PLATO and learning models (was Re: NuTek Mac comes)

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Fri Jul 15 12:15:23 CDT 2016

> On Jul 15, 2016, at 1:03 PM, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at> wrote:
> ...
> Cool things about PLATO:
>  * It had graphics, but ran on terminals! 
>  * It could do animations in the content
>  * It supported speech synthesis. Blind folks want to play too! 
>  * Cool people were involved (NSF, Navy, Air Force, many scientists & 
>    engineers, Control Data, etc..)
>  * It had a flight simulator! 
>  * It punched above it's CPU power for a i8080

There's an 8080 in the programmable terminals (though the original "Magnvox" terminal was just a pile of hardwired logic).  But that didn't have to do much.  The real work was in a CDC 6000 series machine.  Still, those performed unusually well too; running 600 highly interactive concurrent users on a pair of CDC 6500 machines is pretty impressive.  (CPU power: about 2 MIPS per CPU on a good day, two CPUs per 6500.)

>  * It was said to be easy to code for (TUTOR was the lang, sayeth 
>    wikipedia)
>  * They had MUDs and other cool multi-user games, as well as "social 
>    media" (ie.. chat and multi-user applications). 
>  * Even way back when, they had touch screens! 

Not only that, but many of the things you mentioned were invented on PLATO: plasma panel displays, multi user games, social media, chat, bulletin boards ("group notes"), etc.


More information about the cctalk mailing list