Interests

This page contains some details on my broadcasting and retro tech interests.

Total FM

My involvement with low power FM broadcasting began shortly after I had been made redundant in a role that I had held while working in commercial radio. I wanted a way to retain a connection with broadcast radio but to do so on my own terms. Setting up a not-for-profit hobby FM radio station where I could program music and announce when I wanted to appealed.

I imported a transmitter from the UK and originally set up a station called The Mix on 106.7Mhz. It lasted until 2012 when I re-launched the station as Total FM from a new broadcast location and a revised format of 80s and 90s music. If you’re in Dunedin, New Zealand you can tune in and hear it on 107.3MHz or you can listen online anytime at listen.totalfm.nz

Agency BBS

Agency BBS is a Bulletin Board System that I first ran in Hamilton, New Zealand between 1993-1995. Out of nostalgia and curiosity I resurrected it in late 2012. It’s been a source of enjoyment for me and the many users from around the globe that login and use it for messaging, online games, etc. As the SysOp (system operator) I operate it using the alias of Avon.

In the nineties the BBS ran using Renegade BBS software and was a HUB system for the RGSNet message/file network. These days it uses Mystic BBS software. Agency BBS contributes to the development of the BBS software offering feedback back to the author and the wider Mystic BBS community.

I established a web presence for Agency BBS in January 2014 using the bbs.geek.nz domain. In early 2018 the site moved to its present address of bbs.nz

fsxNet

Keeping with the Bulletin Board System theme, I established fsxNet (a fun, simple and experimental network) in late 2015. It uses Fido Technology Networking to communicate between connected BBS.

fsxNet is not a prescriptive network. It will appeal to people who find it [F]un to learn about and use retro computing technologies. Only a handful of message areas and file bases are used - setup is quick and [S]imple. e[X]perimentation is at heart of fsxNet and its members are actively encouraged to be creative in their use of the network.

Technologies covered include (but are not limited to) BBSing, ANSI art, Amateur (HAM) Radio, Retro / Vintage Computers & Gaming, FTN communications, network protocols & topologies, encryption methods, contemporary computers (e.g. Raspberry Pi), computer coding and more.

At present over 150+ BBS based in countries all around the world are active members of fsxNet. If you would like to know more you can visit bbs.nz

news.bbs.nz

In the 1990’s I was an active participant in a number of global and .nz Usenet newsgroups. Access to Usenet at the time was offered to customers by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) at no additional cost. However, by 2006 most ISPs in New Zealand no longer provided Usenet access citing a lack of customer demand as the reason.

In 2017 I wondered was Usenet still alive? So to find out I established a Usenet News server (Agency News) as a not-for-profit hobby. To my knowledge it’s the only server of its kind currently active in New Zealand.

The server is peered to a number of other servers around the planet (Düsseldorf, Bad Homburg vor der Höhe & Falkenstein - Germany, Los Angeles - USA, St Petersburg - Russia, Tavistock - United Kingdom, Toronto - Canada) and carries only text-based newsgroups.

To access Agency News, just point your newsreader client of choice (Pan etc.) at news.bbs.nz port 119. Unauthenticated connections enjoy free read-only access to most hierarchies including all the nz.* newsgroups. Authenticated connections (username and password) enable both read and post access to all the newsgroups that the server carries.

Further information about the server along with current and historical traffic stats can be found at news.bbs.nz