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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 6:50 pm   

New version of zMUD without eLicense available for testing
 
I have just uploaded zMUD version 7.20 for testing.

This version of zMUD no longer uses the eLicense copy protection system. It uses a new copy protection system that does not contact any remote server to verify your license, and does not install any extra control panel or services to your computer.

Because of the copy protection change, you will need a new license key to run this new version. A program has been included in the 7.20 distribution to make upgrades as painless as possible.

When you run this new version of zMUD, you will see the initial 30-day trial screen. Click the Upgrade button to automatically upgrade your previous elicense registration code to a new license key. This process will contact our registration server, verify your elicense reg code, and automatically issue a new reg code. The new reg code will also be emailed to the email address you originally used to purchase zMUD.

This upgrade process can be executed only THREE TIMES (one for each computer you were allowed to install zMUD on).

If this upgrade process fails, please email me your old registration code and I'll look into it. Also, if you have *ANY* problem with the new license system, please post here or email me.

IMPORTANT: BE SURE TO MAKE A COPY OF YOUR CURRENT ZMUD DIRECTORY BEFORE UPGRADING! Really, this is IMPORTANT! If the upgrade process fails, then you will not be able to use the new version of zMUD (except for the 30-day trial). By making a copy of your current zMUD directory you ensure that you will still be able to run the old eLicense version in case there is a problem with the new version.

This new version has been tested on Windows 98, 2000, and XP. But because this is a HUGE change from the previous version, it's possible that there are issues with the new copy protection that I'm not aware of.

I think the new version will still require you to use the Admin account to install and run it the first time, but you are welcome to test this to see if the Admin account is still required or not.

This new version also resets the 30-day trial for zMUD (because of the new copy protection).

The new copy protection is not as severe nor as secure as the previous eLicense protection. As with pre v6.x versions of zMUD, zMUD is now licensed to the "user" and not the specific computer. You can use zMUD on as many computers as you wish, as long as you own the computers and as long as only one copy of zMUD could be running at any given time.

Your new license key contains your full name. Your name will be displayed in the initial character selection screen, as well as the Help/About box. If you post your license key to the Internet or give it to a friend, it can be traced back to you. Violation of the license agreement can result in future upgrades of zMUD failing to work, and may cause any other Zugg Software product to stop working now or in the future.

I am TRUSTING everyone with this new copy protection system. If this system fails and everyone just shares their license key with their friends and people stop buying zMUD, then I'll stop working on zMUD forever, or I'll have to return to using the more intrusive eLicense system on future projects.

Finally, you should know that your license key is only valid for SEVEN DAYS after purchase or upgrade. This prevents people from posting their license key to the Internet. Valid customers will be able to retrieve a new license key from their Order History in the new Zugg Software Store that will be released within the next week or so.

OK, if you have read everything above and understand it, you can download the new version. Use this thread to post any problems with this new version. This is a test version that I'm only releasing to people who read this forum. After a few days of testing, I'll release this version to the public.

Five years ago, when v6.x was about to be released, I was threatened by a Russian hacker who had cracked the old v5.x reg codes. He threatened to release a reg code generator that would allow anyone to use zMUD for free. This threat forced me to start using eLicense to protect future versions of zMUD. At that time, 5 years ago, eLicense was the best solution available.

Alternative copy protection technology has finally become available and more robust. In addition, we are now in the position with our dedicated server and hosting company to move all e-commerce to the zuggsoft.com server. We will be replacing the eLicense Store with our own Zugg Software Store within the next week or so. This has been a HUGE project that has taken many weeks of work, and many months of preparation.

I have always tried to listen to my customers. I have heard all of the complaints about the eLicense system over the past 5 years. During that time I have always looked for alternatives that would be better than eLicense, but still preserve our business. Hopefully this new system will work and hopefully everyone will appreciate this attempt to resolve the eLicense issues of the past.

If you have friends that were unwilling to buy zMUD with the eLicense protection, try to convince them to buy zMUD now that eLicense has been removed. If everyone using zMUD convinced just one friend to buy zMUD, then zMUD will continue to have a healthy future for a long time.


Last edited by Zugg on Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:15 pm   
 
Upgraded. Everything went fine even though I ran it using a non admin account. Now to see if I can find bugs Mr. Green.

