The ANY-maze licence dongle is a hardware device that allows you to share a single ANY-maze licence between multiple computers.
Normally you’d need to purchase an ANY-maze licence for all the computers that you’ll use to track animals – however, using the dongle (which simply plugs into a USB port), you can share a single licence between multiple machines – whichever computer has the dongle plugged-in has the licence.
For example, let’s imagine you have two rooms, one containing your water-maze and the other your plus-maze. You have one computer in each room and you install ANY-maze on both computers. You could then purchase a single licence and a dongle (the dongle does cost a bit extra) and simply move the dongle between the two computers so as to share the licence.
It’s important to understand that you won’t be able to run tests on both computers at the same time (as only one of them can have the dongle plugged-in), but if that’s not a problem, then this is a great way to share an ANY-maze licence.
Figure 1: The ANY-maze licence dongle
By the way, you can install unlicensed copies of ANY-maze on as many computers as you like – these are free and you don’t even need to contact us to get them, just download ANY-maze from our website and install it wherever you want. You won’t be able to use unlicensed copies to track animals (because at the end of a test they’ll simply discard the results), but you will be able to do everything else that a licensed copy could do, such as: opening experiments, viewing results, creating track plots or heat maps, performing statistical analysis, transferring data to other programs, etc.
In summary, a dongle is only required when you want to share a licence between multiple computers that will be used to actually track animals.
Setting up and using a dongle
Setting up and using a dongle to share a single licence between multiple computers is straightforward:
- Install ANY-maze on all the computers you want to use to track animals
- Note the serial number of ANY-maze on each of these computers (this can be found by going to: Support page > About ANY-maze > Licence information)
- If you already own a licence then send us a note of your existing licence number and all the serial numbers you noted in step 2. If you don’t already own a licence then send us all the serial numbers you noted in step 2, and also purchase a licence.
- We will create a licence number for each of the serial numbers that you sent us. You will need to activate these licences on their respective computers – this guide explains how to do this.
- We will also send you the dongle which will already be programmed with the details of your computers.
- You will need to plug the dongle into a computer in order for it to perform tests and save their results.
Note that the dongle will only work in the computers whose serial numbers you sent us, and then only if you have activated their licences (step 4, above). Also, if you don’t have the dongle plugged in then you won’t be able to start a test and if you unplug the dongle while a test is running, the test will be aborted (and the results will be lost) – you can, however, unplug a dongle at any other time.
Using multiple dongles
You’re not limited to just a single dongle, which simply means you can share multiple licences between a group of computers.
For example, imagine you have four rooms in your lab in which you will perform experiments. You set up one computer in each lab and install ANY-maze on all of them. You could then acquire two ANY-maze licences and two dongles and you’d be able to run tests in any two rooms at the same time (remember, to run tests a computer would need to have the dongle plugged in). Of course this would require that you buy two ANY-maze licences (and the two dongles), but this would still be a lot cheaper than buying a licence for each of the four computers.
Adding computers to a dongle
After you purchase a dongle, you might set up another computer that you’ll use for tracking. However its details won’t be on the dongle and so even if you plug the dongle in to the computer, you still won’t be able to use it to perform tests.
To address this you would need to send us the serial number of the new computer (just like in step 2, above) and we would then add the computer to the dongle. In fact, we won’t be able to do this directly, as we won’t have your dongle, so what we’ll do is create a special program which will add the computer to the dongle for you. Here are the steps:
- Install ANY-maze on the new computer.
- Note the serial number of ANY-maze on the new computer (this can be found by going to: Support page > About ANY-maze > Licence information).
- Send us the serial number, and a note that you already have a dongle and would like to add this computer to it. (We may also ask you for the serial number of ANY-maze on one of the other computers that already works with the dongle).
- We’ll send you a program file.
- Plug the dongle into any computer and then run the program file – the program will add the new computer to the dongle.
That’s it – you can delete the program file as you won’t need it anymore. You’ll then find that the new computer allows you to run tests when the dongle is plugged in, just like your other computers do.
The maximum number of computers that you can share a licence between is 14. It’s unlikely you’ll ever reach this limit, but if you do it’ll probably be because you have some old computers you no longer use which are still recorded on the dongle, in this case we can remove the old computers to free up space for new ones.
What happens if you lose your dongle
If you lose a dongle you’ll need to buy a replacement, but you won’t lose your much more valuable ANY-maze licence. You’ll need to tell us about your computers again, just like you did when you acquired the first dongle, so we can program the replacement before we send it to you.
Version support for dongles
All versions of ANY-maze since 4.60 (2008) have included support for dongles.