MacSurvivor Castillo

MacSurvivor Castillo - Award Challenge #8
"Final Tribal"

Contest Task:

This is the Final Tribal council where the Jury votes for the winner of MacSurvivor: Castillo.

The task starts with each member of the jury confronting each of our final two survivors, John and Diane, with some questions. Diane and John then respond to the questions, and end with a final statement on why they should be the next MacSurvivor champion. After that, the jury selects the winner via private email vote.

Questions and Answers:


Did you expect to win all along? You have proven tenacious and capable. Yet John proved victorious in this last challenge. Do you deserve to win? Do you want to win?


Ironically, when I began the competition, I did so in order to make up numbers so that the "real" competitors could get started. I expected to be thrown off the island at the first opportunity.

Each challenge has inevitably suited the capabilities and / or circumstances of some competitors better than others, and I think it became harder as the field narrowed for Bill to choose tasks that would not hand an outright advantage to one or other competitor. The last challenge was remarkably fair to the different abilities of the 3 remaining competitors and the fact that John won was due to getting started first and being proactive about each new task. Once he got ahead there wasn't much I could do to catch up.

Throughout the competition I strived to do my best for myself and my team, and not to lose any challenge by simply not doing as well as I could. Getting to the last two means I have excelled whenever I faced tasks that suited me and ensured my survival in adverse tasks. Winning would be great - it would be a fabulous compliment from leading members of the Mac Guild, it would reflect the priority that I've given Mac Guild activities both in and out of the MacSurvivor contest in the past couple of years, and it would be a tangible expression of the many benefits I have derived from taking part in the contest.


If you were intent on winning, one would have expected you to pick Mark to remain. Since he was clearly the weaker player, this would virtually assure you of winning. Is your sense of honor greater than your desire to win?


My sense of honor may not be greater but it is at least equal. Have no doubt that I want to win, but I felt that Diane deserved an equal chance due to the effort that she has put in over the course of the contest. She also contributed significantly to our partnership successes and deserves at least the runner-up slot for that. The jury should have an interesting time deliberating our respective attributes.


What part of the entire Survivor experience did you find the most fun, and what part did you find the most challenging?


There were a lot of fun times in the whole experience, not least the craziness over cybersquatting the URL at the start. The part I found the most fun was making my Bryce model of Castillo. This became part of the Immunity 5 3D map of Castillo, the Immunity 6 Cybernaut website banners and the unsolicited "Helicopter Bob" tour video. Somehow all these views of Castillo have made it real in my mind and my memories of Castillo are visual memories.

If by most challenging task you mean the one that had me racing to do everything in time, it would be hard to choose between learning Bryce in time to meet the 3D map deadline and creating a new Rapidweaver theme in time to meet the Cybernaut website deadline. I guess I'll say it was the Rapidweaver work for the Cybernaut website. On the other hand if you just want to know what I had the hardest time with, that would be Immunity 3, Island Rush. I came to appreciate all the hard work that went into creating Island Rush only after it was all over. At the outset I realized that we were in a lunar lander situation with every chance of burning all our fuel before we could figure out what to do. This was the MacLions' first major loss and led to us losing a great team member, Lane, who was sorely missed.


What part of the entire Survivor experience did you find the most fun, and what part did you find the most challenging?


I had the most fun with the Island Rush. The diverse concept of the challenge (or challenges) kept me interested and on my toes. It was fun plotting the courses, locating the islands before we got the map, negotiating with the "locals" and playing Bill's Alephone game.

Without question the most challenging event for me was the Banner Year website competition. Going into the challenge my knowledge of web page construction was very limited. Diane's graphics knowledge was a tremendous advantage in determining the appearance of the site, I think that Diane and I both learned a great deal in very short period of time and were very proud of the final product.


You have both done very well during this very long game and have survived all challenges. The two of you even teamed together to win a couple challenges after the tribes merged. It is hard to tell who is the top player, even though John edged Diane in the Gate challenge. So, what distinguishes you as the top Survivor?


One of the distinguishing factors is that I had the good fortune to be selected as leader of the MacLion Tribe, and helped forge a team with an enduring identity which persists today, long after it has disbanded. Part of that experience has been allowing and encouraging anyone in my team to contribute and do their best rather than dominating the activity myself, while making sure we stayed on top of tasks, met deadlines and, wherever possible, left the opposition in the dust!


You have both done very well during this very long game and have survived all challenges. The two of you even teamed together to win a couple challenges after the tribes merged. It is hard to tell who is the top player, even though John edged Diane in the Gate challenge. So, what distinguishes you as the top Survivor?


I think that the only thing that may distinguish me has been my ability to survive this ordeal. I considered every event a serious challenge and applied the best of my abilities to achieve success. In many cases the success was due as much to teamwork as anything. I have had some lucky breaks and some very talented partners. I enjoyed the contest for what it was, a game, but a game that is worth winning. If one were to assign some kind of points to each challenge I would probably have a pretty high score. But I think that the choice of the Last Survivor must be made not just on points, but on the jury's perception of how we represent all aspects of a Mac survivor.


