Whats New

On this page is detailed additions to the FOTI site as they happen.
We also hope to give folks an idea of what is going on behind the scenes.

What's New?
2002.01.08. Updated through 2004.01.02
2003.01.15. Updated through 2003.01.01
2002.08.01. The new FOTI sites becomes alive.
2001.12.01. TheLitterBox shuts down, having lost major sponsorship in 9-11. Six chartering users died in the fiasco.
2001.09.01. The FOTI via HTML ring is up. Join in folks! The Telnet one is under construction.
2001.08.30. We lost another hard drive. Repairs underway.
2001.07.20. We lost a hard drive of information which has really set back our work. About three weeks was lost, but we have now recovered and are driving on...
2001.06.07. Domain of 'fidonet-on-the-internet.org' registered.
2001.06.06. Pate approaches TheLitterBox's BOD for access to TheLitterBox's contengency fund to fund new org domain registration for FOTI. Given a go, he requests FOTI.org, but learned that it was unavailable, despite having an expiration date of 2000.12.15. When contacted, NetWork Solutions said they would check into it.
2001.06.05. Bobby Queen hands off FOTI to TheLitterBox. Work begins by grabbing the site from webjump.com, and starting to strip out the frames, java, and fontage.
2000.04.11. FOTI has now moved to webjump.com, and has a new webmaster (Bobby Queen). I will try to get all URLs and Echomail areas working correctly ASAP!

The Message


Display Message

Message #703, Email (TheLitterBox Email (no listservers!))

Date:30th June, 2001 at 21:06
Subject:Re: foti
From: Bobby Queen <wizards@shelby.net>
Reply-To: wizards@shelby.net
To: Tony Campbell <pate@thelitterbox.org>

Tony Campbell wrote:
> Understand.  And I want a copy of that article.

Tony forgot to mention that Alex wrote his own portion for the article
and if you want to write a short paragraph or two about what you've done
or anything you can.  Here is the article as it stands now but Simon is
going to edit his portion of the article and I'm trying to contact Jon
Hunt also.  So edit you portion and send it back and I'll change it and
get the article ready to go.


History of the F(idoNet) O(n) T(he) I(nternet) Website!
By Bobby Queen

I was recently asked by someone if I had any old FidoNet articles or
old files.  I told him that all that I had was gotten off of other
websites over the years.  But then I happened to think about some old
FOTI (FidoNet on the Internet) archives that were sent to me by the
previous webmaster Simon Slater.  I contacted all the previous web-
masters I could find and with that and the old archives I have pieced
together the history of the FOTI site since its beginning.


FidoNet On The Internet (FOTI) was established by Alex Kemp on March 15
1997 to provide FidoNet with a content-rich community site.  With the
help of Bill Hayles and Dave Carter it soon became internationally

The site intended to gently introduce new members to the fundamental
ideas behind the network and help them get past any initial technical
hurdles.  It also acted as a central portal from where existing members
could find FidoNet resources on the Internet.

In the early days of development the technology was kept very simple
with the effort concentrated on creating high quality content to meet
the needs of the users.  Server side scripting was prohibitedly
complicated so all the pages were produced as static HTML.

FidoNet members submitted numerous contributions in the first year and
the site expanded considerably.  Design decisions were taken at this
time on how to best accomodate such a quantity of information.  Despite
changes, the task of maintaining the site was still taking up an
excessive amount of Alex's time.

So, on December 6, 1998 Alex passed the site onto Jon Hunt, a friend
from Ireland, who had shown a lot of enthusiasm for the site and had
both the vision and technical capabilities to continue working on the
site.  Jon Hunt ran it from then until June 27, 1999 when again the
site ws taking up alot of Jon's time and he decided to pass it on.


On June 27, 1999 Simon Slater took over the webmaster duties and ran
the FOTI site until it got to be too much for him also.  He asked for
volunteers to take over the site and he had 2 people interested and he
decided to turn it over to the first person who had spoke up and that
was myself (Bobby Queen).  He turned the site over to Bobby Queen on
April 10, 2000.


I (Bobby Queen) took over the site on April 10, 2000 and moved it to
a new location and started the tedious work of updating all the pages
on the site.  This took awhile and for the first few months I updated
the site regularly.  But unknown to others I had at least 5 other web-
sites that I was maintaining and it just got to be too much.  So in
June I mentioned to the other person, who had offered to take over the
site when Simon Slater was looking for volunteers, that I was going to
give it up due to lack of time to keep it updated.  So on June 5, 2001
I gave the site up to Tony Campbell who had shown an interested in it
a year earlier when I had took it over.