By the way weren't you allowed to run multiple copies of zMUD on different computers with the earlier version either?
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:04 pm   
 
Ooops. I just did a horrible mistake. Whatever you do NEVER EVER press UnLicense in the new zMUD. You will get locked out from it Crying or Very sad and get transferred back to demo mode. It doesn't work like with e-license at all. Actually the dialogue box with the warning of unlicensing might need to be updated to explain that it will be impossible to relicense using the same key. This is an operation that might need many safe guards. I can easily see it misused by friends trying to make a (bad) joke.

An interesting question is how fast you can get a new key after unlicensing once the store is online. The way eLicense does it fools you a bit. Perhaps another name than UnLicense should be used? It might be that I am too curious too that I managed to press the dangerous button.

Now I am going to hide somewhere and feel stupid Confused. Atleast I might have saved someone from doing the same mistake.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:50 pm   
 
Actually, the new License agreement that you are forced to read tells you this about the unlicense option. Also, there is a big warning message displayed and a confirmation when you click the Unlicense button that tells you this. Did you miss this confirmation? Or does this confirmation just need stronger text?

Currently it says:
Quote:
Are you sure you wish to PERMANENTLY remove your license key from this program?
WARNING: This operation CANNOT be undone!


I thought that was pretty stong myself.

Once the new Zuggsoft Store is online, you'll be able to log into the store, select Order History, select your zMUD order and click the Retrieve License button to get a new license key. But you are restricted in how often you can do this to only once a month, and never within 7 days of the last time it issued a code. When you click the Retrieve License button in the new store, the new key is emailed to you. So you get it as fast as the email can be delivered. It's automatted.

Anyway, to get your version of zMUD working again, you should just be able to click the Upgrade button again from the Trial screen. It will use up another one of your 3 upgrade attempts though.

In earlier versions you were limited to running zMUD on 3 computers. The new version is unlimited...you can install the license key on as many computers as you want, as long as you own the computers and zMUD could only be run on one computer at a time. In other words, the new version is licensed to you as a "person", while the previous version with eLicense was tied to up to 3 computers.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:51 pm   
 
Oh, and thanks for testing it from a non-admin account. The ability to install and use zMUD from a non-admin account will be a really great new "feature".
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Kaheen
Newbie


Joined: 25 Jul 2004
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:23 pm   
 
I bought zMUD back when it was version 4.x, my email has changed about 3 times since then. Is there anyway that we can update our email address so we can recieve the license key?
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:48 pm   
 
Try the new version. When you click the Upgrade button, it verifies your eLicense reg code, then retrieves your name and email from our server. The very first time that it does this, it displays a box for your name and email address and allows you to change it. This is the only time it can be changed from the upgrade program.

To change your email address at a later time, you log into the Zugg Software Store with your original email and password, and then you can change your email address in your store profile.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:08 am   
 
Zugg wrote:
Oh, and thanks for testing it from a non-admin account. The ability to install and use zMUD from a non-admin account will be a really great new "feature".

Actually I realized that you still probably have to run it as admin once to register those activeX/COM components. I didnt need to do that I guess since I just upgraded. So I now tried installing it to a new directory and this is what happens when I run it:

1. Demo welcome screen is shown.
2. I click OK and get: "Access violation at 0x7C8024E5 )tried to write to 0x00EE0E38), program terminated.".

Sorry for not testing it properly the first time.


Last edited by Rorso on Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:20 am   
 
Do you only get this error when running it from a normal user account? Or does it also give this error using the Admin account? Do you ever see the zMUD splash screen?
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:52 am   
 
Zugg wrote:
Do you only get this error when running it from a normal user account? Or does it also give this error using the Admin account? Do you ever see the zMUD splash screen?

Only when running from user account. When I ran using admin account the error went away. After that I could run it using the user account. (if I want to switch to using a zMUD in another directory I first need to run it as admin).

The "Trial Reminder" screen is displayed first. Then if I press the OK button the error message is shown. The default zMUD splash screen with the castle is never shown.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:56 pm   
 
OK, I'll take a look and see if I can find out more about this. I should be able to test it here on Chiara's computer with a plain user account. It's odd though...I can't think of what code might be trying to run between pressing OK and seeing the splash screen. It's literally the end of one routine and the start of the next routine. Really wierd.

