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Alias

From Higher Intellect Vintage Wiki

Alias was a software company producing high-end 3D graphics software, initially for SGI Irix.

Licensing[edit]

Alias used a homegrown licensing system from at least version 3.1 (1991) until version 6.0 (1995). Version 7 used a combination of the old licensing and FLEXlm, and by version 7.5 the conversion to FlexLM seems complete, just as SGI was integrating FlexLM with Irix 6.2. While cracks and key generators became available for FlexLM licensed Alias products, very little was known about the old licensing until recently.

License encoding, checksum and version character[edit]

An example of the old style licensing keys is provided in the Alias 6 manual (not an actual working license, however checksum valid): Axyz987uvw987tuvbcd456abc. The key consists of a version check character (here "A"), the actual encrypted data ("xyz987uvw987tuvbcd456ab") encoded by a algorith similar to Base58 and finally a checksum character ("c"). The encoding uses a specific character set (23456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijkmnopqrstuvwxyz), which removes certain characters which can be confused on entry (0, O, l). A Base58 encoder/decoder can easily be modified to produce "Alias encoding".

To calculate the checksum, the first character in the character set is assigned a value, starting with 2 = 0, 3 = 1, ... A = 9 up to z = 57 - this "table" is used for the odd numbered characters in the license string (first, third, fifth etc.). Every even numbered character in the license string uses the same character set, but a different "table". The character set is table consists first of even numbers from "2" (assigned value 0) to and including "V" (assigned value 38), and the odd numbers from "W" (assigned value 1) to and including "z" (assigned value 39). Every character is counted, including the first version check character and final checksum character. The sum of all the character values has to be divisible with 58 to pass the checksum check. To achieve this, the final "checksum character" can be manipulated freely to make the sum divisible by 58. As mentioned, the final character is not part of the encrypted data.

Around Alias PA 4/3.2.2 a first version character was set to indicate version, and is checked by the software, possibly for troubleshooting. The version number is not part of the encrypted data, and each Alias version seems to change the encryption keys, so that you cannot in any case use a key for a previous version with newer software. E.g. you can manipulate the version character ("A") to later version and update the checksum character accordingly (change the final "c"), however the decrypted license will still contain garbage, as the decryption keys are wrong for other versions - even if the version check is passed. In Alias 3.1, there is no version character, so you only get an error regarding invalid license. Alias 6 licenses start with "I", Alias 5 licenses start with "G" and Alias PA 4/3.2.2 licenses start with "E". Letters inbetween seem to have been used for beta versions, e.g. a license starting with "H" would be for Alias 6 beta, "F" for Alias 5 beta etc. The last character (here "c") is a checksum character, and not part of the encrypted string.

License encryption[edit]

The data is encrypted/decrypted using what seems to be standard DES-encryption in 1-bit mode.

Raw license data[edit]

The raw decrypted license data in binary from v 3.1.1 (04/92) onwards is as follows:

Binary Explanation
0000 0001 start of license
0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 32 bits sysid, e.g. 69 12 34 56. Set to 00 00 00 00 means sysid=ANY (up to v 4.1 at least FF FF FF FF is used instead), but this only works if this is a network license provided by "skd" (Security Key Daemon)
0 FLK - floating key field (also called PSK field), should only be "1" if license is provided by "skd", the security key daemon, with a dongle attached. This flag must be 1 if hostid=ANY, see above. However, if the flag is set to 1 without SKD being contacted, you will get an error
0000 0000 000 Expiry time, 11 bits, if zeroed out = permanent license
1111 1111 Font key 8 bits
1111 ... Software features - the number of bits depend on the version of the software

Version 3.1 (07/91) has a slightly different license data format:

Binary Explanation
1 start of license
0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 48 bits sysid, e.g. 08 00 69 12 34 56. Set to FF FF FF FF FF FF means sysid=ANY, but this only works if this is a network license provided by "skd" (Security Key Daemon)
0 FLK - floating key field (also called PSK field), should only be "1" if license is provided by "skd", the security key daemon, with a dongle attached. This flag must be 1 if hostid=ANY, see above. However, if the flag is set to 1 without SKD being contacted, you will get an error
0000 0000 000 Expiry time, 32 bits. Only checked if network license provided by skd, it seems. Otherwise these bits should not be included in the license, as they are not expected and will be misinterpreted (unlike v 3.1.1 and later).
1111 1111 1111 1 Font key 13 bits
1111 ... Software features - the number of bits depend on the version of the software

Regarding features, v 3.1, 3.1.1, 3.2.2 and 4.0 check for "host class" features, i.e. hardware features, including license features for system type, CPU type and graphics type. The licensed and actual hardware needs to match 100%. For example if you have other or more hardware features in your license than needed for your system, you will get a license failure. You can see the host class features required for your system by running "getid -i".

The "host class" check seems to have been removed from v 4.1 onwards. This is not surprising, as previously any hardware change may have required a completely new license from Alias, including support calls etc.

Release history[edit]

PowerAnimator/Maya/StudioTools[edit]

Version Hardware O/S Release date Price Significant changes (selected)
StudioTools 13 Studio, AutoStudio, SurfaceStudio, DesignStudio, EvalViewer, Renderers IRIX 6.5.24 November 2005
Maya 6.5 January 2005
StudioTools 12 October 2004
Maya 6 April 2004
StudioTools 11 December 2003
Maya 5.0.1 October 2003
Maya 4.5 July 2002
StudioTools 10 June 2002
Maya 4.0.2 January 2002
Maya 4.0 June 2001
StudioTools 9.7 (Studio, AutoStudio, SurfaceStudio, DesignStudio, EvalViewer, Renderers) IRIX 6.5.8-6.5.12 29/05/2001
  • StudioTools 9.7 will not run at all under any version of IRIX prior to IRIX 6.5.
  • As of version 9.0 the 3DCD no longer ships with Studio. Customers with a 3DCD from a previous product release can continue to use that material in their work.
  • A StudioPaint 9.5 compatibility module is shipped with StudioTools 9.7 allowing for file compatibility between StudioPaint 9.5 and StudioTools 9.7. This module is installed automatically if StudioPaint 9.5 is detected at time of installation.
StudioTools 9.6 December 2000
StudioTools 9.5.2 June 2000
Maya 2.5.2 March 2000
Maya 3.0 February 2000
StudioTools 9.5 (DesignStudio, Studio, AutoStudio and SurfaceStudioTM) Announced February 2000, released March 2000
Maya 2.5 November 1999
Maya 2.0 June 1999
Alias 9.0 (DesignStudio, Studio, SurfaceStudio, AutoStudio, PowerAnimator, EvalViewer, Renderers) IRIX 6.2 and higher November 1998
Maya 1.5 October 1998
Alias 8.5 (Studio, Designer, PowerAnimator, Animator, Autostudio, Render S/W) IRIX 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5 January 1998
  • Composer/Vizpaint on separate CD's
Maya 1.0 January 1998
Alias 8.1

(Studio, Designer, PowerAnimator, Animator, Web|Animator, AutoStudio, Render Software)

IRIX 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 April 1997

Composer/Vizpaint on separate CD

The V8.1 release is fully qualified and supported only under IRIX 6.2 and some higher OS/Hardware configurations.

Eight-bit graphics configurations are not supported.

