What is product activation?
Product activation is an anti-piracy technology designed to validate and verify a software license.
Why is Mathsoft using activation technology?
Software piracy is a problem worldwide. To continue our efforts to thwart illegal software use and to help prevent further piracy of Mathcad, we have implemented new technology for activating or authenticating licenses. Over time, by using methods to reduce software piracy, Mathsoft can invest more in product development, quality and support, which ensures a better and more reliable product.
Which Mathsoft products require activation?
Currently, only Mathcad 11 Single-User Edition requires product activation. Product activation is not required for Mathcad 11 Enterprise Edition.
How does product activation work?
1. The user is prompted to activate the product at the end of installation and upon launch of Mathcad.
2. The user may continue with the activation procedure or choose to defer activation for a 15-day grace period.
3. The user selects method of activation: automatically via the Internet or manually by contacting Mathsoft through e-mail, fax or telephone.
4. The Mathsoft activation server processes the activation request, validates and verifies the license, and responds with an activation key.
5. The user’s machine processes the Mathcad activation key.
6. The Mathcad software is activated.
How does Mathsoft protect customer privacy?
Mathsoft absolutely respects the privacy of our users and does not ask for any personally identifiable information to activate a product. The activation procedure is performed anonymously, so no personal information is collected during this process unless voluntarily given. Product activation is not product registration. If activation occurs manually, via e-mail, fax or telephone, Mathsoft asks that the customer provide a means to contact the user (e-mail address, fax number or telephone number) to ensure the activation key is given to the licensee.
How many times can one license of Mathcad 11 Single-User Edition be installed?
Mathcad 11 Single-User Edition is considered an individual license. Under the terms of this license agreement, the primary user may install Mathcad on up to two different machines (work PC, home PC or laptop). To install Mathcad 11 on more than two systems, you must purchase and acquire a new license of Mathcad 11 Single-User. (Other instances in which you may need to reactivate your Mathcad license are described below.)
Is activation required should Mathcad need to be reinstalled on the same PC?
In general, no. If the same version of Mathcad is reinstalled on the same PC or laptop, Mathcad 11 will remain activated. Even in cases where Mathcad needs to be reactivated, reinstallation on the same PC will not count as an additional activation against the user’s two machine total.
Will I be required to activate their Mathcad license more than one time?
Most users will only have to activate their Mathcad license once per machine for the life of the product. With very few exceptions, normal hardware or software upgrades to a machine will not require reactivation. In general, an additional activation will be required only if Mathcad is moved to a new PC.
How soon must I activate Mathcad?
Activation must be performed within 15 days from the first time Mathcad is launched. If the license has not yet been activated by day 16, Mathcad will not run until the license is activated. Product activation is simple, and the user may choose to activate Mathcad automatically via the Internet or manually via e-mail, fax or telephone.
What if I need to move the license to another machine? (What if I lose my activation due to hardware failure or disk reformat procedure?)
If you purchase a new computer, need to move your license to a new machine, or need to reactivate Mathcad because of a hardware loss or other technical reason, contact Mathsoft Technical Support in the US and Canada or your local distributor outside of the US and Canada for a new activation key. (Details are above for contacting Mathsoft and our distributors.) There is no limit to the number of times you can move a Mathcad license.
What happens if I need to activate a version of Mathcad that is no longer supported by Mathsoft?
Mathsoft will support the activation of all versions of Mathcad, regardless of the technical support policy for any particular version.
What if I need to activate my Mathcad license but Mathsoft is no longer in business?
Mathsoft has been in business since 1985 and is growing and profitable. In the unlikely event that Mathsoft ceases operations, the Mathcad technology and product line would almost certainly transfer to another company. For large accounts, Mathsoft has established source code escrow accounts; please contact your account manager or distributor (outside the U.S. and Canada) for more information about Mathcad escrow arrangements.
What is a Mathcad product code?
Mathcad product codes now replace serial numbers. A product code is 22 characters in length and is required to complete the Mathcad activation procedure. The assigned product code can also be used for registration purposes.
What is a request code?
