Canadian Update News
March 2002
COMPULIFE Software, Inc.

The April 2002 disk update will be processed Tuesday, March 26th and Wednesday, March 27th. Disks will be shipped Thursday, March 28th. You should have the April Update in your office Monday, April 1st.

The April 2002 Internet monthly update will be posted to our four monthly update websites on Tuesday, March 26th.

Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your "March disks" ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed the April 2002 Update. March disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the February edition.

Returning Old Disks

For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem. Please go to the end of this bulletin for full details.

Trials by Internet

Compulife is now shipping trials by Internet. It is now easier than ever to request a 30 day free trial of the Compulife program.

Please keep this in mind if you want to refer a new subscriber to Compulife. And if you don't want to take advantage of bulk purchase discounts, Compulife has a referral program that will give you 6 free months of service for referring a new subscriber.

To request a free trial, e-mail your request including the name, address, phone number and e-mail address for the agent or agency that you are referring. If they buy, you get 6 free months.

The e-mail addresses for a trial are:

barneyrl@concentric.net
or
barneyrl@compulife.com


Windows Software Improvements

In December we began offering subscribers the next generation of our Windows program. For the past three months this has been available on demand at our mid-month website.

In February the new version of our Windows software was included in the Internet monthly update. During February we introduced the next enhancement to that software, which allows those updating through the Internet to get those updates from within Compulife. That newest version of the program is being provided this month to ALL subscribers.

Windows Software Gets Its Own Internet Updates

Compulife's Windows program now allows a subscriber, who obtains updates from the Internet, to retrieve those updates without having to use their web-browser. This is the case for either monthly update files or mid-month update files.

Monthly update files can only be downloaded by Compulife subscribers who have switched to obtaining monthly updates by Internet, and who do not have an expired subscription.

Mid-month updates files can be downloaded by ANY Compulife subscriber.

The program allows update downloads to occur in one of two ways:

First, you can force your computer to connect to a Compulife website/server by selecting "Install Next Update" from the Master Menu.

If you are authorized to take monthly updates through the Internet, that menu has two new options:

"Get Monthly Update from Internet"
"Get Mid-Month Update from Internet"

If you are NOT authorized to take monthly updates, the new menu has only one new option:

"Get Mid-Month Update from Internet"

If you click on either of these options, the computer will check to see if you have an open connection to the Internet. If you do, then it will go to one of our websites to check whether or not the update that is there, is newer than the one that you currently have. If it is, you will be asked if you want to download it.

If you do not have an open Internet connection, then the system will attempt to launch the connection for you. With only a few minor exceptions, the system will successfully launch your dial-up connection. If it turns out that you have a system that won't launch the connection for you, log onto the web as you normally do, then run the Compulife program and click on the option.

Either way, you do not need a browser to download the update, just an Internet connection.

The second way to obtain updates is more automatic. Assuming that there is an open Internet connection (the automatic feature will not engage unless you do), the program will take a quick look on one of the Compulife web sites to see if there is a newer update. If there is, the program will advise you that the new update is available and ask if you want to download it.

Once again, if there is no open connection to the Internet, this automatic check will not occur when you start Compulife.

Regarding the monthly update, and assuming that it is the 25th of the month or later, and assuming that the next monthly update is now available, the computer will bug you each time you start the program until you download that new monthly update. Once again, this will only apply to those who have been authorized to do Internet monthly updates. In addition, your subscription must be current.

The checks for mid-month updates do not occur each time you start the program. The check is done as often as daily, or once every 31 days. The default check period is every 7 days. You can change the frequency of the check period by clicking on the "Options" button at the top of the red Master Menu. It is the last option on that list and you can set it to once a day, twice a day or once every 31 days (this effectively cancels the option).

If you have been told a newer update exists, and you say "No" to downloading that update, the clock will reset and the computer will check for the update the first time that you start the computer 7 days later (or whatever time frame you set it to).

When an update is successfully downloaded from the Internet, the program will automatically close down and launch the decompression software.

Here's the nice part. While the actual downloading of the update is occurring, you can go ahead and use the Compulife program to do comparisons and run quotes. If you attempt to exit the program, while the update is still being downloaded, the program will stop and warn you that this will terminate the download process.

