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Desktops (Apple) Hardware

Psystar Offers $399 "OpenMac" Computer 615

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the dead-before-it-even-got-started dept.
mytrip writes to tell us that Psystar has announced a new line of Intel-based computers that promise to run an unmodified version of Mac OS X "Leopard". Unfortunately almost immediately after the launch their website went down and as of this story remains unaccessible. "Astute readers may well hear this news and ask themselves if it doesn't sound like a Mac clone, something whose time came -- during Gil Amelio's tenure at Apple -- and went shortly after current CEO Steve Jobs assumed the helm at the company. [...] It definitely defies the EULA for Mac OS X, which specifies that the purchaser of a legal copy of Leopard is entitled to install the operating system on an Apple-branded computer. If you buy the $399 OpenMac, you can check the EULA yourself if you also buy the pre-install option, as the company includes a retail copy of Leopard with your purchase."
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Psystar Offers $399 "OpenMac" Computer

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  • by ccguy (1116865) * on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:34PM (#23068980) Homepage
    I'm sure it's gonna take Apple seconds to upgrade their OS so that it refuses to work on these things.

    ..but if they do, public perception of Leopard might go from 'just works' to 'upgrades may be fatal'. So no wonder they may want these units to not ship at all even if technically it would be trivial to render them into regular PCs.

    BTW, how hard would it to hack this "EFI V8 emulator" into any PC that uses the same parts?
    • by clf8 (93379) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:40PM (#23069056)
      Not sure why public perception would be like that, since the vast majority would actually own a mac and upgrades truly would just work.

      Psystar has already stated that they had to modify the OS to get it to run. No big deal, but it's THEIR responsibility to make things work again if an Apple upgrade breaks things (maliciously or not).
      • by jmauro (32523)
        It'd also be their problem when Apple sues them into thr ground for license violations. And probably all their customers as well.
        • by Joe U (443617) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:52PM (#23069260) Homepage Journal
          Courts really do frown upon lopsided unsigned pre-purchase contracts.

          Basically, it wouldn't be an issue if the agreement was on the box for everyone to see. It probably wouldn't be an issue if Apple made you read and sign the agreement before buying a copy. But go to Best Buy, purchase a copy of osx, open it up, read the agreement, box it back up and then try and return it. Good luck.

          Apple really might not like the outcome of a case like this.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by truthsearch (249536)

            Courts really do frown upon lopsided unsigned pre-purchase contracts.
            Sources, please? The only case I know of on the subject decided that shrink-wrap licenses are enforceable [bitlaw.com].
            • by EverDense (575518) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:42PM (#23070042) Homepage
              http://www.internetlibrary.com/cases/lib_case209.cfm [internetlibrary.com] Court holds that Gateway's Standard Terms and Conditions, supplied along with and inside the packaging of a computer purchased by the plaintiff, do not create a binding contract with that consumer under either the law of either Missouri or Kansas. The court reached this conclusion despite the fact that the Standard Terms provide that they will constitute the terms of such an agreement if the consumer retains the computer for more than 5 days, and the consumer so retained the computer. Look up "Software license agreement", the law is not clear cut at all.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Joe U (443617)

              There has to be benifit to both parties for a contract to be valid. I can't just throw $200 at apple and get software that I they say I can't use without having the option to return it. Since the parties involved refuse to accept returned software the return policy is unconscionable and the license may be void.

              Second, you can't agree to a contract that you never had an opportunity to read and accept or decline. I think that one is obvious.

              So, yes, Apple might not like the outcome of a court case.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by jelton (513109)
                I don't mean to get nit-picky, but this isn't very good legal analysis:

                There has to be benifit [sic] to both parties for a contract to be valid. I can't just throw $200 at apple and get software that I they say I can't use without having the option to return it. Since the parties involved refuse to accept returned software the return policy is unconscionable and the license [sic] may be void.

