Time flies…

I’m not getting to post here as frequently as I’d like to – real life really does get in the way. Looking for and starting a new job, having an 11yo living with us now, renovations, shopping for a new car (so many EV considerations!)…it all adds up so quickly!

That said, later this month (22 July), I will be hosting WOzFest 30! It’s hard to believe we’re up to 30+ gatherings (some minor ones between mainline ones) over the last 8+ years.

Attendee numbers have waxed and waned, but my enthusiasm has not – it’s still a lot of fun to just dedicate a day to not just my Apple ][‘s, but those of attendees (and virtual attendees – Steve in Brisbane is again simulcasting QFest on the same day) several times a year.

I recently scored four (yes, four!) europlus lids on eBay, which I’ll be allocating to my machines on the day, not sure what other work I’ll get to, but I’m sure we’ll have a ball.

We’ll also be trying to setup a video hookup with KFest 2023.

I retrospectively (is doing something on the day retrospective?) dubbed WOzFest 28 (held on 1 April) “WOzFest 28 Apple Fool’s Day“, and WOzFest 29 was held on 20 May 2023 – we had a good time mucking around with our gear, as always, and enjoyed the cider and pizza.

I had the pleasure of meeting (and hosting for a mini gathering after WOzFest 28) Ken Gagne, editor of Juiced.GS (amongst many other accolades) when he visited downunder. As my son is wont to say of good kids everywhere, “he’s a good kid”, and it really was a pleasure to shoot the breeze with him and show him some local sights.

I’m also excited that late October 2023 will see the return of Oz Kfest – the first one in 6 years.

The plan is to gather at the old Portland School of Arts just west of the Blue Mountains. The old SoA is the future site of local Apple über-enthusiast Adrian’s Apple museum. Adrian is also President of the Australian Computer Museum Society (see June 2023 Juiced.GS), which I volunteer for (as do many WOzFest attendees).

The last Oz Kfest, Oz Kfest 2017, still feels so recent in so many ways – it’s going to be great to catch up with some of my old Apple ][ friends who haven’t been able to get to WOzFests over the last few years.

But I do have to say, it won’t be the same without Tony, who attended Oz Kfests 2015 and 2017 and a few WOzFests (including WOzFest-1 in April 2015 immediately after Oz Kfest 2015). Gonna miss ya, mate.

But life relentlessly moves on, and I know Oz Kfest attendees are going to have a blast, just as Tony would want it to be.

WOzFest 23 Announcement (and 24, 25, 26, and 27!)

Wow, life sure is moving fast.

We now have frequent WOzFest attendee Dylan living with us (restarting Tween parenting in mid-late 50’s is proving…interesting), I have had to look for a job, and I found and started a new job – it’s just “Go! Go! Go!” here.

And, in two weeks I’ll have 2022’s first WOzFest, WOzFest 23 – start time is midday Sydney time (UTC+11), 2 April 2022. QFest 2022/1 will be held on the same day.

For the first time, I can actually announce the proposed schedule for all of a year’s WOzFests – after 2 April, the rest will be on the fourth Saturday of the odd months from May to November

This means the full scheduled looks like this:

WOzFest 232 April 2022
WOzFest 2428 May 2022
WOzFest 2523 July 2022
WOzFest 2624 September 2022
WOzFest 2726 November 2022

WOzFest 23 was going follow the “fourth Saturday of an odd month” scheme in March, but my son’s engagement party (!) is on 27 March, and we’re in voluntary pseudo-lockdown for the two weeks leading up to that to try and avoid being in isolation on the big day.

This means WOzFest 25 will align with KansasFest 2022, as has been the case with the July WOzFest for several years. In fact, this alignment is what I’m intending to use to determine the schedule moving forward for the 5 WOzFests I’m hoping to hold each year (which means, technically, I can announce the next year’s WOzFest schedule as soon as the next year’s KansasFest is announced).

I’ve not set a theme for any of 2022’s WOzFests yet – in the first instance, WOzFest 23 will just be a celebration of allowing attendees again into WOzFest HQ.

