: Psystar OpenMac a Scam?


kb244
Apr 21st, 2008, 12:48 AM
Psystar mystery adds up to phishing scam | ZDNet Government | ZDNet.com (http://government.zdnet.com/?p=3761)

For some who didn't already know there were talks about a company called Psystar making computers preinstalled with OSX Leopard and such for 399$

However its sounding more and more like a scam.


Conclusion: Psystar is collecting credit cards numbers, encouraging that people send them email, and engaging in spyware. It’s a phishing/credit-card scam. If you gave them your credit card number you should alert your bank. You might want to contact the FL Attorney General. I contacted them and they said to date they have no complaints about Psystar or Pedraza.

fjnmusic
Apr 21st, 2008, 02:25 AM
Why am I not surprised? Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. Psystar…Apple? Psystar…Apple? Now, let's see…where would I like to spend my money? But a $400 Mac-like computer is such a good deal!

9780
Apr 21st, 2008, 05:28 AM
I'm with Mr Spock.. er.. fjnmusic on this one. My scam detector went on full alert as soon as I even saw the first mention of it. And I could only watch in awe (and pity) as people proudly announced that they ordered some! I hope for their sake they can get out of this without losing anything.

Patrix

chas_m
Apr 21st, 2008, 06:28 AM
Yes, it's a scam. Next question?

gwillikers
Apr 21st, 2008, 06:35 AM
Perhaps "hoax" is even a better term.

guytoronto
Apr 21st, 2008, 08:03 AM
Or, it could be neither a hoax or a scam, and COULD be a couple guys running a basement computer shop trying something different.

mikelc2
Apr 21st, 2008, 09:28 AM
Or, it could be neither a hoax or a scam, and COULD be a couple guys running a basement computer shop trying something different.

Hehe yeah, lets have a little faith before we jump the gun on this.

If it does end up being a scam, customers will have NO problem getting their money back.

zmttoxics
Apr 21st, 2008, 09:42 AM
I have been avoiding responding to these forums as of late to keep my blood pressure down as it seems the ignorance level is on the rise...

Since someone who's opinion always seems to agree with mine (guytoronto) has replied with yet another smart answer, I will offer in my opinion too.

Mac clones have been around for ever. My Dad used to own a Mac IIc ORANGE clone that was actually better then a IIc as the Orange one had 2 cpus in it (through selection, not synchronization)! Macintosh clone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_clone)

As for the legal side, I know its illegal to run OSX on a non apple branded computer. But there's a loop in there some where I am sure. Something to do with they are selling a computer with an opensource firmware, and on the side they sell legit copies of Leopard, which happen to work on said computer. ;)

I know I'm naive in thinking that it will be ok, but I am dying for a 400 dollar Mac :D.

cap10subtext
Apr 21st, 2008, 10:12 AM
I know I'm naive in thinking that it will be ok, but I am dying for a 400 dollar Mac :D.

As far as gambling goes, this is the flush your money down the toilet type. If the parts alone would cost you way more than $400 to build it yourself I think you can safely assume it's too good to be true (after all they have to make a profit right?). Then there's the possibility that you'll never be able to upgrade again unless Psystar's as of yet non-existent lawyers beat Apple at their own game.

Guy Toronto is right, but that doesn't change the fact that there may be a lot of customers who never receive the goods once the lawsuits start flying.

Then again, not like what I say matters... People love to gamble. Our economy is built on it.

SoyMac
Apr 21st, 2008, 11:07 AM
.. I am dying for a 400 dollar Mac :D.
You are not alone, and that's why this scam will work so swiftly and successfully.

Here's something to think about before you send your money and then wait by the mailbox;

(Gleaned from : Psystar mystery adds up to phishing scam (http://government.zdnet.com/?p=3761) )

This Psystar "company" has changed its land address on its website, 4 times in 5 days.

Psystar does not have cc processing. Visa cancelled their merchant account for contract violations, BUT Psystar is collecting credit card numbers from people ordering the vapourware machine

Floridatek.com (Psystar's website) is loaded with .exe files you're supposed to save.

They started taking orders in March. They did not issue a press release. They have not referred any reporters to lawyers. They are taking credit cards #s with no way to process. They are pointing people to PayPal right now.

They are taking orders with no apparent way to produce the machines.
If they operate out of their homes, or some small shop, how are they going to produce all the machines? Do they have a fab in China? They have not said. Do they build them themselves? And customized at that. With whatever OS you want? How long does that take? one guy one day? half a day?
How long do you figure it will take them to build your machine?

