back2roots.org Back to the Roots - Fred Fish memorial archive

This place is dedicated to one of the most famous Amiga enthusiasts, Fred Fish, aka Fredric Norton Fish III aka fnf@many.domains who passed away in April 2007 in the age of 54 years while sleeping in his home in Idaho, US. The intention of this site and archive is to legally preserve his life work, so he will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Fred, and thanks for all your support!

Fred Fish   
- Fred Fish    ><>      (104 kB)
   Fred at Antelope canyon
Fred at Antelope canyon   (65 kB)

Fred Fish project timeline:

1985-1994 Fish Disks Freely distributable floppy disk based Amiga software library.
1991-1993 Third Party Fish-CDs Fish compilation CD-ROMs from Xetec, Hypermedia and Almathera.
1993-1995 Fresh Fish Fred continues his library service on CD-ROM.
1994-1995 Frozen Fish BBS friendly compressed version of the library on CD-ROM.
1994-1995 Gold Fish Compressed and unpacked library on CD-ROM.
1985-1998 Amiga Library Services Fred's Amiga software publishing company.
1995-2004 Geek Gadgets Port of GNU / FSF / BSD developer tools to AmigaOS and BeOS.
2004-2006 DiveAdx Fred and his wife go cruising the sea in a boat called DiveAdx.
2007 R.I.P. Fred dies at home -- His ashes get thrown into the ocean.

Fred was involved in numerous further coding projects which are not (yet) covered here. Please note that this is research in progress and information about releases not linked yet is likely to be unprecise or even wrong. All http links hide Amiga icons for easier browsing and try to provide useful MIME types, all ftp links show the full content instead. All filenames are lowercased to allow writing a case insensitive handler later.


Fish Disks:

In the November 1985, shortly after the release of the Amiga 1000 and long before the internet, it was difficult for programmers and artists to distribute their work. It also was not easy to get hold of programs showing the fancy abilities of the upcoming Amiga platform. Software was mainly distributed by commercial sales and by a few bulletin board systems (BBS's), which for many people required expensive long distance calls.

In this time Fred started a distribution system to work around these difficulties. The idea was that authors submit their freely distributable software, often incorrectly named public domain (PD) software in this time, together with the source code (later known as open source software) to Fred, who packaged the best submissions each month and released them on physical floppy disks, which were the primary storage medium in this time.

These non bootable Amiga OFS formatted disks were structured one sub directory per title, plus a common readme file listing contents, requirements, copyright status and whether the source code is included for each title. Most programs were directly startable from disk, provided the system was booted before. The disks were encouraged to be copied for free, allowing a symbolic small fee for media costs. The idea of PD disk series was born, and after some time nearly any Amiga user knew and exchanged the so called Fish Disks, also known as AmigaLib Disks.

On early disks, most software came with source code, but with time more and more programmers released their work as closed source. Fred always released his code open source, and never gave up on that. In the years 1985 to 1994 Fred released 1000 Fish Disks until the medium floppy disk lost its importance. Some user groups still wanted further disks, so starting with disk 1001 Amazing Computing (PIM Publications) compiled about 130 further disks from the CDs with Fred's blessing and resubmitted the results.

Fish Disks 00xx 01xx 02xx 03xx 04xx 05xx 06xx 07xx 08xx 09xx 10xx 11xx Source
1-1000
lha per title
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
- Frozen Fish
Volume 1
1-1100
lha per disk
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
Frozen Fish
Volume 2
1-249
unpacked
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
- - - - - - - - - Gold Fish
Vol.1 CD1
250-1000
unpacked
- - http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
http
ftp
- Gold Fish
Vol.1 CD2

If you own any of the Fish Disks above 1100 then please contact us.


Third Party Fish-CDs:

Since Fred's basic intention was to form an efficient software distribution system he did neither protect nor defend a collection copyright for his Fish Disks, in usenet he even publically disclaimed a collection copyright for the Fish Disks. This allowed third party companies to recompile and extend the collection and release it on CD-ROM long before Fred sold his first CD (which did have a collection copyright).

