Mac Clone Offered On eBay - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

Mac Clone Offered On eBay

The unauthorized Apple desktop was flaunted with an Intel Core 2 Duo chip, 2 GB of memory, a 250-GB 7200 RPM serial ATA hard drive, and an Intel 3-D graphics chip.

A Mac clone preloaded with Apple's latest OS X operating system was being sold Tuesday on eBay, but later removed.

The seller, identified only as "chris555," is the latest to offer computers running Leopard, officially called OS X 10.5, despite Apple's refusal to license its operating systems to other computer makers. Florida-based system integrator Psystar made tech media headlines last month by offering unauthorized Apple computer clones.

The eBay machine was a plain white tower that sold for $550. According to the listing, the clone was powered by a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo dual-core processor.

The computer also was described as having 2 GB of memory, a 250-GB 7200 RPM serial ATA hard drive, and an Intel 3-D graphics chip integrated into the motherboard. The machine also had a DVD burner and three USB 2.0 ports and came with a keyboard and mouse, according to the listing.

Even though Apple doesn't authorize so-called white-box makers to sell Mac clones, the company has yet to take any legal action against the latest wave of rogue sellers. Apple officials weren't immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

The eBay seller is listed as a U.S. member of the online auction site since 1999, and accepts payment through eBay's PayPal service, which offers a buyer protection program.

Psystar also offered a desktop machine, called Open Computer, with Leopard as a pre-installed option. The company sells a beefed-up system called OpenPro, which also is available with Ubuntu Linux 8.04, Windows Vista, or Windows XP.

One version of Psystar's Open Computer features a 2.66-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 250-GB hard drive, and a Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT graphic card. The system is priced at about $800. A similar Apple-branded computer would cost more than $2,000.

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