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DID YOU KNOW ABOUT FIDONET?

by Pete Snidal, Sysop, Compuglobal Hypermeganet OSP - Grand Forks, BC,
Canada - Fidonet node 1:354/910
[this is a cleaned .html file - original to be found at my
website: http://www.angelfire.com/biz/snwvlly/fido.html ]

FIDONET is a network of online service providers that is
worldwide, and that has been in operation since the early '80's.
There is a Fidonet node in just about every town and city in North
America, as well as in many cities around the planet, and access to users
is generally FREE.

LOCAL DIALUP ACCESS - NO INTERNET ACCOUNT NECESSARY

No Internet account is required to use Fidonet. Fidonet OSP's
are accessed by local dialup - Fidonet is completely independent of the
internet. All that is required for a Fidonet account is for a prospective
user to find the number of a Fidonet OSP nearby, and call and leave a
message asking for registration as a user, which is often instant!

What's To Be Found On Fidonet OSP's?

These systems are places for local users to meet online, and they
carry not only local discussion groups, but also regional and worldwide
discussion groups as well. These groups, or online conferences, are
called _Fidoechoes_.

Fidoecho discussions do not take place in real time, but rather
consist of postings made by contributors. These fidoechoes are updated
regularly, usually nightly, as the various fidonet nodes call one another
and exchange "mail." The best part: you don't need to know all this; all
you need to know is that when you make a posting in a local favourite
fidoecho, within a few days your comment is "echoed" in every OSP on the
planet that carries that conference area.

WHAT ELSE CAN BE FOUND ON FIDONET OSP'S?

Fidonet OSP's are fairly varied - each is however its owner - or
system operator (sysop) felt like making it. All they really have to have
in common is a presence on the Fidonet "nodelist" - the phonebook for
Fidonet - and, of course, the interconnection between one another through
the Fidonet network.