Vintage Computer Festivals March On: KansasFest and VCF East, 2012 Editions

Vintage festivals

Old computers never really die, they just get passed on to grandkids and collectors. Likewise old computer users never die, they just don’t get out as much as they used to. The internet is an unfriendly place for 8 bit processors and dialup modems.

To help relive old memories and make new ones, several festivals dedicated to computers with no commercial value make the rounds each year. This year for our vintage geek pleasures: the perennial Apple II bash called KansasFest, and the Vintage Computer Festival East.

KansasFest

The 23rd annual KansasFest is an Apple II convention for users, programmers, hobbyists, and retrocomputing enthusiasts of all kinds. It takes place this year from Tuesday July 17 through Sunday July 22 at the Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri.

According to the event’s promoters the week offers a variety of presentations and workshops, including:

* Keynote Address by John Romero, co-founder of id Software and creator of Wolfenstein 3D
* The History of AppleWorks, presented by Randy Brandt
* Apple II Road Show — Tony Diaz shows you how to tell authentic hardware from a fake
* Build Your Own Apple II WordPress site with Ken Gagne
* Kickstarter brainstorming session
* HackFest, an annual programming challenge open to coders of all skill levels
* Vendor Fair and Exhibit Hall for attendees and the general public

Attendees are encouraged to share their knowledge by presenting their own hardware and software sessions, especially of the Apple II but including Macintosh, Windows, Linux, iOS, and others. All KansasFest sessions are presented by the attendees.

To more information and to register, visit the KansasFest website.

Vintage Computer Festival East

Meanwhile the 8th incarnation of the Vintage Computer Festival East takes place this year on Saturday and Sunday May 5-6 at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, New Jersey. Covering platforms of all kinds, each morning has several lectures and hands-on workshops, while each afternoon showcases the exhibit hall, where attendees can see everything from DEC minicomputers to Altairs to 8-bit micros — all up and running.

This year’s events include:

* Saturday Keynote Address with BASIC Co-Inventor Tom Kurtz
* Sunday Keynote Address with Early Apple Engineer Daniel Kottke
* Lectures in Analog Computing, Apple, Babbage, BASIC, and Commodore
* Seven Technical Workshops, including Apple II, Commodore, Minicomputers, and S-100 systems
* Build Your Own Vector Graphics Kit Workshop

Tickets are $10/one day, $15/all weekend and kids get in free. Proceeds benefit the InfoAge Science Center along with the user group MARCH — Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists.

For more information, visit the VCF East 8.0 website.

About the author

Adam RosenAdam Rosen is an Apple certified IT consultant specializing in Macintosh systems new and old. He lives in Boston with two cats and too many possessions. In addition to membership in the Cult of Mac, Adam has written for Low End Mac and is curator of the Vintage Mac Museum. He also enjoys a good libation.

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