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The consequences of extremely limited online activation combined with hardware footprints

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Editor's Note: This comment was moved from the RollBack Rx comments board, where it originally appeared.

Hallo,
because of the license discussion I´ll write
my personal experience and consideration about tthe consequences of extremely limited online activation with hardware footprint.
(Hope I´m allowed to explain a little more (if not bdj may shorten my posting , hopefully publishing the essentials)

I think it is a diffcult problem, since it requires to combine the interests of users and developers - and both should have the right to be protected.
In times where (formerly serious) pc- magazines try to increase there sales figures by dubious headlines, which can´t be in the interest of software-,
music film-industry, it is really understandable that companies want to protect their productsl
But inbetween we seem to have a situation in which one also has to aski what kind of gurantiee / protection customers of software have:

At the beginning of online-/ hardware-footprint activation I didn´t give much thought to the activation - topic: I tested various software products, and if it seemed
to be useful to me I decided to support the developer by purchasing or donating. .I thought, that the activation should hardly cause any problems,because using the software according to the license policy
(but who really expects that he will experience that "murphy happens".)
But inbetween I really regret that I did not pay more attention regarding the kind of activation when making the decision for or against buying a product.
The last 4 months tought me that the activation topic is really crucial .The comment "contact us via email..." seems simple- and won´t be a problem If one has very few programs installed - windows and perhaps
an office suite and little more.In case of system reinstalling or hardware crash,one can of course try to cantact the company via email or hotline - and since those products are usually sold by very big, famous companies which have a reliable support
(e.g. microsoft, adobe,..) one usually can solve the problem soonly.
But if you have purchased many software, partly from companies with less manpower, with very restrictive activation and you will have to contact about 50 companies and to explain, why you need another activation
a systemcrash becomes a time- and money-consuming nightmare.
(and tha´ts my own experience - not all companies respond and so I had spent money for a software that I had bought less than 2 months before harddisk crash
- what meant I had paid for a lifetime license, but in practise I paid for using the software 7 weeks! (program not offered at bdj)

Having installed many software which restrictive activation policy can give the customer the feeling of playing roulette (and I´m not a person, which wants to go to a casino)
Even before the bad experience of 5 system crashes
I noticed, tthat the handling of using my PC changed, because it was more and more acompanied by the fear of loosing licenses or at least running into time-consuming procedures
- the more money I spent on software the less I was free to use the PC in the way I had done before this kind of activation:

!. The PC-manufacturer had told ma that one should at least make one complete new system - installation / year, because usually windows would slow down and have more and more problems
(that´s my experience too, but I avoided to do this because I didn´t want to loose my licenses.
2. It often hold me back from trying /buying other software - since I didin´t want to increase the risk of system-instability
´(a special testing-shareware partition does not really solve the problem, because one often has to know, if the software one considers to buy is really compatble or improving the already
i nstalled ones )
- so over the time this will be a disadvantage for other software-producer, since many people won´t buy their programs when testing them is a risk for loosing licenses in case of affecting the existing installation
3. it hold me back from buying a new PC/NB equipment (although already 6 years old, apart from the 2 year old, crashed, now replaced harddisk, ,..)
the value of the installed software exceeds the value of all my hardware equipment at multiple.
4. Not having installed the software I paid for, because of not having the gurantee that I´ll be able to reinstall it in case I soonly have to replace my (6year old) NB) and so waiting until purachase of a new one,
although I´ve already spent the money for the software
5. it pulled away the naturalness and caused many stress when using the pc, since one no more can "play" with it (I con´t mean playing games, just trying out various programs,..)

