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SXSW 2018: A Look Back at the 1960s PLATO Computing System - IEEE Spectrum
Author Brian Dear on how these terminals were designed for coursework, but students preferred to chat and play games [...]

“Out of the top 10 programs on PLATO running any day, most were games,” Dear says. “They used more CPU time than anything else.” In one popular game called Empire, players blast each other’s spaceships with phasers and torpedoes in order to take over planets.


And PLATO had code review built into the OS:

Another helpful feature that no longer exists was called Term Comment. It allowed users to leave feedback for developers and programmers at any place within a program where they spotted a typo or had trouble completing a task.

To do this, the user would simply open a comment box and leave a note right there on the screen. Term Comment would append the comment to the user’s place in the program so that the recipient could easily navigate to it and clearly see the problem, instead of trying to recreate it from scratch on their own system.

“That was immensely useful for developers,” Dear says. “If you were doing QA on software, you could quickly comment, and it would track exactly where the user left this comment. We never really got this on the Web, and it’s such a shame that we didn’t.”
plato  computing  history  chat  empire  gaming  code-review  coding  brian-dear 
4 weeks ago by jm

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