From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Computing / Networking / Software (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by Networking task force (marked as Mid-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Software (marked as Low-importance).
Note icon
This article has been marked as needing an infobox.


Does anyone have any strong feelings about describing fidonet in the past or present tense? I know it still exists in some sense, but it feels a bit strange to me to give the impression that it's a very active system. If nobody objects, I'd like to propose rephrasing it all in the past tense, but leaving the note at the top to indicate that it's still in use. Izogi 08:23, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

The more I look at the past tense, the less attractive it is. Fidonet is still active. THe fact that it is not very active doesn't mean it's not active.
Okay, if someone wants to change it back then I won't complain. Otherwise I will when I have a spare moment. Izogi 5 July 2005 21:34 (UTC)

Thanks....I think it's appropriate that you undo what you changed.

It's much more active in Russia than in Z3, so present tense works.

Would it be fair to say that the Internet was a pirated technology illegally copied from Fidonet communication systems & therefore anybody who uses the Internet is a criminal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

No, that wouldn't be fair to say, since TCP/IP, on which the Internet runs, predates FidoNet by a decade or so... Kate (talk) 23:02, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

As far as I am aware Fidonet has been around since the 1970's to 1980's, didn't the Internet come out later in the peace, I know for a fact that Pascal which is a very old form of computer language was discussed on many Fidonet echomails for decades. And a very early form of hypertext very different to html of today was also experimented on Fidonet systems, it was known as hypertext. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Fidonet dates to the mid-1980s, actually. The current Internet has its origins in ARPANET, which dates to the mid-1960s. Pascal dates to 1969-1970, but it was commonly used as a teaching language for decades; I learned it in the mid-1990s as my first language other than Logo. The current protocol that the Internet mainly runs on, TCP_IP, was developed in the 1970s and its official standardization was in 1982. The World Wide Web, which may be what you're thinking of when you say "the Internet", dates to 1993, and is not based on Fidonet. In any case, this isn't really a forum for general discussion of Fidonet, it's about the article. Is this a claim you're thinking of adding to the article? Kate (talk) 11:29, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Countless BBS Bulletin Board Systems which utilised Pascal code from Switzerland all round the world suddenly became ISP's, Internet Service Providers & Fidonet & DOS was abandoned in droves all round the world except in Russia where apparently today it is pretty inactive anyways, if we assume darpa's arpanet was the first packet switching network we then abandon what went on in europe & russia & elsewhere around the world, sputnik being first satelite in outerspace from Russia, we are told to assume that the Americans built the first packet switching network, you obviously must be an american, if we want to go back to datagram time in the 1960's & say punch cards were invented in America this is not true either because punch cards were invented in Europe. It is only fair to say that the Internet that we know of today evolved from utilising Swiss Pascal code around the world on dialup DOS systems not the 2 telephone voice & data line internet routers of today. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:26, 5 May 2011 (UTC)


Hey, is the "famous Fidonet quotes" link that you added really necessary? As far as I can tell they're not exactly famous quotes, the page itself looks more like it's just there to slander the fidonews editor's recent comments rather than being actual representative quotes of fidonet, and it can easily be found linked from its parent page anyway, which is already externally linked.

I can see a reason for linking the parody page itself, if only because it offers one perspective of fidonet. Deep linking to pages within that site, though, seems superfluous and not exactly NPOV. I'm going to remove it for now, but if someone would like to comment on its relevance and why it should be there, please do.

Izogi 11:08, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Anonymous edits[edit]

Some anon is entering in information at the summary part of this article which, as far as I can tell, is not just his opinion but totally contrary to reality. I invite him to cite some source for what he's writing. Ashibaka (tock) 22:35, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I did some looking around, and I presume that he or she is referring to the argument that's described in this issue of fidonews, and probably many before and after it. Apparently Ward Dossche, as the International Coordinator, made some arbitrary policy decisions (for situations where the policy was ambiguous) that effectively made it impossible for him to be voted out... or something like that. Whatever the problem, though, the way that this anonymous person wrote it up in wikipedia is hardly a neutral point of view. The only part of fidonet that's supposedly become a forum for cultural slurs and the like seems to be the high level administration.
If this is going to be written into the article, I think it needs to have a separate heading (something like "fidonet political administration"), and there needs to be a much more balanced write-up that explains the arguments from both sides rather than simply saying "the whole of fidonet is now a wasteland".
Izogi 06:20, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well near as I can tell, neither one of you is an active member of Fidonet....and as such, may not be privy to information, and/or not interested enough to read the echoes that detail the fact that Ward is no longer the IC.

