[ih] Author's inquiry re: PLATO/CERL/ARPAnet

Brian Dear brian at platopeople.com
Wed Dec 4 15:12:43 PST 2002

To the internet-history list:

I'm writing a book on the history of the PLATO system, developed at the 
University of Illinois from 1960 through the 80s, and funded by ARPA, ONR, 
and NSF as well as Control Data Corporation.

I'm interested in hearing from Internet pioneers who were familiar with 
PLATO, had seen PLATO demos, knew people who worked at the CERL lab, or 
otherwise have information, opinions, or anecdotes about the PLATO 
system.  The PLATO story is for all intents and purposes completely 
unknown*, as there has never been a book that details the whole story of 
not only the people behind the system and how it was designed and built, 
but also, and more importantly from my perspective, about the "culture" 
that grew up around PLATO almost overnight in the early 1970s and turned 
into a rich, vibrant online community that was to be profoundly influential 
to thousands of people from all walks of life.   Many user-to-user 
communications capabilities taken for granted today were either created or 
were first widely used on the PLATO system: instant messaging, chat rooms, 
email, message forums, MUDs and other multi-player games.

See www.platopeople.com for more info on my book project.

Any info, recollections, anecdotes, or opinions about PLATO from 
Internet/ARPANET old-timers would be welcome and appreciated!

- Brian

Brian Dear
PLATO History Book Project
La Jolla, CA
brian at platopeople.com

*for instance: Out of the thousands of RFC documents, the ONLY RFC document 
that is not available online in full-text form in any of the RFC 
repositories is RFC600 -- a December 1973 proposal on how to connect an 
"Illinois Plasma Terminal" to the ARPANET....  I finally got a copy of 
RFC600 but it took some hunting.

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