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  1. #1
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    A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    Artsoft pulled a dirty trick and I'm not happy about it!

    I recently purchased a breakout board and my Mach4 license from a very popular retailer, only to find out Artsoft won't let me manage my own license.
    Had I known this I would have bought directly from them, but unless you dig deep into their website, you won't know this.
    I was told that every time I try to activate a new computer with Mach4 with this license, I will need to contact the retailer I bought it from instead of allowing me the convenience to do this on my own.
    Here's the worst part! If this retailer goes out of business, I lose my license as well as my $200 !!
    That's total BS, Artsoft !!
    Warn your potential customers on the front page of your website that this is what will happen if we buy from a retailer, or better yet, just don't sell your product through another retailer because the purchaser doesn't realize he will not be purchasing the same product.
    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !!
    www.dantechfabricating.com

  2. #2
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    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    200.00 is nothing. There are IDIOT machinist who buy a lathe or mill for hundreds of thousands of dollars but they can't even move it in their
    shop or sell it without the machine being shut down.
    Then you have to negotiate with the seller to give the code to turn it on again. How crazy is that?

  3. #3
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    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    The world is becoming like this. I think there’s legislation going on in the US right now ( right to repair ) to try and prevent this.I know the farmers are in a fight with equipment manufacturers because they can’t access or replace certain parts without taking the tractor to the dealer.

    Regardless, the issue is not the $200. The issue is that Artsoft has nothing to gain by screwing around their customers, and didn’t clearly disclose that you will end up with a lesser program if not purchased directly from them. This is a hobby program FFS !
    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !!
    www.dantechfabricating.com

  4. #4
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    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    Hi,
    the licensing conditions are clearly laid out on the NFS website if you care to read it.

    Additionally you are panicking over nothing, firstly your retailer has not gone out of business so you still have access to their service.
    Presumably when you bought from them initially you thought they were worthy of your trust and in particular they could manage your license for you.
    What's changed?.

    NFS has had self managed licenses for at least six years. If however you bought a license before that time you can still raise a ticket with Support and
    provided they can locate the original purchase documents they will update or otherwise manage your license. There has been no-one 'left out in the cold' to my knowledge.
    If your retailer has not lodged your name with NFS then it would be impossible for NFS to confirm you as owner of a valid license and in that circumstance you may
    dip out. That's hardly NFS's fault but rather the retailer for not passing on your name to NFS.

    Mach4Hobby, at $200, is just that, a hobbyists license. Given that you may have up to five active machines on the one license purchase I would say that hobbyists have been
    well catered for. Mach4Industrial at $1400 is somewhat different. The actual program is very similar indeed, there are but a few things that Industrial can do that Hobby cannot.
    Industrial can only be used on one machine at a time.

    Mach4Hobby is a hobbyist solution but NFS is not a hobby.....they are a small independent software company and like any business rely on sales to stay in business.
    $200 per sale for Hobby licenses are just not going to cut it, NFS relies on Industrial sales to stay in business. NFS has always displayed a commitment to the hobbyist base
    as had been established by Mach3 but make no mistake their 'bread and butter' is the industrial ad OEM market.

    I am glad and grateful that NFS have this commitment to hobbyists because the vast majority of the developments to Mach4Industrial also end up in Mach4Hobby.
    You might say that as a hobbyist I am 'riding on the coat-tails' of industrial customers.

    Craig

  5. #5

    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post

    The issue is that Artsoft has nothing to gain by screwing around their customers, and didn’t clearly disclose that you will end up with a lesser program if not purchased directly from them. This is a hobby program FFS !
    What artsoft has to gain is that you likely won't find a working version of mach 4 on a torrent site , nor will you see millions of cheap chinese engravers being sold with mach 4 software . Mach 3 on the other hand ................
    I honestly don't see a big deal with contacting them to license the first machine or the fifth , it dosen't cost anything .

    An online activation of a software isn't really any different and locks the license code to one pc . If by chance that pc starts to crap out and the software needs to be transferred then a guy has to first hope the license is transferable , contact support , pay a transfer fee etc .

    uccnc is locked to the motion controller , and when you buy the software you have to include the serial number of the uc100 or whatever .

