Product Authorization Nightmare


Michael Griffin

A former employer of mine had a problem with a copy protected database during an earlier era of copy protection some years ago. This was at a time then copy protection was very common, as were the tools to defeat it. The computer with the database suffered a hard drive crash, and the copy protection "key" was lost.
He (following the directions in the manual) phoned up the company (one of the largest ones in the PC database business) and asked about getting a new software key mailed to him. The person who answered the phone at the software company didn't really want to do anything about the problem. His answer was something to the effect of "Why are you calling me? Why don't you just crack it like everyone else and stop wasting my time?" My former employer found this advice rather difficult to argue with.


Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada
Actually, the problems encountered are with Word.

StarOffice will handle, with complete stability, very large documents, with embedded objects galore. It will save them in perfect Word format.

Unfortunately, Word (97) wont handle them, it crashes on opening them. And before someone suggests that this demonstrates that they are not saved in perfect Word format, try creating a reasonably sized document in Word, with lots of bitmaps, tables and vector drawings (all the things that featre bloatware should be able to handle). Take the document right up to the point
when Word starts to fall over. StarOffice will still open the document, edit print it what ever you like.
... And just imagine the headache if you found your original licensing vendor had gone out of business or was merged with another company, and your product line was discontinued? Or the existing company lost interest and only supports the newest products.

Even non-product activation issues are vulnerable to this problem: e.g. When I install a Windows OS (even prior versions) I have to do a considerable amount of downloads to get the patches to make it work properly. I run happily for 3 to 5 years until my disk crashes. I should have backup, but if I don't, I take my new disk and my old CD's and install my OS. But now I go to the website for the upgrades and can't find them..

(and of course, my old favorite apps won't run on the new OS if I choose - reluctantly - to upgrade at that time)