cyber1.org : : courtesy of VCampus Corporation

System Status

    The system is UP. 36 users currently signed on.

Cyber1 sends a status update every 5 minutes to the website, and the last update was received 1 minute ago.

VAVATAR RESET!  The reset of Vavatar, the 'Lunatic Fringe' version of the popular Avatar series of role-playing dungeon games, will occur on November 26, 2014 at 6pm Pacific time. If you want to keep in the loop please get a signon and read the notesfile 'vavatnote'.

    Total registered users = 3300, total signons = 4046.

Featured on cyber1

  • PLATO V / PPT Terminal on Display at US Patent and Trademark Office!
    The terminal pictured is located at the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum, a part of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The address is 600 Dulaney Street in Alexandria Virginia, at the Madison Building. The terminal is accessible and available to the public to login to Cyber1.

    The museum commemorates the most technologically important developments which were patented, and the individuals who were granted those patents. The plasma panel, invented by Don Bitzer and his colleagues at the University of Illinois certainly qualifies. The terminal includes such innovations as touch screen, graphics, and content delivered over a telecommunications network to a remote terminal from a mainframe, with some local storage capabilities.

    Aaron Woolfson retrofitted and fabricated parts as needed for this particular machine as well as several other PPT's and other terminal types and has exhibited them in the past.

  • We now have Beta builds of the PLATO Terminal Emulator available, a Windows setup executable, a Mac disk image, and a Linux source in a B2Zip tarball format.

    Windows: pterm-win-v5.0.3-beta.exe
    Mac OS X: pterm-mac-v5.0.3-beta.dmg
    Linux: pterm-linux-v5.0.3-beta.tar.bz2

What's new on cyber1?

To help newcomers and returning old-timers to our system we have started creating screen-capture videos.

  
Video player size:   Small (452x350)    Medium (640x480)    Large (1024x768)
Click to play video
Cyber1 Introduction
Click to play video
Empire Space Battle
Click to play video
TUTOR "hello world"
Click to play video
Empire Space Battle / Head-2-Head
Click to play video
Empire Tournament #4 (clip 1 of 24)

Upcoming events planned:

  • VAVATAR RESET!  The reset of Vavatar, the 'Lunatic Fringe' version of the popular Avatar series of role-playing dungeon games, will occur on November 26, 2014 at 6pm Pacific time. If you want to keep in the loop please signon and read the notesfile 'vavatnote'.
  • Do you have 9-track tapes from old backups from a PLATO system? We want to preserve what we can, but we need tapes, printouts, ASCII text files, etc! This is a call for code! We are serious about not only providing a classic appearing (though super-fast) "Plato" system, we also promote preservation of hardware and software. This bears repeating: Do you have printouts or text files that contain TUTOR lessons (programs)? We'd like to help you get those back on-line. Tapes we can load, ASCII text can be uploaded, printouts - well, we can give you lesson space to type it in (sorry we are not secretaries). Please get signed on and drop a note in 'request' or 'psonotes'! Let's save these gems before they are gone forever.
  • Ongoing Avatar journeying... 3 versions of the game, "2avatar" for the original, "Zavatar" for the updated game, and "Vavatar" for the "lunatic fringe".

Recently on cyber1:

  • 8/31/2013  EMPIRE RESET!  The reset of records for Empire, occured at midnight on July 31, 2013. Got team? Please be sure and read up in "empirenote" on changes to Empire recently. We have 6 versions of the game on Cyber1, dating from a "last edited" 1977 version.
  • 8/31/2013  A relatively new weekly event, dubbed GriffWars, is being conducted most Sundays, and some Friday nights. Some call it 'Friday Night Fights', but Sunday has shown to have more attendees. This week's battle lasted 4 hours. Show up in Empirenote to read what the plan is and get involved. Don't like Bugs? Fine, come see if you can stomp some. Got a chip on your shoulder about Faz? Get revenge! But these are Friendly Fights, intended to rekindle fun in the game, bury the old hatchets of the past and warp devastation on the other team.
  • 12/14/2009 11:59:59 PM  We are always on the lookout for old original PLATO equipment. Several of our users are keenly interested in collection and restoration of terminals and other PLATO hardware.
  • 12/5/2009  The 4th Cyber1 Empire Tournament ended at 2pm Pacific (GMT-8) with a win by the Federation (a.k.a "evil") over the Kazari (a.k.a "good"). The game went the full 4 hours. Empire cryptkeeper and ombudsman Steve Peltz comments, "I believe that was the first one to go the full time without a knockout (and we had no problems with people dropping out or anything either). The kill records show the reason: evil won 54% of their fights (542 - 460). 19 engine deaths, 2 planet deaths, just over 1000 ships killed and a bit over 1600 armies bombed."

What is cyber1.org?