                A working definition for a contract, at least for lawyers and courts in the US, is that it is a bargained-for agreem

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by CajunArson (465943)
            Apple will win this case without any problems whatsoever and (if you were to print out the decisions) probably more than a ton of case law on Apple's side. The license is perfectly clear, not even close to being unconscionable, 100% enforceable, ans Psystar knows this. Apple probably has not bothered suing home enthusiasts who mod the software by hand since a. it is a waste of money going after individuals who are not
            making money; b. there is little to no chance of it causing problems with Apple brand perc
            • by hedwards (940851) on Monday April 14, 2008 @06:28PM (#23070672)

              Apple will win this case without any problems whatsoever and (if you were to print out the decisions) probably more than a ton of case law on Apple's side. The license is perfectly clear, not even close to being unconscionable, 100% enforceable, ans Psystar knows this. Apple probably has not bothered suing home enthusiasts who mod the software by hand since a. it is a waste of money going after individuals who are not
              making money; b. there is little to no chance of it causing problems with Apple brand perception. However, as soon as this goes from a wacky and semi-functional side-project into a money making business.
              I doubt that, there are definitely reasons why this isn't clear cut. Litigation could help illuminate the subject. They can't use a license to remove a person's legal rights. The question is going to come down to whether or not fair use applies to the situation. They'll probably be able to nail Psystar for distributing the OS in violation of the terms of the contract, but it's hardly clear cut as to whether consumers have the right to install the software themselves.

              Just because it's in the contract doesn't mean that it's enforcible. Contracts wouldn't contain severability clauses if that weren't the case.

              The funny thing is for all the people who think Psystar is somehow great, after doing this (assuming it's not just a prank) there is probably a GREATER chance that the hobbyists will get sued in the future since more publicity makes this more of a threat to Apple's image.
              I don't think that's a fair characterization. Psystar is potentially doing everybody a favor here. The issue of EULAs doesn't come up as much as it might in the courts, because there's often times a significant risk to the company that wrote the EULA and very little reward in doing so.

              There are definitely issues here which need to be tested. More specifically, it is not clear to me that Apple is in the clear on this one. They probably have grounds to sue and get an injunction on licensing grounds, but in terms of preventing a competitor from producing compatible hardware, they haven't a chance in hell. Perhaps if they can demonstrate that Psystar reverse engineered the hardware in a way which isn't legal they can win. But other than that, they don't have grounds to prevent the infringement.
          • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Monday April 14, 2008 @08:23PM (#23071826)
            I doubt Apple has the slightest interest in suing individuals who try to put OS X on their PCs (as they haven't so far).

            The EULA is so they can go after companies like this.
          • by djtack (545324) on Monday April 14, 2008 @08:43PM (#23072010)
            Maybe Pstystar is trying to get sued, to establish a precedent?

            They could argue that the first sale doctrine allows them to modify and resell it.

            To get around the EULA, they could bypass the "I agree to sell my soul" box by disassembling the installer program, and disabling the EULA dialog. So they never "Agree" to the license.

            Of course installing the software necessarily involves making a copy, from the DVD media to the computer's memory and hard drive. While you might think a license would be needed to perform this copying, in fact Title 17, section 117 specifically exempts this copying:

            117 Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs53 (a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy.- Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided: (1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner
            I don't think Psystar can win, but this is more a reflection of the power that the copyright cartels wield over the government. (BTW I like Apple and would not look forward to another clone war, but that's a different post).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ldierk (1270930)

        Psystar has already stated that they had to modify the OS to get it to run.
        Alothough the article states:

        that the company claims will run an unmodified version of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard."
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          vanilla kernal on a hackintosh is really easy if the hardware specs are right... so I'm not sure why they had to modify the OS - maybe they just needed the EFI emulator, which starts up before OSX? *shrugs*
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ccguy (1116865) *

        Not sure why public perception would be like that, since the vast majority would actually own a mac and upgrades truly would just work.
        Yes, but pissed off people make more noise than happy customers. Some would rather rant in a blog and submit links everywhere than admit that their purchase wasn't that clever.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Cajun Hell (725246)

        Not sure why public perception would be like that, since the vast majority would actually own a mac and upgrades truly would just work.

