When I got back to XL last night it was almost 1:00am, and many attendees were still up sociallizing and working on projects. I made the rounds to a few rooms to say hi and eventually hit the sack over an hour later.

Wednesday is the first official day of KFest. I used the morning to unpack my stuff and settle in. It’s a good thing I packed light this year. My room has only a small desk and there isn’t much room to spread my gear out.

This year, I brought an Apple IIc Plus with me so that I could participate in this year’s RetroChallenge. I’ve chosen to simulate the experience of having just picked up an Apple II at a garage sale or thrift store with no software to go with it. The challenge is to get disk images from sites on the Internet and reconstitute them into floppies with the help of programs like ADTPro. This isn’t hard to do — it’s actually very easy, but it’s a process I’ve never had to do before today. I’ve always had access to bootable disks and applications. Sure, I use disk images with emulators, but I don’t recall ever needing to transfer one to a real disk before.

I think this will be an interesting, albeit rudimentary excercise. I often get e-mails asking “I just picked up an old Apple II, how do I get software for it… how do I boot it… where can I get programs” and so on. I know the answers to those questions, but now I’ll have more empathy having experienced these problems myself.

I’m also going to try to get the IIc Plus set up as a terminal to my Macintosh via serial port. I’ve been itching to get on IRC with it for a long time, but I’ve never gotten around to doing it.

Lunch on Wednesday is a special event — the KFest Kookout, with Kirk Mitchell reprising his role as Master Chef. Kirk has been doing this for several years now, and The Force is strong with him… and his spatula.

Today’s BIG event is the Keynote. This year we have the pleasure of welcoming Jason Scott as our presenter. I recorded Jason’s speech but was unable to get the Q&A that followed, which is a shame, because it was every bit as informative and entertaining as the keynote itself. If you ever have a chance to see Jason Scott in person, I encourage you to do so. He’s funny, witty and tells great stories.

I have to apologize for the quality of the video. The lighting conditions were poor, and the Flip MinoHD I used didn’t fare so well. Oh, and it’s limited memory bit me when the keynote ran over 50 minutes (when the Q&A started). Next time, I’ll use something better.


KansasFest 2009 Keynote with Jason Scott from Sean Fahey on Vimeo.

OK, YouTube… YouSuck. We’ll post the video somewhere else when time permits.

Ken Gagne had the next session, which was a collection of retro-themed freeware and shareware games for the Mac. Most of the games contained design elements and genre play styles that were first pioneered on the Apple II and arcade machines back in the day. I’ll post the list of games soon — Ken will be sending it out to the KFest mailing list later.

In [today’s] gaming session, I showed many classic Apple II games, which you can view here:

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=358CC7F9014BB188

Below is a list of those games and what Mac game you can download that echo those Apple II experiences. Some notes: Grid Wars is no longer available for download, and the last two games (Maelstrum’s Mansion and Thule Road Trip) are Web-based games you play in a browser, regardless of your platform.

Montezuma’s Revenge & Conan = Midnight Mansion

Robotron = Grid Wars

Lode Runner = Android

Qix = l1neum

Choplifter = Chopper

Solstice = Alien8

Shadowgate = Maelstrum’s Mansion

Oregon Trail = Thule Road Trip

The final session featured Rob Walch of Today In iPhone showing our group the still relatively new iPhone 3GS.

After that, it was back to the dorm for more hanging out, programming and craziness. Syndicomm and Juiced.GS brought in pizza and pop for everyone (thanks guys!). Afterwards, I got a few sneak peeks at a some of the new products being released this week (more on those when the time is right).