When did you get rid of your last computer or cell phone? It was probably pretty recently—we replace our technology all the time. But it’s not this way for everyone: A contingent of diehard retro computing enthusiasts are still programming, hacking, tinkering with, and playing games on the Apple II, a 38-year-old computer originally released in 1977.
And every July, about 70 of these diehards head to Rockhurst University in Kansas City for KansasFest, a conference dedicated exclusively to all things Apple II. More accurately, it’s kind of like a sleepaway camp. For six days, the 70-or-so attendees will eat together, sleep in the same dorm, chug mountain dew to stay awake, and hack away at these things.
I visited KFest, as it’s affectionately known, to see why anyone would ever want to keep using a computer that’s coming up on its 40th anniversary.