So, it strikes me that until you can authenticate that you are active members, that you have no right to edit what a member places in the Fidonet page.

If you keep removing the information, I will simply add it back in.

Actually, I am subscribed to some FidoNet groups, and I see none of these attacks or slurs that you say are so prevalent. They're live groups, too-- os.linux and so forth. Ashibaka (tock) 04:58, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for finally commenting on this... it's definitely easier to be able to discuss why people want certain information to be expressed in certain ways. To be honest, the idea of having this information on the page doesn't really bother me, but putting it in the middle of the introduction as if it's an integral part of all of fidonet does. I also re-visit fidonet from time to time via BBS's, and in my view it's just not representative. Flipping through regular fidonet echomail or using fidonet netmail certainly doesn't result in "personal attacks and cultural slurs", at least not in the way that you're implying. It'd be much more correct to state that high-level administrators of Fidonet have been exchanging personal attacks and cultural slurs. As I mentioned earlier, I also think it'd work much better if it's in a separate section devoted to fidonet politics, preferably past as much as current. Izogi 06:14, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

THe slurs go beyond high level officials...there are several rather low level, in terms of position and politeness, members who are very active in persoanl attacks and cultural slurs.

I'd suggest you read some of the echoes that purport to be official or semi-official Fidonet venues. You may find that your position on slurs and attacks doesn't agree with reality.

Are you a nodelisted sysop, an elected or appointed official or a user?

Hey, everyone. Anyone can edit this page, not just FidoNet members. Wikipedia is an open source, open to anyone. Please accept the edits of others. As long as people cite their sources, everything should be okay. – Chris53516 (Talk) 20:07, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Is there a source for this entry: Its popularity dropped in America & Australia because of police intimidation & governmnetal legislation, this is because the internet created by the American military was seen by both these governments & their supporting corporations as being the computer communication network which should be promoted, however in Europe & Russia there is alot more freedom for fidonet operators & programmers.

I'd like to see where the cops were roughing up Fidonet users

Addition of Fidotel link[edit]

I'm a bit uneasy about the addition of the external link a few minutes ago, especially since a reverse lookup of points directly back to This is the IP of the anonymous person who added it, which makes it seem more like advertising than a necessarily useful link. Does anyone have any opinion about including this link? To me it looks more like a BBS that provides fidonet than a proper fidonet link -- it'd fit much better on a BBS-related page, or a list of active BBS's. Izogi 3 July 2005 06:55 (UTC)

Who are you to decide what is proper and not proper about a Fidonet listing in this article? Are you a member of Fidonet?
Um, that's why I'm asking. I'm not an absolute authority, but then very few people are. If people want to discuss things here and explain points of view, then I'll discuss them. It'd help if more people who want to edit this page would actually do so unanonymously (by creating a Wikipedia account), and then monitor and contribute to the discussion page a bit more, but so far that hasn't really happened.
I used to be very involved in Fido, and I'm not anymore. I still have an interest, but I'm equally interested in Wikipedia and keeping its integrity. The article's published by Wikipedia, not by Fidonet. Its not a mouthpiece for Fido, and if only Fido members were allowed to have a say, there would probably be some very biased one-sided information.
But having non-Fidonet members censor statements made by members is a bit biased too.
The only times I've removed things has been according to the Wikipedia editing guidelines, which exist for good reasons and heavily discourage vanity information, and that's exactly what this link looked like. If you want to debate how the guidelines should apply here then please go ahead and debate it. Please don't take other people's edits too personally, though. If you'll explain why it should be there then I might actually agree with you. That's what this page is here for after all. Izogi 7 July 2005 00:16 (UTC)
This article is also not supposed to be free advertising for someone who wants links to their website. (See Wikipedia:External_links and Wikipedia:Vanity_page.) I telnetted to this BBS for a look and it is quite cool and brings back memories, but there's nothing obvious to indicate that this particular BBS is any more important or relevant for Fido than many other BBS's. If it's highly relevant and meaningful for fidonet in the eyes of many people, then maybe, but at least let someone who's not the sysop of the BBS post it, and then justify why it's so important. Personally I'd rather see a list of BBS's that still carry Fidonet, if there's still a public nodelist available, just to be less biased. Izogi 5 July 2005 21:30 (UTC)
You've proven that you don't know that much about Fidonet....the nodelist is published every week....there are web rings pointing to Fidonet BBS systems/Fidonet related web sites.
Perhaps I should add some external links to that type of thing...or will you simply delete them because you don't think they are appropriate?
Whatever. If that's what you think, I don't think you understand where I'm coming from. Go ahead and add them if you think they fit. Just check it's within the editing guidelines. I was only suggesting it as an alternative to solve a problem, but I'm not going to set aside time for it. Izogi 7 July 2005 00:16 (UTC)
I know this is an old conversation, but it deserves to be repeated: you never "own" an article! Wikipedia:Ownership_of_articles
(And you should always sign your comments! :-) ) -- Algotr 21:57, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Fidonews disputes[edit]

