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Mac Cloner Psystar Ships First Service Pack 468

Posted by kdawson
from the cloe-wars dept.
Preedit writes "Not only is Mac clone maker Psystar continuing to defy Apple's ban on third-party Leopard installations, it's supporting the hardware with updates. Psystar Mac clones shipped as of Monday will include a 'service pack' that features fixes for a range of problems, some of them inherent in Apple's own software, according to InformationWeek. The fixes address a range of troubles, from glitches in Apple's Time Machine backup feature to quirks in the Keyboard Viewer and Character Palette entries in Leopard's system preferences menu. There's also support for the latest version of Java and other updates. According to the story, by offering a full menu of support, Psystar appears to be daring Apple to attempt to enforce provisions in the Leopard license agreement that forbid third-party installations and sales." We've been discussing Psystar clones for a while.
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Mac Cloner Psystar Ships First Service Pack

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  • Good (Score:3, Funny)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:52PM (#23479052) Homepage Journal
    Now Apple has to compete with it's own product. I mean, making a product better them MS wasn't exatly a challenge, was it?
  • by alta (1263) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:53PM (#23479070) Homepage Journal
    Really big hairy ones that must be protected by some sort of anti-steve force field.

    Or maybe they're eunichs (sp?) and steve can't cut off their balls.

    • by rekoil (168689) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:55PM (#23479102)
      More likely, they're hoping to grab a quick buzz, score some venture capital, and then run off into the sunset, cash in hand, before Apple legal pulls the plug on the party...
      • by Fallen Andy (795676) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:22PM (#23479618)
        I've just spent 15 minutes screaming "wait a minute I remember something like this from a while back". So here it is - the Advance 86 [old-computers.com] These popped up in "Dixons" (UK) for a while and then magically vanished. Turns out that they were compatible in the sense that the BIOS (at least AFAIK) *was* an IBM BIOS (grins). A friend of mine claims they took the money and ran before IBM came after them... Unlike "Pear?" etc (the Apple ][ clone) this time around Apple might have more trouble pulling the plug I guess.

        Andy

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:00PM (#23479202)

      Or maybe they're eunichs (sp?) and steve can't cut off their balls.
      I believe it's spelled "Unix".

      • by eck011219 (851729) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:49PM (#23483166)
        When I was about 20 (around 1991), I worked for a family friend who was doing custom DB app development. He was working on a warehouse tracking system at the time, and I helped him compile information about the competition for an article he was writing for Unix World magazine. When I told my parents about the article for Unix World, my father went all glassy until I explained the spelling and definitions involved.

        I was impressed by his poker face, honestly. I think he thought he'd been exposing his boy to the decidedly wrong people.
    • It's spelled "eunuchs", but AC's "Unix" quip came to my mind, too. Dilbert FTW!
    • by gyranthir (995837) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:34PM (#23481918)
      I think Steve's blade may be a bit dull trying to cut through all the red tape set forth in their own EULA.

      from: http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:yZd3DfSTe6cJ:www.engadget.com/2008/04/15/psystar-says-rumors-of-its-demise-are-greatly-exaggerated-still/comments/11642842/+leopard+eula+unenforceable&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us [64.233.169.104]

      Psystar/Open Computing is reselling a full (read: fully-licesned) copy of MacOSX Leopard. They are then preinstalling it onto the system, telling you that they do modifications, and telling you that the copy is no longer under warranty. In addition, the courts have been moving in the direction of saying EULA's are not necessarily contractual, because of the low barrier of people to click "I Accept", weakening any potential Apple case.

      To be fair, DMCA is vague on modifying software for personal use, and violating license, but only from the perspective of "taking away revenue". In this case, Apple is getting attributed as creating the software, and sells a retail copy of Leopard every time Psystar/Open Computing sells one to buyers.

      from: http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:dIo9yM9-QvMJ:timmorton.blogspot.com/2008/04/apple-vs-psystar-clone-mac-era.html+leopard+eula+unenforceable&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=us [64.233.169.104]

      What it boils down to is that running Leopard on a machine that Apple did not make violates the EULA. EULA's are largely NOT legally enforceable, and in those states where they are the degree to which they are varies widely. EULA's are not active contracts, and are largely invalid because you cannot read them in entirety (or at all usually) on the packaging before making your purchase, leaving you vulnerable to stipulations that were unknown at the time of purchase. EULA's are legally weak, all but entirely unenforceable, and would be outrageously expensive to attempt to enforce on any type of broad scale.

