Time's up! (or how I got screwed for buying Paint Shop Pro)



  • I've been using Paint Shop Pro for light image manipulation since version 3 (it does everything I need, and it's hard to break habit). I admit, back then I was either letting it run in shareware mode or (once they stopped allowing you to run the program after 30 days trial) cracked. Anyway, once I started making money, I bought it. That was version X2. For a while everything was fine, until it deactivated for no reason one day, and wouldn't reactivate. Tech support advised me to install from DVD instead of the downloaded version, and that solved the activation problems.


    Then I upgraded to X3 (this time just getting the download version), and PSP started deactivating seemingly randomly (and fairly often). Tech support would reset the activation counter, but I had to make international phonecall to get them to do this. It took some time, but then I noticed that PSP always deactivated after I upgraded VirtualBox (I wasn't running PSP in VBox - both ran on host). Activating PSP with VirtualBox uninstalled worked around this problem.


    X4 ran fine for 8 months or so until I replaced my network card. Once I did this, it wouldn't stay activated, and wouldn't activate even with the help of tech support. Even stranger, if I canceled activation dialog and re-ran PSP, it sometimes starts normally. After some back and forth with tech support, they first told me to upgrade to X5 (no thanks, it's been less than a year since I bought X4, and how can I know that X5 won't have the same problem), and then they finally told me to buy install media for X4, since that apparently doesn't require activation. Only problem is that I don't have an optical drive in my computer (it died a few years ago, and I hadn't had the need to replace it). Asked if I could get this version to download, and was told however you need to pay the exact same price as for a replacement disc. Uploading a file and sending a download link as well as download traffic also cost money..


    TL;DR version: PSP deactivates if you look at it wrongly, CD version doesn't need such activation, downloading the CD version costs the same as getting it in the mail...



  • Get a cracked version?  You still have the license...



  • @Sutherlands said:

    Get a cracked version?  You still have the license...

    I did try a keygen, and the result was exactly the same. I haven't looked for an actual crack yet (and these days I also don't really like running programs of questionable origin on my machine (I ran the keygen in a VM).



  • I'd probably demand my money back.



  • Sounds like it deactivates when you change your hardware, probably as a copy-prevention measure.

    The reason X4 doesn't require authentication might be that it needs the install CD in the drive to run. But then you say it would've been possible for you to download the CD version and install with that, so I don't know any more.



  • @ender said:

    It took some time, but then I noticed that PSP always deactivated after I upgraded VirtualBox (I wasn't running PSP in VBox - both ran on host). Activating PSP with VirtualBox uninstalled worked around this problem.


    X4 ran fine for 8 months or so until I replaced my network card. Once I did this, it wouldn't stay activated, and wouldn't activate even with the help of tech support. Even stranger, if I canceled activation dialog and re-ran PSP, it sometimes starts normally.

    Can't speak directly to PSP, but I have seen behavior very much like this with BeTwin, which I'd installed on four front-of-room projector-driving workstations at the school. The issue is that the software ties its licence to the MAC address of the PC's Ethernet card. If the PC has more than one network interface, the software just uses the first one Windows returns when asked to enumerate them. We ended up with several BeTwin installations tied to the MAC address of a soft BlueTooth network adapter that only came alive when BlueTooth did, creating a race condition between BlueTooth stack init and BeTwin startup that often made BeTwin see the wrong MAC and start in unlicensed mode.

    The workaround was to uninstall BeTwin, then tweak the default ordering of Windows network interfaces to make the mobo's onboard Ethernet the first one enumerated, then reinstall and reactivate BeTwin. Then whenever it fell over all I'd have to do was redo the network interface ordering to put the onboard one back at the top, instead of working through a painful re-licensing dance.

    We don't use BeTwin any more, mainly because I got sick of having to attend to this very issue every few weeks; these days I use a tweaked "XP Mode" image running in VirtualBox instead, which actually works rather better.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    I'd probably demand my money back.

    I might try this, but I doubt it'll work - it's been 10 months since I bought PSP.
    @flabdablet said:

    The issue is that the software ties its licence to the MAC address of the PC's Ethernet card.

    I thought this might be the issue, but PSP deactivates without me restarting the computer - run the program several times in a row, and it'll pop up the activation dialog (and then when I cancel activation and run it again, it sometimes starts as if it was activated).



  • @ender said:

    they finally told me to buy install media for X4, since that apparently doesn't require activation.

    The correct response here is "I already bought your product. If I need a different version for it to work, then you need to arrange for that to happen at no cost to me. Don't worry, I'll hold while you speak to your supervisor."



