The following article is set up in a form commonly seen on the Internet, called Frequently Asked Questions. It is designed to answer the most common questions people have about KansasFest, the Apple II event of the year. It is not designed to answer general questions about the Apple II, although there may be some overlap.
Questions? Please contact us!
Q: What’s a FAQ, and how is it pronounced?
A: The letters “FAQ” stand for Frequently Asked Questions. When people first hear of or learn of a subject, such as KansasFest, they often have several questions which others before them had when they also first learned of the same subject. A FAQ is a document listing both the questions and answers most frequently associated with new users, to save themselves (and others trying to assist them) time and frustration.
And by the way, it’s pronounced “fack”, nearly identical with “fact”.
Q: What is the purpose of this FAQ?
A: This FAQ is set up to assist people interested in KansasFest, also known as KFest. Many Apple II enthusiasts are interested in attending or just want some information about this event, so the most common questions are answered here.
Q: What is KFest?
A: KansasFest, abbreviated “KFest”, is a computing conference held every summer at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. Its original formal name was “The Apple II Summer Conference” while its nickname was “KansasFest”, which was abbreviated to “KFest”. Today, the conference’s official name is “KansasFest”.
Q: When was the first KFest held?
A: The first KansasFest was held in 1989. You can read more about the history of KansasFest on our Wikipedia page.
Q: When is KansasFest this year?
A: Check our registration page for the most up-to-date information.
Q: Where is KansasFest held?
A: KFest is held at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. The address and phone number are as follows:
1100 Rockhurst Rd
Kansas City, Missouri 64110-2508
United States of America
Q: May I ship items to KansasFest?
A: Sure. Please use the following address:
Rockhurst University Conference Services
Attn: KansasFest – [YOUR NAME HERE]
1100 Rockhurst Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2561
Make sure your package says “KansasFest” along with your name. Also, ship items to arrive just before you’ll arrive to reduce the chance of loss.
Q: If it’s held in Missouri, why is it called KansasFest?
A: Good question. It does take place in Kansas City, but if it makes you feel better, the Kansas border is very close to Rockhurst University.
Q: Who comes to KFest?
A: While KFest was originally devoted to programmers, nowadays all kinds of folk from all over the world surface at Rockhurst University. Programmers, users, hardware developers, podcasters, newsletter publishers, and everyday folk show up from Europe, Canada, Australia, and throughout the United States to celebrate the Apple II.
Q: Who sponsors and organizes KFest?
A: It was originally sponsored by Resource-Central, the folks who brought you the wonderful Open-Apple and A2-Central (among several other Apple II) publications. After Resource-Central became ICON, The Apple II Summer Conference became ICONference. This lasted one summer until ICON shut down. Two different companies sponsored KFest before InTrec Software, publishers of ProTERM, took over a few years back.
Q: How much does KFest cost? How do I register for KFest?
A: Current prices for KFest can be found on the registration page. Discounted prices are available for early registrants. You may register online or download the registration form and return it via email and mail.
If the above options are unavailable to you, please contact us for alternative arrangements.
Q: Do you offer daily rates? I can only attend part of the conference.
A: Wednesday, which includes the VIP Keynote, Garage Giveaway, and several evening sessions, is only available to individuals registering for the entire conference at rates advertised on our registration form.
Please contact us if you are interested in a daily rate for Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
Q: Do you offer press passes?
A: A no-cost pass to spend time, mingle, and interview is available to qualified members of the press. This pass does not include the Garage Giveaway, meals, or lodging.
Please contact us if you’d like to apply for a press pass.
Q: Which airport do I fly into, and how do I get from there to Rockhurst?
A: The major airport nearly everyone flies into is Kansas City International, which goes by the code letters MCI (not KCI, which will get you to Indonesia). Even though MCI is the closest major airport, it’s still most of an hour’s drive from there to Rockhurst, so walking is out of the question and cab fare would be substantial. Your best bet would be to try to catch a ride with another KFester who’ll be flying in or passing by around the same time you’ll be arriving. The best way to get in on the ride sharing is to join the KFest email list, as described later in this FAQ. Uber and Lyft provide cost-effective transportation throughout Kansas City and at MCI.
Q: What kind of official activities go on at KFest?
A: The official activities include a keynote speech, the Garage Giveaway, sessions on various computing topics, product demonstrations, the HackFest programming contest, and a vendor fair. Many past KFest sessions are available for download. The keynote presentation is Wednesday afternoon. Other sessions are all day Thursday through Saturday. Take a look at a previous schedule for an idea about what to expect.
Q: What’s this Garage Giveaway and what are the rules?
