The May 2001 disk update will be processed Thursday, April 26th and Friday, April 27th. Disks will be shipped Monday, April 30th. You should have the May Update in your office Tuesday, May 1st. The Internet monthly update will be posted some time on Monday, April 30th to our three monthly update websites.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your "March disks" ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed the April 2001 Update. March disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the April edition.
For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.
Switch over to obtaining monthly updates by Internet. Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $50 per year in subscription fees.
Before you switch to updates by Internet we require that you complete a special addendum to the license agreement called the "Internet Update Endorsement". Once you have returned that to us we will send you the "Internet Master Disk". You will need that to be able to process the "MONTHLY.CMP" file that you will be downloading each month.
If you want to switch over to Internet monthly updates, please call our office at (800) 567-8376. Our staff will send you the Internet Update Endorsement. Please read it, particularly the part which has you agreeing that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid- month updates". If you haven't done that before, you can call the office and we'll be happy to talk you through the procedure.
The other way to avoid returning the disks and the disk box each month is to pre-purchase them for $21 per year ($1.75 per month). If you do you can keep them for future reference, throw them away or return them for a credit (once each year) when you are invoiced for the next year. The $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.
Next month we will be making significant changes to product codes. Company codes will not be affected.
As background, each product in Compulife has a unique four character product code assigned to that product. This is so that we can identify that product uniquely from any other product in a product category file. For example, in the 10 year term rate file there are over 100 different product entries. Each of those products has a four digit code that is completely unique.
We use that product code in different ways. For example, we use it to identify which products you have disabled from a category for the purposes of comparison. Therefore, because many of those product codes will be changed, there will be those who have disabled various products who will now discover that those products are now enabled. This is because the new code for the product has been changed and the new code is not listed in the disabled products list (file).
Once again, company codes will not be changing. Therefore, those who are using the new option to select the group of companies that they want to quote, will be unaffected by the coming change.
Those who disable companies will also be unaffected, providing that they review and save their disabled companies as they should each month.
For full and complete information regarding the enable/disable functions in Compulife, we would refer you to our February 2001 bulletin which can be found at the www.compulife.com website.
As Compulife advised you previously, we are expanding the number of categories we can store for an individual product. During the process of planning for this change, we have come up with a way to accomplish this objective that requires less data file manipulation, although more programming changes. The only thing required to make this interim expansion of categories work is to modify codes to reflect "product groups" or what we call "product families". Because this is a new concept that we had not previously thought of, product codes will be amended to accommodate the "product family" concept.
The big benefit of this approach to product category expansion is that the previous versions of our software will be fully compatible with the existing rate files. Therefore, those using our Internet engine will not need updates for this change. Having said that, new versions of the comparison software, which are to be released in the next couple of months, will begin to reflect the expanded categories.
Compulife will also begin the process of converting our data files over to allow the display of company category titles. We are doing the change in the U.S. first, and expect to introduce this in Canada for May 1st.
Company category titles, where used, will display at the top of the single product display and printouts.
NOTE: The Compulife category short form will continue to appear next to the company's category so that you can easily identify what category Compulife has assigned to the premium being quoted.
The product changes we will be making for May will mean that when you select a product, and display it on the screen, the appropriate life company category title will be displayed instead of the Compulife category title.
You can read the November 2000 bulletin for full details.
Occasionally we receive calls from subscribers who are looking for past editions of Compulife. Now that we have the ability to create CD-Roms, we are wondering if a CD containing the last 10 years of Compulife monthly updates would be of any use to anyone.
Please Note: Compulife has no intention of offering monthly updates on CD. Because our database is so small (for maximum speed, efficiency and economy of storage), there is no need to go to a CD which is excellent for applications with very large files.
Essentially the proposed Historical CD would contain a folder for each month's edition of Compulife from 1991 to 2000. Each folder would be named JAN1991, FEB1991... to NOV2000 and DEC2000; a total of 120 folders. By copying the content of any of the folders to your hard drive (into a folder other than your current \COMPLIFE folder) and by running the GO.EXE program in that folder, the historic monthly update would be decompressed and ready to run. Each version of the program would be pre-initialized and read to run with the licensee name "Compulife Historical Data for January 1991", or whatever month/year was applicable.
Let us know if this proposed historical CD is of interest to you. If a sufficient number of subscribers want to purchase such a CD, we will be happy to put it together. We anticipate the price of the CD to be $349 and will be only available to those who are current subscribers.
During March a number of changes were made to the new Windows version of the program. As those changes were made they were posted to our mid-month website for downloading. As we have explained before, regardless of whether you download monthly updates or receive them on disk, you are welcome to use our mid-month update service throughout the following month.
There is no additional charge for our mid-month service. We also want to underline that we work very hard to make mid-month changes ASAP. Many rate changes or product additions are turned around the same day to that website.
With respect to the completion of the Windows project, all the Compulife program modules are now available in Windows with two minor exceptions. We continue to use the DOS based "Install" program for installing monthly disk updates once each month, and we continue to use our own proprietary DOS based decompression program for processing updates from the Internet. We have no plans to convert either of these modules to Windows because they are utility programs that work flawlessly "AS IS".
For those who update by Internet, Compulife has gone to great lengths to provide you with redundancy in our websites. Our main website is:
However, we keep another completely separate website, on a completely different server, in a completely different country, at:
Whatever we update to compulife.com, we also update to compulife.cc. If one website goes down, for whatever reason, the other is ready to serve you. That includes both monthly and mid-month updates.
For those doing monthly updates by Internet, we have a third website standing at ready with the monthly updates ready. If you cannot obtain your monthly update from either compulife.com or compulife.cc, call our office at (800) 567-8376 and we'll tell you where the third site is.