hardware key


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hardware key

[′här‚dwer ‚kē]
(computer science)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hardware key

Also called a "dongle," it is a software copy protection device that plugs into the USB port of the computer. Upon startup, the application looks for the key and will run only if the key contains the appropriate code. Typically used for expensive software, hardware keys offer very effective copy protection because they cannot be easily duplicated.

Earlier Keys Dangled
The first hardware keys plugged into the serial or parallel ports. Because there was only one serial and one parallel port on the computer, the key acted as a pass-through so that other keys and peripheral devices could connect. In fact, the nickname "dongle" was derived from multiple hardware keys "dangling" off the port. See DMCA and dongle.


An Earlier Parallel Key
Earlier parallel port keys provided a pass-through so that additional keys or devices could be plugged in. The photo (top) shows the electronics inside. (Top image courtesy of SafeNet, Inc., www.safenet-inc.com)


An Earlier Parallel Key
Earlier parallel port keys provided a pass-through so that additional keys or devices could be plugged in. The photo (top) shows the electronics inside. (Top image courtesy of SafeNet, Inc., www.safenet-inc.com)
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References in periodicals archive ?
Software protection solutions almost always involve sending a license, either a hardware key or an electronic license, or even a paper license, to the end user.
That will make it the complete package, which will be a lot easier to use and will negate the need for the hardware keys.
The 4-inch display at the front is paired up with 1 hardware key, essentially the Menu button.
Measuring 210 x 148 x 69mm and weighing 1kg, the AQ1210 can be operated using the touch screen or adjacent hardware keys. Different measurement functions can be performed simultaneously, saving time during tests.
Among 3D Localization SDK 1.2.2 features are Doxygen documentation and improved experience with hardware keys and licensing.
Being used to typing on touch-screen phones where a feather-touch is enough to type out something, pressing the hardware keys on the Key2 seemed a little alien.
The Allrounder 1120 H features a new control system, named Gestica, which Arburg says has a "look and feel akin to that of smart mobile devices: These include a modern glass front, a high resolution, full HD screen and industry-grade multi-touch technology as well as one-click ergonomic hardware keys.
and responsiveness of hardware keys, but the durability of a touchscreen thanks
It provides more vertical space between the keys, imitating the steel bands that separated the hardware keys on the BlackBerry Bold.
Below the screen there are a combination of hardware keys (Home, Call, End Call) and resistive touch-sensitive keys (Back, Menu).
This is far more flexible than standard hardware keys and eliminates the need to memorise exactly which key performs what function.

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