I started a simple 3-D printing project today, and was stopped dead in my tracks. One of the few proprietary software products I’m still using is my slicer (a program that takes a 3-D design file and translates it into commands for a 3-D printer). The slicer was expensive, but it had some features that I thought would save me some time.

Any time I might have saved by using Simplify3D over the years was burned up today, because of code that was deliberately added by the publisher in order to break the product. They assume that their users are criminals, and treat them as such by designing software that won’t work until it’s “authenticated.” But then they screwed up the authentication mechanism so that the tool I relied on would not work. It’s a Saturday, so tech support isn’t available.

The publisher’s greed means that they’ll go out of their way to injure and inconvenience their legitimate users in order to (maybe) prevent a little piracy.

I can afford license fees. I can’t afford to have my time wasted by greedy developers. That is why I use free, open-source software whenever I can.

—2p

← previous