FidoNet Lives On

I’m amazed that FidoNet is still going. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t remember my FidoNet address and my BBS isn’t listed anywhere. Must look harder I guess. Meanwhile, if you had a modem in the 90’s (in Ireland) you’ll recognise the names here!

                           THE ONLINE GUIDE TO:

                 Irelands Computer Based OnLine Services
                        Version 4b  Date: 25.07.1994
 Service Name :  Connect-Ireland (aka TOPPSI)		      HRS 24
 Data Number  :  (01)-6711047                  V21/22/22bis/32/HST 
              :  (01)-6773547(Lines 2/3/4)     V21/22/22bis/32/32bis     
 Fidonet Node :  2:263/151 
 Sysop	      :  David Doyle
 Note         :  Connect-Ireland concentrates on community, youth, 
              :  education and social topics.  Official Apogee
	      :  distribution site.  GreenNet and K-12 links. 
              :  Lines 2 to 4 are 'banked' on the same phone number.  
	      :	 Internet Email access as
 Service Name :  Nemesis' Dungeon                             HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 832 4755               HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
              :  (01) 832 6900*              V21/22/22bis/32/32bis/V.FC
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/150, 2:26/0, 2:263/0
 Sysop        :  Andrew Mowatt
 Note         :  Fax: (01) 832 3966. Amiga based with DLGPro. Multi
                 computer support. PC, Amiga, UNIX and Comms, and
                 Developers Echos amongst others. This unique BBS is
                 also home of the Region 26 FidoNet Co-Ordinator! New
                 Echoes added. New online games just added.
 Service Name :  GiBBS - Irelands Biggest BBS                  HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 839-3644       (MultiLine) V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
              :  (01) 832-1673*      HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis/32Terbo
              :  (01) 839-3649       V21/22/22bis/32/32bis/V.FastClass
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/79
 Sysop        :  Des Gibbons                                
 Note         :  Largest amount of PC files in Ireland. DOS & Windows,
		 The latest Games, Utilities, Drivers, etc.
		 Many International message areas. FAX: (01) 832-1673
 Service Name :  Commodore Users Group of Ireland              HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 283-2829*              HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/155
 Sysop        :  Jamie Ruane. Colin Dalton
 Note         :  Multi computer support using an Amiga with DLG Pro.
                 Support for all Commodore computers. Excellent ANSI
                 screens, file areas and echos.  New echoes added.
 Service Name :  The Highway to Hell                   HRS: 10PM - 8AM
 Data Number  :  (01) 847-5217*              HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/154
 Sysop        :  Iain Black
 Note         :  Multi computer support. Amiga and C64 concentration.
                 The new CompuTimes Echo was added providing a link
                 between you and the CompuTimes journalists to voice 
                 your opinions on general computer topics. This BBS 
                 hosts the CompuTimes Echo.
 Service Name :  Infomatique                                   HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 872-1232*            V21/22/22bis/32/32bis/Supra
              :  (01) 872-1329       V21/22/22bis/32/32bis/US Robotics
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/152
 Sysop        :  Eddy Carroll. Co-Sysop Aidan Hollinshead
 Note         :  Multi computer support. Amiga and PC concentrations.
                 Heavy Amiga file areas. Also PC DOS and Windows
                 file areas. Online games and loads of mail areas.
 Service Name :  Alien Line                                    HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 280-0742                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/157
 Sysop        :  Gavin McConnon
 Note         :  The space cadets dream! Run on Amiga using DLG Pro.
                 Has excellent Star Trek Echo. New Echos have been
                 added recently. Excellent ANSI opening screen. Loads
                 of echomail areas. Soon upgrading to HST!
 Service Name :  E.M.N. - Electronic Media Network             HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 661-1433*                  V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/153
 Sysop        :  Keith Whyte
 Notes        :  Multi computer support. If you like music this is the
                 BBS for you. Specialises in music, entertainment, and
                 the Arts. Gateways for Liffey Arts and other private 
                 gateways. The largest collection of MIDI files known
                 along with recently updated excellent ANSI screens.
 Service Name :  Game Storm BBS                        HRS: 9PM - 11AM
 Data Number  :  (01) 492-0224*                  V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/156
 Sysop        :  Declan Lynch
 Note         :  A BBS for a computer games store. New Echo's coming
                 online soon. Plenty of games and public domain and
