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cazador
Apprentice


Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:50 pm   

portable cmud
 
I know people havhe asked in the passed about a poratble version that can be put on a usb drive. Have you ever thought about using U3 usb drives. I know they allow people to run programs that are specifically designed for them on the usb drives. And they can store registery information, that travel with the drive, etc.


Oh and I ever so glad that I bought zmud in Oct, 99.
I can't wait until this is realised. If you ever need a beta tester let me know. I did beta a few of your old zmuds back in 99, 00 time frame. For that matter if you need an alpha tester :)
Cazador
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Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:00 pm   
 
We've already talked about this in the zMUDXP thead over in the main zMUD forums, and the answer is basically "No".

The problem with a "portable" drive that runs CMUD (or any licensed software), is that there is nothing to stop someone from just uploading the contents of their USB drive to the Internet. Then people just download the contents to their own drive and then everyone can use CMUD for free. There is no easy way to stop that kind of piracy.

The only way to control that kind of piracy is to make the license key for CMUD "hardware dependant" so that it can only be used on a single computer. But then that also prevents the portable USB drive from working the way you want it.

It doesn't matter if the USB drive can store registry information, etc. Since you can't stop people from making a "clone" of the USB drive, then you can't stop people from using the software without having their own license key.

Yes, it would be really nice to do what you are asking, but with software piracy such a huge problem (especially with "game" programs like zMUD/CMUD) it just doesn't work. Yet another area where pirates have ruined it for the honest people of the world.
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Guinn
Wizard


Joined: 03 Mar 2001
Posts: 1127
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:30 am   
 
I guess those cutesy RSA SecurID widgets are a bit pricey on this scale ;)
The tech exists - it's just not cheap
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Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:51 pm   
 
Guinn, exactly! Also, it's not clear how to interface existing copy protection schemes with these new devices. And I can't support two different copy protection systems. I'm hoping that the technology will evolve and improve over the years (and get cheaper) and that Microsoft will put some sort of built-in support into the next version of Windows.

They need to make this kind of stuff easy-to-use for developers, and inexpensive for consumers if they want it to be used on a widespread basis. I know that Microsoft is really interested in this kind of stuff too, so we'll have to just wait and see what happens.
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twhiting9275
Beginner


Joined: 24 Oct 2002
Posts: 13
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:02 pm   
 
Quote:

The only way to control that kind of piracy is to make the license key for CMUD "hardware dependant" so that it can only be used on a single computer.

This is only somewhat true here, though. Hardware dependent isn't truly "hardware dependent", it's dependent on an ID issued on installation of the OS.
Unfortunately, with Windows , you're eventually going to have to reinstall ( no matter what version, I've always found this to be true). Even if you have the software on another (backup) drive , you can't run the software as it is, it will generate an error telling you it's not licensed for this computer, even though it is.

Thankfully, downloading new license keys just got a LOT easier with the new system (THANK YOU ZUGGGGGG!), it's as simple as reclaiming it inside of the store, so the whole 3 licenses in 90 days thing isn't there (or is it and I haven't seen it yet?) . This is the biggest thing for me at least in the move to the new licensing thing. 5 minutes and I'm licensed, if that ;)
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Pseudo
Wanderer


Joined: 25 Oct 2005
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:00 pm   
 
Quote:
Unfortunately, with Windows , you're eventually going to have to reinstall ( no matter what version, I've always found this to be true). Even if you have the software on another (backup) drive , you can't run the software as it is, it will generate an error telling you it's not licensed for this computer, even though it is.


FYI: The ID you are referring to is created during Windows installation using unique identifiers from various hardware components, including your hard drive. While it is licensed for your hard drive, it is not licensed to run on your backup drive too. It is one way to help control piracy.
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twhiting9275
Beginner


Joined: 24 Oct 2002
Posts: 13
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:07 pm   
 
Quote:

While it is licensed for your hard drive, it is not licensed to run on your backup drive too.

Right, but when it's ONLY running from the backup drive (I have a separate drive specifically for games/gaming), then it's still licensed to run there. It's a catch 22, and yes, I understand the whole "piracy" thing, it's just quite inconvenient, moreso when things were handled through the previous licensing provider, as I typically format once a month, month and a half due to whatever windows issues come up (and they are numerous , sadly).
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Taz
GURU


Joined: 28 Sep 2000
Posts: 1395
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:25 pm   
 
The only thing I can say is that you are doing something wrong. I have never had to reinstall my OS even from the days of Win95. I keep everything clean by checking when something is uninstalled that it really is by cleaning out any left behind files and reg keys, it takes time, patience and dedication. Also when a problem unrelated to crap software comes up I check multiple forums for answers and there usually are ones. The benefit behind all of this is you begin to understand a lot more of what your OS is up to and how to fix problems plus not having to reinstall all the time.

If you install to a pen drive and licence does it work? If you then go to another machine with that pen drive and install again to the same location on the pen drive and then licence does it work? If you then go from machine to machine does it now work on both? I've never been interested in getting zMUD to be portable but I would be surprised if this didn't work.
_________________
Taz :)
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twhiting9275
Beginner


Joined: 24 Oct 2002
Posts: 13
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:34 pm   
 
Quote:

The only thing I can say is that you are doing something wrong.

