KansasFest 2016

It has been a long time since I made a post here (hello, August 2015!!), but life has been busy, and I have other things that draw my attention besides my old stalwart Apple II fun.

What brings me back to the blog again to mention the annual Apple II convention, KansasFest, which was held July 19-23, 2016, in Kansas City, Missouri at Rockhurst University. It was, I feel, another excellent gathering of the best and brightest in the Apple II world, and shows continued growth of the numbers of fans who find out what fun it is to get together with others who love this computer, to teach each other and learn from each other, and to press back the frontiers of what this old machine can do. While the following is not comprehensive, here are some things that stood out to me:

  • We were treated to updates to Lawless Legends, the new graphic role-playing game undergoing development, and a release of a smaller game, Ancient Legends, that runs using the same game engine as Lawless Legends (see the Legends web site for details on how to get that).
  • PERCOL-8, a networkable Apple II emulator that not only runs old Apple II software, but uses special graphics software to manipulate the old screens to you can get a 3D type of effect, or even have two different people help play the same game at the same time.
  • How the Internet Archive is making it even easier to run old Apple II software right in your web browser.
  • How Apple II software deprotector 4am (a great contributor to the Internet Archive collection) came up with a program to allow you to automatically remove copy protection from most old software (if you have any old uncopyable disks).
  • More and more about emulators than I’ve heard at KFest for years

and much more than I have time to discuss here. You can look for videos of many of the sessions on YouTube; here is the talk I gave about the history of online services here:

We had the privilege of a visit this year by David Pierini of Cult of Mac, who wrote five stories about the event:

And I was able to complete another parody video about the event, this year with lots of video from the event:

Not only this, but we will be having it again next year, July 18-23, 2017. Come next year, and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apple II !


KFest, as seen by an outsider

While at KansasFest this year, we had two new people show up, for the purpose of doing a news story about the event. I had not heard of their publication, Motherboard, prior to this, and I will admit I was a little skeptical about how this would turn out. I have seen interviews and stories before that were done with a particular purpose in mind, and sometimes the final result is not flattering.

I must applaud the writer of the piece, Jason Koebler, for a job well done. He did capture the essence of the event, and did it as someone who has not been there before, and in fact someone who does not really know anything about the Apple II.

You can read the article here. The style reminds me of the audio stories I hear on NPR’s weekly program, This American Life, which I mean as a compliment, as I feel that most of those stories as well done, and good listens.

Krazy KansasFest

If you have looked over the content on this site, you have found the various song parodies I have created over the years. This year, I am inspired to make one for the annual Apple II gathering, KansasFest.

Wigginton and Woz at KFest

This year has been outstanding! I didn’t have my book ready to distribute as I was hoping, but that’s actually a good thing. The keynote speaker, Randy Wigginton, provided some insight to events that I didn’t previously have. Additionally, Steve Wozniak attended and, like Wigginton, stayed to listen to some of the sessions, including mine. Very exciting!

Steve Wozniak after my presentation

Anyway, I felt ready to create a parody for KansasFest itself, and here is what I have to share. Enjoy!


Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of KFest
by Steven Weyhrich

(parody of Nat King Cole’s song, “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer“, from 1963)

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of KFest
Those days of ProDOS and BASIC and bytes
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of KFest
Dust off the Apple IIGS, don’t sleep at night.

Just fill your luggage up with floppy disks and cables
Then buy your ticket, now you’re set
And at the dorm, you’ll see the hackers at their tables
Making their projects; I don’t think they’re finished yet!

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of KFest
Bring out the II Plus and plug in your gear
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of KFest
You’ll wish that KFest could always be here!

(key change)

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of KFest
Plug in some slot cards, and flip on the switch
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of KFest
Trace out that object code and try to find the glitch

Don’t need to tell a coding fella ’bout a RAM chip
Or some confusing address scheme
Why, from the moment that his file starts to unzip
You’ll see his winner of a program on the screen!

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of KFest
Just get your IIc to plot out a sphere
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of KFest
You’ll wish that KFest could always be here

You’ll wish that KFest could always be here
You’ll wish that KFest could always be here!