This year marks the 50th anniversary of PLATO, the pioneering educational courseware system that was also, for certain lucky individuals at certain universities, a preview of an online culture -- one that many others would not encounter for decades to come. In this conversation with host Jon Udell, PLATO historian Brian Dear recalls what it was like to experience an early distribution of a future that was, and in some ways still remains, unevenly distributed.
Brian Dear is founder and chairman of Eventful, Inc. in San Diego, CA. Prior to Eventful, Dear worked at a number of Web companies including eBay (where he was founding Director of eBay Design Labs), Eazel, MP3.com, FlatWorks, and RealNetworks. He was also co-founder and CEO of Coconut Computing, Inc., which built client-server software for building rich multimedia online services prior to the Web. He worked on the PLATO computer system for five years starting in 1979 and has since 1985 been researching the history of PLATO and its online community for a book which will be finally coming out in 2010, which happens to be the 50th anniversary of PLATO.
This free podcast is from our Jon Udell's Interviews with Innovators series.