KFest 2011 Report

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Kirk Mitchell

Jul 20, 2011, 1:34:59 AM7/20/11
KansasFest 2011 is officially started!

This year, instead of driving straight through to Kansas City, I took
a side trip to my daughter's place visited with my grandkids, then
crashed on her couch. This trip is going by faster because I'm
listening to Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" as I drive.

From her place, I drove the 6 hrs to KC (after shopping for the
Kookout tomorrow), and made it here about 3:00 pm. The lobby was
already full of happy KFesters chatting away with each other,
introducing ourselves to new faces and catching up with our old
friends. Of course, unloading the vittles from Moby Van in 110 degree
weather left me sweating like a pig...though I've never seen a pig
sweat. I've got to thank my new roomie, Rob for his help here!

After a few hours, we all packed up to head to Jack Stack for some KC
BBQ, and I only got mildly lost on the way. Stavros saved the day
with his GPS device. I should really get me one of those. B-) The
service was quick, the food was delicious and in large portions, and
it was fun sitting at a table with 8 Uber Apple II Geeks chatting

So far, the rest of the evening has been involved in enjoying the very
nice air conditioning at the dorm, and wandering the halls, poking our
heads into everyone's room for a chat, or sitting in the lobby,
laptops and iPads in action while we BS into the night. Good times!

Tomorrow, the first official business is the Kookout, and if today was
any indication, I probably won't need to use any charcoal to grill
these hamburgers and hotdogs... B-P

Afterwards, Bob Bishop will be giving the Keynote Address. I'm REALLY
looking forward to this!

After dinner, Rob Walch of the "Today in iOS" podcast will be giving
us a look at the latest tips, tricks and news on the latest iOS
software and related hardware. He's done this for the last few years,
and gives great sessions!

This year already has all the earmarks of another great KFest!


Kirk Mitchell

Jul 21, 2011, 10:10:47 AM7/21/11
Sorry for the report delay... I crashed and burned last night before I
could get one off.. B-P

After breakfast, I had a few hours to rest before my "Day in the Sun",
but it passed very quickly, and soon I was hauling the Kookout grub
down to the lobby, and starting the charcoal going. My plans went to
hell of course, I forgot my ice water in the room. Not smart, as it
was already 98 F. There was a wind, so that made the grilling more
tolerable. An hour later, everyone was fed, although someone filched
some of the veggie burgers since I cooked them before the "real" food,
and our vegetarians had to make do with the veggie hotdogs instead.
Thanks to my roomie, Rob Kenyon for helping me haul the supplies in on
Tuesday, Jason Scott, Stavros Karatsoridis, and Jim O'Reilly for
hauling the finished products inside to the ravenous horde, and for
bringing me some ice water too...

Shortly after lunch, one of my earliest Apple II heroes gave the
Keynote address, an informal presentation with questions answered from
the audience. Bob Bishop was best known to me from his program
"Applevision" on the DOS 3.3 System disk, but he shared the many other
accomplishments he'd done before I'd even become acquainted with the
Apple II in 1981. Wow! Video should be available of the Keynote at
some point in the near future.

Rob Walch, podcaster for "Today in iOS" joined us for the fifth year
running, letting us know the newest tricks, tips and speculations
after dinner. Very entertaining and informative! He's quite the

Around 9:00 pm, Ken Gagne held the Juiced.GS reception, where he blew
all the profits from his enterprise on pizza and refreshments for
everyone! We are definitely well feed at KFest. A good time was had
by all!

The younger and more limber members of the conference competed at
"Bite the Bag", but I quail at the sight of blood and rug burns, so I
skipped this.

The rest of the night involved walking the halls, poking our heads
into other folks rooms for quick looks at what others were showing,
longer conversations about our childhoods, or the future of Americas
Space Program with engineers and NASA personnel. Yep, we've got them!

Before I finally crashed, I was watching Bob Bishop fiddling with
programs on his SIMPLE programming language on the big screen TV in
the lobby. How cool was THAT?!?

Now it's time to catch the first session of today, so I've got to


Kirk Mitchell

Jul 22, 2011, 2:04:59 AM7/22/11
Many KFesters have gone on a Steak and Shake run (I don't need the
additional calories, so I'm staying in), so it's strangely quiet and
spooky now. A good time to get this report in!

