Mac Guild Membership


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

Battle 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.

Mark Ford
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 day processing.

Mike Elness
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.

Tom Barrett
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 services.
Moe Bradley
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!

Jeff Tave
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.)
Jeff Spitzer
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!

MacSurvivor - 2001

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.

Moe 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.

Kent 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.

Thanks all!

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!

Mark 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!

Joann 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 game!

Julie 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!

MacMole - 2002

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.

Jim 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!

Tom 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!

Moe 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.

Banner Contest - 2003

The three finalists in the Mac Guild banner contests are list below along with their banner submission.

Tom Leahey - 1st Place

You can see his banner proudly displayed on the Mac Guild home page

Patty Maloney - 2nd Place

Jeff Tave - 3rd Place

MacSurvivor: 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: Castillo finalists.

John 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 and judges.

Diane 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.

Mark 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!

Jim Melton - 4th Place
To all my fellow former castaways,

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 with.

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 with you.

Scott 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!

Moe Bradley - 6th Place

Judd 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.!