Fred Fish

I was very sad to hear today that Fred Fish died yesterday at his home in Idaho.

Fred compiled the famous Fish Disks of freely redistributable software for the Amiga, and was the very first person I met at Cygnus when I started working there in 1995. He was one of the resident GDB hackers at the time, until he left for Be in 1998. Fred was responsible for many important contributions to GDB and binutils over the years.

I didn't know Fred well, but what I do remember was that he was the most welcoming and friendly person I could have met on my first day at Cygnus.

My thoughts go out to his friends and family.


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  1. Dalibor Topic says:

    Fred's disks were the way I got my first taste of Free Software. The Amiga print magazines had small ads for 'disk copy shops' that mailed copies of the Fish Disks around Germany for a small fee.

    Eventually, I bought a CD-ROM drive for my A500, of course with Fred's Fish Disk collection on CD-ROM, and stepped into the rich world of free software utilities, that he had compiled.

    It's very sad to hear he's gone.

  2. Haakon Nilsen says:

    I am sad now. The Fish disks were such an integral part of the great Amiga community of the nineties. There are many of us today who are greatly appreciative of the role he played and all the work he must have put into his disk series.

    So long, and thanks for all the Fish :-(

  3. Titus Grothaus says:

    A great man is gone! :( I still remember these days, where I was looking for the newest discs from the fish PD collection. Farewell Fred!

  4. Lars "Ghandy" Sobiraj says:

    R.I.P. Fred Fish, you have done a great job with your Fish disks!!!

    Lars Sobiraj

  5. Cowmix says:

    Like all Amiga enthusiasts, I was also a huge fan of Fred Fish. Collecting and sharing his disks set the stage for how I use open software for most of my computing needs today.

    I had the extra thrill of being his Internet provider for a few years when he lived in the Phoenix area. Back in the early 90's he was one the first people to have a T1 Internet connection installed into his home. Configuring this connectivity for him allowed me to spend more than a few hours with on of my software heros. As it turns out, he was great guy in person too.

  6. Richard Fish says:

    Thank you all for your kind words about my Dad. I cannot imagine having had a better role-model for a father, but I regret having never told him that.

  7. Denyce Lasswell says:

    Dear Richard,

    Kevin and I are so sad to hear that your Dad passed away. He was such a great guy, such a nice man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and all of your family.

    Peace to you,
    Kevin and Denyce Lasswell

  8. Martha and Ted Ryan says:

    Richard, I have been in touch with Michelle over these past few weeks but have not had the opportunity to speak with you. I am so sorry for the loss of your father. As you know, Michelle and your Dad were a very important part of our lives. We will miss him dearly. I am sure that your Dad knew how much he meant to you and that he was a great role model for you. Be well and take comfort in the many great memories he left behind for us to enjoy. Our thoughts are with you, Michelle, Adam and Matt. Love Martha and Ted Ryan

  9. Gabriel Laurent says:

    In French
    Je vous présente mes condoléances. Ayant eu un Amiga, j'ai connu sa collection. Son travail était toujours parfais. Un grand homme pour une petite planète.

  10. Adonis says:

    R.I.P. Fred! A true Amigan, and a true "open software movement" instigator. For that we owe you a great deal. And a great man too, I hear, as I never met thee. May ye be remembered ad infinitum

  11. Kevin Kofler says:

    This is really sad news. All my condoleances to Richard, having lost my father 1 1/2 years ago (he was 56; age 54 or 56 is way too young to die, sigh), I know how that feels.

    It's not just the Amiga community which benefits from Fred Fish's code. His 1998 register parameter patches from AmigaOS GCC also live on in TIGCC (, so I immediately recognized the name when I read this sad news.

  12. Michelle Fish says:

    Many thanks to all of you who have said such kind words about my husband, Fred. While our family mourns the loss, we are comforted that we do not mourn alone. We appreciate all the support from the communities that Fred worked and believed in.

    I was so fortunate that he took me along to live his dream with him. I miss him terribly.

  13. Peppe says:

    For me, Fred has meant a lot when i was a child.My father bought me an A500 when i was 7, in 1991.I had my first glance to the software world through Fred's disks, in a place where i was pretty alone,where all used the Amiga just for the games.You all know what happens to a child stepping in a new world: certain things remain printed or imprinted in the mind, and this was the case of that name "Fred Fish"(along others as Urban Mueller, Jay Minter etcetera.)I grew up with all this names in my mind, where they were names of great people.Now it's all over, but those memories still thrive in me.
    Thanks Fred, and a hug to Michelle and Richard
    Peppe, Italy

  14. Serkan A. says:

    My condolence.

    I remember it, like it was yesterday (in 1991, i was about 10 years old). I was soo happy to get each relase of Fred Fish's PD disks (at that time i was in Germany), sometimes my brother and i put out out pocket money together to buy it. They where selling copies in the Karstadt shop in Germany and i had one of the catalog (i think they had blue color), to be able to look-up what software was on which disk. I remember that i ask my brother (he is few years older then me and he was the owner of the computer) always impatient to use the Amiga500 to have a look at the brand new Fred Fish's PD disks. We spend hours, days with trying out the software we where discovering on the disks. It was marvelous software, even if we did not understand all of them (with that age, as a kid, me with very little english skills, my brother with little english skills). :)

    If i remember correct there was this fantastic fractal-generator on one of the disks. It was so impressive to be able to do fractal picture calculation on the Amiga. My brother was running the calculation over night and we had great fractal pictures as results the next morning!

    All that good memories, all that love for his "Fred Fish's PD disks" still lives in us, it's a pain to read that he has gone. :(

    Big thanks to you Fred and rest in peace. We will remember you for the hard work you did for the "Commodore AMIGA Community"!

    Soft hug to Michelle and Richard, my condolence.

  15. Recep A. says:

    Yes my brother you are right! It was my first PC (Commodore Amiga 500 Personal Computer).
    We had a great time exploring the Fred Fish
    floppy discs and we had a lot of fun, too.
    I'm very sad after you wrote me, that Fred died.

    Rest in peace Fred.

  16. wormhole says:

    I was saddend to hear that Fred Fish had passed away
    his efforts in no small way fostered
    the strong community spirit of Amiga owners.
    My condoleances to you Michelle and family
    Richard have no regrets he knew without having to be told.


  17. sarah fish says:

    As his neice, I wish I had gotten the chance to have seen him more often. Thank you for all of the gracious comments about him. I'm sure he is looking down right now seeing the impact he left on those he cared about. I love you uncle fred!

  18. Andrew Zarb says:

    Fred Fish continues in our memory as a most generous person who advanced our beloved Amiga platform through his own efforts, so that we could enjoy the community that he helped hold together.

    Andrew Zarb

  19. Martin Henne says:

    Actually there's not much left to say. But as I did not notice Fred's passing until now, I just want to condole, too.

    Good bye Fred. Thank you.


  20. Gerard Ami says:

    My thanks to Fred Fish and the Amiga (my first computer).

  21. Ken D'Ambrosio says:

    Ack! I was Wikipediang around, and said to myself, "Gee, I wonder if Fred Fish is in here." Imagine my pleasure to see he did have a page, and my immense distress to see read -- however belatedly -- of his passing. I have relatively little doubt that my life would be different today were it not for the Fish Disks back in the '90's that helped guide my Amiga interest into a full-fledged *nix admin career. While the Amiga is now also gone, Fred's influence over its community is hard to overstate. I vividly remember reading the FF disk listings in Amazing Computing, to see what the latest floppies had. Truly, someone whose memory will be treasured.


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