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PLATO Notes Released 40 Years Ago Today — 6 Comments

  1. I didn’t get to Champaign/Urbana until 1979, but immediately started to “Term Talk” with people all over the country. Thanks David.
    I suspect many may only remember PLATO during its later incarnation after it went commercial. The University of Illinois deserves all the credit.

  2. “They say in the end, it’s the wink of an eye.”

    As I read about Gnotes being released all those years ago ā€“ something that still seems new and important to me, and had a huge effect on my life ā€“ I can’t help but think of Jackson Browne’s poetic summation of the experiencing of subjective time. I believe that “subjective time” (the amount of time you feel passing) is inversely proportional to the amount of time you have experienced up to the present:

    ST = k * dt / t.

    Steve Jobs used to always ask if you wanted to change the world. Congratulations, Trucker, you changed the world BIG TIME!!! I think we all miss the glory days. To some of us with a problem forgetting, it always seems like only yesterday. Oh, how I miss those glory days!

    godot

    • Oh, there used to be much fun, subjective time (as one’s mind raced) waiting for baudot to finish the jobs loaded at CERL! Thinking the code through and editing it in one’s head, then keying everything in before the framatter had a chance to catch up was a cool art in itself. The first two 9600 baud modems’ arrival seemed to trumpet that we’d reached the Holy Grail.
      HF

  3. I first started playing games on PLATO in 1973. A high school friend came down from the Chicago area to play PLATO games with me, and we’d stay up all night in some university lab playing what would now be considered extremely primitive games. But we loved it!

  4. David Wooley has always been exceptionally smart, creative, innovative, and interested in facilitating connection with others. The older I get, the more I appreciate him. I am proud to join Sherwin Gooch in having had the privilege of growing up beside David in an environment that encouraged his talents!

  5. And the topics beings discussed were so varied that the “sequencer” was soon to follow… so you could prioritize the order in which you read all of the threads you were following. From system-wide to work-related to what would now be social media. I remember that ipr (inter-personal relationships) was a hotbed of inter-terminal angst for years.

    I am perpetually amazed at how things have evolved since then. Kudos to David and all the clever folks who worked on PLATO. (I think we’ve evolved a bit since then too!)