Benjamin Juang (ibneko) wrote,
Benjamin Juang
ibneko

BBEdit and their anti-piracy measures...

There's an interesting piece of software out there for Mac called BBEdit. Actually, it's a beautiful piece of work, or at least used to be - it's relatively simple to use, but packs just about everything you might need, although there's been recent changes to the GUI that I dislike. (bigger, less icons on the window that you can't make smaller (does not follow MacOS X GUI guidelines...?! ctrl-click doesn't offer options to do text-only, etc.). Line wrapping setup for quickly changing between 80 char and window width.)

But mostly, this post was written because was (and still am) amused (in a good way) by their anti-piracy measures. A large number of serial numbers are accepted. Heck, you are guaranteed to find an acceptable serial number. Take, for example:
BEE850-ABCDE-DEFGH-IJKL1
BEE850-ABCDE-DEFGH-IJKLQ
BEE850-00000-00000-0000L
BEE850-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXX => even incomplete serials are accepted.
...took me no more than 2 minutes of rapid key...delete...next key...delete... etc, to find those.

But most importantly, there's absolutely no indication after you enter the code that the code is invalid. Apparently there's a large number of checks within the program to validate the number. If it fails any of those random checks, which seem to be able to happen at any time - although most are event generated, the program will immediately notify you that you're using an invalid number, and force the program to quit. I don't recall if it allows you to save or not, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

The reason why I find this amusingly effective, is that it means there's no way for end-user-pirates to know if the pirated code they've received is valid or not. And while it's easy enough to generate another code on your own, you don't know how long that will last. Which, I think, is an awesome way of discouraging people from trying to pirate the application without resorting to online verification (adobe, micro$oft) or some other annoying anti-piracy measure. And after it quits on you several random times, especially while you're trying to do something important, it gets a bit annoying.

Of course, there's no reason to continue using it. I use it by habit, really - and probably should try something different since the GUI has started to annoy me. There's a few other options - the people who make BBEdit have released a freeware, 'lite' version, I believe, although I don't know how 'lite'. And there's another text/code editor out called TextMate or something of that sort... but really, BBEdit has been around for so long now, changing means re-learning a number of things, and possibly losing commands and functions that I'm used to.

And seriously, I would buy BBEdit, if it wasn't so expensive, and if updating from, say, 8.0 to 8.6 (current), didn't require money. XP But since initial registration is around $125... and progressive updates are $25+.... yeah. Yes, they do have educational licensing, at around $50, but still, that's a lot...

Oh, yeah, Bare Bones Software people - if you guys read this, I'm sorry. Really, someday, when I have a job, and $125 isn't the cost of a textbook for the semester and a very large dent in my spending money, I will come and purchase a copy of BBEdit. Or two copies. By the way, there's at least three serials online, one of which I think may be a legal purchase, and placed online by a misconfigured server. I'm not too sure how you guys can modify the algorithm to take care of those, but.. yeah, best of luck fighting stupid poor users like myself.

...ok, that's enough rambling for today. Back to coding.

In other news...
WHY THE F'ING HELL IS THERE NO GOOD DOCUMENTATION/EXAMPLES FOR ANY OF THE PERL XML/ATOM/RSS FEED MODULES?! ARGH... I swear, if I still don't get anywhere, I'm going to do what I really don't want to do and write it all myself. I'm still trying to snag livejournal's code to see how they do feed syndication, but... Grrrr........
Tags: hacking
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