<< 1990 1991 1992 >>
February 10, 1991
Robert and Carleen Thomas launch the Amateur Action BBS, a collection of photographs of regular people in compromising positions, digitzed and offered as GIF files. The BBS soon has many members, and requires a credit card for membership. The BBS goes on to suffer a number of raids and arrests in the coming years.

Source February 12, 1992 "Off the Hook" Radio Program, Emmanuel Goldstein Interview of Robert Thomas

February 16, 1991
RemoteAccess BBS v1.00 is released.

April 24, 1991
RemoteAccess BBS v1.01 is Released.

May 27, 1991
Vince Perriello resigns as FidoNews Editor.

     This is my last Editorial.

     I have resigned as FidoNews Editor. We are currently working our
     way through a "short list" of replacement candidates, and the new
     Editor will be on the job next week.

     Be kind to the poor soul.

     I've just been looking though the indexes for the past two years.
     It's really amazing what we have been through. It's even more
     amazing that we are still here to talk about it.

     For example, when I took over Dale's job as Editor, the current
     version of FidoNet Policy was Version 3. David Dodell was the
     current International Coordinator. IFNA was still trying to
     figure out what, if anything, could be made of its existence.

     I was running my system on a DEC Rainbow. It worked great, too.
     A few other hardy souls were doing similar things on Sanyo and
     Tandy PC's (the ones from before Tandy became the PC-Clone hawker
     that they are today). Hardly anyone is doing THAT any more!

     POLICY4 was declared to be in force in FidoNews Volume 6, Number
     24, on June 12, 1989. This created a stir because in the absence
     of a formal procedure in POLICY3 for replacement, David used the
     method described in the POLICY4 draft to determine whether he
     should declare it to be in force. Boy, what a stir! There was
     that article in Volume 6, Number 26, entitled "Policy 4: FidoNet
     now a Nazi Dictatorship?". To the best of my knowledge nobody has
     been gassed or blitzed (except metaphorically) in the almost two
     years since.

     David quit at the end of July. I quit two weeks later, then
     changed my mind (with some coercion from friends). It was an
     exciting time to be the Editor. Because the Great IFNA Mandate
     Plebiscite was taking place.

     This was IFNA's final answer to the people who had claimed that
     the simple majority who chose IFNA were not representative. The
     voting rules were simple: if you were in the nodelist running a
     public access system, you were eligible. And a majority of all
     eligible nodes was required to endorse IFNA. If IFNA won the
     election, the critics would be silenced forever. And in a high
     stakes gamble, IFNA agreed to disband if not ratified.

     Did IFNA ever have a chance? Was it the right idea? Who really
     can say anymore? In any event, apathy won the election and IFNA
     was out, as reported in FidoNews Volume 7, Number 1.

     As I look back to 1989, what's really fascinating is that Pablo
     Kleinman was already at work on Worldpol in the immediate
     aftermath of the Policy4 adoption. And he's still at it. He is
     showing signs of getting it right, too. It's just going to take
     some more time.

     Remember Hurricane Hugo? Remember what it did to Mike Ratledge
     and many others in his area? FidoNet reached out and touched
     him in a very special way, and FidoNews was there, starting with
     an article in Volume 6, Number 39 entitled "Let's give Mike
     Ratledge a hand". One of our finest hours. I am proud to have
     been here to see it.

     FidoNews has had its critics too. There was an article in Volume
     6, Number 40 entitled "FidoNews: What IS Its Purpose ?". I have
     my own ideas about that. Fortunately for my peace of mind, it
     will soon be someone else's problem to define that role.

     When the Internetwork Gating Policy was published, there was a
     lot of comment. Mostly negative. I think (speaking as one of
     the people who had some input in the process) that if the
     criticism was directed at alternative solutions to the problems
     addressed in the Policy rather than direct attacks on the entire
     idea of HAVING such a document, we might have accomplished
     something. As things stand, the original document is still in
     force but not strongly enforced. In other words "If you want to
     connect to FidoNet, you could refer to this document and get it
     right -- or just do it any old way". Sigh. What happened to
     the idea of you don't go wee-wee in my garden and I won't go
     poo-poo in yours?

