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Psystar Activation Servers Down? 245

An anonymous reader writes "I purchased Rebel EFI in support of Psystar's crusade back in October. Just 3 short months later, I have no support. I found this out when I upgraded my hard drive and installed Snow Leopard using Rebel EFI. The program can no longer 'phone home' to activate or download/install drivers. This is a direct contradiction to Psystar's promise posted on their website: 'Psystar will continue to support all of its existing customers of hardware and software through this transitional period. Warranties on hardware will continue to be honored as long the customer has a valid warranty. Rebel EFI support for existing customers, as always, will remain exclusively available through email and the built-in ticket interface.' Has anyone else run into this issue? It has been 9 days with no response from Psystar by e-mail or phone."
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Psystar Activation Servers Down?

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  • by tacarat ( 696339 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @06:52PM (#30710292) Journal
    Our Apple Certified Genius Ninjas have your IP address and are on their way over to assist.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Our Apple Certified Genius Ninjas have your IP address and are on their way over to assist.

      Ignoring the fact that "apple certified genius" is an oxymoron, I don't see how sending ninjas to my door is going to help them any: Many computer enthusiasts also have a healthy collection of guns. But then, that's Apple for you -- never doing the market research...

      • Geek Guns (Score:4, Funny)

        by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @05:00AM (#30713436) Homepage Journal

        Yes I know, I'll get modded offtopic. Don't care.

        Windows Geek Gun - Looks sharp and advertises all sorts of 'new' features. However, one in ten times when one pulls the trigger the gun fails to fire and instead jams.

        Linux Geek Gun - Good looking but also utilitarian. Very reliable but unfortunately the typical user of this gun is in the habit of taking it apart and rebuilding it often. In those cases it is unusuable until it's done being re(compiled)built.

        Mac Geek Gun - Sleek, stylish, and very easy to use, but one has to buy bullets from only one manufacturer. It also only allows itself to be fired in certain directions because the manufacturer knows best.

        DOS Geek Gun - A single action revolver.

        CPM Geek Gun - A musket.

        Give me a break. It's 4:00 AM EST here right now and I couldn't sleep so I'm not as sharp as I should be :p

      • Name one film where the guy with the gun came out on top of a bunch of ninjas.

        Christ, pirates have *cannons* and we still argue about which one would win >.>

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Many computer enthusiasts also have a healthy collection of guns.

        Guns 0, Ninja 1.

        Any Pirate knows that guns are useless against a Ninja, you need a proper cutlass in order to deal with those black hooded landlubbers. However due to Apple's love affair with shiny white plastic their ninjas are as easy to spot as imperial storm troopers, which means any Pirate sufficiently skilled with their blunderbuss may send one or two of the scurvy dogs to Davy Jones before they arrive.

    • Apple Certified Genius Ninjas

      One of those words does not fit in there.... Tip: It starts with G. ^^

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by sakdoctor ( 1087155 )

      Ninjas don't scare me because I am a pirate.

  • Never pay money... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by feepness ( 543479 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @06:52PM (#30710296) Homepage join a crusade.
    • by Mooga ( 789849 )
      ...when you can do it for free.
    • I learned that after paying money to 321 Studios for their DVD X Copy software (via Best Buy). Registered but didn't get around to using it before they lost in court, and since it required activation and the server was gone, I never got to use it.

      Not that I needed to. There's very nice free software out there for that purpose that will continue to function long after their development ceases. I was just contributing monetarily to their fight.

      But then they sold their e-mail list to spammers....

  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Saturday January 09, 2010 @06:53PM (#30710308)

    Lots of people thought that the German National Socialist party was going to be able to turn the German economy around, restore Germany's relevance in the world, and ultimately defeat the countries that put them in that situation at the Treaty of Versailles.

    Look, not every horse can place.

    • Hey, they placed.

      Last is a place :P

    • BadAnalogyGuy, this has to be the most creative application of Godwin's Law seen on Slashdot in recent history. Well done.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hognoxious ( 631665 )

      and ultimately defeat the countries that put them in that situation at the Treaty of Versailles.

      The country that defeated them[1] was not a signatory to the Versailles treaty, so technically they achieved that aim.

      [1] Hint: aims achieve YOU!

      • by mog007 ( 677810 )

        They never defeated the UK. They bombed the ever loving shit out of England, but they never invaded, let alone conquered it.

