KANSAS CITY, MO — December 22, 2009 — Mark Simonsen, employee number three and later owner of Beagle Bros, will be the keynote speaker at KansasFest 2010. At Beagle Bros, whose popular software products for the Apple II hobbyist demonstrated the publisher’s quirky sense of humor, Mark developed software including Flex Type, Beagle BASIC, Beagle Graphics, Triple-Dump, and Double-Take. In the early 1980s, Mark decided that he “wanted to work with the Apple for the rest of [his] life,” a statement that captures the enthusiasm and spirit of Mark, Beagle Bros, and many Apple II users.
Beagle Bros started in 1980 under the direction of Bert Kersey to provide software to casual users of the Apple II. A year and a half after graduating with a degree in computer science from Brigham Young University, Mark “fell in love with the Apple.” Mark published Flex Type through Beagle Bros in 1982, joined the company as a programmer in 1983, and bought it in 1987 at the age of 29.
Besides software like Shape Mechanic, GPLE, and DOS Boss for budding programmers, Beagle Bros produced books, posters, and even advertisements full of clever and useful tidbits demonstrating the capabilities of the Apple II. Later, the company produced highly regarded productivity software like Platinum Paint, BeagleWrite GS, and the TimeOut line of AppleWorks add-ons. Beagle Bros earned many loyal followers thanks to the combination of quality products, enthusiasm, and humor.
Mark sold the company’s product line in 1991 and 1992 to Quality Computers. Today, Mark helps save memories as the CEO of iPreserve, a company specializing in photo, film, video, and document preservation.
KansasFest 2010, the 21st annual Apple II conference, is set for July 20th through July 25th at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest Committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II and Macintosh users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year’s “summer camp for geeks.” Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site in early 2010. Please heed the warning from Beagle Bros and refrain from feeding your disks to alligators. For photos, schedules, and presentations from past year’s events, please visit the event’s official Web site at http://www.kansasfest.org/
If you’d like to read more about Beagle Bros and Mark Simonsen, I suggest checking out the following:
- “Interview with Mark Simonsen,” Nibble, December 1987, pages 14 and 138 (http://www.nibblemagazine.net/)
- “The Beagle Bros Online Museum” (http://stevenf.com/beagle/)
- Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle_Bros)
- “Beagle Bros Software Repository” (http://beagle.applearchives.com/)
And, here are a few slightly less relevant but still relevant references:
- “Beagle Bros” (http://everything2.com/title/Beagle+Bros)
- “Who’s Who In Apple II” by Phil Shapiro from GEnieLamp, Nov. 1992 (http://www.morgandavis.net/portfolio/mdg/genielamp.txt)
- “Beagle Bros” by Jeff Atwood at CodingHorror.com (http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000030.html)
- “Variable ‘foo’ and Other Programming Oddities” by Jeff Atwood at CodingHorror.com (http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000375.html)