Workshop: Build Your Own Computer

Posted Wed, Jun. 25th 2014 in News

Vince Briel of Briel Computers will be hosting a workshop at KansasFest 2014.  With his expert guidance, you'll have the opportunity to build your very own computer from a pile of parts and a soldering iron.  The workshop is suitable for beginners who aren't sure which end of the soldering iron to hold and has been a hit at several past events.

You may choose from several kits.  If you'd like to join, please pre-register and pay on Vince's website by July 10.  You need to bring a few basic tools listed on the registration website.

Superboard III – Based on the Ohio Scientific Superboard II AKA OSI 600 or C1P in the case, the new Superboard III is a singleboard computer with a built in video display and keyboard.

replica 1 – The replica 1 is a functional clone of the apple 1 and uses some of the original chips like the 6502 and 6821.

PockeTerm – The PockeTerm is a single board terminal that uses a Parallax Propeller micro-controller to emulate a VT100 terminal.

Micro-KIM – The Micro-KIM is a reduced sized replica of the KIM-1. The KIM-1 was a single board computer designed to help aide with 6502 engineering development.

Workshop: Stitch Your Own Apple IIe Ornament!

Posted Wed, Jun. 4th 2014 in News

KansasFest 2014 will feature a hands-on workshop from Sarah Walkowiak.  If you'd like to participate, you must sign-up in advance with Sarah by July 10.

Apple IIe ornament

Workshop length: 1.5 hours

Learn to stitch your own Apple IIe Ornament as featured in the December 2011 issue of Juiced.GS! In this workshop you will be creating your own plastic canvas Apple IIe ornament in your choice of monitor color scheme: rainbow, green monochrome or amber monochrome.

This workshop will cover the basics of counting and cutting plastic canvas shapes, stitching techniques, reading sewing patterns, joining sides and edges of a box, and tips for the extra detail work, such as outlining the keyboard keys and attaching the cord for hanging. This session will also include some extra-special additions to the original pattern just for KansasFest!

This workshop will get you started on your ornament and teach you the techniques you need to create it. Based on the time constraints, it is not expected that you will finish your entire ornament in the workshop. However, you can continue to work on your ornament through the week, and Sarah will be available to answer questions in the hallway or via email etc.

Skill level: Beginner to novice, previous sewing experience not necessary but helpful.

Notes: I welcome everyone who wants to participate in this workshop to be able to do so if possible. However, please be aware that we will be stitching on very small canvas, with sharp needles. This project will require some dexterity, and may be difficult for those with physical mobility concerns or vision impairments.  Please feel free to bring magnifiers or other assistive devices if needed. Needle threaders will be provided.

If you have additional concerns about the small size of the canvas, I can arrange to bring materials to make an ornament on slightly larger 7-count plastic canvas and using yarn instead of embroidery floss. The larger ornament will be slightly bigger and will have slightly different colors and stitches but will be essentially the same shape and pattern as for the rainbow ornament.

Large print patterns will also be available, or you can zoom in to the PDF version if you are bringing a laptop, tablet or mobile device that can read PDF files. Please make a note on the registration form for your preference.

This workshop requires pre-registration and a small fee of $7 to cover materials which can be paid on-site, sign up here.

Don't forget to register for KansasFest, too, before July 10.

Early registration ends June 1

Posted Fri, May. 30th 2014 in News

Discounted early-bird registration for KansasFest ends on June 1 (this Sunday).  It's pretty simple: Register before then at  You'll get the usual awesome sessions, camaraderie, keynote from Margot Comstock, and good times, and you'll have more money in your pocket than your buddies who wait a day.

The registration price with a room will go up $55 on June 1 and close on July 10.

We have a long list of exciting sessions planned already:

  • Off-the-grid Total Portability for the Apple IIc (Steven Buggie)
  • Sew your own Apple II ornament (Sarah Walkowiak)
  • Writeaway: An Apple II Word Processor (Bill Wallace)
  • Apple II Pi (David Schmenk)
  • Controlling I/O via game port interface, or "How I learned to stop worrying and love the Apple II rocket launcher" (Ivan Hogan)
  • Emulator detection in 6502 assembly language (Mark Pilgrim)
  • Pascal as my second Language (Jay Graham)
  • Accelerating the IIc+ (James Littlejohn)
  • Accessing the A2MP3 USB thumbdrive storage from Applesoft BASIC (Michael Sternberg)
  • Star Saga One using VASSAL (Michael Sternberg)
  • AppleTalk Networking with GSport (Peter Neubauer)
  • A2CLOUD and A2SERVER 2014 (Ivan Drucker)
  • Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of Sara (Tony Diaz)
  • Jungle Adventure: an interactive text adventure (Ken Gagne)
  • 3D Print Your Next Apple II (Charles Mangin)
  • Making Apple II software on Mac OS X with cc65 (Carrington Vanston)
  • A.P.P.L.E. — A Highlight of Current Projects and Products (Bill Martens & Brian Wiser)
  • The Third Wave: A brief history of the Apple /// (Mike Maginnis)
  • Virtual Apple (Mike Maginnis)
  • A look at Apple's appearances at computer shows/conventions/etc (Mike Maginnis)
  • Computer Art Technology (Andrés Lozano)
  • Build a computer workshop (Vince Briel)
  • Japanese on the Apple IIGS (Ian Johnson)

Call for sessions

Posted Wed, Apr. 30th 2014 in News

While the evenings and nights of KansasFest are renowned for their spontaneity, the mornings and afternoons are reserved for sessions spanning a variety of uses, extensions, and applications of the Apple II family. Just as varied as these sessions are the good people who volunteer to present them. If you have a topic you'd like to present, please fill out the session proposal form.