Can somebody, preferably a logged in user, please comment on the text about the Fidonews dispute that was recently added? Is this a high profile dispute, or is it just someone's grudge against the Fidonews editor boiling over into Wikipedia? It doesn't read as very neutral-point-of-view as it is at the moment. Izogi 06:30, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Just my POV, but over the years FidoNews has only reflected the view of a small handful of FidoNet sysops. The others actively stay away from the political side of things. They just want to send/get mail, and could care less what FidoNews contains, or if it exists at all. ozzmosis 13:55, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I am the sysop of FidoNet node 2:280/5555. As I see it, the FIDONEWS dispute exists only in the minds of a handful of disgruntled sysops who can not accept that the present FidoNews editor has a style that differs from what they expect and what they tradionally hold as right.
It is indeed as you supect a grudge against the person of the FidoNews Editor. The fact that he is an active member of PiratPartiet, the new Swedish political party that lobbies for reforms of copyright laws, does not help either. The sysop of Fideotel BBS strongly disaproves of Sweden's and other European countries' attitude towards copyright laws. Not a neutral POV indeed. 26 june 2006, 12:46 UTC.
And people wondered why we old FidoNet SysOps used to call it FightoNet... SysOps were and it appears still are fighting all of the time... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:36, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

To add: why does it still exist?[edit]

This could be interesting to know. What's the point of FidoNet now that internet email has superseded it? ++Ehudshapira 00:41, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

It could be that the folks in Fidonet can't admit that there is another world. If you look at some of the echoes, like FIDONEWS or FN_SYSOP, it appears that a majority of posters simply enjoy insulting each other.

There are other echoes, not sysop-oriented, where it appears that the participants discuss things without resorting to range warfare.

There may still be a few cases where FidoNet nodes are relied upon by people as their primary form of electronic communication, but I think the majority of FidoNet sysops there's not a lot of effort involved in keeping their nodes running. Their systems are highly automated, so there's not much to gain from shutting them down. ozzmosis 13:45, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Why do I keep my node (2:335/610) open? For fun. Because a few users still use it. To prove that Fidonet technology is still viable. To prove that I could build a complex hodge podge of dozens of different pieces of software in 1995 and have it working flawlessy even now. To spite all the people who say "Fidonet is dead". Is it enough? ;-) --Lou Crazy 18:15, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Incidentally, the posters in FIDONEWS and FN_SYSOP echo only represent a very small minority compared to the rest of FidoNet. --ozzmosis 03:53, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I use Fidonet through Internet since it provides much more comfortable interface than Usenet. The channels are moderated, there is no spam, Outlook Express has a third-party add-on especially designed for such use, text is highlighted in different colors for different authors etc. The users are devided in three groups: those who use Fido-Usenet gate (as I do, about 40%), those who use IP-points (about 30%) and those who use conventional FIDO technologies (about 30%), so the newsgroups are usually havily populated and new groups are created frequently. --Dojarca 14:20, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Echomail on Google?[edit]

Perhaps I'm imagining it, but wasn't some of the Echomail archived on Google Groups at some point? Maury 21:21, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I run the FidoNet Echomail Archive at where all of the still-existing echomail areas are archived.
Google Groups was originally Deja News, and around that time some of the FidoNet echos were still being gated to/from Usenet newsgroups. Not many are now, as most of FidoNet now exists on the Internet, and people can just use the newsgroups directly. --ozzmosis 03:40, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Merge from FidoBBS[edit]