     We at FidoNews had a great moment in everyone's spotlight too.
     The way things were progressing, it was getting really hard to
     attract your attention anymore. But we found a way. On July 30,
     1990 lots of you woke up to find FidoNews sitting on your system
     in a file compressed with LHARC. Yup, you sure DID notice. I
     think it was probably the most popular topic in FidoNews that
     year. Even with the late start.

     It really pissed off Saddam Hussein too. In less than a week he
     had taken over Kuwait in an attempt to capture the responsible
     parties. After being told that the dirty deed had been done by
     an American, he is reported to have said "An American? OK. I'll
     wait here for him."

     I never made it over there. A lot of very brave folks did. And
     they did a great job. FidoNet was involved too, in its own unique
     way. An article in FidoNews Volume 7, Number 45 announced "The
     Saudi Connection". Numerous articles about the war were
     published. A healthy exchange of opinions ensued. People were
     engaged. It was great.

     We had ZC, RC and EC elections in Zone 1 and elsewhere, as the
     idea of democracy flowered in the Net. Then of course we had the
     great turnout in the Worldpol ratification vote. Electing NC's
     is an idea whose time has come. It should be easier to throw out
     the old slugs than it presently is.

     I sure wish I knew where FidoNet is going these days. The only
     consolation I have is that nobody knows. If anybody tells you
     that he or she DOES know, you can safely call that person a liar.

     Boy, there are some great memories here. And some not so great
     memories. It's been a lot of fun. But I won't miss it. I'll be
     too busy with other things.

     Well, maybe I will miss it. But I promise not to make a scene.

     Best regards,

June, 1991
Compucom Speedmodem Announces the 9600 Baud Speedmodem Champ.

speedmodem.txt ( 28K) June, 1991 Press Release for Compucom Speedmodem

July, 1991
Synchronet BBS Software, written by Rob Swindell, makes its first appearance.
From Rob Swindell's "Manifesto of Synchronet":

Synchronet is Born
After a couple years of running WWIV and honing my own programming skills
(professionally and for fun), I decided it was time to write my own BBS
software (for my own BBS). The most important feature was the ability to run
multiple simultaneous nodes (WWIV was not multi-node capable and lacked other
features I desired - such as batch uploads and bi-directional transfers). Being
a network specialist and an aspiring C programmer, I knew I could write
software to work fast and reliably in a multi-user environment on a LAN (I
already had a Novell NetWare Advanced Server [v2.1] in my BBS office).

I worked on "the" BBS software in my free time while still running a
self-modified multi-node/chat WWIV system for Vertrauen until "the" BBS software
was complete enough to replace WWIV. This completion may have taken years,
but I had the fortune of an unplanned surgery that left me on disability and
house-ridden for two months. I had all the time in the world to work on "the"
BBS software. I spent nearly every waking moment of that recovery period
working on it (obsessively). It was during this time that the name "Synchronet"
was suggested by Steve Deppe (Ille Homine Albe), the keyboardist and songwriter
for Vertrauen (the band). "Synchronet", for its ability to run "synchronously"
on a "network" (LAN). And it sounds cool. Synchronet it was.

July 1991, I took down WWIV for good and put up Synchronet. All the users
had to logon as new, there were no messages, the file bases were in shambles
and Food Fight didn't work anymore. But we had r0dent write and The Guru! :)

August 9, 1991
Mustang Software's Co-Founder and President, Jim Harrer distributes an angry response to a Usenet rumor that Wildcat! BBS Software contains a backdoor that allows remote sysop privileges.

Source Usenet: comp.dcom.telecom

August 13, 1991
Steve Ahola, Regional Coordinator for FidoNet EchoMail Region 16, commits suicide, partially over the prospect of losing his BBS and the RC position with it.

I am still in the process of researching this story. - jason

Region 16 Mourns 

     Well I hope this article does not hit the streets. I hope someone
who knew Steve a little better than I writes in but if not at least this
much has been said.

      On Tuesday August 13th region 16 lost a loved and valued member
of it's community. Steve Ahola our beloved REC (and just about everything
else) coordinator died unexpectedly. 

     Little did we know it when our echomail was interrupted that a few
days later we would find that our lives will never again be the same.
The fidonet node numbers of 322/1 and 322/210 would no longer take
us to Steve. That yes our echomail will return but Steve will not.

