FastEcho

Infobox Software
name = FastEcho
collapsible =
author =
developer =
released =
latest release version = 1.46.1
latest release date = 1997
latest preview version =
latest preview date =
frequently updated =
programming language =
operating system =
platform = DOS, DPMI, OS/2
size =
language =
status =
genre =
license = proprietary shareware
website =

FastEcho is a message processing package for FTN (FidoNet Technology Network) mail systems. It was written and released as shareware by Tobias Burchhardt in 1991. The latest available version is 1.46.1 which was released in 1997. FastEcho was one of the fastest FTN mail processing packages available for FTN style messages. Available in three flavors, DOS, DPMI and native OS/2 32bit, it offered numerous features that were desirable for leafnode systems as well as highend FTN mail distribution hubs.

System requirements

FastEcho's minimum system requirements were very easy to meet. It ran on IBM PCs, XTs, ATs or compatibles with optimized routines for 386, 486, and Pentium based and compatible machines. DOS v3.xx or IBM's OS/2 v2.x or v3.0 were the minimum required operating system platforms.

Some sort of archiver package was also needed to be able to open and seal the mail bundles. The list of supported archiver packages was PKZIP/PKUNZIP 1.10/2.04g, ARJ 2.30/2.41a, LHARC 1.13c/LHa 2.13, PKPAK/PKUNPAK 3.61, ARC 6.02, ZOO 2.10, PAK 2.51, SQZ 1.08, RAR 1.5x, and UC2 2.00. Optionally, an extractor program that automatically coped with the different decompression programs could be used. The two supported ones were General Unpack Shell (GUS) 1.90 or later and PolyXarc 2.1a or later.

Supported software

Numerous FTN mailers like [http://www.defsol.se/ifd.html FrontDoor] , [http://dbridge.darktech.org/ D'Bridge] , and BinkleyTerm were supported. Also supported were various BBS packages like RemoteAccess, Maximus, QuickBBS, and T.A.G. Pretty much any BBS package could be used as long as it supported one of the three supported message base formats. They were the FTN MSG format, the HMB designed by Adam Hudson, and the JAM format. You could also use FastEcho if you were a BBS user and did all your mail stuff offline like QWK and Blue Wave users did. This method was a bit more complicated but allowed the BBS user to operate much like any other FTN mail system and reap the benefits of such.

Features

FastEcho had numerous features that were desirable on many systems. Mail distribution hubs looked for the ability to handle many downlinks as well as large numbers of message areas. FastEcho could handle up to 1024 downlinks and up to 3072 message areas.

* Support for multitasking environments such as Microsoft Windows, Quarterdeck's DESQview and OS/2
* Support for networking environments like Novell and LANtastic.

* Updating AREAS.BBS (BBS' message base configuration) with new message areas when they are created automatically.

The DOS version has a limit of 64 KiB per message, cutting any larger message down to that size. Worse, the default setting is 32 KiB. In OS/2 version, the maximum size is 512 KiB.

FastEcho is able to (optionally) transliterate German non-ASCII characters, using a certain popular character encoding as the source, which causes messages in other encodings to get corrupted.fact|date=July 2008

Since the release, many free (both as in speech and beer) alternatives emerged, but FastEcho was considered by some people one the easiest tossers to configure.

Availability

FastEcho is still available today. You can get it from any support site that is still in operation.

* The author's [http://www.softeq.de/Products/FastEcho/fastecho.html support site]
* The NAFES [http://www.wpusa.dynip.com/files/FASTECHO/ FastEcho] file area

Online support for FastEcho is also available at the North American FastEcho Support ( [http://www.wpusa.dynip.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=8 NAFES] ) forum.

Registration keys are nowadays available for free on request from the author.fact|date=April 2008


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