April 14th, 2013

First call for KansasFest sessions

While the evenings and nights of KansasFest are renowned for their spontaneity, the mornings and afternoons are reserved for sessions spanning a variety of uses, extensions, and applications of the Apple II family. Just as varied as these sessions are the good people who volunteer to present them. If you have a topic you’d like to present, fill out the session proposal form at:


Some sessions already on the dock for this year include:

  • Boot-tracing: a fun method of de-protecting games
  • Track-center tuning of 5.25″ floppy drives
  • Disk II theory of design and functionality
  • Teaching US Kids to program
  • Apple II hardware-hacking innovations
  • Build your own MAME/MESS cabinet in 30 minutes
  • Document scanning (with an eye to preserving Apple II history)
  • A technical look at the Apple III
  • Apple II copy cards
  • MPW IIgs cross development

Do you have a topic you would like to see presented, even if you aren’t the one to do it? Email us your idea at sessions@kfest.org.

Past sessions have included hardware, software and game demonstrations and tutorials; integration of the Apple II with other devices; emulators; programming; Apple II history; or any subject that would be of interest to Apple II users.

We are especially interested in and prioritize sessions that focus on Apple II-related topics, but as space allows, we also love Mac, iOS and a stray Windows or UNIX session or two.

Sessions are typically 30 to 60 minutes in length and are held at various times throughout the daytime hours.

If you’ve never done a session, check out a sample of past year’s contributions at http://www.kansasfest.org/downloads/.

July 28th, 2012

Beta run of cassette interface for Replica-1

Vince Briel has put up a preorder page for those that want to join in on the initial beta run for his cassette interface board for the Replica-1. The total run is limited to 25 units, so head on over if you want to live on the bleeding edge of Apple 1 technology and help test the board.

Cassette interface for Replica-1

July 27th, 2012

1977 version of Apple Blue Book

Steve Weyhrich has made available a PDF of the 1977 edition of Apple’s first Applesoft manual, the Blue Book, on his Apple II History website. He also offers the 1978 edition and the later Red Book.

Apple II Blue Book

July 26th, 2012

Bluetooth on the Apple II – proof of concept

One of the more exciting bits of news to come out of KansasFest was Alex Lukazi’s successful experimentation with Bluetooth on the Apple II. Read about his collaboration with Vince Briel and others to pull off this amazing feat. We look forward to continued developments over the next year.

Apple II Bluetooth proof of concept

June 26th, 2012

KansasFest kit-building workshop with Vince Briel

Past KansasFest attendees have had loads of fun building one of Vince’s kits. Last year almost 20 of us built the a2mp3 card, and the year before was the Replica-1.

Vince will again offer a workshop with his hands-on guidance. He’s a good teacher and patient with newbies (you can learn how to solder!).

To register for the workshop, visit this link. The deadline to register is July 8.

The following kits will be offered (prices are special for KFest attendees):

  • Replica 1 (Apple-1) – $129 (save $20 off list) – Experience: Beginner to intermediate
  • Apple IIGS 4meg RAM – $49 (save $40 off list) – Experience: Beginner Only 10 available!
  • Apple II MP3 – $89 (save $20 off list) – Experience: Beginner
  • Micro-KIM – $99 (save $10 off list) – Experience: Intermediate
  • Altair 8800micro – $209 (save $10 off list) – Experience: Intermediate

Visit Briel Computers to read up on the kits.

At the very least you will need to bring a soldering iron (pick one up at Radio Shack).

One more reason to attend KansasFest!

May 28th, 2012

Apple 1 computers appear on eBay & Sotheby’s

The stars must be in alignment, as not one, but TWO original Apple 1 computers are available for sale. The eBay auction is from the collection of early Apple employees Dick and Cliff Huston. The listing description has a detailed account of how the computer was acquired (as well as some great side history). The starting bid is $35,000. Corey adds further details on its condition over on the Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists message board. The unit hasn’t been powered on in 20 years.

The Sotheby’s auction is scheduled for June 15, 2012 with an estimated end price of between $120,000 and $180,000. This is a working unit, which is even rarer.

Another interesting auction is an IMSAI 8080 computer, which is also being sold by the Huston Brothers. This historic machine was used to bang out some of the early development code (it may have saved Floating Point Applesoft, as we know it) and ROMs for several Apple products. The auction offers a fascinating read detailing some of Apple’s early history.

January 10th, 2012

Early Apple employee Dan Kottke speaking at Vintage Computing Festival East 8.0

Evan Koblentz of MARCH brings us news that former Apple employee Daniel Kottke will speak at this year’s Vintage Computer Festival East 8.0. Evan writes “Dan was a college buddy of Jobs, went with him to India, built Apple 1 boards in Jobs’ parent’s garage, and worked at corporate Apple for many years.” VCF East will be held the weekend of May 5-6, 2012 at InfoAge/Camp Evans in Wall Township, NJ. The Apple II is always well represented at the event. Also of interest is a Sunday workshop on Apple II maintenance led by Brain Board inventor Mike Willegal. Thomas Kurtz, one of the inventors of BASIC, will speak on Saturday.

Daniel Kottke (image credit: Wikipedia)

September 6th, 2011

Apple co-founder Ron Wayne’s autobiography published

Ron Wayne was the third, minority share partner with the two Steves when they founded Apple in 1976. He worked at Atari with Jobs, and while at Apple, designed the first company logo and worked on the Apple I manual. His 191-page book, Adventures of an Apple Founder, is available through Apple’s iTunes store for $10 USD. We’re not sure how much of the book discusses Apple’s founding; an early iTunes review says not too much.How Online Medicine Shopping Can Save Patients Money

September 4th, 2011

T40, a new Apple II text editor

Antoine Vignau’s 40×24 text editor is the perfect thing for creating ASCII art screens — useful for demos, programs and crack intros. Krue is accepting art submissions for his new fortycolumn gallery, and T40 makes for an easy path to participate. Head on over the Brutal Deluxe site to download. Recent updates to v1.31 have added a help screen, new key combos and bug fixes.

Apple II - T40 text editor screenshot

September 4th, 2011

A look back at Quark’s Apple II products

Mike Maginnis reaches back into desktop publishing company Quark’s history for a look at Catalyst and Word Juggler.

Quark Catalyst disk image

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