WOzFest /// Recap

Oh, what a night!

We had 18 attendees, which ended up being a little cramped, but no tempers were frayed (well, none of the attendees’ tempers were frayed, but that’s a different story).

Early attendees were the interstate visitors Geoff and Jason (they were at a bit of a loose end) and über-locals Jon and Andrew.

Others arrived throughout the afternoon and evening, and it wasn’t long before the work table (the fancy name for my table tennis table) was covered with Apple ][’s in various states of déshabillé.

When a //c for a new young enthusiast, Charlie, seemed to have auxiliary memory issues, Jon (thanks!) was tasked (by me) to troubleshoot the problem and figure out how to get a working machine (thanks, Craig, for spares).

When Hans, the author of Caverns of Mordia, arrived with a disk of the game to be imaged, Jason (thanks!) was tasked (by me) to try and image the disk for preservation as he had brought his EDD+ card with him.

When the pizza delivery guy arrived, he was fascinated with what we were doing, and asked to look around. He ended up getting a tour from Christian (thanks!) of the various machines, their histories, etc. and he left with several photos, I suppose to show off to his mates. The costs of the pizza was covered by a mystery donor attendee (thanks!).

At 8pm, the developer of the first surprise new hardware product being announced, Alex Lukacz, videoed in via Skype to give an overview of the 4play digital joystick interface card.

The 4play allows up to four digital joysticks (including the Atari 2600 joystick) to be connected to a slotted Apple ][. Alex had secured support for the card in KABOOM!, allowing the user interface to be navigated via attached joysticks and for gameplay to incorporate connected digital joysticks.

What Alex didn’t know was that Jon Co had approached me about also releasing the 4soniq four channel/surround-sound interface card (co-developed with John Valdezco) on the night. I thought KABOOM! would be a perfect demo program for the 4soniq, so I sent the request to Jesse Blue of Ninjaforce. He took up the challenge (thanks!), and with only 10 days’ notice, was able to bake in support for the 4soniq into KABOOM!.

Once Alex had made his announcement of the card and KABOOM!’s support of it, I then handed over to Jon, who could then announce his card…and KABOOM!’s support of it! Players then got to play the surround-sound and digital joystick enhanced KABOOM! using both cards.

Michael from the  Retro Computing Roundtable brought a bottle of 1987 port which was then served up for attendees – it was a nice touch to have an era-appropriate tipple to go with our retro-computers. Michael also kindly left a magnum of 2002 Redman Cabernet Sauvignon as a thank you for my hosting WOzFest /// and gifted a copy of Steven Weyhrich’s excellent Apple ][ history Sophistication & Simplicity: The Life & Times of the Apple II Computer to Charlie. Thanks, Michael, for your extraordinary generosity.

I had a great time, there was a great vibe, and I think the new products were a hit. I’m not sure yet when the next WOzFest will be, but I’m already looking forward to it.

WOzFest /// Approaches!

One week to go till WOzFest ///!

I’ve been scrabbling to get ready – it’s more work than I expected, partly because the Man Cave was in a worse state than I expected after our renovations, but also because I’m divesting myself of so much of the retro-computing material I’ve collected to focus on my Apple ][ passion, the Apple ][ europlus. What that means is heaps of processing and selection that needs to be done on top of just prepping the Man Cave for not far off 20 visitors. I’m hoping this Anzac Day long weekend will give me the time I need to get things prepared.

It now looks like we’ll have at least two products announced and demonstrated on the night, and that’s not all that’s happening.

Ken Gagne, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Juiced.GS is generously providing us with a door prize! The winner gets to choose one of:

  • A 2016 subscription to Juiced.GS (a US$27 value);
  • A 2017 subscription to Juiced.GS (a US$27 value);
  • Opus ][: The Software (as a disk image download – a US$25 value); or
  • Opus ][: The Source (as a disk image download – a US$25 value).

The aim is to have an Apple ][ select the winner via a random draw – details to be announced. The winner doesn’t have to be present when the prize is drawn, but only attendees on the day will be eligible.

Thanks, Ken, for helping someone get lucky at WOzFest ///!

We’ll have at least two out-of-towners attending, with Geoff and Jason flying up from Melbourne.

Although it’s a work day, I’ve settled on a midday start for those who can make it then. Product announcements and the prize draw won’t happen until after business hours when the bulk of attendees are expected to be here.

But it’s shaping up as a great gathering of Apple ][ aficionados – tinkering, soldering, reconfiguring, cider, pizza, prizes, video hookups, new products! If that sounds like your kind of thing, drop me a line.

WOzFest /// Announcement

In Sydney on 29 April, 2016?

Love Apples, especially of the ][ variety?

Join me (and around 10-15 other retro-enthusiasts) at WOzFest /// – an Apple-lovers’ gathering at Wollstonecraft (on Sydney’s Lower North Shore).

Bring your soldering irons, bring your projects, bring your discards, but most of all bring your enthusiasm for…

…an exciting new Apple ][ hardware product to be announced – and demonstrated – on the night!

It’s not my product, but I’m overjoyed to be providing the venue (and audience [i.e. attendees]) for the announcement. I’m sure quite a few Apple ][ enthusiasts’ buttons will be pressed by it – it’s a real game changer! Beyond that, I can’t say anything about it.

It’s not strictly an Apple ][-only affair – there’s plenty of crossover into early Macs (and sometimes other computer brands) as well. We’ll have a few out-of-towners attending, and apple cider and pizza are the refreshments of choice.

“WOzFest ///? What of WOzFest 1 and ][?”, I hear you say.

WOzFest 1 was a hastily convened after party for OzKFest 2015 to take advantage of the fact Tony Diaz, who had flown over from the States, was in Sydney, along with his huge collection of Apple and Apple-related prototypes and gear. It provided a great impetus to tidy up the man cave and continue the OzKFest spirit.

WOzFest ][, held in July 2015, was a little more organised, and featured an Apple IIgs sound card “sound-off”. It also saw testing of a prototype of the Universal Drive Adaptor for the Floppy Emu. A surprise was the fact that Steve and Karina Howell from the Carte Blanche II project were in attendance.

I have a few projects I haven’t been able to get to because of the renovations – including testing my Uthernet II and testing my two Silentypes now I have the appropriate interface card, so I’ll try and get to that on the night. I’m aware of other attendees’ projects which will be worked on as well.

Drop me a line if you’d like to attend – it’s going to be a great night!

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