iOpenTech's "open" desktops: It's on

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With Psystar getting the beatdown from Apple, iOpenTech thinks it’s going to sneak in around the corner and offer an open platform that runs any OS, including OS X.

Listen: installing OS X on a PC is trivial. There are plenty of videos and tutorials describing the process and what Psystar did, to its credit, was make it even more trivial for folks who didn’t want to do the job themselves.

I’m going to talk to iOpenTech today to figure out what they’re really offering here but it’s my recommendation that you buy a crappy desktop and follow OSx86′s instructions instead of depending on a company that will soon be subsumed by Apple’s lawyers.

UPDATE – iOpenTech writes:

Hello,We are preparing to sell open source computers that are capable of running a number of different operating systems. Open Tech Computers are capable of running OS X Leopard, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Ubuntu 8.04, and many more. To avoid the mistake that Psystar made we will be custom configuring the settings of the Open tech computer to run the operating system each customer chooses. When you are purchasing an Open Tech Computer from our site you will be prompted on which OS you will be running on your Open Tech Computer, from there we can configure your new system’s settings to properly run your selected OS. You will not be able to purchase an Open Tech Computer with OS X Leopard pre-installed. Instead, when you purchase the computer and choose Leopard as your main OS we will provide you with the Do-it-yourself-kit that will easily guide the end user to properly and natively run OS X Leopard, of course the end user must acquire a licensed copy of OS X. Running OS X on Open Tech Computers has never been easier.

UPDATE – Buyer beware even more. They’re astroturfing this post:

That said, where the hell is .tk? .tk comes from Tokelau, a small island in the South Pacific. It is run by the dot.tk registrar and reveals no information about the domain name holders:

Rights restricted by copyright. See

http://www.dot.tk/en/pageF00.html

Domain name:
IOPENTECH.TK

Organisation:
BV Dot TK
Dot TK administrator
P.O. Box 11774
1001 GT Amsterdam
Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 5315725
Fax: +31 20 5315721
E-mail: abuse: abuse@dot.tk, copyright infringement: copyright@dot.tk

Domain Nameservers:
NS01.DOT.TK
NS02.DOT.TK
NS03.DOT.TK
NS04.DOT.TK

Your selected domain name is a Free Domain. That means that,
according to the terms and conditions of Free Domain domain names
the registrant is BV Dot TK in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Due to restrictions in Dot TK’s Privacy Statement personal information
about the user of the domain name cannot be released.

ABUSE OF A DOMAIN NAME
If you want to report abuse of this domain name, please send a
detailed email with your complaint to abuse@dot.tk.
In most cases Dot TK responds to abuse complaints within one business day.

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
If you want to report a case of copyright infringement, please send
an email to copyright@dot.tk, and include the full name and address of
your organization. Within 5 business days copyright infringement notices
will be investigated.

Record maintained by: Dot TK Domain Registry

So these guys really don’t want to be found. The traceroute also stops in the Netherlands:

193.33.61.2 is from Netherlands(NL) in region Western Europe

TraceRoute to 193.33.61.2 [iopentech.tk]
Hop (ms) (ms) (ms) IP Address Host name
1 26 24 21 72.249.0.65 -
2 35 21 18 8.9.232.73 ge-6-18.car1.dallas1.level3.net
3 10 16 21 4.68.19.62 vlan69.csw1.dallas1.level3.net
4 18 20 20 4.69.136.137 ae-62-62.ebr2.dallas1.level3.net
5 49 62 53 4.69.137.122 ae-6.ebr3.newyork1.level3.net
6 43 53 56 4.69.134.106 ae-83-83.csw3.newyork1.level3.net
7 57 50 56 4.69.134.73 ae-81-81.ebr1.newyork1.level3.net
8 121 130 131 4.69.137.73 ae-43.ebr2.london1.level3.net
9 127 124 131 4.68.116.47 ae-21-52.car1.london1.level3.net
10 116 122 123 212.113.16.110 -
11 124 124 126 212.23.41.26 gi15-0-0.lon-wal-core-1.interoute.net
12 135 133 126 212.23.41.213 po7-0.rtm-vla-access-1.interoute.net
13 133 134 128 217.118.121.134 -
14 174 151 127 84.243.228.59 -
15 Timed out Timed out Timed out -
16 Timed out Timed out Timed out -
17 Timed out Timed out Timed out -
18 Timed out Timed out Timed out -

Trace aborted.

Now, the final oddity is that this is basically a barebones, Chinese PC design that any one of us could pick up. In fact, the case costs $29 at TigerDirect.

So, at best, iOpenTech is reselling barebones hardware with some tweaks and calling it the second coming of Psystar. Buyer beware.

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