System Status

    The system is UP. 21 users currently signed on.

Cyber1 sends a status update every 5 minutes to the website, and the last update was received 3 minutes ago.

    Total registered users = 3902, total signons = 4480.


Q: Can I get my old sign-on back?

A: It is amazing how attached people can become to their s/o's, isn't it? The answer is: sometimes, halfway. Cyber1 most likely has different groups than the system you were on long ago. However, assuming someone else hasn't grabbed your name already, we can probably accommodate your request for a specific name.

Q: Why does want names and phone numbers?

A: To build trust, mainly. The community is trusting you with free access to a system that represents alot of time, money, and hard work. A good community needs everyone to be responsible for their actions, and there are legal reasons for the system to not be anonymous. Nor were author signons given out anonymously in the pastótypically they were given to employees, teachersóall people for whom their companies had on file far more information than our short registration form contains. Cyber1 has a privacy policy, which can be read in the end user agreement.

Q: Are there old games on cyber1?

A: Yes. Gaming was always an important piece of the system and PLATO was a pioneer in the now $32 billion computer gaming industry. Also, one of the stated goals of is to have fun.

Q: What is's relationship to NovaNET and U of I?

A: Cyber1 has no relationship with NovaNET and is not based upon any NovaNET code. But we do look forward to working with the NovaNET people in the future. NovaNET has a production system that is still in use, which may make them understandably reticent about working with a .org such as us.

Cyber1 has no formal relationship with the University of Illinois, although we are talking to them, and there is a good deal of respect given that PLATO originally came from UofI.

Q: What or who is Controlfreaks?

A: Controlfreaks is a group of old Control Data aficionados started by Doug Quebbeman, Jeff Woolsey, Kent Olsen, Walter Spector, and Bill McDermith. Tom Hunter, a member of Controlfreaks, made the emulator, DtCyber, that runs cyber1.

Q: My main interest in cyber1 is to play Avatar. I hear there are several versions of the games and there are policies about 'signon misuse'. Can you clarify this for me?

A: Sure! We have 3 versions of Avatar on cyber1. Please see the FAQ on signon policy for clarification of that part of the question.

  1. Zavatar. This version is played the most and the policy is that you cannot run more than 2 characters simultaneously in this version of the game. You can certainly have more than 2 characters created, and can activate/deactivate them, but each login/signon session can only run 1 character at a time, so players will acquire a second signon to run a second character. Occasionally people will get additional signons for other purposes and then will try and run a third or fourth simultaneous character in Zavatar. When this is discovered we arbitrarily will turn off 2 of these signons with no warning. The reason we enforce this limit in Zavatar is that we want to preserve a sense of community in the game where users make contact with other users and so can call on them to help rescue a character if necessary.
  2. Vavatar. In this version of the game you can run up to 4 characters simultaneously, but we encourage that login sessions 3 and 4 that run characters 3 and 4 be what we call "avanut" signons. This version of the game gets reset usually annually, so new players can start and be at the same level as everyone else.
  3. 2avatar. This is the "published" version of the game and got some minor colorization under the ASCII connection to our system (the other two games are monochrome). This game has the same 4 simultaneous signon/character policy as Vavatar, but we don't care if you use "avanut" or other signons you may have acquired for other reasons.

Q: I want to play Empire. Is there anything I should know about ettiquette or other social mores of the Empire community on cyber1?

A: Great! Empire is an amazing game and is even better on this super-fast PLATO/CYBIS system we have. And yes, there are some rules as well as suggested etiquette and other social mores.

Enforced Rules

  • Signon limit. The most important rule from the start is this: You can run 1 and only 1 signon in Empire at a time. Run two and all your signons will be turned off and possibly deleted and you will not be allowed back on cyber1. Empire is a highly exciting team-driven goal-oriented game, and the players take it extremely seriously.
  • Bots. Any creation of software, or modification to pterm, to automatically do anything in Empire (such as sending keystrokes in response to screen changes) is grounds for immediate signon deletion and banning. FYI, This rule applies in general to any other activity on cyber1, such as creating automated screen scrapers, or intelligent keystroke senders, etc.

