Retrobits and RetroMacCast podcast coverage

Posted Thu, Oct. 7th 2010 in News

RetrobitsThis past Tuesday saw the publication of episode 136 of the Retrobits podcast, in which host Earl Evans speaks with KansasFest attendee Ivan Drucker about KansasFest 2010. The interview, which runs 3:41 – 30:25 of the 32-minute podcast, talks about Mark Simonsen’s keynote speech, the annual HackFest programming competition, the discussion panel on Apple’s growing divide between users and programmers, the Apple III, and more.

Although no substitute for being there, Ivan’s enthusiasm about the show, even two months later, captures the excitement with which KansasFest inspires its attendees. The episode is available in MP3 format from the Retrobits site and from iTunes.

RetroMacCastAlso, way back on July 31, episode 169 of the weekly RetroMacCast podcast spoke with Mike Maginnis about the previous week’s KansasFest. That show can be found on iTunes. Each of these podcasts also covered KansasFest 2009, and it’s great to see their continuing interest in our community.

And, as always, the September issue of Juiced.GS, published last week, features a write-up of KansasFest and its sessions.

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

Posted Sat, Jul. 24th 2010 in

By Ivan Drucker.

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 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 will introduce Slammer and explain how to use it. It will also describe the unusual and extreme machine language programming behind its development.

Introducing NuInput: A superior INPUT

Posted Sat, Jul. 24th 2010 in

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 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! Floppy disks with both NuInput and Slammer will be distributed.

Apple’s Growing Divide Between Users and Programmers

Posted Thu, Jul. 22nd 2010 in

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).

KansasFest 2010 session update

Posted Wed, May. 26th 2010 in News

The KansasFest 2010 session lineup, first posted last month, has grown to include several more presentations, courtesy several volunteers willing to offer their insights and expertise to KansasFest attendees:

  • Stavros Karatsoridis will describe how to set up an Apple II to act as a “dumb terminal” for the Terminal application in Mac OS X.
  • Ivan Drucker will debut his original programming utility: Slammer, which allows machine language to be inserted into a standard Applesoft program with practically no performance, dependency, or stability issues.
  • Sometime this summer, KansasFest 2009 keynote speaker Jason Scott will be releasing GET LAMP, his two-disc documentary of text adventures. A special one-hour cut of this film, made exclusively for convention audiences, will be screened at KansasFest.
  • Eric Shepherd, who in 2008 gave a presentation on iPhone programming, will this year introduce us to iPad programming. More than just “a giant iPhone”, the iPad is a unique development environment, and Sheppy will review the differences between writing apps for the two devices.
  • Ken Gagne of quarterly magazine Juiced.GS will make several announcements about the past, present, and future of the world’s longest-running Apple II publication.

Formal sessions are an integral element of the KansasFest experience, offering Apple fans new ways and environments in which to use their favorite machines. The other half of the equation is the camaraderie offered by attendees and presenters: nothing recharges a retrocomputing enthusiast’s batteries as fast as the energy of fellow hobbyists. With less than a week until the Early Bird registration deadline, you should sign up today to enjoy the sessions and friendships that are a hallmark of KansasFest!

Fixing Time Zone, or What To Do With a 14-Drive Apple II

Posted Sat, Jul. 25th 2009 in

by Ivan Drucker

In this session, I’ll demonstrate my own enhancement to Time Zone, by On-Line Systems, the original epic computer adventure (which came on six double sided floppies and retailed for $100 — in 1982). Time Zone’s Achilles heel was that it was written to use a single drive exclusively, requiring constant annoying disk swaps. No more! Now you can preload your drives with all the disk sides, plus your save disk, and Time Zone will never hassle you again. It will even show you which disks go where. As you wander through time and space in your attempt to save the earth, nothing will stand between you and its two-word parser!

Location: Student Activity Center

The Forgotten II: The Apple IIe Card for the Macintosh LC

Posted Thu, Jul. 23rd 2009 in

by Ivan Drucker

In this session I’ll discuss and demonstrate this little-known but thoroughly awesome member of the Apple II family, and will explain how it uses the LC’s resources to create a maxed-out, souped up Apple IIe. I’ll also describe how it can be a networkable bridge between 5.25″ floppies and modern Macs. You’ll want your next Apple II to be a Mac LC!

Location: Student Activity Center