comstockKansasFest 2014, the Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 22 –27 in Kansas City, Missouri. Margot Comstock, co-founder and editor of the much-loved Softalk magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation.

Comstock and Al Tommervik founded Softalk in 1980 to share the hardware, software, and people behind the Apple II. At its peak, Softalk had 250,000 readers and uniquely offered broad and deep coverage of everything Apple II related, including programming, game playing, business use, and home use. Later, Softalk Publishing produced magazines for the emerging Macintosh and IBM markets, ST.Mac and Softalk for the IBM Personal Computer. Softline, a game magazine begun by Ken William’s OnLine Systems and later renamed to ST.Game, was Softalk Publishing’s second longest-lived magazine. Softalk Books published several books by the magazine’s columnists and a Mac book by Doug Clapp.

The Apple II magazine ran for four years before industry changes and expenses led management to cease publication. In that time, Softalk earned many loyal fans, and a group of volunteers is working to archive and share issues. The Smithsonian Institution recognizes Comstock and Tommervik as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution and Softalk as a chronicle of that revolution.

KansasFest is an annual convention offering Apple II users and retrocomputing enthusiasts the opportunity to engage in beginner and technical sessions, programming contests, exhibition halls, and camaraderie. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year’s event. Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site in early 2014. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event’s official Web site at http://www.kansasfest.org/.