USB KEY

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USB KEY

Postby Richard Sands » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:04 pm

Does one need to close 2008 before the USB key is inserted or remove?
I notice it doesn't appear in the 'Safely remove hardware' so I expect its truelly hot swapable.
regards, Richard
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Postby Glen Cameron » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:43 pm

If you remove the USB key from the computer before MSCAD2008 is closed - then the program will close automatically, saving your work as it goes. You will receive a single message telling you to put the key back in - if you do not then it closes the program immediately (you can not run any commands).

Basically - for MicroSurvey CAD 2008 to run, the USB key MUST be inserted in that computer. If you move it to another computer, then MicroSurvey CAD 2008 will stop running immediately and not run again on that comuter until the the key has been reinserted and you restart the program.

As long as MicroSurvey CAD 2008 is not running, you can remove the USB key or insert it, with no issues. You do not need to tell the computer that you are removing the key, before doing so.
Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
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USB Key

Postby B. K. Lemons » Fri Oct 26, 2007 3:38 pm

Is there an alternate method available for activating 2008 without the hassle of having to deal with such an easily-lost or broken extra piece of hardware? Is the old check-out and check-in method available with 2008?

It seems likely that most users will be running 2008 on a desktop computer. So the USB key can be popped into a port on the back of the computer and left there without much danger of damage or loss.

However, I'm running MSCAD 2005 on a laptop that goes everywhere with me and is subject to being taken in and out of a carry case several times a day. So although I'm fond of MSCAD and inclined to upgrade to 2008, I'm a bit antsy about buying a product that requires me to keep up with, protect and deal with the hassle of using a USB key, rather than just entering a one-time password. A USB key can easily be lost or broken or left with pocket change on the night stand at home. I can make copies of my car keys and house keys for backup from loss. I can backup my hard drive for surprise failures. But it sounds like if I lose or break my one and only MSCAD 2008 USB key, I'm out of luck until I can be properly interrogated regarding the matter and a replacement USB key can be shipped and received.

The USB key might work okay if it's short and rounded and fits closely to the body of the laptop so that it doesn't have to be removed and won't be damaged when the laptop is being carried around in it's case.

In 17 years every other software company from which I've bought expensive software has trusted me to honor my single-user license agreement, and rightly so.

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USB KEY

Postby Richard Sands » Fri Oct 26, 2007 3:49 pm

Its about 25mm long and a bit a bit fatter than my Logitech mouse key (which is quite flat). More like a flattened bullet.
Not sure you'd get two USB devices piggy backed on a laptop. My experience with USB devices and laptops isn't good as I broke a USB port and only way to fix it was a new motherboard!!.
Also have found some USB devices dont work in all USB ports on a laptop - not sure why.
I agree a USB free version would be far better, even a small cost for an addistional licence would be far preferable to my thinking.
2008 does work without the key from my brief experience, just can't save or print.
Its in the field work area I'm concerned as to its convenience and practicality. Office use of laptops aren't an issue really for me.And surveying is all about field work and its associated rugged periferals.
Just saw advertised an Apacer USB key that lay flat agianst the body of the laptop - probably better, but still open to abuse.
regards, Richard
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Postby Glen Cameron » Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:20 pm

The switch to a USB key is not one of a trust matter but one of a convenience for the vast majority of our users. When we used the password method of locking our software, we also trusted our customers to use only 1 license at a time. The vast majority of our users did not break this trust, but many had many other problems, due to the passwords.

Passwords were locked to the computer hardware and operating system on that computer. Anytime something was replaced, upgrade, repaired, changed configuration, turned on/off, etc., it would trigger a problem that would require a new password. Passwords could only be issued by our head office during working hours, and only after determining what had happened to require the new password. So weekends, holidays, etc. would delay the issue of passwords.

Also taking a license home or to the field (take home or check out option), would mean a temporary transfer to that machine, disabling the office machine. Many times the transfer would not work well and both machines end up being disabled. Sometimes this was caused by the user doing something wrong or out of order, other times it may have been other changes that triggered the problem. Mismatched dates or times between the computers could also cause problems.

USB keys will alleviate all of these issues – but it does bring up a few new ones.

As you folks have mentioned, the USB key is quite small and could be easy to misplace. To get around this, we have attached a large key fob that makes it harder to lose or forget the USB key.

Laptops are their own challenge. They are very handy for field work or simply going from location to location or office to home. The USB key with key fob is small enough to fit in the laptop case, but large enough to be spotted if left sitting somewhere when packing up the laptop.