  • Reminds me of Civilization III and Civ 4: Colonization. I legitimately bought them and own the media, yet 9/10 startups would give me a dialog accusing me of using pirated discs and then the game would close down. About 1/10 times the games worked normally.



  • Another perfect example of why current copy protection doesn't work.
    When your copy protection is only bothering your legitimate users, then your legitimate users either buy something else or crack your software.

    Don't get me wrong, I do think the makers of software need to be paid, but the way they are trying to make sure of this is only hurting the paying customers.



  • @ender said:

    I've been using Paint Shop Pro for light image manipulation since version 3 (it does everything I need, and it's hard to break habit).

    I admit, back then I was either letting it run in shareware mode or (once they stopped allowing you to run the program after 30 days trial)

     

    I used PSP4 back in the day, and on startup mine always greeted me with "you are on day 562 of your 30-day trial" but still worked. I didn't stay with that company to see how long I could carry on using it before it kicked me out. I found it simple enough to use and favoured it over PhotoShop.

    We bought PSP5 at work and I used it briefly at home for some images - missus took a liking to it so we bought a full version of PSP7, then an upgrade to 8 then to 9 since she was doing plenty of web stuff. She then tried PhotoShop on her Mac and initially struggled with it but soon found her way around.

    When the time came for the upgrade, she'd been using GIMP on Ubuntu and her PSP/PShop experience enabled her to pick it up quite quickly. She's now installed GIMP on her Mac, my company laptop and my Mint netbook to use. She's forgotten the PSP days.



  • @ender said:

    @Sutherlands said:
    I'd probably demand my money back.
    I might try this, but I doubt it'll work - it's been 10 months since I bought PSP.
     

    Shouldn't the warranty work for 12 months, min?



  • Does your NIC randomly change its MAC address, by any chance?

    Do you have multiple hard drives connected to some retarded controller?



  • I still use PSP 7 for lightweight image manipulation (which, unless you're a professional graphic artist, is going to be 99% of what you ever need to do). PSP 8 and beyond were horrendous bloatware.

    Never had any activation issues either. Must have been something Corel introduced.



  • I use PSP 8, still do, don't see much of a problem with it and never had activation issues.



  • @Cassidy said:

    When the time came for the upgrade, she'd been using GIMP on Ubuntu and her PSP/PShop experience enabled her to pick it up quite quickly. She's now installed GIMP on her Mac, my company laptop and my Mint netbook to use. She's forgotten the PSP days.

    I use GIMP (after all, I provide it's most popular installer for Windows), but I find PSP faster for quick screenshot processing.
    @alegr said:

    Does your NIC randomly change its MAC address, by any chance?

    Nope, and definitely not several times per minute (the NIC is Intel PRO/1000 CT).
    @alegr said:

    Do you have multiple hard drives connected to some retarded controller?

    My system boots off SSD connected to on-board AHCI controller, and I've got an Areca ARC-1210 hardware RAID for more permanent storage.


    Anyway, got another mail from support today telling me to download the installer from purchase history page. Did that, and it seems to have fixed my problems - at least I've restarted it about 30 times so far, and it never asked for activation. I'm not sure what's different with this installer, other than that it has SP2 already integrated.



  • Just an idea: Did you install VirtualBox Host-Only networking support? That will isntall another virtual NIC you can use for host-only networks (and to access them from the host) and it will go link-up or link-down with your VMs (if you start a VM with host-only network it will go link up). Of course, as every virtual NIC, it has a MAC from a reserved area assigned at random (not sure though if that MAC is randomized at installation or at startup time). If you start up and stop VMs, your NIC will go up and down and may change the activation...



  • I uninstalled VirtualBox last week (because I wanted it out of the equation when testing this), and it did not affect PSP's (de)activating in any way.



  • @KattMan said:

    Another perfect example of why current copy protection doesn't work.
    When your copy protection is only bothering your legitimate users, then your legitimate users either buy something else or crack your software.

    Don't get me wrong, I do think the makers of software need to be paid, but the way they are trying to make sure of this is only hurting the paying customers.

     

    Welcome to 2005, dude. That Google thing is really getting big now!

    checks to make sure this is not a necropost



  • @ender said:

    @flabdablet said:
    The issue is that the software ties its licence to the MAC address of the PC's Ethernet card.
    I thought this might be the issue, but PSP deactivates without me restarting the computer - run the program several times in a row, and it'll pop up the activation dialog (and then when I cancel activation and run it again, it sometimes starts as if it was activated).

    So how sure are you that it hasn't tied its licence to the MAC of an only-sometimes-available NIC or a soft NIC? Because that's exactly what caused that exact behavior with BeTwin.



  • Who cares? Broken is broken. They sold him a bum product, they owe him a refund. End of story.



