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Educational Software Thread, Registration via internet of newly installed software (on each machine) in Technical; Originally Posted by mlapworth a) by default, require registration on each machine over t'internet. Would it be possible to elaborate ...
  1. #31


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    Quote Originally Posted by mlapworth View Post
    a) by default, require registration on each machine over t'internet.
    Would it be possible to elaborate on this part a little? When a customer buys Task Magic, would they be e-mailed a username and password to login to your website and download the single file containing their registration details? What would prevent someone from buying a single user license, specifying a local path to the registration data in the tm.config and then repeating the process on other computers?

    Edit. Didn't see Kipling's post above mine.

  2. #32

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    Thanks Kipling and Arthur. You both come up with the same disadvantage in terms of security. I guess it's useful to see this in the context of the current version which doesn't require registration at all.

    I'm actually not trying to find ways of controlling the number of users using this reg data. I'm back to trusting in the honesty of the poeple in the school really...

    The school is provided with a registration key along with their CD. When they run the software and get to the registration screen - step f in my scenario a few posts ago, they will need to key in the registration key. This will then download a file from the taskmagic website containing the licence details for the school.

    When the program is run subsequently the school's name and licence type will appear on the splash sceen when TaskMagic opens. A pop-up will also appear at random intervals (hopefully not enough to be too much of a nuisance, every nth time a game screen is opened for example) saying that the software is licensed for use on 1 / 10 / all machines in the school (the name of the school will appear here too), and encouraging the reader to contact us if they suspect that the software is being used illegally...

    So if you pass on your registration key to another school, the splash / popup screens will hopefully be enough to discourage the other school from using the software.

    Our single user / 10 user licences are not concurrent users, but machines on which the software can be accessed without being in breach of the agreement. There's nothing physical to prevent this.
    Last edited by mlapworth; 5th April 2010 at 04:18 PM. Reason: changed screen to school in penultimate paragraph

  3. #33

    nephilim's Avatar
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    I still think a hidden ini file might be more beneficial, doesn't mess with registry, and backups can be kept.

    But that's just me and how I prefer it.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlapworth View Post
    I'm actually not trying to find ways of controlling the number of users using this reg data. I'm back to trusting in the honesty of the poeple in the school really...
    So itís more to customise the software a little with a splash screen rather than any form of forced licence compliance.

    In that case I think the best solution is the one Arthur suggested a few posts back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    What about something like this?

    1) An MSI that performs a per machine installation with files stored uncompressed externally (as described above).
    2) The Task Magic MSI copies a license file (called something obvious like "tm.license" or "tm.lic") to the install folder during installation. This would be located in the same folder as the MSI. In order to do this as part of the installation you would need to include some sort of dummy license file which will have to be overwritten with the real license file BEFORE Task Magic is deployed to computers. When Task Magic runs, it verifies the license file and works as normal if everything checks out. If there is a problem or it can't find this file, either...

    To summarise it:
    You supply your program in an uncompressed format with an msi file and have a dummy licence file included within the structure.

    The network admin then has a few options.
    a) Contact you and get the correct licence file emailed across. Replace the dummy file with the new one and push the whole lot out over the network.
    or
    b) hand install the software on one PC using your current online registration system. Once completed, copy the newly downloaded licence file from that PC and overwrite the dummy file on the server; then push the whole lot out over the network.


    Itís simple, itís guaranteed to work, it doesnít run into any user permission problems and it allows users to continue using the software when not connected to the network.
    If the software gets upgraded all the admin has to do is make sure the real licence file is copied over the dummy one again and let it roll out to clients.

  5. Thanks to Kipling from:

    mlapworth (7th April 2010)

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    Thanks for all your help. I've gone with what was suggested by Kipling / Arthur. A dummy licence file is included along with the msi, unpackaged. The person installing to the network can register on one machine, then copy the new licence file to the installer before rolling out across the network.

  7. Thanks to mlapworth from:

    Arthur (7th April 2010)

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    That's great news, Martin. You will have certainly pleased a lot of IT tech's/NMs.

    Thanks also for taking our feedback on board. Many educational software developers wouldn't even bother to do what you have done.

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    OK, here I am 18 months on.

    I used the model as suggested by several people on here, and it worked a treat. In the last couple of months, however, there have been several reports of the process not working as it should. What's happening is that, after registering on one machine and copying the modified file into the installation directory, when this is installed to the network, the modified file isn't installed (ie. it isn't copied across). I haven't changed anything, as far as I can see, so I'm completely puzzled as to why this should be happening now, when it worked fine for the first year or so (with ZERO reports of it not copying the file across).

    Any ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlapworth View Post
    OK, here I am 18 months on.

    I used the model as suggested by several people on here, and it worked a treat. In the last couple of months, however, there have been several reports of the process not working as it should. What's happening is that, after registering on one machine and copying the modified file into the installation directory, when this is installed to the network, the modified file isn't installed (ie. it isn't copied across). I haven't changed anything, as far as I can see, so I'm completely puzzled as to why this should be happening now, when it worked fine for the first year or so (with ZERO reports of it not copying the file across).

    Any ideas?
    Have you checked they're not numpties?

    Ask them to provide the .msi install log. i.e
    Code:
    msiexec /i \\server\share\tm2\tm2.msi /L c:\tmlogfile.log
    and look for obvious problems.

    Try to replicate the issue.

  11. Thanks to pete from:

    mlapworth (15th December 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlapworth View Post
    What's happening is that, after registering on one machine and copying the modified file into the installation directory, when this is installed to the network, the modified file isn't installed (i.e. it isn't copied across).
    Is this only happening when they perform a network install? If they double-click the MSI and install it manually (after they have copied the license file to the install folder) does it work?

  13. Thanks to Arthur from:

    mlapworth (15th December 2011)

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    Thanks for your reply Pete. That's what I thought at first, but there have been several similar reports now over the last month or two. I haven't asked them to provide the log file. I'll maybe do that, and try to replicate it on my computers here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Is this only happening when they perform a network install? If they double-click the MSI and install it manually (after they have copied the license file to the install folder) does it work?
    I'm not sure. I guess a good starting point for me would be to see if it installs on one of my computers if I replace the file. Thanks for your reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Is this only happening when they perform a network install? If they double-click the MSI and install it manually (after they have copied the license file to the install folder) does it work?
    I've just tried installing it on my computer after copying the modified file to the installation folder first. It worked fine. Is there any reason why it wouldn't work across a network if it works on one computer?
    BTW the computer I just tried it on was XP. Also, the number of bytes in the modified file is 3 more than the original. Would this make a difference?

  17. #43

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    I recently installed it on some Windows 7 x64 machines and a Windows XP machine via .msi unattended, it rolled the license file out fine that's in the deployment share. Wouldn't register through the proxy for love nor money, but just took my laptop home to do that.

  18. Thanks to 3s-gtech from:

    mlapworth (16th December 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    I recently installed it on some Windows 7 x64 machines and a Windows XP machine via .msi unattended, it rolled the license file out fine that's in the deployment share. Wouldn't register through the proxy for love nor money, but just took my laptop home to do that.
    Thanks for your reply. A couple of schools have contacted me to say they couldn't register as they were behind a proxy server. I just emailed them a copy of the licence file.

    The issue is not with sending out the licence file that's already in the installation folder. This always installs no problem. But if you modify it (or rather, replace this one with a modified one) some people are saying it isn't copied acroos by the installer...

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Is it just network installs that are having the issue? (sorry if I missed it, got a 2 year old running around, on the phone, and writing a document up as well! lol)

  21. Thanks to nephilim from:

    mlapworth (16th December 2011)

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