Psystar’s Web Site Back Up - Rebel EFI Listed, No Macs

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Apple vs. PsystarHis comments come as part of a three part series The FTWith a great, shuddering gasp of refuse-to-die, we noted over the weekend that Psystar's Web site was back online. The re-opened site still features Rebel EFI, the company's software that allows users to run Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware, though it is listed as out-of-stock. Psystar's line of Open(Whatever) computers is not to be found.

On Thursday, we had reported that the company's site was down following a court injunction preventing the company from selling or distributing unauthorized Mac-clones or software that allows people to run Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware.

Psystar is also enjoying conflicting statements being issued by its lawyers. On Friday, Eugene Action, on of the company's early attorneys, told The Wall Street Journal that his clients would be shuttering their company's doors and terminating its employees.

That same day, however, Camara & Sibley partner K. A. D. Camara, the attorney that took over, and lost, the copyright battle against Apple, told Computerworld that Psystar had no intention of shutting down.

"Regrettably, Mr. Action was misquoted in an early story that seems to have been picked up elsewhere," Mr. Camara told the magazine. "Psystar does not intend to shut down permanently."

Indeed, the company plans to fight for its right to sell Rebel EFI, the above-mentioned software that enabled users to install Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware, despite the injunction that prevents the company from selling or distributing such software, or even helping anyone install Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware.

Mr. Camara is not daunted, however, saying, "Psystar will proceed to litigate the legality of Rebel EFI through the motion process described in Judge Alsup's order. Psystar will also proceed with its antitrust case in Miami."

Mr. Camara refers to a part of the injunction whereby Judge Alsup did not specifically exclude or include Rebel EFI, but instead issued the blanket, broad, and sweeping terms paraphrased above.

In that section, Psystar was offered the opportunity to satisfy judge Alsup that Rebel EFI was somehow not covered by the injunction, but warned the company that if it chose to continue selling it, it would be at Psystar's own "peril."

So today, Rebel EFI is featured as the only product (other than a T-shirt) on Psystar's Web site, but is listed as "out of stock."

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Comments

cbasofla

Doesn’t surprise me. Further evidence of their brilliant strategy.

Lee Dronick

I wonder if selling the Rebel EFi software, not in stock not with standing, constitutes contempt of court.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Who says they have to have a strategy? Like any entrepreneurial venture, Psystar and their legal doings are really just trial and error. Mr. Camara probably thinks that with continued refinement, he’ll hit something that the company can do which is contrary to Apple’s wishes.

One advantage he has is that this is asymmetrical warfare. He and Psystar can inflict high cost and, if their lucky, significant damage to Apple at very low cost to themselves. Right now, they’re on the hook for $2.whatever million. It’s not enough money to deter someone who thinks they have a more refined way of attacking this problem.

A new thing I’ve learned doing some research this past week is who the real sweet spot is for a product like Rebel EFI. It’s not hobbyist Hackintoshers. It’s not college kids who can’t afford an Apple Mac. It’s not even the family that has a few Macs and can’t justify the Apple tax for a media center or a computer for one of the kids.  It’s render farms, even farms run inside real companies that spend tens of thousands of dollars. They don’t need full hardware compatibility. They need fast, cheap hardware as soon as it becomes available. They already pay Apple a pretty penny for the software. On the hardware side, right now, they can get twice the performance at half the cost with a little overclocking. That’s 4x performance they can get out of their hardware budgets. These end-users will never get sued by Apple so long as they keep their off-label use of Mac OS X in-house. Apple will never do deeper hardware verification within its software because it would lose a chunk of these customers. The thing that surprises me the most is that there are quite a few of these users who describe their setups and the price/performance advantage of doing it.

Tiger

More likely they’re just squatting on the website so they don’t lose it for inactivity.

geoduck

Night of the Living Dead 12: Psystar

Maybe their funding this by selling the movie rights.

tongue laugh

John@was

@ Bosco

Apple will never do deeper hardware verification within its software because it would lose a chunk of these customers.

Just out of curiosity, to whom would these customers be lost?  Are you suggesting that the Microsoft tax is kinder than (or equivalent to) what you refer to as the “Apple tax”?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The “Apple tax” was in the context of say a $600 Mac Mini that might just run iTunes. A $400 Dell Zino HD will do as good a job or better.

On the pro front… Consider a $4000 Mac Pro rendering station. Today, you can build 2x spec’d rendering hardware for half that if you’re OK with a plastic case, can fiddle with overclocking, and omit some extraneous pieces. You can’t run Final Cut Pro on Windows (outside of an Apple emulator). The “Apple tax” in this context is 2x the price for hardware that will perform 1/2 as well for the task. Of course, we’re at a very sweet spot in the value curve for cloning right now, but except for a few months after each Mac Pro refresh, that spot is always going to be sweet enough.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Hmmm… Editing disappeared. To bring that last post back to Rebel EFI… Rebel EFI was $50 and made Hackintoshing compatible hardware relatively painless. Even paid per machine, it’s peanuts given the $2K and 2x performance spread of cloning vs. a Mac Pro for something like a render farm.

