Psystar: I smell a rat (updated)

Psystar: I smell a rat (updated)

Summary: Yesterday The Guardian did some ol' fashioned gum shoeing to find out more about the elusive yet seductive Psystar – the purported Mac cloner that many have been following. They found out that Psystar changed their address from what appeared to be an average row of suburban houses to a second address that "looks far more office-y, or at least industrial.

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Yesterday The Guardian did some ol' fashioned gum shoeing to find out more about the elusive yet seductive Psystar – the purported Mac cloner that many have been following. They found out that Psystar changed their address from what appeared to be an average row of suburban houses to a second address that "looks far more office-y, or at least industrial."

Well today Gizmodo's crack team of readers descended on both addresses and submitted photos of the locations for review. The photos confirm that the first location is "indeed a residential address. It's a one story house with a truck and sedan out front." The second " a packing supply company called "USA KOEN PACK.""

Then Psystar changed addresses again from 10481 to 10471 NW 28th Street. Ok, maybe that last address change was a typo? But today there's a strange note on their Web site after you try to place an order, stating:

Thank you for visiting Psystar. We're sorry but the store is temporarily down due to the fact that we are currently unable to process any credit card transactions.

I don't know about you but I smell a rat and it smells like Psystar.

You can follow the unending drama in the comments on Gizmodo and Digg.

Update: Tom's Hardware has a brief interview with Psystar president Rudy Pedraza. In it he laughs about the whole thing, while still claiming it's legit. Opinion: steer clear from this company until we see a shipping box.

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24 comments
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  • PsyStar : Only the front-end

    I think that the tree doesn?t let you see the forest. Who cares about PsyStar itself? For all that matters they might just be a guy with a notebook at a Coffee table, close by the window. The real problem (the BIG one) is that "somewhere in China", "somebody" who [b]does[/b] have a factory decided it would be great to clone an Apple and sell it in the U.S. Even if you destroy PsyStar, anybody else can (willingly) replace them. He?ll just have to take orders, collect, and get the stuff shipped. He doesn?t even need a warehouse or see a container at all. Welcome to globalization. JMFahey
    JMFahey
    • Make Apple Compete

      I think you're reading it wrong. Competition in the Mac Market is not a problem at all. If Apple's strategy of creating the whole package is authentic, then let them compete in the Mac OS X market. Let them compete against other manufacturers. If their premise of "the complete package" is valid they will win. If not, they may have to do some real competition and offer affordable prices.

      It's funny how Mac Koolaid? drinkers want to laugh at Microsoft for not making their OS pretty and simple. Well, Windows? computers are affordable for everyone. But suggest that Apple compete so everyone can afford to use Mac OSX and the Koolaid? drinkers get upset.
      JumBoBoB
      • It's about value my friend...

        You obviously think Mac's are over priced and that is an
        opinion based on your values. I don't think they are over
        priced and that is when comparing them to other vendors.
        I find OSX a better value than Windows. I find the bundled
        software such as iLife better than what I find on PC's. I
        have over the years found my Mac are productive much
        longer than PC that I have worked with. I find the interface
        and thought behind the Mac and it's OS makes me more
        productive than a similarly priced PC and it's OS. There is
        no kool aide needed thank you. Just working with both
        over many many years....

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
        • Could be good to lower prices

          Problem is most people share that opinion that Apple is too expensive. Now if you have only the price keeping people from using Apple products then maybe it's time to lower prices. Problem is that's a gamble.

          Now if I were Apple I'd wait and see where this goes. The profits from OS X sales are coming in anyways. Now if this turns out to be a bid demand I'd cater to that demand and lower price to compete on the hardware sales too. If it goes the other way I let the company burr its self. Either way I think Apple comes out ahead in the game especially with the failure of Vista to impress.
          voska1
      • Apple is competing, just not with themselves

        Apple's pc, the Macintosh, is in competition with all other pc
        makers, Lenovo, Dell, Acer and so on. That they are offering
        a product that uses an OS that is unique to their system is a
        way of offering choice to the consumer in a market mostly
        crowded with look-alikes.

