July 31st, 2005

New Apple II web site coming soon

A new web site for Apple II users, GSE-Reactive, is due to launch on September 1, 2005. The site’s current home page says that the site will present new ideas and products to the Apple II world. The site is being offered by Henry Courbis with Bill Garber, who has created certain Apple II hardware products in the past..

July 27th, 2005

ClickIP released

Ryan Suenaga released ClickIP, the first third party module for the SideClick Contextual Menu Manager. ClickIP displays the IP address assigned to your Apple IIgs. Freeware in beta form; download it from Ryan’s web site or wait for the release from the Syndicomm library.

July 25th, 2005

Another KFest 2005 report

Kirk Mitchell posted his day-by-day impressions of KFest in comp.sys.apple2 on Usenet. Check it out!.

July 25th, 2005

KansasFest 2006 scheduled!

KansasFest 2006 has been scheduled and will take place from July 18th through July 23rd, 2006. Start saving your pennies today!.

July 24th, 2005

KFest Day 6 – 07/24/05

Goodbye, see you next year…Starting late Saturday night, sometimes as late as Sunday morning – it hits you. Where did the week go? KFest is over already?

Most people start packing the night before depending on how early their drive or flight is. Some people wait until the last possible moment.

Today, I made sure I got up for breakfast. It was our last one together until next year. It looks like a lot of people felt the same way. Turn out was high, and though we all looked tired, everyone was smiles and talking about the good time we had, and how nice the facility was.

Once we were back at the dorm, it was time to pack it up and KP the common areas. We try to leave the area somewhat clean, so the facility staff has a good impression of us for next year.

Between packing, we pause to say our goodbyes to those heading out. You make a lot of friends at KFest. You’ll chat with most of them online during the year, but you miss hanging out with them in person.

Fortunately, we have places like A2Central and comp.sys.apple2 to hold us over until next year.

Start planning for KFest 2006. I hope to see you there.

Apple II Forever!.

July 24th, 2005

Complete Nibble Magazine library available on CD or DVD

Nibble Magazine has made its entire run available for purchase as either a 10 CD set (for $149.95) or on a single DVD (for $129.95). That’s over 16,000 pages of scanned magazine content from arguably the best and most popular Apple II magazine in history..

July 24th, 2005

USB Card For Apple II

Glenn Jones has made an adapter for an Atari XL USB cartridge so it can be plugged in to an Apple II computer. He has the host adapter working with a IBM mouse using the driver from microusb.org. A small BASIC program can read and print out the button presses and mouse coordinates. This isn’t a product (yet), but you can read more about Glenn’s work on his web site..

July 24th, 2005

KFest Day 5 – 07/23/05

Saturday, we all tend to slack off and take it easy. No, I didn’t make it to breakfast again.We only had one session today, that was Tony Diaz putting a Mockingboard C and a couple of Novation Applecats through their paces. The Applecat had a reputation for being the modem of choice for early Apple II hackers and phreakers. It was so versatile and definately ahead of it’s time. All the stories of AE Catfur lines, hacking PDP and Prime systems, phreaking MCI and Bell long distance exchanges – all true – and then some. It could be used as an X10 controller, a clock card, an automated attendent and yes, it was a mighty fine modem too.

The winners of the Hackfest contest were Margaret Anderson and Matt Schock. Margaret took first place with an Adventure-esque game that had the player going from the dorm to the cafeteria and back. Matt’s entry was an interactive graphics demonstration.

Yep, skipped lunch too.

The Vendor Fair wasn’t very big, but there was plenty of wheeling and dealing going on as people sought out accelerators, SCSI cards, controllers and Apple II rarities.

The rest of the day was just spent hanging out and socializing until it was time to head out for dinner.

We went to the Westport area of KC to dine at a trendy place called “McCoy’s”. Afterwards, some of us went and got cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.

Then it was back to the dorms to hangout some more and do a little equipment trading, get last minute technical advice or just crash in our beds. We’re exhausted!

Wish you were here….

July 23rd, 2005

KFest Day 4 – 07/22/05 – UPDATED

Lets do the Timewarp again…As KFest winds down, fewer and fewer people make it to breakfast. To them, I salute you. Please wake me when you get back. These late nights, crazy days have taken their toll on me.

