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Update News for November 2013    

Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:

These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin.

Turning On "Computer" In Windows 8

This is not a reference to "powering up your computer", it's a reference to accessing a function in Windows that was once known as "My Computer" in Windows XP, which then became "Computer" in Windows 7. Why Microsoft feels the need to mess with this stuff we don't know, but they do. From time to time someone will tell us that the Compulife program looks old fashioned, but we don't keep moving the goal posts and changing the labels on our software functions and we don't understand why Microsoft keeps doing it.

Anyway, the "Computer" or "My Computer" icon is a handy way to navigate through the disk drives, folders and files on your computer. We use it all the time, particularly when assisting subscribers with technical problems.

Under Windows XP the "My Computer" icon was usually found on the Desktop with all the other icons for your computer. Quite often Windows 7 does not have the "Computer" icon on the desktop, but you could easily locate it by clicking on the "Start" button. "My Computer" or "Computer" would then appear on the list of Start menu options.

Of course Microsoft decided to roll out Windows 8 and eliminated the "Start" button. That raised such a ruckus that apparently they now give you the option of going back to the classic "Start" button on the desktop, if you want it to appear. We don't really care, but getting to the "Computer" icon in Windows 8 can be very difficult when we have someone on the phone who just got a new computer with Windows 8, who hasn't learned how to use it, and is having a problem installing Compulife. On a side note, as I was writing this part of the bulletin, I had one of those calls.

This month I located a couple of useful articles on the web which explains how you can get the computer icon put onto the desktop of your Windows 8 computer. I strongly recommend that you read one or both of the articles and get the "Computer" icon on your desktop. The first article is from Microsoft's web site:

How to Create My Computer Icon on Desktop in Windows 8

The second article is from a blog:

Where (The Heck) Is Computer In Windows 8?

If you have the "Computer" icon on your desktop, and you call Compulife for assistance, you will find things go quicker because of it. If you don't have it, we'll be referring you back to this bulletin.

Bootleggers Are Banished

From time to time we catch someone bootlegging our software and the remedy is always the same: we discontinue the subscription and the individual or entity is banished from purchasing software from us. It may seem harsh, but then we take the theft of our software quite personally, given that this is a small family owned business, and employees share in the reward and losses that we enjoy or incur.

The latest example was particularly egregious. Here is the email exchange:

I cc'd the former customer who responded with this:

To which I repled:

The former customer elected NOT to call me and instead wrote this:

I elected not to not respond to that email. You don't steal from me and then start dictating to me the terms upon which we can continue to do business.

An old friend one asked me if I knew what happened if you caught someone stealing from you in business but decided to continue doing business with him anyway. He said, "Do you know what you get?" I said, "No". He said, "A smarter thief".

What was particularly remarkable about all this was the position that the former customer took, that he did NOT know what was in our license agreement. That's an interesting contrast with his story about Microsoft auditing his firm twice.

What can I say? Ignorance is NOT a defense, and it doesn't sound to me as if he was that ignorant.

I share all this with you as a warning. If we catch you in violation of our license agreement, we simply stop doing business with you. We have too many good customers, who realize we also need to make a living, to put up with people who want to bite the hand that feeds them.

If in doubt about your use of Compulife on more than one computer, KEEP READING. You will find a quick review of our license agreements, and an invitation to contact us if in doubt.

Compulife's Standard License

A review of the license requirements is in order, as apparently we are not (according to the above gentleman) doing enough to ensure that everyone understand the rules.

Compulife offers two different licenses. The first is what we call the Standard License which costs $299 per year. Here is a link to a copy of the agreement, which follows the application form to purchase the software:


The standard license gives you the ability to run the software on up to 5 computers in a single location. This is clearly referenced more than once in the agreement. There is a waiver on the "5" limit for head offices of life companies, but the rule remains that the software must only be used in a single office location.

The software can be used to produce quotes that can be given to other agents but You MAY NOT GIVE THE SOFTWARE to other agents. Agents are welcome to use the software, on one of the 5 machines, in the office (not outside the office).

This clearly does not mean the agent can use his computer, in another office, and log into the computer in your office, and run quotes. The standard license says quite clearly:

If the agency needs more than 5 machines, then we ask the agency to purchase a sub-license which gives the agency another 5 machines for $199. So the first 5 machines cost about $60 per machine per year, and the next 5 cost about $40 per machine per year.

If the agency needs software for another location, then we ask the agency to purchase a sub-license which gives the agency another (up to) 5 machines in that separate location for $199. So the first 5 machines cost about $60 per machine per year, and the next 5 cost about $40 per machine per year.

Does ANYONE actually think that those prices are outrageous or unfair? If yes, then don't put the software on the additional machines. In fact, if those prices are high by contrast with the money our software is making for you, then we have to wonder why you bother to buy the software.

Compulife's Personal Use License

The second license option is the Personal Use License. Here is a link to that agreement:


The Personal Use License gives an individual agent the ability to run the software on any computer that the agent personally uses, or any computer that is used by an assistant (unlicensed; not an agent) who produces quotes for the benefit of that single licensed agent and/or that agent's clients.

The key point is that the software may not be used by another agent, and quotes may not be given to other agents. The license says:

This license is much easier to enforce, simply because the Personal Use License sells for a discounted price of $149 per year. In order to get the discount, the agent name is locked into the software, in addition to the agency or licensee name. Generally one agent does not like to provide a quote to a prospect with a different agent's name on the quote, which makes a personal use license more self policing (less likely to be bootlegged).

Web Quote Software

Once again, you may not put the Windows version of Compulife on the Internet, or allow it to be accessed through a network outside a single office location.

That rule DOES NOT APPLY to the webquoting versions of our software, which are of course, built for and intended for use on the internet. And we have no illusions about widespread use, after all, it's on the internet.

The difference between the web quoting software and the Windows version of Compulife, is features and functionality. One of the obvious reasons that we do not put all the features and functions that are in our Windows software, into our web software, is because we know that people are going to be offering the web version for free use on the internet. If agents can get the same software for FREE on the internet, why would they pay anything to buy our Windows program?

So the limitations of the standard license and personal use license does NOT apply to the web quoting software, although you cannot give our web quoting software to third parties, for use on their web sites, unless those third parties are also subscribing to the Windows software. Apart from that, if you have Compulife's web quoting software on YOUR website, then anyone on the planet can use it to run quotes.

If In Doubt, Call

We think that is all pretty straightforward, but if we lost you along the way, don't hesitate to email us at and ask if the way that you are using Compulife, on more than one machine, is acceptable. And if you are in violation of our license we are a lot more receptive to apologies and correcting the problem than if we catch you with your hand in the cookie jar.

If we get to the point where we think bootlegging is common and not rare, we will need to sit down and build more functionality into our software in order to catch people doing this stuff. That seems like a sad waste of time and money and means that honest people will have to pay for locks to deal with the dishonest people. It also means honest people will have to deal with locks, which are no fun at all.

One thing is for sure, if we catch someone as we did in the above example, it's over for that subscriber. It may just be me, but after 31 years of doing this, I have no patience for this behavior. I have also found that if someone will steal from me, then they'll steal from other people, like their insurance clients. I really don't want to do business with those people anyway.

And to the majority of our subscribers who use our software properly, many thanks for your business. We are sorry to have to burden you with this story.