        I wouldn't count on that. Once you start putting "deliberately fail" code in your product (to deal with the customers whose money you don't want), you risk it getting triggered for the customers you did want. Every logic bomb that Apple adds to their product with the intention of crippling it for non-Apple-hardware customers, is a logic bomb that might go off unintention

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ColdWetDog (752185) *

      I'm sure it's gonna take Apple seconds to upgrade their OS so that it refuses to work on these things.

      Nope, they didn't even have to do that because the Reality Distortion Field [wikipedia.org] is so all powerfull. Note FTFA

      Psystar announced Monday OpenMac, an Intel-based computer built from industry-standard parts that the company claims will run an unmodified version of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard." The company achieves this by using a EFI V8 emulator that it said tricks a Leopard installer CD into thinking the OpenMac

    • Feature list (Score:3, Interesting)

      by goombah99 (560566)
      the computer this compares to is the imac not the powermac. on that basis:
      faster CPU: 1.8-2 Ghz versus 2.2 Hhz
      more memory in base model: 1Gb versus 2
      bigger hard drive in base mode: 80gb versus 200gb

      I note that places like mac-mall already slightly discount the price of macs and give memory upgrades so the memory comparison is irrelevant.

      what you give up:
      size: the mac is teeny weenie. this thing is a full sized box

      quiet: this is not really known, but it's a fair guess that you don't get a quiet fan on
      • by Theatetus (521747) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:18PM (#23069626) Journal

        If TFA is right, the $399 includes Leopard.

        And, as I keep pointing out whenever I hear this "bundling is great when Apple does it" argument: the whole point is I don't want half of the crap that a mac makes me pay for, anyways.

        • by goombah99 (560566) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:31PM (#23069862)

          If TFA is right, the $399 includes Leopard.

          TFA is wrong. they sell it as a $150 install add on, or you can do it yourself for $125.

          And, as I keep pointing out whenever I hear this "bundling is great when Apple does it" argument: the whole point is I don't want half of the crap that a mac makes me pay for, anyways.

          Well this comes down to philosophy. On most mac's i've owned there's been some feature I did not use. e.g. PC card, or a scsi port or bluetooth. that's true.

          But what I have noticed is too things. First, developers can target more fully featured software because they can assume high level features will be installed. For example, who can foreget the old nightmare days if configuring soundcards or interupts on PCs and the difficulty of finding software that worked with your card. Macs all had (somewhat) high end sound cards from very early days and the driver's for them in the OS distro. So developers could assume they existed.

          As a result even though I might not actually need some cheerful toon in some piece of software I bought, the developer just threw it in because they could have no fear it would work.

          As a result, I actually tend to use the extras mac includes more often simply because software I buy happens for one purpose takes advantage of them.

          The other thing I notice is that while I might not have used firewire on the first mac I bought I definitely started using it on later macs. And bought firewire disks. But then I noticed that my new hardware was backwards compatible with my old macs.

          nice... this meant my macs had longer service lifetime because I was not going and trying to find comaptiblilty extensions and drivers. the old macs had them.

          In the long run, specing at the high end and getting bundles that are quite cheap for what they include, seems to pay off even if you don't use all the features right away.

          the only place where ala-carte specing seems to really pay off is on racks of servers or fleets of comuters (for say an office). There dropping something you know you won't need can save a few dollars.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ender- (42944)

        other things: no apple support. this is really good service. if you have computer problems apple is very good to you.

        I only have 1 personal experience with Apple's service. I worked for a small company [only 4 ppl in the office]. They had a 2-cpu G4 tower that was out of warranty. One of the internal fans had come out off its bearings and broke in half. It took me 30 seconds to remove that fan.

        I called Apple, knowing the machine was out of warranty. All I wanted was the part number and price for a replacement part [just an 80mm fan, with an odd connector]. Apple support wouldn't give me the information. They told me to c

        • Re:Feature list (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2008 @07:31PM (#23071376)
          Apple policy is that I'm not supposed to sell service parts to anyone but another authorized service provider, unless I install the parts in a computer.

          Apple doesn't have a problem with me giving you a price quote on a part.

