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Educational Software Thread, Would you buy software if it did this? in Technical; I am currently talking to the only UK reseller of a US software company. The product, which shall remain nameless ...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Would you buy software if it did this?

    I am currently talking to the only UK reseller of a US software company. The product, which shall remain nameless is multimedia based, and really fantastic for engaging staff and pupils into creative thinking. It is highly recommended, bar one point. Currently you can only buy one license at a time. Each licence must be registered on-line as part of the setup and if the serial number has been used or installed on more than 5 machine it then locks out the software and you have to contact the company to get it unlocked.
    I have sent an email to the US company and from there the UK reseller has been in touch. The only solution they could come up with is to issue a single license number for the support of x number of machines. Once however you have installed it to the licensed amount you will no longer be able to use that key again until you contact the company to have it unlocked. Mu question is this. The US company simply cannot get its head around bulk licensing, and seems to be oblivious to the problems it is creating via its licensing model. Indeed, the UK reseller keeps repeating the mantra of 'worried about software theft' and 'lost revenues' etc.
    My question is this. If the software is as good as this (and as I've said before, it really is a great product), would you be willing to install and support a product which takes up so much of your time simply because the company has a poor licensing model and won't listen to custmers?

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box
    My question is this. If the software is as good as this (and as I've said before, it really is a great product), would you be willing to install and support a product which takes up so much of your time simply because the company has a poor licensing model and won't listen to custmers?
    I was about to reply when I realised I hadn't understood their "system" properly. I think the initial response has to be WTF?!

    I think I'd like to know who they are so I can head off any staff trying their usual routine of purchase first, tell me second. But in a nutshell I wouldn't touch them with a 500 foot bargepole. That system is just insane.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    No

    We ditched a similar thing and used other products instead. The time saved not having to manually install on individual machines (after giving them an IP that could talk without going via the proxy, then the install, followed by the registration, then changing IP settings back) Meant I could work with the teachers on 3 other products instead to get the impact ... and it actually meant students were more engaged as they had to think about moving from one piece of software to another and choosing the right software for the right section of the task.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    Seeing as they wont listen, I'd echo everyone elses opinion. Vote with your wallet and walk away. Make it clear to them they've lost out on a sale because of the licensing model.

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    User3204's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    I have installed some Music software (can't remember what it was called), that had to be registered online once installed... and we needed to do this per machine, and it was limited to the number of licenses we had.

    We found out, that we could then image this machine... problem solved.
    We install it onto the first Music assigned computer, and then image this out to the others (I haven't exceeded the number of licenses).


    The music dept have since moved to Audacity... which is Open Source, so I installed it across the network (or, rather, I am in the process of doing so).


    Check to see if you can "fiddle" it, liken this, telling them what you're doing (to cover your arse). The only issue you might get is if it registers online every time you run it.


    [None of this will work if you use RIS not Images to push out software]


    I'd also tell them about the Edugeek forum, and you'll be naming and shaming if they don't sort their license models... and none of us will ever buy it...

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    limbo's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    Quote Originally Posted by User3204
    The only issue you might get is if it registers online every time you run it.
    If it does this then windows firewall will probably pop up and ask if you want to unblock it - say no and it cannot do the check. in most cases software that does this check will carry on if there is no internet connection available assuming everything is OK!

    Of course - not suggesting you do this to get around not having enough liceneses, just making deployment of the ones you have easier

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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    3 words
    macromedia studio 8

    grrrr
    bought new version now phew
    btw limbo id have a look at that network point it seems to flashing without a lead connected :-)

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    limbo's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterbusy-2
    btw limbo id have a look at that network point it seems to flashing without a lead connected
    It is a wireless network card!

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    john's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    I hate that kind of software, why not (shudders at the thought of suggesting this even) but look at using something like FlexLM to mange mulitple licences or something. I hate FlexLM but at least I don't have to install manually on every PC to make it work I have a BAT file that modifys the registry and thats it, its workable which is what I need and want. I won't authorise a product like that to be used, particularly on more then 1 or 2 PCs, if its designed for mass PC use EG IT Centre then it would be shown the red card and the bin.


    BTW, the music program mentioned above is probably Sibelius.

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    Joedetic's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    FlexLM is horrid.

    The music software that User3204 was on about sounds an aweful lot like sibelius.

    At the time we had it the music department had a few standalone machines that they were responsible for (they bought them themselves) so they dealt with the licences over the phone themselves. Audacity isnt a viable substitute for it imo because it doesnt do the same stuff with midi and notation. But you probably werent talking about sibelius...it just sounds a lot like it. Could it have been cubase maybe?

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    eean's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.
    I ONLY buy site licences or, if I have to, concurrent user licences that still allows the software to be installed on all machines. (begrudgingly with the exception of M$ software).
    From a staff point of view:
    Software is available on all machines, including staff laptops. In a primary school, this is essential - all children and staff use the ICT suites, laptops. In class, older children may use software designed for younger children. Staff like the fact that they know it will work everywhere, including their laptops. If they can't use it at home, they can't plan to use it, so it doesn't get used = a waste of money.

    From an technical point of view:
    I only install software that is 100% silent. Even if it kills me (like Digiblue!). This means that if anything goes wrong with a computer, I can whack in a generic build cd and it will reinstall everything, with little or no prompting.
    If we get given or buy an odd machine, I don't want to have to phone up 20 different software companies to buy one more licence for it.

    Solution:
    Sell site licences based on the number of pupils on role. This way they can charge more for larger schools whilst still making it affordable for small schools.
    Give a licence key that has the school name encoded in it. When the software starts up, it will say "Licenced to: XYZ School" in large letters. Schools don't generally steal software and they know that even the doziest of Ofsted inspectors will spot that!

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    We have a piece of software called e-copy that works with out photocopiers to allow PDF'ing of docuements directly from the photocopier, then e-copy lets you edit them etc. E-copy has to be activated on each machine its installed on, and there's no un-activeate option if we're replacing PCs, or moving the product from one machine to another, we have to ring up and get the licence count re-set. Damned annoying! Luckily we only have 10 licenses for it, but they're thinking of giving it to more people which is going to be a pain!

    Sibelius sounds like the music software mentioned above, We've managed to talk our music department into stopping using that this year!
    Mike.

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    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    What's the problem with Sibelius? I found that I just had to register the license server, then that dishes out licenses and prevents us running more copies than we're licensed for (concurrently). Fair enough?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    Not Sibelius ... and there are a number of other things like Sibelius that you can use a Licence Server or Key Management Server with.

    Pretty much anything sold to HE/FE under the Chest Agreement works for licence management of one form or another.

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    User3204's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy software if it did this?

    Heh, the software I was talking about was Sibelius, but they've stopped using it now.

    Damnit, I didn't know they had a License server, but then again at the time the music dept were based off the main site, so they had a flakey connection to our servers and the internet in general. This would have been a bit excessive for the 6 machines and 4 laptops they had anyway.

    @Dos_box
    I still think you should threaten them, and tell us what it's called.

    And I would defintely look at ways of getting around their registration.

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