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Infinite Demo versions?
Old 23rd May 2003
  #1
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

Infinite Demo versions?

I've never actually tried this, as I've always tried to legitimately buy whatever i use, but would the following work in theory?

Couldn't you just keep reinstalling demo versions of plug-ins (every 15 days, or whatever the specific time is on the demo) ad infinitum and never actually buy the software?
Old 23rd May 2003
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Well Little Dog - try it - you'll find it doesn't work. It might work if you reformat your boot drive and reinstall the OS and your DAW software from scratch every fifteen days. But thats too much work for me. I just buy them!
Old 23rd May 2003
  #3
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Usually, the app in question creates a file with a silly name and puts it in a place you wouldn't think of looking. Also, this file will be 'invisible' unless you use a third party app to see ALL files
This file will contain your history and time use of the app
If you open the package contents of the app and search the code (if it lets you) for any file references, then do a search of those files.
To be able to reinstall so you can pretend you've never had it installed before you need to remove every bit of the app - so you can hunt down the bits it's left everywhere
If you can be bothered
Can also be dangerous 'cos if you're not careful you could end up deleting something important for the system
You have been warned
Old 23rd May 2003
  #4
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Re: Infinite Demo versions?

Quote:
Originally posted by littledog
Couldn't you just keep reinstalling demo versions of plug-ins (every 15 days, or whatever the specific time is on the demo) ad infinitum and never actually buy the software?
yes, you can... and much easier with some "help" than re-installing everything. i wonder if it is legit? or considered "piracy" considering they put the demo out there for people.
Old 23rd May 2003
  #5
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

Just to clarify, the question was more a hypothetical than a personal plan. In practice, the real reason it might be useful is that I am using a demo of the Sony Oxford Dynamics that I am totally hooked on. I will be buying it any moment, but I was worried that if I have to wait for them to ship me an I-lok there might be an interval where I couldn't work on any mixes that i had already started with the initial demo. So I was wondering:

a) could i reinstall for another 15 days (...apparently not easily, from what you are all saying)

b) is there any danger of losing my stored settings/parameter tweaks on mixes I started on the demo version when I switch over to the "real thing". If it's just a matter of authorizing the demo version, I would guess not, but if it's reinstalling the entire software, i'm a little worried...
Old 23rd May 2003
  #6
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Fibes's Avatar
 

If you like the software and want the company to continue to improve and develop products buy it.

I usually expect people to pay me to work for them, WTF.
Old 23rd May 2003
  #7
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Fibes
I usually expect people to pay me to work for them, WTF.
good thing i lost that CD
Old 24th May 2003
  #8
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littledog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Fibes
If you like the software and want the company to continue to improve and develop products buy it.

I usually expect people to pay me to work for them, WTF.
Jeez, Fibes, I AM buying the fucking thing! And everything in my computer is bought and paid for, thanks for asking. If you bothered to read my post I was trying to figure out how hard it was to renew the demo in case I didn't get an i-lok (if it even uses one) in time before the demo ran out, to continue working on my mixes. So then it occurred to me that if one COULD renew the demo, SOME PEOPLE might just try to do it ad infinitum.

I really wasn't asking for a lesson in practical or situational ethics. I'm just trying to deal with my one little problem. But thanks for the holier-than-thou lecture anyway. grudge
Old 25th May 2003
  #9
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Believe me it wasn't intended to be holier than thou. To answer your question (albeit too late); companies that use the Ilok or whatever will give conditional emergency authorizations if they are worth a salt.

FWIW i think that most trial scenarios are either too short, too annoying or just plain useless in selling the product...
Old 25th May 2003
  #10
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littledog's Avatar
 

well, the Sony demo certainly sold me... (and a lot of other people, apparently...)
Old 25th May 2003
  #11
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littledog's Avatar
 

i kind of thought it was mere idle curiousity about how companies avoid what seemed like a completely obvious possibility that even a non-hacker moron like me could think of...

i hardly realized i was subverting western civilization in the process. but i guess i should be flattered that at least someone here feels i am capable of dangerous original thinking...

what's the next step? am i going to get named in a lawsuit? will bombfactory refuse to sell me any of their products? will tech support bounce my e-mails back to me? Will i become the Salman Rushdie of the gear world? Will Waves hire the Mossad to erase my i-loks?

stay tuned...

Old 26th May 2003
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Re: Re: Infinite Demo versions?

Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
yes, you can... and much easier with some "help" than re-installing everything. i wonder if it is legit? or considered "piracy" considering they put the demo out there for people.
I would imagine ( and erik could certainly clear this up) That there is within the agreement a clause NOT to reverse engineer these demos ( as with most S/Ware)

So then I would imagine this IS an illegit practice.

Right or wrong??
Old 26th May 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by bombguy
... especially if you refrain from starting threads where you discuss ways of subverting their copy protection systems.
--Erik
this has got to be the quote of the month. Well done!
Old 26th May 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by bombguy
Most people try it, find out it doesn't work in about ten seconds, then get on with life. It's a slightly rarer breed that feels obligated to write internet posts in search of information about the issue...

...Suffice to say that showing a hint of dignity and respect in these sorts of discussions will allow companies to continue to offer the feature in the future.

--Erik
Apparently I am the only one who sees any irony in the fact that if an admittedly technically ignorant yet curious person such as myself asks a hypothetical question about the demo process of a product he is legitimately buying, that is somehow preventing me from getting on with life. (Yes, I suppose i could have just tried reinstalling it to find the answer, but who knows if that might have caused other ugly consequences... as a techno-moron i honestly would have no idea...) The irony being that if my thread is, in fact, a waste of time (and life), what does that say about the person who wastes their time and energy responding to it by telling me i should get a life?

Since there is (thankfully) no submissions procedure by which an individual's questions are rated for "worthiness", i guess we all just have to decide for ourselves if our own little meaningless issues are of general interest of not. One would think if such issues were that trivial or boring, the threads would simply wither away from lack of response.

As for not showing a hint of dignity or respect in the discussions, I plead mystification. It was only when I was told that it was inappropriate to even contemplate discussing these issues in this forum that i responded with some sarcasm. Based on some of Eric's previous postings regarding other manufacturers, for instance, I hardly think he is one to lecture me on showing dignity and respect. Or is it only his company that is worthy of such deference?

However, i appear to be outvoted here, as Steve Smith and mbdeh apparently find bombguy's responses both reasonable and charming. Perhaps they would be kind enough to list some further subjects that are considered taboo and unethical to discuss that an unschooled ignoramus such as myself might unintentionally feel were reasonable questions. After all, I had no idea I was in peril of ruining the whole demo phenomenon for everyone by fostering a lack of dignity and respect. Who knew i had such power? (Kind of scary actually...)

I would like to note that while this interaction alone certainly would not stop me from considering purchasing BombFactory products, if you add this to other negative experiences I have had in the past, I must honestly say that if faced with an "everything being equal" choice of buying BF vs. a competing product, i think you can guess which way I might lean...

Finally, one could make a good argument that ANY participation on these forums is largely a waste of valuable time, but I would guess that most of us find the interaction to be a form of relaxation, a chance to communicate with like-minded individuals, and the fact that the act of writing itself can be a creative endeavor. On the other hand, if my presence here is generally considered either evil or boring, I certainly have no wish to inflict myself on anyone who would prefer not to be bothered... there's always the option of simply PM'ing future questions directly to those who might most likely have good answers.
Old 26th May 2003
  #15
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Re: Re: Re: Infinite Demo versions?

Quote:
Originally posted by invisibl
I would imagine ( and erik could certainly clear this up) That there is within the agreement a clause NOT to reverse engineer these demos ( as with most S/Ware)

So then I would imagine this IS an illegit practice.

Right or wrong??
there is no reverse engineering. and despite mr buttfuktry's claims, i am not wrong. it CAN be done.... not that i do it, i have no desire to have anything from buttfuktry on my machine, now or ever. i have no desire to see them function as a company. i find their manner of PR very offensive and wouldnt support anything they do from that alone.
Old 26th May 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Hey Littledog,

For what it's worth... I've WONDERED about the same thing myself.

Have I TRIED it? No.

Have I thought about it? Yeah, but only in the sense of how they'd do it. Or how they'd make it impossible or impractical to do. Install/Uninstall, that is.

Purely a quest for knowledge. A way of understanding.

Is that so bad I ask you Thought Police?

Sheesh, talk about winding a guy up.

R.
Old 26th May 2003
  #17
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

or buy the hardware and forget about worthless bits of code that have no real value.
Old 26th May 2003
  #18
Gear Nut
 

AJ.

Please be so kind as to explain what you mean by :

"there is no reverse engineering"

I didnt quite get what you meant by that.

( Admittedly i am not the sharpest knife in the drawer)

Chur

i
Old 27th May 2003
  #19
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by bombguy


Demos are a pretty nice feature offered to end-users. It costs a lot of money to test, prepare and offer them for download, too.

--Erik
Further reflection inspires some response to this comment.

I have a particular pro audio dealer with whom I have an excellent relationship. At regular intervals he will 'remind" me that ANY time i want to borrow any of his demo pieces of any particular piece of gear for any reason I should feel free to do so.

