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RE: Software Keys

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----- Previous Message -----
From: "Arvel L. Williams, P.E." <awilliams(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2005 9:48 AM
Subject: RE: [WL] seaint Digest for 29 Apr 2005

> Don't do dongles.  If they need a dongle, I don't buy.
----- /Previous Message -----

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Feather [mailto:pfeather(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2005 12:46 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Software Keys

Don't agree.  Some of the most productive software we have uses dongles
one type or another.  Rejecting these programs just because they require
key is self limiting.

Paul Feather PE, SE
-----/Original Message-----

What's REALLY self-limiting, though, is having such a program with a
Dongle, that you only use every so often, and not being able to find the
Dongle when you want to use the program.

Yes, you're right, it IS a personal problem, but my decision to stay
away from software that uses a Dongle is "personal" as well. It's
happened to me; never again will I worry about it (I didn't bother
calling the s/w people; I believed 'em when they told me originally that
they wouldn't replace a Dongle "for free." I went on to another
solution. Found the Dongle later on, some time after the crisis was

Check the EULA on your Dongle-ized software. Chances are there is a
paragraph or two in there to the effect that if you lose the Dongle or
it is destroyed, you have to pay for a new license. Not at all a
pleasing prospect, especially in this world where "stuff happens."

Outside of highly-specialized software such as we're discussing, you
just don't see Dongles in use.

Products that I do use, such as those by IES, require a security code,
period. Type in the code, use the software. IES' software even allows
you to install the package on multiple computers, and so long as you
promise not to use one "copy" simultaneously with another you are
"legal." I LOVE that.

For the paranoid there are security-key schemes that are system-specific
such that the key is generated for a unique machine. If you make
significant changes to that machine, you have to get a new code.
WoodWorks does (or used to) work this way, for example.

That's no biggie, either, because in my experience all you have to do is
give 'em a call and they'll give you a new code, again, on the honor

I've not used "Dongle-ized" software enough to say, but I wonder if you
lose or destroy the Dongle, if they manufacturer will have pity, or if
he will adhere to the letter of your EULA, and make you pay for a new
license. Don't know. Don't want to tempt fate in order to find out.

Somebody else go first. 

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