Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

EngineRoom

My Pet Hate

Recommended Posts

Call home installers for addons that hit an activation limit and the vendor drags their heels in resetting them.

 

I've just sent this message to Captain Sim:

 

 

Good Afternoon,

 

 

I am writing with reference to order number ****************

 

Some months ago I tried to reinstall the FSX 727 on my laptop and received a message saying the order was locked. I filled out the form on your website to request the order be unlocked and provided what I felt to be an adequate explanation for the multiple IPs/PC setups.

 

I never received a reply.

 

Last week I attempted to reinstall the 727 again on my recently repaired desktop PC and received the same message about the order being locked. Once again I filled out the form requesting the order be unlocked and provided an explanation.

 

Yet AGAIN I have not received any reply.

 

I have checked my spam box and there is nothing from Captain Sim. I have just run your email test message and received it in my email inbox within a few seconds and so can confirm the problem is NOT my email programme or setup.

 

Once again allow me to explain why I have requested activation from multiple IP addresses and PC setups since I purchased the 727 in 2009:

 

I work away from home for up to 8 months every year. This means for much of the time I have to use a mobile internet connection. Additionally, I have moved home twice in the last 2 years and have made use of 3 different ISPs. Since purchasing the 727 I have owned 4 different laptops and a desktop PC.

 

Please allow me to apologise for the shocking temerity of not using the same IP address or computer in the nearly FOUR years since I purchased the 727 and falling foul of your overly draconian anti-piracy measures.

 

As a long time Captain Sim customer who has purchased a great many of your products over the years (please do check my order history) I would have hoped that I deserved a little better than to be ignored when I requested you unlock the order number for a product I legitimately purchased.

 

Kind Regards,

 

 

I'm most miffed that they have apparently just ignored me :angry:

 

Why oh why place a limit of three IP addresses or PC setups before an order number is locked? Surely there's a better way! As we all know resetting a locked order number with Flight 1 is a piece of cake and takes only a minute or two. Last year I found one of my (older) Real Air installers had become locked and Rob Young reset all my installers within 24 hours. I've installed Orbx stuff from the Flight Sim Store using their wrapper umpteen times and there's never been a problem.

 

Please please please PLEASE developers/publishers stop using these silly call home installers if you aren't going to be bothered sorting out when a legitimate customer falls foul of your arbitrary activation limit. They are a pain in the backside for your customers, make more unnecessary work for you and in the long run hurt your business. At the very least provide us with a means to deactivate the product such as the VRS Super Hornet/Tac Pack or DCS simulation modules when we want to uninstall the product or re-format our HDD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't agree more. In fact I don't buy any addon recquring online activation unless I make a big mistake...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please please please PLEASE developers/publishers stop using these silly call home installers if you aren't going to be bothered sorting out when a legitimate customer falls foul of your arbitrary activation limit. They are a pain in the backside for your customers, make more unnecessary work for you and in the long run hurt your business. At the very least provide us with a means to deactivate the product such as the VRS Super Hornet/Tac Pack or DCS simulation modules when we want to uninstall the product or re-format our HDD.

 

I sympathise and agree with your points. We very reluctantly put a (very generous) limit on activations purely to check that the original customer is still using the same installer rather than someone else, and once this is checked we try to reactivate as quickly as possible. In your case the only reason it wasn't within a couple of hours was probably because I was asleep!

 

If developers impose an activation limit then I agree they must respect genuine customers and respond in a timely manner otherwise they are just stalling you through laziness or for some other reason. Not responding quickly just causes resentment and gives the whole process a bad name, which is a shame because reactivation is the only mechanism that many developers have to stop rampant piracy (and it is rampant).

 

All the best,

 

Rob - RealAir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed there should be a better way. I'm generally ok with automated solutions, but when you are at the mercy of human interaction to enable you to use a product you paid for with hard earned money, that sticks in my craw a bit as well. Even with automated solutions you are at risk for the activation infrastructure of being available, particularly if said developer happens to quit or otherwise go under. Your product is rendered useless at that point.