Why does he do this? Because he likes me? Well, maybe partly... but we all know the real reason is because he recognizes my weakness as a gearslut. He knows once i get ahold of and start using a particularly sexy mic, preamp, compressor, sub-woofer, or WHATEVER, chances are I won't want to give it back, i.e. it's a virtually guaranteed sale for him. And time and time again he's been right. (Which is why i never borrow anything anymore I can't afford to actually buy...)

So am i to believe it is any different with software? You tell me, what is the more effective marketing technique? To run a print ad making claims about how fabulous your shit is, paying 'famous engineer slut" a ton of money to say he couldn't live without it? And HOPE that we actually believe it?

Or to provide a demo that gives the user hands-on experience in one's own studio on one's own project that proves without doubt just how valuable the product is?

Obviously, no one marketing technique works on everyone, but for me, #2 is directly analagous to what my pro audio dealer does with hardware - and it's damn effective.

So if the implication is that creation of demos is done by Erik and others merely as a great favor to to the audio community at great personal or corporate expense... sorry, I'm not buying it. If it costs a lot of money to make one (which I don't argue) I'm sure there as a bean-counter somewhere in your company showing that the return on the investment is positive. Otherwise I'm sure it would be discontinued faster than you could say "Erik is a paragon of corporate good-will."

And to Alphajerk and Ruphus: I greatly appreciated the moral (or immoral?) support! Thanks!
Old 27th May 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Fibes's Avatar
 

Little dog,

I agree that demo versions (for kick ass products) are the best sales tool available to a manufacturer. It is a pain but so is buying a full page ad in EQ, Mix etc...
Old 28th May 2003
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Heterodox's Avatar
 

Ok...

I'm speaking only out of "gee whiz" informing for fun and not encouraging anything (I'd imagine most gearslutz PAY for their equipment), but just to humour myself and others:

Programs that have time trials do not install hidden files on your computer to track the timing. The method used is to insert a small entry into your registry at the time of installation. Your registry is available by running regedit.exe - a really great way to completely bomb your computer if you don't know what you're doing. Usually (as previously stated) the entry is a completely abstract name.

So how does one find such an entry? Err...simple. Download any of the many freeware registry monitoring/comparison programs.

- Start the registry monitor
- Snapshot the current registry
- Install your program
- Snapshot the registry again
- Run the registry monitor's register comparison

This will effectively tell you each and every registry entry that was added, deleted, or changed - in a neatly organized list.

Once you have found the offending "time trial counter" entry (usually the one that is not in the same directory as everything else) you can easily make a registry snapshot on your desktop that will reset said entry every time you run it. Simple. Painless. Safe (if you know what you're doing!). This works for ALL time trial software that doesn't use an internet connection. Like I said - gee whiz.

Some registry monitor programs can even tell you what entries were LOOKED at (not even changed).

Of course doing that is definitely a breech of contract for whatever software you're using it on. So now you know what NOT to do, and how to do it. =|

Regardless, I'd say SonyOxford will be making more money off people sold on the demo than what they lose from the few hackers not willing to buy a quality product.
Old 28th May 2003
  #22
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heinz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by littledog
If it costs a lot of money to make one (which I don't argue) I'm sure there as a bean-counter somewhere in your company showing that the return on the investment is positive.
Not always or even often the case. Sure, one can guess at projections, but I've never seen a beancounter ROI analysis on demo releases. Just like a print ad, it's throwing your hook into the water and waiting to see who bites. Except, it's much easier and less expensive to proof and test a print ad than a code demo. Because the software plugin market is so brutally crowded, demo's that clearly give you a sonic quality and functionality measurement seem like the best way to differentiate your product from the masses.

Quote:
Originally posted by Heterodox
This works for ALL time trial software that doesn't use an internet connection.
Ummm well not really. Many software demo packages write bits outside your o/s partition that cannot be removed without a full hdd re-partition process. This is a growing trend, although I imagine that if it's not happened already, there will be utilities to address this. And like Erik said the registry method is irrelevant on a Mac.

Quote:
Originally posted by Heterodox
Regardless, I'd say SonyOxford will be making more money off people sold on the demo than what they lose from the few hackers not willing to buy a quality product.
Incorrect assumption, this is another stat almost impossible to measure. In most cases I've seen the reverse is true.
Old 28th May 2003
  #23
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

general: Shuddup and go and buy whatever it is

(after you've tried the 'hmmmm is the crack stable or is it not? grief)

if you don't mind your system losing it ('cos your work doesn't really 'matter' to anyone but yourself) then keep using those cracks - you're probably unable to afford the real thing anyway which means even if some money came in the crack in question would be way down the list

And if anyones going to talk about moderators do it by name

If you like it, buy it.
Goes for shareware.
Goes for cracks.
Without cracks, you wouldn't even know if you liked half these things.