Etiquette / Social Mores

  • Please read carefully the content of the notesfile "empirenote". You will find a lot of heated discussion and debate on the etiquette.
  • STOP1'ing out of the game to avoid death, only to re-enter immediately, is considered extremely bad form and game changes are being planned to remedy this behavior.
  • Switching teams to gain advantage for your "real" team is also considered bad form, and you will be verbally and publically humiliated and chastised in notesfile "empirenote" as well as in messaging, and you will suffer extreme retribution by other players. Count on it.
  • Using the messaging system to verbally abuse other players is acceptable to a point. We depend on cyber1 users to police themselves and each other to a certain extent, and to report abuse if it becomes excessive. Extremely excessive profanity, hate-speech, or other potentially destructive speech could result in a review of the behavior and disciplinary actions may be taken, which include restriction from access to the game, and in extreme cases possibly signon deletion. However, we do understand that in the heat of battle people get excited - just try and control yourself ... and have fun!

Q: What is a signon and what is the signon policy at cyber1?

A: A signon is the combination of Name, Group, and Password, that you use to gain access to cyber1. We pretty much give away the first signon to anyone who asks, though we do reject registrations that are obviously bogus or that fail other validation protocols. Typically people will want two signons. A second signon is also a freebie in that there are no real additional protocols, but if the Group you want does not already exist on cyber1 we ask that you document the history of that group in the notesfile "grouplore", or that you find a buddy to also request a signon in the new group. And there are also people who request, and are granted, 3rd and even 4th signons, these are almost always "team" or "avanut" signons. Keeping in mind the signon restrictions listed above for gaming purposes, for many legitimate reasons this is convenient. You may want to play another game with another signon, or perhaps to affiliate with a specific Empire team (such as Orion, Romulan, Klingons) and gain access to their team notesfile, it's also good to have an extra signon so you can multi-task activities such as reading notes, talking with other users, studying a lesson, programming in one window and having the language reference up in another, etc.

Q: What Mac OS versions are supported, and what processor architectures?

A: This version works on Mac OS 10.5 or later, and both Intel and PowerPC processor architectures are supported.

Q: Are there any known issues with Mac OS and Pterm?

A: One potential problem is that Expose uses F9 and F10 (data and stop on PLATO). You can easily remap the keys used in Expose by going into 'System Preferences' and then clicking the Expose icon.

Q: What versions of Windows does Pterm run on?

A: Tested and works with all versions of Windows since and including XP, including Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP (both 32 and 64 bit varieties, we assume latest service pack of each version already installed).

Q: I have a real PLATO terminal (Maggie, Plato V, IST-I / II / III), and it powers up. Can I use it to connect to Cyber1?

A: Very possible. Due primarily to the efforts of one of our users - Aaron Woolfson - and drawing on the technical and social resources of the PLATO community, a small number of original PLATO terminals have been restored to working order and can connect to Cyber1 still today. A "classroom" was setup at the Computer History Museum for the "PLATO@50" conference held in 2010 (please see the links at the top of the page for photos). Anyone who has a working PLATO terminal is invited to contact us for information on how to get your terminal connected to Cyber1. This might take some serious effort and time! But it can be done. Also, anyone who has a working terminal they might like to donate to Cyber1 or to another preservation society are encouraged to do so. There are currently efforts by system staff at Cyber1 to restore certain system aspects so that a true "intelligent" terminal, such as an IST-III, can run Micro TUTOR Ė but we need an IST-III.

Q: What about Windows 2000?

A: You will need run the previous build, Pterm 4.16. Why? The latest builds of Pterm do not work with Windows 2000 due to certain extensions Microsoft added starting with Windows XP. Our Windows build is compiled with Visual Studio.NET 2008 (C++) and does not generate binaries compatible with Windows 2000.

Q: Are the Pterm binary and executable files safe to download? How can I be sure I am getting the authentic file?

A: Yes, they are safe to download. is 100% SSL secured to be sure that the information delivered over the web connection is safe and eliminates 'man in the middle' eavesdropping or even impersonation of our site. To take this a step further, our mainstream binary files (that is the Windows .EXE, Mac .DMG, Linux .RPM, and Linux .BZ2 files) all have a published SHA1 and PGP signature you can use to verify that they are the files we posted.

