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View Full Version : Hardware or Software lock?



ShawnStovall
03-26-2007, 05:56 PM
Just wanted to see public opinion, thanks for voting.

nthused
03-26-2007, 06:14 PM
I know it's somewhat of a hassle..but the hardware key allows me to run the software from any computer anywhere without having to explain to the developer that I need to run the software at work, at home, and on my laptop.

The only thing I wish NewTek would do is to make the key "smart" and have Configs and plugins written to it - so that where ever I go - the software is customized just for me. Is there a reason this cannot be done?

Andyjaggy
03-26-2007, 06:15 PM
when I first got Lightwave I hated the dongle. After a while I started to see the power of it. I can install LW on as many computers as I want, and as long as I have my dongle with me I can use it on that computer. It makes it really felxible. Plus you don't have the problem of having to call and reactive your software everytime your computer crashes or you reinstall windows etc....

voriax
03-26-2007, 08:02 PM
Hardware lock does have it's advantages when, as someone mentioned, you want to install it on more than one machine without having to have separate software lock codes, etc.
In terms of security I don't think one is better than the other - both can and have been hacked or broken without too much trouble. Adobe can't keep up even with their online registration system.
It's a hassle if you lose your dongle, but if you're gonna be removing it from a machine, you have to treat it like a diamond. Don't forget where it goes.

BazC
03-27-2007, 01:35 AM
As has been said many times before neither do anything to secure the SW against piracy, they just serve to inconenience legitimate users. So I'd prefer neither, if I have to have one I'll take the hardware dongle.

colkai
03-27-2007, 03:19 AM
Dongle, have LW, will travel.
With a USB stick and dongle, I don't have to worry about any registry settings and as a user of Motionbuilder, I can tell you, the software key is a pain as it's normally tied to a single PC and a single hardware build.

Anything less than that and it becomes pointless, so I am very happy to live with my dongle.

starbase1
03-27-2007, 03:43 AM
Yep, definitely hardware.
It really shows its edge when I move to a new machine - LW was pretty much trouble free - trying to move / upgrade Vue over was a real pain, (and is still not right).
I suspect it's also a great help to plug in developers.

Here's an idea - let's have lightwave on a U3 Memory stick combined with a dongle! Then you have YOUR copy of lightwave with you, ready to run on any machine!

Nick

Wonderpup
03-27-2007, 04:22 AM
I really dislike the node locked concept- the idea that every time I want to change my machine I have to petition all the software vendors to continue using the stuff I've already paid for really annoys me- soon it will be just plain easier to use cracked copies than run legal ones. If it were just one or two vendors then it's not so bad, but now eveyone (except NT) are doing this, it's becoming a real pain.

starbase1
03-27-2007, 05:21 AM
I really dislike the node locked concept- the idea that every time I want to change my machine I have to petition all the software vendors to continue using the stuff I've already paid for really annoys me- soon it will be just plain easier to use cracked copies than run legal ones. If it were just one or two vendors then it's not so bad, but now eveyone (except NT) are doing this, it's becoming a real pain.

Abso-fragging-lootly. And that goes double for Windows which expects you to buy a new copy when you upgrade significantly if yours is an OEM.

I'll admit it - I have ended up getting cracked copies of software I have bought and paid for, after the software based protection went FUBAR.

Newteks dongle solution lets me treat my software as one physical object, and that's a fair system.

Nick

labuzz
03-27-2007, 05:44 AM
This is a related experience with messiah ( dongle protection ):
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=92&t=476303

Qexit
03-27-2007, 06:30 AM
My vote is for a hardware lock. Easy to move your license around. Nice if you are beta testing as you can have, say, LW9.0 installed on one PC with LW9.2 on your other PC and just switch the dongle to whichever one you want to use at the time. Great way to avoid any of the inevitable installation cockups that can occur :D

All the other positive comments apply with one additional one. Should you wish, heaven forbid, to sell your LW license it is perfectly straight-forward since the new owner gets the dongle and there is no question of you retaining a usuable copy of the software as is the case with software locks.

TSpyrison
03-27-2007, 08:10 AM
I don't mind the dongle..

I just fear the possibility of it dying on me.

Wonder if it would "wear out" being plugged in from one computer to another every day?

Qexit
03-27-2007, 08:16 AM
I don't mind the dongle..

I just fear the possibility of it dying on me.I've never had that happen to me with a LW dongle, and I've been using them since LW 3.1 on the Amiga. I wish I could say the same for the headaches I've had due to software locks getting screwed up !


Wonder if it would "wear out" being plugged in from one computer to another every day?Probably, if you need to swap it around several times a day but It would probably take quite a while. Still a lot more reliable/stable than software keys :D

Nicolas Jordan
03-27-2007, 08:29 AM
The hardware dongle doesn't bother me at all. I still have my old parallel dongle, one of these days I will have to swap it though as some of the newer computers no longer have parallel ports and I really like the idea of the dongle being hot swappable with USB.

Speedmonk42
03-27-2007, 08:35 AM
I like the idea of being able to screw the thing to the computer if you want to, like the PP one.

If you have to move around a lot, then its great, but I am sooooo terrified i will lose it.

mattclary
03-27-2007, 10:54 AM
I like the idea of being able to screw the thing to the computer if you want to, like the PP one.

If you have to move around a lot, then its great, but I am sooooo terrified i will lose it.

I've thought about putting mine on an extension cable INSIDE the machine. I don't travel with my dongle, but always have this fear I will knock it loose one day and damage it.

Andyjaggy
03-27-2007, 10:57 AM
It took me an entire week to get my Adobe stuff working properly. I too have gotten cracked copies of software when my legitimate copies wouldn't work. That's pretty sad when you think about it.

I've thought about installing my dongle on an internal USB port as well. That way it can stay safely hidden and protected within my case :) I occasionaly use LW on my laptop, but the video card in my laptop is so crappy it doesn't run it that well these days.

Dodgy
03-28-2007, 02:54 AM
I don't mind the dongle..

I just fear the possibility of it dying on me.

Wonder if it would "wear out" being plugged in from one computer to another every day?

I've been moving my USB dongle from home to work every day for a couple of years now, and no failure so far (touch wood)...

BazC
03-28-2007, 03:22 AM
I imagine we all hate the node locked system but can you imagine if every programme you ran had a hardware lock!?

20 USB dongles lying around to be lost, trodden on, eaten by the budgie and sorted through every time you wanted to change application! I'm glad LW is the only app I have that uses one!

Limbus
03-28-2007, 04:08 AM
The only thing I wish NewTek would do is to make the key "smart" and have Configs and plugins written to it - so that where ever I go - the software is customized just for me. Is there a reason this cannot be done?

A Dongle with Flashmemory would be great. Or just add a SD-Cardreader to the dongle to keep the cost low.

Lightwolf
03-28-2007, 04:34 AM
A Dongle with Flashmemory would be great. Or just add a SD-Cardreader to the dongle to keep the cost low.
http://www.wibu.com/codemeter.php?lang=en
Also available with up to 128MB.

Cheers,
Mike

Limbus
03-28-2007, 04:39 AM
http://www.wibu.com/codemeter.php?lang=en
Also available with up to 128MB.

Cheers,
Mike

Nice but 128 MB is so last century :D
I guess they dont offer more memory because it is somehow encrypted.

Florian

Lightwolf
03-28-2007, 04:48 AM
Nice but 128 MB is so last century :D
I guess they dont offer more memory because it is somehow encrypted.

Florian
Oops, sorry, 128MB minimum, the 128MB I saw first is the size of the secure virtual drive on your HD that you can manage with the stick.
The stick is available with up to 2GB.

Cheers,
Mike

colkai
03-28-2007, 05:17 AM
I've been moving my USB dongle from home to work every day for a couple of years now, and no failure so far (touch wood)...
To be on the safe side, mine is permanently attached to a small USB extension cable. That way, if the connector wears out, I'm wearing the cable, not the dongle.

For the sake of a couple of quid, it's worth doing for protection, though exactly how many times you'd need to unplug / plug to wear it out I can't imagine. That said, a couple times a day over a year soon adds up.

CAClark
03-28-2007, 07:14 AM
Blue tooth dongle is where it would be at, no need to do any more than have it on your car keys.