                 shareware files available. Uses JCQWK mailer.
 Service Name :  DNA BBS                                       HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 454-9029                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 Sysop        :  Martin Shortall. Kieran Reilly.
 Note         :  Atari ST based. **Back online** Has more areas than
                 ever before. Nice online screens too!
 Service Name :  S.I.X.                                        HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 678-9000*                  V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/167
 Sysop        :  Stephen Kearon
 Note         :  Agents in Ireland for McAfee software, Alcom and the
                 Zyxel brands. EMail Internet access available.
 Service Name :  Infonet Services                              HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (021) 892-582*              HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
              :  (021) 29-4914                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/201
 Sysop        :  Dairmaid O'Cadhla
 Note         :  A commercial system based in Cork
 Service Name :  Special Projects                              HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (051) 50-143*               HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/402
 Sysop        :  John McCormac                              
 Note         :  Multi computer support. Specialises in projects for
                 TV,Satellite communications, and HAM radio amongst
                 other things.
 Service Name :  Reflex AV BBS			         HRS: 24AM-9AM
 Data Number  :  (051) 83771
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/401
 Sysop        :  Richard Foley
 Note         :  Waterford based BBS specialising in security issues
                 especially concerned with Anti-Virus topics.
                 ThunderByte distributor
 Service Name :  STYX                                          HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (061) 338-228*              HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/271
 Sysop        :  John McKeon
 Note         :  PC Based BBS. Limerick based. Multi computer support.
                 Loads of iles. Now using Vfast modem!
 Service Name :  Deep Space Nine/Techbase                      HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (066) 28929*                    V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/250
 Sysop        :  John Buswell
 Note         :  A BBS dedicated to EchoMail with over 400 areas. Has
                 special interest areas - Star Trek, Techincal Support
                 and Electronics. Loads of online games and with free
                 access to all users.
 Service Name :  The Village                                   HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  080-232-602972*                 V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:443/509
 Sysop        :  Harry Broderick
 Note         :  Multi computer support                          
 Service Name :  InterCommCubed                                HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  080-504-372925*                 V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:443/333
 Sysop        :  Desmond O Connor
 Note         :  A Toppsi mirror board in Derry
 Service Name :  Yukon Ho!                                     HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  080-232-768163*             HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
              :  080-232-763639                  V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:443/59
 Sysop        :  Mark Kerr
 Note         :  Multi computer support. Belfast based. Loads of new
                 files every week direct from the USA and other places
 Service Name :  Quasar                                        HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  080-846-693067*             HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:443/10
 Sysop        :  David Byrne
 Note         :  Multi computer support. Co.Down based BBS
 Service Name :  Starship Enterprise                           HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  080-232-763014*             HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:443/21
 Sysop        :  Gerry Martin
 Note         :  Multi computer support. Belfast based
 Service Name :  NIBBS                                         HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  080-662-247291*                 V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:443/70
 Sysop        :  John Marrow
 Note         :  Multi computer support. Co. Tyrone based.
 Service Name :  Nautilus                                      HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  080-232-431514
 FidoNet Node :  2:243/510
 Sysop        :  Ian Moran
 Note         :  This is a ** MAIL ONLY SYSTEM ** in Belfast not a
                 Bulletin Board.
 Service Name :  The Heart of Gold                             HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  080-247-274919              HST/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:443/13.0
