News

Videos from KansasFest 2013

Posted Fri, Mar. 20th 2015 in News

KansasFest 2013 videos are now available for viewing on the KFest YouTube channel. There are 17 videos with more to come. Big thanks go to Jeff Blakeney for shooting the footage and Mike Maginnis for video cleanup and post-processing. The sound isn't great due to air-conditioning units in the background, but the the sound is intelligible.

A highlight is the keynote address by Randy Wigginton with special guest Steve Wozniak.

 

Rebecca “Burger Becky” Heineman to deliver keynote

Posted Mon, Mar. 16th 2015 in News

image credit: Heineman’s personal website at http://burgerbecky.com/becky.htmKansasFest 2015, the 27th annual Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 14 –19 in Kansas City, Missouri. Rebecca “Burger Becky” Heineman, a prolific computer game programmer, designer, and industry veteran, will join us with a keynote presentation.

Heineman learned programming at age 16 and gained fame in 1980 as the first National Space Invaders Champion with a score of 165,200. Her career soon blossomed with credits in over 250 games including classics such as Tass Times in Tonetown, Dragon Wars, Crystal Quest, The Bard’s Tale III: The Thief of Fate, Battle Chess, and Wolfenstein 3D. She developed numerous titles for the Apple IIgs, other contemporary platforms such as the Macintosh and Super Nintendo, and modern platforms such as the Xbox 360 and Playstation 4. She has founded or co-founded multiple game companies, including the venerable Interplay Entertainment, and worked for many more. Heineman continues to work in the game industry, and her company Olde Sküül recently announced a new RPG, Dragons of the Rip. She has not announced an Apple IIgs port.

KansasFest is an annual convention offering Apple II users and retrocomputing enthusiasts the opportunity to engage in beginner and technical sessions, programming contests, exhibition halls, and camaraderie. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year's event. Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site in April 2015. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event's official Web site at http://www.kansasfest.org/.

You may follow Heineman on Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn.

KansasFest 2015 Coming Soon

Posted Mon, Mar. 9th 2015 in News

KansasFest 2015 BannerKansasFest 2015, which meets in Kansas City, MO from July 14-19, will open for registration in April.  We have a fantastic speaker lined up, and the banner above provides a hint about his or her identity.  Please check back for the announcement and registration date.

KansasFest 2015 will be July 14 – 19

Posted Sat, Feb. 7th 2015 in News

KansasFest, the 27th annual convention dedicated to the Apple II computer, will gather from Tuesday, July 14, through Sunday, July 19.  Users, programmers, hobbyists, and retrocomputing enthusiasts are invited to Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, for six days and five nights of sessions, demos, announcements, contests, and camaraderie.

Registration details and the identity of the keynote speaker are coming very soon.

2015 07 14

Remembering Bob Bishop

Posted Fri, Nov. 14th 2014 in News
Bob Bishop

Bob Bishop at KansasFest 2011 with one of his original cassette tape products.

Bob Bishop, co-founder of Apple's R&D lab and the keynote speaker at KansasFest 2011, passed away recently.  You may learn more about his legacy through the Apple ][ History website or a recording of the keynote.

In Bishop's obituary, his colleague and friend Mr. Wozniak shared that "[Bob's passing] indeed is VERY sad for me. It really makes you realize that all the good people you have known will pass someday. Bob was an important person in my life during the early Apple days, the later Apple days, and afterwards. I try to live by the concepts in his book Shades of Reality."

Bob was part of the early history of the Apple computer and has developed numerous commercial software titles, worked side-by-side with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, written a book on assembly language programming, and published articles in most Apple II magazines. Bob has lived what most of us only dream about, and he has the stories to prove it.

In 1976, Dr. Bishop knocked on Steve Jobs' door and ended up owning an Apple I. Soon, he bought one of the first Apple II computers. A few months later, the first graphical Apple II games, like Rocket Pilot and Star Wars, came from Bob's keyboard before Apple had even finished the documentation. Later, Bob brought speech to the personal computer with Apple-Talker and Apple-Listener. In 1978, Bob and Steve Wozniak founded Apple's research and development division. His program Apple-Vision was included on DOS 3.3 master disks, demonstrating the audio and video capabilities of the Apple II. Even after retiring in 1981, he continued using, programming, and writing about the entire Apple II line.

