Skip to main content

Once upon a time there was Fidonet

(This post will make no sense to most people but I had to write it down somewhere)

A random link just sent me over to some BBS-era graphics on Flickr which in turn spurred a trip down memory lane. After quite a bit of searching, I finally tracked down my quarry: my Fidonet node address when I used to run the Enigma BBS was 2:250/555.

Fidonet nodelist from December 29, 1995 

Region,25,United_Kingdom,UK,Keith_Wassell,44-1483-451540,9600,CM,H16,V32B,V32T,XA
...
Host,250,Northern_Net,Manchester,Paul_Heywood,44-161-796-1770,9600,CM,XA,H16,V32B,V32T,V34,VFC
...
Hub,5000,Cheshire/Midlands_Hub,Nantwich,Bob_Wilson,44-1270-610455,9600,XA,V32B,V42B,V34,VFC,U,TUJ
...
,555,Enigma_BBS,Stoke-on-Trent,Andrew_Oakley,44-1782-633945,9600,XA,MO,V32B,V42B,U,TAI

There are some familiar names in that list too: Frosties BBS (2:250/510, David Frost, Alsager), Hacker's Paradise (2:250/556, Simon Roberson, Alsager), Labrot BBS (2:250/563, Bob Wilson, Nantwich) and Quantum Shuffle (2:2502/18, Andrew Reid, Selby). I seem to recall having a 'point' off Quantum Shuffle for a while before setting up my own system.

I do wish I'd kept more details of the software, customizations and ANSI art that I seem to recall spending quite some time working on, perhaps they're still around on an old floppy somewhere. It ran on OS/2 for a while (painfully slowly on my machine at the time) but I think later transitioned over to a dedicated box. The memories of hearing 'Sweet Child O' Mine' playing as a sysop page tone through a tinny PC speaker will remain with me for many years to come.