[Brian Dear] download The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture ebook

Brian Dear ↠ 3 review

Oment This book is as much the biography of a vision as it is the story of the people behind PLATO Every technology story whether it's about the steam engine airplane telephone Model T or recently Apple Google and Tesla electric car has at its core a vision It is the immutable nature of technology and technology visions to run full life cycles from cradle to grave PLATO's story is no different Like all technology visions PLATO grew outdated and was disrupted by competing visions The Friendly Orange Glow is a revelatory paradigm for our technological age. The Friendly Orange Glow by Brian Dear documents the Dawn of Cyberculture with deep readable details of the personalities the politics the culture and stories of the development of the PLATO system It reminds me of the uality writing of Tracy Kidder in The Soul of the Machine 1981 The Friendly Orange Glow strongly deserves the five stars allows Though six would be accurateWhat is PLATO you ask The stuffy description would be that it was started in 1960 as a computer based education system a way to improve the learning training of the United States to help keep ahead of the Soviet Union It starts in the 1950s touching on the impetus and mindset caused by the Soviet Union launching Sputnik The Cold WarBut the PLATO system evolved to become much than that PLATO IV expanded the horizons of being an on campus system in the 1960s to a far reaching networked system in the early 1970s In 1973 and 1974 alone interactive chat screen sharing person notes email notesfiles topic discussion groups multi player networked games animated text graphics animated emojis graphic logon pages Goodle search page and all provided a social dimension much broader than just being used for training The Friendly Orange Glow TFOG details the culture in which this environment thrived the culture led by Don Bitzer and supported by the creative team at the University of Illinois This development approach helped support the development of these many capabilities It also highlights stories as Brian Dear suggests three books worth of stories with heart and emotion the highs and pitfalls of online culture How careers were made how careers were lost by the addictive nature that PLATO affected some many flunking from college or getting divorced because of the interactive networked games or discussion groupsIn late 1975 an interactive story Guanogap was released in installments It was written as if you were watching over the shoulder of the narrator while he interacts with various characters reads notes and pnotes email You see it happen It is a snapshot of the culture of the life on the PLATO system in 1975 I looked forward to every installment I have yet to see an implementation of an interactive story anywhere on the InternetWait you say weren t interactive network games first started on the Internet in the 1990s Or if you knew of the Xwindows systems of the 1980s weren t they developed there Wasn t networked computer based training CBT first done using MOOCs in the 2000s No The first time sharing use of a computer was developed for PLATO in the early 1960s John Brunner published my favorite read The Shockwave Rider in 1975 I re read it every few years and remain astounded at how forward looking it was describing a twenty first century world dominated by computer networks hackers cyber crime and I don t know whether Brunner ever saw or knew about the PLATO system but the book also describes aspects of what PLATO was at the time in the early 1970s and what it could have become The Internet has become that network It first existed on the PLATO networkYou can still SEE and TOUCH the PLATO system live on the Internet Find it at cyber1org You can still use Notes talkomatic term talk and play the multitude of interactive games Every Sunday evening there is a pickup game in Empire You might even see me there though I tend to get killed a lotGuanogap is also there for you to read and experience

review The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture

The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture

Public view The many thousands of people who used the system have held on to the PLATO ideas throughout their careers influencing countless technological products and programs from flat panel wall TVs and touch sensitive screens to chat rooms instant messaging screen savers multiplayer games flight simulators crowdsourcing interactive fiction emoticons and e learning Fascinating first hand and revelatory The Friendly Orange Glow makes clear that the work of PLATO practitioners has profoundly shaped the computer industry from its inception to our very m. A compelling deep eminently readable history of a glaring blindspot in much of popular computer history PLATO pops up Forrest Gump like in the background of almost every computer history story we know that overlaps with its nearly six decade lifespan inspiring the Dynabook inspiring Lotus Notes inspiring some of Ted Nelson s thoughts about interactive media in Computer Lib Dream Machines and hosting the prototypes for some of the most popular computer games of the 80s and 90s but this is the first time I ve seen it given its full context as an interesting story in its own right and I feel like I ve had part of my sense of computing history undergo percussive maintenance In retrospect of course some project must have been the missing link between all these things This story is also about how PLATO encountered addressed difficulties associated with being a platform for popular online communities difficulties that popped up again in usenet again in BBSes and again in email and again in forums and again in blogging social networking Since we largely haven t figured out the answers to those problems it s useful to have data pointsFor a general audience book this work is surprisingly informative about technical aspects of the system particularly when technical decisions interacted with UX concerns So from a pure history of tech perspective it s interesting on its own PLATO seems to be part of a lineage of card based interfaces something common and extremely influential within pre web hypertext but rarely documented in the general pressDear does a lot to contextualize the time period the political economic pressures putting into perspective who the other players were what they did and why down to the details of infighting between different paradigms in the late 1950s ed tech space I rarely see that level of detail in tech histories with regard to funding sources their justificationsHighly recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in computing history You don t need a general background in it but if you have one the story is even impressive

