Archive for 2009

Mark Simonsen of Beagle Bros to keynote KansasFest 2010

Posted Tue, Dec. 22nd 2009 in News

Beagle Bros logo KANSAS CITY, MO — December 22, 2009 — Mark Simonsen, employee number three and later owner of Beagle Bros, will be the keynote speaker at KansasFest 2010. At Beagle Bros, whose popular software products for the Apple II hobbyist demonstrated the publisher’s quirky sense of humor, Mark developed software including Flex Type, Beagle BASIC, Beagle Graphics, Triple-Dump, and Double-Take. In the early 1980s, Mark decided that he “wanted to work with the Apple for the rest of [his] life,” a statement that captures the enthusiasm and spirit of Mark, Beagle Bros, and many Apple II users.

Beagle Bros started in 1980 under the direction of Bert Kersey to provide software to casual users of the Apple II. A year and a half after graduating with a degree in computer science from Brigham Young University, Mark “fell in love with the Apple.” Mark published Flex Type through Beagle Bros in 1982, joined the company as a programmer in 1983, and bought it in 1987 at the age of 29.

Besides software like Shape Mechanic, GPLE, and DOS Boss for budding programmers, Beagle Bros produced books, posters, and even advertisements full of clever and useful tidbits demonstrating the capabilities of the Apple II. Later, the company produced highly regarded productivity software like Platinum Paint, BeagleWrite GS, and the TimeOut line of AppleWorks add-ons. Beagle Bros earned many loyal followers thanks to the combination of quality products, enthusiasm, and humor.

Mark sold the company’s product line in 1991 and 1992 to Quality Computers. Today, Mark helps save memories as the CEO of iPreserve, a company specializing in photo, film, video, and document preservation.

KansasFest 2010, the 21st annual Apple II conference, is set for July 20th through July 25th at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest Committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II and Macintosh users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year’s “summer camp for geeks.” Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site in early 2010. Please heed the warning from Beagle Bros and refrain from feeding your disks to alligators. For photos, schedules, and presentations from past year’s events, please visit the event’s official Web site at

KansasFest 2010

Take time off for KansasFest 2010

Posted Thu, Oct. 8th 2009 in News

KansasFest is scheduled for July 20 – 25. It seems like a long time away, but its less than a year from now. If you want to attend and have a full-time job, you need to coordinate with your co-workers and supervisor. A day off here and there can usually be scheduled on short notice, but a full week off requires some planning — especially since the summer is a popular time for vacations, and not all employees can take the same week off.

Check at your workplace and see what their policies are. Some companies accept vacation requests only within the same calendar year; others limit themselves by the fiscal year (which for some businesses began October 1st). Whenever they let you make your request, the sooner the better, so be sure to put KansasFest 2010 on both your personal and professional calendars.

While everyone else is getting sunburned at the beach or getting their cheeks pinched at boring family reunions, you’ll be enjoying the air-conditioned company of your fellow geeks. Now that’s a vacation!

KansasFest 2010 coming July 20 – 25

Posted Mon, Aug. 24th 2009 in News

How have you spent the month since KansasFest 2009: suffering from withdrawal? Or poring over the photos and sessions, wishing you’d been there?

Whether you be a veteran or a newcomer, you have something to look forward to, as KansasFest 2010 is official! We’ll be at Rockhurst University of Kansas City, Missouri, USA, from July 20th to the 25th.

More details about KansasFest MMX, including keynote speaker, registration, and more, will be posted here as they become available. In the meantime, mark your calendars, save your pennies — or sign up to present a session! Whatever you do, don’t miss this chance to attend one of the world’s best and longest-running Apple II conventions.

Replica 1 workshop gallery at Computerworld

Posted Fri, Aug. 14th 2009 in News

Vince Briel's Apple-1 workshopAs Vince Briel conducted his Replica 1 workshop on the last full day of KansasFest 2009, Ken Gagne, one of six students in the class, had his progress documented in photography. The result is an image gallery at showing many of the steps (and obstacles) involved in assembling a working Apple-1 clone. It’s great to see KansasFest getting coverage in the mainstream press!

For a more informal look at KansasFest, there are plenty of other photos to complement our videos and podcasts. Check out our photo gallery for pictures by KansasFest attendees Ryan Suenaga, Bruce Baker, and Mark Frischknecht.

Redesigned file archive

Posted Wed, Aug. 12th 2009 in News

Thank you to all who contributed their KansasFest 2009 sessions to our Web site’s archive!  We added more files this year than in several other years combined.  That, along with additional file formats for even greater accessibility to these sessions, quickly grew the KFest archive to unwieldy proportions.

We are happy today to unveil a completely redesigned file archive. This new layout is easier to read; is viewable with all major Web browsers, including Safari, Firefox, and Lynx; and is sortable.  Want to find all of 2005’s files, or all of Eric Shepherd’s presentations, or all HackFest entries, or all sessions available in PDF format?  Just click on the column header, and they’ll leap to the top! (or bottom!)

Thanks again to everyone who has allowed their files to be converted, uploaded, and made available.

If you have any suggestions for this or any other aspect of, please feel free to share.

Keynote speech and session videos

Posted Fri, Jul. 31st 2009 in News

In addition to yesterday’s aural coverage of KansasFest 2009, several of this year’s events were also captured on film. Sean Fahey of recorded the entirety of Jason Scott’s keynote speech, up until the open Q&A afterward:

And KansasFest attendee Bruce Baker captured a few minutes here and there of four of the sessions:

A concerted and official effort will be made to record future KansasFest sessions. In the meantime, our thanks to the above volunteers for providing us with this media.

Retrobits, A2Unplugged, and RetroMacCast podcasts

Posted Thu, Jul. 30th 2009 in News

During this year’s KansasFest, Earl Evans of the Retrobits podcast interviewed KansasFest attendee Ken Gagne about the event (iTunes). The episode, published this week, was recorded last Thursday, halfway through KansasFest 2009. Among the general info about the conference’s history and traditions is a look at this year’s sessions, attendees, and keynote speaker.

Also recorded live at KansasFest was A2Unplugged (iTunes), hosted by Ryan Suenaga and co-hosted by Juiced.GS associate editor Andy Molloy.

Ken also appeared earlier this summer on the RetroMacCast podcast (iTunes), where he talked about how he got involved in KansasFest and how it differs from larger shows like Macworld Expo.

Arkanoid door sign wins Welcome to Macintosh DVD

Posted Tue, Jul. 28th 2009 in News

Each year, KansasFest encourages its attendees to compete in a number of silly contests. One of those contests is the Door Sign contest, in which entrants decorate the door of their dorm room. This year’s winner was Mark Frischknecht, who created a Breakout-theme design, which was adapted to film by KansasFest organizer Tony Diaz, with help from Mark, Ivan Drucker, and Paul Zaleski:



For his efforts, Mark won a copy of the Welcome to Macintosh documentary:



Even better, the DVD was signed by Vince Briel, who was at KansasFest hosting a Replica-1-making workshop. Vince is featured in the documentary: