Over the years I have reached the point where I back up all of my pictures, and keep a 2nd hard drive in the computer which serves as an exact clone of my C drive. In the past couple of years, the clone has saved my neck several times. I have also had several computers with quality control issues, requiring major hardware changes including motherboard replacements.
I am a person who, despite a shoestring budget for computers and photo stuff, buys legitimate copies of all of my expensive software. I also resent those who steal the software, making for higher prices for me and everyone else.
Several software publishers have resorted to the "Activate" paradigm. To name some, there is Adobe, Vertus (Fluid Mask), and NIK (Viveza 2, and plans to expand the activation system to their new software.)
Every time I have had hard drive failures requiring going to the cloned C drive, or have had mo bo replacements, "Activations" have been used up and I had to contact the publishers. As many of you probably know, this entails entering very long serial code numbers multiple times: in the emails to the publishers, or on line, and then in the Activation window after the publisher benevolently grants me the permission to use another activation.
Not only is this very tedious but the amount of time it takes is huge, and it always occurs after downtime following one or another sort of computer failure.
I know the activation system is set up to curtail pirating of software, but it is never the pirates who are inconvenienced by this. The publishers have the list of years of my software purchases yet I have had the experience of the person I reached on the phone having to put me on hold while he conferred with his supervisor over whether they could "allow me" one more activation.
I believe there must be better ways than the current activation schemes that would make it easier for those of us who are legitimate users with computer problems to get back the use of our programs. The publishers warn us to deactivate the software first, but they don't tell us how to divine the future crash of a computer.
I remember years ago when "copy protection" schemes were used and finally dropped so that people could make legitimate backups of their own software. I hope the "activation" models in use now go the same way as the copy protection of the past.
Again, it is the honest users who end up being put through hoops. those who crack the software and use illegal copies never worry about it.
Sorry for the rant.