Altered States Magazine - June 2002


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    By Philip N. Zeman

    Outgrowing the List

    Posts on rec.arts.animation and the Mailing List proved that people wanted Transformers information. But the members of the list didnít want to keep mailing the same things over and over again. So some central site needed to be set up, a site that could house the most requested information, as well as maybe some other files. Jim Hoxsey decided to take the matter into his own hands, and he created the first Transformers FTP site at vela.acs.oakland.edu. Simply FTP there, switch to pub/transformers, and instantly you had a great repository of TF data. You can see a post about this FTP site by looking up this Usenet Message ID: 1u05irINNa1r@ope001.iao.ford.com

    The main item of interest was the first official TF Episode Guide, put together by Aaron Marsh, I believe. Also on the site were pictures, fanfiction, and even the first transcript of an episode, namely Boris Ammerlaanís "Dark Awakening".

    After a while, other FTP sites started popping up. But Jimís site was so popular, anyone could refer to it as "Vela" or "Oakland" and more often than not, the Transfan knew exactly was meant. Vela was the first place a fan would check for archival data.

    Websites today spend a lot of time creating user-interfaces that make it easy for visitors to point, click, and download data of all sorts. But this created at a time when the most common way to FTP was to use a command line interface. Thatís right; you had to know the commands by memory and frequently download to offline viewers to view the data you received.

    At some point, vela switched to a machine called saturn, and with the proliferation of other FTP sites and then the World Wide Web, it stopped being the hotspot for Transformers data. It, too, quietly disappeared into memory.

    Next Issue: We take a look at the newsgroups, the websites, the MUSHes, and the chatrooms. And we might correct this information if it turns out my memory isnít as reliable as Iíd like it to be. If you have your own information about any of the preceding material or the upcoming material, please send it to me.

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      Copyright © 2002 Altered States Magazine
    A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication