Psystar & Short-Sighted Linux Nerds

There’s this back-alley outfit in Miami who started selling a $399 “OpenMac” computer they claim will run Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5). Noooo, a computer hardware company NOT named Apple is going to have no problems naming a computer “OpenMac”. Idiots.

So now it’s called the “Open Computer”, which, if you believe the people for whom this computer is for, is redundant; these are the people that hate the fact and solid justification of being able to run Mac OS X only on Apple hardware. Boo hoo.

So then this company is specious in comparing it price/performance wise to a Mac mini. The mini is specific to two different audiences: those that want to dip their toe into the Mac world and those that want a small, silent, capable Mac, where size, loudness and narrow capability are the key factors. Like the Mac mini I have running as media server and media source in my home theater setup.

This thing is a clunky box: much bigger than the mini and most likely much louder than the mini. So for the latter audience (which would include me) this box might as well be a Dell desktop box.

So let’s say that those Apple-hardware-restrictions haters want the “freedom” of “openness” and “choice” of running Mac OS X on commodity hardware (which none of Apple’s is, for reasons of enhanced usability, not just to be different for no reason) end up with Mac OS X on their desktop.

Hurray! They’ve finally gotten the OS and UI they’ve hated on so long! Huh? Now we’ve eliminated the first group, too.

But it’s all about choice now, right? Mac OS X is superior for many reasons, one of which is look-and-feel consistency across all applications—except for Adobe and their stupid AMP application. “But why can’t I skin the windows to look like I want them to? Why can’t I have mouse-focus on the windows and auto-raise and…and…and…everything I can choose to do on my linux commodity, loud-as-the-devil’s-own-noise, ugly as sin, boring as fuck, built-it-myself-while-wearing-a-tin-foil-hat-just-because-that’s-how-I-roll in Mac OS X? I can do all that on Linux, so why shouldn’t I be able to do that on Mac OS X?

So whoever the market is for the OpenMac OpenComputer will end up with an ugly beige box runnning Linux anyway, because Mac OS X is too restricted by Apple’s insistence.

So explain to me again? Hate Apple hardware’s restrictions, hate Mac OS X’s restrictions people who just plain hate anything Apple makes because they’re not “open” going out and buying a beige box with non-Apple-standard configurations, ending up with the problems of finding drivers for the stuff they themselves add to the Open Computer—remember, these people don’t ever settle for off-the-shelf configurations—ending up stuck with an OS that doesn’t let them configure the software to look like some teen angst nightmare that makes them feel in control of their computing world.

The only way the presence of this stillbirth (by all reckoning) of a machine makes any sense is as an attempt to hate on Apple’s valuation and to attempt to lend an honest credence to their irrational attempts to humiliate humble Apple.

There’s how to build a successful business, eh?

So if it’s not intended to successfully sell machines, why does it exist? More to the point, who’s funding it? That’s where you’ll find the real answers.

Microsoft, cold-blooded reptilian that’s dying from the changing climate, goes after the small mammal that, while tiny and cute and stuffed [graphical] toy-like, has managed to thrive with aplomb.

We’ve seen this before.

Oh, and did I mention that Psystar warns that it’s not 100% compatible with Apple’s Software Update system? By their own admission and in their own words, there are “non-safe” and “not non-safe” updates for the OpenComputer running Leopard. In my book, that directly violates their claim that it runs Leopard “off the shelf”, because a significant feature of Leopard-off-the-shelf is that updates (security and improvement updates) work as advertised.

Let’s see how far they get; then we’ll have some real numbers of the stupidity of consumers and how some things are cliché for a good reason.