A: The Garage Giveaway is a chance for KansasFest to give retro computer items back to the community. It’s usually held on one of the mornings, and varies in size from year to year. Typically there are computers in various states of repair, monitors, disk drives, expansion cards, floppy disks, and magazines and books. Attendees are welcome to bring a few items to donate, as long as they are directly related to the Apple II or other vintage retro computers. We just have a few rules which we respectfully ask attendees to abide by:
- Don’t bring hard-to-dispose items such as CRTs or printers. This isn’t a dumping ground for your unwanted electronics. No cables – we always have a million. Anything that isn’t claimed (unless it’s rare) gets dumpstered, and we don’t want to be responsible for any e-waste.
- Items are intended only for attendees. Do not take items for people who aren’t present.
- Only take what you truly need or want, and only for yourself. We really, REALLY, don’t want to see items up on eBay. If you decide later that you don’t want an item, please donate it to someone else or to an organization. Remember, you got it for free, so pass along the favor!
- Don’t take items with the intention of tearing them apart and selling the components. This includes keyboards, disk drives, motherboards, etc.
- Please don’t take bunches of items like floppy disks just to re-image them, unless it’s very clear that they are junk (like IBM OS/2 installation disks :-). And don’t take all of the floppy disk sleeves, leaving the naked disks. That’s just not polite.
- In the hours leading up to the Giveaway, you’re welcome to browse the goodies. Just don’t take anything in advance and don’t hide that Bell & Howell underneath a pile of Nibble magazines. We want to give everyone a fair chance. If there is a specific item that you’re really hoping for, let a few people know. We’re all friendly and we want everyone to come away with one or two “treasures”.
Q: When should I arrive at KFest?
A: We gather informally for dinner Tuesday evening. Most people arrive mid-day Tuesday. Check-in opens around noon on Tuesday. Plan on arriving before 5pm if you would like to join us for dinner.
Super-early arrival is available on Monday, at an extra cost. There are no scheduled events on Monday, and no meals will be provided.
Wednesday morning is unscheduled time to move-in and get acquainted. The keynote usually occurs Wednesday afternoon, and some people choose to arrive Wednesday morning. After that, festivities and sessions, both official and unofficial, continue through dawn on Sunday.
The dorm is not available prior to Monday around noon, nor after 1pm on Sunday. If you choose to arrive earlier or stay later, you will need to book your own hotel room. You may post your travel plans to our discussion list if you would like to share a hotel room or organize pre-event social gatherings.
Q: What’s the dorm like?
A: It’s a college dorm, about what you might expect. The rooms are decent, with good air conditioning. The beds are twin-sized and reasonably comfortable, although certainly not as comfortable as a hotel bed. The bathrooms are communal, with men’s on one wing of the dorm and women’s on the other wing. The showers are individual stalls. There’s a private restroom in the lobby and a lockable restroom/shower in the basement.
Q: Do I have to stay in the dorm?!
A: Nope! We have a few different registration options, including a single room in the dorm, a double room in the dorm, or just the conference registration plus meals. There are plenty of attendees who either live in the area or choose to stay in a nearby hotel or Airbnb, and they have just as enjoyable an experience as those who stay in the dorm. We don’t make any distinction in the name badges, and since the meals are still included, you’re welcome to arrive each day in time for breakfast and stay as late as you want in the evening. We don’t have any specific hotel or Airbnb recommendations but there are plenty of options within a 10-15 minute driving distance to the campus.
Q: What is the parking situation? Will I be able to park on campus? Will I have to pay separately to park?
A: You’ll have two options for parking: on the street in front of the dorm (which can get crowded and is best used for loading and unloading) or in a gated parking lot east of the dorm. There’s no charge for any of these options.
Rockhurst strongly recommends that you park in their parking structure or gated lot. You can park in front of the dorm to unload then start parking in the structure until move-out day.
You’ll have to watch out for the one-way streets both on and off campus — there are a lot of them. The campus map gives you an idea of where everything is. We usually stay in Corcoran Hall (north side of campus). The campus roadways on this map have arrows indicating one-way traffic flow.
For outings, we’ll pile into available cars and carpool. It is not necessary to have your own car. Most attendees don’t have a car and don’t have trouble getting to off-campus destinations.
Q: What if I want to host a session?
A: Submit your ideas for a session via our online session submission form. Sessions can include new ways to use programs, new programs, new hardware, networking, or nearly anything else you can imagine. Everyone has something they can teach.
Q: What kind of unofficial activities go on at KFest?
