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notMac Challenge


Winning Submission

Ben Spink
United States of America

After three weeks of testing, it’s clear to me that Ben Spink has delivered a working solution to the notMac Challenge, and I’m very happy to award him the prize money. Thank you to everyone who was generous enough to contribute to the challenge and congratulations to Ben for his hard work.


  1. The final application must be compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) and 10.4 (Tiger) and iLife '05 and '06 including all maintenance updates.
    1. Must be compatible with all future releases of the iLife application suite that are publicly available at the time of the entrant's submission.
    2. Any new applications added to the iLife suite after December 6, 2006, are exempt from the terms of this challenge.
  2. The installer must perform all necessary server-side and client-side setup and configuration.
  3. All operating system-based and application-based .Mac services and features must perform identically and seamlessly without any additional user configuration.
  4. Specific applications must conform to the following conditions:
    1. Installer:
      1. Shall perform all system-level and application-level modifications.
      2. Shall offer user-friendly, GUI interface.
        1. Items with a finite number of options shall be provided in a pull-down menu.
        2. Items with a limited number of recommended or probable options shall be provided in a pull-down menu with the ability for users to enter their own custom setting.
        3. All terms and instructions shall be easily understood by the general, Mac-using public.
      3. Shall automatically install any required server-side software on a compatibly configured WebDAV server.
      4. Installer shall offer the option for current .Mac subscribers to transfer the contents of the user's Apple .iDisk to the new disk partition.
        1. The newly transferred files shall be fully accessible to provide uninterrupted service.
      5. Shall modify and rename the .Mac prefpane to distinguish it from Apple's .Mac service.
        1. Account tab shall include uninstaller capabilities (see item 4(d)).
        2. Sync, iDisk and Advanced tabs shall function as before with the appropriate modifications to distinguish the redirected services from Apple's services, e.g.: remove the Buy More button from the iDisk pane.
    2. iDisk:
      1. Shall be created with identical directory structure as .Mac's Apple-hosted iDisk excluding the Apple-provided content in the Software folder.
      2. Public folder must operate identically including optional password protection.
      3. Revise icon to distinguish one's user-hosted iDisk from .Mac's Apple-hosted iDisk.
      4. Shall behave in every way identically to .Mac's Apple-hosted iDisk without any user configuration.
    3. Finder:
      1. Modify icon next to Go > iDisk > My iDisk to match revised user-hosted iDisk icon specified under item 4(b)(III).
      2. Provide option under Go > iDisk to e-mail directions for Mac or Windows users to access one's user-hosted iDisk Public folder.
        1. Selecting this option shall automatically create a new e-mail message with step-by-step directions tailored to user's specific configuration in the message pane, i.e.: the directions to access a user's password-protected Public folder shall include instructions, including the required password, for handling the authentication dialog box, while the directions for accessing a unprotected Public folder shall omit that step.
      3. Provide option to copy the address of one's user-hosted iDisk to the clipboard.
    4. Uninstaller:
      1. Shall revert all system-level and application-level .Mac settings to their default configuration.
      2. Shall offer option to copy contents of user-hosted iDisk to disk image on local hard drive and remove from server, or leave contents of user-hosted iDisk on the server.
    5. All other operating system services and applications including but not limited to iPhoto, iWeb, Backup, iCal:
      1. All client-side integrated services shall perform in every way identically without any user configuration.
    6. iPhoto, iWeb, iMovie and Garage Band services that require server-side processing are exempt.
  5. Entries must be uploaded according to the instructions located at to be eligible.
  6. It is up to the sole discretion of the prize administrator to determine whether a submission fulfills both the rules and spirit of the contest. There will be one winning entry as chosen by the prize administrator.
  7. Winner agrees to immediately make the source code for the winning entry freely available under the terms of The BSD License.
  8. All rules are subject to change by the prize administrator.
  9. The creator of the first program to meet all the above criteria will be awarded the entire value of the prize after a 21 day public review period.

Prize Information

Prize Author: JG Pepper Prize Organizer: JG Pepper Number of Contributors: 172 Date Started: November 19, 2006 Date Claimed: October 01, 2007