The February 2002 disk update will be processed Friday, January 25th and Monday, January 28th. Disks will be shipped Tuesday, January 29th. You should have the January Update in your office Thursday, January 31st.
The Internet monthly update will be posted to our four monthly update websites on Tuesday, January 29th.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your "December disks" ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed the January 2002 Update. December disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the January edition.
It came as no great surprise that the mail service in the past two months has become the worst we can remember. We have had a whole series of complaints from subscribers who have gotten disks late or not at all. I suspect that fears of bio terrorism via the mail have had an impact on what has been a reasonably dependable service in the past.
Given the current circumstances and the fact that we now have the ability to update by Internet, we cannot emphasize enough that it would be in your interest and ours if you were to switch from receiving disks to updating through the Internet. We are very pleased with our Internet update software which is working very well. The fact that we use our own compression/decompression technology greatly reduces the risk of you getting computer viruses in a Compulife Internet update.
We also now maintain four different servers throughout the country. This means you can obtain monthly updates from an alternate site should one server, for whatever reason, be inaccessible to you. Our programmers are also working on improvements to our software which will allow for the downloading of updates from within our own program. This will eliminate the need to do that using your web browser. The upgraded software should be ready in 2 or 3 months.
To summarize, I ask that you please give serious consideration to switching over to Internet updates. On top of everything else, it can save you up to $80 per year in renewal fees. NOTE: Savings are less per unit for those who take advantage of our bulk pricing discounts.
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.
Compulife would like to wish you a happy and prosperous 2002. It is our hope that our program and service have made a positive contribution to your bottom line in 2001, and we hope we can continue to do so for 2002.
In December we began offering subscribers the next generation of our Windows program. This is available to you at the mid-month website. The newest version of the Compulife program recognizes and works with the concept of product families. The new version of the program will only be available by mid-month update until February 2002. At that time we anticipate introducing it for general release.
The initial release in December turned up some minor bugs. With the help of our subscribers we were able to get those corrected in short order.
Reception for the new software has been good but there were a few complaints. Most had to do with the fact that the new Windows version no longer allows you to select whether to run DOS or Windows modules from the Master Menu.
This does not mean you can't access DOS modules from the Windows program it just means they cannot be automatically accessed from the Windows Master Menu. To run the DOS modules you need to go to "Option" at the top of the red Master Menu, then select "DOS Menu and Options". This will display a mini-Master Menu which allows access to the DOS modules assuming that you have them on your computer.
Those who are used to running those DOS options directly from the Windows Master Menu found this new method an inconvenience but we made the change for a good reason. Most new subscribers are not the least bit interested in DOS modules. On top of that, they immediately brand our software old-fashioned if they see anything remotely related to DOS. While we think our DOS modules are a dependable and reliable backup to the Windows software, it just made no sense to continue to have those come up from the Windows Master Menu.
And inevitably a lot of subscribers would play around with the options, accidentally turn on a DOS module, and they not know how to set it back. This change eliminates that problem.
Apart from those minor complaints, most like the new software a great deal. The changes we have introduced make the software much simpler to use. As we have explained before, the existing Compulife database can require two or three separate product entries to include all the numerous "rate categories" which some products require. The existing Compulife rate entry system allows one product entry to contain up to four rate categories; a maximum of two non-smoking and two smoking categories. If a product has more categories we end up making additional product entries to accommodate those categories.
The "product family" enhancement allows us to group multiple product entries into one product family, effectively giving us an unlimited number of categories per product. For those who try it, single product (F2) menus are much, much simpler. Comparisons now use the main name of the product without all the (P+ Super Pfd/R+ Select) type notations which have traditionally been used to distinguish individual product entries in the system. The DOS version does not have the product family feature and so those duplicate entries will continue to appear.
Work has also been wrapped up on the expansion of Pick 5/11 to Pick 12. The existing "pick5.dat" file, which now contains your selected products, had some limitations in it. These prevented us from easily expanding the maximum number of products to 12 and to add more information for future Pick 12 options.
To summarize, the old "pick5.dat" file has been replaced with "pick12.dat" for those using the new Windows version. This makes the new Windows program incompatible with the old DOS program for spreadsheets. If you use the DOS program to file to Pick 5/11, you cannot use the Windows program to print the spreadsheet. You must do you filing in Windows to use the spreadsheet in Windows. Also, if you file the products in Windows, and try to print them using the DOS Pick 5/11, the products will not appear.
Therefore, if you want a DOS Pick 5, you must file from the DOS comparison program. If you want a Windows Pick 12, you must file from the Windows comparison program.
For more details of the changes, read the new manual chapters which are available at www.compulife.com. The new chapters were written with the new features documented in advance. You can download the newest GOWIN.EXE file by going to the mid-month website and downloading the UPDATE3.CMP file. Call us at (800) 798-3488 if you need help.
In the November mid-month update we advised you that Windows XP would NOT run DOS software. We based that statement upon information that we received from a couple of different subscribers who had just purchased XP systems and who advised us they could not run our DOS software on them. The subscribers also advised they could not load and run other DOS software that they had previously run.
We have since learned that XP does run DOS software and so we are notifying you that our earlier advice was in error.
Having noted that, you need to be aware that Microsoft has not supported DOS for a number of years. We fully expect, as time goes on, that the new Windows operating systems will be less and less friendly to DOS based software.
In keeping with Microsoft's direction, and in the event that you have problems running any of our DOS software on your XP or newer Windows operating system, Compulife has no intention to resolve DOS program problems for those newer Windows systems.
Therefore, here's the bad news. If that should impact you, and you are using our DOS software, you will need to switch over to running our Windows version. The Windows program now has ALL modules working in Windows and there is no need to use any of our DOS programs. The only exception is the disk based "INSTALL" program which will remain DOS based ONLY. Should the INSTALL program fail to work for you, it will be necessary for you to switch over to obtaining monthly updates by Internet. All software related to Internet monthly updates is now available in Windows.
The good news is that monthly updates by Internet are as much as $80 per year less expensive than disk updates.
Beginning in March 2002, Compulife will no longer be shipping DOS software with our monthly update disks. The DOS program will remain available (in addition to the Windows program) for those who update monthly by Internet.
IMPORTANT: If you want and need the DOS version of the program, you will need to switch to obtaining monthly updates by Internet.
As background, the removal of the DOS components from the disk update software will permit us to reduce the number of disks back to three, one Master disk and two data disks. That makes duplication 33% faster.
Once product families are fully tested and complete, the following are next on our list of changes.
a) Enhanced Internet Updating - Compulife will be upgrading our Windows software to permit it to automatically search the Internet for both monthly and mid-month updates at our numerous websites. The system will divide our users among our various websites and servers to ensure a moderate traffic level for each server. It will also automatically check for alternate servers when connections fail or where download performance is deemed unacceptable. This will make the process of Internet updating much simpler.
NOTE: The existing system of updating will continue to work just as it does now. The new approach will simply automate the steps.
b) Pick 12 will eventually 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.
c) 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.
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.
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 $50 per year in subscription fees (that will be an $80 per year savings starting January 1, 2002).
To switch to Internet monthly updates, call us at (800) 798-3488. 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.