July 24th, 2004

HackFest contest winners announced

We had a record seven entries in the KFest HackFest contest this year. Entrants had
three days to code an Apple II program from scratch, and the results were judged by
Howard Katz, Carl Knoblock and Sean Fahey. The grand prize was awarded to Eric
Shepherd for his IIgs program, PapaSan.This useful GS/OS program pops up a small context menu when you control-click. The context menu can be
customized with a series of plugin modules to do useful things, such as
close the active window, display the time and date, launch a specific
program, and many more. Eric will fine-tune his program and then release it.

Geoff Weiss took second place with an Applesoft BASIC program that allows
one to change the MAC address for the LANceGS card. Third place went to
Matthew Schock for his bouncing happy face program coded in Applesoft. The expression
and color of the face change each time it bounces off the edge of the

July 24th, 2004

KFest photos from Bruce Baker

Bruce’s photos of KansasFest 2004 are available for viewing..

July 24th, 2004

KansasFest Report: Day Four

Friday was a great day of KansasFesting; after skipping breakfast so I could get an extra hour of sleep, I headed over to the Eagle’s Nest — the room our sessions have been held in since last year — to attend Ken Gagne’s session looking at some of the best Apple II games that can be gotten free on the Internet.After that, I presented my 90-minute session on Mac OS X programming using the Cocoa architecture, in which we designed and implemented a fairly complete word processor, including printing support, all during the session.

After that came lunch, this time in Whitfield Center, and for a nice change, the food was quite good. After that, we returned to the Eagle’s Nest for Steve Weyhrich’s session about the history of digital music and how digital music works, which was very interesting, including sound examples from electronic music equipment dating back nearly sixty years.

Howard Katz was up next, presenting Unix shell commands and features of use to Apple II users whose ISPs provide shell access. His session included looks at doing email, web browsing, and Usenet access, as well as configuring the environment.

Steve Weyhrich then returned to the podium, talking about how to record digital music from an analog source, such as a cassette tape or vinyl record. After Steve, Sharon Knoblock talked about genealogy — both in terms of research methods and ways to use computers to help track the massive amounts of information involved.

Next, we migrated back to Whitfield Center for the traditional pasta banquet, the awarding of prizes for best tie (to Jeri Ellsworth, who made a dress out of ties — we’ll have a photo available soon) and best door sign (to Jeri Ellsworth and Ken Gagne for a creative door involving a talking fish modified to talk like a Furby and a dismembered mannequin head).

The roasting of Dave Miller commenced after the banquet. Led by emcee Ken Gagne, the panel consisting of Eric Shepherd, Tony Diaz, and Ryan Suenaga presented evidence of Dave’s many, well… few… well, one flaw. Much fun was made of his crashing of our server on the second day of KansasFest last year.

A couple of dozen people then went out to see the film The Bourne Supremacy, which received the universal rating of “Didn’t suck.” The moviegoers stopped at IHOP for food on the way back to Avila, then rejoined the hanging around and goofing off.

The evening ended, oddly, with about a dozen people in the lounge on the first floor of the dorm throwing a long foam pool float back and forth at each other and chatting jovially. This is a lot more fun than it probably sounds..

July 23rd, 2004

More KFest photos

Dean Nichols has published a second set of KFest photos covering some of the sessions, the Dave Miller Roast, and Roger Wagner tie contest..

July 23rd, 2004

KansasFest 2005 scheduled for July 19-24

Moments ago, it was announced that KansasFest 2005 will be held from July 19 through July 24..

July 23rd, 2004

KansasFest Report: Day Three

Day three began with waffles. Or possibly they were the new heat tiles NASA is developing to return the space shuttle to flight. Either way, they were rock-hard yet strangely tasty once you managed to get it into your mouth.The first session of the day was Greg Nelson’s presentation on graphics and animation software for the Apple IIgs. That was followed by back-to-back sessions from Geoff Weiss; the first was about the LANceGS card and Ethernet software development, and the second was an introduction to the capabilities of the KEGS Apple IIgs emulator, including some new code that’s not released yet that lets KEGS emulate a LANceGS card.

After Geoff wrapped up, we went to lunch, then returned for a session on ISPs by Howard Katz. Then came three rousing games of Apple II Jeopardy, hosted by Tony Diaz. After that, Tony demonstrated how to refurbish an Apple 3.5 or UniDisk 3.5 drive.

