About Teletechnique BBS -
Cable & Satellite -
Sysop's Technet -
About Teletechnique BBS
Teletechnique BBS is a private bulletin board system (BBS) in the neigbourhood of Rowville, 35 km South-East of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The BBS is operated by Ger Vloothuis and has been online for more than a decade, starting out in Beechmont at Queensland's Gold Coast. That was in the days that a 1200 Baud modem was called fast. At least, a lot faster than the very first 300 Baud modems and the 50 Baud rattling telex machines of the pre-email age. BBS nodes were fairly popular in those days. There were 50 or so dialup BBS nodes on the Gold Coast, all connected in some way or another. Mail moved at night (low call charges) to nearby big city nodes, and from there to the rest of the world.
Then in the early nineties and without much fanfare the Internet was born. The new information superhighway also touched briefly on the Gold Coast. Nothing high-speed and nothing flashy to talk about. A local network enthousiast got the bug and started a "Gold Coast Localnet" community service with an old Amiga computer and some UUCP software.
Gold Coast Localnet members arranged for a multi-hop modem dialup link to the Southern Cross University campus in Lismore, Northern New South Wales. That was the nearest point of presence to get onto the Internet. The multi-hops were needed for telephone tariff zone skipping. By using intermediate nodes and tariff zone skipping, heaps of email and news could be transported for the cost a few local calls. It took a while to get your mail, but that was the only way to make it work and not run up massive long distance phone bills. The majority of Gold Coast BBS operators (Sysops) did join into the fun and connected via DOS based UUCP and Fidonet gateway software.
Getting conversant with all sorts of Internet email and Usenet news services was the order of the day. Learning how to do FTP by email was a real black art. The mail processors did not handle large files. Big files had to be cut up for transport in multiple messages. The receiver had to piece it all together again in the right order before the UUdecoder could recover the original file. Unbelievable clumsy and time consuming, but it worked. Even without direct browser access "being on the Internet" was something distinctively 'cool' in everyday Gold Coast life.
Teletechnique BBS was moved to Melbourne during 1995. The BBS is still connected to Fidonet (once the world's largest hobby email network, until the Internet took hold), to STN (Sysop's Technical Network) and of course also to the Internet. Teletechnique BBS operates with email and news gateways between all networks.
The BBS front-end mailer is set-up to accept modem calls in Fido Network Technology (FTN) and with Unix-to-Unix-Copy-Protocol (UUCP). The front-end mailer also accepts fax calls. Software in use is Binkley32 V2.60XE as front-end mailer, Uucico32 from Kendra Electronic Wonderworks as UUCP mailer, Squish as an echomail and netmail processor for FTN mail bundles, EleBBS for dialup and Telnet callers, and BGFAX as fax processor. A Mercury/32 fully featured IMAP4/SMTP/POP3 mail server from Pegasus Mail author David Harris provides all necessary email connectivity. Internet Rex provides the gateway between the Internet and Fidonet technologies. Most of this now exotic FTN software can be found on the BBS Fidoware page.
To get yourself connected to Teletechnique BBS try one of these options from the ABOUT file:
24 hours BBS/FAX/BINKP/UUCP/TELNET
Private mail & file hub located in Rowville, Victoria, Australia
Internet UUCP node: ttq
Internet BINKP/Telnet node: ttq.darktech.org
Fidonet node: 3:633/284
STN node: 111:8613/2
PBN node: 726:3/2
List server: email@example.com
Files by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fidonet to Internet gate : UUCP (3:633/262)
Internet to Fidonet gate : [Firstname.Lastname]@f284.n633.z3.fidonet.org
File requests : freq FILES at 3:633/284 or send email for a current listing.
About file : freq ABOUT at 3:633/284 or send email for the current ABOUT file.
Cable & Satellite
Teletechnique BBS carries all known Usenet newsgroups, Fidonet echoes, and mailing lists for cable, satellite, shortwave radio and packet radio. They are available for downlink via Fido Technology Networking (FTN), via Internet Rex, via BinkP, or via UUCP. To get yourself connected, send mail to the System Operator at Teletechnique BBS.
Fidonet has been around since 1985 and today consists of some 15,000 email hobbyists all over the world, maintaining a large number of interconnected public access bulletin board systems (BBS). The systems communicate via direct dial-up links and via tunnelled Internet links. Some systems connect via packet radio. There is a very active core of happy message writers in areas of interest (echo's) as wide and diverse as human imagination can conceive. Every taste and activity is catered for somewhere in Fidonet. From K12 students to cooking. From fishing to satellite technology. From pen pals an love seekers to Grand Prix car racing. You name it and it will be there. It is by far the most economic way to get exposure to email technology. No hourly fees. No hefty long distance charges. Get all the latest shareware files fully automatic on most systems. There are ample techniques for off-line mail reading and writing, keeping the connection costs to an absolute minimum, even for people in the most remote places. Most Fidonet BBS have gateways to the Internet in place and will handle non-commercial Internet mail for you with pleasure.
