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Mac Cloner Psystar Ships First Service Pack

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the cloe-wars dept.

Businesses 468

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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468 comments

Psystar? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23478976)

More like Pisstar.

Re:Psystar? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479078)

tar can already process streams just fine, there's no need for a fork.

Going for a shit (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479006)

On the subject of Apple (piece of shit), I'm confirming my need to go take a shit.

I will be back shortly with a complete report.

Re:Going for a shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479596)

Don't flush! I skipped lunch.

Typo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479034)

"from the cloe-wars dept."
-> clone

Good (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479052)

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?

These guys have balls (4, Funny)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479070)

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.

Re:These guys have balls (5, Insightful)

rekoil (168689) | more than 5 years ago | (#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...

... medium size ones..? (3, Interesting)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:These guys have balls (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479202)

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

Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479076)

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.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (4, Insightful)

yincrash (854885) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479504)

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.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (4, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480454)

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.
I really want to buy the MacBook Air for the beauty and quality of the hardware. I'd be apt to piss off the fanboys as I'd do all that I could to avoid using Leopard though. Gotta hand it to 'em, they make some damned pretty stuff.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479562)

You mean like a Mac Mini? I picked one up yesterday for $~670.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480112)

You mean like a Mac Mini? I picked one up yesterday for $~670.
Did you pick up a 8800GT to go with it? Did you figure out how to install your RME Hammerfall audio card in that Mac Mini yet?

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479774)

Why? Their most popular products are high-margin laptops that are not fundamentally different than the cheaper competition.

It's not about margins at all, it's about forcing locked-in ad agencies to buy overkill Mac Pros.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480536)

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:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (4, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479168)

The obvious comparison would be the iMac, as far as performance specs go.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479272)

The obvious comparison would be the iMac, as far as performance specs go.


Talk to me when the iMac uses all desktop components and has a replaceable video card.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (5, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480348)

Hmm, desktop hard drive? Check. Standard laptop RAM? Check. Ability to replace the video card? Technically, check. It can be replaced as it's a separate module. Upgrading...well, you'd have to have a lower-end card and find a service provider willing to order/install the better one for you. However, it's kind of a moot point. You know why? BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE DON'T GIVE A SHIT. Geeks need to get that through their obstinate skulls. The vast majority of the buying public doesn't give a shit about upgrading their video card. They just want a computer that works so they can check their email, do word processing, and organize their photos. Upgrade-happy geeks are a tiny sliver of the overall market.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479232)

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.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480532)

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.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (0, Redundant)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479248)

No,

for that price you can almost get a single quad core (go to the build page and remove on of the CPUs to save $500 and be left with $2300

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1)

CottonThePirate (769463) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479436)

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 component on USB. Not video cards I know, but honestly I don't play games on my mac, I've even *shudder* found the built in intel graphics to be more than sufficient for photo and video editing. I'm glad to see competition, this isn't the cheap good upgradeable Mac that we've been waiting for though. It's the not that cheap, not that good, upgradable Mac that may get it's support sued out of existence.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480006)

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. The fact that people are seriously interested in buying cheapo generic PCs at something close to Apple's markup to get an OS that doesn't suck in hardware that doesn't lock them in to forklift upgrades should be raising red flags at Apple. In the marketing department, not legal.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479728)

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.

It's a niche I'd like to scratch, sure... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479904)

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?

Re:It's a niche I'd like to scratch, sure... (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480018)

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.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480174)

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.

Re:Much as I hate to defend Apple's prices... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480272)

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 "budget" range.

Apple would have a hard time creating a budget mini-tower that competed with the offerings that the big box-shifters throw together each month from whatever components they have a surplus of - they don't have a big corporate market for economies of scale and they are more constrained in what components they can use. The nightmare scenario is that a "cheap" Apple would still be too expensive to lure the penny-pinchers away from Dell and Walmart, but would decimate sales of the high-end, high-margin systems to existing Apple users.

Once Again... (2, Interesting)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Once Again... (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479278)

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.

Bet ten to one (4, Funny)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479108)

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.

Re:Bet ten to one (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479266)

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:Bet ten to one (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479446)

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 (5, Insightful)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Bet ten to one (5, Funny)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480158)

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

Re:Bet ten to one (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480280)

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.

Re:Bet ten to one (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480296)

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:Bet ten to one (2, Interesting)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480396)

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? (3, Interesting)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Slow News Day? (2, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479364)

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? (5, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479768)

And there is value in style and a nice interface.

Re:Slow News Day? (1, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479878)

"There is perceived value in style and a nice interface". There I fixed that for you.

Re:Slow News Day? (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480082)

There is as much "perceived value" in style and interface as there is "perceived value" in genuine performance. A computer is a tool to do something, and for the vast majority of users not running servers, the interface contributes to the tool's usefulness as much as teh megahurtz.