The fact that you see the Trial screen indicates that the new copy protection is running ok. Anyway, thanks for the report. That's what the test version is for!
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nexela
Wizard


Joined: 15 Jan 2002
Posts: 1644
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:05 am   
 
Well my first ever problem installing a zmud version, I get an 'invalid class string' MsgBox

Steps taken,

1. Backedup old settings, and Old zmud
2. Installed over top of current version
3. Went through the upgrade screen and also changed my email account used
4. Upgrade/registration succesfull
5. At this point Zmud splash screen pops up and freezes and displays error after loading my plugin *plugin status says loaded*
6. Closed zmud and removed the plugin from the registry
7. Restarted zmud main module initilizing freezes and I get the error
8. Uninstalled and cleared everything out *using uninstaller* and reinstalled
9. Went through the install and started, converted the mudlist, downloaded the advertised mud stuff
10. Restarted zmud and popped up the error during the splash screen with Zsreg in the name field, and Registering in the status field

11. Installed zmud in a diff dir same error/popup as #10

Using Windows XP sp2 All Updates with Admin Account, everything in 7.13b works as expected (Uninstalled 7.20 and copied my 7.13b settings back)
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Vorax
Apprentice


Joined: 29 Jun 2001
Posts: 198
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:10 am   
 
Zugg wrote:
In earlier versions you were limited to running zMUD on 3 computers. The new version is unlimited...you can install the license key on as many computers as you want, as long as you own the computers and zMUD could only be run on one computer at a time. In other words, the new version is licensed to you as a "person", while the previous version with eLicense was tied to up to 3 computers.
Does this mean that if I install zMUD on my computer and my girlfriend's computer that we cannot mud at the same time? If that's the case, I think I like the idea of 3 licenses better.
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Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:33 am   
 
Even with the 3 licenses to install, they still weren't transferrable, eg you were only supposed to have it (for example) home, work, laptop and use it only on one machine at a time. The missus is supposed to buy her own versoin. Nothing's really changed, he's just re-stating it that now instead of the maximum install count of 3, you kinda have 'unlimited' installs, but its still only supposed to be you using it.. eg home, work, laptop.

I doubt there's anything that will physically stop you from breaking that license, and I doubt Zugg's going to go around prosecuting people because they're letting their girlfriend use their copy of zMUD when she should really have her own copy, but to be nice to both the girl and Zugg, why not buy her a copy and keep everyone happy :)
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M0lid3us
Beginner


Joined: 18 Nov 2003
Posts: 19
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:34 am   
 
I have tryed the new version and it works fine.

I have found only one issue : when the program asks me to update my data the "Submit change" button is not visibile but it appares as plain text
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:18 pm   
 
nexela, thanks for the report. Looks like it's trying to load the zsreg.dll file (part of the upgrade system) as a zMUD plugin. I'll try to release a new version for you to try later today that fixes this problem.

M0lid3us, I'm not sure what you mean by "not visibile but it appares as plain text". I don't know how it is possible for a button to be displayed as "plain text" and still work. Can you email me a screen shot of this? Then again, it's probably too late since you only get to update your info once. But the "Submit change" is a button on the screen and I don't see any way for Windows to not display it as a normal button. Very wierd.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:35 pm   
 
Actually, is looks like the error about the class string is because of zMapper. It's checking to see if zMapper is registered on your system, and since you don't have the *new* zMapper without eLicense, you get that error. Since I *do* have the new zMapper on my system, I didn't get the error. So it only happens for people that were using zMapper in the previous zMUD.

Anyway, I found the fix for this so it shouldn't happen in the next version. But of course you'll still need the *new* zMapper in order to see enhanced zMapper maps in zMUD. But the new zMapper should be released at the same time the new store goes live, which should be really soon.
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darmir
Sorcerer


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 706
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:55 pm   
 
Zugg,
I was looking for a link to get this version, but I don't see it.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:16 pm   
 
Read the entire first post very carefully. The link is there.
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Ralgha
Wanderer


Joined: 13 Aug 2001
Posts: 51
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:46 pm   Re: New version of zMUD without eLicense available for testi
 
Zugg wrote:
Finally, you should know that your license key is only valid for SEVEN DAYS after purchase or upgrade. This prevents people from posting their license key to the Internet. Valid customers will be able to retrieve a new license key from their Order History in the new Zugg Software Store that will be released within the next week or so.


