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  1. #1
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    Timed Software Usage

    I'm building a site for a small software company that hosts there software from a server. They want a link that will dial in and let users try out their program(s) for free for 15 minutes. Can someone tell me how to do this? I was thinking that they would have to put a timer in the code of the program that would limit the use, but then how would I stop users from accessing this trial multiple times? Any help would be greatly apreciated.

    Drew.

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    is this software browser based or is it a seperate application? if it is a seperate application then its a whole difernt ball game
    photoshop too expensive? use the GIMP! www.gimp.org

  • #3
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    Well, your right about the 15 minute timelimit. It would have to be programed into the software. And the software would have to protect against you uninstalling and then just re-installing it. Perhaps install from the web? (It is an InstallShield program).

    Now on the web side of things, you could make it so, that you save people's IP addresses in a database and if someone visits and their in the database they can't download it.

  • #4
    Senior Coder joh6nn's Avatar
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    yeah, but that doesn't work for people with dial up connections; they dial in through proxies, and have their IP's dynamicly assigned to them. they'd be getting a new IP the next time, and someone who's never used the app before might get a blocked ip, and not be able to use it.

    your best is to code this into the app, and have it leave a registry key behind, so people can't just uninstall, and reinstall.
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  • #5
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    the best protection is making a demo version of the software to downlaod with lots of nag screens and stuff and alot of encryption
    photoshop too expensive? use the GIMP! www.gimp.org

  • #6
    Senior Coder joh6nn's Avatar
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    i disagree; that's a good way to keep people from ever using the program. i'm much more inclined ( and this goes for many of my friends as well ) to use a good product, with a time limit and no lags, than i am to use a good product that just constantly nags. it's like a no-right-click script. your site might be excellent, but if you make it inconvenient for me, you can forget about me coming back.
    bluemood | devedge | devmo | MS Dev Library | WebMonkey | the Guide

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    but joh6nn you are considering the users interests and not the companys, that person may find a way to beat the timeout on the program and use it as long as he wants without paying a dime, wheras with a demo version (with the code removed and not just skipped, crackers love that type of 'protection', within a couple of minutes they can tell the code ton continue instead of skip and then you have your software all over the place!). although its just like protecting soucre code threads that seem to sprout up every so often you cant really be safe unless you dont releas the software!
    photoshop too expensive? use the GIMP! www.gimp.org

  • #8
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    Originally posted by whackaxe
    you cant really be safe unless you dont release the software!
    That is essentially correct. Someone will always find a way to get around whatever protection you put into your software.

  • #9
    Senior Coder joh6nn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by whackaxe
    but joh6nn you are considering the users interests and not the companys
    when did those become two different things?
    bluemood | devedge | devmo | MS Dev Library | WebMonkey | the Guide

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  • #10
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    your best bet is to code this into the app, and have it leave a registry key behind, so people can't just uninstall, and reinstall.
    I agree with this. all though it is tedious....people can still get altrnate copies by using library or campus computers. But don't waste your time trying to get ip addresses and writing termination scripts in the app. there is always a good dissembler ready on some crackers computer, and he'll likely distribute it freely.
    I would make a trial version, with main components useable and a sufficient amount of unusable components that would give the user a good reason to pay for the full version.

    But what do i know...LOL, probably not much LOL.

    good luck

  • #11
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    i know what you mean john, by the company making a good program so that the user likes the software and buys it and etc. problm is that if the company want to keep their money by making the program 'uncrackable' (i.e demo version) then users wront eb impressed and wront buy it, but if its to lax then soemone will be able to crack it and then you would losing money as well so its up to the company to see how they want to go about this.
    photoshop too expensive? use the GIMP! www.gimp.org

  • #12
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    Sorry for not being more specific earlier, but the user doesn't download the software from the server and use it, they login to the server and run it directly from there. The whole reason behind this is to be able to work from any computer. So what I'm looking for is a way to put a time limit on how long they can be logged in.

    Drew.

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    server-side langauge...

    what language or languages do you intend to use?

  • #14
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    wouldnt this be more apropriate in computer programming because unless the program is browser based and using a SS language then dont see how it can be classed as web coding in the term that is most frequently used here
    photoshop too expensive? use the GIMP! www.gimp.org

  • #15
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    Originally posted by whackaxe
    wouldnt this be more apropriate in computer programming because unless the program is browser based and using a SS language then dont see how it can be classed as web coding in the term that is most frequently used here
    Yep...moving to computer programming forum.
    boxer_1
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