The latest in anti-piracy...



  • My wife is into making her own greetings cards, and she recently received some software as a gift with some craft templates on.

    We put the CD into the drive and although the software appeared to work, it didn't actually show any of the designs, just lots of blank pages. So I emailed the problem to the cd helpdesk and got the following reply:

    "Sorry about this, but the problem is easily sorted, have you got 2 CD drives on your computer? If so then just pop it in the other CD ROM drive. It's just a safety feature that's kicked in which we've built into the CD's to stop people copying them to their hard drive and giving them to friends etc."

    Anyway the solution worked. But it just seems a bit of a bizarre security feature to me, especially since in this day and age many people are going to have CD writers and are more likely to make a copy of the CD to share with their friends!



  • Sounds like they've hard-coded all the paths to map to D:, or something similarly retarded.


    Brillant!



  • But doesn't everyone have a D:\ drive?



  • @gushie said:

    "Sorry about this, but the problem is easily sorted, have you got 2 CD drives on your computer? If so then just pop it in the other CD ROM drive. It's just a safety feature that's kicked in which we've built into the CD's to stop people copying them to their hard drive and giving them to friends etc."

    <FONT face=Tahoma>What if someone has 2 drives, both just for reading?

    Anyway, it could still be copied and distributed and even written to another disc with just 1 drive...



    </FONT>



  • @LuciferSam said:

    But doesn't everyone have a D:\ drive?

    on all my windows boxes, D:\ is a hard drive partition, my non-virtual CD/DVD drives are usually around G:\ or something



  • @AI0867 said:

    @LuciferSam said:
    But doesn't everyone have a D:\ drive?

    on all my windows boxes, D:\ is a hard drive partition, my non-virtual CD/DVD drives are usually around G:\ or something

    Fun fact: If your CD drive is past H: there's whole list of games that won't work for you because of the copy protection they use.

    I have a theory on why it's H, if you start counting from A and see when you hit H you'll probably come to the same conclusion. 😉



  • @HitScan said:

    @AI0867 said:
    @LuciferSam said:
    But doesn't everyone have a D:\ drive?

    on all my windows boxes, D:\ is a hard drive partition, my non-virtual CD/DVD drives are usually around G:\ or something

    Fun fact: If your CD drive is past H: there's whole list of games that won't work for you because of the copy protection they use.

    I have a theory on why it's H, if you start counting from A and see when you hit H you'll probably come to the same conclusion. 😉



    Interesting...my DVD drive has always been R:\ (for read) and my CD-RW has always been W:\ (for write) for at LEAST the past 8-10 years....as long as I can remember anyway.  And I have yet to encounter a single game, program, movie, whatever that won't play because of that naming scheme.  Have you a list of these games that would supposedly give me problems?



  • I think that I'd go with the 'subst' command myself.  If you have the cd in a 😨 drive, you can also refer to it as an E: drive with the command

    subst e: d:<br>
    Of course, simply commenting on this thread probably puts us all in violation of the DMCA.  (At least for the Americans.)



  • @HitScan said:

    @AI0867 said:
    @LuciferSam said:
    But doesn't everyone have a D:\ drive?

    on all my windows boxes, D:\ is a hard drive partition, my non-virtual CD/DVD drives are usually around G:\ or something

    Fun fact: If your CD drive is past H: there's whole list of games that won't work for you because of the copy protection they use.

    I have a theory on why it's H, if you start counting from A and see when you hit H you'll probably come to the same conclusion. 😉




    I'm not smart enough to figure out what's so special about H.

    A: floppy
    B: floppy 2 (I've never used it though
    C: Windows1
    😨 Windows2
    E: DVD
    F: CD-RD
    G-I: virtual drives
    X-Z: network drives

    that's what I used to have (just just reformatted so I'm missing most of those).  I'll probably add my ext3 partition if I can find a utility to read it from windows.  I still don't understand why H.



  • I had a similar problem with worms 2. It just persumed that your cd drive was the D drive and threw "Cannot find CD, Please enter the CD and try again" errors.

     

    In the end it turned out luckily there was a registry entry for the game, that you could manually set to the drive the cd was being run from. However, I don't know how many people are going to go trawling through the registry just to get a 8 year old game to run.



  • @Juifeng said:

    <rant>And the way partitions are named in windows is stupid. /media/cdrom or /mnt/whatever or /home/user seems better to me. I mean "D:".. whats "D"?</rant>


    They go all they way up to Z!

    ... and not beyond...



  • @dhromed said:

    @Juifeng said:
    <rant>And the way partitions are named in windows is stupid. /media/cdrom or /mnt/whatever or /home/user seems better to me. I mean "D:".. whats "D"?</rant>


    They go all they way up to Z!

    ... and not beyond...


