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[ih] We can hang up now, it's all done.

And along these lines, Brian can correct me because even though PLATO 
was a block down Springfield Ave, I personally didn't have that much 
contact with them.  Others in our group did.

The earliest AIM, messaging I am aware of was Jim Calvin's Tenex hack 
that we used on the ARPANet in 1972.  I still have transcripts of 
some of those evenings or did.  We called it teleconferencing in 
those days, but it was basically AIM.  I could go back and look but 
Jim had hacked the Tenex command that let you share "screens." (The 
early version let everyone speak at once and the characters would be 
interleaved. After he got it running, he quickly started adding all 
sorts of features.  (I may even have the documentation somewhere). 
We had been using almost nightly to chat and discuss "big ideas" and 
I believe that people got wind of it and it was included in the ICCC 
72 demo of the ARPANet.  After that there were a spate of papers on 
"teleconferencing" at some conferences.  Again, it was messaging, not 
what we call teleconferencing today.

Also in early 1976, we used a PLATO plasma screen to which a touch 
panel was added interfaced to an LSI/11 as a single use "intelligent 
terminal."  The LSI/11 was running a stripped down version of UNIX 
that we created called EUNIX.  It was either an early X-Windows or an 
early PC depending on your point of view.  The first version was used 
with a land use planning system that displayed maps of the 6 counties 
around Chicago down to the township (6  by 6 sections) and section 
level (a square mile) with land use data stored on 2 databases on 
either coast and accessed over the ARPANET.  There was a keyboard for 
major text entry but interface was primarily driven by touching the 
screen.  Data could be searched, displayed, combined and otherwise 
manipulated and displayed in graphs and maps.

A version was also created for the DoD that was used in DC and Hawaii.

Take care,

At 13:09 -0800 2009/11/22, Brian Dear wrote:
>The SixRevisions article, as well as The Guardian's recent online 
>coverage of the "history of the Internet", both get numerous things 
>wrong.  The fundamental problem is that you can't do a "history of 
>the Internet" and then talk about the earliest examples of various 
>online phenomena, because many of the online firsts did NOT happen 
>on the Internet or its precursors like ARPANET.
>* "1979: MUD - The earliest form of multiplayer games"
>This is simply wrong.   The PLATO system had a thriving community of 
>game players and game developers who created multiplayer games years 
>before "MUD" was developed.  "MUD" is in fact not even the first 
>MUD.   A multiplayer spacewar game was developed by Rick Blomme on 
>PLATO III around 1969.  Then on PLATO IV starting in 1972 a whole 
>rash of multiplayer games popped up, like Dogfight, Fishwar, and 
>other "big board" games (the whole notion of online multiplayer Big 
>Boards, where you could go see who was waiting to play a game with 
>you, started on PLATO).   In the following three years games became 
>even more sophisticated, like the famous Airfight by Brand Fortner, 
>a genuine shoot'em'up dogfight airplane game supporting 16 players, 
>that was the inspiration for Bruce Artwick (both Fortner and Artwick 
>attended the U of Illinois) who went on to create on of the biggest 
>games in history --- Microsoft Flight Simulator.   Then there were a 
>whole slew of mutliuser dungeon type games, including pedit5, 
>oubliette, Avatar, Moria, Emprise, dnd, and so on.  None of it on 
>Internet or ARPANET.
>* 1978: The first bulletin board system
>This may be technically true but it ignores the real point that in 
>1973 the Institute for the Future had its FORUM system on ARPANET, 
>and at the same time PLATO Notes came out, the a full-fledged 
>message board system.  PLATO Notes inspired Ray Ozzie (now Chief 
>Software Architect of Microsoft) to create Lotus Notes.
>* 1982: The first emoticon.
>The real history is that emoticons were far richer and more 
>graphically complex BEFORE 1982.  It's one o those weird Darwinian 
>twists, where the earlier organism was far more complex but lived in 
>a single environment and couldn't exist anywhere but.  On PLATO, you 
>could superimpose one typed character onto another, or even a bunch 
>of characters, and in so doing create very sophisticated emoticons. 
>See platopeople.com/emoticons.html for screen shots.
>* 1985: Virtual communities
>Way way inaccurate, and again, probably copied from The Guardian's 
>piece which also pushed this myth.  The WELL (which I have been a 
>member of since 1986) was a relative latecomer to the world of 
>online communities if you compare it to PLATO, which in 1973 had 
>notesfiles (message forums), chat rooms, and instant messaging.  The 
>WELL wouldn't exist for another dozen years.
>As for writing a dissertation on the development of online chat and 
>IRC, if you want to be accurate you better include PLATO because it 
>pre-dates AIM, IRC, and the Unix "talk" command.   Go research the 
>history of PLATO's TERM-talk (1973) and Talk-o-Matic (1973) if you 
>want to know about the earliest history of instant messaging and 
>multi-user chat rooms.
>- Brian
>Brian Dear
>PLATO History Project
>La Jolla, California