Having used some truly horrible interfaces in my time, and having seen the real productivity improvements that come with superior design, I assign a pretty high value to usability. Just look at any recent Motorola phone *shudder*.

Re:Slow News Day? (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479870)

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.

Re:Slow News Day? (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479922)

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.

Re:Slow News Day? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480128)

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).

Re:Slow News Day? (1, Flamebait)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480298)

yah? big deal, Dell is shit too.... i can go to tigerdirect.com or a million other suppliers and put together a machine that will pee all over the mac pro.... and not only cost CONSIDERABLY less, but be upgradable to a degree that macs never CAN be.... because apple engineers and coders are too dumb to figure out how to get "their" (stolen from debian) software to work with every random piece of hardware joe schmoe decides to put in his box.... no, instead they make the hardware and they write the software to work with that set of hardware specifically... and then their marketting team comes in and points to the non-mac x86 market machines' biggest advantage as it's biggest flaw.... and brainless mindless sheep will still flock to apple because they make a laptop that uses a magnet to stay closed rather than a latch... ooo ahhh.... much like the political parties in this country apple is nothing but style over substance. FYI, i own an iBook and 6 "PCs" (who said macs aren't PCs? jobs needs a dictionary)

Refresh is not working for me.. (4, Funny)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? :-)

Re:Slow News Day? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479742)

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 expensive then others.

Re:Slow News Day? (2, Insightful)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479808)

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 thank slashdot for letting me write down my opinion.

InfoWeek didn't even interview anyone at the company nor any actual users, they just based this entire article on a small website update.

Re:Slow News Day? (4, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Slow News Day? (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480146)

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? (4, Insightful)

meadowsoft (831583) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479550)

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.

Re:Slow News Day? (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480470)

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... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Time Machine... (0, Troll)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479210)

Being in the "Community" Time Machine issues exist with most network cards... as well as issues with AFP / Bonjour. These are fixed by patching IONetworkingFamily.kext So it's not like they are FIXING apple's mistakes. They are fixing inherent issues with Hackintoshes that they should have fixed in the first place. It does nothing more the show, how this company continues to be hasty, and will doom us all ;\

Apple doesn't dare sue them (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479328)

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:Apple doesn't dare sue them (-1, Flamebait)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479506)

Uhh... and how would Mac owners upgrade to the latest OS? Download how many gigabytes of files that make up Leopard?? Oh yeah... I got hours to sit around and wait for that to complete.

Think before you post.

Re:Apple doesn't dare sue them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479670)

The OS disk would come with the purchase of the hardware, then all box software would be upgrades, dependent upon the older OS already being installed.

It's a really dumb idea.

Re:Apple doesn't dare sue them (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479676)

They would likely sell the upgrade only, not a full new copy of the OS.

The computer already comes with the OS disks that were current when you bought it. Why, since the death of OS 9, would you even NEED a full new set of install disks if you were a "legitimate" Mac owner?

Alternatively, if you have damaged oem disks, they might let you trade them in a full copy of the same version -- you'd still have to buy the upgrade though.

That would enable them to kill off the clone market without inhibiting "legitimate" users.

Re:Apple doesn't dare sue them (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479796)

Uhh...and how do you get Linux these days? Personally I just downloaded CentOS 5.1 - a whopping 3.58 GB in about 45 minutes. Oh yeah...I got hours of free time now that I'm not downloading. Welcome to the 21st Century.

Think before you post.

Re:Apple doesn't dare sue them (3, Informative)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479830)

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.

Uhh... and how would Mac owners upgrade to the latest OS? Download how many gigabytes of files that make up Leopard?? Oh yeah... I got hours to sit around and wait for that to complete.

Think before you post.

Same way countless other software companies have done, by shipping an "Upgrade Only" version that requires you to have a legitimate install before upgrading.

Think before you post.

Re:Apple doesn't dare sue them (1)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480218)

gee... sudo apt-get upgrade one little command line, and i don't even have to quit everything i'm doing for it to work..... does it all in the background while i do what i gotta do..... if it's taking you hours, get off the dial-up and join the 21st century Black-Man-slowsky

Re:Apple doesn't dare sue them (2, Interesting)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479792)

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 was their right?

Plus, this bunch are re-distributing the software in a "new binding" (i.e. on a shiny new Psystar computer rather than an Apple CD) so I doubt they would have the same potential "one sided contract/first sale" defenses against a EULA as a regular punter might.

Re:Apple doesn't dare sue them (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479926)

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 (5, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480240)

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:Apple doesn't dare sue them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23480074)

Microsoft already does this.

They get away with it because they have both the democratic and republican parties in thier pocket.

Most corporations do, that is how they get away with ripping people off.

The only exception to this are corporations that flaunt it. Such as Enron for example. The "club" doesn't mind if you rip people off, just do not anger the masses when you do it or they will throw you to the wolves.

There are dozens of articles of Microsoft tying products that violate REAMS of anti trust laws.

