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Bluntly; I don't like dongles. However, the Risa3D dongle is not exactly an inconvenience. It is a USB device and if you own a six or eight USB hub, the Risa3D dongle plugs in with almost no trouble. It is so invisible that it becomes easy to load Risa3D on multiple machines in my home office and simply unplug the dongle and move it to the hub I will be working on. If you haven't read the latest PC mags, there is a movement to load most of your operating system and most used programs on a USB dongle you can carry on hour key chain. There are definite benefits to this since you can legally use the software that you are licensed for on any machine you happen to be near. I don't have a problem with this since I can only work on one machine at a time.

On the other hand, I have a problem with the USB dongle from RisaTech - but I can't complain since I have yet to call them to resolve the conflict. As I recall, the dongle requires too much power and I receive an error that I have exceeded the capacity of the USB port. Even if I plug into another free port I get the same error message.

I'm sure when I really need to use the software that Risa will respond with a solution, but I certainly prefer the USB dongle to most other forms of copy protection that are sensitive to what you have installed on your hard drive. I recently replaced a damaged drive with two 200Gig hard drives and a re-write DVD/CD combo. I had to contact Autocad and Microsoft as it was a significant change to make the software believe I was on a new machine or a different machine than I originally registered for. The fix was easy enough - but it was inconvenient as I noticed the problem on a Friday afternoon when I planned to work over the weekend.

In short, I thought I would be intimidated by the use of a security device such as a USB dongle, but the fact is that since I am the only licensed user for the software I invest in, then I have no problem installing and using the software as long as I am not restricted to one machine used one at a time.

To all of my Jewish friends - I wish you all a Happy New year. I wish for peace throughout the world and hope the coming year (the Jewish Calendar) will bring civility and peace in the Middle East. This is too small a world not to respect the belief and lifestyle of others.


Dennis S. Wish, PE

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