What´s the conclusion: many of the programs I bought should have been useful additions, which should make work with the pc and other software more comfortable - only some of them are essential
(like office suite, photo-editing,..) and now reflecting the usage I´ve to say that those programs which have reasonable license policies have been a good decision to purchase, but those programs
which lead the user to live in the permanent fear of having a systemcrash or holding back from reasonable soft-and hardware improvements
increased the stress and the disadvantage of that exceeds the usefulness by far and I wouldn´t buy them under these conditions again


And just to add the information, the necessarity to make 5 new installations within 4 months had been caused 4x by updates / upgrades of really expensive commercial software (some hundred dollars)
and 1x by harddisk crash (harddisk was less than 2 years old, NB only used as desktop-replacement) So I was tought that even I tried to be extremeley careful in using my NB
it did not protect me from haviing to reinstall and replace hardware within a short time.
And apart from this my experience generally is, when running into software or hardware- problems, the support gives some instruction - and when they don´t work, one is told to reinstall the system or
use the recovery cd from the manufacture - and even lifetime-licenses don´t make sense, when already such situations leadd to trouble or loosing them.

So please aologize my long explanations (and mistakes in english language), but I think it is important to consider interests of customers and developers.

I could imagine, that - at least for many people - a compromise could be found in form of blacklisting licensenumbers and (if thats not enough) giving the customer the opprutunity to make an online
deactivation of the software and than allow the reactivation (without touching the activation counter) - this would at least cover most of the planned system-changes and allow the user to handle
his pc and software more relaxed. And since even new hardware is no gurantee for not having a hardware-crash the policy should at least allow a few more installations
(as I wrote above - contacting very few companies is not the problem, but the more software-companies you have to contact, the worse).

Thank you for considering
with kind regards

H.H:
        Oct 24 2011 at 1:42pm
Roberto i know your comment will be moved here in less than 5 seconds :-)

for me the super duper online activations with drm usually are a no sale.

i spend more than 4000$ in a year with licenses, and around 2000$ in suscription services.

i have some knowledge about assembly and i did my learnings when i was a teenager (a no money kid).

for me, there are 3 hour to solve this problem, and maybe 2 minutes to found a "happy alternative workaround" (everybody can do this with google).

but It's not worth it.

and i not justify the piracy, i support some free project with my time, and some of them with my donations... but i feel happy to have my pc clean of DRM garbage.
        Oct 25 2011 at 12:18am
DrTeeth I also hate DRM. If I do buy DRM software, it has to come with unlimited installs per footprint. If the system is so-fool-proof, why only one install per footprint? What happens if the company goes bust? I'm sure that they have not got an insurance policy in place to safe guard the future of their activation servers.

The temptation to crack DRM software that does not behave is not to be condoned, but is sometimes necessary to use what has been purchased.

DrT
        Oct 25 2011 at 2:53am
Genie au Travail It's the case for me too.
On my main computer I have 112 (one hundred and twelve) shareware programs installed (and purchased).
It would be a nightmare to contact each company to reset the activation each time I updte my main computer or that a crash occur !
        Oct 25 2011 at 3:30am
Nico Westerdale 112?! Wow, can anyone else top that?
        Oct 25 2011 at 7:17am
Roberto i think im worse.. but ill will not say too much loud (i sign in with my name and wife can be near) :)
        Oct 25 2011 at 7:50am
Roger Thomasson Bonus points if you bought more than 50% of the titles on Bits :-)

-r
        Oct 25 2011 at 7:57am
Roberto many times i see it here as recomended software or past deals.. and i go and take it full price :)

im not too much patient.
        Oct 25 2011 at 8:49am
Genie au Travail I will not reveal the total number of programs installed on my computer (shareware and freeware).
I think that many people would be shocked by the number...
        Oct 25 2011 at 12:18pm
Genie au Travail Just to give an idea, I have 235 (two hundred and thirty five) command line tools (all freeware) for my bash scripts.
        Oct 25 2011 at 12:28pm
Nico Westerdale What are you doing with all them?
        Oct 25 2011 at 3:33pm
Genie au Travail I'm doing bash scripts (I have several hundred of them) for easier my everyday tasks.
        Oct 26 2011 at 6:13am
Genie au Travail I don't use all of them, but it easier to have them already installed.
        Oct 26 2011 at 6:21am
Genie au Travail I can say how many programs I have with precision because I maintain lists in Excel format.
        Oct 25 2011 at 12:35pm
Tazzie I also keep track via Excel spreadsheets. It's the only way I can track what DRM I do have, as well as other programs. I also have quite a list, although not all are active programs on any of the computers here.
        Oct 26 2011 at 1:57am
Genie au Travail @Nico or @Roger

Can you please, delete the duplicated post above in the thread.