    • Re:Live and learn (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KibibyteBrain ( 1455987 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @07:59PM (#30710732)
      Strangely, they may have accomplished the first two. The allies at least realized that it was their tough provisions in Versailles that led to it being possibility for a rouge movement like the Nazi's to take power, leading to their friendlier approach after WWII to develop [West] Germany rather than punish it. So the Nazi's did help turn the economy around and make Germany a European power again, if only by their defeat. This might even be relavant in this situation. This crusade on Apple may not have yielded anything productive in and of itself since Apple was in its [current] legal rights to protect their IP, but if Apple ever does become more popular in a given market and faces anti-trust litigation, this incident could be cited as evidence of Apple's unwillingness to allow any competition against it's platform.
      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        ...for a rouge movement...

        If your movements are rouge, you'd better get that checked. It's probably just hemorrhoids, but it could be a sign of colon cancer....

        Ba-dump bump.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          Oh, and with regards to Nazi Germany, I think a closer parallel to the rethinking of the Versailles strategy would be Apple looking at the rise of Psystar and reconsidering policies, e.g. taking the stats about who installed Rebel EFI and on what hardware, then using that to figure out if there are ways to improve their product line to better attract those customers.

          Of course, odds are, such info would be blindingly obvious in a completely useless way (e.g. "people are slapping it on cheap $200 beige boxes

      • by mog007 ( 677810 )

        The Nazis did a pretty good job of building up Germany's economy when they were in power, too. Gearing up for war is a quick way to build up your economy quickly. Of course, when the war is over the bubble usually bursts and a recession or depression hits, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

  • by illumnatLA ( 820383 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @06:54PM (#30710316) Homepage
    I really don't see how anyone in their right mind could honestly expect that Psystar was going to survive aggressively going up against Apple such as they did. Be glad you got the amount of use that you did out of the pay version of Rebel EFI. IIRC, RebelEFI is based on a open source EFI... can't remember the name, but I'm sure a fellow slashdotter will mention it.
    • by TJamieson ( 218336 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @10:16PM (#30711780)

      PC-EFI (an EFI emulation layer), FakeSMC, and other stuff based around boot-132; a lot of work from a guy named netkas but many people contributed to other drivers, etc. Rebel EFI included *at least* PC-EFI and boot-132-derived works; that also put them in direct violation of APSL, so they were screwed one way or another.

      • There's rumors that Psystar was funded by the major PC makers (Dell, HP, Gateway, or the like) because here's what the situation was.

        A: Very likely was the chance EULAs would be proven legal by a court, creating some case law that didn't exist before in the process.
        B: In a longshot, Apple's EULA would be overturned, creating case law that could be used to kill off many clauses in other ELUAs. Bad news everyone, all ELUAs would fall, and that would break up Microsoft among the other damage.

        Now why would they

        • I would call those conspiracy theories rather than rumors. Either way, they have about as much factual foundation as "rumors" that the Apollo moon landings were faked.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        In response to your sig, what if you were coding some sort of personal finance system and you had several PINs to keep track of? Wouldn't the index of those PINs be a PIN Number? Or a device that manfactured ATMs be an ATM machine?

  • Good for you (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RedK ( 112790 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @06:56PM (#30710328)

    It seems you needed a lesson in respect of other's hard work. Now you've learned the hard way that it doesn't pay to try and rip off someone.

    Speaking seriously though, after the injunction that included RebelEFI, what did you think was going to happen ? Why even purchase a product that requires activation when all it is, is a rip off of an open source product ? I'm betting there's going to be a lot of flames in this discussion.

    • Re:Good for you (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ElusiveMind ( 1714020 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @07:35PM (#30710560) Homepage
      Took the words out of my mouth. You BUY a product from people set on circumventing both a license and technology. Then you have to activate it (to prevent piracy of their product - oh the irony). And then they go out of business. Stick with the legitimate product and you don't lose. Oh ... and if you purchased to join the crusade, then allow me to hand your head back to you - unattached of course. Your side lost.
    • Yeah, I'm sure there's a reason the guy submitted this anonymously - he didn't want the world being able to associate even a user name with an action so monumentally stupid. I wonder if he got pissed off when that $20 copy of Windows he bought during his last visit to Shanghai didn't activate when he got home, either.
    • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      It seems you needed a lesson in respect of other's hard work. Now you've learned the hard way that it doesn't pay to try and rip off someone.

      How do you feel about region free DVD players?

  • by deadmongrel ( 621467 ) * <> on Saturday January 09, 2010 @06:59PM (#30710348) Homepage

    I know it's a slow news day but why is this news? The fact that the company that created the software lost a major court case and the company filed for bankruptcy wasn't enough indication that things are not as peachy as the company claimed?

