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Re: [NTO] Freeware to make Demo Shareware

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  • 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 1 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,

      The NoteTab Off-Topic List
    • 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 2 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

        > ... 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

        *** - 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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