Cheers!

Bog
03-28-2007, 07:23 AM
Blue tooth dongle is where it would be at, no need to do any more than have it on your car keys.

Cheers!

Or wear it like a dogtag. Yay for Geek Chic.

I really don't mind the dongle. I've worn one out and had one swiped along with my backpack from a train. The worn out (parallel) one got replaced with a USB Duo in a few days, and NTE were just as quick with a replacement for the stolen one. Crime number? No problem. It was more hassle emailing all the 3rd party plugin providers and getting my stuff re-keyed to the new dongle, but it wasn't really a problem so much as time-consuming.

Given my 'druthers, I'd go for "No lock at all", but if I have to have proof of wossname, then a dongle's less hassle than finding the disk (guh!), having to have a live Internet connection to use it (GAH!) or needing to wait around for someone to process my application for a new key that's been generated by Unique Hardware Components because I've had to replace a system drive (insert sound of disgust here).

Minimal inconvenience, and just the right width to sit a lego Darth Vader on. Smashing.

esper8
03-28-2007, 07:29 AM
Minimal inconvenience, and just the right width to sit a lego Darth Vader on. Smashing.


And it's got a little green light on it too :D

TSpyrison
03-28-2007, 09:24 AM
Blue tooth dongle is where it would be at, no need to do any more than have it on your car keys.

Cheers!

Now that is one heck of a great idea!

Speedmonk42
03-28-2007, 11:54 AM
How about some kind of sub dermal RFID tag, or a watch, ring.....

Though I am sure I would be capable of losing my own hand.

gatz
03-28-2007, 12:14 PM
A hardware lock is more flexible, but it is vulnerable to obsolescence. Key providers die or stop updating their software and we foot the bill. If the key dies we foot the bill. I stopped upgrading another app when their recent .5 upgrade required another new dongle. This would have made $150 I would have paid for their security. But then I've heard of $50 transfer fees for node lock reauthorization.:(

Lightwolf
03-28-2007, 12:31 PM
A hardware lock is more flexible, but it is vulnerable to obsolescence.
Tell the guys that have a software locked in:sync editor and compare it to the ones that have a dongled version (in:sync has been dead for a few years now). I do have to admit it gets hard to find a PC to run my Elastic Reality V3.1 on - parallel ports are getting rare. But I can still switch to another box any time...

Cheers,
Mike

Signal to Noise
03-28-2007, 12:45 PM
I think I prefer HW locks over software. The main thing is transportabilty between machines such as desktop to a laptop. The other reason is, this may sound weird, but when I pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for an application the dongle makes the purchase seem that much more valuable and I want to protect it. It's like getting that set of car keys to your new vehicle. :)

gatz
03-28-2007, 02:02 PM
I do have to admit it gets hard to find a PC to run my Elastic Reality V3.1 on - parallel ports are getting rare.


I hear you. I keep a old Mac around to run my ADB keyed Elastic Reality. I think there might be some floppy key'd software on there too...

rg

starbase1
03-29-2007, 12:13 PM
A few thoughts...

Why do we need one dongle / usb stick per application? I see absolutely no reason it could not be one per software house, (e.g. one for all your Newtek products). Or why not a generic one with loads of keys built in? This would then combine with your serial, (in much the same way that the current one does), to produce a unique key... Any there are plenty of system that hash a name with a key in clever ways.

Cost. If you believe some in the industry then the vast majority of software revenue is being lost to piracy. Well, in this case a good dongle system SAVES the company a fortune, and I expect some SAVINGS to be passed on to me, not all the costs! This approach would also encourage end users to see it as a benefit.

Of course, perhaps every dodgy copy of windows in use by a Romanian child does not represent a full price lost sale...

Any system that punishes legitimate users by making them jump through hoops (e.g. Windows genuine "advantage"), or pushes up price a lot for them, is just asking for trouble.

Oh, and while I understand the support issues of hardware dongles, in my experience the grief level of software locks VASTLY outweighs it.

Overall Newtek are OK as they are compared to most though.

Nick.

