One thought on “Practical Dongle Use

  1. Yeah, what bad memories I have of these devices! Even now that 20 years have passed, I still can’t look back and laugh about these…Back in 1989 we were just beginning to market our CAD viewing software. Not having many options in making DOS software "pirate proof", we followed the lead of other CAD vendors by using "dongles" (a.k.a. "Guard Boxes", "Lock Boxes", etc).These puppies were $200 each from the manufacturer! It’s no wonder why software retail prices were higher back then — developers had to finance the purchase of these devices to protect their software!By 1995 we were fed-up with the extra cost, tech support and dongle failures. Not to mention that customers hated them. With the arrival of Windows 95 we were finally able to develop our own reliable software-based protection.We have a "junk drawer" in our office that contains old peripheral devices. I just now did a quick inventory, and we still have 10 new Rainbow Sentinels, still in shrink wrap from 15 years ago! That’s a $2000 write-off right there! They were so expensive I just can’t bring myself to throw them in the trash (yet). I guess I’m left with the pride in knowing that I once financed someone’s salary at Rainbow Technologies…

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