 

I understand trying to protect against theft, but somehow the paying customer is always the one paying for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I sympathise and agree with your points. We very reluctantly put a (very generous) limit on activations purely to check that the original customer is still using the same installer rather than someone else, and once this is checked we try to reactivate as quickly as possible. In your case the only reason it wasn't within a couple of hours was probably because I was asleep!

 

If developers impose an activation limit then I agree they must respect genuine customers and respond in a timely manner otherwise they are just stalling you through laziness or for some other reason. Not responding quickly just causes resentment and gives the whole process a bad name, which is a shame because reactivation is the only mechanism that many developers have to stop rampant piracy (and it is rampant).

 

All the best,

 

Rob - RealAir

 

Rob, I'm sad to say that you are one of the companies I no longer buy from. I've loved every product I've bought from you since FS2004 (Scout, SF-260, Spitfire, Duke & TDuke), but the Lancair and upcoming C172 will not be in my hangar. It's just too annoying and time consuming to install and download updates for your products. FSX is a very special kind of software. Most users have lots of addons, and installing them takes long enough without copy protection. Add to that the time spent tweaking and tuning FSX, and configuring various peripherals...

 

Please read this post as constructive feedback. You addons are great, but aren't worth the effort for me personally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In your case the only reason it wasn't within a couple of hours was probably because I was asleep!

 

Rob, as far as I'm concerned Real Air are among the good guys. I was pleasantly surprised when you reactivated my installers within 24 hours. If I recall the problem was just with one installer but you very kindly reset them all for me.

 

I understand such call-home installers are probably a necessary evil but I think it would be a big help if developers/publishers who implement this security also gave the user the means to de-activate or register an uninstall. I know that the security used by VRS (and I think FSD use the same system) allows for this. The DCS series also allows users to de-activate their modules. At least this way when I know I'm going to do a reformat/reinstall I can de-activate the addon and return the activation to the server before I reformat.

 

I can live with it when re-setting order numbers is as easy and straightforward as Flight One, or when problems are dealt with as promptly as Real Air... but I feel the bottom line is it shouldn't have taken three messages to CS before I got a response. If a developer isn't going to be bothered sorting out legitmate customers who fall foul of their anti-piracy measures then they shouldn't be implementing call-home security in their installers - especially when they ask for an "explanation why the product has been installed on more then 3 IP addresses or PC setups". The assumption that the user is up to no good and is almost guilty until proven innocent is boderline offensive and insulting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying to create anti-piracy blockage by creating these barbaric activation measures is a complete waste, because they always find away around it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I understand trying to protect against theft, but somehow the paying customer is always the one paying for it.

 

True, but it's also a paying customer that takes a paid for product and makes it available for other to share. Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows...

 

After having my efforts shared by a "paying customer", I devised a method of identification. Never saw anything shared after that. No inconvenience to the customer and leaves a level of comfort for the developer. Win, win for everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but it's also a paying customer that takes a paid for product and makes it available for other to share. Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows...

 

After having my efforts shared by a "paying customer", I devised a method of identification. Never saw anything shared after that. No inconvenience to the customer and leaves a level of comfort for the developer. Win, win for everyone!

 

Although punishing ALL of your paying customers for the sake of the minority still feels wrong. I appreciate your win win scenario though. If there is no inconvenience to your innocent paying customers then hey, do whatever helps to keep your products safe and sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Although punishing ALL of your paying customers for the sake of the minority still feels wrong. I appreciate your win win scenario though. If there is no inconvenience to your innocent paying customers then hey, do whatever helps to keep your products safe and sound.

 

+1!

 

Sounds like meshman has found the way to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob, I'm sad to say that you are one of the companies I no longer buy from. I've loved every product I've bought from you since FS2004 (Scout, SF-260, Spitfire, Duke & TDuke), but the Lancair and upcoming C172 will not be in my hangar. It's just too annoying and time consuming to install and download updates for your products. FSX is a very special kind of software. Most users have lots of addons, and installing them takes long enough without copy protection. Add to that the time spent tweaking and tuning FSX, and configuring various peripherals...

 

Please read this post as constructive feedback. You addons are great, but aren't worth the effort for me personally.

