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Thread: What was "Fidonet" back in the 1990's versus what it is in 2019?

  1. Default What was "Fidonet" back in the 1990's versus what it is in 2019?

    Hi,
    I remember seeing something called "Fidonet" when I was using the "BBS" system back in the 1990's. I didn't know what it was back then and still really don't really fully understand it. Anyone familiar with how it was used back in the 1990's versus how it used now days (as the wikipedia entry about it, amazingly, says its still in use!)?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    666

    Default

    I found fidonet a mixed blessing back in the day. It was a great way to communicate with lots of people on topics, but it was also the beginning of the end for BBS's. The huge benefit of BBS's was the ability to meet and talk to other locals and the use of fidonet kinda changed that dynamic. Where you used to call different BBS's to talk to different people, you then only needed to call one or two BBS's because they all shared the same message forums. Originally it was limited so it was kinda nice to have a place where you could communicate with 100s of people but eventually almost every BBS was a fidonet hub and so they became less and less unique. There was even the point where the fidonet technology extended to BBS games (doors) as well. It would be like going to vcfed forums and having the same exact messages as atariage or lemon64, where the url no longer mattered, that's how it was with bbs numbers, i feel. Im actually surprised fidonet is still around since it's original reason for existence was to provide message forums that could be accessed anywhere in the world.. which is basically what anything on the internet is now.
    -- Brian

    Systems: Amstad PCW 8256, Apple IIe/II+/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/Amiga 3000/PET 4032/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Osborne 1, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 4 GA

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ngtwolf View Post
    I found fidonet a mixed blessing back in the day. It was a great way to communicate with lots of people on topics, but it was also the beginning of the end for BBS's. The huge benefit of BBS's was the ability to meet and talk to other locals and the use of fidonet kinda changed that dynamic. Where you used to call different BBS's to talk to different people, you then only needed to call one or two BBS's because they all shared the same message forums. Originally it was limited so it was kinda nice to have a place where you could communicate with 100s of people but eventually almost every BBS was a fidonet hub and so they became less and less unique. There was even the point where the fidonet technology extended to BBS games (doors) as well. It would be like going to vcfed forums and having the same exact messages as atariage or lemon64, where the url no longer mattered, that's how it was with bbs numbers, i feel. Im actually surprised fidonet is still around since it's original reason for existence was to provide message forums that could be accessed anywhere in the world.. which is basically what anything on the internet is now.
    Thanks for the insight.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN - USA
    Posts
    845
    Blog Entries
    1

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    1:362/666.. Mother Russia was my Fidonet BBS node number.

    In Chattanooga, we had a very large community and fidonet helped bring us together. We would get together at least once a month, and I still have friends that I met with the bbs's.

    Later,
    dabone

  5. Default

    I started college in 1993 and started BBSing at what was probably Fidonet's peak. It was great for me as I could suddenly communicate with people all around the world about my passion, programming. Before then, I didn't really know anyone else to talk about it with and Fidonet echomail opened up a whole new world to me. In 1995 I became a Fidonet point which meant that email could be addressed directly to me and that I became a small part of Fidonet by running software on my machine that would automatically contact my local BBS, Highlander, and swap netmail and echomail. This was much quicker and kept the phone bills down, which was really important in the UK because BBsing was pretty expensive due to the cost of phone calls here.

    If you look at the NODELIST for 1995, when I joined, it comes to 1.1Mb zipped and had been increasing week on week, whereas the NODELIST for 2019 is 54Kb and has been reducing week on week. It is more of a nostalgic 'retro' interest now than a practical interest - but there are still some fun echomail's running although they do sometimes descend into murky politics.

    I've just looked back over some old capture logs and I came across my original application to become a point - it may be of some interest.



    Terminate image saved 9/Sep/1995 10:47



    APPLICATION FOR A POINT NUMBER

    A BBs Point carries some responsibilities, accordingly, HighLander
    will only issue a point number on the following basis:

    The following is to be read carefully and your agreement signified
    by returning the form to Alan Walker by netmail.

    1. A Point will collect substantially MORE MAIL.
    (Connecting to a conference means you will get ALL of that
    conference, not just TO ALL or TO YOU)

    2. A point enters into a partnership with the node he "points from"
    (That means the you are obligated to collect mail from HighLander
    whereas before you could merely "move on")

    3. Mail must be collected regularly - it must not be allowed to
    accumulated (All your mail - conferences or netmail, is stored
    ready for your collection - it uses disk space).

    4. A point has the potential for more connectivity to other
    systems throughout the world. Do not abuse that privelege.
    More(Y/n/=)?


    Terminate image saved 9/Sep/1995 10:47


    Remember that you are operating under the name/address of
    HighLander.

    5. Although a point number may be withdrawn without prior notice
    due to misuse or neglect. This is impractical in the case of
    a point ceasing to collect mail regularly.

    YOU MUST THEREFORE ASK FOR CANCELLATION OF A POINT NUMBER
    or a TEMPORARY HOLD on operating as a point (Holiday,
    moving, apathy ... whatever)

    6. Those associated with the running of Highlander will
    not be held responsible to loss or claims under any circumstance.

    8. Commercial or illegal use of Highlander is not permitted.

    9. Certain facilities may become chargeable to cover direct costs.
    Eg annual membership contribution and certain Internet Services.
    (Not mandatory but then neither is the use of HighLander

    7. You are now asked to abide with these requirements:

    I apply for a point number having read and agreed to the conditions
    More(Y/n/=)?


    Terminate image saved 9/Sep/1995 10:48


    of use given above. My user details, age, name, address and home
    telephone number

    Are correct (Y/N):
    Need ammending (Y/N):

    Note: An alias is not generally allowed in most conferences
    (the following is my real name)

    Name of applicant: ................. (date, as posted)

    Additional details - needed if the HighLander Questionnaire has
    not been completed, or needs updating.

    Point System intended to be used
    Mailer:
    Tosser:
    Reader:
    Need advice/help:

    System details:
    Modem details:
    Comments/more:
    More(Y/n/=)?


    Terminate image saved 9/Sep/1995 10:55


    Generic Split-Screen Chat Utility 1.40 ANSI/AVT 10:55 am
    [ Alan_Walker ]
    hi there, your node number will be 253/417.11
    no problem, i will set it up in 30mins for you, your areafix password is RABBT
    oops RABBIT


    [ Lawrence Woodman ]
    cheers alan, I downloaded cpoint from another BBS, just to find that you
    had 2 versions of it on Highlander!!, never mind.



    [ Ctrl-O = Help ]
    Copyright 1992 by Chris Patterson, All Rights Reserved

    Last edited by Lawrence Woodman; June 5th, 2019 at 01:17 AM.
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