On top of this, a bit of research has found a link between Psystar and the
"RazorFX" scam.
Razor was just recently indicted
of securities fraud to the tune of $68m USD (http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-11155-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=46724&messageID=867719&start=-9927)

Please read Richard Koman's blog (http://government.zdnet.com/?p=3761), and especially the talk-backs following.
People are debating the merits and the fishy smell of the Psystar story
Some very interesting information about Psystar is surfacing.

fjnmusic
Apr 21st, 2008, 11:31 AM
I know I'm naive in thinking that it will be ok, but I am dying for a 400 dollar Mac :D.

"If you build it, they will come." - WP Kinsella

or another variation:

"There's one born every minute." - PT Barnum

Everybody want a deal. Be careful not to let your frugality cloud your better judgement. - me

zmttoxics
Apr 21st, 2008, 11:53 AM
Oh, don't get me wrong. I should have stated that I would be waiting for a final verdict, I never jump first.

Kosh
Apr 22nd, 2008, 12:26 PM
Although I personally thought this company was a scam, I just saw an article which seems to say otherwise (although, I'm not sure if it changes my mind on the subject).

Macworld | Psystar office exists, but not yet open to the public (http://www.macworld.com/article/133087/2008/04/psystar.html)

I guess we'll eventually see if it's real or not, but I certainly wouldn't be dealing with them until they have proven themselves.

zmttoxics
Apr 22nd, 2008, 12:42 PM
Well, fingers crossed it lives long enough that I can get my hands on the EFI modded systems.

If only I had instructions to do so my self, I would sell them too! :D

smashedbanana
Apr 22nd, 2008, 03:21 PM
Whatever it is you can do it yourself and have been able to for awhile. The MacOSx86 project has awseome documentation, forums, and while.


Ed

kb244
Apr 22nd, 2008, 10:50 PM
Whatever it is you can do it yourself and have been able to for awhile. The MacOSx86 project has awseome documentation, forums, and while.


Ed


But I imagine most DIY-fers are not usualy the target of these scams (if they are indeed scams), but rather the people who would rather pay someone else to have it already built.

zmttoxics
Apr 22nd, 2008, 10:54 PM
I am a doit your selfer, and I have played with OSx86. But the problem is, OSx86 has many acts to act as a temporary EFI bypass for the os almost (im not even sure how it works). But the EFI system on these Open PCs is actually written by someone else as a full EFI system which allows for real osx installation - by the looks of it.

We wont know until someone mans up and buys one :D.

kb244
Apr 22nd, 2008, 11:02 PM
I am a doit your selfer, and I have played with OSx86. But the problem is, OSx86 has many acts to act as a temporary EFI bypass for the os almost (im not even sure how it works). But the EFI system on these Open PCs is actually written by someone else as a full EFI system which allows for real osx installation - by the looks of it.

We wont know until someone mans up and buys one :D.

Well actually you should look into the Kallaway DVD, pretty much only need to setup the hardware and install.

In my own opinion, if you've purchased the OS, theres no reason why I shouldn't be able to load it onto a machine I want... just don't expect to receive technical support from them.

Far as the 'mans up and buys one' I heard there been orders, but nothing has shipped yet. However I haven't heard of a direct account (ie: actually seeing someone directly tell me they order, and/or received one). Hard enough actually getting the company to even show a real machine to the press upon inquiry.

zmttoxics
Apr 22nd, 2008, 11:12 PM
Yup, and like I said: Fingers crossed. :D

kb244
Apr 22nd, 2008, 11:15 PM
Yup, and like I said: Fingers crossed. :D

IF (and thats a big IF) they are for real, for the budget people let us hope Apple doesn't file an injunction on them so they can't even ship the first box.

(Cuz lord knows there are some people who don't really need a machine to do much at all, but they could destroy a windows box by sheer ignorance, and yet still claim "I didn't do anything to it, it just did it").

Kosh
Apr 23rd, 2008, 04:38 PM
IF (and thats a big IF) they are for real, for the budget people let us hope Apple doesn't file an injunction on them so they can't even ship the first box.



Apple will likely send a cease and desist order if they actually do start shipping.

As well, there can be alot of bad things for Mac Users, if Psystar were to succeed in fending off Apple, as Apple could:

- lose money to them which in turn may require Apple to raise prices on MacOS X
- put further protection in MacOS X to prevent pirate MacOS X. Apple has been rather relaxed on protection.

kb244
Apr 23rd, 2008, 07:52 PM
Apple will likely send a cease and desist order if they actually do start shipping.

