Archive for 2011

KansasFest merchandise available at CafePress

Posted Mon, May. 2nd 2011 in News

When registering for KansasFest, you can add our official t-shirt to your order, letting you wear your team colors throughout the year and around the globe.

But what if you want to sport the KansasFest brand in other ways? Maybe you want to check the time on your KansasFest clock, wake up with coffee in your KansasFest mug, or snuggle up at night with a KansasFest teddy bear. Now you can, thanks to a variety of merchandise available at CafePress.

Although there’s still only one place to get the official KansasFest shirts, these other products make great complements. Please check out the full catalog of merchandise sporting the colorful KansasFest 2011 logo.

Please note that purchase of products from CafePress does not financially support KansasFest. To keep the CafePress products as affordable as possible, we have added no markup, and thus receive no profit from their sales. This service is offered as an option to our community, not as a fundraiser for the event.

Ryan Suenaga passes away

Posted Mon, Apr. 25th 2011 in News

Every KansasFest attendee leaves a mark on the event and the Apple II community, but few have attended for as long or have achieved the legacy of Ryan Suenaga.

Ryan attended his first KansasFest in 1996, making the trip from his native Hawai’i at the age of 29. He quickly became known for his trademark apparel, leading him to claim the motto, “Speak softly and wear loud shorts.” A few years later, he accepted the gauntlet Sheppy tossed down: “If you’re a programmer and you don’t have something to show at KansasFest, you suck.” He and the rest of the programming community rose to that challenge, ensuring a steady stream of announcements, surprises, and products for KansasFests to come. Even at KansasFest 2010, the first KansasFest that Ryan had missed since 1995, he submitted a recorded presentation to be played in his absence, announcing the pending release of an email client for the Apple IIGS.

Ryan enriched KansasFest through these and other traditions, both during and after his time on the event’s planning committee. With few opportunities to enjoy Krispy Kreme donuts in Hawai’i, Ryan fell in love with the treat while on the mainland, sharing his passion for the fattening delicacy by buying multiple boxes for his fellow attendees. Even in 2010, he sent funds dedicated to ensuring the tradition continued. Ryan constantly bemoaned his seemingly eternal role as Kirk Mitchell’s roommate, making for an odd couple indeed. Finally, Ryan was an occasional contestant or judge in HackFest, which he one year spun off into his own competition for hardware innovators: CansasFest, challenging attendees to construct their own Wi-Fi antenna.

Sadly, the KansasFest community is left to carry on these many traditions without the man who gave them to us. On Sunday, April 24, 2011, Ryan was hiking Hawai’i’s Olomana Trail with his friends when he suffered a fatal fall. He was 44.

Responses to the news on the KansasFest email list were many and immediate:

“I only got to meet Ryan one time, at my only KansasFest trek, and I thought he was an absolute delight.” –Carrington Vanston

“He was a social worker, kind man and one of those special people that made KFest the place to be.” –Sandra Warnken

“This breaks my heart … Even though we only met once a year at KFest, that was  enough to get me through the rest of the year.  You couldn’t ask for a better KFest roomie and friend.” –Kirk Mitchell

“This is like a bolt out of the blue. I have such fond memories of his sense of humour, and kindness, and all that he did for our close community. He will be sorely missed, and leave a large gap in our lives.” –Ewen Wannop

“Ryan has obviously been an important part of the KansasFest community.  He died much too soon. About the only good thing you can say is that he died with his boots on.” –Bruce Baker

“Ryan’s life was helpful to all in the Apple II and KFest communities. He was especially resourceful and generous to the old beginners, like me. I remember him and will miss him.” –Jack Hays

“I’ve never met a more honest or less selfish individual than Ryan. The Apple II community and the world lost an amazing individual.” –Dain Neater

Ryan was a dedicated writer, programmer, podcaster, social worker, uncle, and friend. He attended his last KansasFest in 2009 and intended to return in 2011, albeit embarrassed by failing to live up to his own standards: in an email dated April 5, he wrote, “Been so busy here, not only am I behind on email and taxes and blogging and working out … I can barely do anything Apple II right now. Looks like no project for KansasFest this year.”

In reality, nothing will suck more than knowing Ryan, a member of our community for decades, will not attend another KansasFest. His absence in Kansas City and in our lives will be felt for a long time, and his life and memory celebrated at KansasFest 2011.

In the meantime, we offer this gallery of 96 photos of Ryan from Ken Gagne’s albums, from 2002 through 2009, in roughly chronological order. We hope they inspire your own memories of Ryan when he was among the people he loved most, doing what he loved best: being a geek.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dining out at KansasFest 2011

Posted Sat, Apr. 23rd 2011 in News

When you register for KansasFest, almost your entire experience is paid for, from when you check in Tuesday afternoon to when you check out on Sunday. When it comes to dining, the only exceptions are dinner on Tuesday and Saturday nights. These two evenings are opportunities for attendees to explore the many fine dining options of Kansas City. There have been many traditions and venues over the years, and in 2011, we’ll again be trying something new.

On Tuesday, the first night of the event, KFesters will carpool and caravan to the freight house location of Jack Stack Barbecue, a restaurant that specializes in the BBQ that is a Kansas City hallmark. Jack Stack was the site of our Saturday night dinner in 2009, and our attendees’ accolades have us going back, but on a night that will be more accommodating to a party of our size. Departure from Rockhurst will begin around 5:30 PM CDT, so if you are arriving that day, please plan accordingly.