      Basically I think Apple really would have to pay to play this game that it might lose. EULA's are largely flawed and usually unenforceable. Will be interesting to see what Apple does, if not nothing.
  • The system is priced at $804.99. A similar, Apple-branded computer could cost more than $2,000.

    The Psystar system has a single Core 2 Duo CPU.

    They don't say what the "similar, Apple-branded computer" is, but if it's a Mac Pro it's got two four-core CPUs.

    The problem is that Apple doesn't make a similar computer. If they did, Psystar wouldn't have a market. And Apple would have a bigger one.
    • by yincrash (854885) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:56PM (#23479124)
      If Apple did try to go for this market, they'd need to cut their margins by a lot to compete with the current pc market which plays in this price range.
      • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:17PM (#23479504) Journal
        Why? They wouldn't be competing with Dell, they'd be competing with themselves. People don't (and never will, I'll bet) buy a Mac because it's the cheapest, they buy it because they feel it's superior in some way and thus worth the money.

        What they would have to worry about is cannibalising the iMac sales, because a standard-tower Mac plus a third party monitor, graphics card & RAM would be cheaper than an iMac and superior in every way except form-factor, which isn't really high on most people's list for a desktop.
        • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gma i l . c om> on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:32PM (#23479760)

          What they would have to worry about is cannibalising the iMac sales, because a standard-tower Mac plus a third party monitor, graphics card & RAM would be cheaper than an iMac and superior in every way except form-factor, which isn't really high on most people's list for a desktop.

          No it wouldn't. The mythical mini-tower Mac, if it were ever made, would be priced at a little less than equivalent iMacs (if not exactly the same).

          The real threat from such a box would be to Mac Pro sales.

      • Which is exactly where they don't want to be. Right now they're huge in the $1000 and up market, which I'm sure is where they're happy to be.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by boyfaceddog (788041)

        If Apple did try to go for this market....

        Let's see; no c&d from Apple Legal, Apple gets their cut for the OS, Apple looks like the good guy by letting someone "stick it to the man", This isn't hurting their margins.

        Where's the downside for Steve? Maybe this is Apple's way of testing the waters?

    • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:58PM (#23479168) Homepage
      The obvious comparison would be the iMac, as far as performance specs go.
    • The Psystar system has a single Core 2 Duo CPU. They don't say what the "similar, Apple-branded computer" is, but if it's a Mac Pro it's got two four-core CPUs.
      Since those would not be similar systems, it's a pretty good chance they weren't talking about the Mac Pro.
      • by argent (18001)
        Since those would not be similar systems, it's a pretty good chance they weren't talking about the Mac Pro.

        None of the other possibilities I can think of cost more than $2000.
    • It seems like the defined similar as one you could put more hard drives and cards into. Based solely on CPU the mac mini has it beat on price. Spec wise this looks more like a $1100 iMac, minus the 20" monitor and teh sexy. Also the reviews I've read say it's power hungry, power is a real calculation in a 3 year computer life span for TCO. The rise of USB and the dumb consumer has made the mac far more upgradable than it was 5 years ago, now you can get almost anything that used to be an internal componen
      • by argent (18001)
        Spec wise this looks more like a $1100 iMac, minus the 20" monitor and teh sexy.

        I already have a 23" LCD and a 21" CRT and "teh sexy" has negative value to me.

        now you can get almost anything that used to be an internal component on USB.

        The overhead of USB is significantly more than IDE or SATA, and even firewire reduces the performance advantage of the external drive my Mac mini boots from.

        I'm glad to see competition, this isn't the cheap good upgradeable Mac that we've been waiting for though.

        No, it's not.
    • Dual quad core starts at $2500 1 quad core is $2200 with a low end video card.
    • Well, the Mac Pro has one or two quad-core processors. That's at least twice as many, but not always four times as many cores.

      Even with a single processor, it's a $2299 machine.

      That this thing fills a niche between the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro that's more upgradeable than an iMac is pretty much the point.
      • That this thing fills a niche between the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro that's more upgradeable than an iMac is pretty much the point.

        Oh, I agree, I want something in that slot too. I was just objecting to the way they mplied that this was really an equivalent machine to the Mac Pro.

        PS: When I went to the Apple Store I didn't see a single-CPU option for the Mac Pro. Is that hidden down beneath the configuration link?
        • Oh, I agree, I want something in that slot too. I was just objecting to the way they mplied that this was really an equivalent machine to the Mac Pro.

          But they never made any such implication. You invented that up all on your own. All they said was:

          The system is priced at $804.99. A similar, Apple-branded computer could cost more than $2,000.

