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Looking for a Hacker
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Looking for a Hacker
Dragonslair
Looking for someone with programming experience to modify a Windows program and either rewrite a part of it or write a patch for it.

It's for authorizing and editing plugins on a the Plugiator synthesizer, the synthesizer has 8 plugins installed, only 3 are activated when you buy it and you could pay another $99 to have the others activated.
I have one with all 8 plugins activated and I have 3 more with only the 3 factory ones activated, the problem is, the company no longer exists, so you cannot get them activated anymore.
You need an activation code for each plugin, but the codes are dependent on the serial number of the synth, when you start the program, it reads the serial number of your synth, so I can't just use the codes I have,
so I would like to see if I could get my serial number "hard coded" into the program or a patch to fool it into thinking it's seeing my serial number, so I can activate the plugins in the other synths, or to bypass the activation codes altogether..

I am willing to pay for your time, or if you get a working patch, I'll give you one of the Plugiators.
pixelforest
if you're willing to pay someone for their time to crack paid software, why not just pay for the software?
whoop_john
pixelforest wrote:
if you're willing to pay someone for their time to crack paid software, why not just pay for the software?


If you can tell the poster where he or she might be able to pay for the software, then I am sure he or she would be happy to do so, but the poster says "the problem is, the company no longer exists, so you cannot get them activated anymore."
Dragonslair
pixelforest wrote:
if you're willing to pay someone for their time to crack paid software, why not just pay for the software?


I did pay for one, but when I got the other 3, I went to upgrade them but Rahul had taken the website down, and his email was no longer active, so I have no way of getting a hold of him.
If anyone knows how to get a hold of him, by all means, let me know and I'll gladly pay him for the upgrades.
The domain name is for sale on SEDO for $499, if came with the website and the program he uses to generate the authorization codes, I would buy the whole damn thing, but I cannot get any information on it, or even an email or phone number for someone I could talk to.
mskala
This is why open source really matters.
folpon
Big work project right now but if nobody bites maybe pm me next month and I'll see what I can do for you.
flts
Have you tried mailing InDSP about the matter? http://indsp.com/index.html ... that's the company who was behind Plugiator. (Not sure if Rahul is still part of it or not, but he might be)

Being somewhat a pessimist, I suppose they'd just say "sorry no, that's ancient history" if they replied at all, but always worth trying...
Dragonslair
I tried contacting InDSP about a year ago, and never got a response, I also tried contacting Sonic Core, with the same result.

It would be nice if companies like this would put these programs out as open source when they abandon them, or release a patch to allow someone to still use them, but of course you have to remember the corporate mentality of "if we are not making money off it, then we don't give a shit"

But to put this all in perspective, you have to remember that this hardware/software combination is, after all, 20 years old!
Do you know of any computer/electronics/music companies that still support equipment/software that they did 20 years ago?, so you can't really blame them, it's just to bad that we have to pay the price for "progress".
indigoid
In your posts above it isn't at all clear to me that you've actually paid for these additional things that you want activated, ie. you paid and never got the product you paid for.

If you haven't paid... how is this different to any other software piracy? IMO you should not get a free ride just because the vendor isn't around anymore.
Jaytee
indigoid wrote:
how is this different to any other software piracy?


Who’s getting hurt? I won’t condone piracy but it seems to me that it’s illegal because there’s some harm being done, not just because there’s some ethical barrier that shouldn’t be crossed on principle alone.
Neutron7
did you check on the scope users forum? if anyone knows, it is probably someone there. http://forums.scopeusers.com
flts
Dragonslair wrote:
I tried contacting InDSP about a year ago, and never got a response, I also tried contacting Sonic Core, with the same result.


Yeah, I half guessed that at the point when one is asking for something like this, it's the last resort... Just had to make sure. Hope you'll find a solution!

Dragonslair wrote:
It would be nice if companies like this would put these programs out as open source when they abandon them, or release a patch to allow someone to still use them


I think it's definitely the right thing to do to give customers unlock of the features when the company ceases business, or decide they aren't going to continue supporting the product at all anymore. Of course there's no legal obligation for the company to do so, but I'd really like to see the "we promise that if we are ever out of business, you won't end up with half crippled unit you can't upgrade anymore, we'll give out access all keys to everyone if nothing else" kind of guarantee become a norm.

Open sourcing the software / firmware, would mean that the company would be giving away its "intellectual property" (side note: I hate that term, what does it even mean?) that it might want to use in any future products / custom consulting jobs - or just keep hidden from competitors in case the company doesn't stop trading altogether. That's rather more generous than what most companies are willing to do. Although some companies do just that, even in cases where the software isn't completely obsolete, and it's something I respect a lot.

I suppose the same IP is / has been used in other SonicCore derived products as well, so it might be that even if some individual in the company thought it would be a good idea to open source parts of the code, there are ownership issues or someone is actually planning to use the same algorithms somewhere else. Of course this is just pure speculation.

indigoid wrote:
If you haven't paid... how is this different to any other software piracy? IMO you should not get a free ride just because the vendor isn't around anymore.


In the name of law it's no different. Practically and morally speaking, it's much more up to debate / grey area than other kinds of software piracy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonware

My personal view is that if a company is not operating and/or selling the product anymore, not offering any kind of support, not actively enforcing copyright etc. (and in this case the customer is not even able to contact the company or any of the related people), then making or unlocking a copy for personal use will not hurt anyone involved and it's extremely unlikely that one is going to get in legal trouble either.

Whether the forum rules allow this kind of discussion or requests is another matter, as strictly speaking it's still illegal to crack / unlock something you can't buy a license for as the copyright hasn't expired and it hasn't been released to public domain. I understand the moderators might want to limit this discussion in that sense.