PS - In the wise words of Dogbert: "The customer is always right. And they must be punished for this arrogance!"

kopperdrake
03-29-2007, 07:30 PM
Keep the hardware lock. If I have to work at a clients I can just take the dongle with me and all's good. Even if they have a software based system like Adobe, it can be a pain if there's no internet connection to the machine you're using.

Extent
03-29-2007, 10:30 PM
Key providers die or stop updating their software and we foot the bill. If the key dies we foot the bill.

This would be the same with any kind of authorized licensing. Imagine for a second that Microsoft went out of business. All of their license servers would go off line and you'd never be able to "activate" a copy of windows again. At least with a hardware lock your software only becomes useless when both the software developers go out of business and the "hardware" for the dongle goes obsolete.

I think it would be pretty cool to have a kind of unified hardware authorization for individual licenses, kind of like a portable FlexLM server built into a USB hasp. Give it some flash storage for settings and config files or for loading portable versions of the software, core LW is only about 45 meg w/o presets. I wouldn't want to give up a traditional install, but it would be a neat-o option.

Phil
03-30-2007, 03:07 AM
Cost. If you believe some in the industry then the vast majority of software revenue is being lost to piracy. Well, in this case a good dongle system SAVES the company a fortune, and I expect some SAVINGS to be passed on to me, not all the costs! This approach would also encourage end users to see it as a benefit.

What really troubles me is that occasionally I'm found firing up old versions of software (games, apps, whatever) in virtual machines or not. I won't be able to do this in future because so much of this stuff is permanently crippled by anti-piracy stupidity. I'm not averse to going looking for cracks for the various software I own simply so that I won't be trapped by this in future, especially if the software provider disappears or won't cooperate (Motion Builder 5.x users will chime in here, I expect).

On this level, it matters not a jot whether the protection is software or hardware based. You are still in the same unenviable position of being presumed guilty and being held subservient to the will of the software vendor. I dislike this a lot. Even more so when activation is brought to the table.

I'm tempted to see if NewTek will provide a license key for LW 5.5 with my current dongle, which was exchanged for an old parallel port one with the 7.0 upgrade.


Of course, perhaps every dodgy copy of windows in use by a Romanian child does not represent a full price lost sale...

Absolutely. Microsoft makes most of its money from highend software sales (Exchange, Office) and related services (Software Assurance). I'm not entirely sure why Windows is so expensive in the first place, especially for home users. The majority of the money from Windows sales comes from computer vendors, not from Joe User.

For specialised vendors like NewTek, I'm also not entirely sure what is gained by the anti-piracy approach. It currently blocks them from a market that they could have entered in some fashion (Linux via Wine). It also doesn't deter anyone who is seriously intent on copyright infringement - cracks abound for LW, as a quick google search will tell you. You might deter the occasional customer who would have paid, but businesses (a larger source of revenue, one would expect) won't tend to run unlicensed versions for fear of a BSA audit.

Customers, though, are required to suffer through the ever-familiar dead dongle (downtime), wrong license keys (downtime), obsolete dongle (downtime). How is this considered good for either party? Add to that the trouble caused with dongle swapouts involving 3rd party developers (even more downtime, possibly some expense, possibly no further use of the addon at all). It's all pretty negative, with very little positive, for the customer. Comparing hardware lock vs. software lock is like trying to decide whether I want to be imprisoned with Bubba or his little brother. In either case, the situation is not ideal.


Oh, and while I understand the support issues of hardware dongles, in my experience the grief level of software locks VASTLY outweighs it.

Overall Newtek are OK as they are compared to most though.

Nick.


This rather depends. I've had issues with Boot Camp nuking itself (possibly with help from Parallels). On each occasion, I have had to ask Jon Tindall for a new key to work with Fiber Factory. This has arrived within a few hours or so (time zones being what they are). That said, the system used by Fiber Factory and Point Oven is at the limits of what I will tolerate.

For a dead dongle, this process is much more painful and drawn out. Consider the debacle over the red dongles. People paid for software. The software would have worked, but the dongle prevented it from doing so. This took weeks of messing around to address. Each customer affected was a *new* customer. Great way to make a first impression - shipping with a fundamentally broken system and faffing around for weeks to get people up and running.