Apple still gets $1000 for each of these machines from the Final Cut license. Yes, it’s the Cadillac of video editing software, but if Apple cuts those users off, maybe they go with competing systems where they can maximize return on their hardware investments. It’s a spot in the market where the $$ might actually trump the legal principles for Apple. And that makes it a damned interesting spot to watch. It is funny how Psystar, fresh from being slapped down hard in court and despised by all but me on the TMO boards, is right in the middle of this and pretty much ahead of anyone else.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  Given the scope of Judge Alsup’s permanent injunction, which covers the full extent of Apple’s rights in OS X pursuant to the Copyright Act (Act) (17 U.S.C. ?? 1701 est seq., specifically ? 106) and the applicable provisions of the DMCA (17 U.S.C. ? 1201 et seq.), I doubt that Psystar, notwithstanding my brother Camara’s brilliance, will discover any way to avoid the permanent injunction. 

As for personal and/or business costs, I should think that substantial fines—both personal fines imposed on the Pedraza Brothers and fines imposed on Psystar—and/or imprisonment for contempt and/or for criminal violation of the Act and the DMCA would be unacceptable costs, but that is for the Pedrazas to decide. 

Apple will most certainly sue any large company that attempts to install OS X on non-Apple-labeled hardware as soon as it discovers such infringement and can prepare its lawsuit, unless the company in question were to pay damages and agree to cease its activities without such a suit.  And Apple will know that something is wrong when the number of units of OS X don’t match the number of Macs.  As for losing those customers:  First, there aren’t any such customers now, but if there were any such customers, Apple has already lost them, because they aren’t buying Macs, so suing and imprisoning them is no lost and will deter others.  And for notorious and economically significant acts of infringement, Apple must enforce its rights or risk that the federal courts will deem Apple to have waived its rights.  Moreover, since Apple now has a judgement from a federal court that such infringement is unequivocally illegal, it will refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney, who will send in the federal marshalls, the FBI, and Apple’s lawyers with warrants for the seizure and destruction of the offending computers and for the arrest of those involved. 

As a young lawyer, I did those kinds of raids for a large client.  Of course, the largest outfit that we raided were only sweatshops, for no large, legit company was foolish enough to defy the law and be subject to the withering civil and criminal liability that would result from naked defiance of established law.

geoduck

As a young lawyer, I did those kinds of raids for a large client.

Nemo
Have you ever thought about writing an autobiography?
You’ve dropped hints that suggest it would be a good read.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Wait a minute, nemo. First off, such customers actually do exist today and brag about their rendering farms on Hackintosh boards. I’d presume tens of computers, so that would account for tens of thousands of dollars in paid FCP licenses and a multiple of 2 or 3 in hardware costs. Second, if the heat comes down, one can always offshore a rendering farm to India and the economics of it will still make sense. I would bet that a cursory Google search would find you all sorts of slick offshore FCP rendering farms. And I would bet that FCP license compliance would be lower.

Third, the damage to Apple’s brand of involving federal marshals to enforce a EULA provision would be high. What Psystar did for me was get me to look at Apple’s EULAs. I’m out here on the margins of things, a software developer who has to anticipate big trends and know where I want to be two years out. Most people don’t know the first things about Psystar. It’s beginning to break out of Mac centric and technology news and into business news with Alsop’s ruling. As such, it will get analysis and attention that will not be 100% favorable to Apple’s position. Like if Apple makes such amazing products, why would people want to make Hackintoshes? The answer supports the old notion that Apple hardware is overpriced, except now, it’s playing out in The WSJ and Forbes instead on Engadget and TMO.

Pragmatic software developers have long looked at the piracy and license violation problem more in terms of variable pricing than right and wrong. Even Microsoft explicitly does that in emerging markets like India and China. Maybe Apple is so big and powerful at this point that they don’t have to share that view. When you take a more pragmatic view, you get more skiddish about these things ending up in litigation, because there’s always the chance like with Autodesk that you get your ass handed to you by some dude on ebay. Same thing for the industry as a whole, which is made up of players of all sizes. An unfavorable ruling for one party could change the way we all have to do business. Much better that there be grey area and unsettled questions than that they get settled the wrong way.

xmattingly

Since I’m boycotting stupidity, I can’t be sure what B. might have said that provoked Nemo’s response. One way or the other, Nemo is right. Anyone who has worked for a company that has a substantial in-house IT department knows that they do things by the book. Software licensing, hardware acquisitions, you name it: everything is owned or leased, and legally accounted for. No business of any merit would allow their IT to risk lawsuit, penalties or possible imprisonment just to save a few bucks.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

To summarize xmattingly, anyone with an FCP rendering farm works for a big company. Therefore, this wouldn’t actually happen. But it does. Hmmm… Maybe someone’s assumptions are wrong?

Roughly 38 million Americans work for firms with fewer than 100 employees, 14 million for firms with 100-499 employees, and 47 million for firms with more than 500 employees. Does anyone think that there might be a lot of firms with fewer than 100 employees that don’t have command and control IT? Are these “businesses of no merit”, as the wise xmattingly has stated? What size company do you think is more likely to invest in a render farm of any size, 8 people or 800? I’m just asking you guys to be pragmatic in thinking about the pitfalls of employing an IP stormtrooper strategy, even if you’re as big and rich and powerful and totally wonderful like Apple.

Because in nemo’s legal wet dream above, Apple would be calling in the US Marshals on customers who buy $1000/station in software from Apple and $2000/station from someone else, when Apple would like them to buy $1000/station in software and $4000/station in hardware from Apple. That is the “wrong” being committed against Apple. While I don’t see that scale of wrong committed against me on a daily basis, I do often see that proportion. Someone who bought 5 seats might use 20. Someone who bought a site license ends up taking it home too. And it happens with organizations that have IT people and actually do know better. The easily resolved dilemma is whether to keep accepting their money or get all moralistic about it.