          Now, I don't give a fuck what Apple policy is, and if I'm convinced you know what you're doing, I'll sell you the parts anyway. If it's a 661- (return dead part to Apple) part, you're going to pay a lot more to do it yourself, since I'm going to charge you stock price for the part. If you'd posted which model G4 and which fan, my reply would likely have a price for you.

          I do have to be convinced you know what you're doing, because I don't want you calling Apple when you break something.

          And I'm not a zit-faced dork. I've been working on Apple computers for over 15 years. The certification I have doesn't mean anything, but the experience does.

          I'm posting as anonymous because I just admitted I break Apple's rules.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          I've had a few experiences with Apple 'support.' My PowerBook went in for some repairs to the screen. After six weeks and ten hours on the telephone (most of it on hold, on a 10p/minute number) during which time I was repeatedly lied to (told it had already been shipped back to me), they admitted that it had been lost sometime between UPS delivering it and it entering their repair system. The eventually sent me a replacement which was DOA. Two months after initially sending it in for repair, I had a new
  • Just been on to the website. It's up but Very very slow... Apple will probably Kill this dead but if i did buy a Mac it would be something like an 'OpenMac' just so that i know i can stick it to Jobs and Co :D lol. Wonder if they will go to court and test the EULA?? (Has an EULA been defended in court yet??)
  • EULA's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:43PM (#23069102) Homepage Journal
    So are they good and enforcable this week, or evil and unenforceable? Seeing as this pertains to Apple it's probably a coin toss. The fanbois will all chime in with how it's such a good thing that Apple restricts what hardware one can run OS X on, and how this company should be shut down. If this were about some MS EULA there would be a firestorm about how EULA's are bogus anyways and unenforceble.

    If I buy OS X I'll damn well run it on any machine I want. In fact, one of my two OS X machines is *not* Appple Branded. That's right, it's a Hackintosh. Sue me, Jobs.
    • Re:EULA's (Score:4, Insightful)

      by stewbacca (1033764) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:46PM (#23069166)
      Jobs doesn't care about your home-brew Hackintosh. He does care about Brand X selling hackintoshes, however.
      • Re:EULA's (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dreamchaser (49529) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:49PM (#23069212) Homepage Journal
        I understand that. My point as about EULA's and about the fact that if Apple wants to restrict OS X to Apple only hardware then they should require proof of Mac ownership in order to buy a copy. They do not. If anyone can buy one then anyone should be able to install it on any computer. That goes for little shops that decide to sell hardware to run it on.

        I know why Jobs cares. He is every bit as much a wannabe monopolist as is Gates. He loves total control and complete product lock down. I don't hate Apple, like I said I have a Mac. What I hate is the hypocrisy exhibited by zealots.
        • My point as about EULA's and about the fact that if Apple wants to restrict OS X to Apple only hardware then they should require proof of Mac ownership in order to buy a copy. They do not. If anyone can buy one then anyone should be able to install it on any computer.

          Part of a civilized society is that you can use contracts (aka, EULA) as opposed to physical measures (aka, proof of ownership) to lower transaction costs.

        • Steve just wants control so he can ensure that you get an 'insanely great' product. He's a benevolent dictator, you see.
  • by downix (84795) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:44PM (#23069128) Homepage
    I imagine it now...
    Webmaster: We just put up the site!
    Technician: Oh no, the site just went down!
    Webmaster: Did Apple slap us with a S&D letter?
    Technician: No, someone posted our link on Slashdot!
  • This is /. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:44PM (#23069130)
    I predict 100 posts from people saying "Apple can do whatever they damn well want with their OS!" from the very same people who scream bloody murder if MS so much as includes a media player with their OS.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by downix (84795)
      Likely, and they'll be right. Apple makes computers. Microsoft doesn't. World of difference.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by calebt3 (1098475)
        So what does Apple care if you use their OS on a PC?
      • Re:This is /. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:58PM (#23069334)
        Apple makes computers. Microsoft doesn't. World of difference.

        In other words, all Microsoft has to do is open a hardware division of PCs they build that run Windows and they instantly have the moral high ground on more or less everything?