First, an apology... I spaced reporting on Eric Shepherd's product
announcement, even though it was one I didn't "rest my eyes" during.
Version 2.3 of the Sweet 16 Apple IIGS emulator was released, as was a
new version of SideClick. Of course, shortly after he put it online
to download, Carl Knoblock found a bug that slipped past us Beta
Testers, so you should see 2.3.1 of Sweet 16 shortly. Improved sound
routines, and other improvements and bug fixes make this a jewel!

Today, the first session after breakfast was Steven Weyhrich's (A2-
Historian) Tour of an Apple II+, built in the game of Mindcraft!
Steven has posted a video of this accomplishment on YouTube a few
months ago, but he's made some improvements since then. It's
stunningly impressive!

Next, Peter Neubauer gave a session on "LOGO:History and Programming"
that revisited a few of the different versions of LOGO available for
the Apple II, from Terrapin, to Apple LOGO and Apple LOGO II, to
Byteworks 3D LOGO. Known mostly for it's Turtle Graphics, LOGO has
many more features rarely explored! And it brought back memories from
a couple of decades back. Which stung a little because that means I'm
getting old!

David Schmenk stunned us with his session on conceiving and
implementing a 2 & 1/2 D game for 8 bit Apple II's called "Escape from
the Homebrew Computer Club". Done in Lores mode, it's remarkably
playable and does a phenomenal job of expanding what we've come to
expect from our Apples!

After lunch, Jason Scott moderated a panel consisting of Steven
Weyhrich, Bob Bishop, and Geoff Weiss where the discussion was "What
was the Golden Age of the Apple II?" The insights and opinions of the
panel members were informative and entertaining, and Jason did a great
job leading the discussion.

Geoff Weiss then demonstrated two methods of using disk images on
Apple II's, MountIt by Brutal Deluxe for the GS (why the heck haven't
I installed this yet!), and a device by Cedric Peltier called
SmartportVHD which plugs into an Apple's Smartport and allows a
variety of USB devices to deliver disk images to be used as regular
volumes! It's wonderful that we have such savvy hardware folks still
developing wonderful new toys like this!

Vince Briel has been very busy running around helping folks to
diagnose and fix broken Apple II's, but he took time off to hold a
workshop on building his latest kit, a card for the Apple II that
plays MP3's loaded on a USB memory stick! He'd demonstrated this
product ... two years ago? but had kits available, and taught newbies
how to solder, or watched over the more competent as they worked.
Proudly, he ended up with a 100% record, and several folks went home
with new skills, and a nifty new product!

I hosted the next event of the evening, the Ryan Suenaga Memorial
Krispy Kreme Night. Ryan was killed in a hiking accident in April.
He'd been my KFest roommate since 1999, missing KFest only last year.
We'd had great times over the 55 days and sleepless night here at
KFest, and many of us considered him a valued friend. Ryan started
the Krispy Kreme Night years ago while he was still editor of
Juiced.GS, and continued doing so even after he'd passed the torch to
Ken Gagne. We had a donation jar for those who wished to contribute,
with 100% of the proceeds going towards a scholarship fund in his
name. I don't know WHY he directed that this scholarship go towards
educating another social worker since he griped about his job so much,
but he always was a character! In any case, KFesters contributed a
very substantial amount, and I thank them! I will continue to host
this calorie ladened tradition. Ryan, I raise my plastic cup of milk
to you.

Afterward, the KFest Planning Committee held our meeting. There's a
lot that goes on behind the scenes to make a successful KFest, and of
course I'm the slacker of the group. B-) It's great to work with the
other members in any case! We plan to do this for a long time, and
would certainly appreciate suggestions on how to improve the
experience, or what it would take to get YOU to come next year! The
number of participants this year was larger than we've had in quite a
few years, and we'd love to see new folks join us to share their love
or even just fondness for the Apple II. *Blatant Pug complete*

If I get reports of the usual high jinx about what those kids did
during the Steak and Shake run, I'll report it tomorrow. B-)



Jul 22, 2011, 2:50:51 AM7/22/11

How many attendees this year?


Kirk Mitchell

Jul 22, 2011, 10:19:50 AM7/22/11

42 attendees. We've never been a large organization. The most I've
seen attend in 15 years was the 66 attendees when Woz was our Keynote
speaker. And as low as 26 when we moved from Avila to Rockhurst.
You'll pretty much know everyone's name by the end of KFest. B-)


Kirk Mitchell

Jul 23, 2011, 1:52:01 AM7/23/11
As for news from last nights Steak & Shake run, evidently they all
piled into James Littlejohn's green school bus. No reports of police
involvement or anything exciting, although I heard admiration about
Jame's phenomenal parallel parking skills.

