Digging into Psystar

Digging into Psystar

Summary: Charles Arthur writing on the Guardian Technology blog has done some digging into Psystar, the company offering Mac OS X without the Mac, and come up with some interesting information.

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[UPDATE 04/17/08 9:51am - Today there's a new announcement on the Psystar website and I link to in and include it here for completeness:

"We're in the process of moving to a new location which is now listed on our contact page. The first new address posted (10481) was in error and our correct address is 10475 NW 28th Street. PSYSTAR was, prior to this past week, not ready to handle the enormous production capacity demanded by the online community. Due to the incredible response we have now expanded to a larger commercial unit to handle the supplies and assembly of Open Computers. THANK YOU for all of your orders.

"Midday yesterday our store was not receiving any orders. This was due to the fact that our merchant gateway, Powerpay, dropped the ball on us and refused to process any more transactions from our company. We have reverted to Paypal until we can find a high-volume merchant. Apparently Powerpay was not ready to handle the community's demand for Open Computing."

There's no word on what Psystar plan to do about the fact that the author of the EFI V8 enulator has now chaged the license terms of use for the software prohibiting its use commercially.

Several people have also emailed me to ask what I think of the idea. Well, I think I was clear in a previous post where I said that since these systems come with no support, they are at best a science experiment. I'm never a fan of knock-offs and until Apple take the stance of officially supporting third-party hardware, the consumer is going to be caught up in the middle.

As to the validity of the company and whether you will see a system if you order, no comment.]

[UPDATE 04/16/08 12:30pm - Psystar pulls store offline, citing ecommerce failure. Oh, and the company has changed address again ...Digging into PsystarSeems like the owners aren't sure where the company is located.

Oh, and the author of the EFI V8 emulator has now changed the license on the tool to prohibit commercial usage (thanks to Jens T for the heads-up).

Charles Arthur writing on the Guardian Technology blog has done some digging into Psystar, the company offering Mac OS X without the Mac, and come up with some interesting information.

First, relating to the company's website:

The Psystar site talks a lot. OK. The site was registered in 2000, according to whois, but what's odd is that searches on Google and on Live.com don't turn up anything about the company before this week. Zip. Zero. Nada.

Then a few phone calls:

I called the Miami Chamber of Commerces and its Better Business Bureau. They've never heard of it.

So far, nothing interesting my opinion and just points to Psystar being a small start up. That's exactly what I expected. However, as Arthur notes, the website was registered in 2000 and changed hosts in 2005. Internet Archive Wayback Machine doesn't reveal much.

Then a phone call:

I called the company. The automated system asked if I want Sales? Support? Human Resources? Let's have a laugh and call HR. No reply. (This was 11.45am their time.) Did I want to leave a message? Press the pound key when done. I did. "Error."

And another:

Call again - let's try Support this time. A man answers, doesn't give his name, and refers pretty much all questions to press@psystar.com. While he's on, why isn't there any reference to Psystar online before this week? "We're a small IT company, doing solutions anywhere from small office networks to enterprise-level networks." The company's latest product, he said, was a storage area network.

OK, this is odd. I would have expected that given the amount of publicity that Psystar has had over the past few days that the company would be a little more prepared to field enquiries (for what it's worth, I called Psystar yesterday and got no response).

Then there's the address.

And then we thought we'd look closer at the location they're in. And that's where things got really strange.

The address had changed completely.

Earlier in the day, it was giving 10645 SW 112 St, Miami FL 33176.

And now, while I'd been writing this post, it's moved - to 10481 NW 28th St, Miami, FL 33172.

Now this is interesting because when I looked up this address I found that it is also the address given by CottonImages.com, a screen-printing, embroidery and now garment-dye company. I'm now trying to clear up which company is actually at the address - I'll get back to you when I find out. Maybe the address as suites, but so far I can't confirm that.

Digging into Psystar 

Digging into Psystar

So far, more questions than answers. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who's ordered a system.

Thoughts?

Topics: Software, Apple, Browser, Operating Systems, Software Development

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125 comments
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  • Digging into Psystar

    Two options:
    1) too good to be true, or
    2) They really did not plan or prepare for the media

    EVERYONE knows this kind on news attracts a GREAT deal of attention, so I?m afraid its number one... Its all a sand castle...
    phamiltonsmith
  • SHould have looked deeper

    psystar.corp was incorporated July 6 2007.
    Tthe web site registrar is one of the directors of the copr.
    These informatins - and some more - come from florida department of state / division of corporation web site.

    Googling that person, I see the information is all over the web, so some were more successfull in getting information on the compagny than your source
    s_souche
    • You mean this document ...

      http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?action=DETFIL&inq_doc_number=P07000077580&inq_came_from=NAMFWD&cor_web_names_seq_number=0000&names_name_ind=N&names_cor_number=&names_name_seq=&names_name_ind=&names_comp_name=PSYSTAR&names_filing_type=
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • Yes that one

        PsyStar has two directors, Roberto and Rodolfo

        Web site which have had contact with psystar talked to two persons, Rudy ( Rodolpho ) and robert/Roberto only. Rudy was refered to as an employee, but it was not his claim, but an assumption by his interlocutor.

        Rodolpho is also co manager of floridatek, which seems to have been named EXPRESSI NETWORKS INC before 2005.

        It seems to me that it is a small familly business that opened as an integrator/IT Consulting and that thought it would be a great idee to sell macos compatible boxes - If i am right they will have hard time satisfying customerrs brought by recent buzz - I whish them i'm wrong.

        Anyway their move is a great one as it is having a lot of people exerting their brain on the specificities f apple hardware...
        s_souche
        • My thoughts exactly

          It was a small IT company that did local work. Then they came up with this idea, and suddenly they are the biggest news on the net. The change of address from a residential to a light industrial/comercial are is not a surprise either if they are still settng up shop.
          Stuka
          • Even if they did bite off more than they can chew

            I'm sure some other more enterprising small OEMs are noticing what's going on and wouldn't mind a piece of the action.
            Michael Kelly
      • Not sure what you did

        1) You said they never heard of that company but a Florida Department of State's website states something different

        2) You are not sure the new location are suites but you are "trying to clear up which company is actually at the address - I?ll get back to you when I find out." Why did not you clear it out first before creating this post?

        Do you realize your post can be linked to a gazillion sites and that people will think PSystar : 1) does not exist as a company, and/or 2) They are providing a false address?

        Were you short of cash to buy an iPhone and needed to make a post with a lot of replies to get money instead of doing a better investigative job?
        markbn
        • You are harsh

          Did you not have your morning java yet?
          meryllogue@...
          • My response was posted yesterday

            In the afternoon I believe, so yep, I had already had my morning Java.

            I also pointed out the truth. However, the blog's post you can read today and the one that is present now (the day of *your post*) are different. Adrian rewritten most of it.
            markbn
          • It's called "breaking news"

            They do it all the time. It's when a story is important to people or they are highly interested, and you continue to give them updates on what the status of information is. In order to let people know that the info is coming in in bits and pieces, you simply tell people "we are still working on this bit and we'll let you know when we know more."

            Your evening news does it all the time, I promise. Do you needlessly bitch them out like you did Adrian?
            laura.b
          • small difference

            =========
            It's when a story is important to people or they are highly interested, and you continue to give them updates on what the status of information is.
            =========

            You said it right: the status of the information (i.e., something confirmed) not the status of your *lack* of information. But, you still can report lack of information when you came up with some facts, unlike something like this:

            "The Miami Chamber of Commerces (sic) ... never heard of it."

            Despite the information was on a public page!
            markbn
          • No, you are wrong

            The Miami Chamber of Commerce had never heard of the company. That wasn't a lie, and it wasn't deceitful. The Florida Department of State is where the information came from, and sorry to say they are not the same boards.
            It is logically inferred that if they are located in Miami, the COC should have had some record of them, particularly because they need an operational license. The fact that they don't indicates that the company is, at best, a brand-new start up, but it doesn't mean they are fraudulent, and no one claimed as much.

            But you miss the point entirely, anyway. It doesn't matter if he got it wrong or right, as he clearly stated that there was more digging to be done. You went off for no reason and then continued to do so. You deserve called out for it, whether you like it or not. Someone needs to tell you that you are behaving like a child. Hate that it had to be me, but oh well. It was worth it to see what irrationality you would put forth next in your desperate attempt to not be viewed as an overly-dramatic troll with an agenda. Tough luck this time around, however. Better luck with the next attempt.

            LOL
            laura.b
          • or perhaps you are but have not noticed

            =========
            The Miami Chamber of Commerce had never heard of the company. That wasn't a lie, and it wasn't deceitful. The Florida Department of State is where the information came from, and sorry to say they are not the same boards.
            =========

            I guess laurab that you do not only have limited reasoning capacity, but also you just don't have reading comprehension abilities. I am not saying it was a lie. When did I call him a liar? That's ridiculous. I believe they (he?) called that organization. I just pointed out the other information, which as I already said to Adrian (and he did not make a big deal of this, because he is not like you) it seemed that the other link was obtained after the post not before.


            =========
            It is logically inferred that if they are located in Miami, the COC should have had some record of them, particularly because they need an operational license.
            =========

            It's unnecessary to infer things (logically or not, <g>) when there are other sources of information. In that case reasoning with partial information is not the optimum thing, but I did not call him a liar.

            =========
            The fact that they don't indicates that the company is, at best, a brand-new start up, but it doesn't mean they are fraudulent, and no one claimed as much.
            =========

            So you just agreed in that it is possible they are a legit company despite the people of the chamber of commerce "never hearing of them". It's good you are starting to understand things. Good.

            =========
            But you miss the point entirely, anyway. It doesn't matter if he got it wrong or right, as he clearly stated that there was more digging to be done. You went off for no reason and then continued to do so.
            =========

            Look, I really don't want to continue this pointless discussion. Nobody appointed you as the chief of the blog police dpt. I already stated my reasons and you keep confusing things, calling names and debating things I did not say/defend in the first place. In one sense you are battling against your misinterpretation of my post not with its real contents.

            =========
            You deserve called out for it, whether you like it or not.
            =========

            You accused me of having invested in Psystar. If there is one liar here that misses points completely is you, not me. It absurd that you say "you deserver" this or that. You just talk as a frustrated teenager.

            =========
            Someone needs to tell you that you are behaving like a child. Hate that it had to be me, but oh well.
            =========

            Yeah, you call me retarded and pathetic and accused me of having an interest in Psystar as the only possible reason your brain could think of me making specific points. And I am the one behaving like a child? Excuse me but that's ridiculous.

            =========
            It was worth it to see what irrationality you would put forth next in your desperate attempt to not be viewed as an overly-dramatic troll with an agenda. Tough luck this time around, however. Better luck with the next attempt.
            =========

            I am not desperate at all, I just answered your accusations avoiding name calling unlike you who exhibit poor logic. Think that nonsense if that makes you feel happy. I guess delusional people find joy in things like that.

            =========
            LOL
            =========

            Are you really an adult? If so, it's truly sad.
            markbn
        • Collaboration vs. Expert Omniscience

          To Mr. markbn:
          1) Isn't this a blog story? If it is, then I would think that it is something that would not be expected to be complete and definitive. Mr. Kingsley-Hughes is simply informing us of what he's been able to find out, thus far, about PSystar. If you're expecting a full dossier, then you are visiting the wrong place.
          2) Anyone who has spent time on the web trying to figure out where a company is physically/geographically located knows how sometimes it can be very frustrating. In fact, luddite that I am, I found it to be down right annoying. It makes me wonder what has a company, or an individual for that matter, got to hide that they would not want to be identified in the "real" world? Anyway...I digress.
          3) Why not bring up suspicions about a company that makes wild claims and cannot back them up??? Mr. Kingsley-Hughes is actually providing the consumer with valuable information by implicitly warning them to be cautious about their enthusiasm for a product.
          4) This web format of a threaded conversation can serve as a way of collaborating to find out more about PSystar. Case in point: Someone posted what they found out by going to the State of Florida Corporations Site. This dissemination of information helps clear some things up for some of us interested in this thread.