 

I cannot understand why it is annoying for you. We hardly issue any updates and those that were issued were not essential, and do not even have to be installed as a patch because you can simply download the full product again (which includes the updates) using your very generous repeat download and install quota. In fact, during our average development time, we use up less activations than some customers do and during the Legacy development I personally never reached my own activation limit (we work the same system for ourselves to test it works ok).

 

The Turbine Duke update was not as a result of anything particularly wrong with the first release, but was a service pack specifically designed to accomodate customer requests (many of them made here) for adjustments to cockpit views and better GNS gauge integration.

 

All any customer has to do to re-install is simply run the installer again after first un-installing. It takes about two minutes total. If activations have run out (and I emphasise that we give very generous leeway) all that is needed is one email to me and one email back. During a working day that often takes less than a four hour turnaround, and that's after already a sizeable number or re-installs without having to contact me at all.

 

Some customers have never had to re-activate in the lifetime of their FSX usage. Others have computer problems or tend to keep re-installing FSX itself multiple times for various reasons, but even then they still have a good number of tries before having to email us. I cannot see how less annoying we can make it.

 

If you have had any problems re-installing I am a quick email away and I don't think I have ever failed to answer an email regarding activation within hours,unless there has been a server problem or isp delay. if you do have any problems please email me and I will do my best to help you.

 

Rob - RealAir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an owner of both RealAir Dukes and the RealAir Legacy I can back up Rob's comments here. I've done a PC rebuild (or two) in the time I have owned the Dukes and reinstalling and reactivating them was not an issue. The email support is excellent also (I'm not sure what timezone Rob is in but on the rare occasions I've had to email support the responses were extremely prompt). RealAir are one of the few FSX vendors I can purchase from with complete confidence knowing that not only will I get a fine aircraft but also not have any issues with installation or (re-)activation.

 

Regards,

Serge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an owner of both RealAir Dukes and the RealAir Legacy I can back up Rob's comments here. I've done a PC rebuild (or two) in the time I have owned the Dukes and reinstalling and reactivating them was not an issue. The email support is excellent also (I'm not sure what timezone Rob is in but on the rare occasions I've had to email support the responses were extremely prompt). RealAir are one of the few FSX vendors I can purchase from with complete confidence knowing that not only will I get a fine aircraft but also not have any issues with installation or (re-)activation.

 

Regards,

Serge

 

+1, I got the same planes as Serge plus the Citabria, Decathlon and Scout for FSX Package.

 

IMHO RealAir is top notch. Great Planes, Easy Install, can’t ask for more. (Well, actually Yes; an updated panel for the Scout so the mouse behaves like in the Dukes or the Lancair. Just kidding, as Rob already explained why it was not feasible)

 

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot understand why it is annoying for you. We hardly issue any updates and those that were issued were not essential, and do not even have to be installed as a patch because you can simply download the full product again (which includes the updates) using your very generous repeat download and install quota. In fact, during our average development time, we use up less activations than some customers do and during the Legacy development I personally never reached my own activation limit (we work the same system for ourselves to test it works ok).

 

The Turbine Duke update was not as a result of anything particularly wrong with the first release, but was a service pack specifically designed to accomodate customer requests (many of them made here) for adjustments to cockpit views and better GNS gauge integration.

 

All any customer has to do to re-install is simply run the installer again after first un-installing. It takes about two minutes total. If activations have run out (and I emphasise that we give very generous leeway) all that is needed is one email to me and one email back. During a working day that often takes less than a four hour turnaround, and that's after already a sizeable number or re-installs without having to contact me at all.

 

Some customers have never had to re-activate in the lifetime of their FSX usage. Others have computer problems or tend to keep re-installing FSX itself multiple times for various reasons, but even then they still have a good number of tries before having to email us. I cannot see how less annoying we can make it.

 

If you have had any problems re-installing I am a quick email away and I don't think I have ever failed to answer an email regarding activation within hours,unless there has been a server problem or isp delay. if you do have any problems please email me and I will do my best to help you.

 

Rob - RealAir

 

Rob, it's pretty simple. I have 100s of addons and I prefer a simple exe-file sitting on my harddrive that can be executed with no questions asked. A few minutes here and there soon adds up. Liife is short and I just want things to be super easy and hassle free so I can concentrate on flying.

