For some reason I always imagined Psystar differently. The company has been making Hackintoshes – against Apple’s wishes – for nigh on a year and their various lawsuits and machinations have given lazy Hackintoshers everywhere the opportunity to buy OS X hardware for a fraction of the cost of a new Mac and, more recently, the ability to Hackintosh almost anything.
Well, it turns out this hive of industry is actually just two dudes, Robert Pedraza and his brother Rudy. Yes, the company that has been making Apple cry for the past year consists of the kids you knew down the street who were really good at computers.
The Miami New Times did a great piece on the pair proving that local media is still the best way to tell a story. The brothers, it seems, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees and dealt with what the New Times calls:
mega-abuse from hostile Mac bloggers who have called them hucksters, frauds, and credit card thieves. As a kind of threat, street-level photos of their homes were posted on some blogs.
Now, interestingly, this sort of grassroots vigilantism – and this article – is a sort of cleansing agent for Psystar. Whereas before we were convinced that Psystar was a shady Asian cabal intent on tearing down the fabrics of our freedom now we know that the company is a couple of dudes.
Their wild-eyed hubris is charming in this era of snark. For example, they’re willing to take on Apple until their dying breath and Rudy exclaims: “We’re all in, baby. Go big or get the hell out.” That’s right: Ayn Rand via Swingers.
The rest of the story is a bit sadder and fits the standard arc of the relentless businessman. They were hard workers and helped their dad run his boat-maintenance business. Robert took apart a remote control, a common trope in this sort of story, and then their dad was arrested for coke dealing. Then you’ve got the early precociousness:
Odio remembers Rudy hanging out with a group of smart kids, doing well in class, and even volunteering to design Coral Park’s website for free. He also worked long hours after school designing computer systems for businesses around Miami. Rudy declines to name them, but Odio confirms he pulled in serious cash even as a 16-year-old. “He was making tons of money in high school as a computer consultant, probably more than I do today,” she says, laughing.
While I’m sure Psystar’s battle won’t end well, it’s nice to see a little humanity behind Pystar’s Sherman-esque tactics. These guys just wanted to make computers and someone stopped them because they wanted to do something differently. No matter how convoluted a web they weave, there’s something to be said for that kind of bluster.