HackFest 2012

HackFest is both a tradition at KansasFest and for me personally.  I find that as I attend more KansasFests, my HackFest projects get smaller simply because I’ve discovered all the fantastic off-schedule activities.  At my first KansasFest, I’d retire to my room between sessions and after meals.  But, some of the best discussions and discoveries occur wandering the halls and meeting people.

Anyway, my entry this year was a Lissajous curve plotter with mouse control of the parameters, sort of like a mathematical “etch-a-sketch”.  The Lissajous curve is a parametric mathematical function that produces fascinating curves of which circles, ellipses, and parabolas are special cases.  These curves show up in mathematics, nature, popular culture, and even jewelry.

Peter’s HackFest 2012 entry, a Lissajous curve plotter with mouse control

Due to limitations of my living arrangements, I came to KansasFest with little hardware and software.  I had an Apple IIc, an old copy of AppleWorks, and the introduction disks that shipped with the Apple IIc.  By necessity, my goal was to use what would have come in the box when the computer was new.  One of my AppleWorks backup disks was corrupt, so I reformatted that and re-purposed it as my HackFest disk with ProDOS 1.0.2, the only version I had on the original system disk.

While moving into the dorm at KansasFest, I found a mouse in Sean’s traditional give-away box.  I’ve always wanted to program a mouse on an 8-bit system, so I grabbed it and decided to incorporate it into my HackFest entry.

HackFest was great fun.  I enjoyed using real hardware, refreshing old Applesoft skills, and learning mouse programming.  I also enjoyed experimenting with Lissajous curves and with relationships between mouse input and function parameters.  Feel free to enjoy and adapt my program, available here for download under a CC BY-SA license.  The LISSAJOUS2 file contains my HackFest entry.  LISSAJOUS3 contains a few minor improvements made afterwards.  This disk image is the result of the first and hopefully only application of the ScreenType™ process because I don’t even have a serial cable on hand.