        It is an odd statement to say that they are monopolistic when
        their market share is under 7% compared to Dell's share over
        30%.
        kaye@...
  • Real or Hoax, they are making a statement Apple shouldn't ignore

    Maybe they are a hoax but regardless, I think a big message is finally being put out here.

    THE CONSUMER WANTS AN AFFORDABLE and UPGRADEABLE MAC!

    I know people point at the clone days as a reason these clones shouldn't exist but this is a different world now. A decade ago Macs had extremely specific high end hardware so the clones suffered in quality and support. But with the Intel switch then this is the exact same hardware as PC's so there's no reason that the cost of hardware is 20-40% higher than the PC equivalent.

    If Apple chooses to continually ignore the potential customers who don't want a disposable monitor or who want to upgrade a video card one day then I'm all for ANYONE who will give us a cheap alternative.

    (And to those who think "Apples last longer" then who cares, at $500 a shot then you're better off upgrading every year rather than dishing out $2500 and praying it gives you 5yrs of life)
    Urkel
    • It's roughly the same price for a Mac as for a HP

      You just have to compare equivalent computers.
      Apple refuses to sell junk, as I think Jobs expressed it, why
      Psystar and a chinese manufacturer saw an opportunity.

      I agree that this smells too much like a rat why it's sensible
      to wait and see what happens. I wouldn't trust Psystar further
      than I can throw them.
      Mikael_z
    • No,

      tech pundits and nerds who read sites like ZDNet want a
      cheap mini tower. The average consumer probably likes the
      mini or iMac just fine judging from Apple's sales figures.

      Don't fall for the easy trap that the echo chamber you live in
      represents reality.
      frgough
      • Apple Sales prove customers prefer iMac or Mini. Yeah, that makes sense...

        Okay. So you're claiming that the average consumer likes the Mini or iMac based on Apple's sales figures. And I'm the one living in an echo chamber?

        When a company doesn't offer a product, then how the heck is someone supposed to buy it? Of course Mac Mini's and iMacs are selling more than Mac Towers. Mac Towers don't exist!

        And if we'll expand this argument to the consumer PC industry then comparing Mini vs All-In-One vs Desktop then Desktops have an overwhelmingly gigantic portion of sales.Partially because that's the most abundant product, but also because when a Mini or All-in-one comes out then PC users don't feel it is a good value. So to assume an affordable Mac Tower will only be purchased by nerds and tech pundits is completely delusional.

        Just because Apple doesn't make it doesn't mean consumers don't want it.
        Urkel
    • Other than the geeks and nerds...

      who frequent forums such as this, most users
      these days don't upgrade their computer,
      except for possibly RAM. To most users these
      days, a computer is a sealed "do not open"
      device, like a TV set or radio. They are loath to
      even take the cover off to expose the
      mysterious innards of their computer. This is
      especially true of laptops which are generally
      not intended to be upgraded by the normal
      users.

      If your grandma or uncle Joe thinks their
      computer is underperforming, they may ask
      their nerdy grandson or young nephew about it
      or simply trot down to Best Buy and buy a new
      one.
      arminw
      • User upgradeable doesn't mean "Primary User"

        I know what you mean about most users not opening their computers themselves. But you kinda proved the point of why a user upgradeable consumer end Mac tower makes sense.

        The "Grandma won't upgrade her underperforming computer" theory doesn't really fit because while SHE may not open it up, but little Billy will. And he's not going to run to Best Buy to get a new computer. He's going there to get a 1GB Ram Module and a 500GB Hard Drive.Standard parts and easy accessibility extends the life of products that may otherwise be considered "dead".

        And even if we'll go with the "disposable appliance" mentality, a dead Mac Mini or iMac is worth much less than a dead Mac Tower simply because there are less salvageable parts. One thing about long time PC users is that those parts from old dead computers are still worth keeping useful IF it's easy to get to.

