Benj Edwards writes a Hotline retrospective for Macworld:
“The Hotline system consists of three parts: servers, clients, and trackers. Anyone with an Internet connection can host a Hotline server for free; it’s software that provides for multi-user chat, message boards, and file transfers. Clients are special programs users run to connect to Hotline servers. And trackers are special servers that exist to facilitate connections between clients and servers; they keep an active list of available Hotline servers that wish to be listed on the tracker.”
I remember Hotline. I was building web sites by then, but it still had obvious appeal reminiscent of the earlier BBS and AOL/eWorld days. This article from Macworld is important because it will serve as a sort of Hotline software “about page” for future internet searchers. For many apps that were popular in the 1990s, it’s now very difficult to find an online record that they even existed.