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Re: [NTO] Freeware to make Demo Shareware

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  • 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 1 of 6 , Jun 11, 2002
      > 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 2 of 6 , Jun 12, 2002
        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 3 of 6 , Jun 12, 2002
          >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 4 of 6 , Jun 12, 2002
            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 5 of 6 , Jun 13, 2002
              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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