I thought I'd written all I would on the Mac-clone company Psystar, but I'm back for a little more. While my inner geek thought that what the company had going was interesting, I'm now almost certain that, hoax or not (and I still have no reason to believe that Psystar is a hoax), Psystar will sink without a trace over the next few weeks.
I've given Psystar the benefit of the doubt and cut the company a lot of slack, but I'm now in agreement with Larry Dignan that, at best, the company is run by amateurs. And amateurs that have made some pretty major mistakes at that. You can't change the address of your company four times in the matter of a few hours without attracting some level of negative attention. You can't bad-mouth your credit card payment processor and say that it couldn't handle the volume of transactions when that is a lie. Then switching to PayPal only to have that rug yanked from under them just underlines the clumsy, Clouseauesque way the business is being run. You also can't dodge simple questions, such as those posed by Brian Caulfield writing for Forbes, without seeming a little suspicious:
Still, Pedraza is short on the sorts of details most startups won't shut up about. He won't go on the record about his educational background, detail his professional history or name any previous ventures. The company's Open Computer is based on a machine put together by his brother (whom he won't name), he says.
Bottom line, I think that Psystar is going to have a hard time finding a payment processor willing to handle transactions for the Open Computer. While there's even the slight aroma of this treading on Apple's toes, I'm going to guess that companies won't want to get too close to Psystar just in case the brown stuff hits the fan. Without a payment processor the Open Computer is history (unless there's a big cash sales market for them in the Miami area).
Oh, and let us also remember that Psystar's Open Computer (or at least the Mac OS X capability of it) is based on a software utility that the author doesn't want used for commercial purposes.
It seems that in a very short period of time that Psystar has managed to annoy and upset a lot of folks. Oddly enough, Apple doesn't seem to be that annoyed yet, certainly not publicly.
Given a reasonable 7 to 14 days turnaround for the Mac clones, customers who managed to order systems before Psystar's credit card processing facility was withdrawn should be seeing their systems delivered next week or the week after. Then we'll at least know that Psystar is real. But I don't see even glowing reviews being able to save Psystar now.