Any hotline users out there?
September 26, 2001 2:34 PM   Subscribe

Any hotline users out there? I haven't seen any comment on this. Personally, I use Morpheus now, but I'm still sorry to see Hotline go.
posted by signal (15 comments total)
All it was was a glorified FTP. Hassle to get anything you wanted. Really didn't do much more then existing programs. The only thing it was good for in my opinion was having user queues.
posted by geoff. at 2:46 PM on September 26, 2001

Was never a big Hotline user but did spend a decent amount of time at Hotline HQ in Toronto meeting with their business development manager.

It certainly is not a surprise that they're going under, they blew huge amounts of money on a fancy loft office that featured a massive waterfall that consumed an entire wall. It was prone to break down and spent more time being repaired than flowing.

Their story is pretty sordid as well. One of the young 16 year old founders ended up sueing Hotline. Salon did a story on it: HOTLINE'S CIVIL WAR.
posted by mgoyer at 2:48 PM on September 26, 2001

I used to use it back in '99. I am not a big fan of the click on a few banners to get the login and password deal.
posted by riffola at 3:36 PM on September 26, 2001

I never could figure out how anyone ever managed to convince a VC to believe their business model: "We're going to develop a client/server system that will mostly be used by teenagers and college students to trade pr0n and warez. But we'll make money by charging them for the client and server programs!" Uh-huh. Anyway, the network's still there, and will be as long as people keep using the programs. There are quite a few third-party clients as well.
posted by aaron at 3:40 PM on September 26, 2001

Long live Gnucleus.
posted by tweebiscuit at 4:03 PM on September 26, 2001

What's morpheus? Most people I know have switched to Carracho.
posted by rodii at 4:06 PM on September 26, 2001

I've used hotline for years as a non-web based way of swapping files, chatting, and posting messages for friends on various private servers, including my own. Whenever someone I knew would take the leap and start using computers, I'd set them up with a hotline client so I didn't have to carry around piles of floppy discs/cd's or use sketchy e.mail services to get them the files they want. The members dropboxes were a great way to leave someone a picture or even a text document that they could download at their leisure, rather than clogging up their e.mail. As a private system for file sharing and messaging, hotline was the stuff.

I seldom would go to the 'warez' hotline servers, as most of them were run by obnoxious teenagers demanding constant uploading of fresh data in exchange for long queues, in addition to ridiculous hunt and search games in order to obtain a password (which generally wouldn't work anyways).

Now that FTP servers (like BulletproofFTP and others) are easier to set-up and use for the average user, and messaging apps like ICQ and MSN messenger are commonplace, the niche that hotline filled has lost its relevancy and attractiveness. And of course there's SoulSeek, which is the best of all the music sharing apps available right now (just don't go looking for N'Sync or other mainstream fluff there - you won't find it).
posted by mb01 at 6:28 PM on September 26, 2001

Morpheus is available here and shares a network and interface with Kazaa. Quite popular and effective to boot.
posted by Mrmuhnrmuh at 7:54 PM on September 26, 2001

Huh, Hotline was still around? I was too busy using Carracho.
It's not a surprise they're gone -- they never went after businesses. And by that, I mean allowing any connectivity or customizing in the server that would actually make real businesses consider running a Hotline server. They got really close, 4 years ago, when everyone else was struggling to integrate files, news and chat together, and Hotline software just couldn't get it up. Too late, they started contacting content sites directly wanting to do partnerships, but the software a) was synonymous with pr0n and warez by this time and b) still sucked and no longer had a real future.
Now if it had layout control, a browser plugin and/or an optional port 80 HTTP interface... coulda been a whole different web right now...
posted by teradome at 8:13 PM on September 26, 2001

D00000d! w3r3 am i g0nna g37 my warez?????

Seriously... I've gotta agree with teradome. They screwed their core constituency, were never able to attract any "legit" users, and never really pulled their software into a coherent whole.
posted by ph00dz at 8:18 PM on September 26, 2001

I was surprised that Hotline ever even became a business. I always thought it was just somebody's shareware pastime.

In any event, the client will continue to work just fine and I can't really think of any really deleterious bugs in it, so I don't think this will in any way be the death of the "community" such as it is. Hell, most of the users I know still use the classic version 1.2.3 (isn't that it?), which was the last one without banner ads.

In any event, unlike Kazaa, Morpheus, and Soulseek, Hotline is multi-platform and therefore of particular interest to many. And Carracho, god bless its soul, is Mac only (and still my fave)!
posted by bcwinters at 8:30 PM on September 26, 2001

I still use hotline every day. It is a fantastic platform for closed-off private file sharing. I download warez and rare mp3s from servers with 100GB+ libraries. It is still around and still great. And hxd is a free opensource server and client (albeit a command line one) for unixes. The company totally totally sucked, though. Also - for the mac, Pitbull Pro is only way to go for a client. It is great.
posted by n9 at 10:56 PM on September 26, 2001

Hotline Won't die because of the death of BigRedH company. No on was using their products anymore…
HL has nothin about FTP, Napster etc
its a community
posted by lexkd at 1:02 AM on September 27, 2001

I thought Hotline was a load of toss.

I'm using Morpheus at the moment, seems better than all the Gnutella based crap around. What's Carracho like then? The link to their site wasn't working for me.
posted by jiroczech at 2:57 AM on September 27, 2001

Hotline has the worst UI I've ever seen.
posted by kchristidis at 6:26 AM on September 29, 2001

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