Q: My DNS service is broken and I cannot connect to Cyber1. How can I connect w/o DNS?

A: Occasionally we too have seen DNS errors. You can connect by using the static IP address ( of "". You can either pass command line arguments such as "pterm" , or you can use the Preferences page in Pterm to change the connection from "" to the static IP address

Q: What do I do if I run into a problem using Cyber1 or Pterm?

A: If you are signed on and having technical difficulties, use TERM-consult to get assistance or go to notesfile "ptermdev" and write a note. If you are not signed on, please use the Contact page and submit a report. The report will go via email to all members of system staff.

Progress Notes

10/30/2014  We experienced a series of bounces today with some new system code that had passed an isolated test, but which failed in real world due to another part of the system that only ran on Cyber1, not the isolated test system. Previous version restored, system is back up and stable.

Details: The change that was put in place this morning was the first attempt to solve some framing / corruption issues in CIU mode due to the speed of the systems new CPU. These changes necessitated some lower level changes to internal networking, which affected several other "new" areas of the system, specifically a systems only TUTOR command that allows access the internet via a -socket- interface. This interface is used, for example, to post the current system status and user count to the main page (as well as usage stats). So with these crashes and dumps we can locate the other areas that need to be updated with the new low level internal networking changes.

9/22/2014  Recent outage log:

09/22/2014 10:15pm: Cyber1 available.

09/22/2014 11:20am: From Paul Koning - "Ok, tests on the new cyber1 machine confirm the fix is valid. I started a dtcyber about 15 minutes ago (not running PLATO, just plain NOS) and it is still right on the correct time. Iíll leave it for a while longer. Then Iíll work on getting the auto-restart machinery set up again. Then Iíll deal with having it start PLATO again tonight at 10:15 pm, which is how far ahead the broken clock counted before I took the system down. Meanwhile, the ďblackboxĒ program is announcing that, so people know the system will be coming back tonight."

09/22/2014 10:58am: From Paul Koning - "... it is actually an issue in the NOS monitor code (in MTR, the PP monitor which does the timekeeping). It has assumptions on how fast a PPU runs, and in our emulated world those are not valid. The code doesnít actually make any sense anyway, but the real problem is that, if the emulation is fast enough, it will at times count milliseconds several times. On my Mac laptop, it does that perhaps 10% of the time so time is a bit fast. On the new machine, itís SO fast that it happens all the time, and possibly not just one extra tick per tick but more than one. Itís obvious if I turn on very detailed logging of the clock machinery: it shows consecutive reads of the clock channel often just one or two microseconds apart. In a real Cyber, thatís completely impossible because the read alone takes 2 microseconds, never mind all the instructions around it. I created a new file of all the NOS fixes in one place (the one for correctly handling February in leap years if the last restart was in January, remember that? as well as this one). Initial test on my Mac looks good, Iím building a new NOS now and will copy that to the new machine when itís ready, then test there."

09/22/2014 8:00am: Cyber1 has been taken down until the time synchronization issue is resolved. Minimum time down will be 15 hours as we have to allow the real world clock to catch up to where Cyber1/DTCyber last time-stamped, which was off by 14+hours.

09/21/2014 8:05pm: We know the time is off by 4 hours. When that is fixed Cyber1 will have to be down for 4 hours for the clock to catchup.

09/21/2014 7:59pm: From Mike Cochran - "Cyber1 should be available to the public at this point. I put a note in 'pbnotes' saying to expect some teething problems." Our new system has been christened 'Solaris', which is not a reflection of the host operating system running (which is actually Linux Fedora).

09/19/2014 8:00am: This just in from Mike Cochran - "I may start on things tonight or tomorrow morning. The whole process takes about a full day. Shooting for having computer up and "paulworthy" by Saturday PM, which puts Cyber1 up Sunday at the earliest." Note, "paulworthy" means that the hardware will be in place with basics of OS up and disk restored, etc., and ready for DTCyber configuration and bootstrap.

