When Brian Dear walked through the doors of the University of Delaware in the fall of 1979, his intention was to follow his father and a long line of family members into the newspaper business.

Then he met PLATO, or rather one of the hundreds of large, boxy terminals that made up the early computer network PLATO that dotted the campus. This crossing of literal and electronic paths led Dear into a high-tech career as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, none of which existed yet, and eventually became The Friendly Orange Glow (Pantheon Books, 2017), which is subtitled, The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture.

“When I saw PLATO, I realized right away that was the future,” Dear, now a resident of Santa Fe, said recently. “How would society not embrace this?”

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