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RE: Elevator hacks, PLATO, Dept of Ed...

The authoring language for PLATO was TUTOR.  I still have my "Introduction
to TUTOR" book.

I'd tend to agree with your distinction between EE DELTA and Ed DELTA.  I
started visiting
DELTA at duPont Hall in its last couple of years there (getting rides from
Kendall in his Corvair,
trips reminiscent of "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" :-) )  There was a very large
hands-on component to
the environment -- I'd love to get a Turtle to show the kids _real_ LOGO!

Btw Bob, I apologize for not getting back to you on that VAX -- I wasn't
able to find any place to 
store it, so I hope it found a good home.

-- Tony

	-----Original Message-----
	From:	Bob Mader 
	Sent:	Wednesday, April 29, 1998 12:05 PM
	To:	deltoids@mcws.net
	Subject:	Elevator hacks, PLATO, Dept of Ed...

	Hi folks,

	I vaguely remember the Unix PDP-11/40 down the hall from 203. I
never really
	got much of a chance to play on it. All I can remember, though, is
that I
	thought it was odd that such an interesting machine lives in Willard
	of all places. 

	Speaking of strange computers in Willard Hall, I wonder how many of
	remember the PLATO system. There was a really fancy "PLATO
classroom" down
	the hall from 011, near the front door to Willard. I remember
	learning enough about how to write PLATO lessons to develop my own;
	topic was how to hack elevators, complete with pictures showing how
	operate the Smith Hall elevators with the door open. I can't even
	now what language the PLATO lessons were written in.

	I hope all these fun stories of elevator hacking and the general
	for system security isn't upsetting anyone on the mailing list. I
can't help
	but notice that we haven't heard from many of the folks who were
involved in
	the early days of Delta. I hope they aren't getting the impression
	Delta met it demise in the early 80's due to all of this mischief.
There was
	still lots of good learning going on.

	However, in my correspondence with Teresa Green and the Baker's
(Clark and
	Ed), I've gotten the distinct impression that Delta was very
different in
	the early days. It seems that under the EE Department, Delta was
	focused on getting students involved in learning about how the
	worked. With the transition out of Dupont Hall and over to the
Department of
	Education, the priorities seemed to change. Now, the computer was
view as a
	teaching tool on which applications were to be developed (like PLATO
	the operating system was totally hidden from the users). 

	I think what made Delta so very special is that the computer system
was run
	by the students. This was (and still is) a revolutionary concept.
Even now,
	with all the PC's and Mac's that are in high schools today, they are
used as
	teaching tools; very little emphasis is placed on how the computer
works and
	how to program it. But with Delta, it seemed the system was there
	for the students to learn how the computer itself worked.

	And look at the results! Look at all of the successful computer
people on
	this list (and honorable mention for the token journalist). If I had
kids in
	high school, I would be at every PTA meeting lobbying for a
	Linux box whose sole purpose would be that they just let the kids
loose on

Anyway, I didn't mean to get on such a tirade. I wonder, though, if
	would care to comment on this? Were things really different during
the EE
	days (before my time at Delta 77-80)? And does anybody know the
story of
	what happened at the very end of Delta? Did the Department of
Education just
	run it into the ground, or did the PC/Mac's make it obsolete or

	I want to go on record as saying thanks to all the folks who have
	their great Delta stories. I hope to hear many more! Also, thanks to
Jim for
	setting up this mailing list. And thanks to Teresa Green for
	Delta... what a difference it has made in so many lives!

	Regards for now...