The Beginning and the End

I recent incident here on Toonami: Digital Arsenal has caused me to find the need to write this, my first official TDA rant. Within these lines you will find an insight into my thoughts on the past, present, and foreseeable future. Also included is a little bit of history about TDA to ensure you can better appreciate my stance.

When TDA first opened its doors in July of 2000, I had high hopes. Tyler and I both had great websites we were now merging, and I expected that we would become insanely popular, maybe using as much as 10 gigs of bandwidth a month. I approached a good friend of mine from Boy Scouts whom I knew had a lot of connections online, and asked him if he knew someone willing to host a site that big; a site that had the potential to use 10 gigs a month. I was connected with Fuitad, and things have taken off ever since. Our popularity has skyrocketed beyond even my wildest dreams, and our site has flowered into something I never thought possible.

On April 12th, 2001 (our most popular day to date) we received 2716 visitors and sent out 15.1 gigs of data. We have effectively grown from a site averaging 10 gigs a month to a domain averaging 10 gigs a day. Through all this, Fuitad has stayed with us and never once asked us to permanently trim back or limit our usage. He has extended a grace to us I had never thought possible, and he has paid who knows how much money to keep and it's hosting services alive and free for our users. The man is truly unique in his desire to give to people he doesn't even know. If everyone out there could truly understand how much he's done for us, and how much we owe him, I know you'd all feel the same way.

One April 13th, 2001, after our enormous usage day, Tyler and I made a hard decision: We decided to cut things. We made a decision, of our own accord, to remove a large portion of the fan creations section from our website. In addition, we made a little joke about sending Fuitad complaints in the form of money as a sort of comedic way to endorse donating money to FuitadNet. What we failed to take into account is that the average visitors to our site didn't get the joke and made the assumption that Fuitad was forcing us to take things down. (Which, on a side note, if fully his right and privilege to do if he had chosen to do so, which he did not.) Here is where the fun and exciting part comes in: In the course of 1 hour, 100+ people, upon reading that we had cut out some large files, decided it would be a good idea to flame Fuitad, telling him he should do things such as die. Now, this may just be me, but if I want to support a website, I don't do it by angering their provider. Granted, some people were quite polite about the emails, but Fuitad was confused as heck. He hadn't asked us to delete any files or cut back on usage, why was he being emailed requests to increase our bandwidth and disk space? For gosh sakes, he already gave TDA as much disk space and bandwidth as they needed, what else is there to give? Needless to say, the entire ordeal has left me feeling like I must state my views on the future of TDA and ensure everyone knows exactly what is going on.

TDA is the largest ongoing project I have ever been involved with. We've been open 9 months as I write this, and it's been a wild ride that I hope lasts for a while to come. However, it won't last forever. The day will come when TDA will shut its doors for good, either due to exorbitant bandwidth usage, FuitadNet closing down, or Tyler and I progressing to a point in our lives when we can no longer run it. TDA is large and getting larger everyday; I can foresee a day, someday, when we will be too large for Fuitad to host anymore, and the time will come for both of us to move on. I won't get mad that TDA is closing; I won't get upset at Fuitad because he had to protect the rights of all of his other sites; and I certainly won't flame him. I will look back, remember how fun this all was, and proceed to thank Fuitad for giving me the time of my life.

I'll remember the first post I made to NewsPro, the long hours I spent converting all my old captures to the new Sorenson format, and the emails and discourses I had with Tyler in planning, implementing, and updating TDA. I'll recall how great I felt the day I realized we had peaked as the 2nd most popular Toonami site on the web, and I'll reminisce about the days I spent laughing and plotting with the guys in Nemalki's Inner Circle. I'll reopen that first "You guys have an awesome website!" email and read it again in the hopes of re-acquiring that rush of joy received upon realizing that other people like what you've done. I'll look back on the day the Intruder aired and we got flooded with hits from Cartoon Network employees who wanted to know what we thought, and who took our opinions seriously. I'll look into my empty wallet and fondly realize how much money I've spent on tapes, a VCR, and a video capture card, all so I could keep doing what I enjoy. I'll reopen the "Ask Pepito" and "Mailbag" sections; laughing like I did the first time I read them. All of these things are memories that will last for a lifetime, and all of them would be impossible if not for Fuitad.

I'm always amazed how easily people turn on each other, and I refuse to be one of those people. I refuse to only look at the here and now without first putting everything into perspective and realizing how foolish I am. I will not allow myself to become so focused on my plans and my future that I don't stop to think about the people responsible for the glories in my past. TDA is a wild ride, let's be sure that when the day eventually comes, it ends on a good note.

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