Wednesday’s report is brought to you by second-year attendee Sarah W.

Wednesday (Day 1)

Kansasfest 2015 is officially underway! The first full day kicked off with breakfast in the new-and-improved cafeteria, for those who braved getting up early… Previously, at Kansasfest 2014, the cafeteria was undergoing renovations, so meals were served catering style, with more limited options. Last year was also my first KFest – as much as people tend to grumble about the food options, it can only go up from there, right? Breakfast choices were limited, but still a huge improvement to have more than one choice, some actual non-canned fruit, and not having coffee run out etc.

After breakfast, people who were still/actually awake began filling the lobby, anxiously anticipating the start of the garage giveaway. The magic moment arrived, and KFesters began carrying away armfuls of Apple II and a few other random non-Apple II goodies. Many, many, many, many thanks to James and Sean for running this event! It is truly an epic happening to witness and participate in, and the photos and videos don’t do it justice. I managed to contain myself this year and didn’t end up with too much stuff, but a few things I really wanted, hooray!

Some people hung around after the official end of the giveaway to start playing with their new gadgets and toys, continue digging through the leftover items, or just to hang out and socialize while waiting for lunch. I took advantage of this opportunity to bring some disks to be imaged for the Internet Archive at Mark’s station. According to reports from a place called “outside” there was something called “rain” that occurred for some amount of time. Thankfully, this did not manage to ruin the kookout. Thanks also to our kook in residence for running the grill!

Kirk Mitchell brings his ‘A’ game to grill.

After lunch, MC DJ DR Steve kicked off the official welcome to KansasFest with a reprise of his #1 hit 2015 summer jam KFest Funk and acknowledged the work of the fabulous KFest committee, who were rocking out in sunglasses. Then, we were treated to a wonderful keynote from Rebecca “Burger Becky” Heineman. Becky told several stories about technical projects she has worked on, her life in the software and video game industries, and some very honest and heartwrenching stories about dealing with some difficult life circumstances. If you decide to listen to the stream, you might want to have a few tissues handy…

The Commodore and PC versions of Dragon Wars were developed on the Apple II

After the keynote, we learned about the merger of and Reactive Micro! They will become Voltron, um, er, UltimateMicro! They make a lot of neat hardware, I don’t completely understand what all of it does (yet) but it sounds awesome.

Then we went to dinner, which was also slightly improved over last year. I skipped the iOS session as I don’t own any iOS devices. I spent the time finishing some last minute prep before my workshop on low-res Applesoft BASIC graphics. There was coloring and programming and lots of fun. A few participants shared their art with the group, and I learned some cool new tricks, such as using PLOT without GR results in interesting text art, more fun with loops and storing data sets, and some help from the audience to improve my code. Watch the twitter and other feeds for participants sharing their art! Or, go make some of your own…

I sat in on the XCode session and Jeremy did a great job walking us through the installation and setup. I left my mac at home this trip, but I look forward to trying it out when I return. I somehow missed most of bite the bag last year, and managed to miss it again for a late night run to Steak and Shake, which nearly resulted in being stranded in the middle of Kansas City. Thankfully, Sean and James came to the rescue… Phew! Good night all.