As well, there can be alot of bad things for Mac Users, if Psystar were to succeed in fending off Apple, as Apple could:

- lose money to them which in turn may require Apple to raise prices on MacOS X
- put further protection in MacOS X to prevent pirate MacOS X. Apple has been rather relaxed on protection.

Now I might be uninformed in this area, but I think you might be right about the software prices. Apple has been rather relaxed and dare I say cheap in price on most of the common software packages. But I feel this because they are more a hardware company than anything, they built OSX specifically for their hardware and will not allow a license for resale or distribution to any other company that would try to put it on non apple labeled hardware. Because as long as they're selling machines they could be pretty relaxed on the software side.

I certainly wouldn't want to see OSX go the route of XP/Vista with the activation, product keys, "Geniune Advantage" plugins, and restrictions to updates and so forth.

zmttoxics
Apr 23rd, 2008, 08:32 PM
Now I might be uninformed in this area, but I think you might be right about the software prices. Apple has been rather relaxed and dare I say cheap in price on most of the common software packages. But I feel this because they are more a hardware company than anything, they built OSX specifically for their hardware and will not allow a license for resale or distribution to any other company that would try to put it on non apple labeled hardware. Because as long as they're selling machines they could be pretty relaxed on the software side.

I certainly wouldn't want to see OSX go the route of XP/Vista with the activation, product keys, "Geniune Advantage" plugins, and restrictions to updates and so forth.

Thats not entirely true. I think I posted a link to it earlier, but here it is again:
Macintosh clone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_clone)

Theres a section on Offical Mac clones in there. At one point Apple made it legal for third party computers (I think it may have been just Motorolla, I am not sure) to make legal Mac Clones. Steve Jobs is the one that canned it. But really there have been clones since the beginning of macs.

I can only hope they make a come back with out too many legal problems, as I think everyone should be able to afford the opportunity to use OS X.

EvanPitts
Apr 23rd, 2008, 08:48 PM
...they built OSX specifically for their hardware and will not allow a license for resale or distribution to any other company that would try to put it on non apple labeled hardware.

However, one can run FreeBSD, which is a very similar system that only really lacks the Aqua interface. I think that Apple really does not want to get into the mess that the Evil Empire finds itself in. Apple controls the hardware, and hence, can produce an OS that has a monolithic kernel. M$, on the other hand, clings to a monolithic kernel even though they have to support a divergent set of hardware, quite often poorly designed or bug ridden hardware. M$ could take a similar path that Linux took, by abandoning the monolithic kernel in favour of a compiled/built kernel that is tailored to each individual system. But then, they would actually have to open up their source code, and then all of the hackers and programmers could proceed directly to the barf stage when they look at that mickey moused code...

I think Apple could open up their system, and actually produce OSX to run on pretty much any machine. The ingredients are there: a C based OS that is portable (a la the old OpenDarwin system), and an OS that observes OSI and is less dependent upon the hardware (ie. it can handle not only PPC, but Intel and ARM based systems). But I don't think they want to intrude upon the Evil Empire - better to watch the Vista blood letting, and scoop up those people that have blown one too many fuses from data loss, BSOD and viruses...

I certainly wouldn't want to see OSX go the route of XP/Vista with the activation, product keys, "Geniune Advantage" plugins, and restrictions to updates and so forth.

Since OSX is built on the MACH kernel, which is in turn derived from BSD, I don't think the Regents of the University of California would take too kindly so such things. Apple sees the advantages of their position - being part of the Open Source community, and thus, can take advantage to the ever expanding selection of programs of the community so that they do not have to build every program themselves. If you compare OSX to the product of the Evil Empire, well, one can see the advantages of openness in optimizing and making a system actually functional.

But now is not the time, because Apple makes some money on computers - but makes even more money on devices like iPods (which are a market leader) and iPhones (which have come on strong). M$ has the XBox 360 with the red light of death, and an OS that even their own executives have been complaining about. And it is so bad that Bill Gates pretty much doesn't go into the office too much, he'd rather hang out with Malaria and AIDS, than to hang out with Ballmer...

kb244
Apr 23rd, 2008, 10:36 PM
Thats not entirely true. I think I posted a link to it earlier, but here it is again:
Macintosh clone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_clone)

Theres a section on Offical Mac clones in there. At one point Apple made it legal for third party computers (I think it may have been just Motorolla, I am not sure) to make legal Mac Clones. Steve Jobs is the one that canned it. But really there have been clones since the beginning of macs.

I can only hope they make a come back with out too many legal problems, as I think everyone should be able to afford the opportunity to use OS X.

