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IRATA.ONLINE - a PLATO community for Retro-computing fans!


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#1 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:45 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.

 



#2 polyex OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:09 AM

 What are you running on DtCyber?



#3 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:52 AM

Yes, I am using NOS 3.8 on dtcyber, emulating a CYBER 170/865 with lots of disks attached.



#4 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:12 AM

Oops, correction, that's NOS 2.8 :) 

 

Here's a picture of the cyber's main scopes running cybis:

 

Io8okTj.png

 

-Thom



#5 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:42 PM

I am working on a new login screen to replace the original CYBIS one. 

 

Here's how it looks on PTERM:

 

irata_welcome_pterm.png

 

Here's how it looks on the Atari:

 

irata_welcome_atari.png

 

What do you guys think?

 

-Thom

 



#6 David Baldwin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:11 PM

I can login now my Pterm was going to the wrong server it was syberserv.org now its irata.online and all is going good.



#7 David Baldwin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:17 PM

it wood be nice to have a terminal for my vga 286 pc with 640k of ram  to log into system.



#8 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:26 PM

It is definitely possible. On the site, there are two sample terminal implementations, one for classic 68K macintoshes, and one for Sun workstations.

 

These are simple enough to see the basic aspects of the protocol in action.

 

There is also a complete specification for the protocol.

 

With this, somebody could write a terminal that creates a monochrome VGA display at 512x512 for PLATO.

 

-Thom



#9 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:25 AM

Just a reminder, it's on the site, but I will post it here. There will be an on-line meet to literally go through the system inch by inch, from 9p to 11p CDT tonight.

 

And there will be another one tomorrow, from 4p to 6p.

 

I will continue scheduling these for the foreseeable future, until people literally stop coming.

 

-Thom



#10 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:11 PM

The Saturday meet is now starting.

 

-Thom



#11 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 4, 2018 8:49 PM

More games have been added

 

 0ychess1 - Chess.
 0swat - player to player pong
 0freecell - Freecell Solitaire
 0solitaire - Traditional Solitaire
 0vegas - Las Vegas Keno
 
 
Also, more meets have been added this weekend to introduce the system to everyone. Please see the site for details.
 
-Thom


#12 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:24 PM

I've scheduled two more Google meets for:

 

Saturday, April 14th, 10am to 12pm

Sunday, April 15th, 10am to 12pm

 

Details on the website. :)

 

-Thom



#13 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:39 AM

Next IRATA.ONLINE meets are on Apr 21, and Apr 22, at 10am to 12pm CDT for both days. Google Meet links on http://www.irata.online/

 

I want to be sure to talk to coders from different vintage systems, so that we can get terminals written for every vintage system.

 

-Thom



#14 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:35 AM

Are you guys having trouble connecting to the hangouts? 

 

-Thom



#15 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:10 PM

Ok, I've now moved the meets to a self hosted service running on the same server as the main service:

https://meet.irata.online/demomeet

 

Links on the website have been updated.

 

-Thom



#16 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 13, 2018 5:23 PM

Thanks for discussing Plato on CoCo Talk.  Bummed out that couldn't join in.



#17 youxia ONLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2018 5:37 AM

Really great to hear that there's another mainframe hangout similar to cyber1. You can't get more retro than that ;)

 

Any chance to run the Doomsday 2000  game on your setup?



#18 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2018 8:05 AM

I've never seen that, is it on cyber1?

 

The system is a full fledged PLATO system, with the TUTOR environment completely available, so we can pretty much make any game that we want to play on the system.

 

-Thom



#19 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2018 12:10 PM

Some of the challenges of trying to get people to see this system:

 

(this was a mail I sent to David Murray, the 8-bit guy, i've gotten the same response from pretty much all the major youtubers:)

 

ZpTtmk8.png

I feel like no matter what i've done over the last few decades, I have to fight for each and every little win. :(

 

-Thom



#20 youxia ONLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2018 9:03 PM

Doomsday 2000 used to run on DEC machines: https://en.wikipedia...n_Thunderbolt.

To be honest I have minimal knowledge of the mainframe world, so I have no idea about how compatible these things were and if this game is suited for PLATO. I know it's possible to run it on something called OpenVMS: https://astr0baby.wo...-openvms-8-4-2/

 

I never had much faith in the "youtubers" (nor watched any of their stuff) and this email sort of confirms it. If somebody who calls himself an "8-bit Guy" does not know about PLATO and can't spare a minute or two to learn about it, then what hope is there? :)

 

Still, I hope you don't give up easily, it's an awesome initiative to keep these things alive. It's definitely a niche subject, yeah, I don't really need a youtuber to tell me that people prefer other ways to connect to the Internet, but it's not what retro computing hobby is all about, methinks.


Edited by youxia, Tue May 15, 2018 9:04 PM.


#21 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2018 9:40 PM

It would need to be rewritten in TUTOR. 

 

The good thing about PLATO (and therefore IRATA), is that there is a development environment on the system available to everyone, so that any user can make a new game, or...whatever they wish, for the benefit of the other users.

 

I am putting together a multi-player othello game.

 

-Thom



#22 polyex OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 16, 2018 10:06 AM

IMHO The 8 bit guy is younger than he likes to let on. I think he is more of a early 90s DOS computer enthusiast similar to Lazy Game Room reviews. I think he saw the popularity of more classic early 80s systems and has found success. I remember a video where he let it accidentally slip he was actually 3-4 years old when the C64 arrived. In other words its a popularity contest and a business for him, so dont expect much nostalgia from him for things from the late 70s/early 80s , as he was an infant at those times.

Edited by polyex, Wed May 16, 2018 10:07 AM.


#23 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 16, 2018 7:13 PM

IMHO The 8 bit guy is younger than he likes to let on. I think he is more of a early 90s DOS computer enthusiast similar to Lazy Game Room reviews. I think he saw the popularity of more classic early 80s systems and has found success. I remember a video where he let it accidentally slip he was actually 3-4 years old when the C64 arrived. In other words its a popularity contest and a business for him, so dont expect much nostalgia from him for things from the late 70s/early 80s , as he was an infant at those times.

 

I was only about seven or eight, and he found success where I have not.  I was late to both the C64 and Amiga parties, 1989 and 1992, respectively, but they are both indelibly intertwined into my life.



#24 polyex OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 16, 2018 7:23 PM

 

I was only about seven or eight, and he found success where I have not.  

 

 

Don't be so hard on yourself, if you enjoy the HOBBY then you are  successful!


Edited by polyex, Wed May 16, 2018 7:23 PM.


#25 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 16, 2018 10:27 PM

Honestly, I'm just pissed, because this seems to be the immediate impression with everybody who would actually be able to promote the system. Even with explanation, they don't understand the gap that's being filled.

 

-Thom






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