Diane, how has owning a Mac enriched your life? Why should you win?


It goes back way before I owned a Mac. The first Mac I used changed my life by silently teaching me many of the principles of usability, an experience which led me to specialize in usability engineering as a career.

Since then, every Mac which has joined my household has made its contribution by dragging me relentlessly into new endeavors such as digital photography, movie making and making my own DVDs. A major benefit for my family at present is being able to video chat with my parents in Scotland and share in many other activities with them such as attending each other's parties remotely.

When I get home from work, returning to the sanity and clarity of the Mac OS behavior, and the brightness and simplicity of the visual user interface is a daily pleasure.

I feel I've already won a lot in terms of experience from my involvement with MacSurvivor, but winning outright would give me recognition for these achievements.


John, what was your biggest accomplishment to support your team (the Tigers) as part of this contest? Why should you win?


Clearly it was my opportunity to lead the Tigers as captain of the Venator de Leo in the Island Rush. I really think that I was able to contribute both organizational and technical skill to the success of the tribe. It was also, for me, the most exciting and enjoyable event.

As for why I should win... I would like to think that it is because through my participation in the contest I have demonstrated essential Mac knowledge, a competitive spirit, an "elite mind", the ability to learn new skills, and the necessary endurance to outlast all of strange and variable tasks that our worthy Host has presented to us. Besides all of that, I should win because, at 58 years old, I am probably the most senior of the survivors and the rest of you will have plenty of time to play again.


Please tell me what you feel the balance of Mac savvyness, ingenuity, and plain old endurance was in the MacSurvivor game (i.e. 33%/40%/27%). Please explain your numbers.


My personal opinion is 12%, 50%, 38% - but this may just reflect that I recognize and value ingenuity.

My methodology was as follows. I took each of the 14 tasks (Award and Immunity 1 through 7) and gave 2 points to the single factor out of Mac savvyness, ingenuity or endurance if I thought that was most important in winning, 1 point to the next most important factor and 0 points to the factor I thought was least important.

My point assignments were:

Mac savvyness Ingenuity Endurance
Award #1 1 2 0
Immunity #1 0 1 2
Award #2 0 2 1
Immunity #2 1 2 0
Award #3 0 2 1
Immunity #3 0 1 2
Award #4 1 2 0
Immunity #4 0 1 2
Award #5 0 1 2
Immunity #5 0 2 1
Award #6 2 1 0
Immunity #6 0 2 1
Award #7 0 1 2
Immunity #7 0 1 2

Total 5 21 16

Rationale: For Mac Savvyness, I gave zero points if I thought a PC user could have done the task using PC versions of the software used. The task that required most Mac knowledge was clearly the quiz of Award 6. It also featured in selecting the question in Award 1, selecting the parody for Immunity 2 and the logo competition in Award 4.

The tasks I picked as needing the most ingenuity were:
- Award 1 (selecting a question that would provoke the most responses if
posted to the Mac Guild mailing list),
- Award 2 - the group photo of people from 5 different states who had never
- Immunity 2, finding inventive twists for the tribal website
- Award 3, the 2D island map
- Award 4, the Cybernaut logo
- Award 5, the 3D map and
- Immunity 6, the Cybernaut website

The tasks I picked as needing the most endurance were

- Immunity 1, doing review after review
- Immunity 3, Island Rush - for ploughing through all the email, keeping a
mental grip of what was going on and not giving up when the whole thing
seemed hopeless
- Immunity 4, Battle Royale - as well as the skill required to actually play
the game (which I totally lacked) there was the determination required to
get connected into the game with all the software glitches and wrangles
- Award 5 - I am guessing endurance was most important in this challenge
although I didn't get to do it due to email breakdown
- Award 7 - I won this challenge by creating a single document containing
every scrap of the required information before I got started answering any
- Immunity 7 - endurance featured strongly in The Gate as the major
frustration was hanging around waiting for responses.


Please tell me what you feel the balance of Mac savvyness, ingenuity, and plain old endurance was in the MacSurvivor game (i.e. 33%/40%/27%). Please explain your numbers.


My analysis is this: Mac savvyness 45%; ingenuity 30%; endurance 25%. My reasoning is this. Almost every activity required a command of the Mac platform. Though some challenges were specifically technical or required Mac knowledge, to be successful at any challenge I believe that we had to be comfortable and familiar with the full range of Mac capabilities. Perhaps because we are all experienced users we take this for granted but I feel certain that a relative newcomer to the platform would not have lasted long in the competition. Mac knowledge was critical to success.