Cyber1.org is a group of people dedicated to the preservation of the world's first computer-based community, PLATO.

Cyber1.org is made possible by the VCampus Corporation, who graciously donated rights to their CYBIS software system. Cyber1.org thanks VCampus and their CEO Nat Kannan not only for their generosity, but also for having the wisdom to preserve one of the most important pieces of computer history.

PLATO is a computer-based educational system created at the University of Illinois Control Systems Laboratory. The idea was first discussed at the University in 1959, in a long series of meetings led by Chalmers Sherwin. At these meetings it was concluded that computer-based education should not be pursued. However, the director at the time, Daniel Alpert, got together with Donald Bitzer to see if Don could quickly come up with a prototype that could serve as proof-of-concept. This prototype, running on an Illiac-I, became PLATO. The project was subsequently funded in 1960 by government money from the Joint Services Program. The lab grew and became the Computer-based Education Research Laboratory (CERL). PLATO eventually spawned a variety of commercial ventures, starting in 1975 with Control Data Corporation (CDC), a mainframe computer manufacturer founded in 1957.

The complicated histories of the various branches of the PLATO tree are beyond the scope of this website. One of the branches became CYBIS, a product of VCampus; another branch is owned by PLATO Learning, the company that retains the right to the PLATO name; a third became NovaNET, now owned by Pearson Education. Our system, cyber1, is a branch off of the CYBIS tree.


What is cyber1?

Cyber1 is the name for our mainframe-based CYBIS system. 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 (watch out, this is a link to a .pdf), a software emulation of a CDC Cyber mainframe, created by Tom Hunter. On our dual opteron Tyan Thunder K8W production machine, DtCyber runs on Suse Linux 9.1 for AMD64. Our backup is a Mac G5 running Mac OS X Panther, an operating system based upon BSD.


What is the purpose of cyber1.org?

The purpose of cyber1.org is to create a community—a living archive—on our system, cyber1. The goals of this community are:

  • to preserve a sense of the community that permeated PLATO, CYBIS, and NovaNET,
  • to capture information about the development of this amazing piece of software history before the people who created it are gone,
  • to heal and bring together a community that over the years has become fractured,
  • to have fun.

Some ways for a typical user to accomplish the above goals are the following:

Become proficient with and use the system communication tools: notes, pnotes, notesfiles, and term-talking. Browse through the notesfiles on a regular basis, and get involved in discussions. If there are 30 of us, and every user writes a note or two per day, pretty soon we'll have quite a cool little community.

If you are an old PLATO/CYBIS/NovaNET programmer or courseware developer, you hold a special place on cyber1. Please contribute to chronicle. Chronicle is a notesfile where each base note corresponds to a lesson. If you were the author of, or associated with, a certain file or group of files, e.g. 0mcalc11, notes, or empire, start a note that records any information, stories, problems, etc. that were associated with the development of that little piece of history. Don't worry if it is boring. Entertainment is not the primary purpose of this notesfile. History is full of records that were thought boring or mundane by those doing the recording.

Because the goal is to create the community on the system itself, this website, www.cyber1.org, will remain small and simple.


Credits

CYBIS System: VCampus

Desktop CYBER: Tom Hunter

NOS 2.8.7: BT

Legal: McQuaid Bedford & Van Zandt LLP


Main Attractions

Avatar: Bruce Maggs, Andrew Shapira, David Sides; later work by Tom Kirchman, Greg Janusz, Mark Eastom, Kevin Maxson, Chris Alix, John Hegarty, Felix Ortony

dnd: Gary Whisenhunt, Ray Wood, Dirk Pellett, Flint Pellett

Empire: Chuck Miller, Gary Fritz, John Daleske, Silas Warner, Jim Battin

Moria: Kevet Duncombe, Jim Battin

Oubliette: Jim Schwaiger, John Gaby, Bancherd DeLong, Jerry Bucksath (view monster list)


Friends

Friends at VCampus: Nat Kannan, Christopher Nelson, Deborah Colella, Pam Hess

Friends at Syntegra: Thomas Kennedy, Jim Kubiak, Joann Swoboda

Email: Jim Hickstein

Website Design: Wil Voss in 2004, minor makeover by Joe Stanton (joe at cyber1.org) with advice from John Daleske in Winter 2009

Webmaster: Joe Stanton (joe at cyber1.org)


System Staff (GROUP 's')

Consultants: Steve Peltz (steve at cyber1.org)

Operations: Mike Cochran, Bill Galcher, Paul Koning, Steve Peltz, Paul Resch, Joe Stanton, Steve Williams, Steve Zoppi

Programming lead: Paul Koning (paul at cyber1.org)

Network: Mike Cochran (mike at cyber1.org)


Contact us

Comments or questions? Feel free to contact us.