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Desktops (Apple) Hardware Technology

$399 Mac Clone Most Likely a Hoax 233

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the too-good-to-be-true-usually-is dept.
timholman writes "According to Gizmodo, an investigation has shown that the $399 OpenMac is almost certainly vaporware, as is Psystar itself. The company's address has actually changed twice this week, according to its web page, and Psystar is no longer accepting credit card transactions. Too bad for those who may have already ordered an OpenMac."
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$399 Mac Clone Most Likely a Hoax

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2008 @04:48PM (#23122504)
    Some guy probably read up on OSx86 stuff, realized there'd be a market there for creating computers using hardware very similar to Apple's configurations, and then went to work. He clearly didn't think out the legal implications, or plan for such a huge amount of attention so early on, and this is the result.
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Friday April 18, 2008 @05:59PM (#23123216)
    Is steve woz behind this? He is the one who wanted slots in the mac form the apple 2 on.

    Is it some who is pissed off at the high priced mini with it's laptop parts and apples lack of DESKTOP with DESKTOP parts in the $500-$2000 price range the mac pro starts at $2200.
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Friday April 18, 2008 @06:06PM (#23123274)
    Commodore did that all the time. I'd recommend "On the Edge" (which details a lot of other semi-shady practices of the whole industry).

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0973864907/ref=pd_bbs_olp_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1208554130&sr=8-2 [amazon.com]
  • The OpenPro (Score:4, Interesting)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Friday April 18, 2008 @06:24PM (#23123390)
    My guess here is that the $399 is just a PR gimmic. If you actually spec it out on their site, the basic model+Leopard+firewire+shipping is over $650 dollars. Whereas you can get a mac mini for under $600 including the shipping. The difference is the mac mini is small, quiet, lower power, and has wifi, blue tooth, optical dolby audio, and software update will work. (The pystar has a bigger faster hard disk and a 15% faster CPU). Personally I think you'd have to be retarded to think the mac was not a better value for a low-end end user, especially due to the software update,noise and power.

    So I think that was just a stunt. The real bargain on the site is the openPro which has a bigger power supply and better case permitting it to hold a high end graphics card and quad processor. A nicely specced unit of the openPro would be $1800 for quad 2.6Ghz and an nvidia 8800Gt card, including shipping, Leopard (firewire built in, and USB jacks on the front). This is actually now compartable to the apple powermac quad, which simmilarly speced runs about $2700, with a 10% faster CPU, blue tooth, wireliess, optical audio, and an amazing case design, and relatively quiet operation.

    However to be fair, the apple's sweet spot for powermac pricing is at the 8 processor model. That's "only" $500 more. The psystar is not available in an 8 processor.

  • Re:think people (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday April 18, 2008 @08:04PM (#23124170) Homepage Journal

    That's not the copy of OSX you can buy at the store. Trying to pass it off as a legal copy of Leopard is fraud. Do anything you want with *your own* copy of Leopard, but if you try to sell modified copies, Apple can and should sue.

    I think I morally disagree with that, regardless of its legality (which I don't know about). As far as I know, I can buy a book, edit that physical copy, and resell it. I believe that you should be allowed to do the same with software, so long as you're clearing labeling it as a modified version and you pay for every copy you pass along.

  • Re:Vaporware? Hoax? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MulluskO (305219) on Friday April 18, 2008 @08:35PM (#23124384) Journal
    Unfortunately defending against even an unfounded libel suit could be very costly.
    We've seen here on slashdot how lawyers can deprive you of liberty and property if you speak ill of them or their wealthy clients.
    Criticizing even an obvious scam : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who's_Who_scam [wikipedia.org] : can get you into serious trouble in this country.
  • by LS1 Brains (1054672) on Friday April 18, 2008 @09:45PM (#23124726)
    I've been curious about OS X for a while, and this little debacle served one purpose: it got me off my ass to investigate further.

    Something smelled fishy to me, so I wasn't quite ready to send my credit card info to Psystar (I didn't even get far enough notice they weren't using https!)