Alias 8.0 (Studio/Designer/PowerAnimator/WebAnimator/Animator/AutoStudio/Renderer) IRIX 6.2 and IRIX 6.3 January 1997 Designer $7,495, Studio $24,995 and AutoStudio $74,995
  • Composer/Vizpaint on separate CD
Alias 7.5.2 November 1996
  • Fix-on-Fail only
Alias 7.5.1 October 1996
  • Composer 4.0.3/Vizpaint 3.2.5/awxfiles 1.0.3 also included
Alias 7.5 IRIX 6.2 September 1996 PowerAnimator starting at $9,995
  • Composer 4.0.1/Vizpaint 3.2.2/awxfiles 1.0.3 also included
Alias 7.0.1/7.0.1a Last version for Personal Iris (4D/20, 4D/25, 4D/30, 4D/35), Power Series (4D/100, 4D/200, 4D/300, 4D/400) and Indigo (R3000). Last version for any hardware with 8-bit graphics. IRIX 5.3 March 1996
Alias 7.0 (Studio/Designer/PowerAnimator/Animator/AutoStudio/Renderer)

Qualified hardware: Indigo2 incl. High Impact (not R10000), Crimson, Power Series, Onyx, Challenge, Personal Iris, Indy, Indigo, Power Indigo2 R8000

IRIX 5.3, IRIX 6.0.1 November 1995
Alias 6.0b Last version for IP17 Crimson with VGX or VGXT graphics. IRIX 5.3 September 1995
Alias 6.0a April 1995
Alias 6.0 January 1995
Alias 5.1.1 Last version for IP17 Crimson with GT or GTX graphics IRIX 5.3 October 1994
Alias 5.1 IRIX 5.2 July 1994
  • Distributed Render Control (DRC). Different from remote rendering, available previously, which allowed a single render on a remote machine.
Alias 5.0 March 1994
Alias PowerAnimator and Animator 4.1, Alias Studio and Designer 3.2.2 and Alias AutoStudio 1.0.1 October 1993
Alias PowerAnimator and Animator 4.0, Alias Studio and Designer 3.2.1 and AutoStudio 1.0

According to license features: According to license features:

  • SGI Professional Iris 4D/50, 60, 70, 80 and 85
    • SGI G or GT graphics
  • SGI Power Series 4D/*10, 4D/*20, 4D/*40, 4D/*80
    • SGI GTX Graphics
    • SGI VGX Graphics
    • SGI RE Graphics (RE)
  • SGI Personal Iris 4D/20,25 and 4D/30,35
    • SGI PI graphics (G or TG)
  • SGI Indigo R3000
    • SGI Entry Graphics
    • SGI XS Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI XS24 Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI Elan Graphics
  • SGI Indigo R4000
    • SGI Entry Graphics
    • SGI XS Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI XS24 Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI Elan Graphics
  • SGI Crimson
    • SGI Entry Graphics
    • SGI Elan Graphics
    • SGI GTX Graphics
    • SGI VGX Graphics
    • SGI RE Graphics (RE)
  • IBM RS/6000 320, 320H, 320E, 340, 350, 520, 520H, 530, 530H, 540, 550, 560, 730, 930, 940, 950
    • IBM RS/6000 2781 Graphics Card (Sabine)
    • IBM RISC System/6000 GtO Graphics Card
    • IBM RISC System/6000 Gt4 Graphics Card
    • IBM RISC System/6000 Gt4x Graphics Card
Requires IRIX 4.0.1 (or higher). IRIX 4.0.5 required for XS/XS24/XZ/Elan/Crimson February 1993
Alias PowerAnimator, Animator, Studio and Designer 3.2

According to license features:

  • SGI Professional Iris 4D/50, 60, 70, 80 and 85
    • SGI G or GT graphics
  • SGI Power Series 4D/*10, 4D/*20, 4D/*40, 4D/*80
    • SGI GTX Graphics
    • SGI VGX Graphics
  • SGI Personal Iris 4D/20,25 and 4D/30,35
    • SGI PI graphics (G or TG)
  • SGI Indigo R3000
    • SGI Entry Graphics
    • SGI XS Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI XS24 Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI Elan Graphics
  • SGI Indigo R4000
    • SGI Entry Graphics
    • SGI XS Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI XS24 Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI Elan Graphics
  • SGI Crimson
    • SGI Entry Graphics
    • SGI Elan Graphics
    • SGI GTX Graphics
    • SGI VGX Graphics
  • IBM RS/6000 320, 320H, 320E, 340, 350, 520, 520H, 530, 530H, 540, 550, 560, 730, 930, 940, 950
    • IBM RS/6000 2781 Graphics Card (Sabine)
    • IBM RISC System/6000 GtO Graphics Card
    • IBM RISC System/6000 Gt4 Graphics Card
    • IBM RISC System/6000 Gt4x Graphics Card
Requires IRIX 4.0.1 (or higher). IRIX 4.0.5a required for XS/XS24/Elan/Crimson October 1992
Alias PowerAnimator and Studio 3.1.1-b, Alias Animator and Designer 2.0-b