That brought us to dinner, which included lasagna that was fairly good (for dorm food). After dinner, the GShisen tournament’s first round was played, and we watched The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on DVD, projected onto the wall in vast widescreen glory.

Then a few of us headed out to IHOP for a bite to eat. I’ve just gotten back from that, and am winding down to sleep, so I can be awake again in four hours to do another day of KansasFest. I can’t wait!.

July 22nd, 2004

Last chance for a CFFA card for your Apple II

Rich Dreher is down to his last 12 Compact Flash/IDE 8-bit cards. These have cosmetic or physical defects, but are guaranteed to still work. The price is $75 and includes the normal warranty. Best of all, they contain the latest firmware that lets them work in an Apple II+, IIe and IIgs. He does not have plans to produce more CFFA cards at this time..

July 22nd, 2004

KansasFest Report: Day Two

Wednesday started for me with the KansasFest Kookout; Kirk Mitchell grilling burgers and hot dogs (both the meat and not-so-meat varieties). There was great camaraderie and goofing off while we ate, hanging out in front of the dorm. The weather was much cooler today, so we were able to do so without unfortunate consequences.After eating, Tony Diaz, our new Head Cheese, welcomed everyone to KansasFest, and Eric Shepherd provided a quick get-me-started on the HackFest programming contest.

Then it was time for the first session of the week, with Bruce Baker leading an interesting rap session on AppleWorks and the things people use it for. Bruce was followed by Eric Shepherd, who explained the code tricks used by Wolf 3D on the IIgs to optimize its screen refresh and to read multiple keys being pressed at the same time.

After that came Austin Phelps presenting a session on WiFi networking, including security advice. A very handy and informative session, indeed! Austin was followed by dinner — our first meal served by Avila’s kitchen this year. The strange might-be-meat patties were a surprise, but the pasta and beef goulash-like substance was fairly tasty.

After that, a few of us made a run out to CompUSA — Syndicomm needed an SD memory card for its video camera’s still photo mode as well as a microphone, and other people had items they needed as well. We barely made it back in time for Steve Weyhrich’s fascinating keynote address, comparing the history of radio and of automobiles to that of personal computing. (Okay, in reality, they had to wait for us to get back because they wanted Syndicomm to be able to tape the speech — thanks, guys!)

After the keynote, we had about an hour of goofing around time before the Juiced.GS pizza reception began — ten boxes of large, original crust pizza goodness, provided by Syndicomm free of charge to all attendees. Yum!

Shortly after being inspired by pizza, Eric “Sheppy” Shepherd announced he was recusing himself from judging HackFest, as he had an idea for a program that he wanted to try to do and submit as an entry. Howard Katz will lead the judging committee in his stead.

The rest of the night was spent having fun and goofing off, and generally staying up too late for a bunch of people expecting to have breakfast at 7:30 AM..

July 21st, 2004

KFest photos from the Kookout

Dean Nichols has posted a batch of photos from the great KFest Kirk Kookout..

July 21st, 2004

KansasFest Report: Day One

Tuesday is Arrival Day at Avila University; it’s the day we all move into the dorm, set up our gear, and get reacquainted after a year apart — and, of course, meet first timers.I arrived at around 5:30 PM, driving in from the airport with Jeri Ellsworth and Andy Molloy in tow. The first surprise was that Avila was really on the ball this year, with someone handing out the room keys at the office in Marion Center; in past years, the KansasFest committee had to deal with the keys themselves.

Once that was accomplished, and our stuff had been lugged to our rooms, it was time to wander the halls and say “Hello” to all our old friends, and to greet those we’d not met before.

The heat was impressive, with the thermometer peaking at 100° F, and there was much gnashing of teeth as we headed out to Sweet Tomatoes in Overland Park to eat dinner. Fortunately, the temperature came down a good bit while we were in there, and it was much better when we left.

Upon our return to the dorm, it was time to hang out and goof off. After a few hours of roaming the halls and checking out each other’s gear, a number of us coalesced into the lounge on the first floor and chatted until around 3 AM, at which point we started to disperse to get one decent night’s sleep before the main event.

Wednesday’s first event is the cookout, followed by the first sessions of the week. We’ll have more reports soon!.

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