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   Get a Signon!

  • You need to register to get a signon. Click or tap HERE to get going.
    Note: a signon is combination of a name and a group. Please use a form of your real name and if you don't know what a group is just let the system assign you one.
  • You will need to download/install a "terminal emulator". Click or tap HERE to pick the best option. You can also BROWSE our raw library of emulators.
  • TIP: If you just want quick access and are not planning on being a frequent user, download the right terminal emulator and then signon using any of the "demo1" - "demo10" names in group "demo".

   System Status - UP (last update received 2 minutes ago)

The system is UP. 22 users currently signed on.

Cyber1 sends a status update every 5 minutes to the website, and the last update was received 2 minutes ago.

Total registered users = 6141, total signons = 6889.

   What's been happening lately?
   What is cyber1?

Cyber1 is the name for our mainframe-based CYBIS system. To those familiar with PLATO, CYBIS, or early NovaNET, cyber1 will feel like coming home again. Cyber1 runs on top of NOS, the CDC mainframe operating system, generously contributed by BT Consulting & Systems Integration Services (formerly Syntegra). NOS in turn runs on top of DtCyber (watch out, this is a link to a .pdf), a software emulation of a CDC Cyber mainframe, created by Tom Hunter. is a group of people dedicated to the preservation of the world's first computer-based community, PLATO.

PLATO is a computer-based educational system created at the University of Illinois Control Systems Laboratory. The idea was first discussed at the University in 1959, in a long series of meetings led by Chalmers Sherwin. At these meetings it was concluded that computer-based education should not be pursued. However, the director at the time, Daniel Alpert, got together with Donald Bitzer to see if Don could quickly come up with a prototype that could serve as proof-of-concept. This prototype, running on an Illiac-I, became PLATO. The project was subsequently funded in 1960 by government money from the Joint Services Program. The lab grew and became the Computer-based Education Research Laboratory (CERL). PLATO eventually spawned a variety of commercial ventures, starting in 1975 with Control Data Corporation (CDC), a mainframe computer manufacturer founded in 1957.

The complicated histories of the various branches of the PLATO tree are beyond the scope of this website. One of the branches became CYBIS, a product of VCampus; another branch is owned by PLATO Learning, the company that retains the right to the PLATO name; a third became NovaNET, now owned by Pearson Education. Our system, cyber1, is a branch off of the CYBIS tree.

   What is the purpose of cyber1?

The purpose of is to create a community - a living archive - on our system, cyber1. The goals of this community are:

  • to preserve a sense of the community that permeated PLATO, CYBIS, and NovaNET,
  • to capture information about the development of this amazing piece of software history before the people who created it are gone,
  • to heal and bring together a community that over the years has become fractured,
  • to have fun.

Some ways for a typical user to accomplish the above goals are the following:

Become proficient with and use the system communication tools: notes, pnotes, notesfiles, and term-talking. Browse through the notesfiles on a regular basis, and get involved in discussions. If there are 30 of us, and every user writes a note or two per day, pretty soon we'll have quite a cool little community.

If you are an old PLATO/CYBIS/NovaNET programmer or courseware developer, you hold a special place on cyber1. Please contribute to chronicle. Chronicle is a notesfile where each base note corresponds to a lesson. If you were the author of, or associated with, a certain file or group of files, e.g. 0mcalc11, notes, or empire, start a note that records any information, stories, problems, etc. that were associated with the development of that little piece of history. Don't worry if it is boring. Entertainment is not the primary purpose of this notesfile. History is full of records that were thought boring or mundane by those doing the recording.

Because the goal is to create the community on the system itself, this website,, will remain small and simple.

   Main Attractions

Avatar: Bruce Maggs, Andrew Shapira, David Sides; later work by Tom Kirchman, Greg Janusz, Mark Eastom, Kevin Maxson, Chris Alix, John Hegarty, Felix Ortony
Camelot: Josh Tabin Click here to read a PDF file all about Camelot
dnd: Gary Whisenhunt, Ray Wood, Dirk Pellett, Flint Pellett
Empire: Chuck Miller, Gary Fritz, John Daleske, Silas Warner, Jim Battin
Moria: Kevet Duncombe, Jim Battin
Oubliette: Jim Schwaiger, John Gaby, Bancherd DeLong, Jerry Bucksath (view monster list)
Sorcery: Don Gillies, later work by Kurt Mahan and Andy Weise (created by Jim Mayeda)


PLATO: Donald Bitzer
Mainframe Emulation: DTCyber (Desktop Cyber) by Tom Hunter and the ControlFreaks
NOS 2.8.7: BT
Legal: McQuaid Bedford & Van Zandt LLP


Syntegra: Thomas Kennedy, Jim Kubiak, Joann Swoboda
Telswitch: Aaron Woolfson (authentic terminal restoration and PLATO keyboard enthusiast)
ControlFreaks: Tom Hunter for DTCyber, and the rest of the group for their vast knowledge of all things Control Data
Pterm: Paul Koning, Dale Sinder, Joe Stanton, other community contributors (it is open source)
Website Design: Mike Cochran (original design) with Wil Voss, Joe Stanton (recent work)

   System Staff (GROUP 's')

Consultants: Steve Peltz (steve at
Operations: Mike Cochran, Bill Galcher, Paul Koning, Steve Peltz, Paul Resch, Joe Stanton, Steve Williams, Steve Zoppi
Programming lead: Paul Koning (paul at
Network: Mike Cochran (mike at
Webmaster/Registrar: Joe Stanton (joe at

   Contact Us

We welcome comments and feedback and inquiries about Cyber1, PLATO, etc. Use our Contact Form to get in touch with us.