09/19/2014 7:52am: Some have misunderstood the situation. Here is the gist of an emailI sent to a user who felt that they needed to donate to alleviate the "current crisis". "Donations are welcomed, but there should be no misunderstanding, we are not in an emergency situation. We have a spare computer being prepped. We lack time at the moment, not resources. These website (and Facebook page) statements were that we appreciate donations from the past year that help us keep Cyber1 running and we will need to buy a new machine to be kept in the wings for when this new machine,currently being prepped, dies sometime in the future. There is no causal action to you donating today that would speed up or in any way help the situation right now." That said we still welcome and appreciate donations.

09/18/2014 9:37am: The system is still down. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have donated to Cyber1 over the last year. Your donations have helped keep Cyber1 powered up, and also defrayed the cost of purchasing the current replacement box to run our DTCyber emulator. Please consider donating if you have not already done so, we have to purchase another replacement box to keep a spare on hand (BTW, we do not accept offers of hardware, we like to start fresh and keep it secure).

09/17/2014 4:29pm: Linux host comptuer "bullwinkle" mainboard failed around 5:30am Pacific time. System could take several days to bring back online due to spare computer needing to be prepped. Cyber1 staff and operator are volunteers and we all hold down jobs in the real world, which requires our dedicated attention 6am-6pm M-F. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

11/20/2010 5:29:00 PM  DtCyber was running but not functional. I did a kill -6 but strangely enough did not get a corefile. -- TFD

2/19/2010 1:04:00 AM  dtcyber hung (no response from dd60, dtoper couldn't do a shutdown). kill -6 on PID 16325... Restarted. System was down from 18:19 until a few minutes ago.

1/20/2010 8:14:00 AM  Primary WAN for host network unstable due to weather related issues. Temporary adjustment to DNS to issue IP for secondary WAN which seems more stable. You should expect intermittent connectivity until further notice.

12/28/2009 11:15:00 PM  System up.

12/28/2009 11:14:00 PM  Crash Log: System wasn't responding again, dropped dtcyber and reloaded process ID 28868.

12/28/2009 8:17:00 PM  System froze. CIU displays PNTB, NAM is blank. Waiting for word from console operator.

7/1/2008  Power is restored. Cyber1 is back online.

6/30/2008 5:00:00 PM  Cyber1 could be down for a while. I drove home on my bike to see a fire truck in front of my house, which is NEVER a good sign. I was pleasantly relieved to find out it was the transformer on the pole behind my house and fortunately behind the creek, but the firemen didn't realize they couldn't get across the barrier, so they had to drive around. But the upshot of it is: there is a pole there that had a transformer on it. The transformer is gone, the pole is smoking, and I hear from the neighbors that after this one went, another one down the street went. So this could be... cyber1 could be down for a while. Power's out at my house. From my experience, this could take up to a day.

10/29/2006  The equipment is in its new Mountain View home and the main server, Monster, is up and running cyber1 successfully. Neither DSL line is functional yet, so cyber1 is still not available.

10/26/2006  Cyber1 is moving to Mountain View and will be off-line for a few days. The hope is to have it up and running again Nov 1 or earlier.

10/20/2006  Posted 4 homespun TrueType fonts, two created by Adam Baum, and two created by Paul Koning. They are available as downloads in the Installation section of the website.

7/31/2006  System is back up. PS was fine; it was the UPS. Monster has been running 24/7 for over 2 years, under non-server room (sometimes downright hot) conditions. To make conditions even tougher, the mainframe emulator runs cpu-bound, i.e. one cpu is always pegged at 100%. As controlfreak Gerard van der Grinten put it, "If you can't stand the heat, don't play dtcyber." In any case we have a good backup machine on hand.

7/31/2006  Awoke this morning to a quiet server. It turned off some time between midnight and now, and will not power on. Best guess is a bum power supply. Regardless of etiology, two things are clear: 1 This problem will not be fixed until I get off work this evening; 2 All likely scenarios result in having the system back up in some fashion tonight (e.g. borrowing a PS from the other machine while I obtain a replacement). So look to the system being back up around 9 pm tonight.

7/23/2006  Pterm 4.06 available for all. It adds delay support in ascii mode. We passed 900 registered users today.

7/4/2006  Pterm 4.01 available. It has ascii support, and can talk to Aaron's custom-built keyboards.

4/1/2006  Registration page has been working fine. Paul sent pterm 3.02 for mac, which adds page up and page down and a couple other minor keyboard fixes.

