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P: n/a
I have a program I have been asked to write and I was wondering if you all
might know of a way to control distribution so I am not getting ripped off.
It is suppose to go to a college campus and I know kids (I was one once) if
I rely on their honor I probably wont get paid at all.

It will be distributed by download not a CD though it could be that way if
the suggestions say it would be effective in controlling the situation.

Any ideas would be appreciated. I thought of having a serial number
situation but I am not sure how to go about doing that in an application.

Other than that I am really excited about this project......
Nov 20 '05 #1
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P: n/a
"scorpion53061" <sc****************************@yahoo.com> wrote...
I have a program I have been asked to write and I was wondering if you all
might know of a way to control distribution so I am not getting ripped

off.

Hi Scorpion: The options are affected somewhat by the app. If it isn't a
secret or if you can describe it generically what sort of app is it? And
approximately what will it cost?

The reason I ask is that if it sells for $15 you can't add $9 worth of
anti-theft protection and if it was something that accesses a data source
over the Internet, the site could validate it every time it is used. So it
sort of depends upon things like this.

Tom
Nov 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
Thanks for your thoughts. Sure Tom not a secret. No one here would steal my
idea right? :)

Basically my wife took a few courses for the university and it came time to
write the dreaded term papers. I saw how much time and effort she had to put
into the "citations page" that the thought occured to me if I could write a
program that would take the entries based upon the type of source cited, and
then the code would follow the formatting rules(MLA) and turn it into a word
document.

I prepared a proposal for the system and showed it to the English Dept. Some
gave me flak (the older professors) but I tried to explain that math allows
calculators and in the end they offered to sell it to students through a web
site download. The cost approximately would be ten dollars. CD's I felt
would add to the cost significantly though I am not sure about making them
download the .NET Framework and such.

Anyway the back end that stored their information I was planning was an
access database (I know MS wants us to use MSDE but I already have a huge
download/installs with the .NET Framework and MDAC 2.8 and that would be
another item I would need to throw in the mix for them.)

The internet idea is a terrific thought. They all would be connected through
the university's T-1 connection. Love to hear more of what you have to say
here.
"Tom Leylan" <ge*@iamtiredofspam.com> wrote in message
news:Z9*********************@twister.nyc.rr.com...
"scorpion53061" <sc****************************@yahoo.com> wrote...
I have a program I have been asked to write and I was wondering if you all might know of a way to control distribution so I am not getting ripped off.

Hi Scorpion: The options are affected somewhat by the app. If it isn't a
secret or if you can describe it generically what sort of app is it? And
approximately what will it cost?

The reason I ask is that if it sells for $15 you can't add $9 worth of
anti-theft protection and if it was something that accesses a data source
over the Internet, the site could validate it every time it is used. So

it sort of depends upon things like this.

Tom

Nov 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
"scorpion53061" <sc****************************@yahoo.com> wrote...
The internet idea is a terrific thought. They all would be connected through the university's T-1 connection. Love to hear more of what you have to say
here.


Well given the price of the product you can't afford to spend much on the
solution (on a per piece basis.) A solution I used for a client of mine
that was distributing software to clients of theirs was to implement a
registration process that unlocked the software. That can generally be done
over the phone, through a web page or through e-mail.

You have a couple of challenges however. How would you know they bought it
when they call in to register it as you don't control the sales process?
And if it is handled over the phone you have to be there to take the call.

One thing you can do is have them key their name into the registration form
(in the product) and have that name display on an "About" page. You could
even use their name to generate the key. People tend to not want to trade
software that has their name imbedded in it. If the registration process is
automated however you might not be able to stop them from typing "<blah>
University" into the name and your web page will generate a key based upon
that string.

Are you more worried that the University may sell copies and not pass along
the money or that a student will buy one and distribute copies to friends?


Nov 20 '05 #4

P: n/a
A solution I used for a client of mine
that was distributing software to clients of theirs was to implement a
registration process that unlocked the software. That can generally be done over the phone, through a web page or through e-mail.

You have a couple of challenges however. How would you know they bought it when they call in to register it as you don't control the sales process?
Good Point.......The school told me I would handle the transaction which I
was going to do with having them mail me a check or money order upon
downloading the software. Email seems natural to do this but the idea of
5000(incoming class - usual takers of these kinds of courses)
freshman/sophmores emailing me is not attractive. Calling though is worse.
Would it be possible or do you know how I could make the program be disabled
after 5 days if they fail to email me and get the product code...How would
one generate the code with the users name in your opinion?
One thing you can do is have them key their name into the registration form (in the product) and have that name display on an "About" page. You could
even use their name to generate the key.
Are you thinking I could check the key when they try to register and if it
did not have their name and if it had been used prevoiusly then deny the
sale? How would you store such information?

People tend to not want to trade software that has their name imbedded in it. If the registration process is automated however you might not be able to stop them from typing "<blah>
University" into the name and your web page will generate a key based upon
that string.

Are you more worried that the University may sell copies and not pass along the money or that a student will buy one and distribute copies to friends?
I am not worried about the university. They indicated what would happen is
the profs would make the students aware of the resource, give them a url to
my site, and then it be between me and the students. Their thought is that
students would benefit from a formatter of citations. They are also
discussing the possibility of having an automated note card taker while the
students build their paper with the program that woudl generate the outline
of their term paper so their is potential for future business. I am very
worried about the sceanrio described about the students. Students are very
willing to do what you described....

