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Psystar claims it cracked Mac OS X on its own

updated 07:25 pm EST, Wed November 11, 2009

Founder denies tech was taken from osx86project

Psystar co-founders and brothers Rudy Kendall and Robert Kendall have shed light on the beginnings of their company, including a claim they cracked Mac OS X on their own, according to an interview with Miami New Times. After growing up in a family that could not afford the early Macs, Robert set out to learn how to run Apple's operating system on cheaper computers.

Aside from the officially licensed Mac clones produced in the '90s, the Kendall brothers were still preceded by unauthorized hacks pioneered by groups such as the 'osx86project.' Rudy denies accusations that he stole the concept from the Hackintosh community.

"The first thing you have to do is unlearn everything you've read online about how to make this work, because it's all wrong," Rudy said.

The brothers also dismiss the notion that Psystar was designed solely as a legal contender to Apple. ""It's a common misconception that we set out to challenge Apple," Rudy said. "I kind of wish we had, because we probably could have approached this from a much more logical starting point. But that's not how it happened."

While Psystar's media coverage is said to have helped boost sales beyond the startup's early expectation, it has also inspired a number of imitators. "These guys are riding our coattails and we're shouldering all the court costs," said Rudy.

Rudy scoffs at Apple's accusation that Psystar is being kept afloat by a secret group of conspirators. "I'm the secret funder. It's just me."

The brothers' argue they should be allowed to do whatever they want with the Mac OS X software after it has been legitimately purchased from Apple. Robert compares it to buying a book and tearing pages out or rewriting sections. "And if I can find a buyer, I can resell that one copy however I please," he says.

The Psystar clones may not be putting a dent in Apple's Mac sales, however many analysts believe the computer giant is still worried about the implications of losing its legal battle against the Florida-based clone maker.

"There's a lot at stake in this case," says von Lohmann of the EFF. "If Psystar loses, it could set the stage for companies to have a lot more leeway to demand that you use their hardware."

by MacNN Staff



  1. DanielSw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Despicable PR caper

    The Kendall brothers are a couple of tools (pawns) being played to the max simply to create a PR flap against Apple. They're flagrantly violating Apple's ERA and being allowed gnaw away at the "sanctity" of Apple's IP.

    Didn't both sides ask for a summary judgement? Let's "git 'er done" and shut these fools--I mean tools--down and get on with the show.

  1. DanielSw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Despicable PR caper, follow-up

    That's EULA, not ERA.

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You don't buy a copy of the software, you purchase a license to use the software on an Apple-branded computer. The only thing you buy is the media the software is provided on.

  1. drumrobot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    When you buy OSX, you need to agree to the terms of use. I'm willing to bet quite a lot of money that somewhere on that page is a paragraph that says using OSX on a non-Apple computer is not allowed.

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes, you agree.

    That may be listed in the terms of the agreement, but these guys are contesting that those terms are legal to be there in the beginning. Just because something's written in a contract doesn't make it legally binding when challenged.

    What will happen if they win is Apple will be forced to sell a copy of OSX for use on generic machines. However, that doesn't mean they can't simply price it at $1000 and say the $29 version is an upgrade, which in current form, it most certainly is.

  1. 010111

    Joined: Dec 1969


    their own?

    i bet they did. based on previous business ventures by them i would seriously doubt that honestly.

    reminds me waaaaaaay too much of CherryOS. and you may recall he 'wrote' that software 'on his own' as well.

    either way... Psystar succeeding would be detrimental to paying Apple customers everywhere. personally i like the fact i don't have to enter a unique serial number when installing OSX. and i like that i don't have to authorize the machine. and like that i can take the hard drive from one machine and move it to another without a whole big mess of authorization hassle from the OS. or that i can clone a prepped generic machine onto 5 others with no issues. all things that are massively more complicated on Windows. i also like that it costs $129 (or $29 for 10.6) vs. $200-300... those are all things that are possible thanks to hardware subsidy.

    of course none of those issues will really matter to the average non-paying Apple 'customer'. so of course they think Psystar succeeding will be a fantastic thing. there are currently no huge barriers to prevent just downloading an image of OSX to use. so plenty do. i'm sure some pay but am guessing more do not. to discourage that practice will just mean making it more inconvenient for the paying consumer.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    if apple wins, you lose

    A victory by psystar, is a victory for choice and innovation.

    If I buy a mac mini, I should have the right to put it in a new case, to swap the cpu, to swap the memory, and to swap the motherboard.

    Even if no part of the original computer remains, its reasonable for me to do that and continue to use Mac OS X.

    Apple's EULA may say that I sacrifice my first born to Steve Jobs, but that doesn't make it legally enforceable.

    Apple needs to get spanked and spanked hard.

  1. herojig

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tearing apart books and reselling he on

    That's just nuts. You can't tear apart books and then resell them on a mass scale, and not expect to get fined for copyright infringements. I object to Psystar not because of what they do, but how they do it. They have a bogus website with no support forum and they do not answer emails. What kinda computer company is that? I've decided to build my own hackintoshes (but not resell them) and not purchase from Psystar. I suggest everyone interested follow suit.

  1. solafide

    Joined: Dec 1969


    True Irony

    "These guys are riding our coattails and we're shouldering all the court costs," said Rudy.

    How ironic.

    It is amazing that Rudy's head doesn't blow up from cognitive dissonance created by his morally self-contradictory stance. On the one hand, he argues that they should be able to do "whatever they want with the Mac OS X software after it has been legitimately purchased from Apple", who has carried all the costs of R&D. On the other hand, he whines that other start-ups are benefiting from his investment in court costs.


    Maybe Rudy needs to take the other start-ups to court to see if he can protect his "intellectual property" model of "riding the coattails" of another company.

    I truly do not understand why this wasn't thrown out of court long ago.

  1. appleuzr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Jonathan-Tanya, No if apple wins Pystar loses.

    You're right Jonathan-Tanya, if you purchase a Mac mini you should be able to do whatever the h*** you want with it. But, when you start whining about compatibility issues, performance, etc. should apple be there to fix all of the things you have screwed up? No, you're welcome to mod your Mac mini as much as you want but do so at your own peril. Also, i think you've missed the point here. Your argument is on a very small scale as you are describing one consumer wanting to do what they want with the product they purchased. These bozo's are trying to take someone else's work, redistribute it as their own and make a profit. Any way you look at the situation, it's still illegal.

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