I will likely try to pick up some of my RetroChallenge 2021/10 projects, but may just be too caught up trying to catch up with my Apple ][ friends in person.

It’s highly unlikely there’ll be any government restrictions imposed between now and 2 April – however, if I get COVID before then and am isolating, I’ll have to postpone. There’s just no way I’m going to miss it!

Please note: even without a government stipulation on the vax status of visitors, I’ll be requiring WOzFest attendees to be double-vaxxed for the foreseeable future (don’t @ me).

WOzFest 23 or 24 will be the last WOzFest to use Google Meet to stream what I’m up to as Google is deprecating their free legacy edition I’ve been relying on – let me know if you’d like the link so you can connect up with us. I’ll be looking for an alternative as the year progresses.

I won’t be able to prepare the day before as I’ve not yet built up enough leave to do so, so for the moment I can just commit to the Saturdays being from 12:00 to 22:00 local time (if I can last that long) – UTC+11 for WOzFests 23 and 27 and UTC+10 for WOzFests 24-26.

As always, I’m continuing to raise funds via Ko-Fi. This allows small (or large!) donations to be made – check out my intro post there for the lowdown, and feel free to drop anything you can in the can to help me to run WOzFest moving forward.

WOzFest SWEET16 Announcement

I’m very happy to announce the date for the next WOzFest: WOzFest SWEET16 will be held on Saturday 25 July 2020, starting at midday Sydney time (UTC+10:00).

The theme for WOzFest SWEET16 is “Community” – having supportive communities is important at the best of times, but especially so at the moment. The camaraderie involved in events like WOzFest certainly help me feel lucky in these trying times. So come and join my community for a few hours, no matter where you are in the world.

As per WOzFest COLOR=15, WOzFest SWEET16 will be streamed on Twitch via WOzFest TV for the whole duration. I’ll be aiming to do some productive work to stream, and will have some Skype calls as well.

Sidenote: For those who don’t know, SWEET16 was Steve Wozniak’s 16‑bit interpreted language for the 8‑bit Apple ][ which was included in the Apple ][ ROM (see source code image above, courtesy of Call-AP.P.L.E., which has re-issued The Wozpak, full of early Apple technical information, including about SWEET16). Sweet16 is also the name of SheppyWare’s IIgs emulator (which I believe is currently being re-written).

It seemed appropriate to have something from so early in the Apple ][‘s story (and written by Woz himself!) label what is likely to be the last “named” WOzFest.

I think I’ve done an OK job naming WOzFests 1-16 with Apple- and Apple ][-related names, but looking past 16 the field of names is rather sparse rather quickly. So it’s over to just boring numbers from here on out – unless I get sent a barrage of suggestions that cover me for 17 to 6502 before WOzFest 17 in October/November.

The mid-year WOzFest is usually tied in to KansasFest, and this year things are no different…well, except that everything is entirely different for both WOzFest and KansasFest at the moment.

The KansasFest Committee has decided to go virtual-only this year, and registrations opened this week – US$20 seems a bargain to me, so I’ve registered, and ordered a t-shirt to boot.

With the timing, WOzFest SWEET16 is going to be wedged in between the two days of KansasFest 2020. For me, Day 1 of KansasFest 2020 will run from midnight Friday night to 07:00 Saturday – I’ll then try and grab a few hours sleep/rest (unless there are unofficial events on to snag my attention), get finalised for WOzFest, then run 10 hours of that through to 22:00. Day 2 of KansasFest starts at midnight Saturday night and runs to 07:00 Sunday – I think I’ll be a wreck on Sunday when everything’s done.

But what a great Apple ][ weekend it’s going to be! KansasFest sounds like it’s going to have a huge international contingent of “attendees”, and it’ll be interesting to see which sessions suit virtual presentation. Oz KFest 2017 had quite a few virtual presentations and I think they worked quite well.

In review, WOzFest COLOR=15 was fun, even if I was by myself. It was definitely experimental on the WOzFest TV front, and, although viewers had to put up with audio issues for an hour or so, I figured out the issue (don’t overload your broadcasting computer with too many video sources to encode). I’m hoping to post video highlights soon with edited audio to overcome the choppiness.

