Every now an then I run into something that reminds me of the old Fidonet and Bulletin Board days and what really got me into computers. If you don't remember Bulletin Boards they were similar to a web site but over dial up lines, you needed to dial their number with a DOS based program like Telix. Bulletin Boards or BBS's had downloads, games and message boards. My board was the Helix named after the first alternative/hippie newspaper in Seattle.
Fidonet was a network to connect BBS's for maintenance, email and to upload new message to message boards. Fidonet was truly International. Eventually I became the Internet Gateway for New York Transfer News (ANEWS) (which may have closed it doors) and for Dharma Net. I was also the repository for Home Power magazine issues that came out every month. Looking around the Internet today I find nothing current on Fidonet so I assume they gave up in favor of the Internet.
A BBS console waiting for a call
+ 212-675-9690 NY TRANSFER NEWS COLLECTIVE 212-675-9663 +
+ Since 1985: Information for the Rest of Us +
+ GET INFO from firstname.lastname@example.org +
+ e-mail: email@example.com info: firstname.lastname@example.org +
--- GEcho 1.00 * Origin: helix.uucp =FidoNet/DharmaNet= Seattle (206)783-6368 (1:343/70.0)
An Internet Gateway uses a UUCP dialer like GEcho and receives/sends news groups and email but then they have to be conveted to Fidonet format. The conversion was done with a program by Jason Fesler called GIGO or Garbage In Garbage Out. I had to write a small program that would correct the header info that was reversed by either GEcho or my Internet feed.
DharmaNet International revised: 6/8/94
BBS-Name: The Helix
Location: Seattle, WA
Sysop: Scott Parks
Networks: DharmaNet, FidoNet, UseNet/Internet, PODS
UL/DL Ratios: 20:1
Allow handles: Yes
Offline Mail: BlueWave, QWK, Silver Express
Comments: 300+ echos on alternative lifstyles and alternative politics.
Internet Email and Newsgroups. Many interesting info files.
One great story was when a rumor quietly started circulating about the authors of Remote Access, RA (my software and many others) put in a "back door" so you could access a PC at the DOS level. I announced this over our Seattle network after testing on a woman's Remote Access BBS. She was the first one to jump all over me and deny the rumor. The only way could convince her was to change the name of a text file on her C: drive and tell her to check. The access method was something like CTL-F4 with no restrictions.