I very much appreciate you helping me think this through.......


Nov 20 '05 #5

P: n/a
"scorpion53061" <sc****************************@yahoo.com> wrote...
Good Point.......The school told me I would handle the transaction which I
was going to do with having them mail me a check or money order upon
downloading the software. Email seems natural to do this but the idea of
5000(incoming class - usual takers of these kinds of courses)
freshman/sophmores emailing me is not attractive. Calling though is worse.
Ah... well if you handle the sale you have much more control. You should
check into PayPal and the other online payment systems. The faster these
transactions can be handled (like "immediately") the better. Otherwise you
have to deal with "did you get my check yet" and "I mailed it 10 days ago"
and such... not to mention dealing with bounced checks.

Any e-mails should be routed to an e-mail account setup for the business.
There is no getting around having to answer some questions. They may not be
able to get it to install for instance.
Would it be possible or do you know how I could make the program be disabled after 5 days if they fail to email me and get the product code...How would
one generate the code with the users name in your opinion?
It cannot reliably be disabled after 5 days of use. You "must" write the
disabling information somewhere for the software to check and that can be
found.
Are you thinking I could check the key when they try to register and if it
did not have their name and if it had been used prevoiusly then deny the
sale? How would you store such information?


The way I set it up was:

The software can be installed and it will start but because it is
unregistered the user is immediately brought to a registration screen. They
contact the company at that point in order to get a "key."

The user types in their name and the software generates a long number... in
my case it encodes the date also. They tell the company the name they keyed
in and the company can ask for say the last four digits of the number the
user sees. If those match then the company can confirm the name that was
typed in. If the user says they typed in one thing but typed in another the
number won't match. I confirm the date on their machine also because in our
case the software expires and I need to be certain they haven't messed with
the system date.

The company generates a key based upon this information and tells it to the
user who types it in and the software is unlocked. This is all written to a
file with a ".key" extension and is encoded so nobody can read it.

That user can give somebody else the .key file and it will unlock another
copy but the registration name would travel along too.

It wouldn't have to be done over the phone of course... you could have the
software create a .key file which is sent as an attachment to an e-mail.
Software on your end would view the details (to make sure the name and
address make sense), modify the file to make it useable and send it back to
them.

Again it wouldn't stop them from giving the key file away but it reduces the
possibility. It also makes it possible (which is good) for them to install
a copy at school and at home and to use the same key to unlock both of their
copies. This is a reasonable use of the software since they aren't using it
simultaneously on two computers.

Tom
Nov 20 '05 #6

P: n/a
Genius Tom that was good thank you........
Can't wait for this thing to fly....

"Tom Leylan" <ge*@iamtiredofspam.com> wrote in message
news:SP*********************@twister.nyc.rr.com...
"scorpion53061" <sc****************************@yahoo.com> wrote...
Good Point.......The school told me I would handle the transaction which I was going to do with having them mail me a check or money order upon
downloading the software. Email seems natural to do this but the idea of
5000(incoming class - usual takers of these kinds of courses)
freshman/sophmores emailing me is not attractive. Calling though is worse.

Ah... well if you handle the sale you have much more control. You should
check into PayPal and the other online payment systems. The faster these
transactions can be handled (like "immediately") the better. Otherwise you have to deal with "did you get my check yet" and "I mailed it 10 days ago"
and such... not to mention dealing with bounced checks.

Any e-mails should be routed to an e-mail account setup for the business.
There is no getting around having to answer some questions. They may not be able to get it to install for instance.
Would it be possible or do you know how I could make the program be disabled
after 5 days if they fail to email me and get the product code...How

would one generate the code with the users name in your opinion?


It cannot reliably be disabled after 5 days of use. You "must" write the
disabling information somewhere for the software to check and that can be
found.
Are you thinking I could check the key when they try to register and if it did not have their name and if it had been used prevoiusly then deny the
sale? How would you store such information?


The way I set it up was:

The software can be installed and it will start but because it is
unregistered the user is immediately brought to a registration screen.

They contact the company at that point in order to get a "key."

The user types in their name and the software generates a long number... in my case it encodes the date also. They tell the company the name they keyed in and the company can ask for say the last four digits of the number the
user sees. If those match then the company can confirm the name that was
typed in. If the user says they typed in one thing but typed in another the number won't match. I confirm the date on their machine also because in our case the software expires and I need to be certain they haven't messed with the system date.

The company generates a key based upon this information and tells it to the user who types it in and the software is unlocked. This is all written to a file with a ".key" extension and is encoded so nobody can read it.

That user can give somebody else the .key file and it will unlock another
copy but the registration name would travel along too.

It wouldn't have to be done over the phone of course... you could have the
software create a .key file which is sent as an attachment to an e-mail.
Software on your end would view the details (to make sure the name and
address make sense), modify the file to make it useable and send it back to them.

Again it wouldn't stop them from giving the key file away but it reduces the possibility. It also makes it possible (which is good) for them to install a copy at school and at home and to use the same key to unlock both of their copies. This is a reasonable use of the software since they aren't using it simultaneously on two computers.

Tom

Nov 20 '05 #7

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