          No one in their right mind is going to claim that a dual core system is "similar" to the 8 core Mac Pro. You're just harping on this non-point in order to be contrary.

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      The problem is that Apple doesn't make a similar computer.

      That's the point. Apple has always been about the boutique high end. They want nothing to do with a commodity product which is what the Psystar aims to be. Apple doesn't want to fight for scraps because they would go bankrupt with such a relatively small base. They do need to defend their exclusivity or some of the faithful might wander which is why they will eventually respond.
    • by itsdapead (734413)

      And Apple would have a bigger one.

      Not necessarily. Apple concentrate on small-form-factor, mid/high-end laptops and workstation-class towers for good reasons: high margins, longer product cycles and more emphasis on style. Since the Intel switch, Macs have been reasonably competitive provided you compare like-for-like (i.e. SFF with SFF; high-end laptop with high-end laptop; Xeon workstation with Xeon workstation). The "Apple premium" is pretty much the same as what other manufacturers charge for their "executive" range over their "budge

  • Once Again... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mikkeles (698461) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:54PM (#23479090)
    I remember this happening in the days of the Apple ][, what with the Peach and other clones. But then, you had to get the ROMs. Maybe this time will turn out (un)successful (depending on your point of view :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Actually, I don't think you had to get the ROMs for the Laser 128 (Apple //c clone). It had its own ROMs, which VTech clean-room reverse engineered.

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:55PM (#23479108) Homepage Journal
    We'll see no lawsuit. This gives Apple more exposure. If they do sue, I won't be offering them a bandage for their blown-off foot.
    • I think they'd look terrible if they sued this company. At the same time, however, if they don't sue, then they're inviting other companies to do the same as Psystar. Then what do we make of the EULA? Not enforcing their EULA could cause a landslide.

      My guess is that they will wait until the company dies. Then, if, for some reason, it fails to die, they'll sue 'em--and win, of course. Clearly, Apple has this one--this is a blatent knowing violation of the EULA by a for-profit corporation.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dreamchaser (49529)
        You are assuming that EULA's are enforceable. It might be an interesting case to see just what the courts make of this.
      • Re:Bet ten to one (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Uncle Focker (1277658) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:14PM (#23479460)

        My guess is that they will wait until the company dies. Then, if, for some reason, it fails to die, they'll sue 'em--and win, of course. Clearly, Apple has this one--this is a blatent knowing violation of the EULA by a for-profit corporation.
        There is no guarantee that that part of the EULA is even legally enforceable. Just because it's written in a EULA doesn't mean it has any actual force of law to back it up.
        • by kestasjk (933987) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:53PM (#23480158) Homepage
          But at some point the people at Psystar must have clicked "I Agree", so they agreed to comply. This is the strongest contract in the entire software industry, even stronger than a "TOS" link at the bottom of a web-page
          • But at some point the people at Psystar must have clicked "I Agree", so they agreed to comply.
            Doesn't matter. If the EULA isn't legally enforceable it doesn't matter whether the user agreed to it or not.

            This is the strongest contract in the entire software industry, even stronger than a "TOS" link at the bottom of a web-page
            Big whoop. You can't enforce illegal clauses in a EULA or in any contract. Such things get thrown out quite often by courts.
          • by Anpheus (908711)
            What if before they clicked "I Agree" they removed the EULA before it ever appeared? Would it fall under copyright infringement then, or is there some way to get around -that- by instead using a shim code that disables the EULA in some way without ever rewriting anything on the OSX disc?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by HairyCanary (688865)
          People keep saying this, and I don't understand the logic behind it. This is not a case of the end user violating the EULA, this is a for-profit company violating the EULA to make money. That's a whole different ballgame.
  • Slow News Day? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Generic Guy (678542) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:57PM (#23479138)

    From TFA:

    ...Psystar appears to be daring Apple to attempt to enforce provisions in the Leopard license agreement that forbid third-party installations and sales.

    To me it seems more like daring suckers to send their credit-card information to a fairly shady operation. As in the last slashdot article on Psystar, has anyone besides a few high-profile writers with 'protoypes' actually seen a Psystar -- in the wild, so to speak? InfoWeek cribbed a breif website notice and apparently created a whole 'article piece' based on it

    Anway... Instead of becoming a noble defender of user's EULA rights, it seems far more likely they'll take the submitted order money and disappear into the night.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bryansix (761547)
      Do you have any information to actually back this up or are you just making things up? Why in your view is the operation "shady"? Apple is overpriced because they can be. They are on x86 architecture now so they don't really have an excuse. You CAN compare them to similar spec'd PC hardware to see how overpriced they are.
      • Re:Slow News Day? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:22PM (#23479638)
        I went through exactly this excercise the other day with someone. It turns out that Apple and Dell have very similar prices. The exception is with the MacBook Pro, in which Apple exceeds Dell by about 20% or so, but the closest Dell laptop is also larger by a fair margin.