Lidia'sOn Saturday night, we’ll return to Lidia’s, an Italian restaurant that also hosted us in 2010. A variety of dishes, a flexible staff, and an elegant atmosphere will ensure the perfect finalé to a week of KansasFest.

It can be challenging to find just the right restaurants that will accommodate a large group of geeks and a diverse palette. We’re confident that this year’s combination, which was a popular choice in last year’s KansasFest alumni survey, will host the Apple II community to its satisfaction — and if not, we’ll listen to your feedback and adjust accordingly for 2012.

As KansasFest attendee Dean Nichols commented on our mailing list, “[It doesn’t matter to me] where we go to eat; it is the opportunity to break bread with friends that I value.” Regardless of the menu, you won’t find fellow diners like this anywhere else!

Bring a friend to save some dough

Posted Wed, Apr. 20th 2011 in News

KansasFest and the Apple II both have plenty of history behind them: the computer is 34 years old, and its annual convention is 22. That may seem intimidating, but in reality, the success of every KansasFest is based as much on the attendance of first-time attendees as it is the one person who’s attended all twenty-two years: both contribute to the experience just through their presence, and both go home knowing they’ll never miss another KansasFest.

Whether you’ve been coming for years or decades or have never come at all, we want you to help make KansasFest 2011 the best yet! We invite our esteemed alumni to share this experience with their friends, so here’s the deal: if a KansasFest veteran brings a first-time attendee, each will receive a $25 on-site referral rebate. Just mention your friend’s name in the “Special requests” field of the registration form.

Don’t let your friends miss out on the opportunity to join our community!

Exhibiting at the vendor fair

Posted Mon, Apr. 18th 2011 in News

A mainstay of KansasFest is the vendor fair, in which members of the Apple II community buy, sell, swap, and trade hardware, software, and publications. Despite its name, you don’t need to be a vendor to participate: many attendees come bearing monitors, floppy disks, and magazines looking for a good home. Whether you’re intending to be profitable or altruistic, the vendor fair has a spot for you.


Have something cool to show off? Bring it to the exhibit hall!

This year, the appeal of the vendor fair will be expanded even further by including an exhibit hall. This is the chance for you to bring out the hardware that’s been sitting in your dorm room all week and give other attendees a look at what you have under the hood. Whether it’s an Apple III, a HackFest entry, or an AppleCrate, all attendees are invited to show off their newest, rarest, or coolest hardware or software and let other Apple II users play with your setup.

Want to participate in the fair or exhibit hall? Indicate your interest when registering, or drop us a line! The event is held Saturday afternoon and is open to the public for viewing and purchasing.

Build your own A2MP3 card with Vince Briel

Posted Fri, Apr. 8th 2011 in News

Vince Briel's Apple-1 workshop

Vince's workshops have been a hit at past KansasFests. Sign up while you can!

Here’s another great reason to attend this year’s KansasFest: Vince Briel of Apple-1 replica fame will conduct a workshop in which you build his latest creation, the A2MP3 card.

With this expansion card for the Apple II, you can plug in a USB memory stick loaded with MP3 files and play them on your Apple II. As an extra bonus, the cards will have ‘KansasFest’ silk-screened onto the card. These uniquely branded cards won’t be offered anywhere else!

The workshop costs $99 and includes both the parts required to build the kit and Vince’s tutelage to help you put it all together. Some soldering will be necessary, but beginners are welcome! To reserve your spot, add the workshop to your shopping cart when you register for KansasFest.

KansasFest 2011 countdown NDA

Posted Mon, Apr. 4th 2011 in News

Counting down the days until KansasFest 2011? Let your Apple IIGS do that for you!

KansasFest committee member, logo designer, and former HackFest winner Peter Neubauer has created a GS/OS New Desk Accessory (NDA) that dynamically updates the days, hours, minutes, and seconds left until the 22nd annual Apple II convention opens for a week of sessions, competitions, friends, and surprises. Now you’ll never be wanting for a precise knowledge of how long before your anticipation is rewarded.

KansasFest 2011 countdown NDA

Can't wait for KansasFest? Neither can your Apple II!

Get your KansasFest 2011 Countdown NDA (with source code!) as either a SHK archive or PO disk image — perfect for your real or emulated Apple II.

First call for sessions

Posted Fri, Apr. 1st 2011 in News

Now that KansasFest registration is officially open, it’s time to put out the first call for sessions!

Eric Shepherd at KansasFest 2009Sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm for the Apple II is the bread and butter of KansasFest. Sessions generally take place during the morning and afternoons, typically run 30 to 60 minutes in length, and can touch on most any topic related to the Apple II family. But we need YOU to sign up to present a session. Just fill out the session proposal form to sign up today.

Past sessions have covered hardware, software, game demonstrations, and tutorials; integration of the Apple II with other devices; emulators; programming; history; interesting hacks; or any subject that would be of interest to Apple II users.

A few sessions that are already scheduled for this year include a workshop to build your own Apple II MP3 expansion card, how to hook up your Apple II to a home network for sharing files, a technical look at Apple III operating system and add-ons, and behind the scenes at the new Open Apple podcast.

Or do you have a topic you would like to see presented, even if you aren’t the one to do it?  Email us your idea.

If you’ve never done a session and would like ideas for topics or formats, check out our archive of past presentations. Any questions? Contact us!