From Apple to Linux and T-Shirts

Anyone who has more than a passing acquaintance with Apple knows that lawyers are the preferred messengers of the orchard's upper echelons. The year and a half long battle waged against "hackintosh" purveyor Psystar is but one example, and an interesting one at that, as it has ended, at least for now, with a switch to Linux — and t-shirts.

For those not familiar, Psystar is a small company that, until recently, dealt in PCs modified to use Apple's OS X — which, under the terms of its EULA, can only be installed on Apple-approved hardware. Though less than a thousand machines have found owners, the company landed on Apple's radar, and as a result, in federal court. Earlier this month, that court ordered an end to sales, leaving Psystar all but high and dry.

Though the company offers another item — a program called Rebel EFI that allows OS X installation by end-users — it has temporarily suspended distribution until another court can rule on its legality. Having lost its entire product line with the flourish of a judge's pen, the company has been forced to regroup, and has settled on Linux as the way to do it. According to a posting on the company website, the company will begin offering Linux-based PCs "in the coming days."

An interesting note accompanies the announcement: "In addition to using only first quality components, our hardware specifically chosen such that it is known to be compatible with OS X (via Apples own drivers or open source offerings online)." The post identifies the intent in doing so as smoothing the way for installing XNU-based operating systems "including Pure Darwin."

The company is also making a fashion statement, via the sale of t-shirts bearing the slogan "I sued Psystar...and all I got was a lousy injunction." The shirts, available from the company's website for $15, come with a triple-stab at Apple. In addition to helping fund Psystar's continued efforts, and gaining anti-Apple apparel, buyers will receive a complimentary copy of Rebel EFI "once the court has ruled in our favor."


Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Great thinking

Janey James's picture

I think apparel want to take more steps in there mobile world, but I don't think that it will happen because now we need any other new company for features.. something like pomegranatephone

Yes its really Funny

Kelvin Hanes's picture

I see there new commercial and its also very funny, I really enjoy to see this commercial...

Psystar is just greedy.

AnomalousThought's picture

Psystar seems to care for nothing more than the dough. They don't seem to be in it for any other reason, as the first commentor exemplified, Psystar isn't really supportive of Open Source. It's obvious they wanted to sell computers, they had no real niche for doing so, they preinstalled OS X on the boxes in order to make the money they desired.

Would a company that is truly out for the mind of open source do that? Apple is historically and legally one of the most non-supportive companies of Open Source and Psystar has been making thousands by promoting and selling products using Apple as a means to their end.

Now they are angry because they never really had it out for Open Source in the first place, it still isn't their niche market, and they were slapped on the wrist for promoting and exploiting a product that any Open Source enthusiast wouldn't dare go near with a ten foot pole. In another attempt to make a quick buck, these guys go so petty as to sell T-Shirts exploiting *their own* exploitations.

This is greed to a disgusting level that goes against everything Open Source and Linux are based on.

This is not really good news

MR's picture

Psystar is not Linux's friend, Justin.

Yes, they're going to sell preinstalled Linux, but it's not like they're offering support for Linux. No, they're providing Linux because it's something they can put on the box for free. Their goal, clearly, is to continue selling Hackintosh hardware; by including Linux on the box it's a little less blatant and may help keep them out of court again. After all, if their customers just happen to wipe the preinstalled Linux and install OS/X it's not Psytar's fault anymore, is it?

If you check out Groklaw ( you'll find that a lot of Psystar's arguments and court moves seemed to threaten the GPL as much as they did Apple's EULA and licensing practices. Don't think for one minute that this company is actually trying to promote Linux.

Good idea

Tatsh's picture

I am happy about this move. I hope they get rid of OS X and Windows from their lines and just offer Linux machines. Can they market correctly on this move? And (obligatory statement) will 2010 be the year of the Linux desktop?

Just One More Reason Not To Buy A New Apple Machine!

John and Dagny Galt's picture

Just One More Reason Not To Buy A New Apple Machine!
(Low-balling for used ones is way cool and fun too!)

Today you can walk into Walmart and purchase a full-size full-function warranteed laptop for three hundred and change. You'll get a copy of some such version of windows for dummies pre-installed. You might as well keep that current just in case you decide to sell the machine to someone who can't live without dummy-doze.

Still, who needs or wants to blow big bucks keeping Apple's attorneys in fancy suits and shoes.

Keep up the great work and Happy Birthday Again Linus!

John and Dagny Galt
Atlas Shrugged, Owners Manual For The Universe!(tm)