I'm aware that at one point of time they allowed license to "Power Computing" to sell machines with Mac OS (round the time of OS 8). But in 1997 or so they purchased back that license and since then no other company was given a license to build or distribute machines for/with MacOS.

But I was pretty much speaking in the now, not what is considered prehistoric time period by the internet's standard.

edit That wiki article seems to fail to mention one of the successful emulators (prior to apple buying them out and shutting them down), named Ardis originally started out as a System 6.5.* emulator (they had to write their own drivers and 'finder' bar as not to be sued by apple for using apple produced components), and it actually worked quite well for the programs compatible, I used it quite regularly booted form DOS. Soon as they released a stable version that would support System 7.5 is about the time apple bought them out.

kb244
Apr 23rd, 2008, 10:46 PM
But now is not the time, because Apple makes some money on computers - but makes even more money on devices like iPods (which are a market leader) and iPhones (which have come on strong). M$ has the XBox 360 with the red light of death, and an OS that even their own executives have been complaining about. And it is so bad that Bill Gates pretty much doesn't go into the office too much, he'd rather hang out with Malaria and AIDS, than to hang out with Ballmer...

Hehe, Well I'm quite familiar with the Evil Empire's flavor of CrashApps (since Windows 2.0 EGA) And I regularly use XP Pro (sometimes vista on the neighbors machine if they have a 'problem'), as well as a (legit) copy of XP running in Vmware on my macbook that I pretty much hacked to death to turn everything off I didn't want and to boot like no one's business Which I primarily use for IE7 testing of web design, and to run certain appz or task that god forbid I can't do on OS X.

Windows is basically a virtual machine (ever get those VM_ driver errors on the blue screen of death?) The Idea was that they would write the core of the OS to run the same regardless of the hardware it was on, there would be VxD drivers written for specific hardware actions to act as the translators between the virtual machine and the other machine. Least thats how it's been since Windows 9x/NT. It's a novel approach to cover as much hardware as possible, but of course lazy situations or corner cutting (by either Mfr or M$ themselves) could cause quite a bit of instability.

I do have two iPods which I don't use much (30GB video, 15G third gen), and I do own an XBox 360 hehe. I haven't really had much of a problem with the xbox, just more or less a closed system when it comes to the media side of it (but I got around that using the file based sharing and just loading up whatever off my desktop PC, but even then it must be a PC with XP or Vista)

So yea quite familiar with the way the Evil Empire does things, just not quite as familiar with Apple, I used to own a G4/733 with one of the first release of OSX back in 2002 (hence my original membership here). So I knew of it being FreeBSD based (despite Apple sticking the big steel "UNIX" badge up, guess they didn't want to get too specific). However despite all that I'm sure that when push comes to shove, Apple will do what will keep Apple alive or least profitable. I already feel like they have cut some corners in terms of components but make up with it by design and feel.

It's probably not profitable for Apple to allow MacClones at this point of time. But I'm not against the whole Hackintosh idea if its a DIY type of approach.

HJS
Apr 24th, 2008, 08:45 AM
The barbarians are at the gate, can Dell be far behind??? ;)

They've been wanting to license OSX for some time, from what I've gathered from Interweb chatter...

chas_m
Apr 24th, 2008, 09:49 AM
However, one can run FreeBSD, which is a very similar system that only really lacks the Aqua interface.

This is akin to saying "you could just strap two bicycles together and call it a convertible. After all, it has four wheels, two seats and the wind in your hair. It's only lacking the 'automobile' interface."

M$ could take a similar path that Linux took, by abandoning the monolithic kernel in favour of a compiled/built kernel that is tailored to each individual system.

They have sorta/kinda done this with all the different "versions" of XP and Vista over the years, but not to the extent you're talking about.

I think Apple could open up their system, and actually produce OSX to run on pretty much any machine.

Um, I think this has already been demonstrated. Legal versions of OS X already run on Intel, PPC and ARM processors, and lightly hacked versions run on AMD. It's pretty obvious that the codebase is flexible enough to go on any chipset.

As for the rest of your post ... I tried, really I did ... but I have no idea what you're on about there.

SoyMac
Apr 24th, 2008, 10:51 AM
I just figured it out!

This whole "Cheap, Fake-Apple" discussion (in many threads on myriad discussion groups) reminds me of the kit cars briefly popular in the '70s.
Everyone wanted an expensive sports car. Few could afford one.

Manufacturers produced kits whereby one could take the frame of a (then) cheap VW, and bolt on a sleek-looking, replica sports car body.

