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Stupid dongle! (You just lost a sale, Rich.)

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The demo version, as far as I'm aware, does not require a dongle, but of course does not allow you to save your work.

As for the dongle method of protection I am led to believe this is something that is country/regional area specific. American users do not have them. As a UK user my version does.

I don't like it anymore than you but as I understand it this is down to your regional area distributors requirement/request, not NNA's in America.


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The problem is that you need to INSTALL a specific demo version, whereas in non-dongled regions, you can run the program in demo mode without a valid serial number.

Overall, I'm almost in favour of copy protection (even if it is via a dongle), it's just that the demo mode should be available when you don't have the dongle (or "key CD" or whatever).

I can't tell a prospective buyer (PB) that he/she needs to download the Viewer for those situations where they want to show some VW stuff with a laptop and have forgotten to take the dongle with them. Well, I can, but the PB is not impressed: it would be hugely embarrassing in a client meeting.

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I see what you are saying and it's not ideal I know but I think if the PB is aware that this program requires the dongle to run then I think you've covered your obligations in a honest and straightforward manner.

After all if said laptop was to show low battery power and they had forgotten the mains convertor/power block it would be a similiar situation.

At least if you make them aware and say something along the lines of "As you are aware this software is protected by a hardware key, a dongle. Should you be unfortunate enough to forget to take it with you on a external meeting, don't worry there is a simple alternative. When installing VW also install the Viewer, handily included on the installation CD."

Not ideal I know, but under the circumstances a reasonable workaround.

You'll, I'm sure be aware of the many posts that have berated the use of the dongle, this expired horse has been well and truly flogged, but it continues to be the chosen method of protection, so I guess we are stuck with it.

Finally I agree 100% that if no dongle is present then it should indeed revert to demo mode. I'm sure this is not beyond the capabilities of the good folk at NNA.


Edited by alanmac
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Finally I agree 100% that if no dongle is present then it should indeed revert to demo mode. I'm sure this is not beyond the capabilities of the good folk at NNA.


ArchiCAD has this 'feature'. If there is no dongle present the program will start up in Demo Mode. (No save, print etc.)


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  • 2 weeks later...

I know I have been trying to evaluate the Architect section of Vectorworks for some time. I found it really annoying that I had to install a separate version of VW12.5 on my machine. I tried just deleting my serial number for a quick trial but it does not allow you to exit the serial number screen after you delete.

I also discovered that the demo version does not have any method for allowing me to input a serial number. I found that one quite funny as it means even if you were impressed and wanted to buy you still have to install from scratch again. It is not the end of the world but it makes it just a bit more difficult to test before you buy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Further to this, the dongle has issues attached. for example: i have just upgraded my OS to Vista. the dongle manufacturers have supplied updated vista drivers that don't work! Sketchup & Autocad on the otherhand, do not have dongles and do work in the new OS. consequently, for me to continue working, i have to re-install my XP to use VW and put my new Vista on the shelf until such a time as support is available! secondly, the dongles are weak. a collegue of mines dongle split open when he took it out leaving the usb plug section still plugged in. this cost him an extra ?80.00 for his own licence to be fixed..... quite annoying.


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Is there any rules about where you buy your version?

With VoIP the main issue of buying local, for local support is negated.

So why not just buy from a region that doesn't use the dongle?

Your local distributor would no doutb change policy if one or two major customers even said they would take this step, at the next upgrade.

BTW: The distributor for Australia New Zealand is great. and no dongle.

Edited by iboymatt
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