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Romeyn Prescott

Need one serial number for 10 licenses

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I manage software deployment to the computer labs and classrooms on my campus. I make use of several products to make this A) as easy as possible and B) legal when a limited number of licenses are concerned.

Since I'm dealing with the Mac version of Vectorworks, I'll tailor my comments based on that. I use a product called Assimilator (abandonware) to both distribute new software as well as maintain the contents of workstation hard drives. I install a piece of software once, upload the files it installs to the "Master Image", and the workstations pull it down the next time Assimilator is run. It works great.

However, the Image I maintain serves hundreds of Macs all over campus. To get around the legal problems of having a 10-user license for Widget software installed on over 100 workstations, we also make use of KeyServer (www.sassafras.com).

All other software vendors have been able to work with us to get us single license codes which allow many users instead of many individual codes. Nemetschek refuses to do so, stating that they are somehow incapable of generating a single license code that will allow (in our case) 13 copies of the software to be launched and deny the 14th. They have stated to me that they are only capable of providing individual serial numbers.

Vectorworks 9 for Mac blissfully allowed me to populate its preferences file with all the serial numbers we had acquired and thus install the same copy "everywhere". Since the software prowls the local network making sure no other instance ofitself is running and broadcasting the same serial number, I didn't even have to mess with KeyServer! It was great.

Vectorworks 10 just came. In the box were 13 separate serial numbers, and the new version appears to have no provision for bulking up the prefs file with multiple serial numbers. [Frown]

So now we're in an awkward position. I have to tell the prof that uses this software for his class that it will ONLY be available on 13 specific workstations (which is a terrible inconvenience to his students who will have homework involving the use of this software). Moreover, I have to actually install this software THIRTEEN TIMES so as to generate preference files for 13 separate workstations. I don't have so much a problem with this as I do with the inconvenience being imposed upon us by the primitive serializing scheme imposed by the software.

I write to PLEAD that Nemetschek realize that not everyone who buys their software installs it in an "office" environment. We're not trying to rip them off or do anything illegal. We simply need more flexibility in the way of installing the software. I either need a single license code that allows for 13 simultaneous uses or a serial-free version that I can lock down with our KeyServer.

I have to belive that whatever algorithm generates the serial numbers is capable of this.

I hope this gets a response.

...ROMeyn

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I have sent this post to someone within the company to see what alternatives we can work with for you.

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While server based networking is something on our wish list for future versions, it's not currently in VW as of VW 10.0.1.

I presume you are using Vw 10.2.x since you say you can only input one serial number. Unfortunately, this is a bug in Jaguar and Apple needs to address the problem.

The alternative is to revert back to 10.1.5 where you are able to input multiple serial numbers.

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We have the same situation. We just bought 30 licenses of VW 10.5 and same story as Romeyn Prescott. Is there a solution for this?

[ 04-16-2004, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: Patrick van Nerum ]

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Patrick, is it with the third party software or is your problem with inputing more than one serial number?

Please try to be as specific as possible regarding your issue. I'll be able to provide a more concise and faster resolution.

Thanks!

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Do you have 10.5.0 or 10.5.1?

If you use 10.5.1, the problem should be fixed. You can request VW 10.5.1 CDs by contacting customer service at 888-646-4223 if you are in the United States. Otherwise, contact your local distributor.

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Well, I've got version 10.5.1 installed. We have the 10.5.0 on cd, and I could download the 10.5.1 updater. Or do I really need the 10.5.1 cd?? Where can i put in more serial numbers, as you can see in the picture, this is the only thing I can get:

-

This is what I get if I click on serial numbers

Regards,

Patrick

[ 04-20-2004, 05:21 AM: Message edited by: Patrick van Nerum ]

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To add more serial numbers, go to File>Preferences>VW Preferences. Click on the Session tab. Click on "Serial Numbers" button.

Click on "Add" button and then "Done" when you've added everything.

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Patrick,

Go to the File menu within VectorWorks.

You should see VectorWorks Preferences. Select that.

Click on the Session Tab.

There is a Serial Number button. Click on it.

Click on the ADD button. Type in the serial number. Click on ADD again.

To add another, click on Add, type in the new serial number, etc.