Some sessions already on the dock for this year (subject to change) include:

  • Off-the-grid: Total portability for the Apple IIc
  • Sew your own Apple II ornament
  • Writeaway: An Apple II word processor
  • Apple II Pi
  • Controlling I/O via game port interface, or "How I learned to stop worrying and love the Apple II rocket launcher"
  • Emulator detection in 6502 assembly language
  • Pascal as my second language
  • Accelerating the IIc+
  • Star Saga One using VASSAL
  • AppleTalk Networking with GSport
  • A2CLOUD and A2SERVER 2014
  • Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of Sara

Do you have a topic you would like to see presented, even if you aren't the one to do it? Contact us or post it to the mailing list.

Past sessions have included hardware, software and game demonstrations and tutorials; integration of the Apple II with other devices; emulators; programming; Apple II history; or any subject that would be of interest to Apple II users.  We are especially interested in and prioritize sessions that focus on Apple II-related topics. But as space allows, we also love Mac, iOS and a stray Windows or Linux session or two.  Sessions are typically 30 to 60 minutes in length and are held at various times throughout the daytime (and sometimes evening) hours.

If you've never done a session, check out a sample of past year's contributions.

KansasFest 2014 opens for registration

Posted Tue, Apr. 8th 2014 in News

KansasFest, the 26th annual convention dedicated to the Apple II computer, is now open for registration. Users, programmers, hobbyists, and retrocomputing enthusiasts are invited to Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, from Tuesday, July 22, through Sunday, July 27, for six days and five nights of sessions, demos, announcements, contests, and camaraderie.

The week kicks off with keynote speaker Margot Comstock, co-founder and editor of the much-loved Softalk magazine.  Comstock will be available immediately afterward for a Q&A and autograph session.

Attendees are encouraged to share their knowledge by presenting their own hardware and software sessions, especially of the Apple II but including Macintosh, Windows, Linux, iOS, and others. All KansasFest sessions are presented by the attendees, who are known for unscheduled events and debuts, too. Whether it's a behind-the-scenes look at new software, preorder opportunities for new hardware, a live-action text adventure, a podcast recording session, Structris tournaments, or an athletic round of Bite the Bag, there are experiences to be had and memories made at KansasFest that aren't possible except in the company of surprising, brilliant, diehard Apple II fans.

Register before June 1 to guarantee a price of $385 for a double room or $455 for a single, which includes admission to all sessions as well as most meals. Official KansasFest shirts are extra and optional and must be ordered by July 1; registration for staying on-site closes July 8. To register, please visit the official registration form.

KansasFest sponsor 16 Sector invites any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends to attend the world's only annual Apple II conference. For photos, videos, schedules, and presentations from past year's events, to sign up for the email list and for inquiries, please see the menu to the left.

Margot Comstock to deliver keynote speech at KansasFest 2014

Posted Fri, Feb. 21st 2014 in News


KansasFest 2014, the Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 22 –27 in Kansas City, Missouri.  Margot Comstock, co-founder and editor of the much-loved Softalk magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation.

Comstock and Al Tommervik founded Softalk in 1980 to share the hardware, software, and people behind the Apple II.  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.  Later, Softalk Publishing produced magazines for the emerging Macintosh and IBM markets, ST.Mac and Softalk for the IBM Personal ComputerSoftline, a game magazine begun by Ken William’s OnLine Systems and later renamed to ST.Game, was Softalk Publishing’s second longest-lived magazine.  Softalk Books published several books by the magazine’s columnists and a Mac book by Doug Clapp.

The Apple II magazine ran for four years before industry changes and expenses led management to cease publication.  In that time, Softalk earned many loyal fans, and a group of volunteers is working to archive and share issues.  The Smithsonian Institution recognizes Comstock and Tommervik as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution and Softalk as a chronicle of that revolution.

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 early 2014. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event's official Web site at

Posted Mon, Feb. 17th 2014 in News


The People of KansasFest

Posted Mon, Aug. 19th 2013 in News

Who goes to KansasFest?  A series of short interviews published on Computerworld from Ken Gagne tries to answer this question.  Through these videos, you'll meet some diverse and interesting guys and gals who attended KansasFest 2013.

When you're done with those, enjoy three bonus interviews.

Thank you to Ken for planning, recording, and publishing all of these profiles.  And, thank you to Ivan Drucker, Carl Knoblock, and Dr. Steven Weyhrich for sharing their history with the Apple II.