[futurebasic] Re: Software Theft

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From: tedd <sperling@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 12:09:54 -0500
>>As always, there s a balance between causing major annoyance to your
>>legitimate customers, and reducing the effectiveness of the piracy. As I
>>sell very small numbers of specialized packages, I use a dongle, but this
>>would be out of the question on something like FBIII.
>Excuse me, but what is a "dongle"?
>If I ever knew, memory now fails. :-(
>     -=  Bob (-:


A dongle is a piece of hardware that accompanies your software. That way,
when someone uses your software, the program looks to see if the hardware
is present. If so, then it runs. If not, then it doesn't.

I used a dongle back in the old Apple II days where I sold the first
geophysical workstation. It was a board that plugged into one of the slots
in the Apple II's motherboard that had an erasable EPROM. I would give a
customer a serial number and "burn" that number into their board. In that
way, their software would only run with their custom board installed. It
was very labor intensive.

Then I found a better way via "Disk Lock" which was a disk that had a known
defect in it. My software would first look to find the defect on the disk
to run. If the defect was there, then it would run. If not, then it was a
copy and would fail.

However, all of these protection schemes fall short to people who dissect
programs to find out what scheme you are using and then defeat it.

I find the best protection scheme is to provide service and upgrades to
those who buy your software and not for those who don't.


tedd f. sperling                       <mailto:sperling@...>