I'm trying to move the Elgato 250 The Girl got me a way back from the Mini into the living room, to kinda consolidate things media related. Actually, since work blessed me with the MacBook Pro - I'm not entirely sure what to do with the Mini except perhaps somehow convert it into a jukebox or something.
Anyway, it's already been a long, busy, complicated week of barely getting things working and when I get home all I really wanted to do was setup up the Elgato onto The Girl's laptop before Battlestar so that I could see if we could record it.
Hooking the hardware up is easy enough and then I put the install disc in and copy the stuff over to Applications and launch the setup assistant.
To which - I get asked for a serial key. I look on the disc jacket, which I'm rather amazed I still have as usually after installing software I fling discs into a vast wilderness where they must fight for survival. There's no serial key. I pop the disc out. No serial key. I go back to the old computer to look up the serial key.
I poke around online and apparently the only place in existence which has this key is some tiny card that came with the original hardware. Which undoubtably got placed into a box and that box got faithfully stored until the study was cleaned X number of times and then I probably asked myself do I really, really need another box laying around and pitched it.
So this isn't that odd of a tale of copy protection woe except we should remember one thing. The EyeTV software is essentially useless without a big honking piece of hardware next to it in order to convert TV signals into the Mac. All EyeTV does is hook up to TitanTV for listings, record the feed and then translate the feed. It doesn't even do any useful translations as EyeTV stores everything initially in it's own evil format (which takes about ... no joke ... 34 hours to convert into anything else).
In other words, Elgato already has one of the best kinds of copy protection in the world - that being that if you don't buy their expensive hardware pirating the damned thing won't really do you any good. And yet they don't even use a simple downloadable activation key like virtually every other modern software company these days ... they put the damn thing on a card which for all intents appears to be designed to get lost.
In theory all I have to do is email them and provide some kind of proof of purchase. They suggest a receipt which clearly shows the mode of thinking they put to consumer behavior. Ah yes, the Elgato receipt is clearly labelled "E" and "M" and "T" for "Elgato, Mac and Television" and you can find it in the yellow folder in the third drawer to the left ... right next to the freaking activation card. Seriously, if I was anal enough to still have a receipt (which, now that I think of it, I never had since it was a gift) - I'd probably still have the card. And if I was spending that much time organizing, I'd probably have no time for television.
Update: Nick from Elgato offers this very useful info:
The activation key card does state that it should be kept in a secure place. In the future, we should also have options for users to keep their key on our servers for easy access - that's not ready at this time.
If you copy your 4 EyeTV preference files from the old Mac to the new Mac, that will authorize EyeTV:
They can be found in the following locations:
The preferences keep a copy of the key, so moving the preferences moves the key.
Thus, your problem can be solved by moving preferences, or by contacting us for key replacement.
See the rest of Nick's salient points in the comments...