I am:

-- trying to be realistic

-- totally into demo versions which work flawlessly for long periods and then expire totally with no recourse for cheating because software stored a code in your lampshade whch ran off the same mains ring as your computer - try and find THAT
Old 28th May 2003
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
Heterodox's Avatar
 

breech n.
The lower rear portion of the human trunk; the buttocks.

LoL. its not really necessary to correct typos...come on, that's just mean spirited.

To clarify - I was only talking about PCs. I haven't had a MAC since the old 9" B/W monitor built into the actual system. Those were fun though =D Coding in Robowars for days...

In addition I most certainly meant to say "almost ALL" - as it would be absurd to really conclude that any software without internet connectivity would work off the same principle. In fact the entire post was an "in general" sort of thin, not aimed at Bomb Factory in the slightest bit. I wrote it quickly while working on many other things, and perhaps it seemed like I was saying "Hey everyone, THIS is how to crack BF software!"...well, no.

Quote:
Ummm well not really. Many software demo packages write bits outside your o/s partition that cannot be removed without a full hdd re-partition process. This is a growing trend, although I imagine that if it's not happened already, there will be utilities to address this. And like Erik said the registry method is irrelevant on a Mac.
That's really fascinating - I wasn't aware there were any available write areas on the HD other than the partitions you have assigned and the boot sector. It sounds nifty but wouldn't a practice such as that be generally frowned upon? Its hiding information in areas which you haven't really given anyone permission to tamper with. =\ I dunno...just reminds me of the dongle crap. There's only so much you can do before it gets annoying. And if I'm not mistaken, you could fake a signal from a port to emulate a dongle - always a way around..always.

Why is this thread turning into an etiquette or "is it right or wrong" thread? Everybody KNOWS its wrong to steal. The questions presented here were out of simple curiousity - and curiousity is HEALTHY. One should be so flattered that other people even know their software's name. Its not about dignity or etiquette or anything else... Seriously - who hasn't had a joking conversation about the "perfect way to rob a bank" etc etc...and who has actually robbed a bank, save for Jules? Case in point. Human beings enjoy stimulating ideas - yes, even naughty ones. Actually I should say ESPECIALLY naughty ones.

Peace and love to everyone.
Even naughty people.
-bryan
Old 28th May 2003
  #25
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

im only into a few plugins which i bought... the rest arent worth the $$$. im more into buying REAL gear that hold value, IOW im not wasting my money on software.... except my DAW which has cost me less than most plugins over many upgrades and years combined.... gotta wonder.

and, no... im not saying how one beats the time limit. if you are that hard up to use the plugin, go figure it out for yourself or just buy it... and no, MACs dont have a registry.
Old 28th May 2003
  #26
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

Well, since I started this mess, for those who still care, yesterday I plunked down my credit card and ordered both the MassivePack and the Sony Oxford Dynamics.

I will concede that perhaps everyone here knows more about marketing than I do, but I can say, speaking purely for myself, that the demos of the Sony Products unquestionably were the critical factor that made me cough up $1900 of my hard earned scratch. I guess I should be flattered that i'm apparently unique in being convinced to buy a product by first trying it out and finding out that sounds really good, although it's hard for me to take that idea too seriously. But who knows? Greater minds than mine apparently think so...

The good news is that one of my main concerns (and motivation for this thread) has been alleviated. Apparently any edits/tweaks done while working on my mixes to the plug-ins while in the demo mode will not disappear when the "real" version is installed, even if there is an interval between the time the demo expires and the time the software packages arrive.

Thanks to all who tried to give me some real information as opposed to those who felt compelled to disparage my ethics, a subject about which they know nothing.
Old 28th May 2003
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Fibes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by littledog


Thanks to all who tried to give me some real information as opposed to those who felt compelled to disparage my ethics, a subject about which they know nothing.

Can we let this drop? i knew where this thread was heading, it happens every six months. Nothing personal. I have two pieces of software to buy, back to work...

So no emergency auths for you? Will you lose the settings if you save without the plugs in there? I've had it go both ways with different plugs. The fact that 10-15 days isn't long enough to evaluate a product, fall in love with it and get the fucker in the mail still bothers me.
Old 28th May 2003
  #28
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

Hey, we're cool Fibes. That last line wasn't really directed at you...

I was told that my Sony plug-ins will show up on a specific session as "inactive", but once the authorized software is installed and i "Command-Control" click, they will reactivate with whatever settings/edits intact.
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