      I am sure that anyone and everyone who knew Steve even the sloghtest
would agree with me when I say his death will leave a big empty spot in
all our lives. The good times and the bad will be foever in our memories.
I hope that this horrible event will instill in each and every one
of you the fact that we are mortal. That our time on this planet is numbered
and that we should all take the time to smell the roses. To appreciate
those who love us and show our love to others.

      In parting. I wish each and every one of you reading this article
to take a moment and say a prayer/wish or good though to Steve as he
journeys onto the next phase of existence and to his family who need
all the good wishes etc that they can get.

                                      Cheryl Buzzell
                                     Fidonet 1:322/200
                                     Ournet 65:713/0
                                     TC-Trader 508-840-8017


August 16, 1991
FidoCon 1991 is held in Denver, Colorado.

September 22, 1991
Erik Labs releases the last official version of Bimodem, version 1.25. This last fix allows accessing of 486 PCs with com ports other than COM1. The protocol will go on to recieve development from other third parties.

Source http://archives.thebbs.org/ra90c.htm

October 13, 1991
Mustang Software (MSI), makers of the Wildcat! BBS Software, acquire John Friel's QMODEM telecommunications software.

Source http://groups.google.com/groups?q=+%22Mustang+Software%22&scoring=d&as_drrb=b&as_mind=12&as_minm=5&as_miny=1981&as_maxd=5&as_maxm=1&as_maxy=1992&selm=1991Oct21.235429.12468%40menudo.uh.edu&rnum=4

November 5, 1991
RemoteAccess v1.10 is Released.

December 8, 1991
Martin Pollard, remaining author and developer of Telegard BBS Software, announces that development of the software will come to an end. He cites multiple reasons, including a mistreatment by the community and an inability to shake the "Pirate BBS" reputation of Telegard. Telegard also stops using the main Fidonet and joins a network called USTGNet (later ITCnet).
  From: Martin Pollard                                Msg Num:    66 of   108
    To: All                                          Date: 08 Dec 91  03:07:09
  Subj: So long, and thanks for all the fish...
  Attr: Sent                                                          Read: N
  Conf: Telegard BETA Discussion
MSGID: 1:120/187 2941e46d
PID: TeleMail 1.50
On December 13th, 1991, the TELEGARD conference will be removed from the
FidoNet EchoMail backbone, and the Telegard software will come to an end.
This is being done for various reasons... but first, a little history...

I have been with Telegard almost since the beginning... close to three years.
When it was first released by Carl Mueller, it was little more than the WWIV
version 3.21 public domain source code with Carl's name on it.  At the time,
Carl was involved in a number of illegal activities, such as hacking,
phreaking, credit card fraud, and software piracy.  Telegard was originally
intended to be used by his friends who were into the same activities.

As time went on, Carl added modifications to the software, and people began to
take an interest in the software.  It mai
nly attracted software pirates
[more]      because of its ability to hide pirated files.  It was also full of
back doors
so that Carl could hack into any board running it and have full SysOp access.

Carl eventually got caught and busted for phone phreaking (the charges were
eventually dropped), and the source code was turned over to Eric Oman, who
removed the back doors and continued to modify it.  Later on, Todd Bolitho
joined the Alpha team in an organizational capacity, and I joined as Alpha and
co-programmer by version 1.8.  After version 2.4 I was doing almost all of the
programming.  It was around this time that the TELEGARD conference was placed
on the FidoNet EchoMail backbone, as version 2.5 was enhanced to support

During these three years, we've seen the software grow quite a bit, and its
popularity along with it.  Unfortunately, its reputation as a pirate BBS
preceeded it, and has been an albatross around the neck of the developers
since its inception.  Today, "Telegard" is synonymous with "Pirate BBS Hack",
even though that definition has not applied for two years.

Due to creative differences between Eric, Todd and myself, the team split up,
and I was the only one left supporting Telegard.  For the past year and a half
I have received quite a few compliments about the software, but many more
demands, threats and complaints, not to mention illegal hacks of the software
that claim to be the "REAL" Telegard.

