The Lite Side

With WinXP Hacked for Macintel, Apple Announces 3 New Competitions

- 2006.03.20

Finally, the other shoe drops

Apple computer's new dual-core Intel iMac has successfully booted a version of Windows XP, so Mac users can now enjoy the benefits of having two boots - one for each foot. "The left foot is for Windows, and the right one is for OS X," writes Paul Thurrott in his weekly technology column, Why I Can't Make Up My Mind About Apple.

An enterprising hacker-like person (this isn't really a hack, it's an exploit) developed the method and won over $13,000 in prize money, according to vnunet.

The success of the contest, similar to the X-prize contest, the DARPA autonomous vehicle challenge, and several new NASA initiatives, has inspired Apple CEO Steve Jobs to try a similar approach.

"This spring, we'll be sponsoring several competitions to jump start new applications and new technology," according to Jobs. "We're hoping to develop algorithms, though, not hacks or exploits."

PodPortPro Competition

The first competition to be sponsored by Apple is the design for the new PodPortPro, a device which will effectively turn an iPod into a functioning portable computer. Slated to include USB ports and a video-out port for a computer monitor, the PodPortPro will include leftover G3 processors and just enough RAM to boot.

"We're starting with $72.50 in seed money we raided from the third floor coffee can," said Jobs. "Hopefully others will contribute when they see what a great product this will be." Early supporters will get first dibs on the inevitable flood of security patches that will follow release of the device.

Extreme iPod Competition

The next challenge involves determining under what extreme conditions an iPod will still boot up and run. "We're asking people to chuck their existing iPods over the balcony, take them in the shower, bake them, put them in dryers, and drop them in toilets," said Jobs. "We'll pay $650 for every iPod that survives an 'extreme' test."

If the iPod dies, Apple accepts no risk, and the user must buy a new iPod. "We figure this program will pay for itself in six to eight minutes."

MacGyver Competition

The final competition is getting a Windows-based PC to boot up as a Mac using nothing but a scratched copy of Tigger, a pirated Windows XP install disk with no codes, and a paper clip (sorry, duct tape is not allowed). "If you can get this thing to boot up, we'll buy you lunch in our really cool cafeteria," said Jobs. "We might even spring for a candy bar for dessert."

"By the way, this one is a hack, because it's done to a PC," said Jobs.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution a zillion years ago and keeps reminding us of its past glory in footers like this one. It also redefined the word "Pod" in everyone's mind when it developed a great MP3 player and called it iPod.

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