        I doubt anyone would agree with that, but if that's not what you're saying, then I can't understand how what you are saying would make any sense.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by joeytmann (664434)
      Very good point, so MS "forces" IE/MediaPlayer/Whathaveyou on you, Apple "forces" you to their hardware. Which is worse?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Very good point, so MS "forces" IE/MediaPlayer/Whathaveyou on you, Apple "forces" you to their hardware. Which is worse?

        You are a little to self centered it seems. This isn't about you. MS forces IE/media player/Whathaveyou upon PC OEMs and enterprise businesses by leveraging a monopoly. This is illegal and undermines free trade. They sell very little to people directly. The detrimental effects of MS's bundling for you, are fairly incidental.

        Apple forces people who buy their OS to run it on their hardware, but they don't have a monopoly on OS's or computer systems. Don't like it, buy a Dell or buy Windows. You have choice

  • Not the first (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:45PM (#23069134) Homepage

    These aren't the first people to try something like this. People used to post instructions on buying various 3rd party PPC boards to build your own Mac.

    The interesting part of this is that they have vowed to challenge Apple's EULA in court if (he he he, "if") they get sued. The outcome of that battle will be interesting. I want to say I'm on Apple's side on this one (they should get to say "only on Macs"), but a big part of me hates all the crazy restrictions in EULAs and I'm sure if Apple wasn't in a minority position I'd be crying foul over that clause as monopolistic.

    The somewhat sad part is that this could satisfy quite a bit of the complains I've seen on /. and other places asking for an upgradeable Mac that costs less than the Mac Pro. Yet the hobbled the default configuration with integrated graphics. I also enjoy the bits I've read about this where they recommend AGAINST installing OS X updates until they say it's OK because it could easily hose the system.

    All and all, while I don't expect this to go anywhere, it will be amusing to watch.

    • by kalidasa (577403)
      Let Apple force them to put a big disclaimer on their site: "Apple Inc. will not support, and does not advise, the installation of its software on our computers. Use at your own risk. All support will be provided by [us]." If that doesn't happen, Apple will be forced to move to an "upgrade" model where you have to have an official Macintosh hardware disk to install an OS upgrade.
    • Re:Not the first (Score:4, Informative)

      by Life2Short (593815) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:03PM (#23069418)
      Not only are others trying to do this now, there are also plenty of examples from Apple's past that illustrate how dangerous such a product would be to Apple's bottom line. Whether it's Franklin Apple II's, the Brazilian early Mac clones, or Apple's own licensing fiasco in the early PowerPC days, it's clear that Apple must be very protective or take a serious punch to profits. Remember Power Computing? In the licensing days of Apple, before Jobs returned and pole-axed the licenses, Power Computing was really starting to hurt Apple. They were releasing faster hardware earlier than Apple, and even their primitive marketing efforts (who remembers, "Let's kick Intel's Ass" with the Sluggo cartoon?) were getting the best of Apple. They were really starting to carve out their own share of Apple's customers before Jobs pulled the plug.
      • Re:Not the first (Score:5, Insightful)

        by feepness (543479) on Monday April 14, 2008 @07:27PM (#23071334) Homepage

        They were really starting to carve out their own share of Apple's customers before Jobs pulled the plug.
        So what you're saying is that Apple's legal tactics to protect their profits are ultimately malevolent towards the consumer?

        Sounds familiar...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LordLucless (582312)
        So what you're saying is that back in the day, there was actual competition propelling innovation and improvements in the industry, and Apple should put a stop to that right quick?
  • Website is fine. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Web site works fine. Quit copying from the macobserver.com and do your own homework.
  • Reality check (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) *
    This is just reality calling Steve. Macs are PC clones now. Pretty, overpriced PC clones. Nobody as stopped cloned hardware before in the computing world for any length of time, Steve's reality distortion field has actually succeeded better than any realistic observer would have expected, but if this attempt fails more will follow.

    Why? Follow the money. Macs carry anywhere between a 25% (the optimistic assertions from the Mac faithful) to 100% surcharge on the hardware compared to the prices for generi
    • Re:Reality check (Score:4, Informative)

      by diamondsw (685967) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:02PM (#23069400)
      Profit margins are about 25% depending on the product line. This is according to actual financial figures. You know, profit reports and such. Things that have to be correct and accurate for legal purposes or they're in trouble with the SEC for misleading stockholders. Real data, instead of you pulling shit out of your ass.

