<fw> spurise! Company claims to sell Mac clone for $399
Personal technology enthusiasts yearning for the Mac Experience without the Apple Tax—that huge markup that Mac users pay for off-the-shelf PC hardware with OS X—your days of gnashing teeth may be over. Psystar, a plucky little company from Miami, Florida is, for the moment, selling OpenMac, a Mac clone with Leopard pre-installed for $554. You also get:
- 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU
- 250 GB Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
- 2 GB DDR2 667 RAM
- Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics
- DVD+/-R Optical Drive
- 4 USB ports
For another $110, you can get an NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT, and for another $50, you can get FireWire too. Even without that, this price seems a little high compared to other OEM PCs sold by mom and pop. I guess we could call the overhead the Apple Legal Defense Fund Tax, because the EULA (PDF) for Leopard makes the legality of this computer seem dubious.
You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so.
Setting aside legalities, the OpenMac supposedly works with Mac-compatible hardware and an EFI emulator. Psystar claims the "OpenMac is a configuration of PC hardware capable of running unmodified OS X Leopard kernels," but the company also says this.
Can I run updates on my OpenMac?
The answer is yes and no. No because there are some updates that are decidedly non-safe. Yes because most updates are not non-safe. It's best to check on InsanelyMac for this information but when in doubt don't update it. You may have to reinstall your OS X if it is a non-safe update.
Well, that's reassuring. So much for a Software Update hack, but it doesn't really matter. A cheap, upgradeable alternative to a $1999 Mac Pro will never be more than a fantasy among personal technology enthusiasts engaging in endless circular arguments on the Internet. Anyone who wants to build their own Mac and patch OS X to run on it is pretty much free to do so—notwithstanding software updates that trash your Hackintosh. Apple doesn't care about you. You can even talk, circumspectly, about your efforts. But try to take one penny of the dollar a year Steve Jobs makes, and you'll be thinking different without the metaphorical equivalent of the KY.