Time Trials - Evaluating at your own convenience

Another protection type which I'm sure you'll be all to familiar with is the time-trial or 30 days protection. Sadly, most software authors implement their protection after they've spent considerable time on the full version, the concept of producing a specific trial version that permanently disables itself or prevents re-installation / BIOS cheating continues to elude them. Of course very little time-protected software is actually worth using past its evaluation period anyhow.

Sourcing time-trialled software is usually a pretty simple task. Magazine cover CD's bought at "kilo" prices are usually jam packed with suitable targets (although less so today than a few years back). Just flicking through one of my magazines (PC Direct November 1999), I've got some rather enticing Omniquad applications, PictureWorks HotShots (discontinued) & WinDelete 5 all for around £1.20 ($1.75 if you are American), these are good places to start your trials - and you'll probably be able to enjoy some worthwhile software in the process.

Project Closed - February 2000

Common SoftICE BPX's

CompareFileTime, GetLocalTime, GetSystemTime, GetTimeZoneInformation, msvcrt.diffTime(), msvcrt.Time().

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Target Name Description Date
123 ZIP! v2.0 & DropConvert v2.2 Cracking limited time runs with W32Dasm and your HEX editor. June 1998
Borland C++ Builder v4.0  InstallShield and time-trial removing courtesy of +Tsehp. 17/01/00
CuteFTP v2.6 & HEdit v2.1.14 Elementary time-trial reversing by Sixx. 14/11/98 
Extensis PhotoFrame v1.0 Following a serial number scheme to beat the 30 days. 30/12/98
FileNotes v3.2 Elegantly patching a 45 day trial and nag strings. 19/08/98
Fortres 101 v4.0 InstallShield PFTW password cracking and time-trial function exports.  11/01/99
HexDecOctBin Conv. v1.0 Kro_baR's first tutorial, nag and time-trial removing. 07/02/00
HVS ColorGIF v2.008 Lots of flags in this time trial and crippled plug-in.  29/12/98
HyperChem v5.02 A fairly tough time-trial/run-time & license protection. 19/07/98 
Paint Shop Pro v5.0 "Its in the registry" by Santa Clawz. 10/02/99
Personal Inventory 98 Time-trial and nag screen/string removing with Borland Resource Workshop. 05/12/98 
Premia Codewright v5.1b Beating a time-trial and changing the contents of the About Box. 29/07/98
Revelation ViP Designer v2.5 Flag setting and 1Eh in another 30-day trial. 10/10/98
Ulead PhotoImpact v4.2 Simple time-trial and nag busting by Mr WhiTe.  30/07/99 
Virtus OpenSpace 3D Author Profiling a time-trial scheme before reversing it.  20/05/99

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