PLATO is a computer-based teaching system that originated at the University of Illinois. It is credited with generating innovations such as plasma displays and social computing. Games were played on the system as well. The PLATO conference, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., is being held in recognition of the system's 50th anniversary.
Ozzie stressed the excitement PLATO generated from people who worked on it.
"Many of us tried to recreate some of that excitement," Ozzie said. "Notes was something many people tried to recreate," based on what had been done with PLATO, he said.
Asked why PLATO is perhaps not as well-known as it might otherwise be, Bitzer cited the low-key approach to the project. "First of all, we did no advertising ourselves," he said.
Bitzer also lauded Apple's iPhone, calling it "amazing."
"I have probably as much appreciation for that as anybody," Bitzer said.
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