.: Frequently Asked Questions :.


Why isn't this software free?

To paraphrase the author Tom Clancy, the reason comes down to needs and time. People have needs. Food and shelter are the most basic needs. So other people grow the food and build the houses that people need. Both require time to do so, and since time is the most precious commodity known to man, you have to compensate those people for it. Same with software. It takes time to acquire the skills to write good software. It takes time to design a program. It takes time to code it up. It takes time to debug it. It takes time to write an explanation so that you can use the software for your purposes. So you have to compensate the software author for all the time he has put into providing you with the software. You do this in conjunction with all the other people who buy user licenses, in effect splitting the compensation due to the software author among the buyers of his or her software. But in many cases, especially in the case of independent software developers and publishers, there are not a large number of buyers for any one program, and the money they receive by selling user licenses for it (by means of which they can purchase food, shelter and health care) can never properly compensate them for the time they put into it.

What am I buying?

Q: When I pay my money, what actually am I purchasing?

A: Rather than purchasing a copy of the software (what is this anyway? bits'n'bytes? electrons?) you purchase a user-license, which is our agreement that it's OK for you to use our software for its intended purpose. The details of our single-user licenses are given here.

Q: I purchased a single-user license for the software. Can I let my mother use it also?

A: Only if you don't tell us (since user licenses are not transferable).

Q: Does the user license ever expire?

A: No, unless you have purchased a user license for a specific period of 3 months or 1 year (this is a possibility with about half of our programs). If the license is for a specific period (which begins from the date of purchase of the license) then at the end of that period the software will revert to a trial or demo version, and you will have to purchase a new license in order to continue using the (fully-functional) software.

Security when purchasing

Q: If I pay via credit card, do you receive my credit card details?

A: No. You can pay via credit card using either Share-it or PayPal (you don't need a PayPal account for this). Both of them just tell us you have made a purchase and they don't tell us anything about your credit card.

Q: How safe is it to order via credit card?

A: Your credit card details are encrypted during transmission to either of our payment processors.

Number of installations permitted

Q: Do I have to purchase more than one user license if I want to use the software on more than one PC?

A: If you are a natural person (a head, two arms, etc.) then No. The single-user license terms allow you to install the software on a desktop, a laptop, etc., for your personal use. If you replace your old PC with a new one then your license is not affected. We keep track of the number of activation keys issued on any single-user and are reasonable about this.

If the software will be used on more than one PC by more than one person at one time (e.g., within a corporate work environment) either (i) a number of single-user licenses should be purchased equal to the maximum number of persons who will be using the software at any one time or (ii) a multi-user license should be purchased. Multi-user licenses are currently available only for some programs (for an example see here); others upon request.

Latest version numbers

Q: How do I get the latest trial version?

A: The main page for each item of Windows software has a link toward the bottom, "Download [program title] ...". Clicking on this takes you to a page which allows you to download the installation program. The following links take you directly to that page:

Backup Modified Files 15.02
Chinese Calendrics 14.52
Cryptosystem ME6 12.12
Data Destroyer 15.12
Duplicate Text Finder 2.22
Easy Date Converter 11.32
Email Encryption End-to-End 13.02
  Equinoxes, Solstices and Cross-Quarter Days 5.22
Hermetic Word Frequency Counter 16.52
Hermetic Word Frequency Counter Advanced 22.22
Hermetic MultiFile Search 9.12
Julian-Gregorian-Dee Date Calculator 6.42
Lunar Calendars and Eclipse Finder 14.42
Stego PNG 11.22

Activating the software

Q: What's this "activation key" you mention?

A: The trial versions of our software can be freely downloaded and installed. They are limited in some way, either functionally or by a trial period. This allows you to evaluate the software to decide whether to purchase a user license. If you purchase a user license then you can obtain an activation key, a sequence of characters, with which to activate the software, that is, to remove the limitations of the trial version. An activation key works only for a particular PC, since it depends on the "machine signature" of the PC.

Q: Does the machine signature contain any information?

A: No, it is a mostly random sequence of characters which is different for each PC, thus allowing the generation of an activation key that works only with a particular PC.

Q: How do I obtain an activation key?

A: When the trial version is run an 'Activate this software' window appears. If you click on the first button then a page appears in your web browser which takes you to an order page. When you pay (via PayPal or Share-it) your 'machine signature' is automatically transmitted and this results in the calculation of your activation key, which is sent to you via email.

Q: If I don't purchase a user license in this way, what then?

