More twists in saga of would-be Mac clone maker

Just days after announcing plans to sell a $399 computer capable of running Mac OS X, a Miami company had already temporarily shuttered its online store while changing its physical address multiple times.

The online store for Psystar, which is offering an OS X-compatible product it bills as Open Computer, was down for a good part of Wednesday. A note on the company’s Web site cited an inability to process credit card purchases as the reason for the closure.

As this story was posted Wednesday evening, Psystar’s online store had reopened.

But that was just one twist in the increasing convoluted saga of the company that hopes to sell a Mac clone in apparent challenge to Apple’s end user license agreement for OS X 10.5. Readers of Gizmodo, a technology Web site, checked on the physical address listed for Psystar on the company’s Web site—a challenging task since that address listing has changed three times over the last few days.

The first address for Psystar led readers to a residential neighborhood, while the second was for a packing supply company where representatives of the packing company had never heard of Psystar.

Since Gizmodo’s initial report, the address listed on Psystar’s Web site had changed a third time to an address about 10 miles from Miami International Airport.

Psystar entered the limelight Monday when it announced plans to sell OS X-equipped hardware for “less than a fourth” of the cost of a high-end Mac. The basic configuration offered by the company features a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 Processor, 2GB of RAM, and an integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics processor.

Apple has remained silent on Psystar’s efforts, though the license agreement for OS X forbids users from installing or running the operating system on “any non-Apple-labeled computer” or enabling others to do so.” A Psystar representative vowed to challenge that license agreement in an interview with InformationWeek.

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