3/15/2006  Fixed 1/2 of a problem with the registration page; now people can at least register. Also added pterm for windows 3.02.

3/14/2006  Today we moved the webserver back to its home in the rack. While the physical system changed location, had been hosted elsewhere (thanks to Gilbert Coville for hosting the website while cyber1 was moving). Cyberserv. org is now running fine under two new static ip's, (SBC) and (Speakeasy), and is at

1/8/2006  Fixed address for Paul's cvs server. Now anyone can have the source to build the most current version of pterm.

1/2/2006  System was down for a good portion of Saturday and for a short time on Sunday due to very long power outtages here in Redwood City due to severe weather.

8/21/2005  System was unavailable for a couple hours last night due to boisterous group s activities while Mike was cooking. Some pictures are available here.

8/20/2005  Our production system is exactly one year old today. Party in Redwood City.

8/17/2005  Pterm v 2.37 for everything is available. Fixed problems with Gooch Box.

7/7/2005  Pterm v 2.34 for everything is available. Big fix to cut and paste, making it much easier for the user to have the system interact with the rest of their computer.

7/5/2005  Pterm v 2.32 for everything is available. It adds a nice help screen that shows the various keyboard combinations needed for PLATO.

5/21/2005  Pterm v 2.26 for mac is available as a disk image file. It fixes numerous keyboard problems with shifted keys, the numeric keypad, etc.

5/13/2005  Pterm v 2.24, which adds cut-and-paste support, available for unix, mac, and windows.

5/1/2005  Pterm v2.20 available. It adds Gooch Box support.

4/20/2005  Pterm v2.10 betas with ppt support available for windows and linux.

4/17/2005  Spring cleaning and numerous upgrades performed.

4/16/2005  Rather than work on taxes, Paul has continued refining the betas of pterm v2.03 for windows or linux, adding the ability to open multiple windows from the 'file' menu, the ability to turn on '1200 baud emulation' (fun), and fixes for a variety of keyboard issues. Bill Galcher and Paul Resch are helping work on the mac version, which should be ready soon.

4/13/2005  Pterm for Windows v2.01 beta and pterm 2.01 for linux et al are available. Paul fixed the F10 problem and removed -delay- support which was potentially causing problems in avatar.

4/10/2005  Pterm for Windows v2.00 beta is available for testing. It is windows-native, so just unzip and put on your desktop (no more command line!) It does not work well in avatar. Post bug reports in fixlist.

3/27/2005  Pterm 1.23 for windows, mac, and unix now available. Main change is easier support for characters like '@' while on the system. We passed 500 users this week. It is now normal to login at night to find yourself on with another 30-50 users. Added a new picture in 'screenshots' showing the final version of nos running on dtcyber, with our system, cyber1, loaded.

3/3/2005  Last week Paul finished the fix for the dropped characters by greatly increasing the size of the input buffer. We also upgraded from NOS 2.1 to the final version of NOS, 2.8.7. Up to 454 registered users.

2/16/2005  Lost data, had to restore from backup from 2/12 11 AM; any users created since then will have to be re-created. 434 users.

12/9/2004  Pterm 1.21 for mac, windows, and unix available.

12/8/2004  Some probs with one of the wans. If you are lagging tonight, try pterm 5004.

12/7/2004  Some probs with pterm 1.20. The unix version should be fixed, now v 1.21. Rolled back windows to 1.14 until it too is fixed.

12/4/2004  Pterm 1.20 for both unix and Windows available. 346 registered users.

11/29/2004  Pterm 1.16 for linux/mac available. 334 registered users.

11/18/2004  Pterm 1.14 for mac available. 316 registered users.

11/3/2004  Pterm 1.14 for Windows and 1.13 for unix (functionally the same) available. 263 registered users.

10/20/2004  Pterm 1.12 for Windows and Linux/OS X is out. Paul solved some timing issues caused by the server being so much faster than an original cyber. 218 users.

10/10/2004  Installed dual-wan router. Pretty experimental, but then again so is our opteron/linux platform. So far so good. About 180 users.

9/28/2004  Pterm v1.10 is out. Full portal keymappings plus arrow keys.

9/27/2004  All is well. 150 users. Pterm v1.04 now supports portal keymappings.

