Thursday, April 30, 2009

Paperium versus LiveScribe. Or how to get rid of customers

Since a few weeks, I am exploring the technology of handwriting recognising pens. I bought a LiveScribe Pulse . It is capable of recording your writing on special paper and save it on your computer as drawing. It is also able to record voice together with your notes and you can run applications on the pen itself. The exactness of the drawings are stunning and the sample applications clearly show how amazing technology can be. One thing which I however missed was to directly paint on the computer. This would require a live connection between the pen and the computer which is not possible as the pen is connected via a small USB dock.

I've then heard of Paperium one which uses Bluetooth. Paperium is not capable of recording the voice though but I thought I give it a try to see if its maybe of use for another usage case. I received a nice package with two CD's with a printed registration code on them. Sounds like every CD is hand made with a different code. So far so good. Once you install the software (simple drag & drop) and launch it, you get welcomed with:

Please install License File
Select Help -> Install License File... from Menu

Now where is my license file? Why would anyone put "Install license File" under the help menu? Why would I have to worry about that at all? There is no license file on the CD. There's just a code printed on the CD. Some pages deep down in the manual you then find out that you have to enter the registration code on the papirion website together with the serial number of the pen and together with your personal data to get the license file which then enables your application. In other words, the seller restricts you from:
a) using the software with another pen (apparently the pen is a Anoto PC-201 made by Hitachi Maxell)
b) using the pen with another software
c) selling the software to someone else which is your legal right.
d) stay anonymous.

And of course their website doesn't say anything about those restrictions.
And all those limits for a hardware product which was 165 euros.

Apparently the seller is way more concerned about his software being copied than he is worried about being user friendly. And you should be. I have decided to return the Paperium product unused to the seller without ever being able to even try it.

I'll stick with the LiveScribe which I bough from Quick delivery (24h!), great product. Absoutely worth the bucks.

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