 Sysop        :  Colin Turner
 Note         :  Bangor based BBS. Very nice!Extremely helpfull sysop.
 Service Name :  Ireland On Line                               HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (091) 592722              ZYXEL/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 Sysop        :  Barry Flanagan
 Note         :  A commercial system based in Galway
                 Full Internet access available
 Service Name :  Ireland On Line [Dublin Access Number]        HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 671-5185             ZYXEL/V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 Sysop        :  Barry Flanagan
 Note         :  As for Ireland On Line in Galway
 Service Name :  BIX ONLINE SERVICE [Dublin Access Number]     HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 661-4466                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 Sysop        :  BIX USA
 Note         :  Full duplex, 9600bps, 8 data bits, no parity.
                 You must register with BIX to get access. Register
                 for BIX now by using your modem on +001-617-4915410.
                 Have your AMEX, Visa or Access card handy! Limited
                 EMail Internet Access available free WHEN REGISTERED.
 Service Name :  FrEd Mail                                     HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 288-9783                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 Sysop        :  Conor McHale. Tom O'Brian. Damien Cox
 Note         :  Mac BBS with Multi computer support. Specialises in
                 Free Educational Mail for schools between European,
                 Australian and Atlantic sites. Educational Use Only.
 Service Name :  Horizon/AST Support On Line                   HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 671-6755                ****PROBABLY OFFLINE****
 Sysop        :  Unknown
 Note         :  Terminal Emulation=VT100 or compatible at 9600bps.
                 Provides AST technical bulletins, system  utilities,
                 flash bios updates and useful utilities for AST users
 Service Name :  DELL Support BBS                              HRS: 24
 Data Number  :	 (01) 286-6902
 Sysop        :  Unknown
 Note         :  A Dell Corp. BBS service for users and specifiers of
                 Dell computer based equipment. Do not call between
                 2am-3.30am as it is processing Dell's Intermail.
 Service Name :  Gateway Support BBS                           HRS: 24
 Data Number  :	 (01) 867-0433
 Sysop        :  Unknown
 Note         :  A Gateway BBS service for users and specifiers of
                 Gateway computer based equipment. 
 Service Name :  Moretec Support BBS                           HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 450-9644                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 Sysop        :  Georges Vancauwenbergh
 Note         :  A support BBS for users/purchasers of Moretec equip.
                 Members only are able to download shareware files.
                 Excellent ANSI colour screens right the way through.
 Service Name :  EXEC                                          HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (061) 229-998                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 Sysop        :  Donal O Beirne                             
 Note         :  Multi computer support. Concentrates on mix of Home
                 and Games users. Loads of files available. Agents for
                 Moretec in West/Midlands of Ireland.
 Service Name :  i-Com Gateway                                 HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 679-8924                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis                                   
 Sysop        :  Unknown                                           
 Note         :  A commercial gateway to the USA at $25 per hour. When
                 connected type 'o' then 'i-com' to sign up. Leased
                 Lines direct to USA allowing you to log onto many of
                 the BBS in the USA.
 Service Name :  CAD On Line                                   HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (021) 500-632
 Sysop        :  David Burke
 Note         :  Provides support for AutoDesk and CADCO product
                 ranges for Registered Users
 Service Name :  QuarterDeck International                     HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 284-4381                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 Sysop        :  George Hanratty
 Note         :  International QuarterDeck Support Board. Has patches,
                 utilities for DesqView, XApps, etc. Technical
                 Bulletins and customer fixes. Facility for different
                 languages online - French, German or English.
 Service Name :  Creative Labs BBS                             HRS: 24
 Data Number  :  (01) 820-3784                   V21/22/22bis/32/32bis
 FidoNet Node :  2:263/158.0
 Sysop        :  Marcel Evans
 Note         :  Technical Support Board connected to FidoNet!
                 Latest drivers and utilities for Creative's products
 *   = DO NOT call these marked numbers during ZMH