        Dell doesn't sell a Mini competitor, and Apple doesn't sell a headless low or mid-end desktop tower, so those products were impossible to compare.

        Apple's MacBook line, iMac line, and Pro line are all very comparable - even cheaper right after a refresh - to their Dell counterparts.

        Go try it :)
        • Re:Slow News Day? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:32PM (#23479768) Homepage Journal
          And there is value in style and a nice interface.

        • I'll add the MBP line is also very comparable right after an update.

          Apples problem is that they don't lower the prices of machines over time like the other computer makers do. So, if you buy a Mac right after a refresh the prices are usually very competitive.
        • It turns out that Apple and Dell have very similar prices.
          Not surprising since they both add on a hefty margin in their prices. The discussion was about the Mac premium versus the actual hardware costs not a comparison between two middleman markups.
          • by MightyYar (622222)

            Not surprising since they both add on a hefty margin in their prices.
            Might want to check out their latest financials... I'm a Dell stock holder, and am not exactly happy with their sub-7% margins currently.

            Dells are cost-competitive with sourcing the parts yourself and building it at home (not that this is even possible with an all-in-one or decent laptop).
        • by cheros (223479) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:13PM (#23480442)
          even cheaper right after a refresh

          I've now tried refreshing several times, but in my browser Mac prices stay the same.
          Should I switch to Safari? :-)
        • The problem is (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:22PM (#23481692)
          They don't have a consumer desktop line, which is what a whole lot of people and companies want. Their Mac Pros are good for the money if and only if you actually need all the high end hardware they mandate. The entry level Mac Pro is $2800 with no monitor. Now that's no surprising as it features things like dual quad core Xeons. Ok, fine, but there are very, very, very few apps that can use 8 cores. There are, in fact, very few that can use 4 cores. So for most people it, like much of the other high end hardware you have to get (ECC RAM, for example) is a waste of money. Consider that MPC (our supplier at work) will happily sell me a single quad core desktop for just under $1000.

          Thus it is overpriced if you don't need the hardware they are trying to push. They don't have a mid range tower at all.

          You can go down to their all in ones, but of course those come with their own problems. A big one would be why do I want to get a nice monitor, if I am going to have to get rid of it when the computer attached to it is obsolete? Monitors last longer than computers, particularly nice ones. You get a nice 24" IPS LCD, man, that's a keeper for a long time. However, the computer is going to get outdated at the same rate all computers do, which is to say fairly quickly. So if you buy the all in ones, you have to get a monitor every time you want a computer upgrade.

          That's a waste of money to most of us. Pretty much everyone I know keeps their monitors well past their computers. Either they buy cheap monitors, in which case they generally keep them until they break because they don't want to spend any more money on a display than they have to, or they buy good monitors, and they keep them because the monitor is still a good monitor and works for many years.

          I have a nice 26" IPS panel that I plan on keeping probably until it fails. Hell, first thing to go out on it will be the backlight, and I can and most likely will buy new tubes and a new ballast and replace it. It's a great display and when the day comes that I retire it from my primary system, it'll work very nicely on my guest system. No reason to throw it away in a couple years. However if it were tied to my computer, well that's what would happen. I upgrade my system very regularly. My monitor though, that lasts.

          So that's where the complaints against Apple's price tend to come from. It isn't that they are necessarily bad if you do a straight 1:1 comparison. It is that they don't offer many choices, and one of the choices they exclude is one of the most popular choices: consumer desktop/tower and separate monitor. People like that choice, and businesses REALLY like that choice. If you want a separate monitor, you either have to get a very low end system, with no upgradability (mini) or an amazingly powerful workstation (pro). Nothing in the middle range. Thus for most people, the pro is what they'd look at and it is expensive.

          Show me a mac tower with a single dual core processor and regular DDR2 RAM and then we can talk. Until then the choices are a system that isn't powerful or expandable enough or a system that is overpriced.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Swampash (1131503)
            They don't have a consumer desktop line, which is what a whole lot of people and companies want.