A request code is created by combining two components: the product code and a hardware hash value. The hardware hash value is a non-unique representation of the PC on which the software was installed. It has no direct correlation to the PC and cannot be used to identify individual hardware components that are in use.
What is an activation key?
The activation key creates a digital license certificate or file, which is placed on the end-user’s PC upon completion of the activation process. For manual activations, the Mathsoft representative will read the activation key to the user. The user should enter the assigned activation key when prompted on the computer screen.
What information is needed to obtain an activation key from Mathsoft?
If the user chooses to activate automatically via the Internet, the activation process is seamless and transparent. The user does not need to enter any additional information or input the activation key. Mathsoft’s activation server will automatically place the digital activation license key on the user’s machine. If activating manually via e-mail, fax or telephone, the user will need to obtain an activation key from Mathsoft or their local distributor. Before the activation key will be issued, the user must provide the assigned License Number, Product Code and Request Code, which appear on the computer screen during the Activation Wizard process.
What computer hardware data is collected or identified during activation?
Mathcad product activation detects the hardware configuration on which Mathcad is installed. Once this is identified, a hardware hash value is generated using a mathematical algorithm. This value does not contain information that can be used to identify individual components of a user’s computer.
Where is the digital activation license key stored?
The activated license key is stored in a folder named C-dilla on the user's disk drive. This c-dilla file is generated by SafeCast, the product Mathsoft uses to activate Mathcad. SafeCast is a Macrovision product. If this folder or any of its contents are deleted, Mathcad must be reactivated.
Can SafeCast technology be used to invade users' privacy?
No, absolutely not.
- SafeCast does not gather information about the user, nor does it transmit such information to Mathsoft, Macrovision or any other party.
- SafeCast does not track or record user activities such as website visits, CD-ROM use, file downloads, etc., nor does it transmit such information to Mathsoft or any other party.
- SafeCast does not scan or examine the contents of your hard drive or other devices to gather information about you or your files.
Does the use of SafeCast technology harm the user's computer, or limit what it can do?
No, absolutely not.
- SafeCast does not disable, damage, or limit the functions of any hardware or any peripheral device (disk drive, CD-reader, CD-burner, etc.) on your computer.
- SafeCast does not prevent or restrict Internet downloads or access to any web sites.
- Over years of use and millions of user installations, SafeCast has proven to be a highly reliable, stable, and compatible technology, and has not been seen to cause system crashes or other disruptions of service.
Does the use of SafeCast technology have an impact on system resources or performance?
Not a significant one. Most components of SafeCast are built directly into the software product being licensed, and add only slightly to its installed size. Products that use SafeCast also generate license files (to serve as proof that a user has activated the product); these typically occupy 8 kB or less of disk space.
In some implementations, a background process is created, which the licensed software can call upon to read or write information to and from the license files. For Windows NT, 2000 and XP platforms, this process runs as Windows Service; for Windows 95, 98 and Me, the process runs as a virtual device driver. This process typically uses from 0.4 to 1.4 MB of system memory (depending on the operating system), and uses negligible processor cycles (since it is idle almost all the time). If multiple products containing SafeCast technology are installed on the same computer, only one such process (at most) is needed.
Some have characterized SafeCast as "monitoring software". Is that accurate?
No. SafeCast technology does not do anything by itself; rather, it adds to software products the ability to create and verify licenses for authorized users. Even in implementations that use a background process as mentioned above, that process does not "monitor" anything. It merely waits for commands from the software product it's associated with, and occasionally sets a flag or increments a counter in a license file, so that the licensed product itself can confirm that the file has not been tampered with.
What was "C-Dilla"?
C-Dilla was the name of a company that was acquired by Macrovision in 1999. Some Macrovision SafeCast technology is derived from earlier C-Dilla products, and some of the files and folders used by SafeCast-licensed applications today still have "C-Dilla" in their names.
For example, products using some versions of SafeCast store their license files in a folder named "C-Dilla". This folder is typically marked as hidden to make it less likely that license files will be deleted accidentally. The folder contains no active components or executable code.
Note that "C-Dilla" is not the name of any product, service, software application, or technology.
Did the company C-Dilla ever make products that harmed users' computers or invaded their privacy?
No, it did not.