history of the tool page seems so familiar ...
The above image appears around the site, pointing you to facts of historical interest
(Of course, historical facts about Tool comprise this entire site.)
The Tool Page was created in early 1995, before www addresses appeared on TV, before
you could send email to AOL from the internet, before Microsoft got jealous of
Netscape, before there was a Netscape 2.0, before Netscape started breaking the rules
of HTML, before it was fashionable to have a www.yoursite.com, when Yahoo was still at
stanford.edu, when Lycos was still at CMU, when the Internet Movie Database was still
at msstate.edu, when web "sites" were "home pages."
Did you just learn something?
Anyway. There existed a Tool Home Page which you likely would not remember. It was run by a guy named Will Pierce. And it had the info we needed. It even had the FAQ, written by me. But the FAQ got updated fairly often back then (no snarky comments, please), and for one reason or another, it would not show up new on the Tool Home Page.
So I started this site; originally called The Tool Information Page. And I meant that; back then, it was one index.html document, with three text links: discography, FAQ, Lyrics, as well as a link to the other site. (Yes, at this early stage of the game, I had gotten in touch with Maynard, and he had sent me the then-very-coveted official lyrics to Undertow and Opiate).
After about five months, (this makes it summer 1995), and a few graphic embellishments to this site, the Tool Home Page had grown less maintained, likely because the man behind it became very occupied with other things through no fault of his own. (And Will, if you're reading this, we all hope things are going well.) However, I got a little frustrated at this, and ultimately expanded this site to include News, Lyrics, Mailing List, and Images sections. The Tool Page was born. The site had begun to grow, conveniently right as the rest of the world began falling in love with the internet.
The graphics had changed, and, hot on the heels of Netscape 2.0, the site was redesigned with the latest web-innovation: frames. (Admit it, you miss the old frame menu sometimes.) Within months, there was an Articles section, then a Tabs section, and more, and more, and more, and even More. By late 1995, this page had moved from http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~kabir/tool to http://pobox.com/~kabir/tool. The site was reviewed in Magellan without my knowing it ... it was listed in BMG's little printed catalog of WWW sites ... it was linked by more and more people ... in spring 1996, only 16 months after the Tool Information Page had been created, the site moved again to its current home at toolshed.down.net ... radio stations across the country announced t.d.n (named so by our friend Shane "too lazy to write out toolshed" Brouse) as the "unofficial official site" ... MTV showed the URL on-air while introducing Tool videos... Alternative Press featured t.d.n in a cover story ... there was that whole April Fools' 1997 situation ... I was interviewed live on a national Australian radio broadcast (on JJJ) ... a platinum album of Ænima showed up at my house courtesy of the band ... Alternative Press used t.d.n as a centerpiece for another article in July 1997 ... the site was praised and quoted in the Official Lollapalooza Magazine ... we were a stop on an online scavenger hunt by Jolt Cola ...
... then in the last week of September 1998, the machine which hosted the site had a motherboard failure. Fortunately, the hard drives didn't crash. Unfortunately, it was not repaired for three months. By this time, it had moved to Cornell University where it could no longer host the site. Luckily, along came a series of offers for free space; hence the site's current home. Four months later, the site finally came back up, after enduring a temporary stint at http://home.earthlink.net/~kabir.
A few years later, t.d.n found a home at webair.com, and has been living there happily since early 2001. The site won so many awards and got so much positive press, I couldn't keep this About section up to date enough; suffice it to say that even the band regards the site positively. The day "Lateralus" was released, we had over 50,000 viewers; the day "10,000 Days" was released, we had just shy of 65,000 individuals stopping by to get their Tool fix -- and they also got to see the site's latest visual design that same day. Bye-bye frames, hello PHP.
On the way, Dan Green proposed reawakening the Opinion section as forums, and with his hard work largely driving the project, the forums exist now at Tool Navy, and are more popular than ever. Chris Brightwell also came aboard to help keep The Tool Page updated, as I got more and more buried with real-life projects (trust me, the free time you have at 20 manages to disappear...)
Where the site goes now, I can only dream. (And track it here, though that page is hardly as updated as it once was.)
But more important than anything, it must be said that none of this would have been possible without everyone's help. I code the HTML / PHP (by hand, still), I try to stay on top of everything newsworthy, I create graphics, but I could never amass this information myself. I am still amazed that all this info has collated together in one place; amazed even more that it still comes in daily. Everyone's dedication to this project has kept it going this long, and hopefully, will keep it going a lot longer. Thanks -- you're making this a real trip.
[Written by Kabir | Updated July 2007]