      Macs are not more expensive; they're just less flexible. True, you can't get a Mac with slots for less than a Mac Pro. You can't get a Mac laptop with a 7-inch screen and ultra low processor/memory/drive for $400. But for what they do sell - Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro - they're similar, generally only varying by a few bucks here and there (except Apple's memory is damn expensive for some reason). This little dance has been done a billion times, and will be done a billion times again.
      • Re:Reality check (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:14PM (#23069566) Homepage Journal
        Macs are not more expensive; they're just less flexible.

        If you are talking about internal upgrade ability, then only really the MacPros are genuinely upgradeable. The MacBooks are no less expandable than you average portable and the desktops are targeted towards a market that is more comfortable connecting a cable, than opening up their computer. For all the rest USB and Firewire offer most of the expandability that people want.
        • Re:Reality check (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tepples (727027) <tepples.gmail@com> on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:35PM (#23069924) Homepage Journal

          The MacBooks are no less expandable than you average portable and the desktops are targeted towards a market that is more comfortable connecting a cable, than opening up their computer. For all the rest USB and Firewire offer most of the expandability that people want.
          What kind of 3D video card can be connected to a Mac through USB, FireWire, or Ethernet? That's why there are so few Mac games: because there are so few Mac Pros.
    • Re:Reality check (Score:5, Interesting)

      by netwiz (33291) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:10PM (#23069518) Homepage
      The catch with the "Mac Tax" is that while you can't configure a Mac to have less than the shipping hardware (integrated camera, gigabit ethernet, do-it-yourself RAM, firewire, etc.), when pricing against equivalent hardware, they usually are cost-equal or a hair less. In the case of the Mac Pro, the difference is almost 25% given the CPU horsepower with which the system ships. At release, it was impossible to find a four-way workstation within $1000 of Apple's hardware.

      This isn't to say Apple's the value leader, quite the opposite. Their surcharge on disk and RAM borders on userous; the video choices, while current at release, are updated slowly and tend not to support the more advanced configurations (SLI). That said, I'll take Apple's build quality over almost anything else, and for me at least, OSX significantly improves my workflow over Windows. YMMV.
    • Re:Reality check (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vought (160908) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:17PM (#23069608)
      Why should Steve listen to you, or anyone who advocates Mac cloning?

      The last time Apple tried it, the move almost cost the company its life. Power Computing and UMAX moved in on the high end and cannibalised Apple's most lucrative sales of Power Macs (and cannibalised is the right word; Apple did all the engineering for PCC, while the Austin firm just built boxes).

      Power and Motorola also moved in on the bottom end (which is where Apple wanted them to sell anyway), but it was the PowerTower Pros that really hurt Apple's business and licensing program.

      There's an error in the submission, too. There was no Apple "cloning" program. None of the Mac OS Licensees designed their own boards until well into the program (two years), and they all used "Old World" architecture. The licensing program actually started under Spindler, not Amelio.

      If Apple licensed the OS for non-Apple PCs, it'd be the same story all over again, albeit less severe, as Apple has diversified in the past several years. Dell (or whoever) would race Apple to the bottom on prices, and Apple's R+D budget would be cut short. Macs wouldn't "just work" anymore, and someone at Apple would be stuck writing drivers for every piece of nonstandard hardware junk the licensees wanted to install to get the price down.

      If a $300.00 premium every few years when I buy a new Mac is the cost of avoiding these kinds of headaches, I'm happy to pay it.
  • EULA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:49PM (#23069208) Homepage

    It definitely defies the EULA for Mac OS X, which specifies that the purchaser of a legal copy of Leopard is entitled to install the operating system on an Apple-branded computer.

    And the first-sale doctrine states that the purchaser of a legal copy of Leopard is entitled to install it wherever he wants, EULA notwithstanding.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      the problem is, you can't purchase anything but an upgrade copy of Mac OS. The hardware is your license key to the full copy (think of it as a very large dongle). You can't purchase a "full" legal copy of Leopard without buying a Mac.

