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When I attended my first KansasFest in 1998, fellow attendee and Kansas resident Sean Fahey invited us to his nearby home, where we were welcome to any of the Apple II hardware and software he had amassed there. We were doing him a favor by helping clean out his garage.
But no matter how hard we tried, Sean's collection grew; for every floppy drive someone left with, two took its place. Sean suffers from the same problem I do: the pain of seeing perfectly good equipment being thrown away just because the owner didn't know of or couldn't look for a better home. Sean altruistically saved many such lots from the garbage, storing it in the short term so that he might find a home for it in the long term.
The collection grew to the point that salvaging equipment, storing it between KansasFests, and transporting it to Rockhurst became expensive. The handful of Apple II users who had the privilege of attending KansasFest contributed to defray the costs, but that wasn't enough — Sean and cohorts such as James Littlejohn were still saddled with the majority of the expenses.
But the value of Sean's service extends beyond KansasFest, and Sean has graciously given the wider community the opportunity to contribute by creating a GoFundMe campaign. Unlike Kickstarter, GoFundMe has no limits or deadlines, allowing its organizers to benefit from any and all fundraising. Any amount is appreciated — up to, including, and past the goal of $3,500. In the first four days, the crowdfunding campaign had already reached 55% of its goal. (Full disclosure: Juiced.GS contributed $100.)
No new Apple II computers are being made, so it behooves us to save the ones we have — not just as historical artifacts, but as living entities for us to continue using and enjoying. Every computer Sean saves is one that may end up in the hands of a teacher, programmer, or hacker who could help create the next great Apple II user, emulator, or expansion. My thanks to the organizers of Sean's Garage Giveaway, and to everyone who's now ensuring it continues well into the future.
UPDATE (Oct 8, 2015): Thank you to everyone who helped put this campaign over its goal! Sean Fahey wrote on Facebook:
I want to thank everyone for their generosity. I hope the next 3 Garage Giveaways are worthy of the trust and investment you've placed in us. We've got enough to cover the next 2 years of storage ($2000+) and to also cover the expenses for an upcoming trip to Florida to acquire a large collection. We're flying down, renting a truck and driving it back — that trips budget is approximately $1350 for James Littlejohn and myself. It covers plane tickets, truck rental, gas, hotel and meals. Javier A. Rivera is planning to come up and help us with the loading. We may kidnap him and bring him back for the unloading part, but he's really fast on his feet and hard to catch. Again, a heartfelt thanks to my friends in the Apple II and KansasFest communities for your help. Apple II Forever!