Those events last summer remind me of the effort to get XP booting on the new Macintels. In theory, running XP should be significantly easier than surpassing the TPM restrictions on the Developers Transition Kits. This is the case for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s legal! There should be no secrecy regarding the attempts at getting XP to run – there’s no need for it.
Yet why aren’t we dual booting already? Money. Most of you are undoubtedly aware of “The Contest,” a 12,000 dollar pot that will be going to the first person to provide a viable dual booting method to the site’s owner Also note the “onmac” network - and advertisements - that the contest has bequeathed to the once minimalist site as well… another interesting commentary on money.
Now I have no problem with the idea of a contest, nor the site owner (Colin… who is also a member in our forum) wanting to capitalize on some great site traffic and press.
The problem with the contest is that it encourages poor geeks (like me) who could use the extra cash (like me) to try their hand at fixing the problem. In theory this would speed up progress. But in fact it’s had the opposite, somewhat paradoxical effect – it’s slowed things down.
This has occurred because said poor geeks (like me) who are working on it know that if they post on a forum with some ideas, those ideas could be taken and used by someone else to earn the money.
It’s happened in our forum already – accusations of “don’t expect me to help you - you’re only doing this to win the prize!” have flown with all the certainty of someone who is secretly jealous they didn’t come up with it first. The technical barriers, while substantial, are not the thing that's keeping us from dual booting.
It’s all quite predictable – nothing is getting done because the sharing of information has stopped. Were there no contest, IRC channels would be full of dedicated developers sharing what they’d learned through trial and error, swapping ideas and encouraging each other. I've talked with some people who are very close to success... but their efforts are not public. As it stands, sharing what you’ve learned could cost you $12,000.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a wonderful Humphrey Bogart film from 1948 – it’s one of the best in cinema history. It tells the story of 3 gold prospectors and the ways in which greed can destroy common goals. When it comes time to share with the others his spoils, the character realizes it's much more advantageous to keep his knowledge to himself. I see this situation as much the same.
Money makes it anything but a team effort.
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