Unfortunately, I woke up in time to get breakfast, but missed the
scheduled Tokyo Video Chat with Bill Martens, Jim Maricondo, and
Philip Lord. I don't know how that went. I just know they served

Daniel Kruszyna gave a session on Apple IIGS System Timing and the
FPI. VERY technical, and all the hardware guys were nodding their
heads excitedly, but I barely got the gist of the heartbeat that beats
through my favorite computer and its subsystems. Still, it was a
successful session.

Sheppy's session on Hidden Gems of the Apple IIGS Toolbox was another
technical work, but I was able to follow most of it since I've
puttered around with Toolbox programming in the last decade.

After lunch, Ivan Drucker held a session on Networking your Mac or PC
to your Apple II. This involves Apple II's that have Localtalk
capabilites, like a //e with a network Workstation card install, or a
GS, and VirtualBox disk image that Ivan collected the necessary
operating system (a Linux distribution) and other network software.
It looks like it'll be a much simpler method of filesharing over your
modern network, rather than configuring all the pieces yourself! I
use a GatorBox so I'm already set, plus I've got MacIP going on it
too, but this will be a fine way to connect your Apple II up.

Geoff Weiss gave a session on FTA's ActiveGS emulator for iOS
systems. I downloaded it from the Apps Store to my 1st gen iPod Touch
as he talked, and followed along with much of his talk, although he
was demonstrating on an iPad. Fun times!

I missed Peter Neubauer's session on Turtle Robots, as I was writing
up notes for Ryan Suenaga's tribute for the Dinner Banquet. I don't
doubt it was good, Peter is a fine presenter.

I made it late to Mike Maginnis's session on A Technical Look at the
Apple ///, where apparently there were some hardware problems, but the
information he had a chance to present was interesting. Apparently
Apple learned it's lessons, and won't drop the ball so badly in the

At the Dinner Banquet, Steve Weyhrich, Eric Shepherd, and Tony Diaz
received their Apple II Forever award plaques, while Ryan Suenage
receive on posthumously. Daniel Kruszyna won the tie contest with a
large Hyperstudio Menu Bar ... it wasn't knitted or woven... Some
frenchy word that I can't spell... that he'd made himself. Door
contest went to Martyn Haye, and thank you's were liberally spread

We finished with a stirring tribute to our friend Ryan Suenaga. I
hope it wasn't boring to those who didn't know him, but it was
cathartic to those of us who did. I think his philosophy was to do so
much good while he was here that the world would be a much poorer
place when he left. I used to admire that about him. I don't know
now, because the world is a much poorer place now that he's gone.
'Nuf said.

We gathered for our KFest group picture, most of us wearing
simulations of Ryan's characteristic wild shorts, then headed in to
escape the heat.

Jason Scott gave an impromptu talk about the aim of his new employer,
the archive.org crew, and I believe the consensus was in his favor.

Many goodies were brought in from James Littlejohns bus, past
inhabitants of Sean Fahey's garage, and a feeding frenzy started.
Lots of old equipment, books, magazines. Treasures all!

Later, Martin Haye decided that one Krispy Kreme night wasn't enough,
and brought back even more to munch down on! The crowd rejoiced!

Now my plan is to go back downstairs and see what's happening. And to
see if there are any donut survivors left.


Kirk Mitchell

Jul 24, 2011, 2:20:33 AM7/24/11
Well, today was the last day of KFest 2011. What a ride!

Sean's Garage was brought to the dorm by James Littlejohn's green bus,
and more goodies distributed. Many Apple //e's, assorted Macs,
software, drives and manuals found new homes. I'm taking home a //e
to replace one at home with a dead power supply.

Ken Gagne gave a marathon series of sessions, one announcing the
continuation of Juiced.GS, another Behind the Scenes at Open Apple,
with a very funny outtake of some of the bloopers they'd collected
will recording the podcast. Great listening! And finally, a session
on Know Your Meme, a look at some of this years viral videos. Some of
which hurt a LOT, but thankfully didn't include Rebecca Black.

