Below is a list of past Mac
Guild gladiators, those who have bravely set forth into past Mac Guild contests,
put their talents to the test, and conquered well enough to earn some nice prizes.
This list does not show all those who participated, only those who placed as finalists.
The contestants that are hyperlinked have shared their thoughts or artwork.
Battle Macintosh (2000) - JUMP
MacSurvivor (2001) - JUMP
MacMole (2002) - JUMP
Banner Contest (2003) - JUMP
MacSurvivor: Castillo (2004-2006) - JUMP
Macintosh - 2000
- When asked "Why do you
prefer the Mac platform over Windows?", the following contestants provided answers
that were most popular with the Mac Guild.
- I currently support our HR &
Security in their computer needs. Both departments typically use Windoz based equipment.
I have approximately 200 users. I configure and deploy these boxes and fix problems
users are having. In order to support this type of environment, I would submit that
I know the Windoz platform very well. I trouble shot hardware, software and network
problems and resolve the issues. I've done programming and just about every thing
on a Windoz based machine. Therefore I feel qualified to speak intelligently on this
subject. I like the Macintosh so much, because I KNOW Windoz so well. I don't feel
like I have to fit the machine when I use my Mac. If I need to step down to Windoz,
on my Mac, I can! I like the easy with which the MacOS affords you in your day to
- I do not prefer the Mac platform
over Windows. In my opinion, the Windows platform represents the pinnacle of modern
operating systems, overshadowing Mac OS, Linux, UNIX, OpenVMS, and every other operating
system ever made. Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and NT have been incremental, calculated steps
in improving the outstanding Windows operating system, culminating in the very finest
operating system to date, Windows 2000.
The elegance of the Windows operating system is evident everywhere. On lesser operating
systems, you must follow a complex, convoluted sequence of steps to accomplish a
task that is easily performed in Windows. As a simple example, let us compare the
methods of adjusting the spacing of icons in Mac OS 9 and Windows NT. In Mac OS,
the user must choose the Preferences item from the Edit menu and then click on either
"Tight (more items)" or "Wide (neater arrangement)". This tortuous
sequence of steps is bound to confuse the user, and the verbosity of the options
can only lead to misinterpretation. On the other hand, let's examine the steps needed
to do the same thing in Windows NT. Simply right-click on the Desktop, click on Properties,
click on the Appearance tab, choose either "Icon Spacing (Horizontal)"
or "Icon Spacing (Vertical)" from the Items pop-up menu, and then type
in a numeric value representing the number of pixels you want to use for the selected
axis. The intuitiveness and obviousness of this exercise should be apparent to everyone.
The Mac OS operating system has no creative advantages over Windows. Creativity itself
is a dangerous thing to have, leading the mind into an uncharted territory where
rules, procedures, guidelines, and rigid control simply do not exist. Windows stifles
creativity, helping to keep workers focused on their jobs.
- I was driving home from DC listening
to a computer show on the radio. I listened as people described their problems and
the hosts rattled off what were apparently oft recited solutions, which I did not
know. Finally it dawned on me: I do not know anything about service pack 2, BIOS
interrupts, reloading drivers, getting some sound card to work on my system, or the
blue screen of death. This is why I prefer my Mac: I spend very little time on computer
- In my experience, most MAC issues
can be settled over the phone, usually with a desktop rebuild or trashing application
prefs and rebuilding the desktop. Rarely do 2nd level support folks need to be sent
for a site visit, unless it is a hardware issue. Additionally, sharing resources
is so much easier. I simply can never understand why Windows users put themselves
through the configuration nightmares that Windows demands.
One HUGE reason I prefer Mac over Windows - if I develop problems with my OS
on the Mac, I can reinstall just the OS. If I develop problems with my PC, I
have to reinstall the OS, then totally reinstall every application I want to
work with, or Windows won't recognize them. DUH!