—————

OK, how about this for a gameplan… Purchase used Mac Pro’s—preferably broken ones—for the cases and the bundled Mac OS X license. Toss the existing mobo. Slap a GIGABYTE motherboard with i7s in there. Use Rebel EFI to get it running. You still get 2x performance at roughly equivalent price to buying new from Apple. How does nemo’s legal wet dream play out there? So long as there is significant money that can potentially be saved, people will think this stuff out. And where it makes sense, some will take whatever legal risk there might be. It’s not black and white. It’s very, very grey.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  As Xmattingly said, supra, legit businesses won’t even consider operating in violation of established law, at least not where, as here, the penalties are so severe.  Even if you are immoral and don’t regard theft as wrong, it is just bad business.  If there are such FCP farms, they are certainly clandestine operations.  If Apple becomes aware of them, they will be history; those who own and operate them will be facing severe civil, if not criminal, penalties and it will become apparent to them just how bad a business infringing on Apple’s IP rights can be.

As for popular anger at Apple enforcing its rights, I think that you will be surprised to know that lawyers, who represent big companies, haven’t had trouble winning jury verdicts in even the music downloading cases.  Ordinary members of the public don’t subscribe to or sympathize with the copyleft movement.  Once the facts are presented, they are much more likely to conclude that it is right for an author to have and exercise rights consistent with those rights conferred by the Copyright Act, so I think that your view that Apple will suffer public outrage for forbidding OS X on Macs is wrong, because people like Apple’s products and think that it is fair for Apple to enjoy the fruit of its labor and its innovation, and even if you are correct, Apple will not relent, for making the whole integrated software and hardware device is a core element of Apple’s aesthetic of design and its business model.  Thus, on the issues presented in Apple v. Psystar, there is no pragmatism in Apple’s c-suite.  To quote George C. Scott in Patton, Apple’s view is simple and vehement:  If we are not victorious, let no one come back alive.

Your point about industry as a whole is an apt one, but not in the way that you think.  Most businesses, inside the tech industry and beyond, not only favor Apple’s approach and the outcome of Apple v. Psystar, they rely on the rights vindicated in Apple v. Psystar to for their own business models.  You may have heard of a few of them Sony, Microsoft, AT&T, et al. and a host of others, which are not household names but which comprise businesses large and small. 

Finally, Bosco you spout a lot of false nonsense about Apple’s Macs costing 2x or 4x or some x more than other computers.  That may be true for the least sophisticated and capable computers, where Apple does not compete, but for comparably configured PC hardware with components of comparable quality, the price of Apple’s Macs is always competitive and often cheaper than comparable PCs.  Your 2x etcetera comparisons are based on PCs that are not comparable in features or quality of components or both.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  There is one other thing.  It is not my wet dream, it is Judge Alsup’s judgment.  And, unlike either you or me, he is a federal district court judge, whose judgment carries the force of law.

And one more thing.  The OS X license travels with the software.  You do not get any license in OS X by having the case of a Mac.  Furthermore, stuffing a Mac case that bears Apple’s trademark with generic components is patent trademark infringement, in addition to not conferring a license for OS X.

Bosco, I’ve said this to you before, and I will say it again:  Before you launch one of your hair brained schemes, get competent legal counsel and heed that counsel’s advice.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@nemo. First, today, you can get 2x the raw performance out of $2K worth of GIGABYTE motherboard + overclocked Intel i7 processors + generic power supply + generic plastic case as you can get out of $4K worth of Mac Pro. There will be times like this when the Mac Pro is behind the processor curve. That is a fact, not an exaggeration. If you don’t need frills like sound and video cards, or 640 GB drives per node, the math works out. When Apple sticks i7s in their Mac Pro, the advantage won’t be so stark, but you won’t be able to overclock, so you lose a little there.

And then this…

Furthermore, stuffing a Mac case that bears Apple?s trademark with generic components is patent trademark infringement,

So you’re saying that with a Mac computer I own or my business owns, I can’t:
(1) Turn it into an acquarium.
(2) Replace the hard drive or memory with non-Apple components.
(3) Replace the CPU with a replacement component.
Otherwise, I’m guilty of trademark infringement. I’m not a lawyer like you, but I know that parts bullshit. I also know that Apple doesn’t sue people who turn their Macs into aquaria and sell them on ebay.

I know I could resell a Mac with any of those three adjustments and not be guilty of trademark violation, patent or otherwise. And hey, I suppose you’d have the same condescending advice for Google with their Books project grin.

Your point about Apple not being pragmatic about some unauthorized copying. First, they are. See hackintosh.org as the proof that they have tolerated some of it. Second, even the evil Microsoft “gets it”. They get it in emerging markets. They got it when it came to virtualization, actually changing the EULA of Vista to accommodate those of us that use it a VM and not coming after anyone when it was technically a violation and all sorts of companies (Parallels, etc.) were actively enabling that violation. So it’s really a question of how pragmatic Apple is. Grey, not black and white.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  Implicit in my comments was that you can’t modify a Mac with third party components and sell it as a Mac, without that constituting trademark infringement.  I should have made that point explicit, and I do so here.

