Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The power of the contest: Booting XP on a MacTel

[Update 1/24: Colin added an Amazon donation link and I kicked in $20.]

A very clever person has created a several thousand dollar prize for getting XP to boot on a MacTel box -- out of thin air:
The Contest

My MacBook is shipping on the 15th of February. I told my boss that this would replace my IBM desktop and I could boot Windows XP on it. I am still confident it can be done. I am pledging $100 of my own money and offering anyone else who would like the instructions on how to Dual boot these two operating systems the ability to donate some of their money into the pot as a reward for the person / group that can make dual-booting Mac OS X and Windows XP happen on an Intel Mac.
He started with $100 in seed money, and is now raising serious funds. There are thousands of geeks who seriously want to do this. Apple, for unknown reasons, is not helping (security?, strategy?, support concerns?, Digital Rights Management?). The primary obstacles are drive format and the MacTel's BIOS replacement.

Unfortunately he only accepts PayPal or I'd kick in $20. Happily he's added an Amazon link to the PayPal option so I kicked in $20 (I despise PayPal.) The contast has now gotten enough attention that it's a matter of both money and glory. I would not be surprised to see some silicon valley millionaires sweeten the pot considerably.

We've seen contests used in aerospace, human powered vehicles, and other settings. In a connected world, where the costs of reaching millions of people is very low, the power of these contests is likely to grow. If this particular effort succeeds, it may, in retrospect, be a truly historic event.

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