The future of Fidonet is unclear. Once upon a time, there were well over 30,000 nodes in Fidonet. That was in the pre-Internet age, when Fidonet email was just about the only way for a hobbyist to get some email messages around the world. It worked well in those days, and that is why the network flourished. Today we have click-and-play Internet where every man and his dog can have an email address and a home page at reasonable cost, courtesy of thousands of ISP's. There is no longer a need for Fidonet. Lots of former Fidonet Sysops now actually run their own ISP or work for one. But today there is still a band of loyal Fidonet followers. Whilst the numbers have been dwindling for some time, in some developing countries the node count is actually increasing. And even in an Internet rich country like Germany, the number of Fidonet nodes and points is actually rising. Specially so-called 'point' systems are popular there because of the simplicity an flexibility in operating one. No need to be node listed of have a modem online. Just dialup to send and collect your mail, automatic if you wish.
There are of course a few reasons that have been whispered in the Fidonet corridors of power. Such as: "Fidonet echoes are habited by nicer folks than Usenet newsgroups". Or: "Fidonet echoes have a To name in the echo, newsgroups do not.", "Fidonet echoes have a higher signal-to-noise ratio and have less spam than newsgroups.", "Fidonet echoes have controlled access.", "Fidonet echoes can move today just as fast as Usenet newsgroups, because the traffic is moved over the Internet". And so on.
But looking at the traffic statistics, one would wonder how long Fidonet will still last. Nobody wants to talk about a funeral as yet. There is still a band of loyal followers that won't let that happen for at least a while. There is still a strong and infectious mystique in Fidonet, making it more a sort of boutique organisation in today's email and electronic news world. To belong and to participate is something quite different than being just another one of the Internet masses. On the Internet, nobody knows you are a dog. But Fidonet actually had its own dog as a mascot long before the Internet 'dogs' came along.
So, if you are intrigued by the complexities of Fidonet software and networking, if you can find all the files you need, if you can find a node to connect with, and once you got a working setup you still have the spirit to engage in one or more of the active Fidonet echoes, then please feel welcome to come aboard. Others have done it. Of course, you can do it too!
If you know how to zip and unzip, configure recalcitrant modems with AT commands, write a batch file, forget about point and click configuration but use notepad instead, like tinkering with PPP connections to handle your BinkP uplink, want to find out all about Netmail, Echomail, Areafixes, Filefixes, Tickers, and mail routing, then you must be prime fodder for Fidonet. Come and join. Look for a suitable node to connect and send in your application today. And if you don't know any of these things, come and join too. Fidonet Sysops are a helpful bunch and they will get you on the road in no time. Have some fun. Find a Fidonet node nearby and join Fidonet.
Teletechnique BBS is a regional mail hub in Sysop's TechNet (STN 111:8000/0) for Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. Members are developing and working with new connectivity methods for Fidonet Technology Networks (FTN) by tunnelling through the Internet. Modern methods are the use of encoded email with Internet Rex for dialup nodes, or direct TCP/IP connectivity with the BinkP protocol for both dialup and permanent connected nodes. Read more about it here.
UUCP stands for Unix-to-Unix-Copy-Protocol. It was designed to operate reliably over dialup modems to transfer files and to execute commands on remote computers. It used to be the highlight of corporate networking technology before TCP/IP won the day. UUCP works remarkably well over dialup telephone lines and still has merit in places where fixed Internet connectivity is too hard, too expensive, too remote, or too expensive. It is cheap and reliable. Teletechnique BBS has a fast diminishing number of UUCP neighbours in remote areas where Internet points of presence are not yet commonplace. This old and proven Unix connectivity technology is performing amazingly well on International long distance phone links. It is economic and relative easy to implement, and recovers gracefully from the hazards of 'not-so-perfect' telephone connections. No mail gets lost. No files go astray. Even if the line disconnects halfway a transfer UUCP will resume from where it left at the next connection. Just set the modem speed low enough to suit the line quality and the messages will eventually get through. Automatic and unattended. Every time. All the time. Just about any old and dusty DOS machine will be able to drive the modem and handle the mail connection with unsurpassed reliability. Of course, a blazing Pentium with multi-megabytes of RAM will also do the job at some more expense, but not any faster. For help with UUCP software, email for an info kit, or read the Internet newsgroup comp.mail.uucp.
Waffle V1.65 - The one and only legendary Waffle BBS software archive. Soon to be a collectors item. Waffle BBS is now truly and well classified as legacy software, but it is still the perfect training tool for UUCP mail and news on a DOS platform. Also runs perfectly well in a DOS window on Win98/NT/2000/XP.
fxuci1.zip - FXuucico V1.0 drop-in replacement for the Waffle uucico, with more features and more reliability.
fxstat.zip - Statistics generator for FXuucico.
UUCP on Linux - Linux always had native UUCP hooks. Taylor's UUCP for Linux has clearly won the day in the Linux world. Read all about it here.
UUPC/Extended - A well featured UUCP package for Windows 98/NT/2000/XT. Includes a SMTP/POP3 server for use on the LAN. Also does UUCP over TCP/IP and UUCP to SMTP conversion.
Taxis - A complete modern Win98/2000/XP multi-user email package, providing an SMTP/POP3 server for the LAN, with a UUCP connection to the Internet.
Last updated Sunday 12 October 2003 by Ger Vloothuis