  6. #6
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    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    While I understand what you’re all saying, my original post was to warn others not to make the same mistake I made by purchasing from a retailer. I did go on the NFS website as well as watched a few videos on the program BEFORE making my purchase, and not being able to manage my own license was not clearly stated unless I read all the fine print. This won’t cause the program to run any differently, and as has been stated, I will have to contact the retailer for any PC changes. This is more about principle because I didn’t receive what I thought I was purchasing, whether through my ignorance or NFS not being clear on their site.
    It’s still amazing that a program like Mach can be purchased for a only $200.
    Lesson learned.
    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !!
    www.dantechfabricating.com

  7. #7
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    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    Hi,

    my original post was to warn others not to make the same mistake I made by purchasing from a retailer.
    I think your point is well made but does not preclude you from use of your license. I dearsay you could ask the retailer to forward your details to NFS and I suspect thereafter
    you could use the self-managing facitity.

    Craig

  8. #8
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    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,



    I think your point is well made but does not preclude you from use of your license. I dearsay you could ask the retailer to forward your details to NFS and I suspect thereafter
    you could use the self-managing facitity.

    Craig
    Mach support suggested the same thing, which I did do. Unfortunately the retailer would not give me the “coupon code”.
    Oh well, water under the bridge and lesson learned.
    The one that dies with the most tools, WINS !!
    www.dantechfabricating.com

  9. #9
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    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    ...just one of the puppet masters. 2020 CAD/CAM business model...

    thx for warning us about rerailers,
    DJ

  10. #10

    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Mach support suggested the same thing, which I did do. Unfortunately the retailer would not give me the “coupon code”.
    Oh well, water under the bridge and lesson learned.
    Since you bought through a retailer then it makes some sense that you'd have to deal through them . I'm sure artsoft won't leave you out in the cold if the retailer shuts down or becomes a problem

  11. #11
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    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    What artsoft has to gain is that you likely won't find a working version of mach 4 on a torrent site , nor will you see millions of cheap chinese engravers being sold with mach 4 software . Mach 3 on the other hand ................
    I honestly don't see a big deal with contacting them to license the first machine or the fifth , it dosen't cost anything .

    An online activation of a software isn't really any different and locks the license code to one pc . If by chance that pc starts to crap out and the software needs to be transferred then a guy has to first hope the license is transferable , contact support , pay a transfer fee etc .

    uccnc is locked to the motion controller , and when you buy the software you have to include the serial number of the uc100 or whatever .
    This seems to have been the biggest shift in the market in the last ten years,and not just for Artsoft.The companies who have developed the software are taking steps to preserve their business.It used to be very common for software packages to be tied to a dongle and very often the cracked version would surface after a week or two.Now it is rumoured to be common for almost all of the software we desire to appear on torrent sites-I have no idea how much is out there as I live in a country where torrent sites are blocked by legal order.It does leave me wondering when I read of newbies coming to this forum listing the software they are having trouble with and asking questions that any ordinary retailer would answer or provide training for.If the developers of the packages don't receive money from the users,or the business model is undermined by hackers and crackers,the software company will have a limited future.I'm guessing that there are more illicit copies of Mach 3 running hobby machines than the real thing and quite possibly more of them than any other type of control software.So I fully understand why Artsoft would want to protect their business.Full disclosure,I use LinuxCNC on my hobby machine and Freecad for design and programming and consequently feel no guilt about my software.

  12. #12
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: A word of warning before buying Mach4 !

    I'm guessing that there are more illicit copies of Mach 3 running hobby machines than the real thing
    Just look at every Chinese machine on Ebay that comes with Mach3. There's probably well over 100,000 pirated copies of Mach3 being used.

    Artsoft is alone with this piracy issue, because with the majority of other controls, the software is tied to the company's hardware, so piracy is not an issue, as you have to buy the hardware for the software to work. Since Artsoft doesn't sell hardware (Which would make Mach4 considerably better imo), they are an easy target for pirates.

    EVERY Artsoft reseller should CLEARLY spell out this policy to buyers before they purchase. But if they did that, then they wouldn't sell any. So this is mostly on the reseller, even though imo it's a bad policy for Artsoft.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

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