I stand by my statement about Macs being costs competitive against similarly configured PCs.  In fact your comments, supra, where you say the math works, if you leave out such and such components, constitutes your admission of the correctness of my statement.  Your problem Bosco is that Apple has declined to be in the business that you want it to be in, that is, making the computer that you want it to make and competing solely on price in the market for that computer.  But, as the courts have taught us, Apple has the right to its business model of exclusively integrating its hardware with its software and making the devices that it wants to make and, doing it its way, Apple is more successful than any other tech company in the markets where it competes, save servers, so it is unlikely that Apple’s Board will replace Steve Jobs with you.  Therefore, you can be Apple’s customer for its products, as it produces them, or you can take your custom elsewhere.

I stand by my statement, supra.  When it comes to the rights at issue in Apple v. Psystar, Apple will not compromise on those rights for any violation of its rights that has an economically significant impact on its business or for any violations of its rights that are so notorious that failure to enforce its rights might be deemed a waiver of them, which means Bosco that you and your few Mac clones are probably safe.  And hackintosh.org et al are safe, because they do not have any material impact on Apple’s business and because rather than an open and notorious challenge to Apple a la Psystar, they hide from Apple like rats hiding from a Russell Terrier.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Funny thing is, I don’t actually have “a problem”. You won’t find any Hackintoshes in my inventory or even technical violations of Apple’s SLAs. Well, not yet, anyway. That’s why I feel more than comfortable observing what people are actually doing and sharing it here. Hey, I just searched InsanelyMac.com for “MSI Wind” and there are thousands of downloads of patches posted with hack guides for that netbook. Thousands! Right out there in the open, like rats hiding from a Chihuahua.

You can build this for under $2K. Glue a refurb Mac Mini ($499) inside the case if you like and assuage all guilt you may have. Twice as fast as any Mac Pro you can buy at the Apple Store. And for the particular application I suggested, FCP rendering farm, the incompatibilities and “lower spec’d components” are not going to hurt you.

Do you realize why that non-Apple setup works? And why it works without much actual hacking? Apple wants it both ways. They want the benefit of cheap, standardized, commodity hardware. Yet they also want software tying to the OS and protection via the SLA. You might as well prohibit dogs from licking their private parts. It’s going to happen. It’s even going to happen inside “real” companies. It’s probably going to be tested in court over and over and over. Great job opportunities for Nemo’s buddies. Apple, meanwhile, could easily become as despised as the RIAA if it overplays things through the legal system.

Joe

@bosco:
“The ?Apple tax? was in the context of say a $600 Mac Mini that might just run iTunes. A $400 Dell Zino HD will do as good a job or better.”

OK, go ahead and buy that Dell Zino for $400. Add $50 for Rebel EFI. Add $129 for Mac OS X. You’re now at $579 instead of $599. Is it worth messing around, getting no software support, and knowing that you’ll never be able to upgrade? Not for most people.

Not to mention that the court has now clearly ruled that it’s illegal.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@Joe. Your math is wrong. Dell Zino HD with Windows 7 Home and Wireless b/g/n $400. End of story. It runs iTunes just as well as the Mini and uses a standard $9 HDMI cable to hook up to my flatscreen. No separate audio cabling needed.

AceNet-Alan

Psystar ceases sales of Rebel EFI (again); enters the t-Shirt/Donation business in an effort to gain sympathetic public support:

http://www.psystar.com/

Each product description provides the following statement:

We have chosen to temporarily halt sales of Rebel EFI. Due to our ongoing litigation with Apple, Inc., we are seeking legal sanctions to continue selling our software products. We will continue to work with the Mac OS and bringing it to generic PC hardware. We will continue to support of all our products, both hardware and software. There are also plans to distribute Rebel EFI versions specific to computer configurations, such as Rebel EFI: HP mini and Rebel EFI: Dell 9 mini. Our hope is that in the weeks to come, an expedited judgment will validate the legality of Rebel EFI and all future Psystar software products.

Pathetic is the emphasis here: while Psystar states that t-shirts are now available, they don’t even bother posting a picture. Alas, it seems that formerly all-defiant Psystar, which touted facilities and a vision of beating Apple’s proprietary rights on OS X, is now on the curb, becoming the lone pauper that promises the public that the donations will help pull Psystar from the brink, but may very well be only enough to buy a cheeseburger to survive the day.

Joe

@bosco
“Your math is wrong. Dell Zino HD with Windows 7 Home and Wireless b/g/n $400. End of story. It runs iTunes just as well as the Mini and uses a standard $9 HDMI cable to hook up to my flatscreen. No separate audio cabling needed.”

Then it’s an even more inane comparison-why are you posting such a ridiculous argument when the entire article and discussion is about running Mac OS X on cheaper hardware?

You’re running an inferior OS on inferior hardware. You may choose that kind of thing, but some of us prefer superior products. Why does that bother you so much?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

You?re running an inferior OS on inferior hardware. You may choose that kind of thing, but some of us prefer superior products. Why does that bother you so much?

Actually, I’m amused by fanboyism, not the slightest bit bothered. For most users (> 90% in fact), it’s not nearly as superior as you imagine. Maybe a little shinier in spots, but so is my bald brother-in-law.

AceNet-Alan

http://theappleblog.com/2009/05/06/apple-customer-satisfaction-its-the-experience/

This is one of many links that give evidence to apple being a superior product. Bosco, I doubt you can provide multiple reputable sources that support your 90%!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Here’s data from a company that sells extended warranties. Apple’s superior quality is comparatively mediocre.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/17/laptop-reliability-survey-asus-and-toshiba-win-hp-fails/

The 90% is Microsoft’s marketshare. You know, what actual people actually end up buying. I really don’t suppose that many of you here have actually used Windows. The difference between the platforms is no more than personal taste for most users and applications. Reasonable people recognize that.

