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Arcibald Wearlot

Timed demo expiring

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Say that I want my game demo to expire after 30 days from the first run; how do I do this? Maybe storing the date in the windows register or in a hidden file in a system dyrectory? But this way the user will still be able to play it by changing the system date (actually i know an old app that had this problem..) thanks!

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You could write the time of the last use of the program to a hidden place, then check next time it is run to see if the current time isn't less than the stored time. If it is, you know the user has changed the system clock, and you could expire the demo.

Of course if the user makes sure s/he never sets the time before the previous use finished, s/he could use it for much longer than 30 days, but this would be tricky.

Of course this protection method is weak, succeptible to reinstalling the OS, by using registry monitors, monitoring file accesses etc. If the product is popular enough it will be easy to subvert, and you will probably see hacked versions.

It would be possible to talk to some network-based time protocol, but this has privacy issues and requires the user to be able to connect to the internet, and the more you do things like this the more you piss off the end user, so I don't reccomend.

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