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CYBIS Release 2

In late 2022, the idea to re-build and enrich the CYBIS Release 1 distribution was given some new life. Several members of the hobbyist community have come together to update the work initially started by Tom Hunter.

That work will be done here, on Retro1.Org!

Several ControlFreaks members have signified their interest in helping to accelerate this work and even if you want to just contribute by testing - your participation is welcome.

Building on the cornerstone works of many others: Kevin Jordan, Dale Sinder, William Schaub, Paul Koning, and others, CYBIS Release 2 is already underway!

Nostalgic Naming

Throughout these articles and unless otherwise specified, CYBIS and PLATO should be considered synonyms. The article contributors personal preference in their writing is their own.


Construction of CYBIS/R2 is a very labor intensive activity. The great work done by Kevin Jordan and William Schaub in building the “ready to run” CYBIS on NOS 2.8.7 is our starting point. This work can be taken much further!

  • The automation built into that distribution addresses many of the needs to get CYBIS up and running intially; and the final result is adequate for hobbyists who are trying to learn. But there are many aspects of the installation that remain undone from the perspective of actual operations.
  • Moreover, the ability to move from the Release 1 configuration to any other configuration is cumbersome, slow and extremely error prone.

The journey to address and fix these issues is being chronicled here with the objective of enabling all enthusiasts to network their systems together, wherever they may be! The Nostalgic Computing Center shows that this can be done, elegantly!

Because this work involves a variety of procedures which are infrequently used, but illustrate how things work internally, we are “showing our work” so future enthusiasts can see for themselves, how it can be done!

The Journey and Work Plan

During the journey, many new tools and artifacts have been, and will be created. The means by which some of these artifacts and references have been store and maintained placed many obstacles in the path of enthusiasts/hobbyists/returning contributors and this documentation attempts to create a coherent guide from which future participants can draw essential knowledge.

Wherever possible, they will be linked into the documentation here along the way. All of this work is a testament to the passion of the community and is being done without compensation or reward of any kind other than to keep a legacy alive. The Retro1.Org community helps each other contribute, refine and enhance these articles - “it takes a village.”

1.1 Initial Setup

  1. Installation NCC NOS 2.8.7 and CYBIS is our starting point (COMPLETE)
  2. For development - construct work packs: Add new ''GENERAL'' Packs to create general storage apart from the MASTER packs (which contain the distribution copies of the system). (COMPLETE)
  3. Prepare Documentation section of Wiki (COMPLETE)
  4. Set up DEVelopment and PRODuction environments (COMPLETE)
  5. Development (Staging / Testing Environment) online (COMPLETE)
  6. Production (Public Facing Functional Demonstration) online (COMPLETE)

1.2 Develop System Lesson Patches

One of the biggest constraints in deploying CYBIS/R1 is that many of the distributed lessons are not adequately prepared to run on the contemporary calendar. These lessons need to be “patched” with the fixes needed to compensate for present date and time. In addition to dates and times, many other patches need to be applied to the CYBIS/R1 fresh installation.

Not all patching involves blocks of all types. CDC.IO's patch system enables selective replacement of source, text, listing, common and charset blocks.

The following system lesson patches have been developed:

ACCOUNTS Subsystem

  1. s0account
  2. account1
  3. account2
  4. account2a
  5. account4
  6. accountc
  7. accountp
  8. accounts
  9. accountu

AUTHORS Subsystem

  1. authors
  2. authorsys

DIAG Subsystem

  1. diag2
  2. diag
  3. diagu


  1. s0load3
  2. s0load4
  3. s0load5
  4. s0uld3
  5. s0uld4
  6. s0uld5

NOTES Subsystem

  1. notes
  2. notesedit
  3. notesys
  4. s0notes
  5. s0nindex
  6. s0notrun
  7. pnotes
  8. pnotesys


CYBIS (CYber-Based Instructional System) started life as PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations) and was developed at CERL (Computer-based Education Research Laboratory) at the University of Illinois.

Later PLATO became a commercial product marketed by CDC. The rights to the PLATO name were sold and CDC rebranded the product CYBIS. Eventually University Online which became VCampus acquired CYBIS from CDC. VCampus is no longer in business and its assets (including CYBIS) now belong to Nat Kannan, its former CEO.

Through the efforts of Tom Hunter, Paul Koning, and Mike Cochran a copy of CYBIS is available for hobbyist use under the condition that it won't be resold or used for any commercial purpose whatsoever. This condition applies to the CYBIS software, tools and course content.

plato/release.2.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/10 08:28 by Site Administrator