 ZMH = Zone Mailing Hour is currently 3.30am to 4.30am. Do not call
       FidoNet Nodes during these hours.

 HRS = Times available. Do not call outside of these hours
       Sysops have a life too.
 All systems are 8-N-1 [8 Data Bits-No Parity-1 Stop Bit) unless
 stated. Data numbers are in local area format. Outside of Rep.
 of Ireland please use +353--.

 If you are new to computing/comms, please read the New User Bulletins
 carefully. You can access a FidoNet Node in a different Zone with 
 Credits - see your Sysop for information. Zones are divided into 
 world regions. Grateful thanks to all who actively participated in 
 compiling this list especially users and the Sysop of 2:263/150 and
 to those Sysops/BBS that currently have this file. Permission to 
 reproduce this list is granted as long as the source is acknowledged
 (c)1994 Aidan Henderson. E+OE.

 Any corrections/updates please netmail me at FidoNet Node 2:263/150

10 thoughts on “FidoNet Lives On

  1. I didn’t think I remembered mine until I thought about it after reading the above and I did. 🙂 My BBS is listed pretty close to the top of the listing as well, don’t know if that meant something though.

    My regular was definitely Nemesis Dungeon, there’s a lot of message on there from me. Funnily enough, when I went to Germany for a summer job and came back, I had lost all interest in BBSes and computers for the most part. So my BBS never came back online. It’s still sitting on my Amiga, I had a look at it a few years back.. Kinda limited info on it but at least I had a C64 downloads section… not that anybody ever downloaded anything from it! 😉

    It was a great time though, I still remember the buzz when I first connected to a BBS after getting my 2400 baud modem. It was such an amazing thing.

    1. Iain – glad you replied. It was your FidoNet address that I went looking for! I found it while archiving my old C64 disks. I’ll find it later and email you the .d64 image file! 🙂

      And that will be the subject of a larger post in a few days!

      1. You might think about doing your backups to .g64 images. It retains more of the actually disk data, things like Action Replay warp files don’t backup into a d64 but should work with .g64 etc.

        If you have a letter that I sent with that disk, I’d love to see a scan of that!

    1. Don’t think I ever rang your one. When did it first come online? I assume you didn’t have it when I (sort of) joined Ozone? I still remember Andrew’s comment related to my joining, “he doubted my commitment to the C64”. Cheeky bugger, here I am nearly 20 years later still playing the odd C64 game and running a website on Zzap!64 😀

  2. I have no idea when I started or stopped the BBS. It was probably 1994 onwards for a couple of years when I was in college.

    Haha, that rings a bell! He’s still involved in retro stuff, writing stuff for Retro Gamer, but I am so glad you have that Zzap!64 site going. It’s a useful link when I need to dig something up quickly!

    Oh, this post by Jason Scott prompted me to search again this afternoon. I posted it to G+ too but I should link it here too.

    Someday I’ll create a history app that takes in my posts, comments, twitter, FB, G+ content and shows a chronological list of my online life.

  3. Excellent article by Jason there, even if I can only see white lines in my vision now! Reading white text on a dark background isn’t very nice.

    I lost a lot of fate in Wikipedia after some kid deleted the “Press Play on Tape” C64 tribute band page. I seem to remember him arguing it wasn’t a real band or something, even although they play instruments, had albums and did lots of concerts… Go figure as the yanks would say!

    Andrew is a regular on my site, I assume I’ve ribbed him about that comment at some stage. 🙂

    1. I appreciate that this is an old post but I had a pique of nostalgia and had to comment. My Dublin based BBS was Concillium Orb 2:263/500. I was a Terminate distribution node reporting to Steve Stacher in Belfast. I later became REC for region 26. Good times that I really miss. Nice to be reminded of Nemesis Dungeon and GiBBS who I used to contact a lot.

  4. While searching for something completely different I found this article on FidoNet. While everything2 will probably last some time I want to copy this excellent post into a comment here. It reminded me that later on some of the later download protocols allowed me to chat or play a game while the download was happening which was amazing. My son would scoff at such archaic restrictions as he downloads from Steam, plays Minecraft, chats on Discord and watches YouTube at the same time ..


    Fidonet was a world-wide computer network system that built on the infrastructure of the BBS scene to provide electronic mail, forums and file transfers. It assumed that its users connected via a dial-up modem, and was oriented around minimising the time spent using the phone line. It did not use the now-familiar Internet for anything, yet it did allow messages to propagate around the globe. It began in 1984, and its heyday was probably during the early 1990s; the number of BBSs involved peaked in 1995 at 35,787.
    The BBS Scene

    The Bulletin Board scene consisted of a series of hobbyist-supported servers called BBSs or “Bulletin Board Systems”. They had one or more modems connecting them to regular phone lines. Users dialled-up via terminal software, and entered their username and password. ASCII-based menus were presented, offering services like public-domain software downloads, or the chance to leave messages for other BBS users. Live chats were possible, but only if more than one user were simultaneously connected; or if the fearsome figure of the SysOp (System Operator) was at home.

    While using these facilities, your computer was connected via the plain-old telephone network; while you pratted about in the menus, looking for the latest software, your phone-bill was ticking up and up.
    Enter The Fido

    Fidonet built on this set-up in two key ways- the BBSs connected together once daily to exchange messages and files; and the users’ software was automated, economising the time spent on-line.