James

@Bosco

You talk yourself in circles. Okay, fine: the Dell works great in that capacity. If so, why do care about Macs or OS X in the first place? If you don’t need either of them, or even want them apparently, then this entire conversation has been a gigantic waste of time. You make no sense, man! If you just want to tinker, the open source tools are already out there, for FREE. If you want something comparable to a Mac though, you are likely going to pay a price comparable to one, and I agree that would be ludicrous if all you are looking for is a little media server. It’s not rocket science . . . never has been.

AceNet-Alan

Bosco,
I love it! Let’s see, it took you an hour to find a poor article that did not have a reputable source! Keep in mind that 1) it took me 1 minute to find mine, 2) Square trade isn’t known for their quality figures (note their gaffes in reporting high XBox 360 failure rates)3) Square Trade is a warranty provider… gee, how impartial is that (snicker), and 4) Your source does not prove anything about superiority.

In fact, I use windows more than you think! Ummm, you did say >90%. Where’s the greater than? Where’s your source?

In any case, all it takes is one shot of bug spray to kill a few hundred ants. Just because many people have a product doesn’t mean it’s the best (thanks China and Wal-Mart).

cbsofla

@ Bosco: Please let me know where you studied statistics. With a range of precisely 10% between high and low scores, Apple comes in only 1.8% below the top.

Or perhaps it comes down to how you define “mediocre.” Generally, it applies to sub-standard, so-so, just barely good enough, on the C- side of the curve.

Apple placing in the top 20% of a range ? mediocre?

Then we have a slightly larger drop to Dell, and from there it falls off much more substantially.

Year after year, Consumer Reports summarizes user input and reports substantially higher consumer satisfaction with Apple’s service, and products as well. It doesn’t particularly matter to me; I use what I like, regardless of stats.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

If you guys will recognize that Apple hardware is comparably expensive and often does more than many users in many niches specifically need, you will see the economic incentive for Hackintoshing. You will see that there are places where $50/station for Rebel EFI works out as a bargain.

Some here contend that Apple is in the right to vigorously defend its IP and/or that it actually can vigorously defend that IP while not inconveniencing its “legitimate” customers. You’re simply naive. At the very least, spend a few weeks looking at what Hackintoshers do. Look at how real companies, like the one that makes WiFi cards popular in netbooks, have actually contributed to the effort. Look at the Dell and MSI discussion boards, both on corporate sites and fan sites. Look at mainstream computing press, such as PC World. Look at established Mac sites like MacInTouch. Hackintoshing is neither an underground nor a niche phenomenon. It would be hard to quantify, but very likely that Apple realizes millions in revenue from this channel. By offering those customers who find the economic incentive to Hackintosh products that better meet their needs and price points (or letting other innovative PC makers do the same), Apple would get a larger share of the money spent and remove uncertainty that generates nothing but ill will for Apple.

AceNet-Alan

With that being said… Boscow has lost it.

Let’s break it down…

If you guys: (he’s ready to start stereotyping) will recognize that Apple hardware is comparably expensive (comparable to what… oranges? Oh, you mean PCs) and often does more than many users in many niches specifically need (wow. that niche in the OS market increased from 7.31% in Dec 2007 to 9.63% in Dec 2008), you will see the economic incentive for Hackintoshing (huh?). You will see that there are places where $50/station for Rebel EFI works out as a bargain (price cuts of $300 to 700 for the MB Pro and Air in June 09).

Some here (I’m scared) contend that Apple is in the right to vigorously defend its IP and/or that it actually can vigorously defend that IP while not inconveniencing its ?legitimate? customers. You?re simply naive (evidently the Apple lawyers and the judges disagree). At the very least, spend a few weeks looking at what Hackintoshers do. Look at how real companies, like the one that makes WiFi cards popular in netbooks, have actually contributed to the effort (whine). Look at the Dell and MSI discussion boards, both on corporate sites and fan sites. Look at mainstream computing press, such as PC World. Look at established Mac sites like MacInTouch. Hackintoshing is neither an underground nor a niche phenomenon (whine some more). It would be hard to quantify (evidently, as Bosco tried and failed), but very likely that Apple realizes millions in revenue from this channel (now we’ll never know… sniff). (all right, he’s putting on his Psystar t-shirt here) By offering those customers who find the economic incentive to Hackintosh products that better meet their needs and price points ((HIS QUOTE HERE—NOT MINE) or letting other innovative PC makers do the same), Apple would get a larger share of the money spent and remove uncertainty that generates nothing but ill will for Apple (hey, the latest 10-K fiscal report proves it!).

Good luck working at Psystar Bosco. Oh, wait, they fired everyone.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Fisking is for five year olds. Stop acting like one.

MSI Wind U123 is $300 on Amazon. Can be Hackintoshed very easily with the $29 Snow Leopard upgrade disk following and one of the simple recipes on very mainstream websites. Where does Apple play anywhere near $330? How is it that this clearly inferior hardware can run such a superior OS? Why would tens of thousands of people want to do this despite the legal and support risks? Here’s a hint… Those risks are negligible, most certainly not worth $700 or more for the Apple blessed notebook solution.

You can sling personal attacks at me all you want. I’m just reporting what goes on among the common folk who don’t sit around sniffing their own flatulence.