            I disagree. The only entities I see bemoaning the lack of an "xMac" (a modestly-powered headless upgradeable desktop Mac) are some geeks on sites like Slashdot and Ars Technica. I don't see any desire whatsoever from Joe and Jane Consumer, who are Apple's target market.
      • by geekoid (135745)
        I would like to note that not all x86 Architecture are created equally.

        For example, high end ECC 72bit Ram is a lot more expensive the Joe Blow's 'generic' Ram.

        Look at high quality motherboards, also more expensive and better, but still x86.
        Higher end motherboards last longer, run cooler and have a lot more features then the 399 dell special.

        Now, for all I know Apple is using the exact smae brand and model of motherboards as Dell does. I'm just pointing out the there are reasons some x86
        machines are more ex
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Generic Guy (678542)

        Why in your view is the operation "shady"?

        Opinions are like a**holes: everybody has one. You're certainly welcome to not buy into my opinion, but I won't sit here and rehash all the previous Psystar articles and suspicions just for your benefit.

        Sure, maybe Psystar turns out to be the bestest company in the world, evar!!!1! -- but I'm not sending them any of my money to find out. I'm not convinced, I think they're more likely to vanish when the spotlight on them gets brighter; That's my opinion. And I t

      • Re:Slow News Day? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by p0tat03 (985078) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:52PM (#23480136)

        Do you have any information to actually back this up or are you just making things up? Why in your view is the operation "shady"?

        Slashdot covered this before, as have other sites. In summary, the company pulled credit card orders a few short days after announcing the product. Efforts to track down the company at its real-life address turned out to be difficult, and we still have not seen any evidence that the company is legit (there was no business by its name at the address listed on its site). When confronted with this information the company changed its physical address on its website numerous times, none of which seem to reflect a real business. THAT is why it seems shady. Indeed, it looks like this is an amateur operation at best, a scam at worst.

        Apple is overpriced because they can be. They are on x86 architecture now so they don't really have an excuse. You CAN compare them to similar spec'd PC hardware to see how overpriced they are.

        Go ahead. Do it. I've done it, as have many others. When you don't make cheap excuses like "oh yeah let's leave out the Bluetooth, 'cos who uses it anyways?" you'll find that Macs are quite competitive. Yes, there's still a premium, but "as overpriced as can be" is not it. I would say Sony's are far more overpriced than Macs.

      • by db32 (862117)
        You can't compare them to similar spec'd PC hardware because it doesn't exist. There is more to your computer than RAM, Memory, and Video. The MBP laptops have a large range of hardware based features that PC laptops simply do not offer. If anything you will see how overpriced PC laptops are charging you a decent chunk of change for a plasticy and cheaply manufactured device.
    • Re:Slow News Day? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by meadowsoft (831583) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:18PM (#23479550) Homepage
      IANAL, but this sounds like the IBM vs. Clone lawsuits of the 80s where IBM wanted to be the only company to sell their IBM software on IBM hardware. They lost that battle, and if APple were to try to enforce their EULA they would lose that one as well. I think they aren't suing because 1) this isn't their market and 2) they wouldn't win and it would open the door for a precendent where any and all PC vendors would start selling hardware with OSX preinstalled.
      • by Comboman (895500)
        The main difference was that the PC clone makers didn't have to buy IBM-DOS from IBM to put on their clones; they could buy MS-DOS from Microsoft (or CP/M for that matter).
  • How the hell... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @01:57PM (#23479148)
    ... are they shipping a service pack to correct problems in Apple's binaries - or are they downloading the open source portions and fixing/rebuilding/shipping those as fixes?

    In that case having open source is again working against Apple.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Or working for them as they get the free fixes too.
      And it is defiantly benefiting their users, however they only seam to be fixing hackingtosh stuff
  • by OrochimaruVoldemort (1248060) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:00PM (#23479208) Journal
    begun, the mac war has.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:05PM (#23479328) Homepage

    Apple is unlikely to sue Psystar. Apple would probably lose; Apple's EULA is an "illegal tying arrangement" under antitrust law. Psystar is tiny, but a court loss would encourage bigger players to start making clones.

    More likely, Apple will stop selling their OS as a boxed product.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by itsdapead (734413)

      More likely, Apple will stop selling their OS as a boxed product.

      No, all they have to do is stamp the words "Upgrade: for computers with OS X 10.3 or earlier only" on the box - which is effectively what they're selling anyway. If a court decided to rule that illegal it would set some very interesting precedents for Microsoft et. al.

