Mac Geeks Do Battle

| Macworld/iWorld Expo

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- It was only last July in Boston, MA that the Copland Development Team and Genius Barred faced off in the original Mac Brainiac Challenge. But, as moderator Christopher Breen reminded a lively MWSF crowd yesterday, that face off ended in a tie. Hence the flimsy justification for the Mac Brainiac Challenge, The Rematch.

The event boasted star-studded rosters. On one side of the stage was the Copland Development Team, which included Team Captain Andy Ihnatko from the Mac Observer, Rich Siegel of BareBones Software, Adam Engst of tidBITS, and Dan Frakes, also of tidBITS. On the other side was Genius Barred, which included Team Captain Peter Cohen and Jim Dalrymple from MacCentral, Jason Snell, editor-in-chief of Macworld Magazine, and TMO editor-in-chief Bryan Chaffin.


The contestants and moderator for the Mac Brainiac Challenge.

The rules for the event had shifted slightly from the last encounter. Most significantly, there was a total prohibition against the docking of points from either team. (In the last Brainiac Challenge, several contestants had docked points from the other team by eating their score markers, which happened to be red delicious apples.)

Unfortunately, this new rule resulted in some confusion. On one occasion, Genius Barred was assigned two points for correctly answering a one-point question. The rules required that the new score stand.

The Challenge involved three question types: one-point multiple choice, two-point non-multiple choice, and three-point stunts. Multiple choice questions required each team to sift through their voluble knowledge of fundamentally worthless Mac trivia to answer the questions.


That answer is A. Unfortunately, neither team got this one right.

The stunts involved more sophisticated Mac skills. Each team, equipped with identically prepared PowerBooks and iPods, was required to perform simple tasks (like finding a song on the iPod, or wirelessly transferring a song to the moderatoris computer) under absurd conditions (like storing the song in an invisible folder on the iPod, or turning off AirPort).

According to the judges, the lionis share of the points ended with The Copland Development Team, 24-18, a resounding victory. Genius Barred member Bryan Chaffin said it best when he noted "They kicked our butts. In fact, they knocked us around. Oh well, at least one team with someone from TMO won."

However, the battle is likely not over. Look for a new declaration of Brainiac War this summer during the ramp-up to Macworld Boston. For now, however, congratulations to the Copland Development Team!

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