After lunch, Martin Haye presented P2E, a new Apple II emulator that
runs on iOS, and most desktop computers, as it's written entirely in
JavaScript. Check out http://p2e.mobi/ It runs very well on some of
the newer mobile devices.

The last session was by Eric Shepherd, where he demonstrated some
"Bleeding edge" web technologies that look wonderful!

The Apple II Exhibition Hall/Swap Meet/Vendor's Fair was well
attended... we even had some locals drop by.

I took a nap and missed the Hackfest contest winners... Yeah, I
suck... B-)

We had dinner at a fancy Italian place called Lidia's. Great food!

When we got back, a small group of us watched Star Trek, while it was
being riffed by RiffTrax... Oh, it was a hoot!

Sorry, this report is so brief. It's late. I'm tired, and tomorrow
I've got a 12 hour drive ahead of me, so I want to get some sleep.
Preferably in bed, and not behind the wheel. B-)

That's it for me! I hope you can join us next year. We had folks
from ages 23 to 73 this year... Unbelievable! And wonderful folks
all! Until next year,



Jul 26, 2011, 4:08:55 PM7/26/11
Dear Kirk,
Thanks for your daily report of the fest. I was delighted to read it.

I hope to attend a day,


Jean-François Walter

Jul 27, 2011, 6:23:42 AM7/27/11
On y va l'an prochain ?

Le 26/07/2011 22:08, Toinet a �crit :

Kirk Mitchell

Jul 27, 2011, 12:25:36 PM7/27/11

You're very welcome!

The reports are a poor substitute... actually being there is
infinitely better!


Egan Ford

Jul 27, 2011, 4:57:19 PM7/27/11

I would purchase a DVD of the sessions if made available. Any
thoughts on this?

BTW, I tried to make KFest ever since I heard of it, but I always have
an unmovable conflict. Someday.


Jul 28, 2011, 10:51:51 AM7/28/11

Kirk, you make the conference infinitely appealing. You are doing a
great job.


Wholly Mindless

Jul 29, 2011, 12:11:38 AM7/29/11
bbake...@gmail.com wrote:
> Kirk, you make the conference infinitely appealing. You are doing a
> great job.
> Bruce

This year I was Kirk's roommate for the week. It was tough knowing that
Kirk's "Roommate for life" wasn't going to make it this year. It's a shame
it was so short, but I am not sure that most of us could have gone any
longer. I fell asleep at the airport and on the plane and at my son's work
after I got back. I think I was worn out.


Kirk Mitchell

Jul 29, 2011, 3:51:21 PM7/29/11
On Jul 27, 2:57 pm, Egan Ford <dataj...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I would purchase a DVD of the sessions if made available.  Any
> thoughts on this?

There were many video cameras in action, but if past efforts are any
indication, it's unlikely to be profitable to produce a DVD. However,
if we're lucky, we may see some sessions show up on the KansasFest
website download section. Keep an eye open there!

> BTW, I tried to make KFest ever since I heard of it, but I always have
> an unmovable conflict.  Someday.

Darned conflicts! I hope you can zig while they zag someday, and slip
your way to KFest soon. B-)


Kirk Mitchell

Jul 29, 2011, 4:04:41 PM7/29/11
On Jul 28, 10:11 pm, who...@whollymindless.com (Wholly Mindless)

> This year I was Kirk's roommate for the week.  It was tough knowing that
> Kirk's "Roommate for life" wasn't going to make it this year.   It's a shame
> it was so short, but I am not sure that most of us could have gone any
> longer.  I fell asleep at the airport and on the plane and at my son's work
> after I got back.  I think I was worn out.

Me too, Rob! Thanks again for all your help!

I hope I'm not cursed or something... I've had 4 roomies and half of
them are gone. Joe Kohn, and Ryan. Perhaps you and Loren Damewood
should be looking over your shoulders! *KIDDING!!!*


Ken Gagne

Jul 29, 2011, 5:10:03 PM7/29/11
On Jul 27, 2:57 pm, Egan Ford <dataj...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I would purchase a DVD of the sessions if made available.  Any
> thoughts on this?

All of the KansasFest 2010 sessions are available for free online:


Producing a DVD would be neat, but including every session would
require multiple discs, which would be expensive for both vendor and
consumer. And, given the amateurish quality of the recordings (I say
this as the person who made them), I'm not sure anyone on the KFest
committee has the time, energy, or money to make them into a
professional package.

