue 4.04. April 1996)