Mark Simonsen’s keynote speech

Posted Wed, Feb. 22nd 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

Mark Simonsen, employee number three and later owner of Beagle Bros, was 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.

Recorded Wednesday, July 21, 2010, by Ken Gagne and made available under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) Creative Commons license.

Mark Simonsen’s keynote speech

Posted Sat, Oct. 23rd 2010 in Echoes of KFest

Mark Simonsen, employee number three and later owner of Beagle Bros, was 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.

Recorded Wednesday, July 21, 2010, by Ken Gagne.

A video of this session is also available.

Play

Mark Simonsen wows KansasFest — and vice versa

Posted Mon, Aug. 2nd 2010 in News

Attendees of KansasFest 2010 were fortunate to kick off the event by listening to a keynote speech by Mark Simonsen, former president of Beagle Bros. When he was first approached to be the event’s keynote speaker, his initial reaction was, “How did you find me??” It turns out that Mr. Simonsen is a serial entrepreneur who has founded, developed, bought, and sold numerous companies in his career. His work with Beagle Bros struck him as a lifetime ago, but as the dates for KansasFest approached, he began to dig out old notes and relive fond memories. By the time he was ready for his KansasFest debut, he realized and revealed that the ten years coding the 6502 constituted the best job he’d ever had. He was enthusiastic and gracious and genuinely appreciate of everyone’s passion for his work and for the Apple II in general, as revealed in his keynote.

As seen in the above video, Mr. Simonsen came to Kansas City with a wealth of memorabilia from his days at Beagle Bros, which he has allowed us to share here.


Mr. Simonsen arrived at KansasFest on Tuesday afternoon and stayed through noon on Thursday, attending several events and even staying up late to watch the curious phenomenon known as Bite the Bag. He was as much a member of the Apple II community as he was our honored guest. On his way home, he emailed attendees to say, “Thanks for the invite to KansasFest. It was a blast! I was surprised by the range of ages and number of young people. It was a pleasure to meet you and everyone else at KFest. Have a great rest of the show. All the best!”

As many KansasFest alumni discover, the experience of KansasFest is one that stays with you long after you’ve left Kansas City. Mr. Simonsen followed up a few days later: “I’m sitting here at work doing important things but wishing I was still at KFest! I’m having withdrawals … because I had so much fun with all you guys.”

We likely haven’t heard the last from this Apple II luminary; as he concluded in his speech, he’s been inspired to get back into coding — perhaps foreshadowing his next business venture? Maybe he was even looking for ideas when he wrote to us a week later: “So who won the HackFest? And what were all the entries?”

We’ll have that information for him soon on this blog. In the meantime, thank you to everyone for making our keynote speaker’s experience of KansasFest such a memorable one!

KansasFest 2010 Keynote

Posted Wed, Jul. 21st 2010 in

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.

See more details in the official press release.

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 http://kfest.wpengine.com/

CONTACT:
KansasFest 2010
http://kfest.wpengine.com/
http://twitter.com/kansasfest/