My personal opinion is just that it isn't such a big deal - it's perfectly ok someone gets a "free ride" if you can't find anyone willing to take money for the said ride even with a persistent search as OP seems to have done.
flts
Dragonslair wrote:
But to put this all in perspective, you have to remember that this hardware/software combination is, after all, 20 years old!

Do you know of any computer/electronics/music companies that still support equipment/software that they did 20 years ago?, so you can't really blame them, it's just to bad that we have to pay the price for "progress".


Btw. As far as I know, Use Audio Plugiator was released somewhere around 2008-2009. So that makes it 9 to 10 years old, not 20... which is still a reasonable timeframe for supporting a product.

Of course it was a consumer priced product, that never sold that well, and the company is / was a mess - Creamware did really cool products that always had major issues, declared themselves bankrupt, split to new Creamware in Germany and InDSP in India, then Creamware went bankrupt again and in the end SonicCore (rising from the ashes of Creamware) and InDSP competed for the ownership of the IP. Or at least that's how I understand it went.

So I'm not very surprised about the support mess - apparently InDSP never did that well, and SonicCore is/was basically a competitor of InDSP selling the same technology in different boxes so they don't really want to have anything to do with InDSP.
indigoid
Actually that brings up another point

How useful is open source here, being realistic?

Did the compiler toolchain for the Creamware/Sonic Core platform ever become freely available? ie. assuming you did have the source code and all other related bits like images, license master keys, etc, could you actually turn that into a thing you could actually run on your DSP platform?

If not, it's only of academic interest at best

I'm all for open source, having been a Linux user for more than 25 years, and as the years go by I am finding it increasingly strange that people can be so passionate about advocating for open source licenses and at the same time feeling completely OK with violating non-open-source licenses if it is convenient or desirable to them.
flts
indigoid wrote:
How useful is open source here, being realistic?

Did the compiler toolchain for the Creamware/Sonic Core platform ever become freely available? ie. assuming you did have the source code and all other related bits like images, license master keys, etc, could you actually turn that into a thing you could actually run on your DSP platform?

If not, it's only of academic interest at best


I suppose it might involve something that targets SHARC DSPs, but I have no inside knowledge of how much internal tooling they have or if they use expensive commercial tools as a part of the toolchain. And aside the DSPs I suppose they have to have some sort of generic microcontroller there as well. Plus all the resources you mention of course. So good question.

However, in this particular case, I suppose the specific requirement would be to know what the algorithm is for generating keys that allow one to unlock DSP blocks / features in the hardware unit, rather than to modify the firmware itself. Because the company that sold those keys does not exist (or rather, it possibly exists but doesn't even reply to e-mails concerning the product), nor does one of its employees provide unofficial support anymore (we do not know if he gave out keys for free or charged money for them after Use Audio ceased to be), the only possible way to get the hardware to its full capabilities is either to reverse-engineer the algorithm that generates the keys based on hardware ID or to have source to look at. (Edit: which is illegal in most countries, I have to note)

In general (not related to OP's request at all), eg. looking at Mutable modules - everything is open source, including the toolchain, but it seems basically all it's worth is that people make cheap clones of the modules and fill the threads with endless questions because by blindly following instructions they can't get the firmware flashed, and they don't really have the time or patience to learn what they are doing and why they are doing it - neither the toolchain nor the code. Thus the interest is definitely more than academic, but also unfortunately not academic (in the best sense of the word) at all... The original idea of people having access to the innards of what they have bought so they can modify or repair it, or co-operatively developing the firmware further and learning about embedded development and signal processing, seems to be completely secondary compared to being able to get things for cheap and seeing the step of the module having to have some kind of source code and toolchain to upload it to the MCU as a nuisance in the way of getting a completed unit.

Quote:
I'm all for open source, having been a Linux user for more than 25 years, and as the years go by I am finding it increasingly strange that people can be so passionate about advocating for open source licenses and at the same time feeling completely OK with violating non-open-source licenses if it is convenient or desirable to them.


I don't know if there is anything strange with it, rather, it's pretty logical when you think about it. In these cases, either people want things for free, or people want to make sure there's nothing proprietary in whatever software or digital hardware they own so they can make sure it will continue functioning and can be upgraded in the future as well.

In both cases, what you describe is how one would proceed if they didn't think violating a proprietary license was a big issue.

To clarify: I don't think it's fair or nice attitude in all/most cases, but I don't think it's very strange either per se. In this specific case I'd consider it acceptable to try to seek something that simply isn't available in any way, as there is apparently nobody that is willing to take money for an upgrade of an old digital synth to its full functionality (and one is free to disagree with this with a good reason). But in most other kinds of cases it just seems to amount to "well, I want this for free in any case".
Dragonslair
Never mind, I'll just relegate them to the pile of "electronics that are not worth the shit they are made of" and they will eventually find their way to the recycling pile.

Sorry for stirring up the whole "piracy" crap again.
Entrainer
Dragonslair wrote:
Never mind, I'll just relegate them to the pile of "electronics that are not worth the shit they are made of" and they will eventually find their way to the recycling pile.


I have some Pulsar and UAD-1 cards already in that pile.
indigoid
Entrainer wrote:
Dragonslair wrote:
Never mind, I'll just relegate them to the pile of "electronics that are not worth the shit they are made of" and they will eventually find their way to the recycling pile.


I have some Pulsar and UAD-1 cards already in that pile.


Same, a pair of Pulsar I, and a goodly slice of the plugins. I liked them a bunch but never figured out a good control surface solution. Hence moving (many years later!) to a real modular.
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