My Amiga is crying, Fred Fish is Dead
April 24, 2007 6:36 AM   Subscribe

Fred Fish Passed away April 20, 2007 If you were an Amigan, Fred Fish was well known to you. Responsible for the definitive archive of Amiga Freeware, Fred was the Santa Claus of software, his disks containing a selection of everything available for the Amiga at the time. Fish Disks inspired many an Amigan to purchase a modem and log on for all night bbs downloads of the vast selection available. Thanks and Rest in Peace Fred.
posted by djrock3k (38 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. That's a name I haven't heard in a long time. Rest in peace, and thanks for the great memories.
posted by Dr-Baa at 6:57 AM on April 24, 2007

I'm not doubting this or anything but has anyone got an actual source that's not wikipedia or "I heard today" on a blog? He was active on the gdb list just last month.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:01 AM on April 24, 2007

Anybody who died on April 20th would have been alive "just last month".
posted by DU at 7:05 AM on April 24, 2007

Holy shit. I looked at buying an Amiga back in 1980 but didn't have the cash. How much software was available! [don't click unless you want to view the 'contents' list of 1,120 floppy disks - advised] I spent more on a Macintosh in the end but always had a soft spot for the Amiga.
posted by tellurian at 7:30 AM on April 24, 2007

Fish was a great curator. I remembering being 12 or 13 and going to the user group in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, with my dad and spending $4 (cost of the floppy) for those blue disks with dot-matrix-printed labels, to take home to feed to the disk drive on the family A1000. I had at least 100 Fish disks over a few years. Each one was a little universe to explore.

If Wikipedia is right that Fish was only 51, then he was about my age now when he started putting those disks together. It makes me wonder what I should be doing to make the world more interesting for other geeks.
posted by ftrain at 7:33 AM on April 24, 2007

also, he was nemo's dad!
posted by bruce at 7:47 AM on April 24, 2007

Former Amiga 500 owner here.

When I read that name I asked myself, "Why is it familiar?" Then of course it all came back to me. What a great contribution he made.
posted by veggieboy at 8:03 AM on April 24, 2007

No. Way. That's brushed the dust off a few cherished memories. Now, who wants a long discussion about Grapevine Magazine?
posted by Jofus at 8:04 AM on April 24, 2007

His name was actually Fred Fish?
posted by tapeguy at 8:13 AM on April 24, 2007

And in the same week that new Amiga hardware was announced, too.
posted by tapeguy at 8:19 AM on April 24, 2007

French Fry Gives Fred Fish The Secret Amigan Salute*

*read: playing 24 straight hours of populace.
posted by French Fry at 8:22 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

RIP Fred Fish - the Fish disk library was one of the best resources for the Amiga, in fact, probably one of the best software distributions/libraries that were available for a long time, certainly until the 'net took off.
posted by Chunder at 8:34 AM on April 24, 2007

Yeah, floppy-copy Amiga software pretty much fueled the cortex / French Fry childhood. F18/A Interceptor, Eco, Jack Nicklaus, Populus, and on and on.
posted by cortex at 8:34 AM on April 24, 2007

F18/A Interceptor,

I will fly (inverted, under the golden gate bridge, at mach 2) no more forever.
posted by French Fry at 9:01 AM on April 24, 2007


Thanks for Gravity Wars, Hack, all those little utils, a ton of other stuff.
posted by Artw at 9:25 AM on April 24, 2007

F18/A Interceptor

I loved that game, that one and Fighter Bomber.

R.I.P. Mr. Fish.
posted by MikeMc at 9:28 AM on April 24, 2007

Jofus - wow, Grapevine rocked. Happy days!
posted by Artw at 10:07 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ah-ha! My awesomea Google skillz pay off once more!

Anyone out there who is still running an Amiga, or wants a few hundred hours of play-around fun with an emulator, could do worse than the Fred Fish archives at Figure out what is on what with the list.

Over a thousand disks of software to be found there, including several roguelikes! (Hack on 7 and 25 and one other I've forgotten, Larn on 63, HackLite on 187 and 799, Nethack on 189-190, 460, and 822 (3.1!), and AmiOmega on 320 and 528)

Hm, maybe this should be a FPP? Don't have the time to put one together at the moment though....
posted by JHarris at 10:13 AM on April 24, 2007

I loved my stash of Fish floppies. Wow. RIP, Fred.
posted by muckster at 10:19 AM on April 24, 2007


Former editor of Amiga Shopper. here Always enjoyed getting the latest disks in his collection. I did an interview with him once; nice guy.

