[futurebasic] App crippling

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From: Robert Covington <artlythere@...>
Date: Tue, 11 May 2004 08:08:21 -0400

I've been thinking of remodeling my shareware cripple method, and 
wanted some input.

Currently I write my easily disposed of inviso-file and check that... 
when time's up, so's the program operation (for honest people)

However, it occurs to me that having it just bail removes interest ...I 
may take longer than 35 days to get a new version out. They may forget 
about it.

GraphicConverter has a timer in the splash screen. It starts at 10 
seconds. then goes to a really annoying 30 seconds once a certain time 
period, say 30 days, has passed.

But the app never times out that I can see. So, people can still use 
it, and suffer the waiting, but still use it, and know it's in need of 
registration or something, Plus, he used to disable the convert more 
feature until registered. I can see people get annoyed by waiting, and 
finally say "OK , i'll register." if they don't just remove his prefs 
file and go back to the tolerable 10 seconds. :)

Stuff like this has the benefit of being built in, and generally hard 
to hack out.  You can't just restore it to completely full function by 
whacking a temp file.

And I wonder if over time it results in more registrations, because 
people won't be chunking out your app once it times out , if they've 
waited that long.

So I was thinking about adding a splash timer , and also either 
limiting the app to no more than 2 open images until registered, or 
things like that.

I am not sure. Studies have shown that crippling an application, 
smartly, can result in up to 5 times more registrations for shareware 
products, simply because people really only pay for what they have to 
(...as a group, that is. Individuals certainly vary).

As it is now, I don't do anything for 5 days I think, then throw up a 
dialog at run saying the app will time out in so many days, please 
register. Quits otherwise once the test period is reset. Works ok, but 
not sure it couldn't be made better?

Every new release does reset the test period though.