WOzFest COLOR=15 Update

Wow, what a month! When I announced WOzFest COLOR=15 I was looking forward to another fun get-together of fellow Apple ][ enthusiasts, and I’d already started planning to stream the day for those who couldn’t make it.

Now, communities around the world are in lockdown (Australia is heading down that path) and people’s lives are being turned upside down.

By mid-last week, I decided to go stream-only for WOzFest COLOR=15. While a difficult personal decision, it’s nothing compared to what some people are experiencing.

I love hosting WOzFest and I love having enthusiasts here at WOzFest HQ – but for the next short(?) while, we all have to pull our head in.

I still need help, though – while I won’t have physical attendees, I’d like to do Skypes during the day. If you’re tinkering, if you have something to share or say, if you’re releasing a new product, if you’re lonely, whatever – let me know what time suits between 01:00-11:00 UTC 4 April 2020 and I’ll try and schedule you in. Let’s go around the world, let’s go around Australia, let’s show this stupid virus it won’t dampen our enthusiasm for the Apple ][!

On a practical level, I’ve been able to utilise some donated equipment for my streaming setup – a recently donated iMac 27” with 32GB RAM and 2GB VRAM is powerful enough to do the video processing. Two donated cracked-screen iPhones are acting as webcams, a donated webcam is being used above my Applesauce Disk ][, and a donated Airport Express is creating a dedicated WiFi network for the iPhone webcams.

But I have had to purchase some items – three camera mounts, two extra long USB cables to keep the iPhones running, a USB hub – all up, I’ve spent about AU$140.

I’m passing the hat around via Ko-Fi and asking if you’d like to support the stream please consider a small contribution to this. Large contributions welcome, too, of course!

The intention is that all future WOzFests will be streamed, but I expect this expenditure to be a one-off.

So, via Skype or Twitch chat, I’m looking forward to talking to some of you on 4 April and sharing some of the work I’ll be doing on the day. If I can I’ll try and draw up a schedule – for example, I wanted to do an Applesaucing session and discuss usage tips, etc.

WOzFest TV to go live at WOzFest COLOR=15

WOzFest COLOR=15 will mark a new era for WOzFest with the launch of WOzFest TV – that’s right, I aim to stream all future WOzFests via Twitch. I felt, with the celebration of the Apple ][‘s support for colour graphics (usually touted via connecting to the family TV), it was time to take the streaming plunge.

I’ve never streamed anything before, so this is definitely in the development/experimental stage, and I definitely need feedback on things like scene layouts and ideas for video sources and overlays.

I’ve had requests from non-attendees to stream for some time, and I can see the appeal for those who have never attended and can never get enough Apple ][ goodness, and also for prior attendees who can’t make any given WOzFest.

I’ll be incorporating any Skype calls, webcams from around WOzFest HQ, windows from tasks like Applesauce fluxing, and anything else that seems appropriate. For example, with the holding of QFest 15 to coincide with WOzFest COLOR=15, I’m planning on having a full-time Skype connection between the two ’Fests.

The Twitch URL is activated – I’ll announce on Twitter when I’m doing testing streams for layouts, etc., and the official Go Live will be at the start of WOzFest COLOR=15 on 4 April 2020 at 12:00 (UTC+11:00) – come and check it out and have a chat with us!

WOzFest COLOR=15 Announcement

I’m very happy to announce the date for the next WOzFest, WOzFest COLOR=15 – Saturday 4 April 2020, starting around midday Sydney time (UTC+11:00).

The theme for WOzFest COLOR=15 is the Apple ][’s support for colour graphics via colour monitors and TVs. I’ve got a surprise lined up for WOzFest COLOR=15, but all I can say for now is…stay tuned!

I will also 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.

I’ve completed most of the imaging of disks sent by Alex of the What is the Apple IIGS website – I have a few disks to try re-imaging after cleaning, but what I have done forms the basis of WOzFest.flux, my Internet Archive item of fluxed disks, which forms part of the larger collection of such Applesauce flux image items, Flux Capacity.

I’ll add titles over time – the next bunch of disks is the one Steve from Brisbane brought to WOzFest 14.25045MHz. Javier from America also kindly donated 3D-printed disk cleaning rigs which I used with great success on some of Alex’s disks, so those which need a bit of TLC will get a good buff.

I’m expecting possibly three Applesauces to be on hand, mine, Russell’s, and Michael’s (from The Retro Computing Roundtable). Michael has continued to acquire software titles which he’s hoping to prepare flux images of, and has previously preserved Sunburst titles (such as Learning to Cope with Pressure) at WOzFests.

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. If I get a chance, I’ll be testing a new troubleshooting/repair product I received this week which will help with my europlus refurbishment project, and will aid others working on pre-Apple //e machines.

I’ve not yet organised any Skype calls – I’ll give it some thought over the next few weeks.

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 12:00(ish), with an expected finish time of around 21:30.

No lunch provided, but nibbles, soft drinks and Apple cider will be provided (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.

With WOzFest COLOR=15 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 hope to see you there!