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5361 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Aug 26, 2011 1:42 AM by VladimirN. RSS
Ninetrees Silver 645 posts since
May 12, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 21, 2010 6:56 AM

M15: Licensing problems

I have had quite a journey wrt getting a machine on which to run M15. After many months of trying other computers, I have installed it on a desktop to which I have infrequent access, and it has actually run for two days in a row!

 

In my discussions with PTC, there has been frequent mention of my computer "MAC hardware address." AFAIK, there is not one, and thereby hangs the tale. I think that this is the end of my relationship w Mathcad, because I have spent many hours loading M15 (which removes M14), removing M15, and installing M14. I am pretty fed up with the attitude of companies such as PTC toward licensing.

 

During the last year, I went through month's of the same sort of licensing problems with another product, but only because I was being paid to do so. The folks paying me rolled their eyes every time they saw me coming, but they really wanted to run the other product, so they put up with the hassle. We eventually wound up with a "work around" after several months of working with their technical support. I have another licensed product that I have upgraded for years, and it, too, fails to license properly. The only way I can get it to run is to configure my firewall to not let the license program run, and then not be connected to the network when I launch the program. I won't be upgrading that program, either; I'll find an alternative.

 

I am unwilling to invest that much time in getting M15 to run. I just upgraded Maple with no problems. If someone can sell me a $4000 piece of software (I have several) and rely on me to respect the license, then so can PTC, Maple, MATLAB, etc. I should be able to install it on a dozen computers, as long as I respect the license. The current situation is very much like PTC saying "We figure that you are a criminal, so we will treat you that way from the beginning." At a secure facility at which I worked, the security folks decided one day that we all needed "assume the position," pat-down searches on the way in. One of my co-workers went through the pat-down search, immediately turned around and left the facility, went to the VP's office and quit. No discussion. Figured he didn't want to work at place where folks were treated as criminals.That policy lasted as long as it took the VP to call security to and tell them to stop before more folks quit. (As a result, I missed getting one by "that much.") Well, increasingly, with software licenses, that is the way I feel.

 

When I buy a book, the publisher doesn't tell me that if I begin reading it in the front room, then I can't continue to read it in the office, because that is where it is "licensed" to be read. Yet, this is precisely what is happening to programs such as Mathcad. It seems to me that once I buy the software I should be able to run it wherever I wish, with no hassles. With some products, one can "borrow" a license, but even that means that one must have access to the "licensed" machine. No access = no joy. If you are in someone else's office and want to show them something, yer outta luck. I recently showed a tensor calculation and plot to an other researcher by hauling my laptop w M14 on it to his office. He was interested in having it for himself - the only way I could show him what I had done was to haul my computer to his office. Funny isn't it; while we become an increasingly mobile society, companies such as PTC are locking us to a SPECIFIC desk.

 

So, where I have been an advocate for Mathcad for years, I have stopped advocating. My reputation means too much to me to recommend a product that has so much overhead. This is unfortunate, because Mathcad holds a unique niche in the technical software market. I know that this is nothing new to the folks at PTC, and that there are many frustrated folks around, so I am just spitting in the wind. But I think that a public voice needs to be sounded when things go wrong, as they have here. Fortunately for many of us, there are alternatives.I've always believed that companies have a right to chart their own course. I'm irritated because I have a lot of time invested in Mathcad over the past 25 years, and I now must look to learning a new product. By voicing my opinions, I am giving PTC an opportunity to consider them, but I agree that PTC - and other software companies - must decide for themselves how to best spend their time, just as I must.

 

~R~

  • hilbert Copper 54 posts since
    May 23, 2001
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 21, 2010 9:21 AM (in response to Ninetrees)
    Re: M15: Licensing problems

    I tried to install MC14 last summer and then MC15 last month by myself. However, both times I ran into trouble.

    In each instance, I then asked for help from PTC and both times they provided a technician on the phone who stepped

    me through the installation process.

     

    I emerged in both instances with MathCad operational.

     

    I very much appreciate their assistance.

     

    Patrick

  • MikeArmstrong Diamond 3,707 posts since
    Dec 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 21, 2010 12:00 PM (in response to Ninetrees)
    Re: M15: Licensing problems
    I'm irritated because I have a lot of time invested in Mathcad over the past 25 years, and I now must look to learning a new product. By voicing my opinions, I am giving PTC an opportunity to consider them, but I agree that PTC - and other software companies - must decide for themselves how to best spend their time, just as I must.

    That is such a shame with the experience you have.

     

    I understand a lot of users have had problems with licensing and installations, but in PTC's defensive they have created a direct contact and it seems more users are getting solutions to their problems.

     

    Below is a direct contact which I'm sure you have explored.

     

    mathcadlicensing@ptc.com.

     

    Mathcad and this forum needs experienced users such as yourself.

     

    Mike

      • MikeArmstrong Diamond 3,707 posts since
        Dec 3, 2008
        Currently Being Moderated
        Nov 21, 2010 12:06 PM (in response to Ninetrees)
        Re: M15: Licensing problems

        Please don't think I was interfering as your experience far outweighs mine and you have obviously had many more problems than I have personally experienced.

