Engineered Insanity



  • My boss keeps dreaming up ways to prevent people from disabling our latest product (it launches on Windows' startup) because, in his 'experience', he has found that once it is disabled, the user is likely to forget about it and never re-enable it.

    Currently, the option to run at startup is a simple toggle option in the 'Advanced' options dialog. His suggestions so far:

    1. Remove the option altogether and have them manually disable it if they really want to. 
    2. Password protect the option.
    3. Change the toggle box to a button to enable the auto-start, and then hide the 'disable' button in some unrelated part of the UI (I really had to talk him out of this insane idea).
    4. Create a remote administration feature which would allow the user to call us up and request the auto-start feature to be disabled, upon which we would ask them for their serial-code, and remotely remove the registry key which causes the software to run.

    I have now managed to convince him that the toggle-box is the best, easiest, and most user-friendly thing to go with, and I'm not even sure about the legalities of doing our best to stop the user disabling our software - but I bet it falls on the wrong side of the grey area. He's not happy with not being able to control this, however, and I am currently awaiting his next insane scheme to turn our software into a virus.

    Anybody have any similar 'talking to a brick wall' stories?



  • @Scouse said:

    Create a remote administration feature which would allow the user to call us up and request the auto-start feature to be disabled, upon which we would ask them for their serial-code, and remotely remove the registry key which causes the software to run.
    two things

    1. This is the most evil of your options
    2. I'm surprised he thought this would be worth it, as a crew of phone operators would have to be hired and trained.  



  •  Heh, no hiring necessary, he'd just divert all calls to my phone and get me to try to convince them not to disable it.



  •  What's so magic about the software?  Do you somehow make money while they run it, as opposed to when they buy it?

     It's not a desktop search application, is it?



  • It's an add-on to a subscription service we already offer (i.e - customer said 'this would be really good on a normal PC), and although we won't make money from them using this new piece of software - we're thinking that the more people use it, the more likely they are to use the subscription service



  • Have you tried telling him that all signs point to the software being fairly useless junk, and trying to write an application that is actually worth its weight in happy thoughts & goodwill?



  •  Actually the software itself is quite nice - nothing revolutionary but it does what it's supposed to. It's just annoying having someone breathing down your neck making change requests in the last week of implementation :/



  • @Scouse said:

    Anybody have any similar 'talking to a brick wall' stories?

     

    Not myself, but there seems to be a pattern.



  • All I can say is that if I installed a program that wouldn't let me disable it, I or deliberately made it difficult to disable, that would definitely endear me to the company, and make me want to subscribe to more of their products.



  • I HATE, HATE, HATE software that makes it hard for me to disable or remove from startup if I so choose.  It's my computer, dammit, and I'll remove software from startup if I want to.  And the method of having it not start up on every boot should be EASY, or I'll uninstall the whole thing.

     

    Bah.



  • @Scouse said:

    Anybody have any similar 'talking to a brick wall' stories?

     

    Yeah, but mine all involve me saying, "Yes, I really do need the specifications if you want this code to do something useful..."


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