PLATO Empire source?

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Wed Jun 24 10:24:37 CDT 2015

> On Jun 24, 2015, at 10:19 AM, Mouse <mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG> wrote:
>> What team were you on?  Wouldn¿t want the Kaz, Roms or Bugs to get
>> this kind of information..
> (Actually, I most often played R.)
>> <<acutally I don¿t know either.. sorry>>
> I built an attempt to recreate it based on decade-old memories sometime
> in the late '80s, which I recently dusted off (for those with git and
> curiosity, git:// should be
> clonable).  Looking at the screenshots, though, it's interesting how
> much I'd obviously forgotten, and the text there makes it clear there's
> also a lot more I never knew.
> The main reason I'm interested in the source to Empire is to make my
> recreation of it behave more like the original.  I'm not trying for a
> total clone - if that's what I were after I'd be looking for a PLATO
> simulator to run the original on - but something that feels not too
> unlike it while still being recognizably a little more modern (for
> example, using finer resolution on the display).  This is obviously a
> balancing act….

The 0 prefix in the lesson name indicates a “published lesson” — which means a frozen copy of the original made by CDC and distributed as part of the PLATO distribution.  The original name was “empire” and it became famous under that name at its original home, University of Illinois PLATO.

As for PLATO simulation, there is one, which John mentions (cyber1).  That consists of the CDC 6000 emulator “DtCyber” by Tom Hunter, plus a copy of PLATO authorized by its current owners and taken from the last known production PLATO system, plus some additional lessons (programs) recovered from various archives.  It connects to terminals — either real PLATO terminals or an emulation program “pterm” over TCP connections.  Access is available to all, on request, see the website for details.

That said, the copies of empire on that system (there’s a 0empire and an empire) are not set for open source “open inspect” access.  I had not seen John’s comment about open source.  Possibly he intended to make the sources visible at some other location.  If he wants the copy on cyber1 to be open-inspect, that’s easy to do but it would require a specific note from him to the cyber1 admins (of which I’m one) to authorize the change.


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