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.