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I've submitted a proposal to the SXSW 2011 Interactive Conference in Austin, TX. SXSW wrote back and said they loved the idea, but it seems like it's up to the world to vote for the session to make sure it gets added to the agenda.

The session is on NewsReport, which I argue is the world's first online newspaper (and perhaps blog). Certainly the earliest precursor to what we see commonplace today on the web, as far as I can tell. Should be a great session.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: You can help make this session come about by going to the link below and clicking on the thumbs up icon, indicating you're voting in favor of this session. Please vote, and spread the word via Twitter and Facebook and elsewhere! Thanks!

Please Vote

The PLATO: A Culture of Innovation panel from the PLATO@50 conference, June 3, 2010. Featuring Don Bitzer, David Frankel, Tina Gunsalus, and Bob Price. Moderated by Bob Sutton. About 80 minutes long.

The Software Panel at the PLATO@50 conference featured Dr. Bob Rader, Dr. Bruce Sherwood, Mike Walker, and moderator Steve Gillmor. It's about 68 minutes long.

The PLATO@50 conference panel on Hardware Innovations featured Dr. Donald Bitzer, Dr. Roger Johnson, and Dr. Larry Weber. The Moderator was Philip McKinney. It's about 86 minutes long.

The Games Panel at the PLATO@50 conference featured John Markoff (Moderator), Bruce Artwick, John Daleske, Dr. Brand Fortner, Dr. Andrew Shapira, and Rich Hilleman. It's about 71 minutes long -- enjoy!

The Computer History Museum has uploaded another video from the PLATO@50 conference, late this afternoon -- the panel on Online Community. Featured are Charlene Li (Moderator), Dave Woolley, and Kim Mast, and Lili Cheng of Microsoft.


The Computer History Museum uploaded another high-definition video of a PLATO@50 panel session to YouTube today. This is the 1hr 9min video of the Online Education panel from June 3rd. It features an introduction by CHM CEO John Hollar, and a panel including Dr. Ruth Chabay, Dr. Sharon Dugdale, Bonnie Anderson Seiler, and Dr. Bruce Sherwood. The Moderator is Dr. Roy D. Pea:


PLATO@50 Commemorative Booklet For those unable to attend the conference, I thought you might be interested in this. One of the things we put together for attendees was a 24-page illustrated booklet summarizing the history and significance of PLATO.

The Computer History Museum has a relationship with the MagCloud service which lets anyone print their own magazines, and they've begun a series of computer history booklets at the MagCloud site. The PLATO@50 booklet is the second in this new series.

Click on either the above or below image to go to the MagCloud page to get details on the booklet and to find out how you can get a copy.

PLATO@50 Commemorative Booklet sample pages

The booklet has a nice foreword by Donald Bitzer, has lots of great photos and PLATO screen shots in all their glorious orange pixels, and text written by yours truly. CHM did a really nice job on the design and layout too. Enjoy it!

One technical note: I was particularly pleased at how well some of the PLATO screen shots came out. I often hear print people and layout folks shudder at the notion of rendering 72-dots-per-inch screen grabs direct into print, as they usually want 150-dpi or even 300-dpi for print use, and 72-dpi seems to set PhotoShop gurus right off. But happily, the plain ol' 72-dpi TIFF screen grabs came out fine. Whatever magic they did to get them in the booklet worked.

The Computer History Museum had posted the first video of the entire evening of June 2, including introductory remarks by CHM CEO John Hollar, a 15-minute PLATO historical overview by yours truly, and then the conversation with Donald Bitzer, Ray Ozzie, and John Markoff. It's about 90 minutes total. Here it is:


Learn more about the book:

The Friendly Orange Glow: The Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture, by Brian Dear

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