download ´ eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Brian Dear

The remarkable untold story of PLATO the computer program and platform created in the 1960s that marked the true beginning of cyberculture a book that will rewrite the history of computing and the InternetHere is the story of the brilliant eccentric designers developers and denizens often teenagers and twentysomethings of the PLATO system a computer network so far ahead of its time and with a list of hardware and software innovations so long that it's almost inconceivable that it actually existed and existed so long ago only to fade almost entirely from. Most people have never heard of PLATO But they re familiar with all manner of things which were developed on PLATOIt was originally conceived as a way to provide Computer Aided Instruction CAI The idea was that while a human teacher has little time to devote to one on one instruction with a student a computer is infinitely patient It can wait for several minutes while the student ponders something As such what was needed were terminals which could provide useful textual and graphical presentationBack then most computers were at best text based with no graphical capabilities PCs didn t exist We re talking late 1960s early 1970s Many computers being used in universities of that era were still using punched cardsUniversity of Illinois Urbana Champaign UIUC is the setting for most of this They started by developing terminals which could connect to a mainframe originally the ILLIAC and later Control Data mainframes and display various kinds of video information text and graphical as well as taking inputs from various types of keyboards The idea was that you could develop courseware for this platform which would present information to a student one on one and then uiz them on various things adjusting the presentation based on their responses Instead of giving students a test then giving them the results days later too much gap to be useful feedback this system could respond on a second by second basis helping students to actually LEARN stuff changing the presentation and providing useful stats to the courseware authors so that they could improve the courseThey wanted a graphical display The CRTs of the era would need significant amounts of video RAM to drive them Memory was about 2 bit back then not byte kilobyte or megabyte 2 per BIT A 512 x 512 display which they were targeting would need about a uarter million bits of memory You can do the math on that They ended up developing plasma display tech AND making a way for the circuitry to uery the display such that the display could also work as memory People who bought plasma TVs and such back in the 1990s and later were using a variation on the tech they developed UIUC made a ton of money off the patents for thatThe color they chose for their display was a yellowish orange shade hence the book s title It had a remarkable ability to draw people in indeed much of the color found in a campfire is this particular shade They built their 512 x 512 graphical display fitted it with a touchscreen and used it as the PLATO IV terminal the 4th gen of their design It also featured a full keyboard touchscreen and among other things a microfiche reader Various other things could be added a polyphonic music module called a Gooch box and a somewhat limited voice synthesizerVarious demos were done with this getting money from the National Science Foundation and from Congress In the immediate aftermath of Sputnik Congress was willing to spend money on ANYTHING which looked like it might help teach STEM subjects although that term wouldn t appear until later UIUC got a pile of money from both and got to work rolling out the systemsMagnavox made the terminals They were pricey over 5k each in 1973 you could buy a new car for less As such only the wealthy ever had their own terminals But universities and government funded programs in high schools and prisons got plenty of themYes they were a significant step forward in teaching once some bugs had been ironed out in the authoring tools But they were achieving real successes as early as 1974 Along the way various high school and college students were playing with it and came up with some other featuresFirst came notesfiles which are a bit like online forums You could have discussions with other people on various subjects and being a college no subject was off limits Watergate and alternative lifestyles were both heavily discussed You could post uestions to these and have answers appear from other people within minutes sometimes secondsThey also invented TERM talk which was real time chat And I do mean real time Most IM clients I ve used you type an entire sentence or at least a phrase send that and either start the next sentence phrase or wait for a response With TERM talk you could see how fast and accurately people could type because individual characters were coming down the line including backspace as they wiped out their typos and corrected them People met fell in love and subseuently got married having met through this channel Other people fell in love met and discovered that while they got along well online they were thoroughly NOT compatible in personVNC RDP anyone They came up with a monitor mode such that you could see another user s terminal If you were developing some courseware and couldn t get something to work you could chat with a experienced dev they could monitor your screen scroll around if needed and either tell you what to do or fix it themselves Both of you could see the same screen at the same time But you had to reuest that they do so there was no provision for spying on someone else s screen without their knowledge permissionOf course they had email IBM mainframes with green screen terminals had emailAnd since people could dial into systems from elsewhere as far away as University of Delaware and University of Hawaii you could communicate with people across multiple timezones without ever running up a long distance phone billAll in 1974 The Apple 2 didn t arrive until 1977And then there were the gamesDungeon crawlers including massively multi player text based and not long after graphical First person shooters Combat flight simulation FreeCell solitaire Mahjongg And the big baddie of them all Empire While Star Trek themed this was a multiplayer graphical game involving traveling in your starship visiting planets shooting bad guys usually teams of other players establishing trade making money and upgrading your starship Sound familiar At one point the authors mostly students an University of Iowa connected to UIUC over a 1200 baud modems had put in an Easter Egg involving the planet killer from Star Trek s The Doomsday Machine episode After much discussion in the line chat players put their usual team alliances aside and lined up one after another feeding their starships to the orange carrot how the planet killer appeared on their orange plasma displays trying to time a reactor overload JUST RIGHT to kill it off Once it was killed off their old allegiances returned and everyone went back to fighting It made a couple appearances but each time the players knew how to kill it and killed it off faster and faster until the developers decided it wasn t a challenge any and remove itNumerous college and high school students flunked out because they d spend too many hours gaming on the system not enough hours sleeping and studying All kinds of things were done to access terminals after hours including removing sections of wall and hiding behind it until the computer lab was shut down and locked for the night and picking various locks The games in particular were addictive And because this was a largely open source environment again the term didn t exist until later everyone could see how people did stuff everyone could learn and new features were arriving dailyEarly in the system s development a group was developing a library which compiler based languages such as FORTRAN could use to write courseware A high school student came up with an interpreter which was much easier to use The library developers all college students working on related degrees approached the head of the PLATO project Don Bitzer and demanded that he tell this student to stop He was wasting his time Worse if he succeeded their official development would go unused Don refused to intervene he was a firm believer that the better solution would win out and he was not opposed to people developing competing products and letting them duke it out in the marketplace of ideas Incidentally the insufferable student student succeeded with his interpreter called TUTOR and grew up to become one of the power players in PLATOThe managers of the system largely took a blind eye to the gaming It wasn t officially part of their mission but it was extremely good at flushing out security holes and other flaws in the system It was not uncommon for a new feature to appear after hours causing the mainframe to crash repeatedly during the night time gaming sessions This would drive the sysadmins and system developers nuts but they d have the problem figured out and fixed before official hours began the next morning and the overall system improved rapidly because of itEventually different universities and companies had their own mainframe and hundreds of terminals Eventually said mainframes were interconnected so that notesfiles TERM talk and software could migrate between the various networked systems It was a proto Internet Back when Charlie s Angels first went on the airAs went Control Data s fortunes so went PLATO s When Control Data Corp peaked and started falling apart in the 1980s because capable microcomputers had arrived and CDC REFUSED to acknowledge what that meant for the market PLATO went into decline It evolved into NovaNET using client software running on PCs instead of pricey terminals and finally shutdown entirely in 2015Email Chat Forums Interactive multimedia including graphics voice and music Emojis animated ones even Multi player online games The exchange of virtual items found achieved in various games for real money ALL of this was happening in the mid 1970s Before the PC But you had to live go to school in the cornfields Illinois Iowa Minnesota and Indiana were main sites for this to be exposed to it MIT and Stanford decided early on that they simply weren t interested and they never changed Stanford was trying to develop a competing system it never went as far as PLATOThese days when you look at Udacity and Coursera they re freuently trying to create courseware and fighting with problems which PLATO fought with and defeated decades ago But the founders come from MIT and Stanford they never heard of PLATO so they re incapable of learning lessons from that systemAt 500 pages this book is not light reading But it s an enjoyable engaging read And I gained tremendous insight into the origin of many things which are usually attributed to the Internet Sorry to disappoint but no people were using these features getting addicted to an online world LONG before public access to the Internet

