Digging into Psystar

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.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

[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 Psystar
Seems 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 Googleand 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.


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