A: Unofficially, there have been movie and coin-op arcade outings, pizza nights, Bite The Bag contests, late night eating at Denny’s or Steak & Shake, runs out to Krispy Kreme, Floppy Disk Ninja, Apple II Jeopardy, board and role playing games, and more!
A: Besides HackFest, there are several friendly competitions you can enter — often for prizes! — if you come prepared:
- Tie One On: In honor of Roger Wagner, attendees (men and women!) are invited to wear outrageous or ugly ties to the awards ceremony. The person with the best (or worst!) tie will be arbitrarily decided by the steering committee or by audience applause meter.
- Door Sign: Attendees staying on-site in Rockhurst University dorm rooms may decorate the door to their room. Posters, signs, knick-knacks, and other accessories are all fair play, as long as they can be safely removed at the end of the conference. Use blue painter’s masking tape only.
- Game competition: Gamers can compete in selected Apple II games. Although this contest doesn’t run every year, it’s always a crowd-pleaser when it does.
Q: Are meals provided?
A: Your registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Rockhurst cafeteria starting with Wednesday breakfast and ending with Sunday breakfast, except for Wednesday lunch and Saturday dinner (see below). Tuesday night usually features a trip to the Jack Stack restaurant, and there are popular vegetarian options nearby. For Wednesday lunch, your registration includes the KFest Kookout barbecue. For Saturday dinner, we visit local restaurants, and you are responsible for your bill.
Please indicate any special diets (vegetarian, etc.) during registration, and we will try to accommodate them.
Q: What’s with all the Krispy Kreme donuts?
A: Former KansasFest planning committee member, Juiced.GS editor, and social worker Ryan Suenaga was a health nut; a diabetic, he rarely indulged in sweets. But when, upon a trip to Kansas City, he discovered Krispy Kreme — something he didn’t have back home in Hawaii — he allowed himself this annual indulgence, treating all KansasFest attendees to dozens upon dozens of glazed goodies.
Ryan passed away unexpectedly in April 2011. Less than a week earlier, he’d tweeted, “One of my life goals is to leave 10% of my estate to a scholarship for Buddhists from HI studying social work.” In honor of that request, the Ryan Suenaga Scholarship Fund was founded at Kapiolani Community College.
The Thursday night of KansasFest, attendees are treated to Krispy Kreme donuts in memory of Ryan, in return for monetary donations toward his fund.
Q: Does KansasFest have an anti-harassment policy or code of conduct?
A: Yes. We gather to celebrate the Apple II. If your actions or words prevent somebody else from celebrating the Apple II, we may ask you to leave. If you feel harassed, please notify any of the conference organizers.
Q: I hear that the Rockhurst University dorm is wired for Ethernet. Is there a way I can access that while I’m there?
A: No. Rockhurst removed or disabled Ethernet jacks in 2017.
Q: I hear that there’s wireless Internet access in the Rockhurst dorm. How do I get hooked up?
A: Shortly after you arrive and check in, an address to a website and a code will be given to you. You will login to this site and authenticate, which will then authorize you with wireless access for the duration of the conference. Various Apple Airport Base Stations and other equivalents brought by convention attendees will likely help expand the available coverage. Please see one of them if you’d like to get on the wireless ‘Net.
Q: What should I bring?
A: Don’t worry, we have a complete packing list. What you bring will depend on if you’re flying or driving, but certainly you’ll want to have a computer with you (some people bring laptop Macintoshes; others bring their complete Apple II setup) and all associated accessories.
Q: What size bed sheets should I bring?
A: We offer an optional linen/towels/pillow package available for purchase during registration. You may, of course, bring your own linens. The beds are twin size.
A: KansasFest is not seeking sponsors. We’re happy to distribute one page flyers for Apple II products/services during registration at no charge. We accept donations to the prize pool for various contests, such as HackFest, in exchange for promoting you or your business on our website and between sessions. We welcome 15 minute sessions dedicated to product announcements. You may sponsor snacks or food at no charge to attendees and place your sign/banner adjacent to the offering. Please contact us before May 31 to make arrangements and resolve schedule conflicts. Please see here for vendors currently supporting our event.
Q: How can I learn more about KFest?
A: Visit the KansasFest World Wide Web site at https://www.kansasfest.org/ or send an email. You could also subscribe to the KFest mailing list. Many KFest regulars (and others) use IRC (Internet Relay Chat0, Discord, or Slack, especially during KFest itself.
Q: Should I go to KFest?
A: Need you ask? KFest is a must for the serious Apple II fanatic. Do yourself a favor — you’re worth it. Show up at KFest, the summer camp for Apple geeks.