Friday Flashback #52

Back when I was a programmer-writer on the SDK team, I’d never heard of a dongle and I’d never had to deal with any licensing stuff (I just installed the overnight build and it ran). Those were the days.

Then in late 2005 I was moved to the Support team and I found out all about dongles and licensing.

Dongles were always a hassle: getting the OS to recognize the dongle, getting the driver installed, verifying whether or not the dongle was bad/defective,… For awhile my xsibase account sig included the phrase “I hate dongles”.

Dongles often got damaged or lost, for various reasons, including but not limited to:

  • It just stopped working…
  • My sister kicked it
  • The dog got under my desk and broke off the dongle
  • Some student stole it (probably thought it was a USB key)
  • It broke when I tried to chain it to the computer
  • Stopped working when I tried to replace the battery (to which I would reply “that was no battery, that was the iButton itself!!!”)
  • Our building burned down (not funny because it was true…they sent me a photo)

Softimage used various types of dongles over the years, but I really only had experience with the blue iButton dongles.
Here’s some of the other dongles…


Softimage XSI 1.5

Softimage XSI 3.0 and later