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Yep. So, what are you going to do? Sue them? Get in line and there won't be anything left for you anyway. Usually I feel sorry for customers abandoned by a bankrupcy but in the case of Psystar I'd say this is more #suckerfail than anything. Anyone with the sligbtest clue about IP law would know that Psystar, right or wrong, would be slapped to hell over this. And probably being in the wrong, too.

    • by darrenkopp ( 981266 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @08:16PM (#30710868) Homepage
      thanks for the hashtag #slashdotisnottwitter
    • We've seen the knockdown blow... but this is proof that they are not answering the bell anymore and that means they're out.

      If there's any consumers left thinking their machines still work, get out. Next MacOS security hole to be announced will be unpatched on these Hackintoshes, and they'll be unsafe to put on the Internet as a result.

  • by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @07:00PM (#30710354)
    1. This is why you don't buy anything (if you want support) from a company that is getting sued out of existence.
    2. This is why you don't buy anything that you can just do for free. It really isn't difficult to make a Hackintosh these days. You bought something that only simplified the process marginally, if even that.
    3. This is why you don't be really, really stupid about buying things.
  • The whole idea that Psystar was using strong DRM to protect their code to strip the honor-system-level protections from OS X installs was mind-meltingly ironic in the first place. The fact that they're so quickly demonstrating why buying anything protected by strong DRM is a bad idea just adds salt to the dish.

  • I like what Psystar was doing but it was always a bad idea to buy from them.

    Apple is pretty controlling, in my opinion, there's no way you can believe that they would have let Psystar do anything with Apple's software that they don't like.

    Consider it a lesson learned and search for hackintosh and learn how to sort out Mac OS on the PC yourself or take the loss and buy a proper Mac or put Linux/Windows on the machine you have.
    • by dingen ( 958134 )

      I like what Psystar was doing but it was always a bad idea to buy from them.

      If you really felt Psystar was doing the right thing, you would have bought from them. It's called voting with your wallet.

      • You can vote with your wallet but when they're technically breaking a larger company's terms then you know full well who the courts will side with and they're you're left either with a normal PC with Linux/Windows or putting OSX on yourself.

        While I agree with what they were doing I don't care enough about OSX to go through that.
        • Same thing here - there's a difference between agreeing with Psystar's position and believing they'll be able to pull it off. I personally don't see an issue with what Psystar was doing, and believe that Apple's (and any other shrinkwrap) EULA is a bunch of crap. However, I also know Congress and the courts have totally screwed up the original intent of copyright in the United States, and I have no faith that the courts would issue a ruling that would be in keeping with that original intent in the Psystar
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @07:18PM (#30710436) Homepage

    RebelEFI was just copyright infringing code. They pissed off Apple and they also pissed off the development community behind EmpireEFI. This can't end well for them. It would seem that Psystar is just a scheister organization.

  • by martinbogo ( 468553 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @07:20PM (#30710458) Homepage Journal

    December 22, 2009

    Psystar has voluntarily suspended the sale of our Rebel EFI software product. Psystar feels it would be prudent to halt the sale of Rebel EFI while we explicitly ask the court for clarification on the legality of Rebel EFI. Our patience has been tested but our resolve is unwavering. Psystar's vision of bringing the Mac OS to generic PC hardware is and always will be unyielding. Although Rebel EFI may be temporarily unavailable for purchase on the Psystar online store, those who purchase a t-shirt or donate over twenty dollars will receive one free copy of Rebel EFI once the court has ruled in our favor on this issue. ... (more moaning and groaning) ...

    Any and all information regarding Rebel EFI, future software products and all other things Psystar should be directed to or

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And when the court reiterates that Psystar is wrong, and that Rebel EFI can never again be distributed under any circumstances, what is Psystar going to give all those folks who donated money under the promise of a free copy of Rebel EFI? The judge was brutally clear in his decision, see Groklaw for all the gory details, that Psystar must stop ALL activities that infringe on Apple's products. If they don't, they can be charged with contempt. That kind of judgement doesn't lend itself to successful appeal

      • That's why they're not selling the software for $20. They're giving it away free, if they can, with purchase of an overpriced T-Shirt. If they lose, you have an overpriced slightly modified "I'm with stupid." shirt.

  • Would you like Psystar to find the money to continue by a) looking under rocks along the highway b) selling plasma with the bums downtown c) rooting around in their asses until something is found?

    Or maybe you think the promises of people who predicated a business on breaking the law* are actually worth something? That's almost endearing.

    (*save your spiel about the laws being unjust. They were fairly well understood and the court upheld them, so reality wins over idealism here.)

  • newsflash (Score:5, Funny)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @07:28PM (#30710516)

    This just in: Software that requires contacting a remote server doesn't work when the remote server suffers a total existance failure.
    Up next: People die when they're killed.

