One of my pet hates about closed source software is registration codes. In order to install software that you’ve legitimately bought, you need to find the relevant registration codes. If you’ve misplaced them (eg you’ve moved house, or you have kids) then you can kiss goodbye to however many hundreds of dollars you spent on the thing. Even if you haven’t lost the codes it can take anything from 5 minutes to hours to actually find them again. Several years ago this was such a hassle for me when upgrading or changing my system that I decided to foreswear closed source apps to the extent I could.
I made one exception, when we moved house a couple of years ago. I bought a program called Readerware* to catalogue our books before we moved – a vain and thankless task but, now it’s done, I thought I might update it with the books we’ve acquired since. So I dug up my old version of readerware from one of the backups to find that it didn’t seem to work on my current system (which has evolved a bit since then, particularly in May this year – I think it is looking for a 32 bit version of glibc). I even had the CD – and the registration code.
On a whim I downloaded the most recent version of the product and entered my registration code – it worked. I had to pay for neither the move to 64 bits nor the new version of the product. How nice (there is no fee for upgrades within major releases 1, 2, 3 etc – the current version is 2.984). Thanks Readerware.
I now face the task of identifying what files I need to copy to restore the database… (done) and find what box I put the neat bit of the dot bomb (see below) in.
PS: I even got a neat bit of the dot bomb at no extra cost when I bought the package.
* At the time Alexandria was a no-goer, although it seems to have come along since then…