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Re: [NTO] Freeware to make Demo Shareware

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  • Larry Hamilton
    Eric uses Inno Setup to make the NoteTab and other Fookes software installation packages. Here is the URL: http://www.jrsoftware.org/ Larry Hamilton
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 11, 2002
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      Eric uses Inno Setup to make the NoteTab and other Fookes software
      installation packages.

      Here is the URL:

      http://www.jrsoftware.org/

      Larry Hamilton
      lmh@...
      http://notlimah.tripod.com/
      http://jillhamilton-momteam.shorturl.com/

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <future.com@...>
      To: <ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, June 10, 2002 10:48 PM
      Subject: [NTO] Freeware to make Demo Shareware


      > Freinds
      >
      > I have written a cute little programme which I guess has a commercial
      value.
      >
      > I am on the look out of for some installer programme, preferrably a
      > freeware, which can convert my prograame in a time limited shareware. May
      > you suggest any?
      >
      > Srish Agrawal
    • Marcus
      ... Well, one I have tried is 1Way . You can access it s DLL from many languages. Try the demo. It s the least expensive I could find.
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 11, 2002
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        > I am on the look out of for some installer programme, preferrably a
        > freeware, which can convert my prograame in a time limited shareware. May
        > you suggest any?

        Well, one I have tried is "1Way". You can access it's DLL from many languages. Try the demo. It's the least expensive I could find. < $30. I decided against it myself because it was a bit too strict. Once a user sets the clock back it is unforgiving. I wanted to let people continue the trial as long as they stuck to the 30 day agreement, so I wrote my own. It also has optional(?) hardware binding (Harddisk ID). I'm not a friend of that myself.

        If are you using a popular language like Delphi or VB, you might find samples on the net.

        HTH,

        Marcus
      • Alec Burgess
        Marcus: Just curious ... how do trial version expiries work? I ve downloaded various programs I don t have any intention to use, much less pay for, to see if I
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 12, 2002
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          Marcus:

          Just curious ... how do trial version expiries work?

          I've downloaded various programs I don't have any
          intention to use, much less pay for, to see if I could
          figure out how it's done.

          I figured that by monitoring the install and first run
          with something like Inctrl5 and then uninstalling I'd be
          able to spot where the start-date (however encrypted) is
          hidden. I can see how something could be hidden in a .dll
          or .exe - but if I uninstall, delete the installer and
          then redownload it from the net, how the heck does the
          software know I'm going back for a second kick at the
          can? The only thing I can think of is that the download
          process somehow communicates a Hardware registry key back
          to the source but that doesn't seem likely.

          Jody - if you consider this topic to close too the line,
          let me know and I'll take my query off-off-topic. I'm
          really not trying to crack anything, I'd just like to
          know how it works at an overviw level! (P.S. hope you're
          starting to feel better - seems like you've been a little
          under the weather lately :-)


          > Well, one I have tried is "1Way". You can access it's
          DLL
          > from many languages. Try the demo. It's the least
          > expensive I could find. < $30. I decided against it
          > myself because it was a bit too strict. Once a user
          sets
          > the clock back it is unforgiving. I wanted to let
          people
          > continue the trial as long as they stuck to the 30 day
          > agreement, so I wrote my own. It also has optional(?)
          > hardware binding (Harddisk ID). I'm not a friend of
          that
          > myself.
          >
          > If are you using a popular language like Delphi or VB,
          > you might find samples on the net.

          Regards ... Alec

          ---- Original Message ----
          From: "Marcus" <lists@...>
          To: <ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: 11 June, 2002 23:07
          Subject: Re: [NTO] Freeware to make Demo Shareware
        • Marcus
          ... Before I answer, it is close to the line, but OTOH it s not much use keeping the topic secret since some (many?) people are curious. The information is
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 12, 2002
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            >Just curious ... how do trial version expiries work?

            Before I answer, it is close to the line, but OTOH it's not much use keeping the topic secret since some (many?) people are curious. The information is publicly available for those who want to know anyway. Secrecy doesn't make anything more secure from those who really want to break in, which is why encryption is tested by constant attacks done publicly by many volunteers.

            _However_ , as one developer wrote, you need a barrier to keep the honest people honest. The malicious are not your customers anyway. And, smart users know that if they don't support the product, it will go away. No updates, no support, which at some point may mean that the old version will no longer run on a new OS.
            I think you also need to give additional incentives such as good support, plug-ins which only registered users can get etc. That's not only in software. I saw a rock musician after a concert say the new CD was out, go burn it, burning is cool etc...BUT, of course you wouldn't get lyrics, photos, the poster etc...

            Anyway, there is no single answer. Developers, I think, most oftenly use home-grown checks. If crackers crack a copy protection system then all products using it are vulnerable, which is why it can be dicey. It may suffice though. Basically, you have to store information somewhere on the computer and let the program compare against it. There are all sorts of ways to do that, and probably a never-ending discussion and development. I decided to not spend too much time on that. If you are really curious then there are plenty of places on the net where the script kiddies swap info.

