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1/25/2006
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First Dual-Boot On Intel Mac Contest Draws Crowd

A self-professed Mac lover who jump-started a prize award for the first person to figure out how to boot Windows XP on an Intel-based Macintosh is confident that someone will step forward to claim the bounty, now at nearly $6,000.

A self-professed Mac lover who jump-started a prize award for the first person to figure out how to boot Windows XP on an Intel-based Macintosh is confident that someone will step forward to claim the bounty, now at nearly $6,000.

"I'm an optimist," said Colin Nederkoorn of Houston, Texas, and the creator of The Contest Web site. "I think someone will claim it."

Nederkoorn's site spelled out his requirements and tossed $100 into the pot to get things rolling. As of mid-day Wednesday, he'd collected $5,747 as the prize for "the person/group that can make dual-booting Mac OS X and Windows XP happen on an Intel Mac."

Among his requirements, Nederkoorn said, were that the user must be able to boot either OS X or Windows XP at startup; and boot XP, not Vista or other versions. The process cannot rely on virtualization software.

"When the Intel Macs were announced, I expected Apple would have the foresight to make it easy to dual boot," said Nederkoorn. "But then I found out that Apple was using EFI rather than a BIOS. One group said it should still be possible, while a whole other camp said it was impossible."

Nederkoorn believes someone should be able to figure it out. "But someone needed to get in there and give them an incentive," he said. And The Contest was born.

"I call myself a Mac person," said Nederkoorn. "But I'm also a realist. In my full-time job, I've tried several times to switch to Mac, but we use Windows as our back end, Windows Server and Exchange, Outlook 2003. But all the implementations on the Mac lack features [available in Windows]."

With the Mac excelling in creating presentations -- Apple's own Keynote, he said, is far better at that than Microsoft's PowerPoint -- he's relied on two computers to do his job. He'd prefer just one, an Intel-based MacBook Pro on order from Apple. (He's laid out other reasons why he needs a dual-boot Intel Mac here on his blog.)

Nederkoorn, who works in the shipping industry, has posted a March 23 cut-off date for the dual-boot contest. If no one claims the prize by then, he'll donate the bounty to an as-yet-unspecified charity. One possible choice: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

"The naysayers said this couldn't be done," Nederkoorn said. "I want to prove them wrong."

Nederkoorn has received donations from over 300 individuals, companies, and organizations, with the largest contribution so far coming from Seattle-based software developer Delicious Monster ($1,000). The site takes contributions via PayPal or Amazon's Honor System.

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