Your Questions About Cheap Software For College Students

Daniel asks…

What are some computer vocabulary builders that actually work and cheap?

I am looking for a software that helps build vocabulary in preparation for MCAT/ PCAT or for adults. Ones that don’t require much money or free is prefered. :-)

Poor college student.

idownload answers:

Definitely check out the free site: vocabulary.co.il. They have some terrific free games that are perfect for making studying for standardized tests a little less dull.

Lizzie asks…

can i burn my microsoft software to a cd or something like that to transfer it to a new computer?

I know it might not be legal but I just got my laptop 3 months ago and downloaded microsoft through a link from one of my professors for $100. I know its cheap but I cant afford to buy that again, I’m a college student. Anyways I got a new laptop so is there any way that I can transfer my microsoft onto it without buying it all over again

idownload answers:

Microsoft software is licensed per product key, one to a computer. This is checked through what Microsoft calls “Activation,” or in the case of Windows, “Windows Genuine Advantage.” If you attempt to install a Microsoft program on more than one PC, once it’s connected to the Internet it will run a validation check. If MS’s database thinks you are attempting to use a key more than once, it’ll fail and the program will not work (or will be limited in what it can do to the point where it’s useless.)

The only exception is Microsoft Office Student / Teacher Edition, which is probably what you’re talking about. If you buy the retail box it comes with three product keys and you are licensed to install the software on up to three CDs. If you downloaded your software; it may have only come with one product key. Some people have had success with uninstalling a Microsoft program from one computer and then re-installing it on another, but you may have to call Microsoft if it runs an Activation check and fails.

Also, you can’t just copy most computer software to a CD. Windows programs install critical files into various folders on your PC and create system Registry entries that make the program work. You would have to download the software from the original link or site your professor sent, or get it again from Microsoft.

Hint: If it’s Office 2011 you bought, and you have a valid Product Key, you should be able to download the 60-day Trial from Microsoft’s website and then enter your Product Key when the trial ends. It will convert your trial version to a paid license.

Ruth asks…

DISCUSSION: Does pirating software in any of these scenarios actually deprive people of revenue?

Before the flames come, just read this.

I’m not saying “putting a torrent of Microsoft software up and sharing it for people to download and use for free is bad” (it is, unfortunately); I’m not saying anything about any specific software or software company at all.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT PIRATING MUSIC. This is just about computer software.

That all said, let’s use these examples:

There’s a popular movie-editing software program (for example) that normally costs between $150, and I, as a college student, cannot afford it.

SCENARIO 1:I don’t really need the software for anything, but I download the program for free, anyway, and use it for my own entertainment.

SCENARIO 2: I’m still a poor college student who can’t afford expensive software because I need to pay rent and buy gas and groceries and take my girlfriend out to dinner once in a while. I need the software in order to work on projects for my film class, and I don’t get any sort of reasonable student discount (if any at all) on it, so I download the program for free and use it to work on my school projects.

SCENARIO 3: I’m a poor college student (still) with other financial responsibilities besides expensive software. I don’t need this software for any classes, but it would be really cool to have it because it’s better than what’s cheaper or free, and it would be really awesome to have because I spend a lot of my free time making videos on my computer. I want it, but I don’t need it. I download the program and use it to make some sweet stuff to put on YouTube.

SCENARIO 4: I’m a snotty rich kid with too much time on my hands. I don’t really know how to edit videos at all, but I can afford the expensive software if I want it. Instead, I simply download it for free and teach myself how to edit videos so that I can post “sweet” anime music videos on YouTube.

SCENARIO 5: I could be anybody at all. Rich or poor. Even if I can afford it, I have no reason to ever buy this software, but since I can download it for free, I do, and I play around with it a little until it gets old. Then I download something else for free and play around with that until it gets old; it’s just something I do to pass the time.

In any of the above instances, it’s well within reason for me to either buy the software “now”, and deal with other expenses another way, or, I could save up and buy the software later, too. I could also wait for it to go on sale, or wait for the price to drop. It’s also within reason to simply not have the software at all. Maybe a friend as it on their computer, or I can use the software in college computer labs away from home.

Again, I’m not asking whether you think piracy is wrong or not.
I’m asking if you think that pirating software – in any/all of the above scenarios – is depriving people of revenue?

If I (theoretically) can’t afford it anyway, even if I need it for something important, who does it affect if I download it for free?

If I have no reason to buy the software in the first place, even if I *can* afford it, who does it affect if I download it for free?

I’d like some thoughts on this.
None of these scenarios are real. This is not something I am considering doing (though I have done it, admittedly), and I’m not throwing this out there to justify anything and make myself feel better.

I suppose the most glaring questions are:

Hypothetically, if I had no intention of buying the software in the first place, when I download the software for free (pirate it), what revenue is lost? How is this a bad thing? If I would only ever use the software if it were free, who am I hurting, since there’s no way I would ever spend my money on it, anyway?
EDIT: I’m not at all arguing whether it’s right or wrong to pirate software. Doesn’t seem like people’re reading.

idownload answers:

Whoever created it has the right to make money off of it.

If you get it without recompense, your a thief.

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