Fish 'n' More (Xetec Inc.)

The Fish 'n' More collection seems to be the first appearance of the Fish Disks series on CD-ROM and started as a reorganisation of the Fish Disks by subject. Missing icons were added, tooltype pathes were changed to work off the CD and obsolete versions were omitted.

1990-xx-xx Fish 'n' More Vol.1 FF 1-370 unp. by subject 35MB more http ftp iso
1991-xx-xx Fish 'n' More Vol.2 FF 371-470 unp. by subject and by disk 28MB more http ftp iso
1993-11-04 Fish 'n' More Vol.3 FF 1-910 unp. by disk 44MB more http ftp iso

The Fred Fish collection on CD-ROM (HyperMedia Concepts, Inc.)

This initially monthly compilation of all Fish Disks was licensed by Fred. HyperMedia offered a royalty for each sold item, which Fred declined. The Fred Fish collection v1.7, which overlapped the release of Fresh Fish Vol.1 could even be ordered from Fred.

199x-xx-xx Fred Fish collection v1.0 Fish Disks missing
1991-xx-xx Fred Fish collection v1.1 Fish Disks 1-480 missing
199x-xx-xx Fred Fish collection v1.2 Fish Disks missing
199x-xx-xx Fred Fish collection v1.3 Fish Disks missing
199x-xx-xx Fred Fish collection v1.4 Fish Disks missing
1992-08-xx Fred Fish collection v1.5 Fish Disks 1-700 nolicense
199x-xx-xx Fred Fish collection v1.6 Fish Disks 1-800 missing
1993-10-xx Fred Fish collection v1.7 Fish Disks 1-890 nolicense

We neither have a working contact to Hypermedia Concepts nor a license to offer their work. If you can help please contact us.

The Fred Fish collection On-Line (HyperMedia Concepts, Inc.)

Starting with the Fred Fish collection on CDROM v1.4 (??), the library did no longer fit on one CD both in unpacked and in archived form. So HyperMedia offered a separate lha archived online version of the collection for BBS admins.

199x-xx-xx Fred Fish collection On-Line v1.4 Fish Disks missing
199x-xx-xx Fred Fish collection On-Line v1.5 Fish Disks missing
199x-xx-xx Fred Fish collection On-Line v1.6 Fish Disks missing
199x-xx-xx Fred Fish collection On-Line v1.7 Fish Disks missing

We neither have a working contact to Hypermedia Concepts nor a license to offer their work. If you can help please contact us.

CDPD (Almathera Systems Ltd.)

The CDPD series basically targetet at CDTV and CD32 users, some of which didn't have a disk drive or keyboard at all. The CDs are bootable and come with preinstalled PatNet and SerNet software allowing easy linkage with Amiga computers.

1992-06-24 CDPD Vol.1 Fish Disks 1-660, 30MB modules http ftp iso
1992-11-25 CDPD Vol.2 Fish Disks 1-100, 651-760, Scope 1-220 http ftp iso
1993-08-04 CDPD Vol.3 Fish Disks 761-890, graphics, fonts, DEM http ftp iso
1994-07-04 CDPD Vol.4 Fish Disks 891-1000, Imagine material, fonts http ftp iso

This list only contains productions which properly honoured Fred Fish's part of the collection, many many others just resorted the contents of the Fish Disks and called it their collection copyright after. Besides this only productions which mainly consist of Fred Fish collected material are listed here.


Fresh Fish:

In late 1993 Fred himself started to release his library service both in floppy disk and CD-ROM format. His bi-monthly CDs were called Fresh Fish containing the latest submissions to the library in unpacked, directly startable form and as BBS ready lha archived versions. Additionally each CD contained latest developer material from Commodore Amiga and latest ports of open source software from the GNU or BSD community.