This conference was supposed to be a place where Telegard SysOps around the
world could participate in a round-table forum to receive technical support.
I moderated the conference openly and fairly, and was very lenient upon people
who broke the conference rules.  From the moment that TELEGARD was put onto
the backbone, however, it has been dominated by insults, foul language,
flaming, software piracy, and overall childish behavior.  I put Scott Raymond
-- who has been involved with Telegard almost as long as I have -- in charge
of the conference because he is a lot more heavy-handed than I am, and I
wanted it that way.  According to the current Backbone Operating Procedure
(BOP) being followed by the Net, Regional, and Zone EchoMail Coordinators,
backbone conference moderators and co-moderators have unilateral control over
a conference, and NO ONE, not even the ZEC, is supposed to interfere in the
workings of a conference as long as it does not interfere with backbone
operations.  In short, it means that a conference moderator is allowed to cut
ANY feed o the conference he sees fit without providing a reason or fair
warning; the only thing required is a note to the offending node that they
have been cut from the conference.

Over the past two months, ten individual links and an entire net gateway were
cut from access to TELEGARD.  In response, several of these people filed
policy complaints against Scott Raymond, which they had no grounds to do,
since he was well within his rights as the co-moderator of this conference.
The NCs and NECs involved decided to ignore the BOP, however, since it seemed
convenient to do so.

Since it's still obvious that human stupidity is rampant and there will never
be a way to curtail it in a completely public forum, we are taking that forum
away.  If you can't play nice with others, your toys get confiscated.  This
conference will be moved to the sanctioned Telegard support network, USTGNet.
In that net, when a link is cut from the conference, it stays cut and no
policy complaints will be accepted (as the policies of FidoNet do not apply to

What does this have to do with Telegard itself?  In a nutshell, version 2.7
will be the very LAST version of Telegard ever to be released, and that
includes Beta and Alpha versions.  In exchange for free software, free
utilities, and free tech support, I and the remaining Telegard support team
have received insults, hacks, stabs in the back from ex-Beta sites, and piracy
of a Beta version (several, in fact) still in the testing stages... and still
buggy.  Therefore, after version 2.7, there will be no more Telegard.  As far
as I am concerned, the software will be dead and buried.  The source code will
NOT be released to the public.

(The name "Telegard" itself is trademarked.  Any BBS software using the name
Telegard is in violation of current trademark ownership law.  The source code
for version 2.5g that found its way to the public is owned by both myself and
Eric Oman.  You may not put your own name on it as the programmer unless 75%
or more of the code has been rewritten from the ground up.  If this is not the
case, then you must give credit to Martin Pollard and Eric Oman in the
copyright notice.  Any software not following the above requirements is in
violation of current copyright law.)

Why am I doing this?  It's very simple: I'm tired of giving away something for
nothing and getting nothing but grief in return.  Except for a relative
handful of people, the majority of the Telegard users have no respect for
software authors, conference rules, or copyright laws.  They not only expect
everything handed to them for free, they DEMAND it, and expect me to kiss
their asses while doing it.  Thanks, but I'll pass; I'm not required to put up
with this kind of grief over a goddamn HOBBY.

Some of you may say that I'm chickening out, that I'm giving up, that I'm
caving in to pressure from the ones who caused the trouble.  I won't argue the
point.  On the other hand, those of you who caused the trouble will probably
start partying and rejoicing after receiving this news, thinking you've "won"
your battle against "the bad guy".  All I can say is, party away, and rejoice
in the fact that you've destroyed a great software package and reduced it to
the level of Celerity, LSD, ViSiOn, Emulex/2, and their other pirate/hack

To those people who have been loyal to Telegard and respected my wishes as
author, I commend you on your perseverance and thank you for the support; you
couldn't begin to guess know how much it meant to me.  If you aren't already a
[more]      member, I invite you to consider USTGNet (headed by Jack Reece);
you stand a
much better chance of receiving the tech support you deserve in that network.

To those people who stabbed me in the back, pirated the software, turned this
conference into a circus, and in general destroyed what was supposed to be an
enjoyable hobby, congratulations; you got what you worked so hard to attain:
the end of Telegard.  You made your bed, now die in it.

                           -=[> Martin Pollard <]=-

... TELEGARD Conference Moderator and Author of Telegard (Retired)
--- Blue Wave/TGq v2.02/C+ Beta
 * Origin: The I/O Bus - TG_BETA Conference Moderator (1:120/187.0)
PATH: 120/187 278/624

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