How do I use Scrivener when I am not connected to the Net?

I have 2 places where I work to my novels (with 2 desktop iMacs), and go from one place to the other with a LaCie 1TB external, so that I have always with me what I need. I have Snow Leopard installed on this LaCie and I always boot from there , so that there is no need to synchronize this and that.

Every time I open Scrivener in one of the 2 places I am automatically connected to eSellerate, which confirms my registration. No big deal, since I have a Net connection in both places. But have I or not a “household licence” for multiple computers? I have and use 3 of them. So?

And what would happen should I try to use Scrivener (always through my LaCie) on my MacBook while travelling, WITHOUT an Internet connection? Will Scriveener open or should I wait to be home one month later to go on working to my writings?

Anybody knows, by chance? MTIA :unamused:


I’m not sure why you think you need to be connected to the internet - you don’t. eSellerate doesn’t check your registration every time you start up - it only checks it the first time you register, to activate it. If you are seeing an eSellerate panel every time you start up, then you have a permissions error, in which case let me know as it’s easy to fix. But either way - even without that fixed - you can still use Scrivener with no internet connection. I would never make Scrivener depend on an internet connection, that would be horrible and counteractive to writing anywhere.

All the best,

Many, many, many thanks for your immediate answer. You are partly right, because now I have copied for experiment a Scrivener project on my MacBook and opened it without any problem.

As a matter of fact I found bizarre the behaviour of the software at home and in the country, but I assure you that when I go to my country house, the FIRST time I open it, it connects to eSellerate, then it works without problems. If I do not connect to eSellerate, it DOES NOT open.

Same story when I come back to my residence in town.

There is most probably a problem of permissions on my 1TB LaCie which works here and there, but how can I discover it?

Could you possibly, please, help me again? MT

Mmmm: could it depend on the fact that in town and in the country I use obviously 2 different lines?
On the contrary, the LaCie (through an iMac) and the MacBook are connected on the same DSL line.

When you say it connects to eSellerate, though, what do you mean? Do you see a message come up, and if so, what does it say?

The thing is that Scrivener is programmed so that if it can’t connect to eSellerate it will still work, so this should never happen. Given this, I really need more details to be able to help - the exact error message, exactly what you are seeing in that circumstance and so on.

All the best,

OK. I will go to my country house next weekend and check what exactly happens (grab the messages on the screen), then I will let you know. Many, many thanks again

Thanks. That should shed some light on what is going on.
All the best,

I am very glad to say that I did not have any new problem booting Scrivener on my 2 computers in my two houses. Thanks, ciao from Italy

Unfortunately I am very sorry to have to say that once again, opening Scrivener in my country house, I received a warning message about activating the software on eSellerate. Here it is:

True, the warning did everything there was to do, went on the eSellerate site and opened Scrivener for me. But what if I was not connected to the Web?

And tomorrow, when I will be back in town, will it ask again to activate on eSellerate? Rather boring… :unamused:

My God, how do I send images?

Let us try again…

As the message states, this happens whenever you install it on a new machine. When you go back to the city, your other computer will not have changed, so you will not get this message—you now have it activated on two computers, instead of one.

If you did not have a net connexion, it would not have restricted you from using Scrivener.

As AmberV says (and as I said in my original reply), if you have no internet connection everything will still work - you won’t even be prompted to activate (it only asks you to do that if you have an internet connection).

You mentioned there were problems connecting to eSellerate previously - it looks as though this time it has successfully activated. If so, then you shouldn’t see the message again as it is a one-time thing. But if you do see the problem again, let me know. Note that you have to activate for each user account on the machine, too, just in case you are using different accounts.

All the best,

No, no, no, absolutely sorry but, as I wrote in my first post, this is NOT the first time it happens, it happens almost always.

I wrote:

«I have 2 places where I work to my novels (with 2 desktop iMacs), and go from one place to the other with a LaCie 1TB external, so that I have always with me what I need. I have Snow Leopard installed on this LaCie and I always boot from there , so that there is no need to synchronize this and that.

Every time I open Scrivener in one of the 2 places I am automatically connected to eSellerate, which confirms my registration»

So Scrivener was re-activated for the “nth” time saturday in the country, and the message appeared again here in my town-house today, with new “nth” activation.

Sorry to have to repeat myself but I do it: very, very annoying

Yes, I read your e-mail but there is a difference between “registration” and “activation”. which was why I was checking. This is the first time you posted a screenshot, and it wasn’t clear to me that this was definitely the same message you were seeing before - thank you for clarifying. (I’m sure it is annoying, but it’s not personal. :slight_smile: )

Please go to the /Library/Application Support folder (the Library folder in your root hard drive, not the one inside your home directory) and look for a folder entitled “MindVision”. Does it exist? And if so, do any files exist inside it? If it doesn’t then take a look at the same folder inside your home directory (~/Library/Application Support/MindVision, where the tilde represents your home directory).

To me, this sounds like a permissions problems on your machine. When Scrivener gets activated, it saves a file into the /Library/Application Support/MindVision folder (creating the MindVision folder if necessary), or to the ~/Library/Application Support/MindVision folder if it doesn’t have permissions to write to your main Library folder, so that it doesn’t have to check again in future - the existence of this file tells Scrivener that it has been activated successfully on this machine. However, if your computer refuses to allow Scrivener to write this file to disk, then next time you come back to Scrivener it will have no record that it is activated and thus try again. If this is happening - if the “MindVision” folder doesn’t exist or if no files exist inside it - then it indicates something wrong on your computer.