  • @ender said:

    downloading the CD version costs the same as getting it in the mail...
     

    Buying games on steam is more expensive than buying DVD media from amazon.fr, shipping included. First ting the media does is... download game from steam

     

     



  •  I use GIMP. Does more than I could ever need, never crashes, doesn't kill your machine like Photoshop and importantly is completely free.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Who cares? Broken is broken. They sold him a bum product, they owe him a refund. End of story.

    Yeah, because it's never useful to figure out a problem. That sort of knowledge never comes in handy and no one else could possibly benefit from understanding something like this.



  • @tchize said:

    @ender said:

    downloading the CD version costs the same as getting it in the mail...
     

    Buying games on steam is more expensive than buying DVD media from amazon.fr, shipping included. First ting the media does is... download game from steam

     

     

    Blame that on Valve not coding currencies correctly. "Oh yeah, this game is 19.99. 19.99 what? Dollars? Euros? Pounds? We have no clue."



  • @boomzilla said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Who cares? Broken is broken. They sold him a bum product, they owe him a refund. End of story.

    Yeah, because it's never useful to figure out a problem. That sort of knowledge never comes in handy and no one else could possibly benefit from understanding something like this.

    Quite so. Because as any Linux user knows instinctively, all we need ever to do to fix anything is consult our little shoulder aliens.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    And if that doesn't work, we still have our grimoires with various command-line incantations for all types of situations.



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    And if that doesn't work, we still have our grimoires with various command-line incantations for all types of situations.

    stephen@jellyshot:~$ aptitude search grimoire
    stephen@jellyshot:~$

    Which repo should I be adding for that?



  • Apparently you need to download the source code, scream frustration when learning a compiler is required but missing, navigate outdated instructions to stumble through steps that may or may not work, incur scornful wrath from experienced zealots when posting your experiences on the internet then rant about how all open-source is broken and painful - carefully ignoring any informative and helpful responses that suggest there are alternative ways to achieve your goal.

    Don'tchaknow?



  • Sounds like it attaches the license to the MAC address of your network card. VirtualBox creates virtual adapters as well for routing between the host and guest. It may become confused when there are more than one adapter installed and they get an enumeration in an order that may not be the same each time.

    Try Paint.NET. It's simple, free and after I found out there was a plugin that allows to write any effect in C# it was the perfect tool for me.



  • @vic said:

    Try Paint.NET. It's simple, free and after I found out there was a plugin that allows to write any effect in C# it was the perfect tool for me.
     

    It has some problems, and now that they're going for a TOTAL REWRITE for versio 4, it's pretty much doomed.

    :'(



  • @vic said:

    VirtualBox creates virtual adapters as well for routing between the host and guest.

    The problem still happened after I uninstalled VirtualBox.

    Anyway, just to be clear, after I downloaded PSP again, it now works fine without asking for activation (apparently it is possible to get the "DVD" version - you just have to download through the Order history page).



  • @ender said:

    @vic said:
    VirtualBox creates virtual adapters as well for routing between the host and guest.
    The problem still happened after I uninstalled VirtualBox.

    Anyway, just to be clear, after I downloaded PSP again, it now works fine without asking for activation (apparently it is possible to get the "DVD" version - you just have to download through the Order history page).

    Just to further beat a dead horse ... did you ensure that the Virtual NIC and Virtual Switch and stuff were gone from your network configuration? Now that Oracle owns VirtualBox, it's incredibly likely that they didn't fully clean up after themselves during the uninstall.



  • @zelmak said:

    Just to further beat a dead horse ... did you ensure that the Virtual NIC and Virtual Switch and stuff were gone from your network configuration? Now that Oracle owns VirtualBox, it's incredibly likely that they didn't fully clean up after themselves during the uninstall.

    I checked - only my LAN adapter and some Windows' built-in VPN adapters were left (and I've had those forever).



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    Blame that on Valve not coding currencies correctly. "Oh yeah, this game is 19.99. 19.99 what? Dollars? Euros? Pounds? We have no clue."
     

    But they still manage to keep the AUD much higher than USD even though our currencies have been very close for almost three years (generally AUD is worth more!).



  • @Zemm said:

    But they still manage to keep the AUD much higher than USD even though our currencies have been very close for almost three years (generally AUD is worth more!).

    And if Helicopter Ben has anything to say about it, things are going to stay that way.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @flabdablet said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:
    And if that doesn't work, we still have our grimoires with various command-line incantations for all types of situations.

    stephen@jellyshot:~$ aptitude search grimoire
    stephen@jellyshot:~$

    Which repo should I be adding for that?

    None. Unix wizards never make their grimoires public.


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