According to license features:

  • SGI Professional Iris 4D/50, 60, 70, 80 and 85
    • SGI G or GT graphics
  • SGI Power Series 4D/*10, 4D/*20, 4D/*40, 4D/*80
    • SGI GTX Graphics
    • SGI VGX Graphics
  • SGI Personal Iris 4D/20,25 and 4D/30,35
    • SGI PI graphics (G or TG)
  • SGI Indigo R3000
    • SGI Entry Graphics
    • SGI XS Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI XS24 Graphics, with Z buffer
    • SGI Elan Graphics
  • SGI Crimson
    • SGI Entry Graphics
    • SGI Elan Graphics
    • SGI GTX Graphics
    • SGI VGX Graphics
  • IBM RS/6000 320, 520, 530, 540, 550, 730, 930, 940, 950
    • IBM RS/6000 2781 Graphics Card (Sabine)
    • IBM RISC System/6000 GtO Graphics Card
    • IBM RISC System/6000 Gt4 Graphics Card
    • IBM RISC System/6000 Gt4x Graphics Card
Requires IRIX 4.0.1. IRIX 4.0.4 required for XS/XS24/Elan/Crimson April 1992
Alias 3.1

According to license features:

  • SGI Professional Iris 4D/50, 60, 70, 80 and 85
    • SGI G or GT graphics
  • SGI Power Series 4D/*10, 4D/*20, 4D/*40, 4D/*80
    • SGI GTX Graphics
    • SGI VGX Graphics
  • SGI Personal Iris 4D/20,25 and 4D/30,35
    • SGI PI graphics (G or TG)
  • IBM RS/6000 320, 520, 530, 540, 550, 730, 930
    • IBM RS/6000 2781 Graphics Card (Sabine)
Requires 4D1 3.3.2 July 1991

StudioPaint[edit]

Version Hardware O/S Release date Price Significant changes (selected)
StudioPaint 9.1 IRIX 6.5.4
  • StudioPaint 9.1 is compatible with PA/ST 8.1, 8.2, 8.5, 9.0 and Maya 2.0 and Maya 1.5
StudioPaint 9.0 IRIX 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5.1
  • StudioPaint 9.0 is compatible with PA/ST 8.1, 8.2, 8.5, 9.0 and Maya 1.5 (with plugin).
StudioPaint 4.0 IRIX 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5.0 (on Octane and O2)
  • Compatible with PA/ST 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, and 8.5(with compatibility module).
  • Eight-bit graphics configurations are not supported.
  • We recommend a minimum of 128MB RAM to run StudioPaint3D 4.0 effectively.
  • Unless otherwise stated, the maximum resolution setting for the graphics card is 1280x1024.
  • Multi-headed configurations are not supported.
StudioPaint 3.3 IRIX 6.2, 6.3, 6.4
  • StudioPaint3D 3.3 is compatible with PA/ST 8.0. and 8.1
  • SP3.3 will load and run under IRIX 5.3 and many systems (Indy, Indigo2 Extreme) are problem-free in this configuration. However, should you encounter a graphics related problem (such as picking not working as expected or portions of the display not being refreshed correctly), the Assist Hotline will only be able to recommend that you "upgrade to IRIX 6.2 (or 6.3 for O2's) including any indicated patches." Assist will still be able to answer questions about the functionality of the package.
  • Whether you choose to run SP3.3 under IRIX 5.3, IRIX 6.2, or IRIX 6.3 it is crucial that operating system patches be applied in order to rectify known problems that will seriously impede the usability and/or stability of SP3.3. Please see the Qualification Chart for exact details.
StudioPaint 3.2 IRIX 6.2
  • StudioPaint3D 3.2 is compatible with PA/ST 7.5, 7.5.1, 7.5.2.
  • SP3.2 will load and run under IRIX 5.3 and many systems (Indy, Indigo2 Extreme) are problem-free in this configuration. However, should you encounter a graphics related problem (such as picking not working as expected or portions of the display not being refreshed correctly), the Assist Hotline will only be able to recommend that you "upgrade to IRIX 6.2 including any indicated patches." Assist will still be able to answer questions about the functionality of the package.
  • Whether you choose to run SP3.2 under IRIX 5.3 or IRIX 6.2, it is crucial that operating system patches be applied in order to rectify known problems that will seriously impede the usability and/or stability of SP3.2. Please see the Qualification Chart for exact details.
StudioPaint 3.1 IRIX 5.3, 6.2 May 1996
  • StudioPaint3D 3.1 is compatible with PA/ST 7.0 & 7.0.1.
  • Even though it's not yet qualified on a Solid Impact, SP3.1 can be run on a Solid Impact on Irix 6.2 by setting the following env variables:

