Raspberry Pi at KansasFest

Posted Sat, Jul. 6th 2013 in News

The Raspberry Pi is a popular, inexpensive single board computer.  What does this have to do with the Apple II?  Who would be crazy enough to interface a Raspberry Pi with an Apple II?  Ivan Drucker, David Schmenk, and Charles Mangin have done just that.  Ivan turned his Raspberry Pi into an AppleTalk file server and a portable Apple II emulator.  David upgraded his Apple IIc to a IIgs using a Raspberry Pi.  Charles connected his Apple keyboards to a Raspberry Pi.  Don’t miss the recent Juiced.GS article on this topic.

KansasFest starts in only 17 days.  Ivan will be there to show us how to use the Raspberry Pi with the Apple II.  He’ll present three sessions: “So what is the Raspberry Pi, anyway?”, “A2SERVER Redux: This Time, with Pi”, and “Apple II in the Cloud”.

Introducing NuInput: A superior INPUT

Posted Sun, Aug. 26th 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

If you’ve programmed in Applesoft, then you know that its INPUT command is not very capable. But now you don’t need it! NuInput, by Ivan Drucker, is a powerful and flexible replacement for INPUT which makes it easy for any Applesoft programmer to specify maximum entry length and permitted keys, automatically convert lowercase, refuse blank entry, provide an ESCape, and much more! Download your copy at http://ivanx.com/appleii/

Recorded on 7/24/2010 by Ken Gagne and made available under a ,Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) Creative Commons license.

Introducing Slammer: A New Way of Using Machine Language from Applesoft

Posted Sat, Aug. 25th 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

Wouldn’t it be great if you could put whatever machine language you wanted into a standard Applesoft program with practically no performance, dependency, or stability issues? With Ivan Drucker’s Slammer, you can! Slammer is a new method for installing and executing machine language routines, at machine language speed, using 100% legal Applesoft. This presentation introduces Slammer, explains how to use it, and describes the unusual and extreme machine language programming behind its development. Download your copy at http://ivanx.com/appleii/

Recorded on 7/24/2010 by Ken Gagne and made available under a ,Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) Creative Commons license.

Networking your Mac or PC to your Apple II

Posted Mon, Mar. 5th 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

Serve files to your Apple II the cheap and easy Way! If you have an enhanced Apple IIe or an Apple IIgs, then you have a computer that can access files shared from a current-day Mac, Windows, or Linux computer, and even boot ProDOS or GS/OS from the network instead of a disk. Ivan Drucker’s KansasFest 2011 session shows you the plan to get your II on the LAN. Download A2SERVER from http://appleii.ivanx.com/a2server/.

Recorded on July 22, 2011, by Ken Gagne and made available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) Creative Commons license.

Loyal to the Core: Ivan Drucker

Posted Mon, Feb. 6th 2012 in News

[Over the course of a few weeks, this blog is presenting written profiles and vignettes from KansasFest 2010, written from that year’s perspective. These excerpts compose a larger feature story written for a general audience looking to be introduced to the Apple II and KansasFest, while also offering community members and alumni a memorable retrospective of the event. Enjoy!]

Ivan Drucker, who Melissa Barron‘s session so impressed, is also concerned with bridging the gap between eras. He’s something of an anachronism himself: whereas KansasFest marks an initiation to the Apple II for Barron, for Drucker, it is a return.

Ivan Drucker"My Apple IIe had been in storage for 15 years … and it was finally this year that we made friends again," says Drucker. It’s the latest blip in Drucker’s long list of hobbies; he previously played in a New York City band named Dimestore Scenario. "I get passionate about things and then give them a rest for a while and then come back to them again."

Dusting off his Apple II was his way of swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction in which Apple Inc. has taken it. The overwhelming sales of the iPhone and iPad have popularized the concept of a closed system, in which every program must have Apple’s seal of approval before being made available for mass consumption. It’s a grand departure from the open architecture of the Apple II, whose plastic case has no screws or glue to keep it shut — with the press of a tab, its innards are revealed. There, creator Steve Wozniak had laid the groundwork for infinite possibilities: seven expansion slots into which additional hardware could be plugged, giving the computer capabilities that hadn’t even been invented yet in 1977.

