How the XP-on-Mac prize was won

Colin Nederkoorn, the man behind the contest to get XP up and running on Intel Macs, talks about finding a winner.

When Apple Computer introduced the first Intel-based Macs, Colin Nederkoorn saw it as a chance to finally use a Macintosh for work.

Nederkoorn, a Mac enthusiast who works in the shipping industry, offered up a $100 bounty for the first person who could provide a replicable way to get Windows XP up and running on a Mac. Others also offered up cash, and the bounty grew to nearly $14,000. This week, Nederkoorn found a winner, two friends from California who prefer to be known only by their online handles "narf" and "blanka."

The winning solution was posted to the contest Web site, but it was struggling Thursday to keep up with the deluge of traffic. Nederkoorn took a few minutes away from trying to keep the site up to talk with CNET

Q: So, you found a winner?
Nederkoorn: Yeah, we declared a winner last night after testing. We had nine people testing it...three for the Mac Mini, three for the iMac and three for the MacBook Pro.

How complicated a method is it?
Nederkoorn: It's reasonably easy. A lot of the work goes on behind the scenes, but there's a lot of prep work involved. There's, I guess, two major steps. The first would be to create a custom Windows XP CD. You do that by pulling the files off the original Windows XP CD and dropping a few extra files into that and burning your own custom--it's usually called a "slipstream"--CD. The second major step is partitioning the hard drive on your Mac to have two partitions--one for Windows and one for OS X.

Have you tried it out on your machine yet?
Nederkoorn: Yes, it's up and running.

What do you know about the winner?
Nederkoorn: It's a team of two people. They are out in California. I do know their names, but they've asked me not to disclose who they are. They don't want this contest to interfere with their daily lives for the next few days--which it certainly has with mine, but that's OK.

One of the guys bought an iMac, and his friend convinced him to let him experiment on the iMac and to try and get a solution working. The two of them got it done.

Have you already delivered the prize to them?
Nederkoorn: I spoke with him last night. We are trying to figure out the most cost-effective way to get them the money. I think that PayPal charges a fee, and on this amount of money I think it is a reasonable amount. They are still deciding how they want to take delivery.

You guys have posted the method up on your site?
Nederkoorn: The method is up. There are about five mirrors up right now, but we are having trouble keeping the main site up just due the volume of traffic. We're struggling to do that.

Do you think you got your money's worth?
Nederkoorn: For me, it wasn't really a question of money; it was a question of time. I think it was worth it. I don't think I have the time and energy to do it again, but I definitely don't regret it.

Originally you started the contest to see if you could have your work machine be a Mac. Is that right?
Nederkoorn: Yeah, that's still the plan, once there are a few more drivers working and confirmed, then I can migrate my MacBook Pro.

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