    BBS SysOps signed up for a “midnight line” or similar service from their phone company which offered reduced rates for calls made late at night. During this defined “Zone Mail Hour”, human callers were rejected- it was for backbone traffic only. Each Fidonet BBS called a number of others; and received calls from a few more, so that messages between end users propagated to the appropriate BBS. Messages were zipped up into “Packets” and stowed on the BBS ready for the user to download later. BBSs that were involved in Fidonet were known as “Nodes”. The sequence of calls and mail exchanges was handled by automated software, known as Robots and Front-end Mailers.

    The users also had a special suite of software, including a Tosser, Mailer, Reader and a FReq processor. Together, these tools maintained a local copy of a message inbox and a series of forums (known as Echoes); provided a user-interface for reading and replying off-line, and facilitated sending and receiving messages with the Node.
    Typical Usage

    Our typical Fidonet user would spend some time reading through his favourite Echoes and reply to a few messages. A trip to his own mailbox might reveal a few personal messages (Netmails) to reply to. He’ll have a look at the latest filelist and select a few public domain utilities to try out or text files to read.

    Then he’ll hit a button and the Tosser will generate a Packet of all the new messages, and a FReq (file request) of the files he’s after. Only then would the Mailer software be engaged to actually interact with the BBS. It dialled the BBS, and the modem made those familiar hissing, chiming noises while the connection was established. It uploaded the new Packets, downloaded the Packets generated during the Zone Mail Hour, and requested the files, which were downloaded during the session. The software hung-up as soon as the transfers were finished.

    You may now be asking, “Wasn’t this all rather slow?”. The simple answer is- “Yes, yes it was”. Netmails and Echomails filtered their way through the network over a few days; perhaps as much as a week if the target Node was on another continent. This meant that the messages tended to be well-considered, earnest, lengthy, and created with some care. They were the equivalent of a letter, rather than an internet-style email or Usenet posting. Many Echoes were moderated, which meant that there was a basic quality threshold, very little trolling, and no spam.

    The userbase was even more geeky than the hobbyist internet userbase. The computers used were typically Amigas, Ataris and early home PCs. So Echoes for maths, science fiction, and computers themselves were common and well used. But the full range of topics included law, music, disabled support groups and the 12-step programme. I used to use the “B5_UK” Echo, a lot.
    The Science Bit

    Data transfers were handled according to direct point-to-point modem protocols like zmodem, ymodem, kermit, hydra and the like to handle the bits. Fidonet software typically offered a very wide range of these protocols, and part of the fun was to tweak the settings and try out new versions. Hydra for example offered bi-directional transfers, and I can remember the excitement of its introduction. The Zone Mail Hour process was managed according to a simplified form of UUCP.

    Fidonet had an addressing scheme to ensure that messages got to where they were sent. Each Node had a unique number, arranged in a rigid heirarchy. At the top level was a continent “Zone” number- 1 for North America; 2 for Europe, Israel and the former USSR, 3 for Australasia, etc. Within each Zone were defined a number of Regions, and each Node was numbered in a single Region. The users of a Node were also numbered. So the old “Wally’s BBS” Node was addressed “2:259/27”; meaning it was in Zone 2, Region 259 and was Node 27. The tenth user of that Node would be addressed “2:259/27.10”; so user accounts were sometimes called “Points”.
    Fidonet Today

    I haven’t used Fidonet for many years; and it seems that the internet has taken over for all intents and purposes for most people since the mid-1990s. Fidonet is only widely used in Russia, and by die-hard nostalgics elsewhere. Ironically, these users often run Fidonet services over the internet; replacing their dial-up BBS systems with TCP/IP telnet, for example.

    As befits a system based on the BBS scene, Fidonet’s logo is reassuringly ASCII. It’s a trademark of Fidonet founder, Tom Jennings:

               /  \
              /|oo \
             (_|  /_)
              _ @/_ \    _
             |     | \   \\
             | (*) |  \   ))
             |__U__| /  \//
              _//|| _\   /


    Fidonet on Wiki,
    My own warm recollections from the 1990-1996 era
    My A-Level project (a hypercard simulation of Fidonet software), 1995

    1. Nostalgia time ? I was one of the SysOps on STYX, and then later on TOPPSI (later Connect-Ireland). I remember spending a lot of time configuring BinkleyTerm back in the day.

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