When completed, click on the DONE button.

(See Page 2-12 in the VW User's Guide to see the Serial Number button)

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Actually. like I posted earlier, there is no "ADD" button.

-

If I startup VW, first I get a message that's saying: "The professional version file is being converted to a student version file. The student version will be unreadable by the professional version of Vectorworks" Could this be the problem?? We have the student version of Vectorworks 10.5.1.

Regards,

Patrick

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I must say I'm bewildered by the Vectorworks copy-protection scheme. When I'm not looking after these architects I spend a lot of time working in the music business where Pro Tools, the most widely-used digital production system in the world, uses an 'intelligent' dongle called an iLok. These USB devices cost about GBP 30 retail and have the ability to have product codes installed into them by transferring from a SIM card, or downloading from a manufacturer securely via the iLok web site. The way the system works is to positively encourage people to install every bit of software they come across on every computer they come across. All software runs in demo mode unless a dongle containing the code is present. If you visit a studio, you take your dongle with you (on your keyring for example), and plug in to use all the software you own.

Dozens of manufacturers work with iLok; so one dongle can contain the authorisations for all the stuff you use (and some Pro Tools users buy hundreds of plug-ins). This system works well in one of the most theft-prone software markets anywhere.

If Vectorworks is dongle protected, why does it need serial numbers anyway?

When I set up a new Mac for my customer, I have to create an account for every one of the twenty staff here. To get Vectorworks running, I then have to log in as each user in turn, launch Vectorworks, type in the serial number, quit, logout, select the next user, and so on. I also have to install Microsoft Office but I don't need to type that serial number in 20 times.

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Justin, I have a tip for you. When you setup a mac for a new costumer, create just one account. Install and startup VW. Put in the serial number. Close the application. Then copy the VW prefs file from /Users/Library/Preferences to /System/Library/User Template/English.lproj/Library/Preferences .

Now every new account you create on that machine wil get that pref file containing the serial number. Hope it helps...

Regards,

Patrick

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Patrick,

The original image was not of the serial number button, it was of the VW preferences file, hence the reason I added the additional explaination.

Your serial number button image is not the standard image. Did you purchase VW from one of the international distributors or directly from us?

Do you only have the student version of VW on this computer, or do you have the professional and the student version?

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Patrick,

Thanks for your suggestion, which I would try straight away except that I had already created all the users on this brand new G5 in front of me before I read your post! I still think the VW copy-protection is a bit daft.

Best

Justin

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Katie, we have a student version. We've got it from the Belgium distributor Design Express. I've managed to put in more serial numbers now, but I had to edit the recourses of the preference file with resedit. Although it's probably not allowed to do it this way, but I have no choice. Now we can startup VW 10.5 30 times, just like we could with VW 9.5.

I like to request a better license procedure for educational purposes. Look at the possibilities from the software from Sassafras, called Keyserver, http://www.sassafras.com

Regards,

Patrick

PS.

Justin, you're welcome! (Better late then never...)

[ 05-14-2004, 08:39 AM: Message edited by: Patrick van Nerum ]

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Patrick,

You'll need to discuss this problem with the Belguim distributor. It looks like they've customized this dialog box, in which case we directly can't support.

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It depends on what country you are in.

If you are outside of the US, the dongle protection for educational versions is set forth by the distributor.

The US is a little different.

If you are a US customer, please contact sales for specific dongle information.

If you are an international customre, please contact your local distributor for clarification.

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I had forgotten all about this thread until Patrick IM'd me this morning.

I realize that I never was clear about the fact that we're running on OS 9 (though that will be changing this Summer. I have survived for now by hacking the prefs file and distributing them one each to the computers, telling Assimilator to ignore the file. It is a less-than-ideal situation.

I was heartened to receive Patrick's note to check back here. But then I got the following E_mail from my Faculty person who uses VectorWorks:

"Vectorworks 11, the recent upgrade, is now available. This version can be placed on our keyserver-however it will require dongles for our machines."

I can't believe this. Dongles are WORSE! They are the BANE of any Lab administrator's existence. Can someone confirm or deny this? If this is the case I will be pushing HARD for him to find something else to teach his courses with.

Thanks,

...ROMeyn

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