    • Bad news: What operating system or BIOS doesn't? You even have to register your Linux distro.

      • You even have to register your Linux distro.

        Yeah, or what? They'll sue me for pirating Linux? Make me pay triple damages? What's three times nothing?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          What's three times nothing?

          About 4.5 billion dollars -- but only if you are the RIAA.

        • Excuse me, you've just got a phone call from a Mr. McBride from some Santa Cruz Organization... I think you want to take it.

          Furthermore... if you fail to register your Linux and/or BIOS... your computer will start emitting a distress signal (even though that's something only ships at sea should do) and then things will get really weird. It gets even weirder after you do that.Did you not watch TechTV's TechLive?

          • Turns out that SCO eventually let McBride go. Something about "losing millions of dollars," "pump and dump," and "lawsuits we can't win."

            Well, OK, they never said those things, but I thought it was pretty obvious that's why they let him go.

      • You even have to register your Linux distro.

        What the crap are you talking about? I don't have to register my Linux distro.

        I can install my Ubuntu system completely offline without any registration, and it can stay that way, thankyou very much. Unless you somehow didn't get this joke [] a few years back.

    • If only they would stay dead.

    • by rdnetto ( 955205 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @10:26PM (#30711872)

      Up next: People die when they're killed.

      Too late, someone got in ahead of you. []

  • by Mista2 ( 1093071 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @07:46PM (#30710642)

    Psystar had no respect for Apples intellectual property, why do you think they had hany interest in supporting you? After they were killed by the courts, who did you think would keep their systems operating? The magic IT fairies?
    Psystar were just ripping off other open EFI emulators anyway. Search around, there are plenty of legit free ones, not stolen copies like Psystar were shipping.

  • Silly monkey, did you actually think Psystar was fighting Apple on some idealogical grounds other than justifying making money by ripping Apple off? The irony is thick. Psystar's infrastructure, which was to protect their profits, takes you down with them on the ship when things go south. Nice.

    But, who knows, maybe somebody will start a company reverse engineering Psystar's DRM so for a small fee you can get your computer working again? ;')

    • by v1 ( 525388 )

      But, who knows, maybe somebody will start a company reverse engineering Psystar's DRM so for a small fee you can get your computer working again

      I think I'm going to make up a new phrase for that: recursive irony

  • by halfdan the black ( 638018 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @08:17PM (#30710872)
    Did you honestly expect Psystar would honor the 'promise' they made to you when the steal, and re-sell the hard work of the hackintosh community in order to allow you to steal the intellectual property of Apple? The entire company was based on stealing the property of others hard work. Now, what I would have liked to have seen, is Psystar would have worked to improve Linux using some good ideas from OSX. Lets face it, Linux is not perfect, it has sever shortcomings, thats why people pay money for OSX. OSX does several things right, like application deployment (everything packed in a single directory), why not incorporate some of these ideas into Linux? Well, that would require hard work, instead of stealing from others.
  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Saturday January 09, 2010 @08:32PM (#30710976)

    When Pystar first brought a machine on the market, it became quickly clear that their hardware was junk and they didn't know what they were doing. IIRC, one early reviewer bought a machine and found that it was unstable because they had OVERCLOCKED IT.

    Having experimented (and failed) with overclocking myself, spending lots of time reading and dicussing on forums issues like Vdroop, Vgtl, Vdd, multiplier ratios, etc., etc., I can tell you that running a processor out of spec is challenging because you don't know where in that processor's performance bin you are, and your results are almost guaranteed to be different from someone else's, and Intel Quad cores are notoriously hard to overclock, and well it boils down to more of an art form of experimentation and testing than science because you can't get Intel to tell you the actual characteristics of the chip you bought. And moreover, you can run all the artificial tests you want and still end up with an unreliable system because memtest86 and prime95 don't test all the corner cases and enough combinations of scenarios. (I had run memory and processor tests for a week straight, and everything seemed fine, yet I would get kernel panics while parallel compiling Gentoo packages. I could just never manage to figure out the right combination of Vdd and Vgtl, and I could never for sure rule out the memory system being the source of the errors. So I just decided that I'd rather have a reliable system and longer life than 20% more throughput.)

    It's irresponsible for vendors to sell you an overclocked system, because they can't guarantee that it's reliable. Rather, they are fooling you into thinking you're getting a better system than you are, ripping you off in the process. This is just one example of the many incompetent and/or highly questionable things that Pystar was doing that made me want to stay as far away from them as possible.

