KFest OFFICIALLY kicks off today.I’m just relating from my personal experiences, but I’m pretty sure nearly everyone else did what I did, and stayed up very late. It was at least 2:00am last night before I even looked at my bed, and much later when I actually laid down in it. We were busy visiting, working on projects and doing Apple II stuff.

So, I missed breakfast. I meant to go, really, but I overslept.

Regular registration started today, and we had a few new arrivals. I didn’t check the weather today, but it seemed just as hot as yesterday. The good news, more people were on hand to help with the move-ins.

Today was the KFest Kookout. Kirk “Grillmeister for Life” Mitchell and Ryan Suenaga hosted their annual feast of burgers and hot dogs (real meat and something vaguely tofu-esque that resembles meat for the vegans) that we all very much appreciated. I love food events.

Our first session of the day was presented by Mark Percival, programmer of the popular DiskMaker 8 utility. Mark shared with us how he developed DM8, plus what issues and decisions drove its development. He also mentioned his next project, ImageMaker 8 which will also run on older 8-bit Apple II computers. That’s fantastic news for people like me who are die-hard IIe lovers! DiskMaker 8 is $5 USD shareware and available from Syndicomm.

Eric “Sheppy” Shepherd next unleashed Sweet 16, an Apple IIGS emulator for Mac OS X. Sweet 16 (known as project SlyDog by it’s beta testers) is based on Bernie to the Rescue from F.E. Systems. In development for over 3 years, it looked like our new favorite emulator wouldn’t ever see the light of day due to licensing issues, but recent events have encouraged its release. Oh, and one more thing… it’s FREE and available NOW! Sweet 16 is a universal binary application that will run on any Mac using Mac OS 10.3.9 or better.

As we were winding down from Sheppy’s Sweet 16 demo, Tony Diaz gave us a preview of things to come. Hold on Apple //c fans – Tony briefly showed off his working internal //c hard drive! Tony is working on a couple of cool projects but one of the most exciting is a combo RAM/IDE-CF/Clock card for the //c. Wow… I want one, or two or three.

Tonight’s dinner was a choice of fried rice and eggrolls or sliced turkey with mashed potatos and gravy plus vegetables. Sure, it’s cafeteria food but Rockhurst’s menu and facilities are superior to Avila’s. We ate good.

Sheppy gave this years keynote, which I can only sum up as “What have YOU done for the Apple II Community lately”? Shepherd’s presentation revisited the theme of his 2001 KFest keynote which covered the state of the Apple II community and its dependence on a shrinking number of developers and contributors. Sheppy implored the attendees to get out there and actively contribute something to the community, not just be an Apple II wallflower. The keynote generated a great deal of discussion that will hopefully result in more participation in the community. Specifically mentioned were the Wikipedia efforts underway that anyone can contribute useful information to.

Later tonight will be the annual PizzaFest generously provided courtesy of Syndicomm. Yum!

After all that, it’s back to our Hackfest projects and more hanging out with friends. It’s a been a great time for everyone.