Ingenuity was also necessary in almost every challenge. Sometimes it was just trying to guess what Bill was going to do next, sometimes looking for the tools to analyze the Alephone game, sometimes hacking at web construction applications to create customized features and sometimes putting together mysterious clues to find the next objective. Ingenuity often proved to be the winning edge.

Endurance is what it is. Hanging in with the contest for a year and half, staying up late because of the time zone differences, trying to explain to your wife and kids why you must spend all evening (after evening, after evening) in front of the Mac. Without endurance and a will to compete I would have been gone long ago.

Final Statements:


We've come a long way together. We started out as names on email postings and now many of us are friends. We started out as two tribes then had to team with our former enemies and battle our former team-mates. Through all of this your company and friendship, your achievements and your appreciation for my achievements have been my best rewards.

Undoubtedly Bill has worked hardest on this for the duration of the contest, and we all owe him our thanks for the efforts he has made to challenge and reward us. He isn't going to win any prizes at the end of all of this, but his reward is surely the creation of a stunning team of Mac Guild contributors who have demonstrated that both individually and together we can do whatever we set our minds to.



Without question this has been the most concentrated involvement in Mac related activities in my experience. Only dedicated Mac users would even consider being involved in such an event (and an even more dedicated user creating and managing such a thing). Can you imagine a "PC Survivor 2006"?? What would they do, try to figure out how to make Windoze interesting? I have been exposed to a group of exceptional Mac users in the course of Survivor Castillo and have learned a great as well. I think that anyone who had the fortitude to engage in this contest is to be commended. And all those who survived to theses final rounds must be recognized in our community as true Macintosh believers. I have done my best and I know that Diane has as well. It would be nice if we could combine the 1st and 2nd place rewards and split them between us, but I know that is not what Bill has in mind. One of us must be chosen the Last Survivor of Castillo. I leave that decision to you, my worthy team mates, competitors, host and judges.


The Results:


Wow - I am so torn here between Diane and John. John, my former tribemate, who (to quote another Tiger) is GRREEEEEAAAATTTTTTT, and Diane, who competed throughout the year-and-a-half of this latest MacSurvivor with the heart of a (Mac)Lion.

In the end - it all boils down to this - I vote JOHN, former team member of the ioftheTiger tribe. His tribe involvement was outstanding and his commitment to the contest was very evident. The edge over Diane - I still harbor just the teensiest bit of hard feelings over the hijack of the iofthetigers website!



I want Diane to win!

Why, simple enough, she stepped up as the leader right from the get go, showed great technical prowess in accomplishing many of the tasks presented to her, and was always available.

Besides that, I KNOW that Diane didn't vote me off!



John had an amazing talent for anticipating the game, what was coming, and what to do. On more than one occasion, he pulled some crafty "mac savvy" rabbits out of his hat - which definitely helped us to win immunity.

Everyone that made it into the last 7 worked extremely hard, and were all equally qualified to win the game. Had the votes been slightly different, any one of us could have been in the final two.

But, John solved the lighthouse problem. John found the marauder's loot (though it was left undetermined who the marauder actually was), and John found his way off the island first. Granted that was immunity, but it showed an underlying desire/passion to win the game. Not having been savvy to Diane's activity through the first half of the game, I cannot say what level of activity she had back then - but I do know what John's contribution was.

And, admittedly, I still harbor ill feelings towards the cybersquatting of the iofthetigers web site, so when Diane boasted about it recently, it was not a good way to win my vote.



I am going to vote for Diane to be the MacSurvivor 2004 champion. When the tribe was down to four and three were Lions, I had expected to vote for a Lion to win. I also fully expected 2 Lions to be in the final two. I was very impressed that John was able to win all of the remaining immunity challenges to stay in the game. That is a survivor! As I thought more about it though, I saw that he won one of those immunities with Diane as his partner. I came to the conclusion that they were both worthy champions, so I asked what distinguished them from the other player to become the sole survivor. I was disappointed with John's answer that "the only thing that may distinguish me has been my ability to survive this ordeal". Since Diane has survived as well, that does not really separate him from his competitor. So I voted for Diane.



An interesting and difficult decision.

Perhaps because I was a member of the MacLion team, I recognize Diane's leadership; especially, as she noted, her willingness and ability to let each team member play to their strengths. I've been telling her for some time that she was going to win the whole thing. Also, as she points out, she has "survived" both challenges suited to her strengths and those not so much (lots of fun watching her stumble around in Battle Royale).

But when it comes to "survivorship" I think the edge has to go to John. I never felt "connected" to John, but he was definitely playing the game all the way. Does the last challenge carry more weight than all the others? Perhaps. Winning The Gate is significant. In fact, it culminates surviving all the other challenges.

The theme of this challenge was "Outwit. Outplay. OutMac." I vote for John.

With 3 votes to 2, John wins MacSurvivor Castillo!!


As the new MacSurvivor Champion, John receives 1,000,000 zapatti to spend at the Castillo treasury!