I learnt a lot, got a lot of scene layout ideas, researched audio production on the Mac for streaming, and have now got what should be a much better setup and idea for how to make things look and sound better.

I’m expecting that at WOzFest SWEET16 I’ll be able to get back to software preservation with the Applesauce. Applesauce is John Morris’ phenomenal USB interface for Apple ][ disk drives which takes Apple ][ software preservation to new heights by capturing magnetic flux-level images of disks.

I’ve done little with the disks sent by Alex of the What is the Apple IIGS website since originally imaging them – I have tried cleaning some which had imaging issues, but have not achieved any results worthy of updating WOzFest.flux, my Internet Archive item of disks I’ve fluxed (that item forms part of the larger collection of such Applesauce flux image items, Flux Capacity). That lack of flux activity means I also still have to do the disks that Steve from Brisbane dropped off at WOzFest 14.25045 MHz.

While the whole COVID-19 situation meant WOzFest COLOR=15 had to be a sole-participant affair, there is some light at the end of the tunnel – the NSW State Government has eased restrictions as of yesterday and up to two adults can visit others.

So I might have a couple of attendees, and I’m thinking of having a Golden Ticket lottery to see who that might be – unless things free up even more in the next 12 weeks.

I’ve not yet organised any Skype calls – but I’m sure I’ll be able to rustle up some Apple ][ enthusiasts from around the world to participate.

For WOzFest SWEET16 I’m continuing to raise funds via Ko-Fi. This allows small (or large!) donations to be made – check out my intro post there for the lowdown, and feel free to drop anything you can in the tin to help me to run WOzFest moving forward.

I am in the process of raising funds via the sale of excess interface cards and disk drives which will see me back in the black as far as tools and equipment for streaming is concerned, so I thank the local community for their support in that.

I hope to “see” you there!

WOzFest 13 Sector Announcement

I’m very happy to announce the date for the next WOzFest, WOzFest 13 Sector – Saturday 20 July 2019, starting around midday Sydney time (UTC+10:00).

I’m very happy to announce the date for the next WOzFest, WOzFest 13 Sector – Saturday 20 July 2019, starting around midday Sydney time (UTC+10:00).

I haven’t set a theme for WOzFest 13 Sector – however, I have organised the usual Kansas Fest video hookup we try for each year. The Skype call is slated to start at around 14:00 local time (23:00 Friday Kansas City time).

While there is no theme, I will be continuing to work on software preservation with the Applesauce. Applesauce is John Morris’ phenomenal USB interface for Apple ][ disk drives which takes Apple ][ software preservation to new heights by capturing magnetic flux-level images of disks. Since WOzFest 12:00, I’ve been able to capture 25 original disks which I don’t think have been captured elsewhere.

I’m expecting at least two Applesauces to be on hand, mine and Russell’s, and hopefully Michael from The Retro Computing Roundtable will be able to locate his in the 8bit Bunker. Michael has recently won an auction of 2 dozen Sunburst titles which he’s hoping to prepare flux images of at WOzFest 13. Michael has previously preserved a Sunburst title (Learning to Cope with Pressure) at WOzFest PR#6.

I expect Applesauces to feature reasonably prominently at WOzFests for the foreseeable future. Not only on the strength of how many disks I have to image, but also based on the interest so far expressed by attendees and other members of the community.

Attendees are welcome to bring as many disks as possible for imaging – I’m not sure how many we’ll get done, though, at 3-5 minutes each (including entering metadata). I think I have about a thousand which need processing – and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration!

Existing projects are more than welcome to be brought along as well – whether it be repairs, upgrades, show and tells of new acquisitions…whatever you want to work on.

As always, it will be held at my place at Wollstonecraft, on Sydney’s Lower North Shore – contact me for the address. Start time is, appropriately, 12:00(ish), with an expected finish time of around 21:30.

No lunch provided, but nibbles, soft drinks and Apple cider will be available (I ask for a small contribution towards snacks), and we’ll all chip in for delivery pizza for dinner whenever we notice we’re hungry.

I hope to see you there!