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 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.