[Updated 14th May 2012, please scroll down.]
[Updated: some minor changes to the text]
Right now I finally have something I have to let steam off about again. A rant about NI and it’s LabView Academic Program.
For a lab, I needed a LabView version. The requirement of using a proprietary software to pass a lab is hard enough, but it gets better. Asking the person in charge about a LabView version, he responded that I could get the evaluation version from the website, free of charge, valid for 30 days. So I went to the website ni.com/labview and looked for the download. It turned out, that the evaluation version is available for windows (and Mac OS X), only. Too bad. After some research and a call (at least they have a number with the area code of munich, so this doesn’t rip you off), I eventually found out, that LabView is available for Linux, also.
But you have to buy it.
Ok. There is this awesome academic program, where you can ask for a student’s license. Did so, bought a student’s license from their german reseller. There it should have stricken me for the first time that they didn’t mention “linux” as an OS. But well, there is a linux version, so I will get it. I’m sure.
Something about money: I paid 14,99€ for the Student’s license. But before that, I registered “for free”. Now NI has my contact details, they know where I study, they probably got a certificate of enrollment, they know if I like LabView, I eventually end up buying (or using a paid for) pro-license. So, I assume despite the 15€ my profile is worth some money as well. Oh, and I help them with their market research concerning linux – for free!
Now, I called there to get my student version and: No linux version available. Really?
Here are the facts:
- you download the evaluation version
- you register and buy a student license
- you punch in the code, you have a full version, licensed for students.
- you request a cd, get the full version, punch in the license (after you’ve registered), done.
So: Where is the problem doing that for linux? I was told, at my first inquiry, that a linux version is not available for download
because linux is an open system
and probably NI cannot be sure, that their 30-day limitation cannot be avoided. [Yeah, sure, regedit cannot do the trick, or what? As a windows Admin you don't have any rights on the file system? Mac isn't a unix, (being as open as linux?)?]
So, today I called and I hope I can set a wheel in motion, so that it is possible for (future) students to acquire a fully legal NI LabView Student Version for linux.
Or I should go, and just get me, without any hassle an online available linux version of LabView.
But before this, I will try to convince NI to have the linux version available for students. And post the updates here.
[UPDATE: 14th May 2012]
So, after calling NI Germany (and letting off some steam, poor hotline) I was told the following: The Linux Version isn’t available for students, because (supposedly) doesn’t contain any validation checks, i.e. no Serial Number etc necessary (which I cannot really believe, but well, if one develops for linux one is probably more concerned about drivers and stuff than copy-protecting one’s software). This explains, why they won’t just give me a CD with a linux version.
But when I checked my blog today, I found a comment by Emilie Kopp, Social Manager of National Instruments. So I will see how things develop (and let you know).
P.S.: Oh yes, I think something similar is going on with Matlab – there is a linux version out there, it ships on the cd, but I think you cannot acquire it as a student.
P.P.S.: Yes, I’m aware that our university takes part at the MSDNAA program. But I don’t think it’s fair, that companies like microsoft need to get paid money, that than isn’t available for research anymore, so I can run a program. But that’s another rant.