I'm not doing anything wrong here, at all. When you use your pc 14-16 hours a day though, instead of the usual 1 or so, you're bound to run into things that Windows just does not like. In this case, I've (literally) seen Windows come up perfectly once, then 30 seconds later with no installs, or anything, simply a reboot crash, and refuse to come up. Unfortunately, that's just Windows. If it were a proper OS, I could debug the issue and have it back up and running without reinstalling, but, it's Windows. Logging is spotty at best and when they DO log something they log it in code so nobody but themselves can read it.
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CircuitConcepts
Newbie


Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:56 pm   
 
meep.

This would be amazing, but obviously there are a lot of ways for this to go wrong. My question is, just like how every computer is different (as to why it's hard/impossible to share zmud), is there not a way each jump drive is different? I recognize putting cmud on a CD or floppy is probably impossible, but a jump drive? Or something similar?

I don't deal much with hardware, but it seems like that might be possible. I might be wrong, or it might just take 5 years of programming as you're the only one!

--Thomas
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Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:29 pm   
 
twhiting9275, what version of Windows are you using? I use Windows XP about 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, and I *never* need to reinstall Windows. And I'm doing complex stuff with dozens of applications running at a time, and running development tools like Delphi that regularly crash and get messed up. I only have to reboot about once every couple of days. The computer stays powered on *all* the time.

The only time I've had to reinstall is when my hard disk died last year. With WinXP if you are having to reinstall it all of the time, then there *is* something wrong. While old versions of Windows did the kind of stuff you mentioned, Windows XP with up-to-date drivers and patches is *very* stable these days.
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Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:33 pm   
 
CircuitConcepts, as far as I know, the removeable USB drives do not have any unique identifier assigned to the device. Or at least not anything that can't be simply changed by various utility programs. The new "secure" USB devices are starting to come with methods to do copy protection like this, but as mentioned before, there is not yet any "standard" way of doing it, and nothing is built into Windows to support it. So it's sort of like the old days where game programs had to write to the graphics hardware directly and every different graphics card had to be individually supported (before DirectX). I can't afford to support different hardware at this kind of low-level.

And this kind of stuff is a huge issue. Remember all of the flack Intel got when they added a unique ID to each Intel chip that could be checked in software? People screamed about "privacy issues" that the software shouldn't know what computer it was being used on, and stuff like that. There is always a big gap between what is needed for secure copy protection, and what people will tolerate.
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cazador
Apprentice


Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:30 am   
 
Actually i did a little research on the new U3 usb drives it looks like these have a unique identifier, and has built in support for hardware locking for software. Though people who would want this would need to use a USB drive that supports it. So far i have found 4 major manufactoress of usb drives that support this.

Zugg, sorry for rehashing this issue that has been discussed before in other areas. Thanks for your hardware, and I can't wait till CMUD comes out.

Zugg wrote:
CircuitConcepts, as far as I know, the removeable USB drives do not have any unique identifier assigned to the device. Or at least not anything that can't be simply changed by various utility programs. The new "secure" USB devices are starting to come with methods to do copy protection like this, but as mentioned before, there is not yet any "standard" way of doing it, and nothing is built into Windows to support it. So it's sort of like the old days where game programs had to write to the graphics hardware directly and every different graphics card had to be individually supported (before DirectX). I can't afford to support different hardware at this kind of low-level.

And this kind of stuff is a huge issue. Remember all of the flack Intel got when they added a unique ID to each Intel chip that could be checked in software? People screamed about "privacy issues" that the software shouldn't know what computer it was being used on, and stuff like that. There is always a big gap between what is needed for secure copy protection, and what people will tolerate.
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Rivalyn
Beginner


Joined: 08 Oct 2002
Posts: 20
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:37 pm   u3
 
Considering what he mentioned earlier, specifically the U3 drives now available, do they still have the same limitations in terms of not making it viable to allow CMUD to run off one? I haven't had a chance to join the developers forum yet but I assume with people like McAfee making their software available for purchase, it has to have some of the qualities needed to make it a consideration.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:17 pm   
 
There might be ways to do it without secure USB drives. Around zMUD 5.5 and earlier Zugg used to write his own copy protection for zMUD. I think it connected to Zuggsoft's server at each startup to verify the registration. A similar scheme could be used here:

At zMUD:
1. Starting zMUD...... -----> Load reginfo from reginfo.ini -> connect to Zuggsoft server to verify license

At Server:
2. Is this license currently used at some other computer?
3. If not then store unique ID identifying the computer and allow usage of zMUD. Else send the denial message.

At zMUD:
4. Every 30-60 minute -> connect to Zuggsoft to verify the license.

The reginfo.ini would not contain the registration code. Instead it would contain an unique identifier that could map to the regcode by looking it up in the database of Zuggsoft. Before you travel you would first login to Zuggsoft's website to download a new ini file and reset any active license.
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Zugg
MASTER


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

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:54 pm   
 
But as you know, I am doing my own copy protection again now, and have decided that I don't want to use any "phone home" methods anymore. So while this is possible to implement, it's not something I want to do at this time.
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