Monday, April 21, 2008

PsyStar Doen't Even Exist Thar!

Gizmodo readers (living in Miami Florida where Psystar is supposedly located) banned together together to find the real story behind Psystar and their locations as listed on their website.

Here's what they found:

• The Miami Chamber of Commerce and BBB know nothing about a company named Psystar (confirmed by a reader report)

• The actual physical address listed on Psystar's website changed throughout the day during this report

• A Gizmodo reader went down to their first location, address courtesy of the Guardian's quick fingers, and saw that it was a residential address. It's a one story house with a truck and sedan out front. Not a business, but still holds the possibility of being a small home business.

• Another Gizmodo reader, visited their second website listed location and saw no Psystar, but a packing supply company called "USA KOEN PACK." The reader inquired to see if Psystar was leasing the building. He spoke with the manager, and they had never heard of Psystar, and USA KOEN PACK has been at that location for the last two years. KOEN PACK actually takes up from 10481 to 10490, so there's no chance of it being a mistaken address.

• Once the Gizmodo report came out: Psystar changed their address once again to 10471.

• After confirmation of no storefront actually there, other readers pointed out when they tried to purchase an Open Mac for themselves, and at no point was the credit card transaction secure - meaning did they have an HTTPS appear in the location bar of their browser (This was also confirmed by FixYourThinking.)

Today, when you visit their store page, you get this message:

"Thank you for visiting Psystar. We're sorry but the store is temporarily down due to the fact that we are currently unable to process any credit card transactions. Please send an e-mail to with the subject line "UPDATE" so that we can update you when the store comes back online. For customers who have already placed orders: if you received a confirmation e-mail then your item is in queue to be built and shipped."

• Another reader did some more digging in the Florida Corporate filing office, and it seems that Psystar's principles are Rodolfo & Roberto Pedraza, who are officers or agents on dozens of companies (can you say front men?). Only one of these companies besides Psystar is currently active: Floridatek.

• Forbes Online did this interview with Roberto Pedraza.

Highlights from that interview:

His explanation? The company has been overwhelmed by demand. He says his credit card processor, PowerPay, locked down his account for processing too many credit cards. When he turned to PayPal, Pedraza says Psystar's account with the online payments specialist was quickly overloaded, too.

"We have thousands of machines we have to build and ship out," <-- I could believe hundreds, BUT THOUSANDS!!??!! C'mon!

Pedraza ... won't go on the record about his educational background, detail his professional history or name any previous ventures. The company's Open Computer (previously named OpenMac) is based on a machine put together by his brother (whom he won't name). He says the company has 16 employees, and he just hired four more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I actually managed to configure a Psystar and when you add up the price of this machine with the various options it isn't soooo cheap...

1 x Open Computer

Case Color: White
Intel Processor: Core2Duo/2.66GHz E6750 (+ $90.00)
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM SATA
Graphics Processor: GeForce 8800GT 512MB (+ $200.00)
Firewire: 3 x IEEE 1394 (+ $50.00)
Installed OS: OS X 10.5 Leopard (+ $155.00)
Memory: 2GB DDR2
1 Product

I presume monitor, keyboard and a mouse are not included.