Tony is currently running the site and is in the process of updating
everything and getting rid of the frames that many including myself
didn't like. :)  Tony has quite a job ahead of him trying to keep the
site updated and also merging in his huge archives of FidoNet articles
Netlists, Echolists and other files in with the FOTI site.


So this now ends the history of this site up to present day.  Thanks to
Alex Kemp for his help with the date of the beginning of the FOTI site,
and his help with the first portion of this history.  Also thanks to
Simon Slater for his help and for turning the site over to me when it
got to be too much for him. And my thanks to Tony Campbell for stepping
up when I was getting behind in updating the site and for taking the
reins of such a huge responsibility.  I got numerous requests for help
from folks wanting to join FidoNet when I had the FOTI site and I did
my best to get them added to the nodelist and getting them involved in
this GREAT Network called FidoNet.  I know that Tony will continue this
tradition and I hope that FidoNet will continue long into the 21st

So below is the timeline which is correct except for the EXACT date of
Alex beginning the site.  He gave me the best estimate for when the
site started but he did work on a website for several years before he
actually started FOTI, (FidoNet on The Internet).


Dates                 Webmaster      Email
--------------------  -------------  ----------------------
04/15/97 to 12/06/98  Alex Kemp      alex@alexkemp.co.uk
12/06/98 to 06/27/99  Jon Hunt
06/27/99 to 04/10/00  Simon Slater
04/10/00 to 06/05/01  Bobby Queen    wizards@shelby.net
06/05/01 to present   Tony Campbell


  Thanks Bobby,

  Where to start?

  TheLitterBox predates FidoNet.  It came online in 1979.  The first 
Fidonet Nodelist I could find is in 1984.  My first encounter with 
FidoNet and the Fido software was also in 1984, Lane Fowler ran 
FidoSouth, located in Atlanta.  Lane and I were cordial, I was 
the assistant at C.H.A.T.T.E.R.#4 in Atlanta, an Altar Support System.  
The support systems are gone, the BBS was the death of them.  

  Having lived through one 'era', and staring right at the end of 
another, the 'dial up' era, I knew that if TheLitterBox was going to 
survive, I would have to find some way to connect it to the Internet.  
  In my searches for information, I encountered FOTI.  I admit my first 
encounter with the FOTI site was lukewarm, as what I was looking for was 
not there.  I also remember thinking that FOTI should be sponsored by a 
Web BBS, and that it was a shame that it was not.

  Once 'webbed', TheLitterBox's history project started.  This project 
is a vain attempt to recover and find all historical fidonet material and 
place it into one archive.  It included a complete set of FidoNews, and 
what many people say was the largest archive of historical material on 
FidoNet around.  

  When Simon asked for volunteers, Bobby and I both volunteered.  
I still think that such an archive and resource should be under a 
Fidonet system accessable from the internet.  I think Bobby knew that 
and privately agreed.  So when it was time for him to hand off, he 
naturally thought of TheLitterBox.

  The first thing we did was get the domain name.  That had been a 
problem in the past.  This caused a large arguement with Network 
Solutions.  FOTI.ORG was registered, but the registration was long 
defunct.  We did not get it, and had to settle for 'fidonet-on-the-

  Today, the work continues.  
  The archives that Bobby referred to now reside up under the site.
  The search engines to the archives also are there.
  This includes the 'search the current nodelist' search engine used by so 
many folks to find systems near them.  This single engine recieves over 
a dozen hits a day.
  The troublesome frames that kept so many from using the site are gone.
  The modem dictionairy is being reconstructed and expanded. 
A search engine is under design.
  A banner exchange, exclusively for html FidoNet BBSs is under test.
  A database and web interface is under construction for the authors 
of various softwares is under construction.  This will allow them 
to keep their records up to date, as well as allow the system to 
'age' check older entries.
  A database and web interface is under construction for HTML Fidonet 
BBS sysops to keep a 'BBS List' of such systems.
  A database and web interface is under construction for Telnet Fidonet 
SysOps to keep a 'BBS List' of such systems.
Pate, 2001.07.01