    Bingo...and therein lies one problem that windows is going to HAVE to address in the next version.  Not vista, but whatever vista+1 is...  I can understand why they went that route to begin with, but it really is going to bite them in the ass in the near future.... you'll have devs with 4 (or more) physical disk drives, 2 physical CD drives, a zip drive, tape drive, 4 different 'media' drives (usb keys, SD cards, CF cards etc), 2-4 virtual CD drives, and then a slew of network shares mapped for work, and all of a sudden you're out of letters.  I'm curious -- and very very scared -- to see what hacks M$ comes up with to get around this problem.

    And yes, I know you can mount a drive as a folder using NTFS...but that's a pretty bad hack.  I want extensibility, flexibility, and the ability to see all of my hard drives listed in one place, whether its 2 or 200.  I don't wanna have to remember that my media drives are mounted under C:\Media and work drives are under D:\Work.  </rant>



  • I can see Windows going all Unix-filesystem on us when the drive-limitation is reached (probably the version after Lon^WVista). Since NTFS allows for it, why not drop the old CP/M notation altogether, and have a root filesystem where the system files go (the WINDOWS folder, if you like), and any additional drives get mounted into \Drives\Removable or \Drives\CD-ROM.

    Hell, the existing system is just a throwback to the 70s, it's high time it was ditched and a legacy-compatibility API put in place, instead of having to deal with it at a visible level.

    [First post under the new forum, hope it renders ok crosses fingers]



  • I don't know from which version it's available (I think Win 2K) but you can now mount partitions into directory on Windows. just do not give the partition a drive letter and choose to mount it somewhere. IIRC, it has to be NTFS over Dynamic Drive.




  • @Juifeng said:

    <rant>And the way partitions are named in windows
    is stupid. /media/cdrom or /mnt/whatever or /home/user seems better to
    me. I mean "D:".. whats "D"?</rant>

    And what kind of a shitty forum software is that, eating my "rant" tags? 😞





    What's "D"?



    What's "/mnt"? What's "/home/usr"? Why am I having to look in
    "/home/user", "/media" and "/mnt" to see all my drives? Windows just
    shows them all with their drive letters!



    The typical user I have to deal with understands drive letters at least
    on a basic level. Very few understand UNC paths which are similar
    format to that.



    Neither way is perfect. Windows runs out of letters in extreme cases
    (and gives you the mounting option to work around it) and the *nix way
    is imo ugly, and not very user-friendly for low level users.




  • @rswafford said:

    Bingo...and therein lies one problem that
    windows is going to HAVE to address in the next version.  Not
    vista, but whatever vista+1 is...  I can understand why they went
    that route to begin with, but it really is going to bite them in the
    ass in the near future.... you'll have devs with 4 (or more) physical
    disk drives, 2 physical CD drives, a zip drive, tape drive, 4 different
    'media' drives (usb keys, SD cards, CF cards etc), 2-4 virtual CD
    drives, and then a slew of network shares mapped for work, and all of a
    sudden you're out of letters.  I'm curious -- and very very scared
    -- to see what hacks M$ comes up with to get around this problem.

    And
    yes, I know you can mount a drive as a folder using NTFS...but that's a
    pretty bad hack.  I want extensibility, flexibility, and the
    ability to see all of my hard drives listed in one place, whether its 2
    or 200.  I don't wanna have to remember that my media drives are
    mounted under C:\Media and work drives are under D:\Work. 
    </rant>


    I don't see why they HAVE to address it at all. Your scenario, while
    one many of people here might encounter, is very rare otherwise. I'm
    yet to see any home user with more than 2 HDs, 2 opticals, a floppy,
    USB kew or two, and a media reader. That's 10 tops. Home users aren't
    going to run out of space any time soon (and would probably just die of
    confusion with 26 media options, drive letters or not) and companies
    have more than enough options.



    I know the card readers you mean, and that's just bad design. Taking
    that many drive letters for a single device is just lame. Would it be
    so hard to virtualise G:\SDCard, G:\CFCard, etc?



    Anyway, how is having to remember your media drives are mounted in
    C:\media\XYZ any worse than remembering they're in /media/XYZ?
    Personally I don't want and drive letters, /mnt/ or any such rubbish.
    Give me /documents, /source, /photos, /music, etc. which map either
    directly to a whole partition, or a folder or network resource
    somewhere. At the moment, everything apart form media (sd/dvd etc) is
    hanging of an old PC upstairs, so it's all \main\music for me, which
    is good enough.



    I guess I don't see a problem for anything apart from a handful of high
    end enthusiasts who should be more than capable of coming up with a
    suitable solution with a few minutes of thought.



