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[ale] OT: Fwd: Fred Fish (GNU Programmer, Amiga Freeware Icon), Dead at 51

Fred Fish, GNU Programmer, Amiga Freeware Icon, Dead at 51

This sad news of the passing of Fred Fish just hit my inbox from
a fellow Amiganaut.

Fred was one of the most amicable and generous individuals
I have ever had the pleasure of meeting...
[image at <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Fish>]

I don't think a stretch to suggest that Fred exemplified the
ideals of "open source" even before the concept was defined.

He ported a good portion of the early GNU utilities to the Amiga
in a collection called "Geek Gadgets" - a CD which I am proud to
have on my computer history shelf.  But his most amazing
contributions came in the form of the Fish Disks, periodical
collections of Amiga Freeware and demos on floppy disk
that he would snail mail out to the world every month like
clockwork (since Internet didn't exist at the time).  Fish Disk
Feeding Frenzies were a highlight of our monthly Amiga Atlanta
user group meetings for many years (thanks to the duplication
work of Joe Torre), and the disk collection eventually grew to a
full 1000 issues (which are also on my computer history shelf as
the "Frozen Fish" CD set).

Wikipedia article and links in forwarded message.

In fond remembrance of Fred Fish (with apologies for
all the pun-ishments your name evoked): 
---             So long, and thanks for all the disks!


---------  Forwarded Message  ----------
Subject: Fred Fish, Dead at 51
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 12:32:29 -0400
From: Bob Castro

Fred Fish died at his home in Idaho on Friday 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_20>April 20, 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007>2007 at the age of 51

Fred Fish was a  computer programmer notable for
work on the GNU Debugger*, as well as  his series of
Fish disks of  freeware* for the Amiga* computer.

There was a pioneering  spirit pervasive in the Amiga
community. The Fish Disks (term coined  by Perry
Kivolowitz* at  a Jersey Amiga User Group meeting)
became the first national rallying  point, a sort of early
postal system. Fish would get his disks off  around the
world in time for regional and local user group meetings 
who in turn duplicated them for local consumption.
Typically, only  the cost of materials changed hands. In
the Fish Disk series, one can  chart the progress of
growth in sophistication in Amiga software as 
well as see many groundbreaking trends emerge.

The Fish Disks were distributed at computer stores and
Commodore  Amiga enthusiast clubs. Contributors submitted
applications and  source code and the best of these each
month were assembled and  released as a diskette. Since
the World Wide Web did not exist yet  this was a primary way
for enthusiasts to share work and ideas.

 From Anthony Green:

I was very sad to hear today that  Fred Fish died yesterday
at  his home in Idaho.

Fred compiled the famous Fish Disks of freely redistributable 
software for the Amiga, and was the very first person I met at 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_Solutions>Cygnus when I
started  working there in 1995. He was one of the resident GDB
hackers at the  time, until he left for Be in 1998. Fred was
responsible for many  important contributions to GDB and binutils
over the years.

I didn't know Fred well, but what I do remember was that he was the 
most welcoming and friendly person I could have met on my first day
at Cygnus.

My thoughts go out to his friends and family.

This entry was posted by 
Green on Saturday, April 21. 2007 at 11:32