ASCII by Jason Scott

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Fred Fish’s Quiet Goodbye —

Fred Fish died in April of this year, many months ago. Research into my previous weblog entry on raytracing caused me to discover this.

When someone like Fred Fish dies, there isn’t that sort of reverberating echo throughout the world that a standard-issue celebrity might achieve. This is the price paid for doing something good but not then following it up with a series of infamous-enough actions or projects that your name lives in infamy and your death even more so.

No, Fred Fish merely did some really great stuff for the Amiga and then went on to do some great (but not leader-oriented) stuff in computer programming and then he died, at age 54.

Fred was an archiver and organizer, like myself. In his case, it was Amiga shareware. As shareware became available, Fred would assemble them onto floppies, archived and described, and then make them available. They were called the “Fred Fish Disks”, or sometimes the “Fish Disks”. Just looking for his name will get you lists like this one. Basically, if you were looking for stuff for your Amiga, it passed through Fred’s hands. Fred worked for years on this, creating over a thousand of these floppies from the usual BBS morass of files, making it that much easier to find stuff.

There’s an impulse I have these days to go and interview someone, and their death and my not meeting them means that interview would not happen, but I don’t think that would have been overly relevant here. Fred was a collector, and he shared his collecting with others, and the world was better for it. I know I benefited from his years of effort and I know many, many others did too.

Thanks, Fred.

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  1. Grimmtooth says:

    Tying in also with the previous post, I found my first ray tracer for the Amiga on a Fish Disk.

    Oh, and just a minor clarification on something: Fred started the disk distributions long before BBSs were common occurences for Amigoids (for one thing, somebody had to make a decent term program first!). So Fred’s work was somewhat more difficult as he had to trawl the embryonic “internet” and Amiga DevCons for the files that ended up on the first few disks.

    If you don’t have a Fish CD collection in that massive library of yours, drop me an email and I’ll see if I can scare one up for you.

  2. Eljay says:

    I remember my Fred Fish CD-ROMs. I still have them. Took them out and smiled, in memory of Fred. Also for Fred’s work in BeOS.

    My thanks to Fred.