Thanks by advance
        Oct 25 2011 at 12:42pm
Roger Thomasson Done :-)
        Oct 25 2011 at 12:48pm
Genie au Travail For people interested, here the list of the tools :

AddPath
Ask
AtNow
Beep
BeyondExec
BindCPU
BindCPUw
Blat
BluetoothCL
Bmail
BootCopy
BuiltIn Account Manager
Bundle
ByteCopy
CCalc
CCase
Cd Deluxe
CDOpCl
Char2Code
ChgScreenRes
choice
Choose
Clean Up
ClearClipboard
ClearLogs
CloseApp
CloseWin
closewindow
cmdACUT
cmdANSI
cmdCOLOR
cmdGETIP
cmdLOG
Cmdow
cmdPATH
cmdREG
Code2Char
ColorX
Command Line Crypter
Command Line Process Viewer - Killer - Suspender
Console Computer Information Utility
Cover Your Tracks
CPAU
CPUId
CreaFile
Create Hidden Process
Cryptcat
CSID
DateDiff
DateX
Delen
Delete Profiles
Delete Tree
Delnext
Dels
desproxy
DevCon
Digital Mars
DIR2XML
diskpar
Display
DNFWVD
DNS Query Utility
download
DriveX
DTCalc
EchoX
EditVar
Empty Recycle Bin
EmptyBin
Error
Exit Windows
Extended Echo with Color
Extra Echo
Far
Fast Pinger
FAT32 Format
Files Info Generator
FindReplace
FInfo
Folders
FPipe
FreeBASIC
FVerTest
GetMyIP
GetUserInfo
Hardping
Hex2dec
Hidden Start
hidewindow
Host Info
hrPING
http-ping
httptunnel
IE Cache
ifconfig
ini Tool
InPrivate
Int2IP
InUse
iodine
IP2Int
IsAdmin
IsAdmin
IsCon
IsInUse
IsMember
jNDIR
jRunAs
jt
lamefwd
LineX
Log
LSrunas
MACAdr
mailsend
maximizewindow
mbr
MBRFix
MBRWiz
md5
Memory Check
Message Box
messagebox
MiCry
MinGW
minimizewindow
MiniTrue
MinWin
Modify Profile
mouse
MsgBox
Mtee
NCSKeys
NeedBoot
Netcat
Netcat Power Tools
Network Alias
Network Password Age
Network Speed
Network Users
Network View
NirCmd
NUPP
OpenSSL Light
OSTest
OzymanDNS
PCLock
PendMoves and MoveFile
Ping Tunnel
PrgmStat
Printer Control
Proxytunnel
PsExec
PsFile
PsGetSid
PsInfo
PsKill
PsList
PsLoggedOn
PsLogList
PsPasswd
PsService
PsShutdown
PsSuspend
QLogoff
Quiet
Random Number Generator
RASConns
REGDRV
RegFileExport
renamereg
RenEx
resizewindow
RunLater
Screenshot Maker
SCRNMODE
sed
sendkey
sendkeys
Series
ServEdit
Set Short File Name
Set Wallpaper
SetACL
setforegroundwindow
SFDT
Shell Execute
ShellEsc
ShellEx
ShellOp
ShellSend
Shortcut
showwindow
Shutdown
Sleep
SleepX
SnmpGet
SnmpSet
SnmpTrapGen
SnmpWalk
socat
Socks via HTTP
Startas
Str
super-sed
SyslogGen
SysUp
Tee
TempName
TimeGet
Times
Tini
Tiny C Compiler
UltimateZip Command Line
Unjoin
Uptime
UserExec
VbsToExe
Wait
WakeUp
WfpDeprotect
WhoisCL
WhosIP
winapiexec
Windows File Protection Query
WinMsg
WinRelay
Wipe
WirelessKeyDump
WirelessNetConsole
Wol
WPSweep
xDir
XRD