The latest submissions were organised in a subject tree similar to Aminet (which came up in 1992), but repeating the tree per submission month. As long as Fred still spread floppy disks (up to Fish disk 1000 in early 1994) the remaining space on each CD was filled up with Fish Disks.

1993-10-xx Fresh Fish Vol.1 Oct.1993   missing
1993-11-12 Fresh Fish Vol.1 Rev.1 Oct.1993 R.1 FF 600-930 lha per disk, 600-910 unpacked http ftp iso
1993-12-24 Fresh Fish Vol.2 Dec.1993 FF 650-950 lha par disk, 800-950 unpacked http ftp iso
1994-02-25 Fresh Fish Vol.3 Mar/Apr.1994 FF 600-975 lha per title, 951-975 unpacked http ftp iso
1994-05-14 Fresh Fish Vol.4 May/Jun.1994 FF 976-1000 lha per title, 976-1000 unpacked http ftp iso
1994-07-15 Fresh Fish Vol.5 Jul/Aug.1994   http ftp iso
1994-09-09 Fresh Fish Vol.6 Sep/Oct.1994   http ftp iso
1994-10-22 Fresh Fish Vol.7 Nov/Dec.1994   http ftp iso
1995-01-31 Fresh Fish Vol.8 CD1 Jan/Feb.1995   http ftp iso
1995-01-31 Fresh Fish Vol.8 CD2 Jan/Feb.1995   http ftp iso
1995-04-19 Fresh Fish Vol.9 CD1 Apr.1995   http ftp iso
1995-04-19 Fresh Fish Vol.9 CD2 Apr.1995 FF 1001-1060 lha per disk http ftp iso
1995-09-xx Fresh Fish Vol.10 Sep.1995 FF 1000-1100 lha per disk http ftp iso

If you own any of the missing CDs then please contact us. (*=missing CD image and cover).


Frozen Fish:

Fred's Frozen Fish CDs were targeted at BBS and FTP admins, prepared to serve the Fish collection off a CD-ROM without requiring expensive disk space in this time. The CDs contain lha archived versions of all Fish Disks plus the remaining space filled up with latest submissions to the Fresh Fish CDs. Fred also released a special version for PC BBS systems in ISO9660-1 format with 8.3 naming convention.
1994-04-06 Frozen Fish Vol.1 Amiga Apr.1994 FF 1-1000 lha per title, Fresh Fish 1-3 news http ftp, iso iso
1994-04-06 Frozen Fish Vol.1 PC Apr.1994 FF 1-1000 lha per title, Fresh Fish 1-3 news missing
1995-07-26 Frozen Fish Vol.2 Amiga Aug.1995 FF 1-1100 lha per disk, Fresh Fish 9 news missing
1995-07-26 Frozen Fish Vol.2 PC Aug.1995 FF 1-1100 lha per disk, Fresh Fish 9 news http ftp, iso

If you own any of the missing CDs then please contact us. (*=missing CD image and cover).
The Vol.x labels were added for informational purposes only and were not part of the original release name.
At this point of our research we are not sure whether there ever was an Amiga version of Frozen Fish Vol.2, if you know more then please contact us.


Gold Fish:

While the Fresh Fish CDs were the successor of the Fish Disks to distribute latest additions to the library frequently, the Gold Fish CD series offered snapshots of the complete collection. Gold Fish Vol.1+2 offered the entire library in BBS ready lha archived format on one CD and in directly startable form on the other CD, which was very handy in times when disk space was very expensive. Based on feedback from users and dealers the BBS ready archived versions of the collection were omitted on Gold Fish Vol.3, making it cheaper for both parties.

