KansasFest 2020: Going Virtual

Posted Wed, Apr. 15th 2020 in News

As has been outlined on previous messages about this, the KansasFest board has been deliberating on what to do about this year’s annual gathering. Initially it was hoped that the world and national situation would be sufficiently improved by July that we could proceed as usual. However, it has become clear that the economic disruption and potential health risks make gathering in Kansas City this year no longer viable.

Rather than completely canceling this year’s event, the Board has decided to move in the same direction as many others have done, and that is to have a gathering via group meeting software, a sort of “Virtual KansasFest”.

We plan to hold this online event Friday and Saturday, July 24–25, 2020, for about six hours each day (with breaks included as usual). Since this is an abbreviated event, speaker times will also be abbreviated, each running from 15 to 30 minutes (session announcement to follow separately).

The registration cost for Virtual KansasFest 2020 will be $20 per person. This will guarantee a login spot to attend all talks and participate in online activities, as well as a commemorative 2020 KFest pin which will be mailed separately (postage paid). This will also include a discount coupon for an optional T-shirt, to be ordered separately. Session recordings will be available free of charge (as usual) on YouTube and the Internet Archive. 

We have been in communication with our previously announced keynote speaker, Robert Woodhead of Wizardry fame, and have decided to postpone his keynote until KFest 2021, when we expect we will be back to our usual meeting together in Kansas City at Rockhurst. 

Further information will be provided in the near future, and we expect to open registration on April 30th. Put it on your calendar, and plan to meet online with us in July!

KansasFest 2020: Watching and Waiting

Posted Fri, Apr. 3rd 2020 in News

The KansasFest planning committee continues to monitor the worsening COVID-19 situation. We all want the convention to occur as planned, as it has for the last 31 years. We’re considering both your safety and our ability to get enough attendees to break even financially. The future is difficult to predict. We’re continuing to plan KansasFest 2020, and we’ll share another update mid-April. Until then, I recommend against making non-refundable travel plans.

Registration delayed to April 30

Posted Tue, Mar. 17th 2020 in News

KansasFest 2020 is still on the calendar. However, the situation in the U.S. and in the world is still very fluid, and we cannot predict what will be happening in four months. It will become more clear in the next 2-6 weeks how all of this is going to play out, but the future is still unpredictable. 

We on the Committee have decided that because of the current uncertainty, we will push the opening of registration back to April 30, 2020. For this reason, we will also be extending the Early Bird registration discount. 

This may cause problems for people who have to make reservations for air travel, and they have to deal with the uncertainty of whether or not a refund will be fairly handled by a particular airline. For this uncertainty, we can only apologize. Unfortunately, at this point in time many things have changed in our country that will take time to resolve. All of us are affected, even if we are not infected.

We are still hopeful that KFest can be held as it has been in the past 31 years, and we will do our best to make that happen.

Stay tuned to this channel for further updates as we have them. 

KansasFest 2020 and COVID-19

Posted Wed, Mar. 11th 2020 in News

As of March 10, 2020, the Committee does not have any plans to cancel this year’s event. However, as this is a constantly changing situation, stay tuned to this channel for further updates. We will again review things just before registration opens. 

There have been a number of large events scheduled for 2020 whose organizers have decided to cancel due to concerns about COVID-19. The CDC does not currently have any recommendations that mandate cancellations, but does have a preparedness list on how to handle large events. The list includes information that you’ve already heard on the news (stay home if you’re sick, cover your coughs, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, clean surfaces regularly, etc, etc.). The CDC has not taken a stance as to what size events are more risky than others. 

Cancellation of KFest will be dependent on a number of factors, including what is going on with COVID-19 as we move out of winter and into spring and summer, and whether or not Rockhurst University itself will make any announcements as to whether they will continue to hold events on the campus this summer as they usually do (KFest is just one of many gatherings who are hosted there each year). 

For those who have to make travel reservations, you will need to contact your airline and find out what options you have for cancelation if problems with COVID-19 should make it necessary to change plans. We would advise you to consider buying travel insurance if you are concerned about this. Check with your airline, credit card company, or travel professional about your options in case of a cancellation.

If we would have to make the hard decision to cancel KFest 2020 after registrations opens, we will refund registration fees.

Robert Woodhead to deliver keynote

Posted Wed, Feb. 12th 2020 in News
Trebor the Mad Overlord (Robert Woodhead)

KansasFest 2020, the 32nd annual Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 21–26 in Kansas City, Missouri. Robert Woodhead of Sir-Tech Software, well-known as the co-creator of the Wizardry series of computer role-playing games, will join us as the keynote speaker.

At an early age, Robert Woodhead, aka Trebor the Mad Overlord, was consumed by two passions; computer programming and not having to have a real job. He first achieved this by writing computer games for Sir-Tech Software, most notoriously co-authoring the first four Wizardry CRPGs, first for the Apple ][, and later for other, lesser computers. In 1989, deciding that this wasn’t nerdy enough, he co-founded the oldest surviving anime releasing company, AnimEigo. Other things he’s done include: writing one of the first MMO bots, building a 2-time National Champion Combat Robot, serving 4 terms on the EVE Online Council of Stellar Management, and not being “liquidated” by his wife. Yet.

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, and registration will open on March 31. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit our official Website.

Remembering Mike Harvey

Posted Thu, Jan. 2nd 2020 in News

Mike Harvey, the KansasFest 2016 keynote speaker, entrepreneur, technologist, and much-loved founder and publisher of Nibble magazine, passed away in late 2019. Cult of Mac and Call-A.P.P.L.E. share his accomplishments, career, and impacts.

Remember Mike Harvey. Watch his KansasFest keynote speech.

Goodbye 2019. Welcome 2020.

Posted Tue, Oct. 1st 2019 in News

KansasFest 2020 will be July 21-26. Look for registration details around January. But, you don’t need to wait that long to relive KansasFest 2019 sessions. Please enjoy our videos, session archives, and HackFest archives.

KansasFest 2019 Playlist

Group Photo

Posted Thu, Aug. 8th 2019 in News

We had 88 Apple II fans gather this year. Past group photos are here. Will you be among the 2020 attendees? Mark your calendars for July 21-26, 2020.

Please thank Ken Gagne for the photographs.