        As an example, I have a piece of software that cost me several $K USD, and I can install if //anywhere//. If I am on the road (I carry a 1TB drive with my life on it ;-) ), and I need that software, I can install it, license it, use it, and remove it - all without ever contacting the vendor (a vary large company with international presence). I can't even install M15 on my laptop after a few months of working with PTC. Call me grumpy is you wish - I'm too grumpy to care ;-)

        PTC should offer this type of license as a lot of users have to travel and it does become a problem when getting sent to site or away from your normal place of work.

        Lotus came out with their "licensing" scheme, and how many of us decided on the spot that we would never own a copy of Lotus. (I never did.)

        God, you are showing your age

         

        Cheers

         

        Mike

  • A.Non Diamond 9,889 posts since
    May 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 22, 2010 6:15 AM (in response to Ninetrees)
    Re: M15: Licensing problems
    In my discussions with PTC, there has been frequent mention of my computer "MAC hardware address." AFAIK, there is not one, and thereby hangs the tale.

    All computers have a MAC address.

     

    Open the Command Prompt (i.e. the good old DOS) window. Type ipconfig/all. Your MAC address is listed as the physical address, and will be of the form XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX, where XX are hex numbers.

    • A.Non Diamond 9,889 posts since
      May 11, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      Nov 22, 2010 6:20 AM (in response to A.Non)
      Re: M15: Licensing problems

      Actually, I can think of one place where you might be having problems. Do you have two network adapters (for example wireless and cabled), and are you are switching back and forth between them? Each adapter will have it's own MAC address, so if the license is locked to one of them and you switch to the other that could be a big problem. I seem to recall that someone posted about this some time ago, and I don't know if they ever got a solution.

      • A.Non Diamond 9,889 posts since
        May 11, 2010
        Currently Being Moderated
        Nov 22, 2010 6:35 AM (in response to Ninetrees)
        Re: M15: Licensing problems

        The only kind of MAC address that exists is one associated with a network adapter. If you have no network adapter in the computer then you will indeed have no MAC address. If you have more than one network adapter then you will have more then one MAC address, but they should only show up if the network adapter is enabled. If you disable all your network adapters you will have no MAC address.

      • A.Non Diamond 9,889 posts since
        May 11, 2010
        Currently Being Moderated
        Nov 22, 2010 7:28 AM (in response to Ninetrees)
        Re: M15: Licensing problems

        I just checked the e-mail I got from PTC with my license file. It says:

         

        "As per your request, please see attached the Mathcad license file for CPU ID: XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX ( SON: 1234567 )"

         

        Which mainly demonstrates that the PTC licensing group needs some basic training in computer science, because XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX is not my CPU ID, it's the MAC address of the wireless network adapter.

         

        I looked up CPU IDs, and It turns out that the CPU ID is not even supported by all processosrs, and even when it is supported it may not return a unique serial number.

         

        So the answer is that you must have an enabled network adapter, and you can't switch between network adapters. I believe some wireless network adapters in notebooks also automatically shut down if they are not connected, to save battery power. Fortunately, mine does not do that because if it did then I would not be able to run Mathcad when traveling.

    • A.Non Diamond 9,889 posts since
      May 11, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      Nov 22, 2010 7:02 AM (in response to A.Non)
      Re: M15: Licensing problems
      All computers have a MAC address.

      In light of the later comments, I guess that should read "Most computers have one or more MAC addresses some or all of the time".

       

      And in light of that, locking the license to a MAC address is not a very smart thing to do!

    • Bronze 85 posts since
      Nov 7, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      Nov 22, 2010 1:43 PM (in response to A.Non)
      Re: M15: Licensing problems

      All computers have a MAC address.

       

      Wouldn't bet on it. It's probably hard to be able to buy a new desktop or notebook nowadays without an onboard NIC (network interface card), but some older models sure came without. And then in some laptops with NIC it can be disabled in the BIOS  setup. Not sure if it will even show a MAC then.

       

      OK, I read that thread top down and answered before reaching the bottom - I see that topic is already covered sufficiently.

       

      Another point: I always thought, that the license which is tied to a MAC works, whenever a NIC with that MAC is found on your system. That way you could use an mobile USB-modem (UMTS; HDSPA or the like) as a hardware dongle.

      On the other hand I think I remeber having read in a posting here that the MAC has to be that of the primary (??) NIC. Anybody knows something specific? Maybe they changed that behaviour from MC14 to MC15??

       

      Rag

      • Guest2 Copper 18 posts since
        Jun 9, 2010
        Currently Being Moderated
        Nov 25, 2010 4:06 AM (in response to rag)
        Re: M15: Licensing problems
        Another point: I always thought, that the license which is tied to a MAC works, whenever a NIC with that MAC is found on your system. That way you could use an mobile USB-modem (UMTS; HDSPA or the like) as a hardware dongle.

        On the other hand I think I remeber having read in a posting here that the MAC has to be that of the primary (??) NIC. Anybody knows something specific? Maybe they changed that behaviour from MC14 to MC15??

         

        Sounds interesting - any further informations available??

         

        G

  • VladimirN. Platinum 2,210 posts since
    Sep 26, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2011 1:42 AM (in response to Ninetrees)
    Re: M15: Licensing problems

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