IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

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tschak909
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IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby tschak909 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:39 pm

Okay, guys. I've been working on this, for weeks, and now it's time to open the doors. The PLATO system that I’ve been putting together for Atari (and other retro-computing users) is now open for testing. Yes, things will be broken, yes, things will be weird, but I will help work through them, and I urge those interested in digging deep into the system to contact me about getting sign-ons in the staff group to help manage this thing.

This system is a public utility, that I am paying for, out of my own pocket, my own electricity, and internet connection, as well as DNS registration, but I will NEVER ask for subscription or access fees. This is a free service, and I am providing it to provide something truly unique to the retro-computing community.

This system stands alongside Cyber1 dot org as another PLATO system that users with PLATO terminal software can connect to. This includes, and was ultimately designed for Atari 8-bit users who have access to a flash cartridge (or an emulator) to run The Learning Phone cartridge which is used to access the service.

What is PLATO? It’s a long story, but imagine finding deep in the jungle, a village of people who were building jet engines decades before the Wright brothers flew their first airplane. It was a system for education, for social use, for playing games. It was multi-user, graphical, interactive, touch screen oriented, and presented an integrated usage and development environment the likes of which you rarely see, even today.

This whole project was literally possible, because the good folks at Cyber1 dot org spent years finding a completed copy of the PLATO software, and acquired permission by the current copyright holder to release it for non commercial use. I stand on the shoulders of their efforts.

This system was borne from both a need to provide a customized service for interested Atari users who wanted a PLATO experience, and because I wanted to provide a more user friendly experience than what is currently provided by cyber1 dot org out of the box.

As of now, it’s in alpha, early beta. Things will be wonky, things will be weird. Bear with me as I try to come to grips with running a massive time sharing system that traditionally was run on massive supercomputers from Control Data Corporation.

The web site is here: http://www.irata.online/ and has everything you need to get started.

Please let me know what you think,

Sincerely,
-Thomas Cherryhomes – IRATA.Online’s scared shitless leader.

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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby calimero » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:40 pm

It is really nice to see and learn about some old, obscure... stuff (that could be easily a diamonds :))
using Atari since 1986.http://wet.atari.orghttp://milan.kovac.cc/atari/software/ ・ Atari Falcon030/CT63/SV ・ Atari STe ・ Atari Mega4/MegaFile30/SM124 ・ Amiga 1200/PPC ・ Amiga 500 ・ C64 ・ ZX Spectrum ・ RPi ・ MagiC! ・ MiNT 1.18 ・ OS X

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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby tschak909 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:45 pm

Go ahead, and sign up, if you wish. The system is active.

I am also looking for interested people to be authors, people who can make new programs for the system,
as well as systems staff, who can help me administer the system.

I am also looking for interested people to write an ATARI ST terminal to access the service. I will provide C to decode the PLATO protocol, and help in any other way I can.

-Thom

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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby Android8675 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:07 pm

Great idea, I think a MUD will be first on the agenda

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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby tschak909 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:11 pm

There are a few. Moria and Avatar are good examples.

-Thom

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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby calimero » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:14 am

What is "BACK" button?
using Atari since 1986.http://wet.atari.orghttp://milan.kovac.cc/atari/software/ ・ Atari Falcon030/CT63/SV ・ Atari STe ・ Atari Mega4/MegaFile30/SM124 ・ Amiga 1200/PPC ・ Amiga 500 ・ C64 ・ ZX Spectrum ・ RPi ・ MagiC! ・ MiNT 1.18 ・ OS X

tschak909
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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby tschak909 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:08 pm

BACK is Control-B

The PLATO keyboard had a few special keys on it. PTerm maps these mnemonically, for the most part, so BACK becomes B, STOP becomes S, TERM becomes T, and so on, and they are sometimes combined with shift.

-Thom

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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby simonsunnyboy » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:53 pm

Is this PLATO thing connected to the project at the University Of Illinois starting in 1960?
Simon Sunnyboy/Paradize - http://paradize.atari.org/

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1x2600jr, 1x1040STFm, 1x1040STE 4MB+TOS2.06+SatanDisk, 1xF030 14MB+FPU+NetUS-Bee

tschak909
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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby tschak909 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:14 pm

Yes, IRATA.ONLINE is built from tapes comprising the PLATO system, and has a direct lineage to it. The whole point of IRATA.ONLINE is to bring PLATO to the retro computing communities as a platform they can all connect to and have a truly unique experience.

-Thom

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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby simonsunnyboy » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:22 am

Woah, interesting conincidence as I am just right now reading the book about that project.
Now that begins to make sense as a special unique protocol otherwise it would be too obscure to have usecases.

LInk to Amazon for those others interested, book "The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture":
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B06W9N ... UTF8&psc=1
Simon Sunnyboy/Paradize - http://paradize.atari.org/

Stay cool, stay Atari!

1x2600jr, 1x1040STFm, 1x1040STE 4MB+TOS2.06+SatanDisk, 1xF030 14MB+FPU+NetUS-Bee

tschak909
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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby tschak909 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:33 am

There are two example implementations of a terminal available on the website, so a competent C programmer can put together a working terminal, very quickly.

As I am doing a terminal for Android users, I am familiar with the protocol, and can help anyone who would be interested in helping to get up to speed.

There is also a complete protocol specification, on the website.

-Thom

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Re: IRATA.ONLINE - A new PLATO system for retro computing fans!

Postby tschak909 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:21 pm

I have set up google meets on Saturday and Sunday, for those who are interested in seeing this system demonstrated in full.

Lots of stuff will be covered, primarily from user, author, and system staff perspectives.

There will be two showings, one on Saturday at 9pm to 11pm CDT
The other, will be on Sunday, 4pm to 6pm CDT

and more will be done, as demand persists. It is critical I show this thing off.

Details are on the http://www.irata.online/ website at the very top, along with relevant links. :)

-Thom


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