AceNet-Alan

LOL…fisking is typically effective in policy debate (a.k.a. “line-by-line”)... thanks for putting me in the company of such young prodigies.

Why should you feel like I ruffled your feathers? Attacks? Very sensitive, aren’t we.

Back to the point… Apple can charge whatever they want for what belongs to them!

Underpowered laptop w/ no cd drive vs. mac mini for $599. Grab the ol’ monitor, mouse and keyboard out and you got a sweet deal.

“Tens of thousands” huh! Wow! (let’s not forget that you “presumed” that ridiculous estimate @10:16 am). And you mention “common folk” in the same post???? Let’s see, 38+14+47= 99 million working Americans, like you said at 12:11 am. Tens of thousands doesn’t seem so common anymore. Seems like you have sold your soul to the Psystar devil.

Joe

@Bosco:
“MSI Wind U123 is $300 on Amazon. Can be Hackintoshed very easily with the $29 Snow Leopard upgrade disk following and one of the simple recipes on very mainstream websites”

You mean the one that is clearly labeled ‘upgrade’ disk and which specifically requires that you have Leopard installed? Even using the version for Tiger machines at $169, it’s still illegal - read Judge Alsup’s decision. Start with your $300 Wind, add $50 for Rebel EFI and $169 for the Tiger upgrade and you’re at $519 for a POS junk ‘computer’ vs. $599 for a computer from the top rated vendor in the country. AND, if you buy the Mini, you’re not a criminal.

Sure, if I wanted to be criminal, I could have a Ferrari for nothing. That doesn’t mean that’s the price.

Joe

@Bosco:
“You will see that there are places where $50/station for Rebel EFI works out as a bargain.”

Yes, it might be a bargain for criminals. Then again, considering that the savings aren’t all that much in the examples you’ve given and you get a greatly limited experience (things that don’t work properly and limited or no ability to upgrade), not to mention that it’s criminal activity (read Alsup’s decision), maybe it’s the idiots of the world who see it as a good deal.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

OK fine. They’re all “criminals”. So were the 40 million original Napster users. So were the tens of millions who moved to the file sharing networks and still use them. Most everybody got the idea that the RIAA couldn’t sue music sharing out of existence and needed to update its business model for the new environment. The same will happen with Apple in an environment Apple created by moving to Intel. The Hackintoshers are not just ?bernerds in the dorm rooms. They’re mainstream.  And they obviously don’t give a sh*t that you think they’re “criminals”.

Apple has a dilemma. Does it clamp down on security and make things more difficult for the customers that adhere to the license? Does it offer less expensive (and less capable) Macs to close the price gap that gives people the incentive to ignore license terms? Does it license the Mac OS to companies like MSI, HP, and Acer that are innovating (yes, innovating) in the low price netbook/nettop space?

And Alan, I’m not terribly sensitive. Just don’t act like a douche.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@Joe, please scroll up to the example of a FCP rendering station. $2000 in generic hardware gets you a faster station than $4000 in Mac Pro. These users still need to fork out $1000 for an FCP license per machine. There are many small rendering farms set up just like that, and much fairly open discussion about them on Hackintosh boards. If $50/machine saved an hour here or there, it would be a no-brainer.

AceNet-Alan

Actually Bosco, I’m quite amused at how sensitive and bothered you are about the issue; not to mention your fanboyism for illegal hacking.

As far as I know, hackers are still being arrested, and Macs are still considered more secure than Windows:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/news/1999/09/a19990901hacker.htm

http://www.governmentsecurity.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=5660

And don’t forger hackers Billy Hoffman and Virgil Griffith, who both apologizes to Blackboard and Blackboard’s clients. They might need some tissue.

Heres an idea: “You can build this for under $2K. Glue a refurb Mac Mini ($499) inside the case if you like and assuage all guilt you may have. Twice as fast as any Mac Pro you can buy at the Apple Store. And for the particular application I suggested, FCP rendering farm, the incompatibilities and ?lower spec?d components? are not going to hurt you.”

Gee, I wonder who said that at 4:56pm??? BOSCO!!! Whay then would I want to spend $2K in generic hardware? Why should Joe follow your example? Better forget that job at Psystar. Oh, and as mentioned before, using generic hardware is illegal and your math is wrong.

Intruder

Bosco,

The fundamental difference between the Hackintosh community and Psystar is that Psystar was executing a business model around IP infringement. There is a huge difference between a bunch on individuals taking the hardware they bought and putting OSX on it (still illegal according to the EULA), and a company actually selling the capability.

Most medium to large businesses will NOT use a product like rebel EFI if there is the possibility of it being declared illegal. Getting in trouble with groups like the BSA and others is not where they want to go. Most companies do very rigorous software compliance audits in order to avoid any legal issues. Small businesses may choose to use something like Rebel EFI, but they do so at their own legal and financial risk.

Despite all of the rest of the noise in this debate, the fundamental issue surrounds setting up a business around IP infringement. What Psystar did was illegal, as determined by a federal court.

AceNet-Alan

Thanks intruder for getting this discussion back to the crux of the matter. You are correct in the fundamental issues surrounding who is using Rebel EFI. While Bosco chooses to ignore this, there is obvious consensus among the majority that have contributed to this forum that support your opinion.

cbsofla

...By offering those customers who find the economic incentive to Hackintosh products that better meet their needs and price points ((HIS QUOTE HERE?NOT MINE) or letting other innovative PC makers do the same), Apple would get a larger share of the money spent and remove uncertainty that generates nothing but ill will for Apple (hey, the latest 10-K fiscal report proves it!).