So this means that I'll have to get a new code every time I format a computer (requiring me to remember the login information to the store)?
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Guinn
Wizard


Joined: 03 Mar 2001
Posts: 1127
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:29 pm   
 
Quote:
So this means that I'll have to get a new code every time I format a computer (requiring me to remember the login information to the store)?

Indeed. I'd suggest storing the logon information in the same place you used to store your reg code...
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nexela
Wizard


Joined: 15 Jan 2002
Posts: 1644
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:53 pm   
 
Thanks for the Info Zugg, I completly forgot about zMapper being installed.
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Ralgha
Wanderer


Joined: 13 Aug 2001
Posts: 51
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:46 pm   
 
Guinn wrote:
Quote:
So this means that I'll have to get a new code every time I format a computer (requiring me to remember the login information to the store)?

Indeed. I'd suggest storing the logon information in the same place you used to store your reg code...


Sounds like a real pain to me. Whoever once said "users who try to do the right thing and pay for the software have to struggle through the copy protection to get it to work, while those who pirate have the same software that simply works" spoke the truth.

I'm not saying that this system goes too far, just that it's a greater pain than the previous one. It's a pain I'm willing to put up with though.

Check out the following quote (not mine).

Quote:
It is not that difficult for non-pirates to justify piracy when they've made every attempt to legitimately purchase and install software only to be thwarted by the manufacturer's insistence on treating every user like a career criminal. At some point, after enough blue screens and failures to execute and requirements to uninstall unrelated packages, a user just says "f*ck it", downloads the cracked version, and skips the bullsh*t. The publisher has no one to blame but themselves for that sequence of events.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:33 pm   
 
Quote:
Sounds like a real pain to me.

Compared to eLicense, it's not. With eLicense, if you reformatted your computer you had to track down your reg code (either in an email or somewhere you wrote it down). The new system is the same except that instead of tracking down your reg code, you track down your login info, then login and retrieve your code.

The login method is actually better because if you forgot your password, there is a simple "Recover password" option in the store. So in the new system, all you need is your email address.

Old eLicense system: Had to have reg code
New system: only need email address

Seems a LOT simpler to me.

Also, how often do you reformat your computer? With eLicense, it checked your license EVERY 90 DAYS! What happens if the eLicense server is down? You can't run zMUD then. That was a REAL PAIN for users. The new system never does that. Once your reg code is installed, it NEVER goes away unless you reformat your computer, which is very rare. With eLicense, there were all sorts of cases where it would lose your reg code even if you didn't reformat.

If you actually prefer the old eLicense system to the new one, then my guess is that you are the only person in the world who feels this way, except for maybe the hackers who had cracked eLicense and not the new system and can no longer use zMUD for free.

And regarding the last quote you made, if you actually TRY the new system, you will find that it is MUCH easier than eLicense ever was. You essentially never have to type a long reg code with the new system. It uses the clipboard to transfer it from your email message and can automatically parse the clipboard so you don't even have to carefully copy just the reg code...just copy the entire message and zMUD will recognize it.

I understand the quote that you posted, but the entire reason I have spent my last 5 weeks on this project is to make it EASIER for registered users, not harder. So I'd stop complaining until you actually have something valid to complain about.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:37 pm   
 
Geez, I'm still actually pissed about the last poster. Seems like no matter WHAT you do, there is always someone who needs to complain.

Anyway, for those of you who actually appreciate the new system, I have just uploaded a new update. The v7.20a version should fix the crash causes by the zmapper plugin that Nexela found. I *think* it also fixes the problem installing from a user account, so maybe Rorso can give that a test for me and see if it still crashes.

Also fixed a couple of bugs, including a bug with MCP negotiation and the bug with the MUD list not being sorted. I'll update the version history for this soon, but I'm mainly focused on getting the new copy protection working smoothly.

So if you had an error or just want to try and break it, download the new update HERE and let me know if there are still any problems with it.
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