On Thursday morning at KansasFest, Drucker is one of three panelists in a session entitled "Apple’s Growing Divide Between Users and Programmers". Along with a network administrator from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and a publishing services architect from the California Digital Library, Drucker is debating Apple’s gradual transition from open to closed systems, and the consequences these design philosophies have had on not just their products, but also their customers. Among the topics are whether open platforms encourage creativity and customization; if closed platforms, or "curated computing", are more digestible by the mass market; and whether there can be any compromise between the two.

When the panel’s over, Drucker hurriedly excuses himself and returns to his room. His next session is Saturday morning, and he’s not yet done writing the Apple II software that he’ll be demonstrating and distributing on floppy disks to interested attendees.

Given Drucker’s flighty track record, one might expect the demands of KansasFest to exhaust his interest in the Apple II, sending him once again to another hobby. But he doesn’t see his Apple II going into storage this time — not because of the computer, but the people. "What’s a bit different for me now is that there’s actually a community to be part of," he says. "[There are] people who not only have the same passion for this obsolete computer, but are actually cool and fun."

When Drucker gets home from KansasFest, he begins writing the next version of his new program.

Spreading the word in NYC & Denver

Posted Fri, Aug. 26th 2011 in News

Many KansasFest attendees are, unsurprisingly, IT professionals: they make their livings as educators, sysadmins, tech writers, and software engineers. Their passion for the Apple II often inspires their professional work and vice versa, especially when it comes to evangelizing how they spent their summer vacation.

Ivan Drucker, a three-time KansasFest attendee and former Apple employee, is the founder of IvanExpert, a New York City-based Macintosh consulting firm. On the company’s YouTube channel, Ivan has recently presented a series of videos discussing emerging trends and IT solutions he has encountered. Not only does the background of every video feature an Apple II Plus, but Ivan’s latest video focuses on the highlight of his year, KansasFest.

A favorite quote: "It’s not the kind of thing ordinary people like."

Likewise, Ken Gagne, an online editor for Computerworld.com, recently had the opportunity to preach the wonders of the Apple II to the Denver Apple Pi users’ group. The group’s members, many of whom founded the club with their Apple II computers more than thirty years ago, enjoyed the nostalgic look at the machine and were surprised to hear of its supportive and modern community. The entire presentation was recorded, with additional notes and resources on Ken’s blog.

Both Ken and Ivan mentioned Vince Briel’s A2MP3 card as an example of the wonders still possible with an Apple II. That device was the star of some mainstream coverage when another KansasFest alumnus, Andy Molloy, had his assembly of the A2MP3 documented at KansasFest. That photo gallery is now available on Computerworld.com, showing how easy it is to put together the best way to listen to tunes on your Apple II.

How have you helped spread the word of KansasFest to ensure the event is even bigger and better next year? Let us know!

Networking your Mac or PC to your Apple II

Posted Fri, Jul. 22nd 2011 in

Serve files to your Apple II the cheap and easy Way! If you have an enhanced Apple IIe or an Apple IIgs, then you have a computer that can access files shared from a current-day Mac, Windows, or Linux computer, and even boot ProDOS or GS/OS from the network instead of a disk. This session by Ivan Drucker will show you the plan to get your II on the LAN.

Apple’s Growing Divide Between Users and Programmers

Posted Sun, Oct. 31st 2010 in Echoes of KFest

The incredibly open nature of the Apple II for development, down to the inclusion of schematics in every box, encouraged a generation of users who were also program mers. By contrast, today we have the walled garden of iPhone OS, where Apple judges all. Between these polar positions is the Macintosh. How have Apple ? and Apple users ? evolved over the years? Has using computers become more or less creative? What tradeoffs have we made between accessibility and empowerment? How do the Apple II and its users measure up in modern times? Panelists: Ivan Drucker (IvanExpert), Martin Haye (California Digital Library), Mike Maginnis (The Computist Project). Moderator: Ken Gagne (Juiced.GS).

Recorded Thursday, July 22, 2010, by Ken Gagne.

A video of this session is also available.

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