Some things to try (make sure Scrivener is closed first):

• If either (or both) MindVision directories do exist, then move them out of the Application Support directory and into the Trash.
• Whether they do or don’t exist, use Disk Utility to repair all permissions on your hard drive (it’s probably best to do this when you are logged in as the administrator).

Also try going through the instructions on this page, even though you are not receiving the error message described on that page: … all_Failed

Let me know if you still have problems after trying the above.

All the best,


Another point is that the same external drive is being used for booting the systems. You might want to check with eSellerate and make sure that they are not using MAC or host ID as part of the validation process that scriv would use on start up. If they are, this will change each time the user moves from system to system as these will be hardware “serial numbers” (not really, but…").

@yazarim: Which is a way of saying that the method of moving the data is likely the cause of the problem. In general it would be better for you to use the external drive as a storage device and not a boot device. This would require you to install scrivener twice, but KB support that with his licensing terms. what you are doing should work for most applications, but any app that is looking at HW addresses is likely to get a bit unstable as time wears on.

Ahh… I hadn’t thought of that. Yes, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. The activation is based on hardware - it activates Scrivener per-hardware profile. So what is most likely happening is this:

• yazarim plugs in the LaCie to one machine, boots up, and activates Scrivener. All works fine for a while.
• The yazarim takes the LaCie to another machine and boots from the LaCie again, at which point Scrivener recognises that the hardware has now changed. It therefore requires him to activate again. The activation information gets saved into the /Library/Application Support/MindVision folder of the LaCie drive, now storing the hardware profile of this new machine.
• But then, yazarim goes back to the other machine, at which point the activation procedure notes that the hardware profile stored in its activation file doesn’t match the hardware profile of the current machine (because he is booting from the other machine), and so asks for activation again.

This would indeed explain it. I have written to eSellerate asking them if there is any way around this, but I doubt it, as activation requires you to activate a specific set of hardware, but in this case the hardware is changing when booting from different machines.

All the best,

Actually there are several tricks that I could think of to get this, but I would not be comfortable suggesting them without a very clear “DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME”.

Lets assume that each mac has an internal disk. First we need to make sure this internal disk is named the some on both systems. For the sake of this idea we will use “MacHD”. We also need to know our login name. For the sake of this example we will use “JoeUser”. You can find this out by looking in the users system pane. Once we have that done we would open a terminal and do the following:

sudo mkdir -p /Volumes/MacHD/laCieUsers/JoeUser
sudo chown JoeUser /Volumes/MacHD/laCieUsers/JoeUser
cp -a ~/Library/Application\ Support/MindVision /Volumes/MacHD/laCieUsers/JoeUser/

Once you have done that on both machines you would then do the following:

mv ~/Library/Application\ Support/MindVision ~/MindVisionBackup
ln -s /Volumes/MacHD/laCieUsers/JoeUser/MindVision ~/Library/Application\ Support/

Now start scrivener and you should be asked to activate/validate one more time on each system. After that you should not see the warning again.

Last point. This is a hack of monumental proportions. But it will work if you do everything just like I indicated. Yes you will need to do it over a couple of trips, but it should fix your problem. Really what you should to us boot from local drives and use your external drive for DATA.

As a matter of fact the same thing happens with Aperture, which has nothing to do with eSellerate.

But I bought-registered other softwares through eSellerate (BBEdit, PageSender, SuperDuper and so on), and these softwares do not create any problem when I use them here or there.

I think I also had better explain that I have been using Macs since October 1994. With my Macs I have written 13 of my 16 books, at least 60 of my 71 translations, hundreds of reviews and interviews for the press and so on. With them I also have created my web site in April 1995, and in 2000 a big literary portal for a publishing group here in Italy (and with my Macs I manage them day by day).

In any case, even if I have a few ideas abut the ways I should use my computers, I very much prefer the motto “DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME”…

So let us see what I have found on my computer.

  1. The MindVision folder was on my ˜/Library/Application Support. In it there were 2 files: 1 eSellerateEngine (Carbon) + 1 text file named PUB88…

  2. As suggested I threw away the folder (put it on my desktop), opened again Scrivener and activated it with eSellerate.

  3. Now the MindVision folder is in the root/Library and contains ONLY 1 file: a Unix exec named PUB88… (exactly as the text file in the old folder).

Does this make any sense for anybody? :neutral_face:

Yes, that PUB88… file is the Scrivener activation file.

I should say that it makes no difference whether you have bought other applications through eSellerate or not, as it depends on how they use eSellerate. If BBEdit, PageSender and SuperDuper do not use eSellerate’s online activation procedure, then you wouldn’t have the problem - I don’t use these programs, so I can’t comment on whether they do or not, but if you have never seen a window in any of them asking you to activate online, then you know that they don’t. The difference is that Scrivener does require online activation if you have a valid internet connection, and you would see the same with any other applications that use eSellerate that also require online activation. The fact that you are seeing the same with Aperture very much suggests that this is the case - Aperture requires online activation and thus suffers the same problem. As you recognise, it has nothing to do with eSellerate per se, but just to do with the fact that in general, any program using online activation will save the activation information against the hardware profile (eSellerate does this, and it seems that Aperture does too). So when the hardware profile changes - as it does when booting from different machines - the activation information is invalidated.

As I say, I’ve e-mailed eSellerate to see if they know of a workaround for this, and I’ll let you know what they say when they get back to me.

All the best,

OK. Many thanks.