PLATO

04 Jan 2022 05:19 - 17 Jun 2023 08:29
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    • My first job was hacking on PLATO, a way-ahead-of-its-time computer assissted instruction system. An influence I guess; this was around 1975-6.
    • I was a PLATO user in high school and actually my first real job was on PLATO (at Malcolm X College).
    • One notable PLATO feature was that they had an extended charset which included a variety of superscript codes and drawing mode codes, which means you could code up elaborate animations in text, so people would craft themselves custom signatures like a bow firing an arrow and the like.
    • PLATO also had communication tools that were quite far in advance of ARPA-world stuff (which I switched to when I went to MIT in 1976). Things like realtime group chat and multiplayer games. I don't think there was direct technical influence from PLATO to ARPA/PARC, but I would guess there was cross-pollination of ideas. PLATO also ran on CDC hardware, which was a slightly different world from the DEC-heavy universe of ARPA.