Hands-on with ‘Mac Cloner’ Psystar’s Open Computer running Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.2

“I’m writing this post on Psystar’s Open Computer running Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.2,” Tom Krazit reports or CNET.

“The Open Computer arrived Wednesday, and I spent some time this morning setting it up. The plan for now is to use it as my main work system (at least while I’m in the office) for about a week and see how it goes,” Krazit reports.

“For one, the fan is much, much quieter than I had expected based on the early reports,” Krazit reports. “The latest batch of Open Computers were shipping with a new fan. I’ve had the system running on my desk right next to my keyboard all morning, and the noise coming from the fan hasn’t been that bad at all.”

Krazit reports, “The noise from the CD-ROM drive, however, is deafening.”

“Software Update, as we already knew, was disabled by Psystar before the machine left the factory, so I’m stuck on 10.5.2 indefinitely,” Krazit reports. “This isn’t the prettiest machine I’ve ever used, but it works.”

Full article here.


  1. Apparently the entire tech journalism world is far too trusting.

    I’m still waiting in vain for someone to check closely what’s under the hood, to make sure Psystar’s custom OS X installation (which can’t be updated via Software Update) has any hidden processes or edited components designed to participate in identity theft, spam botnets, etc.

    I suppose they’re too blinded by “Wow! I can has OS ecks cheep!” to think to ask if Psystar has ulterior motives in all of this (beyond the obvious).

  2. Factory?

    I think it might be a bit much to say that this computer left, as my trusty dashboard widget dictionary states is “a building or group of buildings where goods are manufactured or assembled chiefly by machine.”

    Unless, of course, two or three college dropouts in one their parents’ basements counts . . .

    I may be wrong, but I think this outfit is getting much more credit for being a real business than is deserved.

  3. In 5 years my iMac will be running MacOS 12.4.3 or something higher and Mr. Krazit will be running OSX 10.5.2. Oh no! He won’t, because that boat anchor he’s playing with will crap out within a few months. There are so many maroons around.

    Actually someone else will have my Mac and I’ll have the latest.

  4. Shutting off the Software Update function does not mean the system can’t be updated, just that it is much harder to update. Not automatic = not EASY = HARDER.
    That said … so WHAT? It’s a good price, and that’s about it. My wife’s iMac sits before me in its silent glory, “just working”. I just got back from earning pocket change teaching a playwright how to create a sound-effects disc for her latest play – including using GarageBand to turn “beep-beep” into “beep-beep … beep-beep beep-beep”. “Amazing”, said she. “No sweat”, said I.

  5. Mr. Krazit, being an investigative journalist here, decided to take a chance, spend some $$ (His? ZD-Net’s?) and do an investigative report on this, since there is so much noise about it. He plans on using it as his main computer for some time, then writing a report about it (presumably, on that computer).

    If he is a good journalist, I would expect him to try and install (and run) the Final Cut Studio, the Adobe CS3, perhaps QuarkXpress, also DigiDesign’s ProTools (LE should be fine). He should also try the iLife 08, iMovie HD, iWork, MS Office (2004, as well as 2008), Bento, FileMaker Pro and some other wildly popular Mac titles. Hooking up some popular devices (printers, scanners and such) would help as well.

    We mustn’t forget that in the end, this is all rather beside the point, as these devices will soon disappear anyway. If this guy manages to sell a few hundred boxes, he will have successfully completed his task – get (modestly) rich quick. If I were him, after shutting down the operation, I’d take those ten grand and buy some Apple stock for that money.

  6. Software Update is not the only way to update your software. You can download all of the updates individually from Apple’s website and run them as separate installers.

    Not as convenient, but several of the Mac help sites (MacFixIt, etc.) even recommend using the standalone updaters instead of Software Update to void problems, or to reapply an update if something is wrong after Software Update ran and update.

  7. Cheap systems, If you want to really test it use it till it fails I’d give it a month maybe two.

    Interesting if these are set-up and MacOS X is put on the drive using a drive image and each one is not individually installed from a new retail copy of MacOS X, each system is legally considered to be running a pirated copy of MacOS X. Still does not rule out the fact that all packaged retail copies of MacOS X are for upgrade only copies and Apple only includes the full non-upgrade copy and license with a New Mac system.

    I’m sure a few of these systems have or are showing up a 1 Infinity Loop, Cupertino, CA for tear downs. Then the shoe will drop squashing Psystar into bankruptcy, all the while Psystar will be screaming to anyone who will listen that they are being destroyed and their right are being violated by the big bad evil Apple. That as a monopoly on MacOS X. (my mom is a Federal Judge MacOSX is considered under the law a component of Apple’s Computers and Apple can not be considered to have a Monopoly on a component of a computer. And Apple doesn’t have a monopoly on the personal computer by any stretch of reality that you want to make.

    MacOSX is a component of Apple’s computers and products. This even passes EU’s laws. Apple does not tie the computer to MacOSX so no legal claim can be made. And as all copies of the MacOSX component sold a upgrades and Apple does not sell MacOSX as a full retail software product (just an upgrade to a component installed on your Apple Computer) there is no illegal tie.

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