KansasFest solder session proves there’s fun in melting metal

Rachele Lane watches her husband, John, try his hand at soldering at KansasFest.
Rachele Lane watches her husband, John, try his hand at soldering at KansasFest.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugCult of Mac’s David Pierini is at KansasFest this week to write about the community of people who celebrate the foundational Apple II computer.

KANSAS CITY, Mo – If you’re going to carry a torch for the Apple II computer, you better know how to control its heat and melt a little solder.

The Apple II will turn 40 next year. Many of these seminal machines will light up like new thanks to a community of people who have to be their own Genius Bar. So KansasFest is not just about love, but the labor of keeping that love alive.

This guy makes badly aged Apple computers sparkle again

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Javier Rivera takes the yellow out of vintage computers at KansasFest.
Javier Rivera takes the yellow out of vintage computers at KansasFest.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugCult of Mac’s David Pierini is at KansasFest this week to write about the community of people who celebrate the foundational Apple II computer.

KANSAS CITY, Mo – Love is a chemical reaction and Javier Rivera has the formula to make love feel brand-new. He just mixes salon-strength peroxide, some arrowroot and OxiClean laundry booster.

At KansasFest, an annual gathering of loyal Apple II lovers, festgoers bring their yellowed computers to Rivera, whose special mix can remove the yellow staining on the computer’s plastic pieces and make them look like they just came off the assembly line.

Apple II fans find themselves in hog heaven at KansasFest

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Kathryn Szkotnick worked quickly to grab all the pieces for an Apple IIGS during KansasFest's
Kathryn Szkotnick worked quickly to grab all the pieces for an Apple IIGS during KansasFest's "Garage Giveaway."
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugCult of Mac’s David Pierini traveled seven hours and (39 years) this week to Missouri to witness the annual celebration of the Apple II computer known as KansasFest, which runs through Saturday.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Yellowed keyboards, monitors and disk drives sat in orderly piles. It certainly wasn’t pretty to look at, not when you compare these ancient artifacts of personal computing to a shiny new MacBook Pro.

But 80 infatuated campers could only see their first crush and they were ready to pounce. In a matter of minutes the gear would be claimed, and this dash and grab Wednesday was the kickoff the 28th annual KansasFest. If you don’t know KansasFest, the short answer is found in a cheer shouted to officially open the event: Apple II forever!

Apple collectibles are a seller’s market

Bids for this Apple I started at $370,000.
Bids for this Apple I started at $370,000.
Photo: Christie's

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugStarting a collection of Apple’s past is relatively easy and often affordable. But once you get started and a pricey, rare object presents itself, will you be able to control yourself?

Here’s a list that will test whether you have the fever and an intense desire to hold personal computing history in your hands. It may also test your fiscal fitness.

Kahney’s Korner: The Apple II deserves its own festival

There's a festival that celebrates the Apple II. Mind blown.
There's a festival that celebrates the Apple II. Mind blown.
Photo: Cult of Mac/YouTube

It’s festival season and there’s a festival for everything – even one for Apple II users.

It’s called KansasFest and it has been going since 1989. It’s one of the longest-running computer festivals out there and the amazing thing is the Apple II was discontinued in 1992.

The endurance of this machine is the subject of this week’s Kahney’s Korner.