        I'm really not understanding the portion of the Mac community who are pinning the Mac Tower as a niche geek product or a non-seller. They're cheaper to make, easier to work on, they own the PC desktop market and in Apples history then PowerMac towers were drooled over. But in 2008 then suddenly the world would have no interest?
        Urkel
      • Not true at all

        Take a look in any tech store. It's not use Techies buying that stuff as it's over priced and really I can get it cheaper online or in other locations. So who's buying all those sound cards, video cards, wireless cards, TV cards, and RAM along with those USB external harddrives. No it's the average consumer and they pay $40 to have it installed at the shop. I know some the people who do these installs and it sure isn't the computer geeks buying or installing from these stores.

        Now this bring up another good point. Why is average Joe upgrading? Could it be they bought the bargain PC for $299 and it doesn't do all they need. So they need to buy more Ram, get sound card instead of the onboard sound, get video card instead of the onboard video and such. I think so. With a Mac you don't have to do that. It just works and that's what you are paying for. If you buy the equivalent PC with Windows you get the same quality hardware and you might save $100 max and that $100 is for the Apple logo. Same as any brand name product.
        voska1
  • RE: Psystar: I smell a rat

    Likewise, Jason.

    It is amazing how much hype has been generated by a
    supposed computer that:

    1) no one seems to have actually seen running
    2) doesn't provide proper specs detailing what you get and
    what you don't (does it come with even ethernet at the
    base price, for example?

    I find myself wondering whether the whole thing is, in fact,
    an April Fools joke that ran into production delays! ;-)
    Rod Hagen
    • Instead of a belated April fools...

      joke, it may be an Apple marketing research
      project to see if there might be a market for a
      really low priced Mac or if they should make
      another try at licensing their OS.
      arminw
  • Real, but they've bitten off more than they can chew

    I not only wouldn't order from them until we see a shipped box, but I'd also want to see a decent review on that box.

    Having said that, I am still routing for them.
    Michael Kelly
  • Hackintosh? Build one yourself

    It's been listed all over the 'net. I'm planning on building one myself, just so I can do some testing on it for some software I'm building. That, and just to give my father (an Apple fanboy) a little cage-rattling.
    Norcross
  • RE: Psystar: I smell a rat

    Psystar: I smell a rat (updated)
    I don???t know about you but I smell a rat and it smells like Psystar.
    That I do not know however the press is bad. It brings the public up or down depend on whose neck it has at one time. Did you read about Lady Di and Dodi Fayad? He wanted to make sure that the monarch is involved in the accident. I quit. I smell lots of rats but there is very little I can do. Here is another not a rat but act. Ten weeks after Microsoft first launched its $45 billion bid for Yahoo!, the software giant is still slowly tightening its net around the struggling Internet portal. But as Microsoft bargains for the fate of Yahoo!, it's still being haunted by the ghost of its last major acquisition: the $6 billion buyout of online advertising firm aQuantive nearly a year ago. As soon as he comes, Berlusconi decamps to Naples for clean-up. Then we have The Big Question: Why is the world so slow to produce environmentally-friendly cars? The man who bet on the credit crisis ??? and took home $3.7bn last year It is a jarring comparison for the millions of American homeowners struggling with their soaring mortgage payments, but there is one man who has profited so much from the credit crisis that he is jumping a few rungs on the property ladder this year. There you have more from UK, we are in the sub Sahara lands .
    I thank you
    Firozali Mulla MBA PhD.
    P.O.Box 6044
    Dar-Es-Salaam
    Tanzania
    East Africa
    famulla
    • Wow

      Just, wow.
      doodlius
    • Thank You

      For my daily dose of incoherency.
      gtg781w
  • RE: Psystar: I smell a rat

    I think it's not a hoax. I bet it's a 1-2 man operation where they were making computers in this guy's basement and now that they have sudden demand needed to get a "real" address. They rented some quick space but in the confusion of moving made a typo. In the meantime they are having problems with their merchant account like many tiny merchants do. Give them three weeks and you will see the orders coming in. If Apple doesn't shut them down first.
    IanG78