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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:25 pm
by Mikael
I've just installed ChangeName after seeing it mentioned in another post a while ago. I'm in two minds really. Suppose I write an app with an unlock code based on the user's username and they decide to give it to a friend with ChangeName, would it be OK (ethically/morally correct) to include the following in my app:

if(launch(CRM4)//the creator id of ChangeName
//keep launching ChangeName until they get the hint.


if(dbopen("PalmName_prefs"){//the db that ChangeName creates
//keep displaying an alert mentioning that they have, or have had ChangeName onboard and then exiting

I only ask because, like me, the person might have ChangeName onboard for completely legitimate reasons - unlikely, but possible - and if so, would it be fair to do this to them. On the other hand it might disuade those who do use it for the wrong reasons, by making it a bit of a hassle just to get the app to run.


PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:38 pm
by Vilmos
This is just my opinion, there are many many posts on the internet that go into all the arguments on the subject of piracy and software protection.

- If you piss off a legitimate user then they will not use or buy your product.
- If you have a protection scheme that has been cracked then why wouldn't they just also patch the section where you check for ChangeName? It would be one more jump to change.

The only thing you would accomplish is someone sharing the code that they actually paid for with someone else. This is possible, but unlikely since a cracker could just write a keygen or crack the sections that are problematic.


PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 6:14 pm
by Mikael
Thanks for the info Vilmos,

I'm actually wondering whether it's even worth including an unlock code in the app I'm currently writing, giving all the hassle concerning cracking. I read recently that when it comes to Palm apps, crackers rarely invest the time and effort necessary in cracking ones selling for $15.00 or less. My thinking is this, even though I'll be pricing mine at ?Ǭ£20.00 I might just not bother with a code, as there will always be honest users who will pay for someone's work and effort, despite the fact that it may be available for free (with a free virus too) elsewhere. Naive I know, but there really aren't many apps which haven't or couldn't be cracked if someone set their minds/cracking tools to it. Sometimes it seems that just having a code is like sending out an invitation to crack it.

Who knows?


PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 3:35 pm
by Vilmos
Hmm, I'm not sure if the $20 applies to Palm programs as that would be 90% or higher of all the software.

If you want to see what software has been cracked it is very easy. You can check the newsgroups or the pilotwarez site and see if you have been hit yet.

My new game hasn't been cracked yet, but I suspect that is because no one has found it yet. :? I put in a simple registration system using the RegCode algorithm. You can google that (for PalmOS) and then if you choose to go with PalmGear or Handango it can automatically send out codes for you. Of course you can use other methods as well and have it automated, but I went with the easy pre-packaged (and free) solution.

PocketC programs are a bit tougher to crack since they are compressed to a bytecode so the basic disassemble and change the branch to a NOP (for example) won't work, but they have been cracked before so it can definitely be done.

There are numerous articles that show if the user isn't required to pay by the program then less people will register. If there isn't an incentive even good honest people just never seem to get around to registering.

So I would say add a code, but make it simple and easy for the honest people and don't worry about piracy since your program will be pirated if it is good enough, but it will also sell well if it is that good. :D


PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:11 pm
by Mikael
Thanks Vilmos for the new info. I'll check out the RegCode algorithm.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:35 pm
by SamWillis

Another Idea is to just Build two seperate .prc files.

One Free (a Demo) and a Full Verson One. Then just email them a link to download the Full Version when they buy it.

Palmgear can do this automatically, im not sure about any others.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:55 pm
by Mikael
Thanks Sam, I already use that method. Having looked at the RegCode info, it seems the only almost foolproof method is that used by Joe for PToolbox, where your code is based both on the creator id and the username, though sadly I'm not writing a library.