    Anyway.. Call it illegal or whatever, but I did some research and found myself turning my trusty old Dell laptop into a Hackintosh (a HUGE thank you to the OSx86 community, BTW). While it wasn't 100% perfect, it certainly ran OSX well enough for me to get a taste. And ... well ... I liked it... So with that, on Monday my shiny new Macbook Pro arrives, and I'm actually excited about getting a new computer for the first time in a decade.

    The only insightful thing I can say at this point, is I sure hope Apple doesn't ever unleash the lawyers on the OSX hackers (not that they could stop 'em, but I digress). I found I'm definitely not alone in a large group of people who found themselves "trying before buying" as it were. While I could just as easily continue using my Hackintosh, I wanted to upgrade my laptop anyway -- and the OSx86 enabled a situation that made it a very easy choice to buy Apple. Were it not for those folks providing an easy way to test drive on hardware I already own, I'd likely have bought another Dell and stayed within my comfort zone.
  • by Paradise Pete (33184) on Friday April 18, 2008 @09:48PM (#23124740) Journal
    I always enjoy reading stories about that stuff

    SoftRAM [wikipedia.org] is a good story. They sold 600,000 copies of a program that they claimed would compress the contents of RAM, effectively doubling the available amount. It turned out that the program didn't even attempt it.

  • by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Saturday April 19, 2008 @12:40AM (#23125392)

    Back in the early days of home computing a number of companies started up by selling vaporware, collecting the money, and using it to fund the development. (I don't recall if Apple was one of the companies that started up that way. But Woz and Jobs were pretty hard up for cash back at the start.)

    The Woz [woz.org] already had a working Apple before offering one for sale. He was showing it to meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club [wikipedia.org], of which the Two Steves were members of. At the tyme the Woz was working for HP as an engineer [hbs.edu] and asked them if the company wanted to make the Apple, management turned him down. Jobs was able to find a store that would place a large order but in order to fulfill it the Woz had to quit working at HP. In order to fund the company the Woz sold an HP 65 calculator he owned for $500.

    Falcon
  • My guess... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @02:48AM (#23125766)
    Those whose orders were accepted will probably receive the configurations they requested complete with retail copies of Mac OS X in the box. But, the various issues currently affecting PsyStar's business and warnings from Apple Legal will probably result in the end user being left to figure out how to get OS X up and running on the system with maybe a sheet of paper explaining whatever process they initially intended to use.

    After all, these are simply custom built PCs constructed from parts you can buy anywhere. All PsyStar has to do is provide an assembled system and some evidence that the system is somehow capable of running MacOS X, without having to actually deliver a pre-installed setup ready to run out of the box.

    Sure, it'd be a low blow to the customer, but it'd probably be technically enough to keep someone out of prison.
  • by MojoStan (776183) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @03:32AM (#23125884)

    Microsoft. Sold an operating system to IBM before they had one.
    No, they agreed to provide one and then bought it from someone else.
    Expanding the story, Microsoft told IBM that they didn't have an OS. MS bundled CP/M with one of their programming language products and IBM mistakenly believed the bundled OS was a Microsoft product. MS then referred IBM to Digital Research (maker of CP/M), but Digital Research dropped the ball. Paul Allen knew about a rudimentary CP/M clone (QDOS [wikipedia.org]) made by a small company across town (Seattle Computer Products), so MS convinced IBM they could fix up this OS and make it work for the IBM PC. Initially, MS licensed QDOS from SCP, but they later agreed to purchase it for $50,000 (deal of the century).

    The false "DOS was vaporware" version of what happened often gets modded up on Slashdot. This is the version told on that stupid made-for-TV, "based on a true story" docudrama Pirates of the Silicon Valley [imdb.com]. A much better telling of what actually happened (with actual interviews with Paul Allen, Bill Gates, Steve Balmer, Jack Sams of IBM, and Tim Patterson of SCP) is available from the PBS documentary Triumph of the Nerds [pbs.org] (transcript of the relevant part available here [pbs.org]).

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