 

I'm sure RealAir have their reasons for doing what they do, but for me it's not the way to go. Again, your aircraft are top notch and thanks for your interaction!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Rob, it's pretty simple. I have 100s of addons and I prefer a simple exe-file sitting on my harddrive that can be executed with no questions asked. A few minutes here and there soon adds up. Liife is short and I just want things to be super easy and hassle free so I can concentrate on flying.

 

I'm sure RealAir have their reasons for doing what they do, but for me it's not the way to go. Again, your aircraft are top notch and thanks for your interaction!

 

Well you are missing out on some top stuff then - No RealAir / PMDG - that is most of my FSX time right there. Anyway, doesn't FSX itself have an activation limit ???

 

G

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Well you are missing out on some top stuff then - No RealAir / PMDG - that is most of my FSX time right there. Anyway, doesn't FSX itself have an activation limit ???

 

G

 

As you can see from my earlier post I have every RealAir aircraft up to the Lancair. They're one of the best in the biz. I just don't like copy protection and try to avoid supporting products that have it, wether it's CDs, DVDs or software.

 

Yep, the serial/code protection in FSX should have been removed as well, but at least they got rid of the annoying "CD in the drive" protection from FS2004.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've made a few exceptions because there are some aircrafts and devs that are simply worth the time and extra effort. Plus, I've only had a couple of issues. Devs want to protect their work as much as they can, even if it means loosing some customers. I'm one of those customers who hates activations, but more than activations, I now hate having to re-install anything. I just want to fly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, the serial/code protection in FSX should have been removed as well, but at least they got rid of the annoying "CD in the drive" protection from FS2004.

 

Yeah, CD in the drive protection used to drive me crazy as well. So much so I used to use the No-CD cracks for all my purchased software - not something I would even consider these days (luckily I don't need to anymore !!)....

 

G

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting quote from ORBX CEO John Venema:

 

Everyone has piracy problems, including Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Aerosoft, Flight1, FSDT, FlyTampa – everyone. You cannot make crack-proof software and we don’t even bother with serial numbers on our DVDs. Here is why we don’t make a fuss anymore – those who steal Orbx software are not going to pay for it anyway. They steal because they either don’t have the money, don’t want to spend the money, or have what I call the “warez collector’s syndrome”; they have 10TB of hard disks full of FS warez but they don’t enjoy the hobby. Two things usually happen: they get bored with torrents and stealing and leave the “hobby”, or they grow older, get a job and get a conscience and begin to pay for software for the first time in their lives. So no, we don’t stress about it.

 

http://fsxpage.com/interviews-2/john-venema-von-orbx/2/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FSDT has probably the best anti-piracy. It's ALMOST foolproof.

 

However it's a hasle when you switch computers with all the licenses and de-activation stuff you have to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FSDT has probably the best anti-piracy. It's ALMOST foolproof.

 

However it's a hasle when you switch computers with all the licenses and de-activation stuff you have to do.

 

Sadly, that's why I don't own any of their products.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flytampa has it right. One simple activation key. Enter, done. You have it.

 

Is there piracy with Flytampa? You better believe it! But flytampa dosen't have to deal with the hassle of all the problems with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flytampa has it right. One simple activation key. Enter, done. You have it.

 

Is there piracy with Flytampa? You better believe it! But flytampa dosen't have to deal with the hassle of all the problems with it.

 

And that's why I have most of the FlyTampa airports, and the fact that they are awesome works of art.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theft is not just an FS addon problem. It's a factor in anything that is sold anywhere using any means. My wife is an office manager for a retail outfit and they term it as "shrinkage" (not related to the Seinfeld episode). Shrinkage is a budgeted number as something that WILL happen to a calculated extent, and while you certainly put measures in place to control it, you know you will never stop it entirely.

 

In the meantime you walk the balance between protecting your products to a reasonable extent, and inconveniencing the paying customers from which you are attempting to make money from. If the first thing a server does to me at a restaurant is poke me in the eye and then want to take my order, I'm standing up and leaving. So, there is a balance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...