For those who have more than one copy of Compulife in their office, and who distribute their updates through their computer network, you will not want (and neither do we) each machine attempting to do its own independent updating. In order for you to disable the Internet update feature, click on options at the top of the Red Master Menu, and click on the second last option, "Enable downloading of updates from internet". This will remove the check mark and disable the Internet update function. We recommend you do this with all computers on your network, with the exception of the main system.

IMPORTANT: As much as possible, do not engage in multiple downloads of the same update to numerous computers. We expect that this easier downloading wil drive up website traffic and volume. If that begins to tax our internet systems we will begin tracking and counting who is dowloading what updates and how many copies of the same updates. If we find the same customer doing multiple downloads of the same update, we will institute a policy of tracking that and levying additional software fees for those who do so. Once again, we do not mind you doing multiple updates, as long as it is not the same update over and over again. Therefore, you would be well advised to develop a system for limiting the number of your users who download.

And finally, the current method of downloading the update files works as it did before. You can still use your browser to download the file manually, and the Compulife program will find and process that file when you first start the program. This method of downloading files will continue to be offered until such time as we have determined that there are no problems associated with any of our subscribers' Internet hosting connections.

WARNING: It is very important that you do not simply turn off this feature and not try using it. Once sufficient time has passed, and once Compulife is satisfied that this method of downloading files is working, we intend to abandon the current method for downloading monthly and mid-month update files. This means that you will NOT be able to use your browser to download files in the future.

The reason for this is that our mid-month update bulletin has been an important source of update information for those who do not pay for our service. It is our intention to make that bulletin a downloaded file (called MIDMONTH.TXT). Those who download files will be able to open that file and read it, following their download. The information contained in it will not be posted so that anyone can view it.

Expect this changeover to occur in a couple of months, once we have resolved the last of any known problems with this new update feature.

DOS Program Upgraded to Pick 12 data format

Compulife has responded to requests from subscribers who still use the DOS comparison module, together with the new Windows Pick 12 module.

As background, the recent upgrade of our Windows program, to the Pick 12 Policy Analysis, also involved a change in the file format used to store the products filed into the Pick 12 spreadsheet file. The change was necessary to accept the new "company category" description, which can now be displayed and printed when using the new Windows program. It also permits 12 products to be filed. Most important, the new file format permits that file to be easily expanded in the future.

However, we did not want to make this new file format compatible with the DOS software. We have been trying to "cap off" further enhancements to the DOS version of our program so we can devote all out time to improving the Windows program. Our plan was to have the DOS program talk to the old PICK5.DAT file, and the Windows program talk to the new Windows PICK12.DAT file.

Needless to say, that did not go over well with those subscribers who still like to use the DOS comparison modules, interchangeably with the Windows modules. Therefore, to accommodate those wishes Compulife has upgraded the DOS version of our program to talk to the same PICK12.DAT file as the Windows program.

Please Note: the DOS version of the program is still limited to a maximum of 11 products when filing and printing. In addition, the new company category descriptions do not appear.

What Next for New Features?

a) Pick 12 will be modified to allow the filing of multiple life quotes reflecting discounts for companies which offer multi-life options. You will be able to print pages showing total premiums for all lives and then subsequent pages for each individual life. Discounts, where available, will be noted. As the Pick 12 features become available, they will be posted to our mid-month update site.

b) Pick 12 will allow the quotation of modal premiums together with waiver of premium. Currently, when you click on waiver of premium, the spreadsheet defaults to annual premium. If you switch to another premium mode, the waiver of premium is dropped.

Dueling Websites

For those who update by Internet, Compulife has gone to great lengths to provide you with redundancy in our websites. Our main website is:

www.compulife.com

However, we keep another completely separate website, on a completely different server, in a completely different country, at:

www.compulife.cc

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.

Returning Monthly Disk Updates

For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.

1. Switch to obtaining monthly updates by Internet.

Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $80 per year in subscription fees.

To switch to Internet monthly updates, call us at (800) 567-8376. We will send you an agreement called the "Internet Update Endorsement". Read it carefully, especially the part where you agree that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid-month updates". If you haven't done that before, call us and we'll be happy to take you through the procedure. It's easy.

2. Disk Purchase Program

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). Once you do that 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 following year. $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.