          Thanks Mr. Kingsley-Hughes.
          tssz
          • And to add to this...

            He's not claiming that this is investigative journalism. It's news and opinion style blog. He's not preaching the gospel of technocracy but rather offering his diverse opinion based upon the information he pulls up through normal channels. I for one, enjoy the articles.
            jhurst747
          • keep your ridiculously low standards for yourself ...

            I could not care less ...
            markbn
          • Boo Hoo...

            Not caring by responding...Hmmm. Why should any of us readers care about your response then?
            tssz
          • My intention

            is to say that I do not care about HIS low standards which I do not have. He could keep reading half backed stories and unsubstantiated claims from any blogger he wants if that makes him happy. I do not care about THAT, but I can state my opinion if I want. Also, did you notice that I did not address what he said? Because I cared to state my position, not about his rant. Hopefully, you understood.
            markbn
          • You are utterly wrong

            First of all, I want to say one more time that his post of yesterday has a lot of it augmented and changed in many way, so what was there yesterday is not completely what's here now, so just that observation invalidates most of what you say. However ...

            ============
            3) Why not bring up suspicions about a company that makes wild claims and cannot back them up??? Mr. Kingsley-Hughes is actually providing the consumer with valuable information by implicitly warning them to be cautious about their enthusiasm for a product.
            ============

            Valuable information? Did you read the information was on the Florida State of Dpt. web site? Anyone could have access it, but Adrian did not. I will forgive that if it were a obscure site, but it's not.

            ============
            2) Anyone who has spent time on the web trying to figure out where a company is physically/geographically located knows how sometimes it can be very frustrating. In fact, luddite that I am, I found it to be down right annoying. It makes me wonder what has a company, or an individual for that matter, got to hide that they would not want to be identified in the "real" world? Anyway...I digress.
            ============

            Actually he was out to try to come up with an explanation for the company using the same address as Psystar:

            [quote]
            I?m now trying to clear up which company is actually at the address - I?ll get back to you when I find out. Maybe the address as suites, but so far I can?t confirm that.
            [/quote]

            Why don't find out and then give us some credible information? (or just said: I tried but was unable to verify that. I think that's OK). I myself have used one time an address that were like a PO Box but not exactly, it was a series of "suites". Several people could give their address there and actually the management will take phone calls confirming that such address was yours!! By the way, I just remembered that the address I had was in Florida too, so maybe this is a common option there.

            ===========
            1) Isn't this a blog story? If it is, then I would think that it is something that would not be expected to be complete and definitive. Mr. Kingsley-Hughes is simply informing us of what he's been able to find out, thus far, about PSystar. If you're expecting a full dossier, then you are visiting the wrong place.
            ===========

            In principle you are right about being a blog story, however 1) I have never had read a story so lousy from Adrian before so he make me get used to high standards when I read his blog, that's why I keep reading it, and 2) Whether he wants or not, he is a popular blogger people could take this post as any of his other posts: very well informed and researched while in fact it's a developing story.

            Quite frankly I think YOU were looking in the wrong place. You seems to have been expected that any blog is a mess of undeveloped stories and that this one was no exception. I think you should read his posts more often, or if you already do, pay more attention to them

            ===========
            4) This web format of a threaded conversation can serve as a way of collaborating to find out more about PSystar. Case in point: Someone posted what they found out by going to the State of Florida Corporations Site. This dissemination of information helps clear some things up for some of us interested in this thread.
            ===========

            I agree that the talkback is intended to give feedback to the author and that s/he could alter what he posted to reflect this. But in my opinion that's far different than throwing some half-researched and some unsubstantiated things in a blog post and expect somebody else proves you wrong.

            One more time please avoid the idiotic responses. For example, I saw that the company changed address one more time, so that does not change what I said about the post, which was YESTERDAY!!
            markbn
          • Very well...then.

            OK...Points taken. It sounds like you're a bit angry and I didn't have any intention of flaming. Relax...
            tssz