But it is no secret that on the PC the choice of mailing software is greater and of a higher quality, more secure and more reliable than on any other machine - because the software has had more time to develop.
A reason for becoming a FidoNet point (or a point in another network) is that it will be easier for you to read conference mail (echomail). Reading echomail online is very expensive and by choosing at home which conferences you want, you will spend less money calling up systems. You will also be able to filerequest files - which means you can call your Boss and download quickly without having to go through a login procedure.
To become a point in FidoNet, contact a fidonode anywhere in FidoNet (preferrably close to where you live) and simply ask if the node accepts new points. If the node does not accept new points, simply ask another node. Right now FidoNet has around 33000 systems connected throughout the entire world, so it should not really be a problem to find a system that accepts points. It's best to choose a local site so your phonebill will stay as low as possible.
Keeping the phonebill as low as possible is one of the main rules in FidoNet!
You should not be charged for being a point off your Boss. You should not be charged for getting mail, unless you ask your Boss to get a special conference for you. The basic rule in FidoNet is that points don't pay. If someone forces you to pay for mail, just change to a system where you can get the mail for free. Normally only nodes (your Boss) will maybe pay for the mail in some kind of costsharing agreement. It is my opinion that no one should make money on 'selling' mail to points. Just remember you can change your Boss as you please, if you are not satisfied. Remember that since you are not paying anything for the mail, you cannot demand anything from your Boss. The basic rule is: Be nice to your Boss and he will be nice to you. And follow the rules in the conferences.
The main rules for FidoNet:
1) Thou shalt not excessively annoy others.
2) Thou shalt not be too easily annoyed.
For more information try reading POLICY4E
To setup a point system you will need 3 important things:
A Message editor
(Terminate is a all-in-one package, that does everything for you)
The mailer is the program that takes care of actually calling your Boss (also called your uplink). A Boss is a fidonode who has points. The transfer is fully automatic, you just start the call then the rest will be taken care of by Terminate. You can also request files or send files with Terminate.
The tosser/scanner/packer is a program that will unpack your mail and toss it into the right conferences, then it will scan for outgoing mail and pack it for the next time you call your Boss.
The message editor is the part of the system where you switch between conferences and read/write your messages. TerMail is the message editor included with Terminate, it is rather easy to setup, so start out with this editor. When writing messages you will sometimes see :-) or :-( - these signs have a special meaning:
:-) Smiley, don't take it seriously :-( Unhappy comment
Please get some help setting up these programs, normally your Boss will
help you do this, because as a new member of FidoNet you will have to
learn many new words and terms. Don't EVER let yourself get confused by
all the systems and new programs you will learn. Many programs are
impossible to use without a little experience, but we try to keep things
as simple as possible in Terminate, so stay with Terminate.
Go back to the Terminate Homepage
A few personalities from the Fidonet:
ZONE 1 USA, Canada
ZONE 2 Europe
ZONE 3 Australia
ZONE 4 Latin America
ZONE 5 Africa
ZONE 6 Asia