Tom Jennings

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Tom Jennings
Jennings in August 2002
Thomas Daniel Jennings

1955 (age 67–68)

Thomas Daniel Jennings (born 1955) is a Los Angeles-based artist, known for his work on FidoNet and for his work at Phoenix Software on MS-DOS integration and interoperability.[1]


He is the creator of FidoNet,[1] 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.[2]

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,[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.

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.[3] 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.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Jennings currently resides in Los Angeles, California with his partner Josh Stehlik.


  1. ^ a b c Doctorow, Cory (2019-08-05). ""IBM PC Compatible": how adversarial interoperability saved PCs from monopolization". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  2. ^ The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. Cambridge: MIT Press. 2000. pp. 138–141. ISBN 9780262261104. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b Borsook, Paulina. "The Anarchist", (Issue 4.04. April 1996)
  4. ^ Fenster, Mark (Winter 1993). "Queer Punk Fanzines: Identity, Community, and The Articulation of Homosexuality and Hardcore". Journal of Communication Inquiry. 17 (1): 73–94. doi:10.1177/019685999301700105. S2CID 144552864. Retrieved 18 April 2022.

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