Search results for: kansasfest

Apple II’s original ‘Graphics Magician’ headlines KansasFest

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Mark Pelczarski
One of the most popular games published by Mark Pelczarski's company, Penguin Software
Screenshot: Penguin Software/YouTube

Mark Pelczarski’s first contribution to the personal computing revolution came in a zip-lock bag.

With no App Store in 1979, Pelczarski bagged disks and photo-copied instruction manuals for what was then one of the first digital paint programs for the Apple II.

KansasFest: Final notes from ‘Nerdvana’

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KansasFest
The future and its foundation have a tense history.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugCult of Mac’s David Pierini traveled to KansasFest to meet Apple fans intensely devoted to the Apple II computer line. The machine turns 40 next year.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s rare we hear the term personal computer anymore. Yet personal is the only word to begin to understand KansasFest and a small but feisty community of preservationists who love the Apple II line of computers.

The 28th fest concluded Saturday and within the event’s first hour, attendees were already making plans to attend next year, the 40th birthday of the Apple II.

KansasFest is a second-chance childhood for one programmer

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Martin Haye, left, and Ivan Drucker talking Apple II hacking at KansasFest.
Martin Haye, left, and Ivan Drucker talking Apple II hacking at KansasFest.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugCult of Mac’s David Pierini traveled to KansasFest to meet Apple fans intensely devoted to the Apple II computer line. The machine turns 40 next year.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – They say they travel to KansasFest to feel like kids again. Fest attendees stay up all night laughing, arguing and eating pizza. They program and play games on their Apple II machines and call each other nerd or geek.

Bullied and closeted as a boy, Martin Haye describes KansasFest as the childhood he wished he’d had.

“If I had this when I was 13, I would’ve been fine,” says Haye, 48, a programmer for the California Digital Library who lives in Santa Cruz. “I didn’t try to fit in but I was little, I carried a briefcase to school, I was a target. I have a good life now, but this week is the most intense, sustained, predictable happiness I’ve ever had.”

KansasFest solder session proves there’s fun in melting metal

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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.

Apple II fans find themselves in hog heaven at KansasFest

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Cult 2.0
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!

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

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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.

Time To Sign Up For KansasFest, The Apple II Conference

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Now, I know what you’re thinking: There’s an Apple II conference? And they do it *every year*?

Yup. There is. And they do. And they have been for the last 19 years. They call it KansasFest.

Come this July (21st – 26th), it will be 20 years, and the organizers are celebrating the anniversary with some special speakers and, they hope, lots and lots and LOTS of Apple IIs and associated stuff.

Glitchy Apple II screens inspire this artist’s work

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Melissa Barron
A screen glitch, frustrating to most, is beautiful to weaver Melissa Barron.
Photo: Melissa Barron

The Apple II and the iconic game The Oregon Trail launched countless computer science careers – and are twin muses for weaver Melissa Barron.

The Chicago artist appreciates the similarities in a line of code and a strand of yarn as she brings analog texture to computer screens, especially the helter-skelter appearance of glitches.

This toy Mac built for dolls now runs Photoshop

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This tiny toy Mac runs Photoshop for work on tiny pictures.
This tiny Mac can run tiny Photoshop for work on tiny pictures.
Photo: Javier Rivera

Javier Rivera has a daughter, but the American Girl doll accessory he found on eBay was for him. It was a miniature Macintosh computer, a non-working toy for an 18-inch doll, and he had to have it.

The nerd in him believed he could make it run Photoshop.

Archivist seeks to preserve every Apple II program ever created

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Software swaps and hardware hacks at the 2016 KansasFest.
Software swaps and hardware hacks at the 2016 KansasFest.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Jason Scott is an archivist and the enthusiasm for what he curates is the kind ascribed to 15th-century manuscripts or Jamestown colony artifacts – not software on obsolete floppy disks written for a 40-year-old computer system.

Scott is out to collect any original or copied software disks for the Apple II as if a language is in danger of dying with the people who speak it or possess some record of its existence.