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Why software protection broke my user experience

I use a professional VPN software on my Powerbook called VPN Tracker from equinux. I bought this software because I wanted a streamlined and pushbutton system for dealing with the ISAKMP VPN at work. Normally this software works quite well but because of the aging hardware in my Powerbook I’m suddenly without any access to my internal network.

Several bits of my laptop are broken and I had to bring my powerbook to the repair center. Before I turned in my laptop I created a mirror of the drive using rsync. OS X lets a user boot from a firewire drive and so with a “loaner” powerbook from work I have a complete, albeit slow, clone of my original laptop. thunderbird, firefox, etc all work the same and are configured exactly as they were. VPN Tracker unfortunately is not. the configuration is still intact however the software doesn’t think it is licensed anymore. I imagine that this is due to some check made on my CPU, drive volume, etc to verify that I’m not installing this on multiple computers or something similar. More interestingly I can’t get to my email server anymore because our work place is very paranoid and requires vpn authentication for access.

I understand the need for software protection in this marketplace but at this time I can say that it has utterly failed me as an end user. Despite supporting the company with a purchase all I can do now is sit and wait for an answer to my email. I only hope they respond to the alternate address I provided them.

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