      Wasn't the ruling in the recent Skype vs. the GPL case (where they tried to use antitrust law) something along the lines that, if a copyright holder wanted to specify that their software should only be distributed in a green envelope, such

    • by samkass (174571)
      How can a company with 4% of the market be bound by anti-trust laws? An "illegal tying arrangement" is attempting to leverage a monopoly in one area to win a significant advantage in another market segment. iPods are the only market in which Apple might arguably have a monopoly. They certainly don't have one in operating systems, and they certainly don't have one in Intel hardware.
      • FYI (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mpapet (761907) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:58PM (#23480240) Homepage
        The mac market share isn't 4%. That's a dumb number that's used to make Windows appear much more dominant.

        Compare Dell's unit sales to HP's unit sales to Apple's unit sales for a given segment and you'll find Apple in the top-5 for sure on any given month. In laptops, Apple is #1 per unit and dollar and has been for a really, really long time.

        Still, I doubt there's the expertise on /. for a legitimate discussion about anti-trust.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Animats (122034)

        How can a company with 4% of the market be bound by anti-trust laws?

        Read up on the Kodak [findlaw.com] case. Kodak tried to keep third-party maintenance firms from buying Kodak repair parts. The monopoly was defined as being in spare parts for Kodak copiers, not the entire copier market. That went to the Supreme Court, and Kodak lost.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Darth (29071)
          Read up on the Kodak case. Kodak tried to keep third-party maintenance firms from buying Kodak repair parts. The monopoly was defined as being in spare parts for Kodak copiers, not the entire copier market. That went to the Supreme Court, and Kodak lost.

          It seems to me that even in that kind of case, you'd have to define the market as operating systems that can run on intel machines. Even if you narrowed it to just the configuration that psystar is selling, that would still put windows as the dominant os for
    • Lose? Like hell. Apple can spend ten times more on lawyers than Psystar will make in a year. Even if they had a strong case, Apple could tie it up in court long enough to bankrupt them.
  • by ToasterTester (95180) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:20PM (#23479586)
    Buy doing nothing Apple isn't give any free press to this company. Companies like do are only looking for their fifteen minutes of fame. People who want Mac's will buy Mac and get a better deal once you factor in cost of OS X the clone isn't that good a deal. Down the road they will have trouble keeping up with updates and etc. In other words leave them alone and they will go back to being just another white box computer maker.
  • by Leomania (137289) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:26PM (#23479690) Homepage

    Mac clone maker Psystar

    This box is NOT a clone, it is a hackintosh [wikipedia.org]. Please refer to it as such, but not a clone. A true clone would have EFI firmware, not EFI emulation. It would require no hacks to install OS X, it would cleanly install and be recognized by the OS.

    I believe this would actually be a desirable system if it really were a clone... but with that fan noise problem and all, how many people would really want one?

    • by oahazmatt (868057)

      how many people would really want one?
      How many people have one? I've only seen one report of anyone receiving one, and that was a writer on a website.
      • by Leomania (137289)
        One of the Slashdot articles recently had a post from someone who said he had purchased one. Couldn't find that post again, tho.
    • by dedazo (737510)
      If it's cheaper and runs OS X, then why not? At least it saves you the trouble of hacking the box to install the operating system. Who cares about fan problems? Hell, I'll even put in better fans on my dime if I saved a thousand bucks on the thing to begin with. It would be fun to play with without forking over a month's salary over to Apple just for the shiny plastic cover.

      Then again, I thought this was some sort of scam? Didn't someone try to find their "headquarters" and figured out the address was a m

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Leomania (137289)

        If it's cheaper and runs OS X, then why not?

        I gots no problem with Psystar selling a hackintosh. My main nit is calling them clones, which not even Psystar itself is doing. But for $555 (base system plus Leopard), I think the loud system fans are worth taking into consideration, as well as the unknown status of updates going forward. Buying one of these is a gamble many of us would consider taking, as even if Psystar gets slapped down by Apple we'd still have a halfway decent PC that just needed a new OS; could probably trade the copy of Leopard fo

    • by zakezuke (229119)

      A true clone would have EFI firmware, not EFI emulation. It would require no hacks to install OS X, it would cleanly install and be recognized by the OS.

      This is where I am confused.

      IBM released the PC. Compaq cloned the bios, followed by everyone including your mother, mother's brother, neighbor, neighbor's dog. The rest of the PC was based on open specifications so poof, you have clones. Clones became the standard.