Proves what? That Apple needs the Hacks?

Lookit the pretty pictures:
http://www.9to5mac.com/chart-apples-growth-343545

Whoa, that’s a lot of “ill will” rooted in “uncertainty.”

How in the world has Apple survived without the Hacks’ business? And especially their enthusiasm?

I struggle to contain my sarcasm: all insinuations that Apple misses out on some crucially valuable part of the market are just plain ? well, that’s language I’d rather not use, just in case my mom’s secretly lurking in this forum.

Say whatever you want about what YOU think Apple “SHOULD” do on this or any other point. As I post this, I see some 34,000,000,000 reasons why I think Apple has a pretty dang good grip on what they’re doing.

If the undeniable and unequivocal facts reflected in that chart display “ill will” and “uncertainty,” then let the alienation and ambiguity just keep a’rockin’.

Intruder

cbsofia,

You are quoting as if Alan A. said that. He did not. Bosco did. I believe you and Alan are on the same side of the debate.

AceNet-Alan

cbsofla and I are on the same side… cbsofla is quoting Bosco.

Well said cbsofla!

cbsofla

OK fine. They?re all ?criminals?. So were the 40 million original Napster users. So were the tens of millions who moved to the file sharing networks and still use them… The Hackintoshers are not just ?bernerds in the dorm rooms. They?re mainstream.  And they obviously don?t give a sh*t that you think they?re ?criminals?.

On Psystar or any issue related to the Hacks community, my opinion doesn’t matter, nor does yours. Judge Alsup’s findings do. Maybe you can convince him otherwise.

Most everybody got the idea that the RIAA couldn?t sue music sharing out of existence and needed to update its business model for the new environment. The same will happen with Apple in an environment Apple created by moving to Intel.

Perhaps you didn’t see this in a previous post:
http://www.9to5mac.com/chart-apples-growth-343545

So Intel is Apple’s downfall? Hmm, after more than four years of Intel, what do you see happening to Apple’s piggy bank? Wait ? you’re partly right. Somewhere about Dec 2005, evidently someone left all the lights on for a few nights; Apple did lose what looks like maybe several hundred thousand dollars. Dang. I bet Steve had to empty most of the cash on hand in his wallet and look under the couch to pay that.

What happened after that corporate collapse, Bosco? How’s that Intel thing going for Apple? Going a lot better than the horoscope you’re charting for them.

And, uh, haven’t the last couple of years been financially challenging, or lethal, for most companies? Apple doesn’t seem to know about that. Maybe you should e-mail Steve to warn him. Give him your brilliant, insightful, prophetic vision of impending doom.

Fun getting attention, isn’t it?

cbsofla

You are quoting as if Alan A. said that. He did not. Bosco did.

Yep, my bad on leaving the context unclear (and I wasn’t exactly sure where the quote began and ended, for that matter).

Dang. Substitute one small lump of coal in place of the iTunes card in my stocking tomorrow. grin

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@cbsofla: And here is an even more staggering growth picture:

http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/23/netbooks-party-hard-in-2009-shipments-up-103-percent-year-over/

Yet Apple doesn’t play in that space, officially. I am truly shocked the more I look into that space how much Apple plays unofficially, whether it knows or not.

@Intruder… I agree 99% with your second paragraph in your initial post. Smaller businesses are more lax about IP compliance and enforcement, just as individuals are. I preach pragmatism in dealing with these kinds of customers. YMMV. A small FCP render farm isn’t too expensive if you ditch the Apple hardware. Even if you pay for the Apple software! If a $50/unit Rebel EFI speeds up deployment enough, it might be a no-brainer. That is my only point. People don’t just shut down their plan when they realize that they break an SLA. Real people may rationalize that Apple is getting $1K/node for FCP anyway. Not just “may”. They do. You can find plenty of discussion about that on the boards.

I’m just telling you what I’ve discovered that people are doing. Perhaps the most interesting part about the Psystar slapdown is that it’s brought a great deal of attention to Hackintoshing. The irony is deep.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

So Intel is Apple?s downfall?

No. Ugh. I think I should just leave you all to revel in Apple’s legal beatdown of 8 retards in Florida.

After the Intel transition, Apple’s hardware is essentially the same as all commodity Intel hardware in the Wintel space. This gives Apple the advantage of leveraging advances made by many companies competing and cooperating in this space. It gives Apple higher performance at lower production costs. It also opens up the possibility of Hackintoshing, especially when Apple customers expect flexibility from OS X installers and have come to expect the honor system on license compliance.

I am not saying it’s right or wrong. I’m not pointing to the scoreboard. I am reporting what I observe, and that is a lot of people trying to drive all sorts of trucks through this hole.

AceNet-Alan

No Bosco, you are the only one trying to bring more attention to system hacking. And supporting illegal solutions (which you already acknowledged as what the hackers are actually doing) is not pragmatic in our society, or in most other societies that do business with the US.

AceNet-Alan

@Bosco: After the Intel transition, Apple?s hardware is essentially the same as all commodity Intel hardware in the Wintel space. This gives Apple the advantage of leveraging advances made by many companies competing and cooperating in this space….

