Brian Dear Pdf epub The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture

Brian Dear Ê 5 Summary

Public view The many thousands of people who used the system have held on to the PLATO ideas throughout their careers influencing countless technological products and programs from flat panel wall TVs and touch sensitive screens to chat rooms instant messaging screen savers multiplayer games flight simulators crowdsourcing interactive fiction emoticons and e learning Fascinating first hand and revelatory The Friendly Orange Glow makes clear that the work of PLATO practitioners has profoundly shaped the computer industry from its inception to our very m. Five star books get that high ranking from me when they deliver an emotional connection Sometimes it is because of a topic covered at times it is the strength of the writing that forges that connection Here it is a linkage between a topic of great career building interest to me computer history with my own history With an author that can mix these things together creating interesting and varied stories along the way you have a great book I found The Friendly Orange Glow to be a great book although I expect that opinion will match that of a very small cadre of fans This book tells the story of the Plato system used principally for education but later morphing into one of the first interconnected systems for electronic communications and gaming Most of the book covers the creation of the system and its growth mostly in the 60s and 70s My personal connection was as a gamer in the early 80s at the home base for Plato the University of Illinois CERL I spent many nights you could only play games after 10pm in the CERL Plato classroom among the glowing orange touchscreens of the Plato system Many early games are described in the book from the perspectives of the game authors as well the players I haven t thought about these games in decades but this really brought back intense memories I was interested to learn that the Plato system represented many developments that later became commonplace on the internet including message boards instant messaging notes groups shared screens and the like Authors on Plato went on to create popular computer games like Flight Simulator and Mah Jong and ubiuitous applications like Lotus Notes This history making computer system was enabled through a very open environment with try anything leaders always willing to do a demo Much of the early system work was accomplished by interesting kids from the neighboring Uni High in the goings on and later hiring them The book follows the Plato system through its initial development at CERL and other colleges through the years that CDC attempted to sell it around the world and to its demiseThis is a great book for a detailed telling of the history of this computer system The author provides stories of many of the players on the team building and selling Plato and developing applications This would be a good business book for those looking for an example of open door recruitment as well as the use of non traditional employees And it provides a detailed example of what can go wrong in moving a research project to commercialization I found the commercialization section the least interesting parts though mainly because they were mostly about missed opportunities Overall an excellent computer history The Friendly Orange Glow was written to counter the lack of credit that the Midwest in particular Illinois gets in computer history Here the Plato system gets credit for many innovations later popularized by various applications over the Internet This is the second book I ve perused that gave credit to the Midwest and Illinois for major advances in computers The inventor of the computer says that he first wrote down his description of a computer in a bar in Rock Island Illinois Maybe there s something in the water Dangerous Melody (Treasure Seekers you have a great book I found The Friendly Orange Glow to be a great book although I expect that opinion will match that of a very small cadre of fans This book tells the story of the Plato system used principally for education but later morphing into one of the first interconnected systems for electronic communications and gaming Most of the book covers the creation of the system and its growth mostly in the 60s and 70s My personal connection was as a gamer in the early 80s at the home base for Plato the University of Illinois CERL I spent many nights Devoted to Drew you could only play games after 10pm in the CERL Plato classroom among the glowing orange touchscreens of the Plato system Many early games are described in the book from the perspectives of the game authors as well the players I haven t thought about these games in decades but this really brought back intense memories I was interested to learn that the Plato system represented many developments that later became commonplace on the internet including message boards instant messaging notes groups shared screens and the like Authors on Plato went on to create popular computer games like Flight Simulator and Mah Jong and ubiuitous applications like Lotus Notes This history making computer system was enabled through a very open environment with try anything leaders always willing to do a demo Much of the early system work was accomplished by interesting kids from the neighboring Uni High in the goings on and later hiring them The book follows the Plato system through its initial development at CERL and other colleges through the

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The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture

Oment This book is as much the biography of a vision as it is the story of the people behind PLATO Every technology story whether it's about the steam engine airplane telephone Model T or recently Apple Google and Tesla electric car has at its core a vision It is the immutable nature of technology and technology visions to run full life cycles from cradle to grave PLATO's story is no different Like all technology visions PLATO grew outdated and was disrupted by competing visions The Friendly Orange Glow is a revelatory paradigm for our technological age. This book is a tour de force as it sweeps through 25 years of missing computing history It adroitly weaves the complex technical personal and business story of PLATO It s a compelling narrative held together by great vignettes of the key players who developed the system software and applicationsPlato was a mainframe system originally with custom terminals built to provide computer based education but its authoring system was used to build an entire ecosystem way beyond its designer s original intent multi user games chat rooms email online news and All appearing ten to twenty years before these ideas were reinvented as commercial online systems or on desktop computersA good book is one you can t put down A great book is one that raises uestions beyond the books subject This is one of the great ones CDC buying Plato was one of the corporate slow motion train wrecks that is still painful to read The story of CDC itself is even a larger disaster A large company trying to buy the output of an RD lab and productize its output is still fraught with difficulties even in the 21st century As I read I wondered what if CERL and Plato had been at Stanford rather than U of I in the late 1970 s Would sitting in the middle of an entrepreneurial ecosystem have spurred spinouts And would those spinouts have been better managed surrounded by venture capitalists and other experienced entrepreneursIt also makes me think of the other still born computer entrepreneurial cluster in the Midwest Minneapolis It was the home of ERA CDC Cray ETA and Honeywell In spite of all that history the area failed to attract entrepreneurs startups and capital at scale Yet Minneapolis still has a healthy medical device ecosystem built around MedtronicWere the failures of these two Midwest clusters similar Did they not catch fire from the lack of risk capital venture and angel Not understanding the difference between small business startups and corporate management Lack of an ecosystem that was a magnet for attracting non academic risk taking talent Lack of technical and business press that made their innovations and environment known to the rest of the countryAs great as the book is there was one down side that almost made me stop reading it and therefore the four stars At least for me the extremely detailed recounting of every game on the system and game developer while great for the audience of readers who knew Plato bogged down the narrative A good editor could have made the point of how revolutionary these gaming innovations were but could have shortened this section by at least 20 pagesBut I m glad I continued because this was a wonderful and enlightening piece of computing historyKudos to the author

Read & Download The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture

The remarkable untold story of PLATO the computer program and platform created in the 1960s that marked the true beginning of cyberculture a book that will rewrite the history of computing and the InternetHere is the story of the brilliant eccentric designers developers and denizens often teenagers and twentysomethings of the PLATO system a computer network so far ahead of its time and with a list of hardware and software innovations so long that it's almost inconceivable that it actually existed and existed so long ago only to fade almost entirely from. I must admit that came into this book a little wary I could tell from the introduction that Brian Dear has a chip on his shoulder about UIUC and the midwest in general being underappreciated for their technical advancements and it s a major complaint you ll hear anytime you get a tour of the engineering or related departments at UI I was a little afraid of getting into this too long opus of passion a work of years that would be a little like getting cornered at the party by the guy who s obsessed with gaming and wants to tell you the keyboard shortcuts he s discovered And I wasn t all that wrong But despite the chip on the shoulder and the obsession the core of this book was pretty endearing not an author pun and entertaining The heart of the book is a charming tale of hackers and gamers coming together on an early network a testimony to the recognizable but remarkably early evolution of a connected community Dear was a member of this community himself and is an unabashed fanboy There are significant weaknesses The opening section on the origin of Plato is a bit precious by an author that is a little too amazed by his subject and is trying a little too hard to impress us But it is explained clearly which is a plus The closing 100 pages or so have to explain why Plato has been forgotten how it was mishandled and petered out and he s a little bitter It was a bit rough getting through those sections and each could have been written with greater brevity But the middle section describing the culture and evolution of Plato is a fun and informing read And the author certainly did his homework Lots and lots of homework and perhaps too much of it got into the book but I definitely learned something worth knowing That the where are they now section at the end was super interesting tracing the tradition of Plato into other technologies of the 1990sI got a copy to review from First to Read


10 thoughts on “The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture

  1. says:

    I must admit that came into this book a little wary I could tell from the introduction that Brian Dear has a chip on his shoulder about UIUC and the midwest in general being underappreciated for their technical advancements and it's a major complaint you'll hear anytime you get a tour of the engineering or related departments at UI I was a

  2. says:

    What a wild ride While at times it was a bit slow especially near the end this book is still phenomenally well researched and captivating I k

  3. says:

    Most people have never heard of PLATO But they're familiar with all manner of things which were developed on PLATOIt was originally conceived as a way to provide Computer Aided Instruction CAI The idea was that while a hu

  4. says:

    A compelling deep eminently readable history of a glaring blindspot in much of popular computer history PLATO pops up Forrest Gump li

  5. says:

    Five star books get that high ranking from me when they deliver an emotional connection Sometimes it is because of a topic covered at times it is the strength of the writing that forges that connection Here it is a linkage between a topic of great career building interest to me computer history with my own histo

  6. says:

    It feels like this took me a million years to read but I'm glad I stuck with it Dense with information it really blew my mind how much PLATO

  7. says:

    Brian Dear The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture is one of the most knowledgeable and humane books I've read about the history of computing here about the PLATO system I rarely do t

  8. says:

    This book is a tour de force as it sweeps through 25 years of missing computing history It adroitly weaves the complex technical personal and

  9. says:

    “The Friendly Orange Glow” by Brian Dear documents the “Dawn of Cyberculture” with deep readable details of the personalities the politics the culture and stories of the development of the PLATO system It reminds me of the uality writing of Tracy Kidder in “The Soul of the Machine” 1981 “The Friendly Orange Glow” strongly deserves the five stars allows Though six would be accurateWhat is PLATO you ask? The stuffy d

  10. says:

    The Friendly Orange Glow The Untold Story of the PLATO system and the dawn of cyberculture 2017 by Brian Dear is a fascinating but wildly too long account of the PLATO interactive networked computer system developed at the Universit

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