- I have 12+ years using the MacOS
so that will bias me, but I believe the MacOS is a more intuitive & straight-forward
interface. In general, it seems like it is easier to accomplish a task under the
MacOS, though I admit that I don't have a lot of experience using Windows. Under
Windows, it just seems like it is harder to accomplish a simple task (though it may
be just my lack of Windows experience). I do find it frustrating to have to use Windows.
It's the stupid, seemingly trivial things that you have to do in Windows that gets
me. (i.e. I've found the only way to find out your PC's processor speed is to reboot
& look at the splash screen.)
- I prefer the Mac Platform over Windows
for numerous reasons: First, it is the most intuitive platform for a person to use.
Things work as you would expect them too, and because the shortcuts and methodology
is so predictable, you are more productive. Second, I like knowing that I'm not using
software that was meant to be a substitute for a Mac OS. Third, Because Apple makes
both the Hardware and Software, the Mac Platform is much more of an integrated solution
from top to bottom! Fourth, ILOVEYOU virus... (and most other ones as well) NOT!
Lastly, I've been using Macs since 1984, and the Apple II before that, so let's just
say I'm biased!
- The game began with 10 would-be
survivors, but only 6 made it as a finalist, and only one walked away as the sole
survivor. Below are some parting words from our MacSurvivor finalists.
Bradley - Sole Survivor
- Looking over the challenges presented
on Avalon Island over the last few months, this one, for me, is the most difficult,
and the least fun, because it marks the end of our Mac Survivor test. Every challenge
had its own element of fun, but also had an element of sadness, because each resulted
in one of our tribe members being removed from Avalon.
When the tribes merged, I was happy to see four members of my original tribe among
the survivors - we had played very well together in the first part of the game, and
our teamwork really showed. The new tribe banded together and braved the elements
on Avalon - winds, high seas, rain, you name it, we were undeterred in our efforts
to make it through, helping each other along, even though we knew that one of us
would be eliminated by a Tribal Council at the end of each task. What a contrast...
Now we are down to the final two, one a former Pomorum, the other a Macadamia. I
never expected to be one of the final survivors, though I have to admit I hoped it
would be so! I kept reminding myself that "It's just a game!", but in reality,
we all tested our ingenuity, technical talents, integrity, honesty and perseverance
throughout these months, and (hopefully) had great fun doing it. I know I did.
Thank you, Don Merlin, aka Bill Catambay, for your initiative and creativity designing
our challenge, and thank you, members of the Macaroon Tribe, for keeping up the game
with such great spirit.
Schwarz - 2nd Place
- Hi former Avalon islanders! Overall
this survivor thing has been great fun but it has also been challenging, time consuming
and at times frustrating. The best part has been the new internet friends, without
whom I could never have made it this far. Jay (believe it or not) kept me front bailing
out on several occasions, Joann was a big help and a great teammate. I must say that
based on the real survivor series I figured I was toast after the tribes joined together,
but, as you can see that wasn't the case. Julie, Mark and Moe took it easy on me
and here I am among the final two survivors. (buying immunity helped a little ; ))
Toward the end Moe was a big help and a good friend!
Well it's time to vote. I feel that I worked hard, played the game fair and played
it well. I made an effort to help my teammates as best I could (never was able to
get Joann on Hotline). I-Movie is great but winning a copy of Final Cut Pro would
work well with my G4 and digital camcorder. So please let your vote allow me to win.
PS. Special thanks to Bill Catambay, aka Don Merlin, for his time, energy and especially
patience. Helicopter Bob, thanks for your time too. And yes Bob their web page was
slightly better than ours so don't feel too bad!
Waldmiller - 3rd Place
- Wow! I can't believe it's over.
It's been a great game, and I enjoyed being able to play right up to the final challenge.
So sad it's over. I'm going through Island withdrawal already! I'm glad to have met
some awesome Mac users and Guild members through the game. Even back when there were
two teams, it felt like we were all in this together on common ground, and it was
painful see those voted off at Tribal Council go. To the final two members on Avalon,
Kent and Moe, I bid you a big Congratulations!
