piclist 2007\03\26\052739a >
Thread: shareware / software copy protection
www.piclist.com/techref/index.htm?key=shareware+software
face picon face BY : Alan B. Pearce email (remove spam text)



>> i have used plenty of pirated software that was supposed to
>> use a dongle. (for non profit purposes of course)
>> Those dongles sure did work well, (well i assume that all the
>> legitimate purchasers never had a problem with them because
>> the dongle free pirated version worked fine.)
>
>If you're saying that in your experience dongles are next to
>useless, then that's fine. I just thought they may offer a greater
>degree of protection. There's no smarts you can put in a dongle
>that's unbreakable ?

Grief, go home for the weekend, and you guys have these big discussions I
come back and catch up on ....

My observation of many dongle protected packages is that the dongle has only
a product ID and serial number validation method in them. Then in many cases
the driving software for the dongle is only minimally linked into the host
program so that often all that is needed is to find the link module and
bypass it by substituting any replies that go back to any call points in the
main program.

But for what started this thread, I do wonder if a dongle containing an 18F
or 30F PIC doing a calculation on the data may well be a viable way of doing
things. An 18F would be an obvious candidate as there is a USB version, and
they can be got with reasonably large amounts of RAM, but hits could be
supplemented by I2C or SPI memory for buffers if needed. Then the PC program
becomes a front end to this "computation engine" in the dongle. The dongle
cost could well be low enough that supplying a 2 seat package as the minimum
would not be a hardship - probably a $15 increase on a single seat for the
cost of an additional dongle. This gets around Jakes device failure
objections, and a busy house would have 2 seats available. It may even be
practical to sell additional dongles at $50 apiece if they wanted more than
2 seats.

<0e6501c76f88$fb9ffcb0$1979f682@space.rl.ac.uk> 7bit

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