Your security is my inconvenience.

I’m reminded again, this weekend, that many companies engage in security practices that are, at best, inconvenient to their customers, and at worst, a poor attempt at security.

As an example, consider my son’s use of his computer.

Every so often, he’ll damage or break a CD of one of his favourite games.

OK, for most people, this would simply be a learning experience.

But my son’s autistic. A broken favourite CD is cause for an absolute screaming, inconsolable meltdown that will last for hours, and will cause recurrences throughout the week.

So we adapted – we make copies of every CD-ROM, and we work from the backup.

When a disk gets damaged, it’s the copy, so we can make another copy from the original, and there’s no loss.

But there’s always that bugbear of “copy protection”. We first encountered it with a Thomas the Tank Engine game. Seriously, Thomas the Tank Engine needs copy protection?

Today, it was Frogger 2. This game is so old, it’s for Windows 95 and 98.

So, there’s no chance to replace it, and without the ability to copy it ahead of time, this was the original disk that was shattered.

Did I ever mention how much I hate copy protection, and how stupid I think it is?

Pirates in Singapore (or pick some other country – Italy, whatever) simply make a bit-for-bit copy, and the copy protection doesn’t even give them pause.

Real users at home, on the other hand, are unable to make backup copies for their own use.

Once again, I am reminded that I didn’t buy the game – I bought the plastic CD, and the game just happened to be on it. When I break the CD, I have no right to the game.

That just plain sucks.

2 thoughts on “Your security is my inconvenience.”

  1. I’d have to agree,

    With No Ability to Backup what we purchased it’s like we are renting the software other than purchasing it.

    And even if you call who made it to send them the original, they charge you so much for the replacement, that you could buy a new one online cheaper..

    It’s like all software is Buyer Beware…

    Here’s Frogger 2 for $11.00 Plus Ship'S_REVENGE_W95_XP_NEW_CD-prod-19988609-27482559?sourceid=298

  2. Interesting, Alun. My oldest daughter is moderately retarded and has a slew of motor difficulties and I know just what you mean. She can go ballistic at the littlest thing and when her computer is not working I’d better get on it or she’ll hound me to death. I wish games would let you install to the hard drive and not require the CD at all, hard drive space is cheap.

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