DesignaKnit Copy Protection
This article applies to DesignaKnit 6 and DesignaKnit 7. For Earlier versions of DesignaKnit there can be small differences, the protection works more or less the same.
DesignaKnit has two copy protection methods: a hardware method using a dongle and a software method using so called lives. When you purchase DesignaKnit you need to state the method you prefer. A dongle cannot be used by users of Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows Xp.
When you install DesignaKnit, the dongle has to be installed (mounted on one of the LPT ports). The DesignaKnit installation process will search for the dongle on all lpt-ports and notify you when the dongle is recognised or not. If the dongle isn't recognised, you cannot use DesignaKnit.
There are three types of dongles around: plastic dongles with hole, plastic dongles without hole and metal dongles.
The only problem that can happen with a dongle is that it can loose its data or that its data gets corrupted. When this happens, DesignaKnit will no longer recognise the dongle and as a consequence, DesignaKnit will not start up. The contents of a dongle can in the majority of the cases be rescued via a phone call to the national help-line.
One might wonder why we see these days more problems with dongles than in the early days of DesignaKnit. The answer is rather simple. Users buy newer and more advanced equipment that is hooked up to the same LPT port as the DesignaKnit dongle. The interesting feature of this newer equipment is that it is no longer unidirectional, but bidirectionanl. This equipment, such as printers, reports its status via the parallel connection to the pc. When the dongles were designed, there was no bi-directional traffic on the parallel connection.
The low cost answer, if you get into trouble, is to buy a switch box. Using a switch box you can hook up the dongle to one port while other equipment can be hooked up to the remaining port(s).
When you install DesignaKnit, the last step in the installation process asks you to insert the Setup diskette in the floppy drive and a life (if present) will be transferred from the Setup diskette to your hard drive. It is obvious, that if your hard drive crashes, you will loose the installed life. When you want to reformat your hard drive or could endanger your installed life otherwise, you must de-install DesignaKnit to store the life on the Setup diskette.
In the case you loose both lives, you can still run DesignaKnit by having the Setup diskette inserted in the floppy drive when you start DesignaKnit. When this happens, you should contact your national help-line to get a life restored.
The process of transferring a life from or to the Setup diskette to the hard drive takes a while and the user perceives this as if the computer "hangs". The time taken to do this can vary from computer to computer. The time is primarily dependent on the type of floppy drive your computer has and it's supporting BIOS. A second important dependency is the operating system you're running.
Under Windows 2000 using a 1.44 floppy drive, the transfer of a life took approx. 3 minutes; a transfer while running Windows ME on the same machine took approx. 15 seconds. On a Windows 98 machine with a LS120 the transfer to the hard drive took approx. 8 minutes and 30 seconds, the de-installation took approx. 5 minutes. A Windows 98SE machine with 1.44 floppy took approx. 20 seconds to install, and 17 seconds to de-install.
DO NOT abort the transfer of a life from or to the diskette; you are almost guaranteed to loose a life.
Last Modification: Jan 31, 2003
(c) Copyright 2000-2003, Jos Timmermans