These cars fooled passersby, but anyone who looked closely saw in less than a minute that it was a fake.

Of course, there were mechanical issues that went along with the kit cars, and with their quickly fading novelty, they soon went out of fashion.

zmttoxics
Apr 24th, 2008, 11:06 AM
Ya, I just want a cheap stable osx platform, osx86 hacks arent too stable from what I have seen.

The mini is cheap, but still too much for what your getting IMHO.

zmttoxics
Apr 25th, 2008, 07:07 AM
Heres a video of them in action:

Macenstein | Video proof of Bigfoot er… Psystar’s Open Computer running Mac OS X (http://macenstein.com/default/archives/1310)

Fingers are still crossed. :D

chas_m
Apr 25th, 2008, 07:25 AM
I notice how incredibly careful they are not to shoot below the table level ... and that they have a grand total of three machines (which they've named!).

Also, the bs about "other employees" when they have not yet sold a single computer ...

Well, to you fools with money ... you'll soon be parted from it!

hayesk
Apr 25th, 2008, 09:51 AM
Theres a section on Offical Mac clones in there. At one point Apple made it legal for third party computers (I think it may have been just Motorolla, I am not sure) to make legal Mac Clones.

No, it was Motorola, UMAX, PowerComputing, Daystar, and another I can not remember. PowerComputing had the best Mac clones by far.

In the early 90s you could buy Outbound Mac Laptops, but that was a grey area since they just took MacPlus motherboards and fit them into laptop cases. Similar in legality to the ModBook today.

zmttoxics
Apr 25th, 2008, 11:41 AM
No, it was Motorola, UMAX, PowerComputing, Daystar, and another I can not remember. PowerComputing had the best Mac clones by far.

In the early 90s you could buy Outbound Mac Laptops, but that was a grey area since they just took MacPlus motherboards and fit them into laptop cases. Similar in legality to the ModBook today.

Ya, I thought it was more, which is why I said I wasn't sure.

kb244
Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:24 AM
I notice how incredibly careful they are not to shoot below the table level ... and that they have a grand total of three machines (which they've named!).



Does make you wonder if a Mac Pro sitting on the floor doesn't it?

fyrefly
Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:46 PM
But cNet, MacWorld and Engadget and such have reviewed the Psystar - is there still claims about it being a hoax???

zmttoxics
Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:51 PM
Ya, definitely real. About as legit as an legitimate company can be.

EvanPitts
Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:25 PM
But cNet, MacWorld and Engadget and such have reviewed the Psystar - is there still claims about it being a hoax???

The Psystar machines actually do exist. I think that when they first advertised, people really thought it was a money robbing scam - pay for a machine that you would never get, and the company goes poof before the credit card people can do anything about it.

However, the OpenComputer is still not a good idea. You can not update the machine through Apple, the software update feature will simply fail. So one is entirely dependent upon Psystar's hacks for any updates. Of course, one can use the OS86 / Hackintosh releases, and again, they are not legitimate released.

For a hardware hacker kind of person, the Psystar may be a reasonable deal because it is a system that is known to work with OS86, thus removing many steps of trying to find the appropriate hardware that can be hacked to run OSX.

But for a regular user, or a user that needs ultimate reliability, or a user that is not a hacker, or a user that needs it for actual business or work, it simply is not a very good idea. The money saved at the front end only gets one inferior equipment that may or may not run in the future, and only then with a significant level of hacking.

And then there are practical costs, that even though the sticker price looks appealing, once you add all of the things that you would want to make a "real Apple" style system, the margin is pretty much busted. Plus, any warranty work will involve shipping the unit back to Florida, and is only covered if this company manages to survive; while AppleCare will handle all of the issues in a more convenient manner (at least for those people in a metro area).

So it is not a hoax - but it is also not a good idea (unless one is wont of a hackish style machine).

kb244
Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:30 PM
So it is not a hoax - but it is also not a good idea (unless one is wont of a hackish style machine).

Well probably not for the mainstream anyways, seeing as they were even advertising ubuntu on the open machine, its somewhat apparent they're targeting a niche market, those who want the software capabilities, but don't want to bother with having the preconfigured hardware for the price.

The problem in this matter is how are they going to manage to get past apple's lawyers on preinstalling and supplying OSX on those machines. Even if they've passed the cost of the OS to the customer, it still violates both the end user agreement as well as any dealer/reseller agreement if they have one. As we already know, software is not sold, it's licensed.

spitfire1945
Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:18 PM
I would love to try this thing. I haven't read much about it but given the history of the marriage between Apple Hardware and Software this seems very interesting and worth the shot.