The USB key should work in any valid working USB port. It must remain attached during the entire session in MicroSurvey CAD 2008. Once removed, the MicroSurvey CAD 2008 program will shut down (unless it is still within it’s first 30 day demo period, in which the USB key is not required to run the program at all).

We suggest that you insure the USB key against loss or theft (just like you would your laptop), as it is the license and will not be replaced in these situations. The key is almost bullet proof so damage is unlikely, but if damaged, replacements may be made available (examined on a case by case basis to determine what has happened and why). Shipping delays for new key purchases or replacement keys would be similar to the delays required to obtain new passwords under the previous license model.

My USB key sticks out approximately 24 mm from the face of the computer, and the key fob hangs off of it. No problems at all for size or space concerns. It would be no different than having a mouse plugged in and the amount of space or special care requirements it needs.

Unfortunately we, like most software companies, can not be everything to everyone and have to select the best solution for the vast majority of our users. This includes what routines and commands are programmed into the software, as well as the method to license the software. We do listen to our customers and attempt to solve any issues as best as we are able. We did a huge amount of research on the USB topic prior to implementing it. The number of users that are very happy, and even excited by the change, does out-weight the few that may have concerns or reservations. This does not mean that we are not listening to those with concerns, but unfortunately we can not have multiple methods of licensing.

I hope this helps answer your concerns about the USB key licensing method that MicroSurvey CAD 2008 is using.

If you have further concerns, please feel free to send an email directly to the owner of MicroSurvey Software, Inc., [email protected]microsurvey.com .
Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
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USB

Postby Richard Sands » Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:01 pm

gday Glen
Well put. I expect many of us are just adding to the greenhouse effect and letting of steam.
Actually it is a robust looking device and quite small, the sort of things the crows would take greatly to and add it to there nest. So the added tag will have added benefits - more to fly off with if it gets left out in the sticks.
see you about the traps
Richard
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Get real.

Postby B. K. Lemons » Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:26 am

Convenient? That’s preposterous. It’s even more inconvenient than the previous inconvenient system, which until this USB idea was the most inconvenient system I’ve ever had to go through.

No other software company from which I’ve bought expensive software has required customers to jump through such hoops.

No other software company has required me to contact the home office for a new password for reinstalling their software when I’ve hit a glitch. When I bought Microsoft Office, which is expensive software, I got a product key. I’ve had occasion to reinstall the software many, many times and have never been required to contact the home office for a new password. When I bought ArcView, which is even more expensive, ESRI gave me a product key. I’ve had occasion to reinstall that software many, many times and have never had to make special human contact with the home office to get it up and running. The same is true for ArcPad. The same is true for every other big software package I’ve ever bought.

No other software company has required me to tote around a USB key that “could be easy to misplace,” and that with a dangling fob that screams to every small child, “Yank on me!” and to every passerby, "Ask me, 'Hey, what's that for?'"

No other software company has told me that if my license is lost or stolen, it “will not be replaced” unless I agree to 30 minutes of water torture by the company investigator.

Buy insurance? Are you kidding? Okay, okay. My current policy would probably cover it. But like most coverages, there's a $500.00 deductible. So in the event my USB key is lost or stolen, you want me to spend $500.00 of my time messing with filing a claim to collect $500.00 on an insurance policy.

Upgrading isn't worth the hassle of dealing with the USB key and risking the chance of it's being misplaced.

Let me know when the company has come to its senses.
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Mr Lemons

Postby Ed Gasbarre » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:18 am

The USB key is a good idea in spite of Mr Lemon's dismay. The people at MicroSurvey have done an excelent job at providing us with a fine product and flexible license, without "selling out".

Mr. Lemons, your tirade is quite inappropriate and non constructive.

Ed Gasbarre
MicroSurvey user since 1998.
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USB key.

Postby B. K. Lemons » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:01 am

Hey, thanks for your feedback.

Today, a USB key. Tomorrow, who knows what.

The USB key is not a good idea. It's too much trouble, and it bears too many risks. You can lose it any time, anywhere, and be in big dutch, not being able to replace it without spending lots of time and dollars. Anyone visiting the office can reach out and grab it in a heartbeat and walk off with it. Anyone piddling around the office, cleaning or whatever, can bang it and ruin it pronto. Get wrapped up in a job with a deadline looming, you're out of luck.

Even more so, it is unnecessary.

