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Surely, the fidonet software wasn't written in assembly language

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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 05:48 AM
Original message
Surely, the fidonet software wasn't written in assembly language
Edited on Mon Sep-13-10 05:50 AM by Syrinx
Sorry, I don't think the fido software was actually open source. I think this is the best group for this post anyway.

This video is one of the creators of fidonet. While he's being interviewed, they have assembler code streaming up the screen.

Surely, they had heard of C by then.

http://bbsdocumentary.dreamhost.com/photos/vidcaps/fido...

EDIT: Oops. Here's the right link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A85RJMhB8_s
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qnr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. What's your point? I still program in Assembly on multiple architectures n/t
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 04:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. well...
Edited on Tue Sep-14-10 04:20 AM by Syrinx
I guess my main point was to bring attention to a documentary series that I thought people in this group would be interested in. It's a few years old, but I only just heard about it.

I was also expressing surprise at the seeming implication of the video that the FidoNet software had been written in assembly language. Such a thing is certainly possible, but I wonder why anyone would want to do it that way. I can understand if specific low-level parts of the FidoNet package, such as the underlying FOSSIL driver, were written in assembly language. But if the whole shebang was, I would consider that borderline masochistic. But to each their own.

But the real point was to let you all know about this series of videos, that are online and free. Perhaps I'm the last person to know about them. I haven't watched them yet, but the subject matter sounds interesting to me.

That's all.
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qnr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I know, I was just teasing you. I'm not a big fan of C, so I do that sometimes :) n/t
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I admit the queues to get into the C fan club meetings are pretty short :)
It seems to me that C is the worst computer language in the world, except for all the other ones.

Seriously, I like to work in Python when I can, and use C modules when needed to speed things up. It's much like in earlier hobbyist days when I would program in QuickBasic, and use assembly language on the side.

I would need a serious refresher course to program in assembly language these days. When I did that, pc's were all 16-bit. I never have done assembly on 32-bit machines, not to mention 64-bit. So I'm quite behind the curve.

Which languages do you like to use these days?

Oh, and I use python more like an instant version of C or C++. Some of those more pythonic features I don't quite grok. I'm not that old, but I feel like a dinosaur. :)
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-02-10 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. If you want to work on your Python chops a bit
Blender 2.5x fully integrates Python 3 into its API, and the Blender community is always looking for The Next Cool Script.

If you wrote a good Blender ocean script (that doesn't have to bake before rendering) you would be a star. No, really. Something like that could make it into the official build tree.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-16-10 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Well, define "FidoNet software"
Edited on Thu Sep-16-10 10:04 PM by RoyGBiv
A FidoNet system had multiple levels to it, starting, as you imply, with the FOSSIL driver.

At minimum you also had the mailer software, the tosser, the BBS software, and, eventually, offline reader software. The mailer, tosser, BBS, and offline reader softwares were developed by different people at different times, and there were multiple variants. The BBS software I used was most definitely not written in assembly. I think I even used one variant, briefly (very briefly), that was written in QBASIC. Gawd it was slow.

My favorite was QuickBBS, which ran my BBS for years. It was proprietary, but I don't recall ever paying for it. Here's all I could find about various utilities. http://archives.thebbs.org/ra127a.htm

I seem to recall having downloaded the source some years back, but it won't run properly on DOSBox, so I stopped playing with it.

I don't remember the name of the software I used as a mailer. The tosser was FastEcho, which was shareware. The offline reader I used was BlueWave. I very much doubt it was written in assembly.

OnEdit: Mailer was FrontDoor: http://www.defsol.se/ifd.html

I tried using DBridge, but it and my modem at the time didn't like each other. The "Hayes compatible" specification was like Tandy's version of IBM compatible, i.e. not really. FrontDoor could deal with it. DBridge was stricter about the Hayes commands.
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 05:20 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I can't really
I never used FidoNet, or any of the fido software, except as a participant on a few FidoNet BBS's.

When I first learned how to program computers, it was in QuickBasic. Well, not counting some version of BASIC that was in the ROM of the Vic-20, my very first computer.