      This makes upgrading fairly painless because the upgrade software assumes you must have a valid license because it is designed to only run on hardware that came with a valid license (no searching for previous version product keys).
    • Re:EULA (Score:4, Interesting)

      by zjbs14 (549864) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:39PM (#23069968) Homepage

      And the first-sale doctrine states that the purchaser of a legal copy of Leopard is entitled to install it wherever he wants, EULA notwithstanding.

      First sale doctrine applies to the re-sale of the disks/content. Doing something else with the content comes under fair use. Whether that can be controlled by a EULA is pretty much up in the air from a legal perspective.
  • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:58PM (#23069340) Journal
    There are two independent computer shops near my place which will put together a hackintosh for you. They won't install the OS, but they'll build a computer that is fully compatible with os X and sell you a copy of osx too...

    So... for me, this isn't news, really.
  • EXCELLENT!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday April 14, 2008 @04:58PM (#23069350)
    I've been wanting to replace my Franklin Ace!

    "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them in summer school".
  • It would become interesting if this small company has enough guts to stand up to Apple and face them in court.... then we will find out if, legally speaking, software company EULA is worth the paper it's written on.

    "By breaking the seal on this CD-ROM you agree that all rights regarding the use of this Software belong to US; that YOU have no rights; that you are only LICENSED for use on ONE computer, which cannot be anything other than Brand XXX model ZZZ computer; you agree to never make a copy of this S

  • EULA flipflop (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Umuri (897961) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:01PM (#23069382)
    Alright, to everyone posting the sarcastic comments wondering whether slashdot is Pro EULA or Anti EULA this week because it's apple and not microsoft, lets try to spell out things that hopefully everyone can agree on.

    1. EULAs are pretty much unenforcable in what littel court cases have involved them to any degree.

    2. Apple has every right to say that they won't support or vouch for the stability software that isn't running on hardware they approve of.

    Beyond that, you can argue how you wish. However that's pretty much what this eula thing boils down to.

    Apple makes it a point to ensure stability in their operating system, sometimes at the purported sacrifice of flexible code for hardware they don't sell. But if people want to try to get it working on other hardware, i really don't think apple will mind. If they do, the only reason i could think of it is they're worried about their image as the "cool" and "hip" computers getting tied in with people's hacked together junker computers running MacOS.

    Apple cares about image, and it's image is "just works". They use an eula to spell it out, albeit in a nonbinding way.

  • For the sake of nostalgia, I'm going to play with my Power Computing PowerCenter Pro 210 and Motorola Starmax 4000/160 tonight. Even though I have a 420MHz G3 CPU in the PowerCenter, I'm not brave enough to attempt to install OS X on it yet.
  • Seems a little overpriced. /ducks
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:04PM (#23069444)
    Apple has for YEARS flat-out *refused* to build a Mac of this type - a normal headless box. They come out with the Mac Mini, which many said was the same thing, but it uses laptop memory and harddrives, which are more expensive per MB/GB, and the thing isn't even upgradable. The Mac Pro is a Xeon workstation, and uses memory to match, and starts at, what, $2k or so? C'mon!

    And here's what's really sad for Apple and their shareholders -- the profit margins at what Apple would likely price these things at would likely be much higher than those for iMacs and Mac Minis. Normal 3.5" HDs and regular DDR2 DIMMs are much less expensive than the laptop and workstation-class hardware.

    This is a gaping hole in their product lineup, and it's been there as long as I can remember. It's no wonder someone wants to fill that hole. It's just too bad that Apple is going to wipe them out of existence by the end of the week for doing what Apple should've done ten years ago.

    Of course, Apple knows all this. Selling machines with built-in displays and non-upgradable machines with limited storage is great for Apple's bottomline: it forces people to upgrade when non-replaceable parts break and non-upgradable machines are too slow to handle modern tasks. But it's also screwing the customer. Fortunately, Jobs' Reality Distortion Field overrides people's common sense (and lack of knowledge about computer hardware in general) so that they FEEL good about their purchase.
    • by PapayaSF (721268) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:22PM (#23069674) Journal

      This is a gaping hole in their product lineup

      You're absolutely correct, and it's a huge opportunity for Apple. All they need is a cut-down Mac Pro, call it a Mac Pro Mini. One (not four) hard drive bays, one (not two) optical bays, two (not eight) RAM slots, one slot for a graphics, and maybe one other slot. They can't sell that for $999 and make a profit? Or sell it for $799 and use it to storm the gates of corporate America.