There is a proposal from User:DarthVader to merge from FidoBBS. I'm not sure what the rationale for that is. I do think though that the FidoBBS article is misnamed (should probably be called Fido (BBS software)). --ozzmosis 09:31, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Help with FidoNews page[edit]

Some user keeps posting actual FidoNews articles on the FidoNews page. It is not appropriate for FidoNews to use Wikipedia as a publication venue. Can the editors of this article help me with communicating to this user? (See the Talk:FidoNews page.) – Chris53516 (Talk) 20:07, 21 November 2006 (UTC)


This article notes "Compuserve, Minerva or Prodigy" in a context talking about online systems. What was Minerva? Maury Markowitz (talk) 18:32, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

After some googling, it appears Minerva was a newspaper-run local BBS on the US west coast. Certainly not in the same league as CIS or Prodigy. Removing mention. Maury Markowitz (talk) 15:31, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

email -> netmail and echomail[edit]

"When run, it would read through the new email messages on the machine [...]"

I would suggest: "When run, it would read through the new email messages (netmail and echomail) on the machine [...]".

Although the term email became common later on, I don't recall FidoNet mail being commonly called "email" at the time I used FidoNet, so using only "email" there appears like revisionism to me. It might even be more appropriate to expand it to "electronic mail", perhaps. Thanks, (talk) 11:55, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

It's correct as it is - at that point it was only email, echomail was added about two years later. Maury Markowitz (talk) 19:20, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

FidoNet vs. FIDONET[edit]

Both FidoNet vs. FIDONET are used. Should it be FIDONET throughout? It seems to change from FIDONET to FidoNet in the beginning of subsection "Echomail". Was it renamed at that time?

--Mortense (talk) 13:21, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

The use of FIDONET in the article looks like it's being used to differentiate between the specific mailer and the entire network. Since they are two different things with (almost) the same name, I think it's just fine the way it is. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Trademarks seems like it applies here. Going by that, when discussing the network as whole FidoNet is a much better choices than FIDONET, which is needlessly distracting. Grayfell (talk) 23:01, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
No one but newbies who didn't understand the capslock key ever called it "FIDONET". Heh.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:04, 12 June 2016 (UTC)


Wasn't Netmail also called Matrix? -- (talk) 21:47, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

Should cover other FTNs[edit]

This article should cover other FidoNet-technology networks (FTNs), or we should have an article about that. There were at least a dozen non-trivial ones. An FTN, a.k.a. an othernet, is any ad hoc, asynchronous computer network based primarily on the protocols and software originally developed for the FidoNet bulletin board system network. I recall there was one named Alternet or AlterNet or AltNet (though other things that were not FTNs used those and similar names), and I started one ca. 1992 called IndraNet, which had member systems in most US states, and between 10 and 20 other countries. I don't recall the names of any of the others, but I recall there being a published list, with node and contact information, so one of these may have survived in an Internet archive somewhere. Documenting this may be a challenge, but it's a significant "lost media" topic, like Mail art and Factsheet Five, Delphi (online service) and BITNET and Commercial Internet eXchange, and Bulletin board system itself. Thousands of systems with totals of at least tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of users, were participating every day for years in FTNs other than FidoNet itself (and their genesis was largely a combination of the "fight-o-net" problem, Fido's "good ol' boy's club" administration, its censorship, and its backward attitude to user privacy and encrypted messaging, among other factors. Anyway, just googling "fidonet technology network" coughs up some stuff, including other wikis (can't cite them, but they may themselves have already found some reliable sources, and/or be linking to archived material), a book called Critical Perspectives on the Internet that at least mentions them in passing, some perl extensions for FTN message processing, and FidoNet Technical Standards Committee specs that define the term.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:18, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Points vs. offline readers[edit]

The article currently offers this reason why points are popular in Europe:

Point software employs standard compression (ZIP, ARJ, etc.) and so keeps the calls down to a few minutes a day at most

Well every offline reader does this as well. So I fail to see how this is a distinction. Maury Markowitz (talk) 16:22, 12 November 2016 (UTC)