Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I have a dongle for the software that I use to operate my business. A dongle, or keylock, which means that if said dongle is not attached to my computer my software will not function. It is a security item, so that the software can not be shared. I get it. The software was expensive in my book - $5,000. There are definately folks out there that would try to copy, share or sell software with such a price tag. The keylock is justifiable.

The keylock is also an annoyance. The problem is that I purchased a new laptop to replace the relic (5 years old) that I've been using. My hard drive died and it made more sense to just upgrade. I've got a new, sleek machine that does not have a parallel port - a parallel port is needed to attach my dongle. This renders my software useless.

My first run of business was to contact the software manufacturer to see if I could get a new dongle that is USB compatible. YES, they say.....however, the cost is $500. WTF? If I am willing to surrender my parallel dongle, in replacement for a USB key I should not be ripped a new asshole with a $500 fee. Maybe I'm expecting too much?? I realize that the new dongle has materials and labor expenses, but I really don't feel that it should come with a $500 price tag! Seriously. I'm happy to pay for all shipping and a modest upgrade fee, but I just really feel like this company is being a total rip off.

I tried a work-around option by purchasing a USB to Parallel converter cable. Unfortunately, this option did not work. I even got my little Hunky nerd to work on it, but it just didn't work. So, my best "legal" option is to purchase a new dongle. Whooop de doo.

My second option is to do a full-on upgrade of the software. The thing is, the "upgrade" is not an upgrade, it is a switch to a completely new software (which uses USB keylock). Granted what they suggest I switch to is a really awesome software, but I'm doing fine with what I have and I really don't have the luxury of time to learn a completely new process. Nor, do I have another $6,000 budgeted for a complete software overhaul. I'm really kind of stuck.

So, I pour money into a new PC, more money into a new dongle and next year I'll pour my last remaining dollars into new software. At least maybe I'll be able to sell the $500 dongle to someone who needs it - like I need it now.

***why didn't I purchase a new PC with a parallel if I knew I needed one? well, to be honest, I got a helluva deal on this machine and to get a parallel port I would have to have a special ordered PC. Parallel is so dated that new machines don't have them any longer. Of course, I never thought it would be this big of a deal, either. So, YES, I brought this on myself so I should just SHUT UP***