10 thoughts on “The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture

  1. says:

    I must admit that came into this book a little wary I could tell from the introduction that Brian Dear has a chip on his sho

  2. says:

    What a wild ride While at times it was a bit slow especially near the end this book is still phenomenally well researched and captivating I knew almost nothing about the PLATO computer having only even heard about it a month ago now

  3. says:

    Most people have never heard of PLATO But they're familiar with all manner of things which were developed on PLATOIt was originally conceived as a way to provide Computer Aided Instruction CAI The idea was that while a human teacher has little time to devote to one on one instruction with a student a computer is

  4. says:

    A compelling deep eminently readable history of a glaring blindspot in much of popular computer history PLATO pops up Forrest Gump like in the background of almost every computer history story we know that overlaps with its nearly six decade

  5. says:

    Five star books get that high ranking from me when they deliver an emotional connection Sometimes it is because of a topic covered at times it is the strength of the writing that forges that connection Here it is a linkage between a topic of great career building interest to me computer history with my own histo

  6. says:

    It feels like this took me a million years to read but I'm glad I stuck with it Dense with information it really blew my mind how much

  7. says:

    Brian Dear The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture is one of the most knowledgeable and humane books I've read about the history of computing here about the PLATO system I rarely do this but I recommend The Friendly Orange Glow highly and without reserves and have added it to my favorite list and given it five out of five stars I'm curious how this review and book will age Disclaimer I am

  8. says:

    This book is a tour de force as it sweeps through 25 years of missing computing history It adroitly weaves the complex technical personal and business story of PLATO It's a compelling narrative held together by great vignettes of the key players who developed the system software and applicationsPlato was a mainframe system originally with custom terminals built to provide computer based education but its auth

  9. says:

    “The Friendly Orange Glow” by Brian Dear documents the “Dawn of Cyberculture” with deep readable details of the personalities the politics the culture and stories of the development of the PLATO system It reminds me of the uality writing of Tracy Kidder in “The Soul of the Machine” 1981 “The Friendly Orange Glow” strongly deserves the five stars allows Though six would be accurateWhat is PLATO you ask? The stuffy descriptio

  10. says:

    The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO system and the dawn of cyberculture 2017 by Brian Dear is a fascinating but wildly too long account of the PLATO interactive networked computer system developed at the University of IllinoisPLATO was clearly an incredibly advanced system that had high speed interactive graphics and networking It was started as a system that was intended to greatly enhance teaching by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *