Before Xerox Parc there was PLATO. This amazing computing system came to life in 1960 and by the 1970s was running a number of graphical terminals well before the rise of Xerox PARC and the Alto. This wild little system used some unique hardware and software to create true early educational computing projects and author Brian Dear has written an amazing book on the project. Called Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture, it is available now.
In this week’s Technotopia I talked to Dear at length about the project and the future of cyberculutre. It’s a cool discussion with someone who knows his stuff.