It would be better if MicroSurvey issued a unique, one-time individual key code with every license, just like every other software manufacturer, something that's easy to use. Even charge an extra $200.00 a-pop for the software, whatever. If that's what it takes, then I'm willing. Need to reinstall? Fine, just give it the key code provided with the software. But don't make things so unnecessarily complicated. Don't unnecessarily complicate already-too-complicated life with this kind of hassle. It's not worth it. The alternatives are better.
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Postby Darcy Detlor » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:57 am

Hello Mr. Lemons,

Believe it or not, we invested a lot of time into trying to figure out what would benefit our customers the most.

The system we were using was not doing the job. It was forcing too much from our customers with each transfer, move, update, or system crash. With a USB key the software is yours. We can't take it back. Unlike our competition YOU have control. It's yours to do with what you want. Take it home. Put the software on every machine in the office and your home. The key lets you take it anywhere. Loan it to your brother. Share it with the surveyor down the hall.

The USB key is going to make it simple to keep our customers running the latest version. Going to software maintenance and using a key will let us punch out upgrades and updates much faster than in the past. We don't have to build up a pile of updates before we release an "upgrade". The first service pack is already being prepared and it has many improvements - not just bug fixes.

Yes, it is possible to lose it. Yes, it is possible to get stolen, just like your laptop. I hope that you wouldn't phone up Dell and ask for new laptop if someone stole it. I think they wouldn't know quite what to say.

We knew that this new system would have a tiny rejection rate. Our old system had a rejection rate too. It was inevitable that someone wouldn't like a USB key. But, so far the comments have been overwhelmingly positive.

The USB Key we chose is the smallest key I could find. It sticks out less than 1/2 of the length of my Kingston, PNY, and Sandisk USB Memory sticks. It is made from stainless steel and has a smoothed tapered end so it won't catch on things. I can leave it in my laptop and insert into my laptop bag and it doesn't catch on anything. The network licensing works better than any product I have tried.

I am sorry that you will not give it a try; I wish that some of the software that we use had USB keys so we could share the copies.
Darcy Detlor,
President,
MicroSurvey Software Inc.
[email protected]
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USB key.

Postby B. K. Lemons » Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:11 pm

Mr. Deltor, thank you for your feedback, too. I wish that in addition to your replying to my post you had also replied to the email I sent to you privately, as suggested by your staff above.

First, as to the size and shape of the USB key and the ability to keep it permanently attached to the laptop, it would be of benefit if you and your staff would provide more accurate, less conflicting information in the first place. Your staff has clearly indicated above that keeping the USB key permanently attached to a laptop is not a viable option, stating: “Laptops are their own challenge. They are very handy for field work or simply going from location to location or office to home. The USB key with key fob is small enough to fit in the laptop case, but large enough to be spotted if left sitting somewhere when packing up the laptop.”

You have clearly indicated the opposite, stating: “I can leave it in my laptop and insert into my laptop bag and it doesn't catch on anything.” Are you suggesting that it is a safe, viable option to leave the USB key attached to a laptop, then pack the laptop away in its carry case, toss it in your truck and bounce it around driving up and down woods roads as usual? If you will provide that in written warranty form, then I might accept it.

Second, as to comparing the loss or theft of the USB key to that of loss or theft of my laptop, there is no comparison whatsoever. You said, “I hope that you wouldn't phone up Dell and ask for new laptop if someone stole it. I think they wouldn't know quite what to say.” To the contrary. That is exactly what I would do. I would indeed phone up Dell. And yes, they would indeed know exactly what to say. I would tell Dell that my laptop had been stolen. Dell would immediately replace the laptop for me, free of charge. That’s one of the reasons I bought this laptop from Dell. Not only that, but I would be able to immediately replace the contents of the stolen hard drive from backup. I wouldn’t have to ask anyone for permission, and I wouldn’t have to be “examined.” With your system, if my USB key is broken, lost or stolen, I’m out of luck and on my own. No backup allowed. No replacement allowed. As your staff pointed out, “… the license and will not be replaced in these situations.”

If you will develop a way to replace a broken, lost or stolen USB key for loyal customers without hassle and without "examination," and replace it quickly, then I'll consider upgrading and remaining a loyal customer.
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Postby Darcy Detlor » Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:20 pm

Dear Mr. Lemons,

The size and shape of the USB key has been accurately described to you. I can easily insert it into the side of my laptop and it will fit without any issues into my laptop bag. Your laptop and bag are unknown to me. I don't need to attach the key chain to it. Since I have been carrying around the same car keys for 33 years I guess I don't worry about losing things.

We have a 30 day return policy. Try it out and see how it works. You can keep your 2005 installed and just test 2008 to see how difficult it is to use the Key. If you like it, then you can convert your jobs forward. If you don't, send it back. Your choice.
Darcy Detlor,
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MicroSurvey Software Inc.
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