Born to Run Turns 30…will it infect your PC with spyware?

In all the swirl of controversy over Sony’s boneheaded copy protection scheme that secretly deposits spyware on your computer, no one has asked the critical question:

  1. Bruce Springsteen’s 30th Anniversary reissue of “Born to Run” is coming out tomorrow.
  2. Bruce Springsteen records on Sony’s Columbia Records label.
  3. The inventory of CDs must have been pressed before the world found out Sony was secretly installing software on everyone’s computers.

So the question is: Is the Springsteen CD going to pollute our computers? Should it be avoided until Sony publicly confirms that the CD does not include the egregious copy protection scheme?

This brings up the larger issue that consumers should be screaming about: Being treated like criminals by the companies we support with our dollars.

I tried to install an upgrade of TimeSlips 2006 today. You have to key in an activation code, a serial number, and then call to get a registration number.

But when I tried to open my database, it told me it had an error in it, and I would have to open it with the old version, fix the error, and then convert it to the new software. Only one “minor” problem: I overwrote the old software with the upgrade.

But no big deal, right? I have the CD and installation codes, so I should be able to reinstall the old software. Not so fast. It’s an upgrade, so it won’t install unless you have the PREVIOUS version installed so it can confirm a legitimate installation. So now I have to install version 8 — THREE VERSIONS BACK FROM WHERE I AM NOW — and then try to use the 10.5 upgrade CD to upgrade it. But the upgrade freezes when you try to upgrade, so now I am totally screwed. And they close their tech support at 5pm eastern time. (You only get one call before you have to pay anyway.)

I think the new rule of thumb is to refuse to buy software that assumes you are going to do something illegal with it. Companies should be ashamed of this approach to copy protection. And customers shouldn’t put up with it any more.


  1. Hi Steve,I think you might want to check some of the fects you’ve posted. I have used Timeslips support in the past and the support hours are open until 7 pm EST.Also Timeslips starting with version 11 provided you a reinstall code for all upgrade purchasers so that if you had to reinstall the program, you didn’t have to go back to original purchase. Looks like you may be a few years behind.

  2. Anonymous is wrong about the tech support time. That’s what they publish, but for the specific problem I encountered, the tech support area that I was referred to had a message on its phone that said its hours were until 5pm. Reinstall code is irrelevant in this instance, because I was upgrading from version 10.5, not 11, and anyway, Version 2006 installed cleanly. It just couldn’t update the data file to the new format.The postscript is that they have now taken ownership of this problem and my data is being converted by Timeslips at no cost. I’ll let you all know what happens with it.I still am angry with companies like Timeslips that treat us like criminals by requiring very complicated serial number/registration code/activation code nonsense — and you have to have the earlier version still on your machine so it can see it, just to install the new program. Adobe at least lets you upgrade by popping the older version’s CD into the machine momentarily.

  3. timeslips is a nightmare. i have spent several hours on the phone with them, their “one free call” to those upgrading, and kind of resolved some of it. there is a new “surprise” everyday. why doesn’t anyone complain about this gulag of slavery to sage software? i’m mad as hell and i’m not gonna take it anymore (but what can I do about it???)

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