1994-04-15 Gold Fish Vol.1 CD1 April 1994 http ftp iso
1994-04-15 Gold Fish Vol.1 CD2 April 1994 http ftp iso
1994-06-27 Gold Fish Vol.1 Rev.1 CD1 April 1994 Rev.1 missing
1994-06-27 Gold Fish Vol.1 Rev.1 CD2 April 1994 Rev.1 missing
1994-11-28 Gold Fish Vol.2 CD1 November 1994 http ftp iso
1994-11-28 Gold Fish Vol.2 CD2 November 1994 http ftp iso
1995-11-xx Gold Fish Vol.3 November 1995 http ftp iso
We found hints in the net of a 2CD Gold Fish Vol.3 release, if you own it then please contact us.
Fred also offered to burn a BBS version of the Gold Fish Vol.3 collection upon request, if you own it then please contact us.


Amiga Library Services:

Early Fred Fish productions were released under the label Amiga Library Services which was later known as Cronus. Fred shared his experience in distributing software on CD-ROM and always searched for cooperative projects. While he spread his own productions worldwide, he also went a distributor for many third party software titles in the US. He was the exclusive US importer of Stefan Ossowski's Schatztruhe products, such as the Aminet CDs. In 1998, when sales of Amiga software dropped below a reasonable margin, Cronus left the Amiga market.

Here an unfinished list of his cooperative work:

With Danny Amor

1994-xx-xx Fresh Fonts Vol.1 200 font families in 4 formats http ftp iso
1995-05-xx Da Capo Vol.1 Amiga 1400 modules and 2000 samples http ftp iso
1995-05-xx Da Capo Vol.1 Mac 1400 modules and 2000 samples missing
1995-09-xx Online Library Vol.1 200 Books in 9 languages missing
199x-xx-xx Fresh Fonts Vol.2 231 font families in 4 formats nolicense

With Eric Schwartz, Leslie Dietz, Mark Stanley

1995-10-xx Eric Schwartz Productions Archive Aniga cartoons http ftp iso

With Michael Meshew / Graphic Detail

1994-10-21 Light ROM Vol.1 Lightwave material + FF 875-1000 nolicense
1995-03-22 Light ROM Vol.2 Lightwave / Toaster material nolicense
1995-12-03 Texture Gallery CD1 PD textures and image maps missing
1995-12-03 Texture Gallery CD2 PD textures and image maps missing
1995-12-xx Light ROM Vol.3 CD1 Lightwave objects, textures and plug-ins missing
1995-12-xx Light ROM Vol.3 CD2 Imagine, 3D studio, Sculpt, Real 3D material missing
1995-12-xx Light ROM Vol.3 CD3 Digital elevation maps (DEMs) missing
199x-xx-xx Light ROM Gold The best of Light ROM Vol.1-3 missing
199x-xx-xx Light ROM Vol.4 CD1 Lightwave objects missing
199x-xx-xx Light ROM Vol.4 CD2 Lightwave objects missing
199x-xx-xx Light ROM Vol.5 CD1 Lightwave objects missing
199x-xx-xx Light ROM Vol.5 CD2 Lightwave objects missing
199x-xx-xx Light ROM Vol.6 CD1 Lightwave objects missing
199x-xx-xx Light ROM Vol.6 CD2 Lightwave objects missing
199x-xx-xx Light ROM Vol.6 CD3 Lightwave objects missing
199x-xx-xx Light ROM Vol.6 CD4 Lightwave objects missing

With Unknown Photographers

199x-xx-xx FantaSeas CD1 Portfolio Photo CD, ~150 underwater photographs. missing
199x-xx-xx FantaSeas CD2 Portfolio Photo CD, ~150 underwater photographs. missing
We neither have a working contact to Michael Meshew nor a license to offer his work. If you can help please contact us.


Geek Gadgets

It was no surprise that Fred on his path as an open source coder would stumble across the GNU community. He initiated the porting of the GNU development tools (binutils, gcc and the like) to the Amiga and BeOS platforms, allowing to compile open source POSIX software on these platforms. This project was called Geek Gadgets (GG) also known as Amiga Developer Environment (ADE), which could be compared with today's Cygwin effort for the Win32 platform. Fred was hired by Be (the makers of BeOS) where he worked for a while.