I am not citing the examples because unless you have been living under a rock, you know what I am talking about. Especially if you live in Europe.

-Hack

Re:Apple doesn't dare sue them (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480372)

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.

Muhaha (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479432)

My Hackintosh supports software updates from Apple.

Isn't it possible for them to install PC EFI? They're an integrator, they could buy EFI boards.

no sorry, my bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23479554)

this all started cause I dared stevie to change his mind about pardoning all the apple // hackers

Apple doing nothing is best response (4, Interesting)

ToasterTester (95180) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Please stop calling it a clone! (5, Interesting)

Leomania (137289) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479690)

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?

Re:Please stop calling it a clone! (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479790)

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.

Re:Please stop calling it a clone! (1)

Leomania (137289) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480186)

One of the Slashdot articles recently had a post from someone who said he had purchased one. Couldn't find that post again, tho.

Re:Please stop calling it a clone! (1)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480274)

Ok, I've seen a couple of posts like this, so I'll post what I know.

Given the admittedly sketchy source of random (but not anonymous) people posting to forums, I've seen about a dozen or so posts from people indicating that they have received their Psystar hackintosh. These forums are primarily on MacRumors, Dailytech, and here on Slashdot.

Re:Please stop calling it a clone! (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480456)

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 meat packing plant* or something like that?

* [insert joke here]

Psystar speaks for itself (1)

amasiancrasian (1132031) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479700)

There is nothing in this machine that makes it stand out; there is very little value and very little credibility to this company. Aside from the various violations in copyright law and End-User License Agreement made, this company fails to show how it is any cheaper or better than the Apple standard configurations.

I think this is good publicity for Apple, because it shows that its computers are priced very competitively for the features it offers. People have pointed out a Dell laptop or desktop with all of the same features as an iMac, MacBook, or MacBook Pro, in general is the same price or priced higher by just a $100 margin. Take into consideration the price of Windows Vista Ultimate, you might actually come out better with a Mac.

Re:Psystar speaks for itself (1)

amasiancrasian (1132031) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479900)

I also want to add that most Macs offer an integrated experience. Lower-end Macs are notoriously difficult to customize, but they do offer a seamless experience and offer a top-of-the-line product that most manufacturers are unable to match.

Genius Bar support is fantastic. If you've just bought a new computer, they'll personally setup your computer and migrate the files for you. They'll order and replace most parts for you. The Genius Bar replaced my motherboard (in Apple speak, it is "Logic Board") and turned it around in one day. Can Psystar match that?

Also, what about the quality of the machine? When large companies such as Dell can't even control the quality of machines that well, what can we expect from a company like Psystar? Apple machines have been well-noted, except in the production of a minority of machines, to be quiet. I have an Early-2008 MacBook Pro Penryn, and it is the quietest machines I've bought to date. I can barely hear the fan, much less hear the hard drive seeking.

As this article points out, Psystar will continue to need hacks to get the updates working. We also don't know anything about the drivers or parts that OS X supports. Is this a machine that can perform?

So the question you need to ask yourself is, is it really worth saving a $100 for no Genius Bar support, more hacks to get the system working, a perhaps noisier system with cheaper parts? People need to understand that Macs offer an integrated experience. Apple is not selling the software or hardware separate; it's selling an experience.

Apple doesn't have to be the one... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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...

Re:Apple doesn't have to be the one... (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480364)

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.

[OT] Redundant summary (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#23479944)

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.

A little less redundancy, please.

Maybe Apple Wants This To Happen (5, Insightful)

mkaylor (1020395) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480042)

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

Given the historical ferocity of Apple Legal .... (2, Funny)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480080)

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 psystar hq used to be by now.

Who knows - maybe Steve is finally going soft....

Re:Given the historical ferocity of Apple Legal .. (1)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480406)

I am a bit stymied about why this company has not at least been served cease and desist papers.
I don't think that word means what you think it means... Stymied means stuck, unable to make progress. I think you meant something along the lines of bewildered or maybe astonished.

Anyway, I concur with being a bit surprised that Apple hasn't nuked these guys yet. I suspect they are trying to figure out exactly what to do before firing the first shots, so as not to accidentally invalidate their EULA in the process.

OS X EULA text, interpretation (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480228)

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 within an Apple-labeled tower) and use the software on it (you know how EULAs always go to such extreme measures to define each term? "Apple-labeled computer" isn't defined!).

Oh, the irony... (5, Funny)

imyy4u3 (1290108) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

One of three things can happen (1, Interesting)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 5 years ago | (#23480510)

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, these guys are selling systems that are not competing in Apple's price point nor are those can Psystar competing on quality. Also, Apple's hardware sales are higher than they ever been. Moreover, Apple isn't responsible to support the clones or the OS but still gets revenue from the sale of the OS. Eventually these guys will start to cut into Apple's computers business, however, it will probably happen right around 10.6 release.

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