Sleep deprivation has turned me into a walking Apple II geek zombie.This morning we started off with Ryan Suenaga announcing his new podcast “A2 Unplugged”. I knew Ryan had been kicking this idea around for awhile so I was pleased to hear he had decided to do it. Obviously he’s going to focus exclusively on the Apple II, which guarantees it a slot in my iTunes library. More details will be forthcoming.
Up next, Sheppy gave a cool demonstration on virtual and emulated computing on his MacBook Pro using SheepShaver, which runs Macintosh Classic (pre-OS X), Parallels and Boot Camp. Parallels allows you to run a virtual x86 machine in tandem with OS X on your MacTel, either in a window or full screen, whereas Boot Camp is a boot loader that let’s you choose between OS X and something else, like Windows XP or Linux that runs exclusively at startup.
After lunch, I demonstrated The SVD, or Semi-Virtual Diskette designed and sold by Eric Rothfuss. When used in conjunction with a host PC, you can download disk images to the device and then use it as one or two virtual 5.25 floppy drives on your Apple II. It’s an amazingly well done piece of work and the support Mr. Rothfuss provides via his website is nothing short of superb.
Austin Phelps turned up the geek quotient by giving us an indepth course on how to build a RAID array. Attendees learned about what kind of RAID options exist, their pros and cons, and how to choose the best option for the application.
Our very own Margaret Anderson took us on a discovery of interactive fiction, which is the term applied to text-based/text-action games. This gaming genre was made famous by Infocom and their popular line of text games back in the 1980’s and it still has it’s devoted fans today.
Some of us bailed out of the session schedule at this time to make a dumpster dive at the local computer surplus. I nabbed an old iMac G3, and Paul Zaleski managed to save an Apple IIe and some cards. We were disappointed to find a lot fewer Apple II bones to pick over, but we made an arrangement with the operator of the facility to hold some stuff back so we could go through it next year.
The next session was Andy Molloy demonstrating Skype, a peer to peer communications application.
This year, we didn’t have a banquet or a roast. Instead, we opted to take a humorous look back at KFest’s past, and to reflect on the current state of the Apple II community. Ken “MC for Life” Gagne gave us a cautious but hopeful look into the future as we continue to push back the boundries of our allegedly obsolete Apple II computers. Ken pointed out many of the achievements that have been accomplished, new products and even more importantly, the new people in our community since 2001.
Webcasting is a huge logistical pain in the posterior — but this year, I wished Ken’s speech could be made available for everyone who couldn’t be at KFest this year. The message was that good. Thanks Ken!
The rest of the evening was spent wrapping up hackfest projects, visiting with friends and whatever else. I marveled at Paul Zaleski’s 18MHz Transwarp GS, and Tony Diaz brought enough gadgets to outfit a platoon. Later, Jeri Ellsworth brought out her Playstation for an impromptu karaoke night in the dorm lobby. I can only assume the student resident assistants think we’re crazy by now.
It must have been 11:30pm or so, which is really quite early, when a group of us headed out to IHOP for breakfast. It’s a tradition really, but we don’t usually go until 1:00am or later. The IHOP was busy and couldn’t seat us so we boogied over to Denny’s instead and got waited on immediately. The server there was phenomenal – she didn’t write down anyone’s order, memorizing everything and didn’t make a single mistake. I was impressed.
And then it was back to the dorm where I crashed. It was quite a day.