The Design of Software (CLOSED)

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Store Information safely

Hi Guys,

I need to store the start date of the application to track Tril 30 Day use.


whats the best way to store it?

registery
a file in windows folder?
or multiple places and have one validate the other?
Trial
Saturday, September 23, 2006
 
 
On your server, and have the application phone home each time it's launched.

It's still going to be easy to crack, but it at least puts it out of reach of the casual user who refuses to use cracks that modify the program, but doesn't see the moral problem with changing a registry key.
Iago
Sunday, September 24, 2006
 
 
On your server. 

Also write something in the registery like "Trial-EXPIRATION-DATE" and when you phone home track
how many of your theiving users have changed it.
Lenny
Sunday, September 24, 2006
 
 
And remember, once one of the thieving hobbitses have stolen from you, blacklist them so they can never purchase your software, ever.

(Also, consider putting configuration data in a file and using its timestamp. And save files can store the hard drive or procesor ID of the machine where they were created, and the trial expiry date. Then the unregistered version can detect that they were created on the machine it's currently running on and use that date info, but other machines can ignore the date data, and registered versions don't need to worry about that data. This can be defeated by changing the hardware, but as long as they purchase a legal copy the node-locking issues that annoy many people only affect people with the demo version.)

Also, remember that the phone-home trick only works for people with a permanent internet connection and you may need to inform potential customers of this, partly for legal reasons, and partly because if they use it while offline or your servers crash, they need to know that it's not working for that reason, rather than because it's crap that's not worth paying for. If you manage to scare paying customers away, you can hurt your business.

And whatever you do, remember that the WinZip people were morons who lost their entire business by failing to enforce trial time limits.

Sunday, September 24, 2006
 
 
>> And whatever you do, remember that the WinZip people were morons who lost their entire business by failing to enforce trial time limits. <<

Got a reference for this?  Because the site appears to be up, and they're now selling v10.0
xampl
Monday, September 25, 2006
 
 
>> Also write something in the registery like "Trial-EXPIRATION-DATE" and when you phone home track
how many of your theiving users have changed it.

Ha.  I once purchased some software that promised a free upgrade to the next version.  Lo and behold, the next version came along and my existing key didn't work with it.  Not only did my existing key not work, but it also broke the registration for the prior version, basically reverting to expired trial status.  I emailed the developer to get a new key but figured I'd poke to see if I could delete the status indicator in order to use the software THAT I PAID FOR while I waited for his response.  I found something with an obvious name like your example and deleted it.  The result was a nasty message box that popped up the next time I opened the software. 

So let's see the result.  What do you think the chances are now that I'll ever purchase anything from that company again?  How about the chances that I'll ever recommend the software to anyone else?  Or that I won't take the opportunity to badmouth the software whenever the possibility arises?
SomeBody Send private email
Monday, September 25, 2006
 
 
Does it count as badmouthing if you don't name it?
Greg Send private email
Monday, September 25, 2006
 
 
I like the advice that someone gave out here a few months back. When it fails, have it fail sometime in the future (say... two months). The guys who are cracking your software will think they've beat it because it now seems to work. They publish the hack and people download it. Two months later they find out that the hack actually didn't work because your lockout just kicked in. Now it's back to the drawing board and they have egg on their face. And if you are really sneaky you make the lockout time limit be variable. You'll drive them nuts!  :)
I hate crackers
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
 
 

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