Who goes to an Apple II convention in 2013?

KansasFest is an annual convention for fans of the 36-year-old Apple II computer. Who are these people, anyway?

Conferences abound for WordPress, PHP, social media and ... the Apple II?

Thirty-six years after the founding of Apple Computer, the company's first product, the Apple II, is alive and well. It runs at 1 MHz with 64 kilobytes of RAM and attracts dozens of retrocomputing enthusiasts to attend KansasFest, an annual Apple II convention.

Who are these diehards that travel from around the world to engage in late-night 8-bit hacking? I asked attendees at last month's 25th annual KansasFest what it is about the Apple II that appeals to them.

Melissa Barron
Credit: YouTube.com
The Artist

Name: Melissa Barron

From: Fridley, Minn.

What's her deal? Barron creates Jacquard weavings based on Apple II glitches. Her work is currently being exhibited at the Furtherfield Gallery (PDF) in London.

Charles Mangin
Credit: YouTube.com
The Inventor

Name: Charles Mangin

From: Raleigh, N.C.

What's his deal? Mangin, a Mac consultant by day, has a habit of putting Mac minis inside Apple II shells and peripherals. To better produce his Frankenstein's monsters, he's created the RetroConnector keyboard adapter.

Kevin Savetz
Credit: YouTube.com
The Rebel

Name: Kevin Savetz

From: Portland, Ore.

What's his deal? Curator of the Atari magazine archive, Savetz attended this year's KansasFest, his first, to learn more about his second-favorite retrocomputer.

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