It usually hits me the night before, or sometime on Saturday that KFest is almost over. I’ve been so busy having a good time with everyone, the time just flies by.Saturday, especially this year, seems to be a cram day. That prevented melancholy from settling in.

Before we got started, we learned from Howard Katz that Mark Munz is busy porting Deja II to OS X as a universal binary. Deja II exists soley as a platform to bring classic 8-bit Appleworks to the Mac. I happen to like Appleworks a lot so this is great news for me.

Andy Molloy demonstrated SAFE 2, an FTP client for the Apple IIGS that is still currently in beta. SAFE 2 is a stand alone app, meaning that unlike it’s predecessor, it doesn’t require Spectrum to function. SAFE 2 is programmed by Ewan Wannop, one of the most respected programmers in the Apple II community.

Paul Zaleski promoted wiki usage to archive and share information that largely echoed points from Sheppy’s keynote.

Next up, or rather down under, we had a long distance call and presentation all the way from Australia from Andrew Roughan on the state of Marinetti. Andrew announced that Marinetti 3.0b3 is available now, and that he expects an official 3.0 will be out by the end of this year. Andrew also announced a site for technical papers on Apple II programming but I (gasp) lost the URL. I expect we’ll post it as news on A2Central soon.

Moving on, it was time for the HackFest judging. The judges were Howard Katz, Mark Percival and Sean Fahey. Our entrants this year were: Eric Shepherd, Margaret Anderson, Matt Schock, Stavros Karatsoridis and Geoff Weiss. We had some very good entries this year and the judging was tough but in the end, Margaret Anderson was declared the First Place Winner with her “Sudoku Solver” written in Applesoft. Second Place was awarded to Eric “Sheppy” Shepherd for his retro-inspired game “Icon Invaders”. Matt Schock took third with “Revenge of Four”, an oriental themed combat game (still in early development). Matt’s programming skills improve every year and it’s evident in his annual HackFest entries. Geoff Weiss showed his Diamond Mine (or Bejewled) game DM8, but it wasn’t quite finished and borrowed code from other open source programs, and Stavros made a KFest Trivia game programmed in SuperPilot.

The last official presentation is one of the best, and ironically, one of the most frustrating. Tony Diaz brought with him several prototypes of various Apple II models and peripherals and passed them around. Many of these prototypes didn’t make it into production, so it’s a unique way to see what Apple engineers were trying to accomplish, but couldn’t deliver due to some reason or another. Many of these are unique, one of a kind parts. Of course, the Mark Twain (ROM 04) GS is something to behold and steals the show, but equally impressive for me is the Golden Gate IIe, which was the initial attempt to bridge the Apple II and Macintosh product lines.

The Vendor Fair was next. I saw a couple of deals go down on premium parts like accelerators, RAM cards and a few controllers. There was quite an array of software to pick through that Bruce Baker brought, and new products from Syndicomm. I picked up a couple new No-Slot-Clocks for what I considered a good deal.

Later in the afternoon, it was time for the evenings final traditional activities. A trip to BBQ Heaven aka, KC Masterpiece and a movie. We went to see Superman Returns. It got mixed reviews from our group, but I for the most part enjoyed it. The scene with shuttle and jet aircraft just blew me away. The rest of the movie didn’t keep up with the pace set by that scene so it wasn’t quite as engaging for me.

Well, it’s time for more socializing and karaoke. KFest is almost over… and everyone can feel it.