The operator of the notMac Challenge, a competition to create a free replacement for Apple's paid .Mac service, says that it has received a solution for testing, developed by Ben Spink. The client is now available for download (DMG file), and includes a "lite" version of CrushFTP. Following the rules of the competition, the software runs on Mac OS 10.3 and 10.4, and replaces both the local and remote halves of the equation, while still automating functions through a graphical interface. The server end must be a custom WebDAV unit. Testing of the client will finish on September 30th.
The notMac Challenge is offering a prize currently valued at over $8,200, contributed by donors, with each donation being matched by the organizer up to the $10,000 level. The contest was started out of frustration with .Mac, which costs approximately $100 per year, but comes with web services that a user may not take advantage of. The focus of notMac is on providing the same sync and file storage integration without useless fees, webspace or dependence on Apple.