BT Federal has given permission to freely use and share CDC material. This permission is not limited to Controlfreaks members, but includes any hobbyists, researchers and museums. The only restriction is that this material can't be used commercially. Previous time limits no longer apply.
The original email (with full headers) from BT Federal Jack Keane is shown below:
Some of us 'grew-up with' or 'grew because of' some rare experiences we shared together at the University of Illinois / Computer-Based Education Research Laboratory (CERL).
There, through the talents of many disciplines and brilliant minds, was the home of the PLATO project. Although I don't claim anywhere near the depth of experience and expertise of those whom I will credit below, I learned a LOT from MANY of them and owe them (and many others) a debt of gratitude for the values and technology they all taught me.
Cyber1 is the name for the mainframe-based CYBIS system operated through the generosity of
To those familiar with PLATO, CYBIS, or early NovaNET, cyber1 will feel like coming home again. Cyber1 runs on top of NOS, the CDC mainframe operating system, generously contributed by BT Consulting & Systems Integration Services (formerly Syntegra). NOS in turn runs on top of DtCyber (Desktop Cyber), a software emulation of a CDC Cyber mainframe, created by Tom Hunter.
IRATA.ONLINE is provided for the benefit of retro-computing users to have a place to socialize, and develop interesting multi-user, interactive, and graphical games and social applications. It descends from the historical PLATO system, a massive time-sharing system that lasted from 1962 until NovaNET was closed in 2015. Wikipedia entry.
It is vital that communities grow, and to that end, IRATA.ONLINE is part of a rebirth of the PLATO system that started with the launching of Cyber1.org in 2004, and is the direct result of the efforts of that community to provide a distribution of the PLATO system that could be run on other systems. IRATA.ONLINE was initially intended to provide users of Atari 8-bit computer systems a customized experience that was easy to use. It is hoped that with the introduction of more PLATO terminals for other platforms that IRATA.ONLINE's reach can extend even further.
Where will it go? Who knows. This is an experiment to provide something better than a BBS, by making something that is not only multi-user, but provides a complete social development experience for its users.
Experience the souls of classic machines of the 1970's and 1980's. Log into these machines to experience the operating systems, programming languages, and networking software that they offered. The machines are connected to a local area network, so you may use networking software from the 1980's to login from one machine to another, exchange files and email between them, submit batch jobs from one to another, or remotely execute individual commands from one to another.
Login to IAF, the InterActive Facility of the Cyber 865, or login to CYBIS, the CYber-Based Instructional System running on the same mainframe. The CDC Cyber 865 was one of the last and most powerful models of the CDC Cyber 170 line of computers. These were 60-bit machines descending directly from the CDC 6600, the machine that first established the class of computers called supercomputers. Login to IAF, the InterActive Facility of the Cyber 175. The Cyber 175 was an earlier model of the Cyber 170 series. It was a direct ancestor of the Cyber 865 and a direct descendant of the CDC 6600 and Cyber 74.
This site contains information on the now-obsolete Control Data 6000 Series mainframes. (“60bits” comes from the word size of these computers.) See my main website for more information.
For the time being, this site is primarily a repository for historical documentation which is not copyrighted by CDC, and therefore does not need to be on a password-protected website. The emphasis is on Michigan State University's obscure SCOPE/Hustler operating system.
News: SCOPE/Hustler is now running on DtCyber! Interactive mode is available via a port of FREND. See the frend2 SourceForge project.
In Brian Dear's book “The Friendly Orange Glow” - most of the crucial context and history is explored:
At a time when Steve Jobs was only a teenager and Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t even born, a group of visionary engineers and designers—some of them only high school students—in the late 1960s and 1970s created a computer system called PLATO, which was light-years ahead in experimenting with how people would learn, engage, communicate, and play through connected computers. Not only did PLATO engineers make significant hardware breakthroughs with plasma displays and touch screens but PLATO programmers also came up with a long list of software innovations: chat rooms, instant messaging, message boards, screen savers, multiplayer games, online newspapers, interactive fiction, and emoticons. Together, the PLATO community pioneered what we now collectively engage in as cyberculture. They were among the first to identify and also realize the potential and scope of the social interconnectivity of computers, well before the creation of the internet. PLATO was the foundational model for every online community that was to follow in its footsteps.
The Friendly Orange Glow is the first history to recount in fascinating detail the remarkable accomplishments and inspiring personal stories of the PLATO community. The addictive nature of PLATO both ruined many a college career and launched pathbreaking multimillion-dollar software products. Its development, impact, and eventual disappearance provides an instructive case study of technological innovation and disruption, project management, and missed opportunities. Above all, The Friendly Orange Glow at last reveals new perspectives on the origins of social computing and our internet-infatuated world.
ISBN-13: 978-1101871553 ISBN-10: 1101871555