What is Fidonet
A Brief Introduction To FidoNet
FidoNet is a democratic messaging network started in 1984 by BBS sysops who wanted to communicate, and link their BBSs together. Today it has expanded into a world-wide organisation, with hobbyists around the world enjoying it!
It's difficult to put a scale on the size of FidoNet. It is defined by a "nodelist" issued weekly, which lists the systems, together with their phone numbers. Each of these "nodes" has agreed to be online, and available to receive FidoNet phone calls for at least an hour each night.
Traditionally mail gets passed from node to node overnight, by means of overnight phone calls, but these days with the advancements in technologies, most nodes are available 24hrs a day, some even use the Internet to transport messages!
FidoNet users can take advantage of the following features of FidoNet:
This is a system of private messages between users. It is similar to the Internets idea of E-Mail. You write your private message, you can then either upload it to who you get your mail from, who sends it through other systems until it reaches its destination, or you can send it direct to the other users system (at possible expense to yourself)
Echomail messages are publicly broadcast, and are posted in an echomail conference with a particular topic. Imagine each conference room having a particular topic (e.g. Qbasic programming, using Windows98, etc), and a lot of people interested in that topic hanging around in that room passing notes around on bits of paper.
This is one of the strengths of FidoNet, you can learn more about your hobbies by chatting to like-minded people! Some people will also be able to give you inside information, and help you solve your problems.
Are you fed up of trawling the Internet for hours only to find nothing? With Fileechos, you select what subjects you are interested in, and you get the files you want waiting for you to collect from your mail feed before you knew you needed them!
It does not cost anything to join FidoNet, most nodes will offer you a mail feed for free, so all you pay for is the phone call. See the "Finding A BBS" section for more information to finding your local node.
As you can probably see, there are many advantages to being part of FidoNet. It is a great hobby that many people around the world are enjoying.