Stardock Now Using Activation... Just one more headache!

Monday, November 28, 2005 by SuiteLife | Discussion: Community

Hi all,
Well, Stardock has done it to us. Another company that is making us use the Internet to activate our legal software. First it was Microsoft, then Adobe, then Konfabulator (until at least Yahoo! brought them, now it's gone!) and now Stardock! I know there are others out there that agree with me. Activation is a headache! I legally buy all of my software and always worry about being able to still use it if the company goes under or if I can't get my ISP to keep my connection. (This has happen more than I like to admit.) Now Stardock is starting this and what's worst, they only allow Internet based activation.

The one thing I liked about Stardock software is that I could always depend on it installing without issues. Now I have to worry if my Internet connection is up, which on one of my machines it isn't, since it isn't connected to the Internet for security reasons, (no Windowblinds 5 for it.... .

Brad, please rethink this path Stardock is heading down. Please don't join the Activation bandwagon and punish the legal users that have made Stardock what it is.

This forum post on Konfabulator's forum even praised Stardock for not using Activation. Many agreed with the posting.

Also, I have found and article, I think I got it here that makes very good sense. I just can't find it now. Will post later.
Reply #1 Monday, November 28, 2005 5:28 PM
Reply #2 Monday, November 28, 2005 5:45 PM
Not too worry... the activation is (at least, this is my understanding) temporary. Stardock does not want 1000's of people running around with the wb5 beta when it is still in beta. I suspect that the 'activation' will not be around for much longer, but I may be incorrect in my statement.
Reply #3 Monday, November 28, 2005 5:54 PM

Activation is a pain sometimes if things go awry, yet the real culprits that created the need for activation are the pirates.

One alternative to insuring that your software is always available, is to invest in a second drive and create a clone image of the OS with all activated software, and then use this image and save the "Master" drive as your image source - only updating the softwares as needed to keep the "source" as recent as possible.

A bit of a procedure, but a good way to insure you have the important activated software at your disposal.

Reply #4 Monday, November 28, 2005 8:38 PM
It seems like a relatively minor procedure. Especially for those using SDC. Nearly everyone has internet access and for a product that is pretty much delivered over the internet I don't see it being an issue.

Stardock has a right to do what they feel is necessary to product their programs from misuse. It would seem they feel there are many who use the enhanced versions without paying or they wouldn't have to go to this procedure.

Posted via WinCustomize Browser/Stardock Central
Reply #5 Monday, November 28, 2005 9:30 PM
WB is released through internet so the activation shouldn't be much of an problem. I certainly haven't noticed at all.
Reply #6 Monday, November 28, 2005 9:52 PM
The problem is that some people *will* be purchasing WB and NOT installing it on a computer connected to the internet. Saying that "it shouldn't be too much of a problem and we need it to stop pirates" is like Sony saying "Oh well, we need to install DRM on your computer so we can stop pirates" Yes stopping pirates is an admirable goal, but is the activation *really* stopping them (judging by posts I've seen on various forums, the answer is no) or is it just creating hassle for legitimate purchasers?

Did Sony's DRM on the Van Zant cd stop pirates? No. Did it screw over a lot of innocent purchasers' computers? Hell yeah.

I too would also like to be able to download my WB5 exe installer and store it in my backups folder so that the next time I reformat my computer I can install WB (which I legitmately purchased!) without having to connect to the internet.

I hope CerebroJD is correct in saying that the activation thing is only temporary until the final version of WB5 is released.
Reply #7 Monday, November 28, 2005 10:01 PM

Comparing what Stardock is doing with Activation to Sony's hidden issues is a bit off base.

The only person who would lose would be the one who does not own the product key (serial number), as it should be.

Stardock has the records of who owns which keys, and can verify this information if anyone runs into an issue.

If I am not mistaken, Stardock can send you a file to place in your sub-directory to activate the product if you contact them via e-mail. 