Now that the development tools existed, the ported code base grew rapidly. Fred ran developer mailing lists, FTP and CVS servers and coordinated the project. For those who didn't have the bandwidth to download from the FTP, Fred offered a subscription service for manually burned snapshot CDs, the income was used to finance the project. Besides this he released two commercial CD-ROMs, containing snapshots of the Geek Gadgets project, the second one being a cooperative project with proDAD Software, the makers of the portable operating system p.OS.

Geek Gadgets Snapshot CDs

1995-12-08 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #01 missing
1995-12-30 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #02 missing
1996-02-19 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #03 - ADE 960219 missing
1996-04-12 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #04 - ADE 960412 missing
1996-05-30 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #05 - ADE 960530 missing
1996-07-14 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #06 - ADE 960714 missing
1996-09-02 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #07 - ADE 960902 missing
1996-10-12 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #08 - ADE 961012 missing
1997-01-09 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #09 - ADE 970109 missing
1997-02-17 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #10 - ADE 970217 missing
1997-03-28 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #11 - ADE 970328 missing
1997-04-14 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #12 - ADE 970414 missing
1997-07-28 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #13 - ADE 970728 missing
1997-11-25 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #14 - ADE 971125 missing
1998-05-23 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #15 - May 1998 http ftp iso
1999-05-29 Geek Gadgets Snapshot #16 missing

Geek Gadgets Commercial CDs

1996-10-12 Geek Gadgets Vol.1 #08 - ADE-1 http ftp iso
1997-04-14 Geek Gadgets Vol.2 #12 - ADE-2 + p.OS dev. http ftp iso

Vol.2 contains the developer version of proDAD's p.OS, which proDAD kindly licensed to be offered here, but without any support. Use at your own risk. This does not affect the non free status of the full version.

Geek Gadgets Online Presence

The project is obviously discontinued. We have mirrored Fred's FTP server at ftp.ninemoons.com daily until it disappeared from the net, last updated in 26.Aug.2004, which we consider the master site now. Additionally we started reconstructing and updating the web page.

2004-08-26 Geek Gadgets FTP #16 - latest copy of ftp.ninemoon.com http ftp
2007-11-17 Geek Gadgets Web #16 - reconstruction of www.geekgadgets.org url1 url2

The #xx snapshot numberings were added for cross referencing purposes and were not part of the original release names.


DiveAdx:

In 2004, Fred, along with his wife Michelle and their dogs Zeus and Thor realized a lifelong dream of living aboard the boat DiveAdx and cruising the oceans. After departing Dana Point, CA, they traveled approximately 10,000 miles over the course of the following two years traversing the Panama Canal and going as far as the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. Fred's passion for adventure as well as deep sea fishing & scuba diving propelled them into the lifestyle.
Michelle, Fred and the boat
Michelle, Fred and the boat    (752 kB)
Fred and TBone at Conception Island
Fred and TBone at Conception Island    (218 kB)

Fred's motto of living life to the fullest was reflected in a poem by Mark Twain that Michelle gave him on the morning they left the US...

Twenty years from now
you will be more disappointed
by the things that you didn't do
than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore, Dream, Discover

Read about their adventure in the logbooks at diveadx.back2roots.org or www.diveadx.com.


References:

Here a few pointers to further info about Fred:


About this site:

This page is (C) 2007-2013 back2roots.org , all software collections linked here are licensed by their collection copyright holders to be distributed by this site, and may only be used in accordance to our Acceptable Usage Policy. All images on this page are (C) Michelle Fish and may not be reused without her permission. All textual research in this document is released under Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike, so welcome to be included in i.e. wikipedia.org, provided it links back to this archive.

Big thanks go to the following people and companies, who licensed material:

Big thanks go to the following people, who helped with missing material:

If you want to contribute missing or further material or info not yet listed here then please contact us.