Kent, I've considered you as my counterpart on the Pomorum tribe, being the _elected_
tribal leader, and frequently trading the lead with me in accumulated points. You've
made a great friendly adversary throughout the game. Thanks for sticking with it
and keeping the game a challenge to me and the others.
Moe, you've played hard from the beginning to the end and kept the Island lively
for all of us. You were a great Macadamia teammate, and I had a lot of fun in friendly
competition as Macaroons also. I'm glad you made it to being one of the final two.
Thanks for keeping up the team spirit all the way through.
Bill (aka Don Merlin), what can I say...? Awesome game! Thanks for the incredible
effort and creativity you've put into the Island and its challenges. I had a blast!
Cleer - 4th Place
- Kent, if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't
have survived as long as I did. You're a great game player and you know a helluvalot
about Macs! The Survivor contest was awe-inspiring. I'm sure none of us _survivors_
have any idea how much time, effort and creativity was involved in devising the challenges,
getting the great prizes and making it all work. Congratulations to Bill for a great
Reynolds-Grabbe - 5th Place
- Kent, you seem to be a funny and
intelligent person. Unfortunately I didn't get to know you too well. Maybe next time??!?
Moe, what a gal! I would say I most bonded with you during our stay on Avalon Island.
You were there to help me out and were always friendly and fun! I hope we stay in
contact after the contest!
- Besides the MacMole (Bob Kenyon),
there were 3 contestants that made it nearly a full year through this contest. From
challenge to challenge, and quiz to quiz, find out what this contest meant to each
of them after it was all over.
Melton - 1st Place
- Prior to my involvement
in the Mac Mole contest, I thought of the Mac Guild as just a mailing list -- a really
good mailing list where you can get just about any question about the Mac answered.
Now I think of the Guild as a full-fledged user's group; a community of people united
by their love of the Macintosh computer.
We are truly a community without borders. From my house in Colorado, I got to know
Moe in Florida, Tom in Louisiana, and Bob and Bill in San Jose. These are all great
people, and fun to work/play with.
I learned that there are a number of vendors who are very willing to send review
copies of their software (and hardware) to users groups in exchange for our honest
opinion. I was more successful than not in getting vendors to send software to the
Guild. I also learned that it is easier to get software than to get reviewers.
The contest itself was a blast. Bill is truly a demented person to come up with such
intricate challenges and adventures. The kidnap adventure was at times extremely frustrating,
but always challenging. I found myself eagerly checking my e-mail every day, anxious
for any new clue as to the whereabouts of our hapless companions. At times, I wondered if the puzzle
were, in fact, solvable, or if Bill was stringing us along to leave us in disappointment.
The most fun was the final pursuit of the kidnapped teammates through the
tunnels and pyramids of Egypt. The interaction was dynamic and intense; we all spent
too many hours of what should have been sleep working to uncover treasures and rescuing
poor Tom. Of course, Tom was suffering from both kidnapping AND Mardis Gras, so getting
him out was more difficult than one might have expected. :-)
The prizes were almost incidental to the fun of playing and the thrill of winning
-- almost! There were GREAT prizes, just for playing a game! I'd like to encourage
all the Guilders out there to participate in the next contest -- it should be a blast!
Leahey - 2nd Place
- The game was fun overall,
with lots of interesting challenges and quizzes. MacMole provided me the opportunity
to get to know a few of my fellow MacGuild'ers a bit better (and some much better
- to the point I consider them more as distant friends now - like Moe and Jim). In
some respects - the longer a player was in the contest, and the more I interacted
with them, the better I got to know them. As you know, at times I found the contest
frustrating or confusing - but at others it was very exciting and very enjoyable.
Kudo's to Bill for the stamina and the creativity - they were the critical ingredients
which held it together over a span of almost a year.
