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Mac Clone Psystar Slams Steve Jobs

By , Tuan Nguyen in Los Angeles - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 26 comments

When a company hits the headlines with something big it’s bound to garner a bit of press interest, which is why we were a little surprised to see that the company touting the OpenMac machine seems to be so... unprepared, for the amount of attention it’s receiving.

Miami based Psystar announced a Mac clone dubbed the OpenMac (now called Open Computer and Open Pro) this week and with a price tag a quarter of the price you’d pay for a real Mac, it wasn’t long before the Internet was buzzing with news.

The first bump in the road came when the Apple legal team discovered the fact that the OpenMac machine came bundled with Mac OS X 10.5 (aka Leopard). The EULA for Leopard states that the licence allows you to install, use and run one copy of the OS on a single Apple-labelled computer, operative words being Apple-labelled. In light of all these we decided we should cut to the chase and call Psystar ourselves.

After being bounced around a couple of times we finally got to talk to Rudy Pedraza, President of Psystar.

According to Pedraza:

"We’re here to help Steve Jobs. He’s not making enough money. We’re here to help him increase sales."

Pedraza indicated that there’s a lot of bad press going on, but that all the the articles published so far were too quick to jump to conclusions.

When we asked about Apple’s EULA for Leopard and that no one was allowed to use Leopard on a computer that wasn’t Apple-labeled, Pedraza said "we’re going to do it whether Steve Jobs likes it or not."

Of course, we don’t need to tell you, were there’s a lawsuit, there’s several journalists sniffing around for a story.

Engadget attempted to ask Psystar about its involvement with OSx86 Project and determined that Psystar did not get permission from developers working on the OSx86 Project to sell their work. Netkas, the company who developed the EFI emulator Psystar is using, dubbed the Psystar crowd “liars” in a blog entry and told Engadget that not only did they contact Psystar when they heard about OpenMac but the Mac cloning company never got back to them. We also asked Pedraza if he knew about the OSx86 Project, and he said "of course." But Pedraza said that there’s a misunderstanding with the folks behind OSx86 Project. Pedraza said that "Psystar’s lawyers are in discussion with OSx86, otherwise we can’t comment."

If that wasn’t enough, the physical address listed on the Psystar website changed half way through the day. This address housed USA Koen Pack, a company that is in no way affiliated with Psystar. Gizmodo spoke to the manager of USA Koen Pack who claims the company has been at that address for two years. When we asked about the three address changes inside a week Pedraza confirmed that the address that was currently listed on the site was incorrect. When we asked for the correct address, Pedraza said he’d update the address (for the fourth time) right away, all while he was on the phone with us. The new address is now live on the Psystar website (changed from 10481 NW 28th St. to 10475). Pedraza said that the company needed to change its location to deal with the huge flow of incoming orders.

At the mention of Gizmodo’s investigation, Pedraza laughed and replied:

"Gizmodo got it completely wrong. Sorry Gizmodo - stick to News!"

We asked Pedraza what he thought about the coverage his company was receiving, he quickly chastised both Gizmodo and Engadget:

Pedraza: "well you gotta cover what’s hot [laughs]." > Tom’s: "You’re saying they got the wrong information?" Pedraza: "Gotta get those hits right?"

Earlier today, Psystar made a statement that it was no longer taking credit card orders due to down time with the processing system. We asked Pedraza about this and he said that the company is taking orders through PayPal now until credit card processing system can be brought back up. Prior to speaking to Pedraza directly, a Psystar phone receptionist told us that the company was processing credit card orders and wasn’t offline at all.

We’ll post more information as it comes.

[Editor’s note]: this article was written on a genuine Apple MacBook Pro.

Digg this interview with Rudy Pedraza!

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 16, 2008 11:53 PM
    Its shenanigans but I'm glad someone actually did a interview and has story instead of the blogging gonecrazy around the rest of the web.
  • 0 Hide
    gxsolace , April 17, 2008 12:15 AM
    LAWL. Hilarity ensues...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 17, 2008 12:45 AM
    if the machine is fully capable to run MacOS, the company can just sell it as "white box" like many PCs, using words like "compatible" "capable" "fully functional with xxx" etc. For customers who buy these machines, it's up to their choice to install whatever OS for example Windows or Linux (in this case, MacOS retail pack?). Apple can't just sue someone who made a machine being "compatible", right?
  • Display all 26 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    cruiseoveride , April 17, 2008 5:27 AM
    we want a benchmark, buy the open pc and open pro, and give us a review instead of gossiping about legal matters
  • 2 Hide
    johnnyq1233 , April 17, 2008 7:05 AM
    I think Apple should be sued for monopolistic practices.
    Why should I have to have an Apple-Labelled machine to run an os that is already compatible with x86 hardware?
    This sounds like microsoft only the Jobs edition!
    And Aplle putting propietary chips in their so called Apple-labelled machines is no different than the Microsoft scandal of yester year!
    Come on Jobs get real! If your os is x86 compatible and people wanna buy it and install it than make it available for the mass markets and give Microsoft some much needed competition!
    Cause if you don't someone out there one day will!
  • 0 Hide
    Zorg , April 17, 2008 7:19 AM
    Just don't buy it, Steve will get the picture.
  • 0 Hide
    croc , April 17, 2008 8:47 AM