  • @RayS said:



    Anyway, how is having to remember your media drives are mounted in
    C:\media\XYZ any worse than remembering they're in /media/XYZ?
    Personally I don't want and drive letters, /mnt/ or any such rubbish.
    Give me /documents, /source, /photos, /music, etc. which map either
    directly to a whole partition, or a folder or network resource
    somewhere. At the moment, everything apart form media (sd/dvd etc) is
    hanging of an old PC upstairs, so it's all \main\music for me, which
    is good enough.


    Hot-plugable devices need some kind of predictable behaviour when connected. The last thing I want is an operating system that mounts usb memory sticks depending on the contents (/music if it contains mp3s, /documents if if contains office files etc.)
    Anyway, in all unix-like operating systems you are free to create mount points whereever you want, with any name you want.
    You want the second hard disk mounted as /backup? Just do it. /media/xyz is just a default.



  • @RayS said:

    Neither way is perfect. Windows runs out of letters in extreme cases
    (and gives you the mounting option to work around it) and the *nix way
    is imo ugly, and not very user-friendly for low level users.


    Not all unix is unfriendly.  Take this, for example:

    <font face="Courier New">insurgent:~ simon$ ls -l /Volumes/
    total 24
    drwxrwxr-t   26 simon  simon   918 Mar 28  2005 Mac OS X Install DVD
    lrwxr-xr-x    1 root   admin     1 Jun 22 09:03 Macintosh HD -> /
    drwxr-xr-x   33 simon  simon  1078 Jun 22 07:38 Macintosh HD-1
    drwxr-xr-x   10 simon  simon   374 Mar  8 15:45 Opera
    dr-xr-xr-x    1 simon  simon   512 Jun 22 17:24 blockcopycoders.com
    dr-xr-xr-x    1 simon  simon   512 Jun 22 17:24 ftp.berlios.de
    drwxr-xr-x   17 simon  simon   534 Jun 22 17:22 simon@terrorist
    insurgent:~ simon$
    </font>
    That's one local drive, one CD, one disk image, one AFP mount to another mac, one Samba mount to a windows server, one SFTP mount to a FreeBSD box and one FTP mount to whatever berlios run. I couldn't be bothered to fire up NFS on my server or do ssh tunneled samba across the net.  You'll notice how the AFP mounted hard disk, although identically named to my local drive, is neatly disambiguated

    Works for me.

    Simon<font face="Courier New"></font>



  • @rswafford said:

    Interesting...my DVD drive has always been R:\ (for read) and my CD-RW has always been W:\ (for write) for at LEAST the past 8-10 years....as long as I can remember anyway.  And I have yet to encounter a single game, program, movie, whatever that won't play because of that naming scheme.  Have you a list of these games that would supposedly give me problems?


    I did some searching and it looks like it was a problem with an old version of safedisc that Ubisoft used. It was quickly patched. They must have done some modifications to it, becuase I couldn't find the problem mentioned with anyone else. (BTW, it sucks out loud trying to find information like this, when google returns 14 million pages on how to circumvent it, but not much else.)



  • @tster said:

    I'm not smart enough to figure out what's so special about H.

    A: floppy
    B: floppy 2 (I've never used it though
    C: Windows1
    😨 Windows2
    E: DVD
    F: CD-RD
    G-I: virtual drives
    X-Z: network drives

    that's what I used to have (just just reformatted so I'm missing most of those).  I'll probably add my ext3 partition if I can find a utility to read it from windows.  I still don't understand why H.


    I said you had to count. 😉 H = 8. So, somewhere in that old version of Safedisc, someone was most likely using a char as a bitmask (or something similar) and so couldn't "see" drives that were past H. (probably something somewhere converted and int or short into a char)

    At least, that's the only plausible theory that I can come up with. Anything else requires really stupid tricks.



  • The typical user I have to deal with understands drive letters at least on a basic level. Very few understand UNC paths which are similar format to that.


    If Unix was a commonplace as DOS became, people would understand those folders on a basic level, and scare away from cryptic drive letters.

    But you're right that neither way is perfect. See my mac comment below.

    I know the card readers you mean, and that's just bad design. Taking that many drive letters for a single device is just lame. Would it be so hard to virtualise G:\SDCard, G:\CFCard, etc?


    Agreed.

    Adding plop 4 drives is stupid and lazy design.

    Personally I don't want and drive letters, /mnt/ or any such rubbish. Give me /documents, /source, /photos, /music, etc. which map either directly to a whole partition, or a folder or network resource somewhere.


    You want a Mac!

    The Finder doesn't bother with drive letters or such baloney. The left column just shows items with names. Your HD has that luxurious naked hard drive icon, mapped drives have that universe-in-a-crystal-ball icon. THAT is the perfect solution. You can put the technical stuff in a properties dialogue or somesuch.

    (and don't get me started on OSX application management. Drag & drop! Hah! Take THAT Installshield!)

    (maybe I should get a mac)

    (McMini sounds nice...)


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