When I was joined-in at the beginning (through loss of another original player, due
to some recent reviews I'd done) I never imagined a contest of that length or that
required such involvement. My favorite challenge was the Rescue, where I was a hostage. I still laugh thinking of the final rescue,
played out over Hotline when I was weary from my Mardi Gras festivities (tactfully
stated). I worked the most on the Website challenge, which was really quite a workload.
And while I'm not the best 1st-person-shooter game player - I also enjoyed the final
personal game challenge
(where Bill developed custom Marathon games for each player). And kudos to Jim Melton
- the final MacMole champion, who inadvertently let me end up tying him in the final
quiz, but who won through the tie-breaker. As far as most bizarre questions/clues
we were asked - I thought the best was the one about that "Thorpy" guy
- we spent a lot of search engine time on that one. All in all, it was one heck of
a contest. Great job!
Bradley - 3rd Place
- Wow - hard to believe,
but Bill did it again - got me involved in a Mac Guild contest that lasted almost
a year! Challenges like MacMole and MacSurvivor are such a paradox for me - the people
who were my teammates were also my opponents! This could have made game strategy
a bit tricky, had I not decided from the very beginning of each game to play with
only one goal in mind: to have fun! The prizes are great, but the game's the thing!
Lest I get too sappy from the get-go, I will freely confess that all was not fun
- there were some times that I was totally confused, frustrated, and even tired of
playing, but somehow Gamemaster Bill always pulled a mole out of his hat and came
up with something that was amusing, or interesting to do. Some of the events required
that I pull some late-nighters (many of the players are on the west coast, while
I am on the east) - game nights which began at 9 p.m. for the fortunate began at
midnight for me! Well, I don't sleep much anyway, so this gave me something to do
with my spare time, since there are no longer reruns of American Gladiators to entertain
me until the wee hours.
Will I do it again? Only time will tell. To be honest, I hadn't intended to do it
again THIS time, but I am glad that I did. We have some terrific Mac enthusiasts
affiliated with our Guild, and I am proud to be among 'em. Cheers to us, gents; may
we all meet again in a future challenge.
Contest - 2003
- The three finalists in the
Mac Guild banner contests are list below along with their banner submission.
Leahey - 1st Place
You can see
his banner proudly displayed on the Mac
Guild home page
Maloney - 2nd Place
Tave - 3rd Place
Castillo - 2004 to 2006
- Lasting 1 1/2 years, this
game began with 14 would-be survivors, but only 7 made it as a finalists, and only
one walked away as the sole survivor. Below are some parting words from our MacSurvivor:
Gebhardt - 1st Place
- 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
Love - 2nd Place
- 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.
Pickett - 3rd Place
- I really enjoyed playing
MacSurvivor 2004. It went on much longer than I expected though, but that was alright.
I started to have trouble finding time to play the last challenge though. I started
a new position at work that took a lot more of my time. I tried to balance the remaining
time between family and survivor, but I must say that they they were getting irritated
by all the time I was spending on the computer. Thanks again for a great game!
Melton - 4th Place
- To all my fellow former
Survivor is about outlasting all the other contestants. I'm surprised I lasted this
long! Bill has once again put together an insane contest to challenge our wits and
stretch our abilities. To the three who have outlasted me I say: Congratulations.
To get this far is amazing, and you are deserving of whatever prizes you walk away
The thing I like best about these contests is getting to virtually meet and get to
know other Guild members from around the world. It has truly been a pleasure to compete
Bender - 5th Place
- Being part of the contest
was great. There was a lot of hard work, but I had a lot of fun. The game certainly
became a lot more exciting when it accelerated in the last couple of months. I'm
definitely looking forward to participating in the next contest!
Bradley - 6th Place
Spitzer - 7th Place
- I'm shocked and dismayed
that I was voted off when I was! Alas... in fact I feel ganged up upon... hmmm....
Maybe they were voting for the Judd on the TV Survivor Program... That must be it.
My time on the island felt like a long arduous journey into the nether-realm, other
than that it was A. O.K.!