Reply #8 Monday, November 28, 2005 11:04 PM
I do not believe that Stardock has plans to suspend the use of activation in the future. The simple fact is that it does help reduce piracy - that is, it results in a statistically greater number of sales that cannot reasonably be attributed to any other factor (as Nakor pointed out on the linked thread). More sales means Stardock can devote more resources to adding features rather than releasing new versions to frustrate pirates . . . oh, and before you ask, adding activation did not require an excessive outlay itself.

As I understand it, Stardock Central archives the activation information, so if you make an archive with that you should be able to restore it later to another computer.

As Corky_O mentioned, equating product activation with putting a badly-written rootkit on your computer is perhaps a little unfair. We like to think we're better coders than that.
Reply #9 Tuesday, November 29, 2005 3:28 AM
So will I NOT be able to install WB5 in my machine that ISN'T connected to the net?
Neil Banfield
Reply #10 Tuesday, November 29, 2005 7:55 AM

You can activate by sending information to Stardock via e-mail who will reply with a file you need to copy to your computer.  So you can copy that file to that PC and it will be activated.


Reply #11 Wednesday, November 30, 2005 6:45 AM
so i wont be able you install wb5 on all 3 of my computers? or would this file coverme for all of them?
Neil Banfield
Reply #12 Wednesday, November 30, 2005 6:57 AM

You should be able to install on all 3 computers.  If you have a problem & hit an activation limit at any time, you can e-mail who should be able to reset it for you. 

Each sig.bin is per machine though, so you cannot take the sig.bin from one PC and use it on another.

Reply #13 Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:01 AM
hit an activation limit at any time, you can e-mail who should be able to reset it for you.

Neil, can you tell us how long it will usually take for that process to happen?
Reply #14 Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:32 AM
37 and a half years....but I 'could' be wrong...
Reply #15 Wednesday, November 30, 2005 9:48 AM
SUPER.. I was expecting nothing less than 40!!
Reply #16 Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:30 PM
I have no problem with the activation thing, nor have I ever been inconvenienced by it. I really can't see what all the fuss is about....if a legitimate customer has a problem with any registered product, Stardock is always more than willing to assist/resolve it.

I also feel comparing this to the Sony DRM debacle is way off base and totally unfair....unlike Sony, Stardock does NOT covertly install rootkits or irremovable software.
Reply #17 Thursday, December 1, 2005 9:37 AM
Okay, I have participated in these activaton threads on more than one occasion. I feel I have expressed my concerns in a polite manner. Now let me give you an actual example of why the activation process is mismanaged and will most likely lead to lost revenues for Stardock.

I own 2 copies of Multiplicity Pro. In the past, after a windows reinstall and/or pc replacement I have been unable to reactivate multiplicity without calling stardock support.

I have 2 systems that I will be replacing hard drives in and will need to do this once again. 2 days ago, I sent an email to stardock support asking that the activations be reset and the corresponding serials be emailed to me. (the serial number is different every time I have it emailed throught the lookup).
That email I sent to stardock support was 2 days ago and all I have received is a confirmation that they received it.

If I have to wait this long for activation, the product just isn't worth it to me.
It's a great product, but this process has made it too great of a frustration.
As I suggested before. You should have an online method of doing this which will achieve better results.
Reply #18 Thursday, December 1, 2005 11:19 AM

Sorry guys but activation ain't going away.

In the past 5 minutes, 317 *different* people tried to warez WindowBlinds but were thwarted by Activation (the system logs activations and 317 people in the past 5 minutes from very different parts of the world were using the same email address and serial #).

The activation system is quite lenient. Most people don't even know about it. 

Phoon: I am not sure the issue there. Email as she will want to know your experience.   But why are you trying to get your activations reset anyway? The system is very tolerant (There's a lot of AI behind it) such that yuy should just be able to intall it on your new hard drives.

Reply #19 Thursday, December 1, 2005 12:01 PM
I will send you both an email outlining the details of it all.


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