Minus the lack of support for the lots of people that are pushing to hack the Mac OS (this is not clearly defined or proven), your comment above is the smartest comment you have made in this whole discussion—well said.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

You could just see Alan in Alabama in the 1950s telling black skinned people to sit at the back of the bus because protesting segregation isn’t pragmatic. Or driving 55 in the fast lane to keep others from speeding. If Alan’s parents were going broke paying for meds, he’d let them go bankrupt and die rather than order from a Canadian pharmacy. Alan doesn’t sjip over commercials on TV shows he DVRs because that would be stealing from the networks. Alan would turn in his own son for lending a CD to a friend while he had a ripped copy on his iPod. And of course, Alan has stopped using his Mac since Apple was hit with around 20 patent infringement lawsuits in the past year. Such an upstanding law abiding citizen you are Alan!

Hackintoshing is violating an EULA. When companies try to use EULAs to prop up an uncommon business model that would otherwise be unsustainable, I am more than amused when tens of thousands give that company the proverbial finger. Just as I’d be more than amused if somebody violating some silly rule in Alan’s world brought him 20 seconds closer to an aneurism.

Joe Anonymous

@bosco:
“You could just see Alan in Alabama in the 1950s telling black skinned people to sit at the back of the bus because protesting segregation isn?t pragmatic.”

Wow - you’ve really lost it.

In the case of Apple, you’re talking about people who are stealing Apple’s intellectual property - as established by Federal court. By what type of bizarre logic is that comparable to people standing up for civil rights?

AceNet-Alan

LOL! Now that’s funny! Segragation is illegal, driving slow to keeping others from speeding is against the law in some states, there are ways to legally get meds in the US besides going to Canada (medicare), there is no law against using TiVo for commercial skipping (in fact, the networks lost on that issue, thus the proliferation of the DVR), CDs =fair use laws, and lawsuits do not equal judgement (innocent until proven guilty). Thank you for the compliment.

Your amusement comes at a cost, which impacts legal users. You have proven to this community that you support illegal activity. No aneurism, as I am well aware of who you are. And you have been caught.

Intruder

Bosco,

In my opinion, Apple does take a somewhat pragmatic view regarding hackintoshes. They are not going after individuals hacking their hardware. They haven’t made any serious effort at going after the OSx86 crowd after their initial stab in 2006. This is much like the view Microsoft took towards Windows piracy in the 80’s and early 90’s (where they turned a blind eye towards individuals sharing copies of Windows, as they viewed it as a way to increase marketshare). However, businesses are a different matter entirely. Wired Magazine (a business) publishing a guide to hackintoshing in January 2009 got Apple crosswise. Psystar openly flaunting their wares and challenging Apple in the press to stop them got Apple crosswise.

I don’t think that Apple will expend the energy to stop consumers from hackintoshing (heck, I have one that I travel with when I don’t want to take the MBP with me). But they most certainly WILL stop businesses who try to profit from it. Will they go after a company running a small render farm on generic hardware and OSX? Probably not. Will they go after a business trying to SELL a render farm on generic hardware and OSX? In a New York minute.

Apple may surprise me and change their position regarding consumer hacking, but I don’t see it happening right now. Go ahead and hack away…just don’t try to make a business of it.

AceNet-Alan

I agree with Intruder’s comments. The reality is that there are people that will use their systems in ways that may violate the EULA. Once you get this to happen on a business scale, someone deserves a slappin’.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@Intruder… Yeah, we agree 100% on those points. I do, however, think that businesses will get more and more creative as to how they profit from Hackintoshing. I can guarantee you that MSI has an internal estimate of what Hackintoshability contributes to its sales. I wouldn’t be surprised if HP and Dell have knowledge as well. Infringement is basically getting more nuanced, which means it will be more expensive (not just dollars, but reputation, ease of use, etc.) for Apple to combat. There is always the alternative for Apple of embracing what these customers want.

And now that you’ve admitted to actually having one, expect Alan and the IP Taliban to knock on your door and pay you a visit. Make sure you didn’t take the tags off your mattress. These scolds will notice when they seek out any dirty clothes under your bed.

Bryan Chaffin

Intruder, as usual, hit the nail on the head. I imaging most of us will agree with him.

On your last point, Bosco: I don’t think Apple will ever openly embrace hacintoshing as a business model as long as Steve is in charge. Steve wants control over the whole widget, and with the price of Mac OS X subsidized by hardware sales, it doesn’t make financial sense to do so.

Those two points make it a dead issue. They’ll not bother with individuals, save for the occasional software blocks, but they will try to halt businesses from profiting from a hacintosh business model, as Intruder says.

Also, you cracked me up with this line, Bosco: “I think I should just leave you all to revel in Apple’s legal beatdown of 8 retards in Florida.”

I often disagree with you, but you often make me literally laugh out loud (in a good way!). smile

AceNet-Alan

Agreed Bryan, I’ve been laughing the whole way on this one. That Bosco… what a sensitive guy.

Intruder

I can guarantee you that MSI has an internal estimate of what Hackintoshability contributes to its sales. I wouldn?t be surprised if HP and Dell have knowledge as well.

In those cases, neither MSI nor HP nor Dell is committing any infringement whatsoever. Apple cannot do anything to prevent a company from making a computer with compatible hardware. What they can do, through the legal system, is prevent somebody from selling the machines with OSX pre-installed.

If Psystar had sold the machines as bare-bones with no OS installed, they probably would have flown under the radar. It was flaunting the fact that they came with the OS installed, calling it “OpenMac” (before being forced to change the name), and calling it “The Apple Alternative” was just asking for trouble.

Considering what they did, “8 retards in Florida” may be an apt description.

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