(and French Fry, real pilots did it upside down, at over mach 1 while drinking a tequila slammer)
posted by baggers at 10:22 AM on April 24, 2007

(Oh, found it, the third version of Hack is on disk 62.)
posted by JHarris at 10:29 AM on April 24, 2007

RIP Fred Fish.

Actually, you couldn't collide with the Golden Gate Bridge in F/A-18 Interceptor. I thought I was the best pilot in the world until I realized the polygons were a phantasm.
posted by Kirklander at 11:02 AM on April 24, 2007

Well, sure, but you could certainly collide with the water, and also see the bridge pass over or under, so an honest pilot needn't doubt his skills. Plus we'd totally take turns and yell at each other the whole time, so there was the independent sibling-rivalry verification in action.
posted by cortex at 11:05 AM on April 24, 2007

When I was still in middle school, my folks took out a loan so that my first computer could be an Amiga 1000. I saved up money to buy Fred Fish disks at a mom&pop computer shop about five miles from where I lived. I definitely remember becoming engrossed in Hack -- musta been that disk 62 JHarris refers to. Good memories, good times. RIP, Fred.
posted by /\/\/\/ at 11:34 AM on April 24, 2007


While reading On the Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore (an EXCELLENT book) back in December, I had a huge Amiga nostalgia moment.

An A1000 was my main computer system from 1990-93. I spent many an hour using a then-expensive CD-ROM drive at school to copy Fred Fish disks from a CD-ROM archive set to actual floppies so I could take them home.

I've got UAE running on the IntelMac at home, but it's just not the same.
posted by mrbill at 11:38 AM on April 24, 2007

My parents bought an Amiga 1000 in Christmas of 1985. Though we didn't realize it at the time, it was a life-changing moment for, well, kind of all of us. We played a lot of Dr. J and Larry Bird Go 1-on-1 and Archon that first year (no software yet to speak of), but then things started to get very interesting.

The Fish Disks were a big part of that interest. Fred had a knack for finding the coolest, most interesting shareware and freeware available. His disks were everywhere. I believe I still have a few in my wooden box of Amiga floppies.

I think Fred probably did more to enhance my enjoyment of the Amiga than any other single person in that entire community. He was an incredible resource, and I'm sad to see him go... and I'm even sadder than I never had a chance to thank him.
posted by Malor at 12:56 PM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


For a short year I ran an Amiga dealership selling a500, a2000, a3000 and a4000. The users were incredible and the Fred Fish memory is certainly part of that. Thanks so much for shaking the neurons.
posted by mouthnoize at 1:01 PM on April 24, 2007

Seconding intrigue that Fred Fish was his real name after all!
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 1:39 PM on April 24, 2007

Oh, mrbill: the more recent versions of UAE have the ability to emulate the floppy-gronk sound of an Amiga. It's startling what a difference that makes.

When running the old games via UAE sans floppies, it was a nice smile and good recollections. When running it with emulated floppy noises, I was suddenly 18 years old again, hunting aliens in the ArcticFox.

Such a small thing, and such a large difference in immersiveness.
posted by Malor at 2:51 PM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was an Amigan too & I greatly prized my collection of Fish discs. You never knew what you'd find when a new one came along, but there was always something that stretched the capabilities of those amazing machines. RIP.
posted by scalefree at 3:14 PM on April 24, 2007

I've never used an Amiga, yet I know Fish's name. He was big-time back in the day.

posted by five fresh fish at 6:41 PM on April 24, 2007

Also, no relation.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:41 PM on April 24, 2007


Source, please? other than wikipedia. Google isn't finding me anything.
posted by keptwench at 7:05 PM on April 24, 2007


(former games, PD software and comms writer for Amiga Computing, Amiga Shopper, PD Shopper, etc, here ...)
posted by scruss at 7:54 PM on April 24, 2007

Growing up, I went straight from a C64 to a PC. I think not having an Amiga is on my short list of regrets.
posted by blenderfish at 10:39 PM on April 24, 2007

I think it's pretty awesome that we have two former Amiga magazine people here. Props guys.
posted by JHarris at 11:50 PM on April 25, 2007

This is partly for my own reference: also on the Fish disks, Moria is on disk 194.
posted by JHarris at 7:03 PM on April 26, 2007

Inspired by this, I got in touch with a friend and have a decently-equipped Amiga 2000 on its way to me now.
posted by mrbill at 6:03 PM on April 28, 2007

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