    Psystar's screwed up every way from the middle. They violated x86.orgs' GPL, and by offering to pre-install OSX have now got apple's lawyers all over their ass. Anyone can visit and get the information they need to do this.... So what exactly is Psyster offering?
  • 0 Hide
    boonality , April 17, 2008 9:00 AM
    They sound like a backyard or garage company if i ever came across one. Good luck to them... heh.
  • 0 Hide
    nihility , April 17, 2008 9:27 AM
    I love the smell of vaporware in the morning
  • 0 Hide
    caskachan , April 17, 2008 9:29 AM
    lol internet
  • 0 Hide
    wymer100 , April 17, 2008 11:36 AM
    While I would love for Apple to sell lower priced towers again, I don't think this is the way to go about it. Psystar is pissing too many people off. I would imagine there will be a nice injunction to stop selling these computers by the week. A few years back, another company tried to sell white box macs.

    As for Apple being a monopoly, I don't see the mac hardware/software tie-in as being any different than with PS3 or Xbox.
  • 0 Hide
    n3dm , April 17, 2008 4:51 PM
    They already proved that the company doesn't exist. You cannot purchase this machine on their site.
    In no way did they "slam" Steve Jobs.
    Here is proof:

    Get a little more information before you post these biased articles.

    Everything posted on Tom's Hardware is biased. Especially against Apple.
  • 0 Hide
    runswindows95 , April 17, 2008 5:05 PM
    Maybe Apple should see this as a wake up call and start making more affordable Mac tower desktops. If they sold an actual tower desktop for $600, I would actually consider picking one up and running OSX.
  • 0 Hide
    PDX57 , April 17, 2008 5:21 PM
    The Gizmodo/Guardian reporting was crap. Like almost all reporting from the Mac community and their fanboys, the Guardian/Gizmodo article was just a FUD piece. They only checked with the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce, which have nothing to do with registering or licensing businesses. The information on Psystar was where it should be, in the business registry, which Gizmodo/Guardian chose to omit to make Psystar look shady.

    The fact is that Psystar looks like a small company with a great angle on selling computers, which didn't have the staff in place to handle the media frenzy that followed.

    Good job Tom for doing better reporting than most of the rest of the media.
  • 0 Hide
    gxsolace , April 17, 2008 5:44 PM
    @n3dm, dude, rtfa. they r talking about psystar, not apple. how is the article bashing articl eif the editor wrote at the end it was written on apple laptop?
  • 0 Hide
    nachowarrior , April 17, 2008 5:57 PM
    what's the big deal again? it can run mac os? that's not a major accomplishment if you ask me... I went to their web site, looked at the crap, it looks like a regular pc, it IS a regular pc, and you have an option of what os it comes with... just like you do any other time. I don't get the hype, it's no big deal. I think that they should get credit for offering Ubuntu as an option, not screwed over for offering macs os. Every other os can be offered... why not mac os? If they wanted to stay in their own little corner of the world they should not have started using intel procs. Idiots. Now consider the fact you can just go buy osx and put it on your pc for 130 bucks... what's the big deal? After having said all of that... paying further attention to this is pointless and depressing.
  • 0 Hide
    RomeoHotel1080p , April 17, 2008 9:22 PM
    To quote a Ratt like Jobs and Gates, "What comes around goes around". I really want eMachines to create an eMac and stir the pot even more. Gates probably started this stupid Mac Clone Wars and now we get to waste our time yapping about it.
  • 0 Hide
    RomeoHotel1080p , April 17, 2008 9:26 PM
    nihilityI love the smell of vaporware in the morning

    Outstanding! LOL
  • 0 Hide
    pereira5375 , April 18, 2008 6:18 AM
    Who here would love to install Os X on a machine they built? I know I would, and kiss microsoft goodbye. I can't. Why? Because early on Jobs was greedy. Yes Jobs was greedy. Today everybody thinks of Gates as the greedy one but in the early days it was Jobs who was greedy. He didn't want to give any of the money to the hardware guys. He wanted it all for himself. He wanted total control. He thought that was the way to high market share. He was wrong. Gates had the correct business model. Sorry Mac diciples, I mean fans. That is the truth. Now Mac clings to 'quality' while insulting PC's and charging an absolute premium for their products. The cost of this of course is marketshare. Because the truth is while they are superior they aren't superior enough to justify the price premium. That is not me that is the market speaking. So the question is if they have a superior product why don't they release it for all harware manufacturers? I'd be first in line (and I'm not alone, It would be a long line) Hmmm. Let me think. They could release OS X for everybody and make gazillions but yet they don't. Why not? Simple - they can't. As much as they mock Microsoft they can't do what Microsoft does - that is make an OS that works with almost any hardware out there. So they can keep their expensive boxes until I can rationaly (rather than emotionaly) justify the huge premium for rather middle of the road performance and unability to tinker.
  • 0 Hide
    caskachan , April 18, 2008 9:13 AM
    Remeber when IBM was the PC? remember when having an IBM was the shis and clones where ebil?....

    hmmmn.. i wonder.. if history coudl repeat itself now that Mac's have become so elitist ...i wonder.... ;]
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