By Shawn Scott Smith| December 18, 2012 | Comments Off
DECEMBER 17, 2012 — KansasFest 2013, the Apple II convention scheduled for July 23 –28 in Kansas City, Missouri, comes on the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Disk ][ disk drive, Apple DOS, and Applesoft BASIC. To celebrate this anniversary, Randy Wigginton, Apple employee #6 and engineer who worked on all three of these innovations, will be the keynote speaker.
In 1978, Wigginton was a brilliant young high school student working alongside Apple co-founder Wozniak. Wigginton was an early member of the famous Homebrew Computer Club, often caught rides to club meetings with Wozniak, and was there for the unveiling of the Apple I. At age 14, Wigginton started writing software for the Apple I. He assisted with the early design of and software for the Apple II and manned the booth at the West Coast Computer Faire introducing the Apple II. He was part of the all-night coding session in January 1978 that allowed Apple to introduce a working disk drive the following day at the Consumer Electronics Show. Later that year, Wigginton adapted Microsoft BASIC to become Applesoft BASIC and wrote the RWTS (Read/Write Track/Sector) software routines critical to the operation of Apple DOS and the new disk drive. The MacWrite software was among Wigginton’s contributions to the company beyond the Apple II. Wigginton continues to work in the computer industry today, currently with Square.
Wigginton’s work on DOS and Applesoft contributed to the success of the Apple II computer. The low cost disk drive and DOS revolutionized data storage on the Apple II. The low cost disk drive and DOS revolutionized data storage on the Apple II. Previously, users had no choice but to use slow and unreliable cassette tapes to store and distribute their programs and data. Applesoft BASIC became the most widely used programming language for the Apple II and the foundation for much commercial and hobbyist software.
KansasFest is an annual convention offering Apple II users and retrocomputing enthusiasts the opportunity to engage in beginner and technical sessions, programming contests, exhibition halls, and camaraderie. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year’s event. Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site in early 2013. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event’s official Web site at http://www.kansasfest.org/.