Here some nice collections of command line tools :

CMD Tools :
http://www.f2ko.de/progra...en&pid=cmd

SmallUtilities :
http://www.softspecialists.com/

Windows Admin Script Tools :
http://www.westmesatech.com/wast.html

Shell Scripting Toolkit :
http://www.westmesatech.com/sst.html
        Oct 26 2011 at 6:20am
Roberto maybe you will love automation software.. like winautomation :)
        Oct 26 2011 at 1:49pm
Genie au Travail I use xStarter :
http://www.xstarter.com/index.html
        Oct 26 2011 at 11:49pm
Roberto i see... i think you are a command like guy :-)

do you know about ZTreeWin?
        Oct 27 2011 at 12:32am
Genie au Travail No, I use XYExplorer as file manager.
        Oct 27 2011 at 9:17am
Tazzie @ Genie ... do you mean XYplorer?
        Nov 3 2011 at 3:23am
Genie au Travail Yes, sorry for my mistake!
        Nov 3 2011 at 4:57am
Tazzie No problem! I just wanted to make sure it was the same program or another one that I should look at ;/

I have never heard of bash scripts, so you got me curious about them so I am researching to see what it is all about :)
        Nov 3 2011 at 1:20pm
Rick Truell Tazzie: Bash scripts are the Linux version of DOS/Windows batch files. Bash is the default command line processor on many Linux distributions. It is like the DOS/Windows command line processor on lots and lots of really, *really* good steroids!!

If you've ever written batch files, then you've only begun to touch on what can be done with bash scripts. You can do IF...THEN...ELSE conditionals, DO and WHILE loops and variable comparisons of all kinds. You can check to see if files exist, if there's anything in them and even what kind they are...text or binary. It's very much a programming language in and of itself.

Even as just a command processor, bash is great. With the NT-based OS's (NT, XP, Vista, 7), the Windows command line processor has *finally* started to catch up with what bash has been able to do all along. All those commands you typed at the Windows command line yesterday are gone today. But bash has a command history that goes back a long way...if you discover you again need that super-long command you typed in two days ago, just press and hold the up-arrow key...it'll show up.

PowerCMD and TCC come very close to making the Windows command line do the kind of things that bash does...but bash is free; the others aren't.

In case you haven't found them yet, here's the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...Unix_shell) and the manual for bash: http://man.he.net/?topic=...ection=all (what you would get if you typed 'man bash' at the bash command line)
        Nov 3 2011 at 9:52pm
Rick Truell Ok, that link for Wikipedia didn't work...the closing bracket doesn't seem to have been included properly. Try this instead: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...x_shell%29
        Nov 3 2011 at 9:56pm
Tomasz Lisowski @Rick Truell
TCC/LE is now free as well - you get the scripting engine without the IDE/debugger, etc.
        Nov 4 2011 at 12:23am
Tazzie Rick, thanks sooo much for taking the time to jump start my education on bash scripts :) I did the Wikipedia link and got a bunch of others from Google and will take it from there. Funny thing ... I have been researching LInux distros lately and just made my first live boot usb. I plan to either buy or try my hand at building a new cpu that will be my new Windows box. At the same time, I plan to convert an old WinXP box to a Linux home server and install Linux on an old laptop I've been hoarding for that purpose. Not sure if it's a good time to try Unity or stay with a tried and true distro like Mint, or maybe Kubuntu. I do too much in Windows programs to give it up, but I also would like the simplicity of Linux for certain functions and the challenge of learning a new system.

Anyway, thanks again for the "lesson" ... I look forward to perhaps trying my hand at a few!
        Nov 4 2011 at 3:18am
Roger Thomasson Amazing how these conversation threads can evolve over time. Love it :-)
        Nov 4 2011 at 1:06pm
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