            If you really want a challenge, then try to think how you would implement a trial expiration yourself. That way you should learn a lot. I find creation more interesting than "breaking stuff". Beating the system was primarily of interest as a teenager, which is why most script-kiddies are just that, school kids, AFAIK. Just so you know what group we are talking about here.

            You might find that trying to implement an idea you have for a program is far more interesting and a far greater challenge.

            Marcus
          • Jody
            Hi Alec, It is on topic for off topic it seems to me. ;) I ve been a tad bit sick, but mostly just busy. If I come across grumpy; don t mean to be, just in a
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 12, 2002
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              Hi Alec,

              It is on topic for off topic it seems to me. ;) I've been a tad
              bit sick, but mostly just busy. If I come across grumpy; don't
              mean to be, just in a hurry and I don't want the lists to "fall
              apart" so I send moderate posts in mostly. :)

              >Just curious ... how do trial version expiries work?
              >
              >I've downloaded various programs I don't have any
              >intention to use, much less pay for, to see if I could
              >figure out how it's done.
              >
              >I figured that by monitoring the install and first run
              >with something like Inctrl5 and then uninstalling I'd be
              >able to spot where the start-date (however encrypted) is
              >hidden. I can see how something could be hidden in a .dll
              >or .exe - but if I uninstall, delete the installer and
              >then redownload it from the net, how the heck does the
              >software know I'm going back for a second kick at the
              >can? The only thing I can think of is that the download
              >process somehow communicates a Hardware registry key back
              >to the source but that doesn't seem likely.
              >
              >Jody - if you consider this topic to close too the line,
              >let me know and I'll take my query off-off-topic. I'm
              >really not trying to crack anything, I'd just like to
              >know how it works at an overviw level! (P.S. hope you're
              >starting to feel better - seems like you've been a little
              >under the weather lately :-)


              Happy Topics,
              Jody

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            • Alec Burgess
              Marcus: Thanks for the thoughtful reply. ... most oftenly use home-grown checks. If crackers crack a copy protection system then all products using it are
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 13, 2002
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                Marcus: Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

                > >Just curious ... how do trial version expiries work?

                > Anyway, there is no single answer. Developers, I think,
                most oftenly use home-grown checks. If crackers crack a
                copy protection system then all products using it are
                vulnerable, which is why it can be dicey. It may suffice
                though.

                > ... Basically, you have to store information somewhere
                on the computer and let the program compare against it.
                There are all sorts of ways to do that, and probably a
                never-ending discussion and development....

                > ... If you really want a challenge, then try to think
                how you would implement a trial expiration yourself....

                I've used Inctrl5: installed target program, exercised
                the "target", uninstalled the "target" and then completed
                the Incntrl5 compare and looked for "stuff" that gets
                left over.

                A couple of times I've spotted a peculiar registry key
                that might be implicated. In another, a bizarre 20 byte
                file left in Windows/System.

                For these two, checking with RegMon and FileMon confirmed
                that the registry key and file respectively were being
                checked sometime before the splash warning of "n days
                left ..." came up. However simply a removing the key and
                in the other case, renaming the file didn't defeat the
                countdown.

                *** - Where else is there to hide - that Incntrl5
                wouldn't catch? ***

                My guess would be special code that attempts to outwait
                the watcher and THEN does its thing.

                btw: I found one program that actually killed a running
                instance of RegMon during the "target"s startup, but (I
                discovered) if there were two or more instances of RegMon
                running left the other running. Once I'd convinced myself
                it wasn't just a fluke, I sent a bug report to the
                developer. Next release of the program a few days later
                with otherwise comprehensive change log didn't happen to
                mention that now the "target" would kill ALL instances of
                RegMon - way cool!

                > ... I decided to not spend too much time on that. If
                you are really curious then there are plenty of places on
                the net where the script kiddies swap info ...

                I've learned a fair bit of HTML by starting with checking
                the [Source] in OE rich-text emails as I write them and
                then "tweaking" it to see what changes in the [Edit] or
                [Preview] views. Same "baby steps" approach in Ntb clips
                has taught me enough about Perl to learn to accomplish
                some useful tasks with it.

                > ... That way you should learn a lot. I find creation
                more interesting than "breaking stuff"...

                Me too, but at least IME one of the best ways to learn
                something new is to try "breaking" something that's
                working, then try putting it back together with bit "A"
                swapped for bit "B" or replaced by "A-prime".

                > ... Beating the system was primarily of interest as a
                teenager, which is why most script-kiddies are just that,
                school kids, AFAIK. Just so you know what group we are
                talking about here...

                I'm 52 - still a kid at heart and I hope for decades to
                come ;-)

                > You might find that trying to implement an idea you
                have for a program is far more interesting and a far
                greater challenge.

                Agree AND disagree! 8-) see above.

                Any links, references you've got would be appreciated. A
                while back, I briefly monitored a "cracking" news group,
                and as we'd both expect it was 97% "I wanna crack for
                ...."

                Regards ... Alec
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Marcus" <lists@...>
                To: <ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: 12 June, 2002 22:33
                Subject: [NTO] Freeware to make Demo Shareware
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