The stories do not end with the Apple II. Bob has hosted a radio show using the "Mr. Logic" personality, written essays, founded a comic book club, designed a computer programming language, and written online riddles.

Thank you, Bob Bishop, for everything you've accomplished and shared.

Apple II Forever Awards

Posted Sat, Oct. 25th 2014 in News

Since 2010, the KansasFest Committee has recognized members of the Apple II community who have made significant contributions to the Apple II, either in promoting or developing for the platform during its active years, or in helping to advance or preserve the Apple II since its production had been discontinued.

At KansasFest 2014 last July, we announced this year's winners:

  • Margot Comstock was the co-founder and editor of the much-loved Softalk magazine.  At its peak, Softalk had 250,000 readers and uniquely offered broad and deep coverage of everything Apple II related, including programming, game playing, business use, and home use.  She gave the keynote speech at KansasFest 2014.
  • Al Tommervik was the co-founder and publisher of Softalk magazine with Margot Comstock.
  • Michael J. Mahon is a respected expert on Apple II sound and distributed computing, and he routinely advances the capabilities of the Apple II.  He created AppleCrate II, a parallel processing system built from 17 Apple IIe’s, and he developed NadaNet, a networking technology underlying the AppleCrate. Mahon has also worked on sound synthesis projects, including the drum sequencer "DMS Drummer" in collaboration with 8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer.  He contributes his expertise to the community through extensive documentation and Usenet.
  • Andrew Roughan is a leader in the Australian Apple II community.  He has helped organize OzKFest, an Australian Apple II gathering, and is an accomplished programmer specializing in telecommunications software.  He is a contributor to Juiced.GS and to Marinetti, the TCP/IP stack for the IIgs.

Oz KFest 2015

Posted Tue, Sep. 16th 2014 in News

Are the post-KansasFest blues troubling you?  Did you miss KansasFest?  Don't worry; go to Australia for the southern hemisphere's greatest Apple II gathering.  Andrew Roughan, one of the event's organizers, writes:

The next Australian retro computing gathering, Oz KFest, will be happening in Melbourne, Australia, April 17-19, 2015. Come join us downunder for a few of days of retro inspiration, Aussie ingenuity and camaraderie!

The goal of the event is to provide a user group style environment to exchange ideas and discuss new developments in retro computing hardware, software, preservation, emulation and other related topics.

There will be a few attendees of past KansasFests and Oz KFests and we hope to imbibe the spirit of these events into Oz KFest once again.

The presentations during the weekend will come from the participants and therefore an invitation is extended for session proposals to be made via email to [email protected]

If you have an idea for a session that you’d like to present, please let us know so we can allocate a time slot for you. If you would like to learn something, let us know what that is and we will try to find a presenter for that topic.

Registration for the event is not yet open. However, now is the time to block out the dates in your calendar, arrange how to get there and where you’ll stay. If you need help, let us know how we can help.

For event details, see http://ozkfest.net and for breaking updates follow OzKFest on Twitter.

Reminder that the ‘Downunder Chat’ happens every Friday night from 9pm Australian EST in irc.a2central.com #a2.chat

Oz KFest (in Australia) is separate from KansasFest (in Kansas City) and has different organizers.  You're seeing this announcement on the KansasFest website because both of our groups share an interest in the Apple II.

HackFest 2014

Posted Wed, Aug. 6th 2014 in News

HackFest is the Apple II programming competition held over the course of KansasFest every year and open to all attendees.  Please see our archives to download any of these programs or to review the rules.  It's wonderful to see new software developed for the Apple II.

  • Jeremy Rand took first place with a clone of the 2048 game for the Apple II. (Download DSK)
  • Ivan Hogan took second place with his trigonometric function plotter. (Download DSK)
  • John Lane took third place with Thorin's Charge Card, a Wizardy 4 copy protection bypass hack. (Download TXT)
  • Charles Mangin participated with a biofeedback game and custom-built hardware. (Download ZIP)