      Ok, now the 21st century. EFI was an intel invention, currently managed by the Unified EFI forum. Is apple's implantation of EFI is unique? If not, it wouldn't be a clone would it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:40PM (#23479940)
    Netkas, one of the hackers that basically made OSX86 possible, is not happy about how they've taken a community effort that was trying to stay away from the Apple hammer by not being involved with money. ON his blog netkas.org, he's updated the EFI bootloader license to be non-commercial...of course this would imply he'd have to reveal himself...
    • by Anpheus (908711)
      Too little, too late. If he gave blanket redistribution permission in the past, that's out in the wild. He can't retroactively change the permission he's given. That is why you or I can't attempt to un-GPL the Linux kernel by submitting vitally important code, waiting a few years until it's necessary to the smooth operation of the kernel, and then saying, nah, I take it back.
  • by mkaylor (1020395) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:45PM (#23480042)
    Just maybe Apple is allowing this to continue to test the waters for a PC version of OS/X
    • by kannibal_klown (531544) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:22PM (#23481696)

      Just maybe Apple is allowing this to continue to test the waters for a PC version of OS/X
      I doubt it.

      One of the main reasons Apples are stable is because the hardware they have to support comes from a very small bin. Heck, even with that they're not 100% bug free (google MBP keyboard issues).

      A lot of problems in Windows come from either poor drivers or low-quality components (which in turn often have old/poor drivers). For all of the flack we give MS, they do an alright job considering they have to support millions and millions of combinations of hardware.

      If next month they released a generic PC capable OSX it would be a disaster. Most of their problems would come from bargain-bin PCs from Joe Sixpack trying to run OSX on his $150 Walmart box.

      Linux has been dealing with this for a few years now, and though the community drivers are quite good, a lot of distros have problems with more "unique" or cruddy hardware.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ChrisA90278 (905188)
        So Windows is unstable because Microsoft has to support many different hardware configurations. Then what about Linux? Linux supports maaaaaybe 4 or 8 times more hardware than Windows. Maybe even 10 oe 20 times more. Yet Linux is more stable than Windows. No the reason Linux and Mac OS and Solaris and BSD and, well every other OS is more stable than Windows is because it has a more resonable design. The worst thing you can do in software design is make every part tightly couopled to every other part.
  • I am a bit stymied about why this company has not at least been served cease and desist papers. I can only suppose 1 of 2 things is going on here:

    1) Apple knows the EULA is non-binding, and doesn't want to mess with the negative press of trying to squish small startup guy. I find this hard to believe as they have had little problem with this tactic in the past.

    2) Steve didn't get the memo about psystar yet...Right.... this is even more unlikely, because if he had, there would be a crater where psy
  • Citing the relevant part of the OS X EULA [apple.com]:

    This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time.

    So ... the license restricts your use on Apple-labeled computers but says nothing of non-Apple-labeled computers. You can interpret this in two ways: Since it does not restrict you from using the Apple Software on non-Apple-labeled computers, you are thus limitless, or you can slap an Apple, Inc. sticker on your computer (or build your computer w

  • by imyy4u3 (1290108) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @02:59PM (#23480244)
    The funniest part of this whole thing is the guy who wrote the patch that allows Psystar to install Apple's OS X on their PC boxes is pissed because Psystar is using his "free software" to make tons of cash and they are not giving him any of the profit. What's ironic is the fact that he blatantly violated Apple's EULA, and is now surprised that Psystar is violating his EULA. LOL.
  • Apple can sue Psystar and seek to get legal enforcement to EULA that right now has the illusion of authority. If they lose, they null and void all the EULA's in existence. Sometimes the illusion is effective enough.

    Apple can make a deal with Psystar by liscensing the OS or buying out the company. That action will only encourage further cloning

    The more likely action is Apple will wait an see the impact on the hardware business while planning on instituting a technological barrier for 10.6. Right now, the

  • I was there in Cupertino in the early days. On my third day of employment I was called into Jobs's office. He was there, alone, in drag. He lifts up the blue skirt he was wearing, and BAM. Cilice.

    "You know what this means?" he asks me, twirling a faded Apple ][+ case badge in his hand. "Opus Dei. I have some friends I'd like you to meet."

    In walks Gates and Ballmer. Ballmer is in a Masonic apron and Gates says, "You know what Gates translates to in Aramaic? Bilderberger." L. Ron Hubbard (Jobs kept calling him honey-pie) then walks in with an Apple IIe prototype, or so it seems. Opens it up. Juice cans. Ballmer forces me down into the chair with a big meaty hand. In 3 hours, I'd gone clear. They had me in the basement of Novation for a few years with a chip puller, replacing perfectly fine commodity ICs with compromised chips made of pure evil. All of those g-philes about homemade bombs and manufacturing cocaine out of draino? No one in the BBS scene wrote them. They sprang forth onto boards in the middle of the night from those compromised ICs. The concept was to cause disruption and chaos in the suburbs. Why? They wouldn't tell me. But when I'd proven myself by not asking questions, they moved me up through the ranks. OS/2 Warp was mine. As was the scuttling of that product line when it didn't match this infernal cabal's machinations. But I've said too much already.