ALIAS_SP_EMULATE_LOWEND 1

GVERSION GL4DNP-6.2

USE_SOFT_TEXTURE 1

StudioPaint 3.0
  • Indigo2 HighImpact, Indigo2, Indigo, Indy
  • Power Series (4D/nn0), Crimson, or Onyx with one of these graphics (Hardware brushes and other advanced features are included on all these systems): VGX with FX (alpha planes) option, VGXT, VTX, RE, RE2
IRIX 5.3, IRIX 5.3 for Indigo2 IMPACT November 1995
  • Released with Alias 7.0
StudioPaint 2.0 January 1995
  • Released with Alias 6.0
StudioPaint 1.1
  • Crimson VGX, Power Series VGX (4D/nn0 VGX)
  • Crimson VGXT, Power Series VGXT (4D/nn0 VGXT)
  • Crimson RE, Power Series RE (4D/nn0 RE)
  • Onyx VTX, REII
IRIX 5.2 July 1994
  • Released with Alias 5.0a (July 1994) and 5.1.1 (September 1994)
StudioPaint 1.0.1
  • Crimson VGX, Power Series VGX (4D/nn0 VGX) (Irix 4.0.5A)
  • Crimson VGXT, Power Series VGXT (4D/nn0 VGXT) (Irix 4.0.5A)
  • Crimson RE, Power Series RE (4D/nn0 RE) (Irix 4.0.5H)
  • Onyx VTX, RE2 (Irix 5.1.1.2)
IRIX 4.0.5A/H, IRIX 5.1.1.2 March 1994
  • Released with Alias 5.0
StudioPaint 1.0 January 1994

Composer[edit]

Version Hardware O/S Release date Price Significant changes (selected)
Composer 5.5 IRIX 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5.4 1999
  • Composer 5.5 will NOT run under IRIX 5.3 at all.
  • Eight-bit graphics configurations are not supported.
  • Composer 5.5 is compiled N32.
  • Minimum System Requirments: R4400+ processor with native OpenGL hardware, or R5000 Indy, with 128Mb RAM.
Composer 5.0 IRIX 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5. November 1998
Composer 4.5 May 1997 $9,995
Composer 4.0.3 October 1996
Composer 4.0 June 1996 $7,995
Composer 3.6 November 1995 Included with Wavefront 4.2
Composer 3.5 Demo version available on SGI Hot Mix 10 CD (April 1995) and Hot Mix 11 CD (July 1995)
Composer 3.0 June 1994 date in Hot Mix binary. Demo version available on SGI Hot Mix 8 CD (June 1994) and Hot Mix 9 CD (October 1994)