I recorded all the KFest 2011 sessions and will be uploading them to
Vimeo over the coming months.



Jul 30, 2011, 2:56:21 AM7/30/11

> I've had 4 roomies and half of
> them are gone. Joe Kohn, and Ryan.

Maybe they should have avoided your cookouts...

Cheers - Ewen


Jul 30, 2011, 12:09:55 PM7/30/11
On Jul 20, 1:34 am, Kirk Mitchell <kirkmitch...@gmail.com> wrote:
> KansasFest 2011 is officially started!
> .
> .
> .
> Kirk

Thanks for all info from KFest. Was there any news on the IIgs Laptop
project? Looking more and more like wishful thinking was there a demo
of it like website promised?

Wholly Mindless

Jul 30, 2011, 6:38:28 PM7/30/11

The Kookout is way too early in the schedule for it to be the cause of
death. And the truth is that Kirk is much easier to deal with than I can
imagine someone like Tony, Geoff, Eric, Ian, or Carrington would be.


Wholly Mindless

Jul 31, 2011, 11:32:25 PM7/31/11
Poake wrote:
> Thanks for all info from KFest. Was there any news on the IIgs Laptop
> project? Looking more and more like wishful thinking was there a demo
> of it like website promised?

It was mentioned during the call with Japan. Nothing concrete was stated
except that there was some dependency on the "barn door" and that he hoped
to have something happening or to report by February. It certainly wasn't
as encouraging as everyone hoped but there was no indication that the
project had been killed.

This is just based on the conversation with Bill Martens at KFest.

I might even have things totally wrong, but we'd need to check with Bill to
find out if I'm wrong.



Aug 1, 2011, 2:10:57 AM8/1/11
On Jul 29, 12:11 am, who...@whollymindless.com (Wholly Mindless)

Yeah, KansasFest is about as long as you can go right now without
being dangerous to your health. Admittedly, I don't stay up nearly as
late as I used to when I was younger.

I first attended KansasFest while still in college, way back in 1993.
I was 21 then. Back then, I'd stay up until 3 or 4 AM chatting and
writing code, sleep until 7:30, and do it all again. I can't do that
anymore. :)

Now I wind up in bed before 1 or 1:30 most nights, occasionally even
before midnight.

Man, I'm getting old. :)


Ken Gagne

Aug 1, 2011, 12:42:48 PM8/1/11
On Jul 27, 2:57 pm, Egan Ford <dataj...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I would purchase a DVD of the sessions if made available.  Any
> thoughts on this?

I thought I posted this last week, but I don't see it. Apologies if
it's a duplicate.

All KansasFest 2010 videos are available online for free streaming or


Given the number and length of videos, burning them onto a DVD would
require multiple discs, which would be costly for both vendor and
consumer. Add in the amateur quality of the recordings (I say this as
the person who made them), and I don't think a professional package is
likely to be made available.

That said, we're definitely interested in continuing to record and
publish videos from KansasFest, and I'm working on the 2011 collection


Egan Ford

Aug 1, 2011, 10:46:36 PM8/1/11

Google newsgroup lag I suspect. I look forward to the 2011 videos. Thanks.

Eric Rucker

Aug 2, 2011, 9:27:42 AM8/2/11
On Jul 30, 6:38 pm, who...@whollymindless.com (Wholly Mindless) wrote:
> The Kookout is way too early in the schedule for it to be the cause of
> death.  And the truth is that Kirk is much easier to deal with than I can
> imagine someone like Tony, Geoff, Eric, Ian, or Carrington would be.
> --
> Wholly

Hah! (Although I'm usually not even in my room that much, so other
than sneaking into the room at 3 AM to sleep, and accidentally
forgetting the alarm that was set for 7 AM once... I'm not who to
worry about. :P)


Aug 2, 2011, 1:23:03 PM8/2/11


Thanks for posting the videos for those of us who are unable to make
it to Kansasfest. I'd like to make it there at least once but I'm not
going to hold my breath, I'd very likely turn blue long before I ever
manage to get there!



Aug 10, 2011, 11:42:46 AM8/10/11

I've always kept early hours. Perhaps that is why they always insist
on putting me in the quiet area. I don't need to be in that area. I
can sleep through most anything, especially after all the stuff at

It is amazing how many people catch up on sleep during sessions. Even
when they are good, and all are, it is hard to fight sleep.


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