    NeXT? What you don't know is how many of those were sold to the Soviets. You don't see many of them anymore; most of them were made of an unstable polycarbonate which, when exposed to alcohol, denatures into something like sarin gas. But I'm not supposed to be telling you that. The Russians are well known for computing drunk. Vodka. NeXT cube. You know what happens next. How do you think we won the cold war? The NeXT cubes you might have seen are facsimiles. If you've seen one powered on, all you've seen is a hacked version of Windowmaker running on embedded Linux. Don't believe me? Fine, be a sheep.

    About a year ago Jobs calls me in. The Pope is there, as is Hubbard (who did not, in fact, expire in the California desert as the Church of Scientology would have you believe). Jobs says, "You know, people are fucking with my OS. I can't have that. Soon, we're going to see hackintoshes all over the god damned Pacific Rim. This is what you're going to do," he says to me. "We're going to start a shell company and we're going to build the worst goddamned hackintosh you can imagine. It should be loud enough to make all of the audio capabilities of the thing damn near useless. Crippled, but intriguing. That's your mantra. Fuck insanely great - the only mantra you have going forward is 'Crippled, but Intriguing.' I want you and my friends here to work it," and he motions behind me.

    Standing behind me are 14 original members of the Process Church - Processians, who you might remember from the Manson connection. God and Satan in league. Turns out Jobs was a double agent, working for both the Catholics and Processians. Which side he favored is unclear to this day. But we lit out for Florida in the early morning hours to pull off the Crippled but Intriguing thing.

    Jennifer Lopez, who, inexplicably was one of the "original Processians" but had somehow become age-resistant during a joint working of the Temple of Set and the OTO in 1979, says to me, "It is important that this fails. We want to sour the concept of the hackintosh in the mind of the public. It will put this issue to rest, once and for all."

    We then proceeded to discuss Enochian magick and grimoires and all the casual kinds of stuff you normally discuss with an electronics-savvy death cult in a 1979 Econoline van on the way to Florida, and so we got there and set up shop.

    I could be killed for posting this. But take it under advisement. There are dark fucking AEONIC FORCES behind this thing, and if you can figure out the kind of gematria Jobs is into, you'll figure out what Psystar *really* means (in A
  • by sentientbrendan (316150) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @09:42PM (#23486310)
    It's true that there's a lot of markup on apple hardware, especially the low end stuff. However, these guys are claiming that their hardware is *one fourth* the cost for a similar system, which is clearly not true.

    "One version of Psystar's Open Computer features Apple's Leopard OS X 10.5 operating system ported onto generic PC hardware that includes anIntel (NSDQ: INTC) Core2Duo processor at 2.66 GHz, a 250 GB hard drive, and an Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT graphics card.

    The system is priced at $804.99. A similar, Apple-branded computer could cost more than $2,000. "

    They are here comparing their core2due based system, to the mac pros which *8 core harpertown xeon* system with a 1600 mhz bus and 800 mhz memory. They aren't in the same class, the mac pros are heavy duty workstations, and what they are selling are dinky gaming boxes.

    The mac pro processor, straight from intel, costs *alone* more than these guys entire system. So the comparison isn't even close to valid.

    The truth is that apple's higher end stuff has maybe a 10 or 20% markup over what you could get form dell *with the same hardware*. People often look at the 2000 or 3000 dollar computers and think they are overpriced, but what they aren't taking into account is that apple tends to use very expensive components, like the 1600 mhz bus harpertowns (most expensive cpu on the market), 800 mhz ram, maybe a raid card so you can use SAS harddrives.

    The mid to low end systems and the laptops are actually the systems where you are really paying the apple tax; however, even there it's never a 5 times the cost of the competition like they are claiming.

    The main problem the lineup apple has is that it has a limited range of products. They have good options for the low end, and the very high end, but they don't have the cheap but upgradeable desktops that gamers like, and they don't offer a whole lot in the server market (they have *1* model of server).

    Really, since gaming on the mac sucks anyway, what I'd like to see is some kind of generic osx for servers, or at least a better darwin that's actually usable. That way, you could develop on real mac dev machines, and deploy to a darwin server.

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