Again, this inconvenience is before you start looking at the 3rd party developers who pin their works to your dongle.


PS - In the wise words of Dogbert: "The customer is always right. And they must be punished for this arrogance!"

I'm just grateful that there are folks out there who are in a position to defeat these locks and chains. It is a reassurance to know that I can probably continue to use software that I paid for long after the vendor has lost interest in me (or wants to extract more money for a superficial 'upgrade').

NewTek is not the worst of offendors, but that doesn't mean I have to like the situation. I'm currently imprisoned with Bubba's little brother. I'd rather not be imprisoned at all.

starbase1
03-30-2007, 04:49 AM
Good stuff Phil.
It's one reason I am moving steadily towards Open Source wherever I reasonably can. I want to install my mail prog on a U3 stick and synchronise with my desktop - Mozilla Thunderbird will will let me do that.

And with Vista they actively try and stop people going the virtualisation route! I really think that in a few years we will be experiencing a major shift toward portable virtualised applications. And copy protection is the number one barrier to that.

I'm no fan of MS, but Vista is the first time I can honestly say I think they are making very bad business decisions.

Nick

Bog
03-30-2007, 05:37 AM
Mm. Phil's point of "Guilty 'til Proven Innocent" is well taken. That said, how many middlin' even to large studios would give in to the temptation to install their one copy twenty, fifty, 100 times?

Let's face it, most of the studios out there don't even admit to using LightWave, let alone how many copies they've got.... *grumble*

colkai
03-30-2007, 07:11 AM
I'm tempted to see if NewTek will provide a license key for LW 5.5 with my current dongle, which was exchanged for an old parallel port one with the 7.0 upgrade.

Well, I upgraded to a duo USB dongle on my LW9 upgrade and I can tell you, my 5.6 works just tikkety boo under it. :)

BeeVee
03-30-2007, 08:52 AM
It does as long as you don't have to reinstall from CD. The CD expects a parallel dongle (it does up to version 7, which is why I don't like to swap dongles for earlier versions). There is another thing with the dongle. That it acts as a central security device for not only LightWave but all the commerical plugins you have for it and is probably the reason there are so many. Also, downtime for losing/breaking your dongle (or a dead one)? Ask us, we're human...

B
He who is in favour of the dongle...

colkai
03-30-2007, 11:06 AM
It does as long as you don't have to reinstall from CD.
Ah, see, I never ever do dat.

What I love about LW, I have 1 DVD with all my LW versions and my own content on it, including isolated configs and shortcuts.
All I ever need to do to "install" is copy down the subdirectory. :)

You can't get any easier setup than that :D

starbase1
03-31-2007, 05:08 AM
I have 1 DVD with all my LW versions and my own content on it, including isolated configs and shortcuts.

One?!?!
:foreheads

I think I'd need 5 or 6... Mainly because I carefully follow the advice about not installing over, so I probably have half a dozen copies of the supplied content!

colkai
03-31-2007, 06:51 AM
Yup, just the one. Of course, I then have 'X' number of others with content and plugins I've garnered along the way. :p

BigHache
03-31-2007, 08:08 AM
If you believe some in the industry then the vast majority of software revenue is being lost to piracy.
That can't possibly be true. These users were NEVER going to purchase the software to begin with.

I've been happy with NT's security system. Initial registration then I have the dongle for travel or reinstallation.

I'm not at all a fan of online registration every time you have to install/reinstall the software. Especially for the OS. Locking me out of my computer encourages me to use something else.

jlyon
04-05-2007, 03:53 PM
Traveling software is one of the best things going. I can load up LW on my wife's powerbook if i'm on the road, get some work done at work, and play at home on my PC... all with one license and all perfectly legal. Not only legal, but a very simple process. If all my software was this portable, life would be good.

Sarford
04-05-2007, 06:14 PM
hardware, defenetly. Just like everybody else said, I can use the software on wichever machine I like, mac or pc.

It's called flexible, a word wich most software companies don't know the meaning of.

Steamthrower
04-05-2007, 09:25 PM
Hardware, definitely. It's great. I wish all programs used hardware locks (though then there'd be about a hundred USB dongles hanging out the side of my computer).