A: If you order via our PayPal or Share-it order forms without starting from the software, then after your purchase you will receive a message which tells you how to download the software and get an activation key, either (a) by running the software and, when the 'Activate this software' window appears, clicking on the second button (this brings up a page in your web browser where you enter your name and the email address you used at the time of purchase) or (b) using our request-a-key page at www.hermetic.ch/42/get_ak.php.

Q: So you don't actually send activation keys yourself?

A: That's correct (except for offline activation, see below). Activation keys are dispensed automatically either at the time or your purchase or when you request a key via the request-a-key web page.

Q: I use a spam-blocker which requires a sender to click on a link in an email message before their message can be delivered? Is this compatible with your key-delivery system?

A: No. Please purchase using an email address which allows our automated system to send you an email message with the key without having to click on any link to ensure delivery.

Offline activation

Q: I wish to use your software on a PC which is not connected to the net, so I can't get the activation key by going from the trial version of the software (installed on my 2nd PC) to your request-a-key web page. How do I get it?

A: What you need to do is this:

  1. Copy the installation program to your 2nd PC (e.g., via a memory stick).
  2. Install the software and run it.
  3. When the 'Activate this software' window appears, double-click on the text area. This will display the machine signature of your 2nd PC.
  4. Highlight this and save it to a file.
  5. Transfer the file to your online PC, open the file and copy the machine signature into an email message to us.

We will then calculate the key for your offline PC and send it to you. Copy our message to a file and transfer it to your 2nd PC. Open the file, highlight the key or any portion of text containing it, and copy it to the clipboard. Run the software and it should get the key from the clipboard and activate itself. Or if the software is already running then click on the 'Activate this software' button.

Installing and activating a later version

Q: I have been using the software for awhile and I wish to update to the newest version. Do I have to uninstall the old version first?

A: No. Versions are independent. Installation of the newer version will not affect the older version; the files are installed in different folders. After installing the new version and checking that it works OK you might as well uninstall the old version. You can do this via the "Uninstall" item in the Windows program menu (for the software).

Q: If I install a newer version will I need to get a new activation key?

A: No, provided that you install the new version on the same PC as the older version. If the old version has been activated then the new version should start up already activated. An exception to this is if the older version is very old, in which case the latest version should be downloaded and a key requested as explained above.

Q: I no longer receive email at the email address I used to purchase a user license. Can I get a new activation key sent to my current email address?

A: Yes, but first we have to change your purchase email address in our online database. For this contact us and tell us your old and new email addresses.

Reinstallation after OS or hardware upgrade

Q: I have just updated my system and the software has reverted to a trial version. Can you please send the new activation key?

A: No need to ask us. See the answer to the next question. Just pretend that you have just purchased the license and that you need to get an activation key. When you start up the software it gives you directions as to how to do so.

Q: I have got a new PC [or I have changed from Windows XP to Vista or Windows 7, or I have upgraded my hardware] and I have reinstalled the software, but the old activation key does not work with the new installation. How do I get a new key?.

A: As stated above, we do not send activation keys. A new key is obtained in the same way as for the first installation and activation (that is, running the trial or demo version and going from it to the request-a-key page on our website). As mentioned above, you can also get a key via our other request-a-key web page at www.hermetic.ch/42/get_ak.php.

Software updates and upgrades

Q: What's the difference between an update and an upgrade? Are both free?

A: An update is simply a later version of a particular product. Updates are free (just download the later version and install it; you may or may not need to request a new key). An upgrade is from one product to another, more advanced, product with greater functionality, e.g., from Hermetic Word Frequency Counter to the Advanced Version. The cost of an upgrade is the difference in price of the two products plus 10%.

Compatibility with later versions of Windows

Q: Does your software run under Vista and Windows 7 and 8?

A: For Vista and Windows 7, yes. Regarding Windows 8 (and for more info) see here.

Mac compatibility

Q: Can I run your software on my Macintosh computer?

A: Yes, if you have either a Windows emulator or a dual-processor Mac running Windows XP. It is recommended to download the trial/demo version, install it and run it to make sure that it works on your Mac. This is especially important if the program processes text files (either as input or as output) because the character sets used on Macs and PCs are different. Also, if the program writes to an output file, and you plan on importing that file into Excel, first test this with the output of the trial/demo version.

SSD compatibility

Q: Does your software work with SSDs (solid state drives)?

A: The secure file deletion programs, Data Destroyer and Recycle Bin Wiper, do not work with SSDs because (unlike with conventional hard disk drives) data on an SSD cannot be overwritten. The file and email encryption programs work OK but may leave unwiped plaintext on the drive. Other programs are OK.

Affiliate program

Q: Do you have an affiliate program?

A: Yes. More info here.

Site licenses

Q: Do you offer site licenses?

A: For some programs, yes. Full details here.