KansasFest 2009: 20 Years of Focusing on the Apple II

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While Apple hasn't sold a computer named after itself since 1993, when the Apple II series was finally discontinued, KansasFest has focused on the system for the past 20 years and will do so again this July 21 through 26. Keynote speaker Jason Scott will kick off the proceedings; he is webmaster of textfiles.com and directed the film "BBS: The Documentary."

The convention will also include a workshop explaining how to build an Apple I clone, the HackFest programming challenge, and a discussion of current Mac games that were influenced by Apple II classics. Not everything will have a retro flavor, however: Rob Walch of the "Today in iPhone" podcast will be on hand to discussion iPhone OS 3.0. Attendees are also encouraged to set up their own sessions and talk about topics that interest them.



The Apple II series were great little computers. I still smile when I think of my IIe with the huge accessory card I installed. It filled the internal bay and added a full <gasp> one (1) Mb of RAM. A pretty sweet setup for the late 1980’s. I could load ALL of Appleworks at one time and not have to fiddle with floppies when I moved from the writer module to the spreadsheet module. I also played the Chuck Yeager Flight Simulator on it and it ran pretty well. OK it had a 15” 16-color screen. But at the time it was a lot of fun.

Ken Gagne

This will be my 12th time attending KansasFest.  I don’t get to use the Apple II every day (even though I have one set up in my cubicle); KansasFest is my annual opportunity to recharge my batteries for another year of retrocomputing goodness.

Note that the Apple-1 workshop at this year’s KFest isn’t just an explanation, but an actual hands-on tutorial that has attendees going home with their very own working Apple-1 clone.  Doesn’t get much more retro than that! grin

Carol Bradford

I still have my 1987 IIC. As I recall, we refinanced our mortgage to buy it, close to $2000 which was serious money then. Lode Runner was the best game of all time, closely followed by the Zork series. I hope all the KansasFesters have a terrific time together and congratulations on the 20th.

Ken Gagne

Hi, Carol!  Thanks for the well-wishes.  Funny you should mention Lode Runner and Zork—new versions of those games came out this month for Xbox 360 and online, respectively.  Funny how the software of three decades ago continues to resonate into a new millennium…

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