Software License

I needed some software for a class I am taking. Thought I could just download the free version. Nope. The company took that version off the market. Okay. Let's price the commercial version. It costs $1000. WTF? That does not even include documentation or install media. They do have a lite version for $500. Also a fail. That's about how much my whole college course for the semester costs. What's a starving student to do?

My initial instinct was to head to the Windows registry. I had signed up for a free 30 day trial. Maybe I could hack that somehow. It was not obvious how to do that. Then I searched around for some license codes on the net. They were easy to find, and surprisingly, they worked. If that had failed, I would maybe have to resort to running a keygen. I always fear it would also leave some malware on my system though.

I told my instructor about the fail. He said that as an instructor, he might be able to get 1 copy of the software for free. But he was going to keep that for himself. He did share some ideas on how to extend the trial. He thought we could just keep resetting the system clock on our PCs. Our he thought the key might be stored in a browser cookie. That seemed weird since this is not a web app.

There was one piece of good news to go the legit route. My instructor said the company does provide a 30% discount to students. So the lite version costing $500, with a 30% discount, would be $350. That is still way too much money for the piece of software I needed. Sure it was good software. But it did not do that much. As a last ditch legit effort, I could talk my company into buying me a copy of the software. They have big bucks in their budget. And I am learning this stuff for work.