      One more comment, not mentioned so far: Psystar is doomed if for no other reason than that they are selling a computer with "Mac" in the name. Talk about painting a bull's eye on yourself for Apple's lawyers!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dekortage (697532)

        Psystar is doomed if for no other reason than that they are selling a computer with "Mac" in the name.

        Actually the computer is called "Open Computer". Maybe the name has changed since TFA was posted, but Psystar's web site currently calls it an Open Computer [psystar.com].

  • Seriously? Could they possibly sound more ghetto? Sure there isn't room for a "cyber" in there somewhere?
  • PC_EFI is not new. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:09PM (#23069500)
    PC_EFI is a bootloader that's been around in the OSx86 community for some time now. Version 8 allows for GPT partition booting and a host of other features, including the ability to wrap OS X's early graphical booting to a card with a VGA BIOS instead.

    These guys are just stealing work contributed to OSx86, throwing it on a standard PC, and trying to sell it. That's very shady, if you ask me.

    BTW: OS X 10.5 boots on *many* different motherboards and *many* different configurations, if the kernel and kernel extensions support it (SSE3, PCI-E, etc). PC_EFI is purely a bootloader that emulates some EFI things so a stock Macintosh kernel thinks it's booting on a Mac. It has nothing to do with the hardware, there's plenty of kernel extensions and drivers floating around that support quite a fair chunk of hardware.

    -DN
  • It's About Time... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:16PM (#23069596)
    It's about time the legality of some of Apple's claims and actions are tested in the legal system. Apple gets away with a lot, some of which is questionable?

    (I.e. once you sell an operating system, are you really allowed to restrict it to your hardware? Ford can't restrict their cars to only running on Ford gas, and only being repaired with Genuine Ford Parts, for example.)

    Could Apple legally say that no other O/S than OS-X is allowed to be run on their computers - just to ensure that you have to buy the O/S from them?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pressman (182919)
      Gasoline is fuel for the engine of a car. Electricity is the fuel for the computer and I believe any old wall socket will do.

      Apple uses industry standard hard drives and RAM. Granted, replacing the HD in some models can be tricky, but it's doable. You don't need Apple branded parts to replace failed ones.

      Your analogy fails. Sad considering it was a car analogy and you compared Apple to Ford.
  • by noewun (591275) on Monday April 14, 2008 @05:44PM (#23070062) Journal
    This must be the kind of case Apple's lawyers fantasize about. You can almost hear them snarling and clawing at their cage door.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday April 14, 2008 @10:38PM (#23072934) Homepage

    Apple is going to lose this one. It's a illegal tying arrangement [aurorawdc.com] under the Clayton Act:

    The basic requirements that must be met for tying to be per se illegal are as follows:

    1. There must be two separate products or services.
    2. There must be a sale or an agreement to sell one product (or service) on the condition that the buyer purchase another product or service (or the buyer agrees not to purchase the product or service from another supplier).
    3. The seller must have sufficient economic power with respect to the tying product to appreciably restrain free competition in the market for the tied product.
    4. The tying arrangement must affect a "not insubstantial" amount of commerce.

    Apple would have to try to enforce their EULA in court against an antitrust claim that their EULA is an illegal tying arrangement, which, on its face, it is.

    Apple was able to put the previous generation of clone-makers out of business because some key portions of the original MacOS were in ROM, shipped with the machine. So they could make copyright arguments against cloning the Mac ROMs. But for today's machines, the OS isn't built onto the motherboard, so there's no copyright claim.

    IBM lost this issue a long time ago, when Compaq made the first PC clone. That's why there's a PC industry.

    Apple could put DRM hardware in future Macs and encrypt future OS releases, like a game console. Not having done that, they're stuck.

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