9/21/2004  Network has been OK now for 24 hours.

9/19/2004  Now having some network problems x ~3 days characterized by increasingly poor performance until the network goes down completely. ISP is working on it. Circuit was rebuilt tonight, maybe that will do the trick.

9/12/2004  The screen refresh problem appears greatly improved. Only complex screens take more than one drawing. The system is FAST now. Screen erase problem in pterm for windows is fixed; new file is pterm version 1.02.

9/9/2004  Up to 102 users. Current groups include cerl, minna, amesrad, wright, uofdel, pdev, zbrat, shire, progeny, cdcper, cfreaks, nova, fsu. System is pretty stable. Empire is happening. Soon will reinitialize avatar. Lots of stories being told.

9/4/2004  Paul added touchpanel support to the system at the cyber emulator level. He's still working on a more permanent fix to the dropped characters problem, although the system is working quite well now. Added version numbers to pterm, and posted the latest pterms for both windows and linux on the website. Both are UTD as of today and are equal in features. We're up to 89 registered users.

9/2/2004  The new website is up. A friend, Wil Voss, did it for fun. Thanks Wil! Paul may have fixed the dropped characters problem with a simple, tiny adjustment to the timing of the mainframe emulator. I made the adjustment tonight, we'll see how things go. The system seems faster to me, too.

8/31/2004  The pterm client for X is fixed (until we find the next bug that is). This version supports the touch screen. Our windows version is lagging behind with this latest enhancement. We have 66 registered users.

8/27/2004  All sorts of good stuff is happening. We have source code for pterm for unix, and it doesn't require a fonts install. That means OS X users have a client, too, although we're looking forward to a native mac client. Still having dropped characters on the system. Made announce/pad/empirenote. Ray Ozzie and Chuck Miller logged in. Made a signon for Brian Dear.

8/26/2004  A good portion of the erase abort screen problem is fixed. Some more signons given out to a test group of people. I hit "U" today and there were 7 users. Empire and avatar authors gave permissions to use their wonderful old games. A whole bunch of old PLATO people found out about the project in the process.

8/22/2004  Gave out the first signons to a small group of controlfreaks who can mess around on the system and generate errors. Probably still a month away from general users

8/20/2004  Paul got the portal key mappings added to both the X and the windows clients. The clients are now usable by adventurous general users. We still need to add features. The dual cpu production machine is online and the production incarnation of the system is working.

8/15/2004  Screen refresh problem remains, and the client isn't finished either. Accounts for the user groups cerl, minna, and nova made. What used to be entire systems are now groups on cyber1. Given the number of people who have already registered even though the system is not up, cerl may end up being broken into a couple constituent groups if there are some natural break points. Have yet to make group zbrat as we haven't had anyone claim that heritage yet. Paul sped the system up considerably. The dual cpu production machine is almost...almost... ready to be brought on line. Archived the existing notesfiles and cleaned them up for cyber1 use.

8/5/2004  Paul is still working on the screen refresh problem, and Steve is cranking on Paul's linux/unix pterm client, adding portal key mappings. Mike got email up and running very easily tonight using Jim Hickstein's Mirapoint imapserver—it has a simple, wonderful interface. Lots of fun and good feelings from emailing various old PLATO authors and telling them about cyber1.

7/31/2004  Paul has made big progress on the system, and it is running much more smoothly, although we are still having 'graphics' difficulties. The cgi backend for the registration form is now working. Screenshots added to main page.

7/25/2004  This progress page added to the website. Although the website has not been announced yet, the logs show that entities other than our little team are accessing it, which is obviously fine, and rather amazing given that it has been up for only two days. But someone at has been trying to break into the webserver. It's pretty blatant hacking, trying accounts like root, guest, test, user, admin, etc. Whoever you are, why don't you just email us instead. We put up this page to help satisfy curiosity.

7/24/2004  System can now be accessed via our homespun terminal client, a vast UI improvement. Local access only.

7/21/2004  Cyber1 runs for the first time, from the console only. It is a very cool and strange feeling to bring up the ancient system. It feels a little like a time capsule. Navigating the system from the console is tedious. Much of the system is not working. Notes is not working. Response is moderately slow.