Archive for 2012

Apple II demo software celebrates KansasFest

Posted Fri, Dec. 21st 2012 in News

KansasFest alumnus Dagen Brock just released an 8-bit KansasFest-themed demo for us to enjoy over the holidays.  Dagen also agreed to an interview (see below) about his work.

What were your goals for this project?

I had wanted to port and release this fire code to an 8-bit platform for some time.  I had a GS prototype years ago and realized it would probably run fast enough on a IIe, but I had to rewrite some of the 16-bit instructions.  I finally got around to it sometime in early November, and once it was done I decided it would be neater to release it as a little demo with some extra effects.

What about KansasFest inspired you to pursue this project?

The people involved with KansasFest are inspiring for their commitment to the platform.  So many people are still creating new content and hardware for a platform that is 100% commercially unviable.  Those people do it for the thrill and the love, not for money.  So this is about love. ;)

Did you work on this alone?  If not, who contributed?

This was all me.  I should collaborate more.  We all should.  It makes everything better.  However, I was only able to do this “alone” due to all of the people who have helped me learn along the way.  There’s a great community on the CSA2 newsgroups that is always incredibly helpful when I get stuck.

What languages or tools did you use for this demo?

I started this in Merlin 8/16+ on the Apple IIgs emulator “kegs”.  Then I decided to move to a more modern editor so I built some custom tools that allow me to write code in “vi” on a modern computer, and then rapidly bundle that to a disk image and build it back in Merlin under kegs.  I also wrote some image/sprite conversion tools in PHP and my bundler uses a custom version of to_pro to make ProDOS images, which is written in C.  Finally, I test on a real IIe with the help of the awesome CFFA3000 card that lets me copy my bundle to a USB thumbdrive and boot it up.

What obstacles did you encounter?  

I didn’t learn assembly until I got an Apple IIgs as an early teen.  So I’ve never really done strictly 8-bit assembly programming before.  There’s a lot effort involved because you end up using a lot more zero-page pointers since you can’t use 16-bit index registers.

Where may I find the demo, including a video and disk image?

Demo is online in a “.dsk” file that you should be able to boot up in any Apple II emulator.  I have all of the assembly source code there too, but not all of the image tools I used to generate it.  I may clean those up and post them as well if I get time or there’s interest.

Disk Image/Source Code:
https://github.com/digarok/festro

Video:
Festro by Digarok

Happy Holidays!  See you at KFest!

Randy Wigginton to be keynote speaker at KansasFest 2013

Posted Mon, Dec. 17th 2012 in News

Randy WiggintonDECEMBER 17, 2012 — KansasFest 2013, the Apple II convention scheduled for July 23–28 in Kansas City, Missouri, comes on the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Disk ][ disk drive, Apple DOS, and Applesoft BASIC. To celebrate this anniversary, Randy Wigginton, Apple employee #6 and engineer who worked on all three of these innovations, will be the keynote speaker.

In 1978, Wigginton was a brilliant young high school student working alongside Apple co-founder Wozniak. Wigginton was an early member of the famous Homebrew Computer Club, often caught rides to club meetings with Wozniak, and was there for the unveiling of the Apple I. At age 14, Wigginton started writing software for the Apple I. He assisted with the early design of and software for the Apple II and manned the booth at the West Coast Computer Faire introducing the Apple II. He was part of the all-night coding session in January 1978 that allowed Apple to introduce a working disk drive the following day at the Consumer Electronics Show. Later that year, Wigginton adapted Microsoft BASIC to become Applesoft BASIC and wrote the RWTS (Read/Write Track/Sector) software routines critical to the operation of Apple DOS and the new disk drive. The MacWrite software was among Wigginton’s contributions to the company beyond the Apple II. Wigginton continues to work in the computer industry today, currently with Square.

Wigginton’s work on DOS and Applesoft contributed to the success of the Apple II computer. The low cost disk drive and DOS revolutionized data storage on the Apple II. The low cost disk drive and DOS revolutionized data storage on the Apple II. Previously, users had no choice but to use slow and unreliable cassette tapes to store and distribute their programs and data. Applesoft BASIC became the most widely used programming language for the Apple II and the foundation for much commercial and hobbyist software.

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 2013. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event’s official Web site at http://kansasfest.org/.

‘Tis the season to help KansasFest

Posted Fri, Nov. 30th 2012 in News

Not everybody appreciates an Apple II as a gift.

If you’re buying something through Amazon, please visit our affiliate link at http://HelpKFest.org first.  It won’t cost you even a penny extra, but Amazon will send KansasFest a tiny bit for every purchase.  Every cent we get will go back into making KansasFest even better.  Thank you for your support!

KansasFest 2013 scheduled for July 23-28

Posted Tue, Nov. 6th 2012 in News

KansasFest 2012 was an amazing event attended by alumni and newcomers alike. The many sessions, competitions, programs, and antics they shared made for memories that will last a lifetime.

Apple II enthusiasts around the world will have the opportunity to make new memories together next year, when KansasFest returns to Rockhurst University, July 23–28. More details, including pricing, keynote speaker, and more, will be announced on this site as they become available. In the meantime, it’s never too early to start saving your pennies or to request time off from work. The 25th annual Apple II convention will be the best yet!

Subscribe to our blog or to our discussion list to get more updates about this exciting event!

David Szetela on John Sculley and Mike Harvey

Posted Sat, Sep. 1st 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

On July 18, 2007, David Szetela, founding editor of Nibble Magazine, delivered the keynote speech at KansasFest, an annual celebration of the Apple II. In this segment, he discusses the impact and legacy of John Sculley and Mike Harvey. Video by Ken Gagne.

Recorded on 7/18/2007 by Ken Gagne and made available under a ,Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) Creative Commons license.

David Szetela on the Apple II

Posted Fri, Aug. 31st 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

On July 18, 2007, David Szetela, founding editor of Nibble Magazine, delivered the keynote speech at KansasFest, an annual celebration of the Apple II. In this segment, he discusses the departmental politics at Apple Computer Inc.

Recorded on 7/18/2007 by Ken Gagne and made available under a ,Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) Creative Commons license.

KansasFest 2009 Keynote with Jason Scott

Posted Thu, Aug. 30th 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

Jason Scott — digital archivist, proprietor of textfiles.com, and producer of the BBS and Get Lamp documentaries — delivered this keynote speech at KansasFest 2009 on July 21. This 20th annual Apple II convention was attended by retrocomputing enthusiasts from across North America, celebrating their favorite creation of Steve Wozniak.

Recorded on 7/21/2009 by Sean Fahey.

Off-platform Apple II development

Posted Wed, Aug. 29th 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

In this session, Dagen Brock deals with using modern development tools and languages to create code and assets for use in Apple II software, including definitions and comparisons of off-platform and cross-platform development; creating build pipelines; using modern tools to create audio and visual assets; and tying it all together, as well as conjecturing what additional tools could be developed to assist in this process.

Recorded on 7/22/2010 by Ken Gagne and made available under a ,Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) Creative Commons license.