The notMac Challenge Launched

The notMac Challenge site announced Wednesday a drive to develop open source tools that replicate some of Appleis .Mac services. The intention is to generate an incentive for the developer community to create an easy-to-use and free substitute for some elements of Appleis DotMac.

The manifesto stated: "Since Apple decided to start charging for dotMac, Iive spent $495 to keep some useful files remotely accessible on my iDisk and sync my bookmarks, address book and calendar between computers. While I find these features incredibly useful and convenient, I have no need for any of dotMacis web-based services, and as a result, I donit think Iive been getting a good value from Apple."

Donations are being accepted for the effort with a guarantee of their use in subsidizing an open source client tool. When the proceeds reach US$10,000, a benefactor will match them with an additional US$10K.

This reporter spoke with J. Kent Pepper, the fellow behind this effort, and he provided important clarification: "The notMac Challenge?s goal is to replicate the client-side dotMac services like iDisk, Sync, Backup using one?s own server. Much of the work required to make this possible has already been done and documented, but the technical knowledge required is, to say the least, daunting. The notMac Challenge aims to take this work, expand on it and create a free, easy-to-use installer that gives these tools to everyday Mac users."

Mr. Pepper continued: "Unfortunately, focusing on the client-side dotMac services fails to address many features that some dotMac members find very useful like a dotMac e-mail address and online calendar and address book access and editing, but it is my hope that this project will provide the incentive to tackle the core issues and lay an open-source foundation for adding additional (and possibly unique) services in the future."

More information and details on how to contact Mr. Pepper are at the notMac Challenge Website.