Friday’s first session was led by Ken Gagne. It was a continuation of last year’s session on popular Apple II games. Ken demonstrated such classics as The Tinies, Columns, Puyo-Puyo, Ant Wars, Silvern Castle and others. Gagne also shared strategies on how to win some of the more difficult games.

Sharon Knoblock obviously knows a great deal about Genealogy. Her informative session covered every aspect of how to get started in tracking ancestry using the popular software package “Reunion” for the Mac.

As KFest winds down, fewer and fewer people make it to lunch. To them, I… wait a minute, I did make it out of bed. Never mind.

Howard Katz provided an indepth, highly informative discussion on Identity Theft and what you can do to protect yourself, or what should be done in the event you are victimized. Howard pointed out that this is a growing epidemic that he himself has experienced.

UPDATE: Howard’s handout is available here.

A change in the schedule brought Bruce Baker up next. Bruce led an interactive session for attendees to discuss how they use their Apple II computers. The topics ranged from Appleworks to games to publishing and printing.

Tony Diaz next demo’ed Disk Maker 8, an 8-bit disk image application for ProDOS. DM8 works with most popular image formats and handily converts them back onto diskette. The software is still in beta, but appeared to be very stable. DM8 was written by Mark Percival. At the time of this write up, DM8’s status as shareware or freeware hadn’t yet been established.

Hans Franke, our only international attendee this year (from Germany) formally announced his newest product, the BastelCard prototyping board. The Bastel has been covered in a previous A2Central article and in Computer Collector Newsletter. The BastelCard is available now for $89.00 US Dollars, (about 75 Euros) plus shipping and handling. Contact Hans directly to purchase.

Hans also announced the Co-Slot Card, a switchable riser card for slot 7 inspired by the Pro-Slot card. The idea behind this card is to allow users to install 2 cards in slot 7 and switch between them (they are NOT active at the same time). This could be helpful in situations where one card may only be needed occasionally. Three versions are expected to be available, one each for the //e and IIGS, and a solder-it-yourself kit. Pricing per card was announced at $28.00 USD for KFest attendees, $35.00 afterwards plus shipping and handling. The Co-Slot card should be available by late August or early September 2005.

The next demo was by Sean Fahey (your humble reporter). I brought one of my nifty new Uthercard ethernet adapters installed in an 8MHz Zip Chipped Apple //e. The Uther was designed by Glenn Jones and is sold and supported through his website A2Retrosystems.com. Glenn’s initial batch of 24 cards is gone, but he’s taking orders for the next production run. In conjunction with Contiki, the Uthercard works very well. As of this article, a driver for Marinetti was in development but not yet available. Priced at $89.00 USD, it’s significantly less expensive to the only other shipping ethernet card, the LANceGS.

The rest of the demo involved Contiki, an open source, character-based network environment for memory constrained systems. Adam Dunkels developed Contiki, but Oliver Schmidt is responsible for the Apple II port. Contiki gives your Apple II+ (with 6502A), //e or IIGS equipped with Uther or LANceGS cards access to the Internet. Tools include IRC, Telnet, Web Browser, send-only e-mail, FTP and other functions.

Look for a more detailed look at the Uthercard and Contiki in an upcoming issue of the leading Apple IIGS print magazine, Juiced.GS.

The Annual Banquet Awards and Roast was up next. “Master of Ceremonies for Life”, Ken Gagne was this year’s victim, er… Roastee. No expense was spared, no joke too tacky or humiliation too sacred as he was not-so-gently raked over the coals by his good friends Tony Diaz, Ryan Suenaga, Geoff Weiss and via iChat, Eric “Sheppy” Shepherd.

KFest 2006 was announced for July 18th through 23rd, 2006, at Rockhurst. We’ve been enjoying this campus a lot. While we’ll always fondly remember our times at Avila, we aren’t looking back.

Afterwards, some of us went out to see Fantastic Four, and then made the pilgrimage to Dennys, as the IHOP was too full. By the time we returned around 2:30am, there was still serious geek-out activity going on.

What a great day…

Wish you were here!.

July 22nd, 2005

FlightSimBooks.com posts the complete text of 11 books on classic flight sims

Brought to you by the team that created the AtariArchives.org web site, home to many classic computing books, FlightSimBooks.com offers the complete text of eleven classic books on flight simulators. The site features over 2,200 pages of material, all reproduced with the permission of their authors..

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