    It would be one thing if this company tried to produce BETTER hardware than Apple. Trouble is, that would require intelligence and discerment, and people with that kind of smarts would also have been smart enough not to screw with Apple directly.

    If I wanted to sell knock-off Apple hardware here's how I might go about it:

    - Find a way to become an Apple reseller with minimal contractual obligations. This way, you can sell MacOS X discs without raising any major suspicions.
    - Sell and support genuine Apple hardware.
    - Also sell and support high quality Linux and Windows white-box PCs that just happen to have peripherals compatible with MacOS X.
    - Add development support to an open source EFI project
    - Let word of mouth get around that your systems are good for running MacOS
    - But publically state that you do not provide OS support in this configuration because it may violate Apple's EULA.
    - Get your lawyers to make sure you have plausible deniability every way you turn.

    All of this requires forethought (or hindsight in my case). Pystar clearly did not have this. (I might not either. I might have just suggested a really bad plan.)

    But like I say, the main thing that bothered me about them is that their hardware was crap. It's one thing to ride on Apple's shoulders. Directly supporting OSX but on GOOD hardware is arguably questionable, from a legal standpoint. It's entirely another matter to do incompetent things that could make them look bad. That'll REALLY get them chasing after you.

    I've never really understood the whole hacking culture in the first place. People don't want to buy iPhones because they're not hackable enough. Ok, I support Free Software, so I can totally get on board with avoiding something that's proprietary and has DRM and all that. But even if the iPhone were 100% open source, it still would not interest me to hack it. I'm a professional chip designer. I like designing NEW hardware. I like being given an engineering challenge that requires that I create new functionality to serve a market need. I have no desire to confine myself to the spe

    • Something that mystifies me is the large amount of people who evidently jailbreak their iPhones and customise it in numerous bizarre ways. To me, that defeats the whole point of having an iPhone or owning an Apple product. I can't see why they won't just buy an Android device and be done with it. I buy Apple gear because it works well for me out of the box, and I don't want to mess around with the internals much.

  • by MrCrassic ( 994046 ) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Saturday January 09, 2010 @09:11PM (#30711278) Journal

    Step 1. Go to InsanelyMac and find the links for the Chamelion (sp?) boot loader. This will do practically the same thing, from what I've been told, and it worked extremely well for me when I used OS X on my Dell (took it off b/c I wanted real Office and some other Windows-preferred applications, but didn't want it in a VM).

    Step 2 While you're at InsanelyMac, look for a tutorial on how to install OS X on your hardware. If there are none (which shouldn't be the case if the computer's popular somewhat), there are default methods to follow, which can help you give back by making one!

    Step 3. Install OS X, hope that nothing breaks and enjoy!

  • Amazing. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Narcogen ( 666692 ) <narcogen AT rampancy DOT net> on Sunday January 10, 2010 @01:02AM (#30712648) Homepage

    People really are amazing.

    "I purchased Rebel EFI in support of Psystar's crusade back in October."

    In other words, you did so for reasons that were, at least in part, ideological. Unwilling to pay the price Apple sets for the hardware/software combinations it sells, and seemingly unable to use any of the available open source solutions for installing a retail OS X disc onto commodity hardware, you chose to patronize a company whose business model was widely known to be legally questionable at best, and which was engaged in an ongoing legal battle with a company with the intent and resources to defend their assertion that Psystar's business practice was illegal.

    I found this out when I upgraded my hard drive and installed Snow Leopard using Rebel EFI. The program can no longer 'phone home' to activate or download/install drivers. This is a direct contradiction to Psystar's promise posted on their website: 'Psystar will continue to support all of its existing customers of hardware and software through this transitional period. Warranties on hardware will continue to be honored as long the customer has a valid warranty.

    Now, having ignored those who posted that they felt Psystar was doing something wrong by selling their so-called "Open Computers" as well as those who suggested that the core of the Rebel EFI product itself was code copied without license or attribution from existing open source projects designed to accomplish the same aim, you wish to take Psystar to task for failing to meet the promises on its website.

    What made you think this was a company that intended to keep its promises?

    What made you think this was a company that would be able to stay in business long enough to keep any promises it actually did intend to?

    You didn't spend your money on a product, and you didn't pay it to a going concern. You made your purchase to make a statement-- that you believed Psystar was doing something good, or at least something right. Your voice was heard; unfortunately, things did not turn out that well.

    What more can you possibly ask? This is like picking a lame horse to win because of the great payoff odds, and then beating it into glue when it fails to place.

    Sorry, I don't have a car analogy for this. Give me a minute.

  • you expect a company that has no regard for an EULA to keep it's own word and support their own users? good luck with that. I hope that they return...

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.