I got very aggravated with how slow QuickBasic programs could be. But then I learned a little assembly language and realized how I could integrate assembly modules into QB programs. It was a revelation. Then I got recruited by a good friend to help write a point-of-sale program for a relative of his. So I learned to write some C, and went on to develop a decent little library for doing drop-down menus and dialog boxes, and such. I wonder if I still have a diskette with that code on it. I probably do, but I just realized that I don't have a floppy disk drive with which to read it. Oh well.

Nice to see you Roy. I hadn't seen you around these parts lately, and I'm glad you're still around! :hi:
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 05:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yeah, well ...

I won't be around for long. I'm on the cusp of being banned for various reasons. I've avoided it lately for that reason. Just showing up can result in "goodbye, see ya later" due to the efforts of various individuals.

Anyway, I only read the computer forums now, and I just happened to see your comment. It's something I actually had some knowledge of, so I thought I'd take the moment to offer some information. I'm not a programmer at all. I'm an old hacker/cracker, which is something entirely different. But I knew a lot about BBS/Fidonet systems back in the day.

I miss FidoNet actually.

And, nice to see you too.



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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-02-10 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Roy I've been wondering about you
I know this is sorta off topic but you're the main reason that I tried linux and without your guiding hand early on I probably never would have toughed it out.
How in the world could you get on anyone's nerves is beyond me as you've been one of the nicest persons here on the DU.

Get on down there and give Ubuntu 10.10 a shot when you get a chance, its awesome. A :hug: just in case
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-02-10 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. I'm behind ...
Edited on Sat Oct-02-10 07:13 PM by RoyGBiv
I've been sitting with 9.10 all this time.

I was actually all prepared earlier today to start an upgrade because I need to upgrade all my multimedia apps. Doing so on an older distro is more trouble than it's worth.

But, then I started watching football and drinking beer, and I decided the two didn't mix well. Perhaps tomorrow. :)

Glad Linux is treating you well.

OnEdit: Actually, for humor's sake, I should clarify. I'm running 9.10 as my system, and I have both 10.04 and 10.10 running in VirtualBox, which is weird.

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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-02-10 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Thanks for that post... I tried setting up a BBS once.
It was kind of fun configuring everything and getting content ready, but once I was done I was like "Okay. Now how do I get users?" and stopped. Dialup was expensive if it wasn't local, and I didn't know many people who had modems.

There were a lot I called up though. Gosh, this brings back memories. As it turned out, there were something like fourteen or fifteen on my list local to my location, and this wasn't a very heavily populated area in terms of computers with modems. I can only guess at the number of BBS systems in urban areas.

Oh look- they're still around! I thought it all died.... OMG after further reading, they use telnet now :rofl: this is many tons of awesome.... Thanks for leading me down Nostalgia Lane! You just spent my morning in advance, and that's not easy to do... :D
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-02-10 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Back in the day ...
Edited on Sat Oct-02-10 07:11 PM by RoyGBiv
I "acquired" access to a telnet line that allowed me to access a lot of things I wouldn't have been able to access without quite a lot of cost. This was the major consideration at the time in even setting up a BBS. To get one that was full-featured -- I had a lot of games and other things, aka, "DOORS" -- you had to get a lot of different software from large BBS repositories. I started doing that at 1200 baud, and it took forever.

That telnet line helped a lot.

It's funny, though, how a user base can be built. I lived in a town with about 12,000 people in it. At the time I first started BBS-ing, which was well before I had my own, a very small percentage of the residents had computers, but every last one of them who also had a modem -- this of course wasn't universal at the time -- was on that BBS, the *one* BBS in town. It was run by a guy who himself knew people like Cap'n Crunch, and they hung out there some as well. He got tired of it eventually, and the whole user base got passed off to some kid who had no idea what he was doing (and was an asshole), and after that several of us pooled resources to try to reestablish the thriving community we had before.

We ended up with 3 different BBSes in that town. I had one of them. The user base for all of them was the same, which worked well because we ran single-line systems, so if someone called one of them and got a busy signal, they could call another one. We also shared costs for the FidoNet portion of our systems. (I'd lost the Telnet access. For some reason, the people that ran it decided they needed tighter security. Can't imagine why.) I'd pull messages for these groups, another guy would pull for those groups, and then we'd run a secondary toss to each other so we all had the same thing.

Anyway ... yeah, I miss those days.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-02-10 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. Sadist.
:P
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