From Apple to Linux and T-Shirts

Psytar's latest t-shirt

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."

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