The October 2000 disk update will be processed Tuesday, September 26th and Wednesday, September 27th. Disks will be shipped Thursday, September 28th. You should have the October Update in your office Monday, October 2nd. The Internet monthly update will be posted some time on September 28th to our three monthly update websites.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your "August disks" ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed this September 2000 Update. August disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the September edition.
For those who hate returning disks there are two alternatives to eliminate the problem. One alternative is to switch over to obtaining monthly updates by Internet. Not only will you not have the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $50 per year in license fees.
Before switching to updates by Internet we require that you complete a special addendum to the license agreement called the "Internet Update Endorsement". Once you return that to us we will send you the "Internet Master Disk" which you will need to be able to process the "MONTHLY.CMP" file that you will then be downloading each month.
If you want to switch over to Internet monthly updates, please call our office at (800) 798-3488. Our staff will send you the Internet Update Endorsement.
The other way to avoid returning disks each month is to pre-purchase them for $21 per year ($1.75 per month). If you do so 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 twelve boxes. This is less than it costs to mail back disks each month.
We have had some recurring and unexplained problems with our website for the past year. The problem is particularly peculiar because of "when" it happens as opposed to "what" is happening.
But first: what is happening? When the problem occurs, our domain names www.compulife.com, www.term4sale.com and www.termforsale.com suddenly stop working.
Please note: our own software, which we have placed on the Internet webservers (our web provider's computers), is NOT the problem. In fact, when our domain names fail, we are still able to access our webservers; we can upload and download files. The problem is that the Internet user is told by the Internet that the domain name isn't working. To put it in language you might understand better, the caller hears the phone ringing but the person on the other end doesn't know it's ringing. It's like having your phone unplugged.
The folks who are hosting our web services confirm that the problem is on their end. The software on their computers, which processes the domain names hosted on their computers, is the component that is failing.
To understand how the process works, ".com" domain names are registered and managed by a company called "Network Solutions" (www.networksolutions.com). Think of Network Solutions as a company which operates an electronic telephone directory and switchboard. When you type in a domain name on the Internet, and if it has a .com suffix, the domain name is sent to Network Solutions which then connects the request to the actual internet computer which contains the services that are provided by the owner of that domain name.
However, the computer that Network Solutions is sending the request to must know which domain name has been requested simply because that computer could be serving far more than just one customer/domain name. As I said before, it is the domain name software on our hosting company's computer that is causing this problem. When the software fails it's not just our domain names which fail. There are at least five other companies/people who are on that same computer who also lose their domain name connections.
Fixing the problem is simple. Our web provider simply restores the domain name address software and information from their tape backups. Once that is done, and the system is re-booted, the domain names are up and running.
The most perplexing aspect of this problem is "when" it happens. Typically our domain name problems occur very early on Sunday mornings, just after midnight on Saturday. We have also had the failures occur at the same time on statuatory holidays. Of course when the system gets hit on a holiday, we are forced to wait until the next working day for the staff of the webprovider to restore the domain name software from their tape. Until that happens, we are down and it's embarrassing.
Our web provider claims that this problem is not occurring at other times during the week. One can theorize as to what is causing the domain name software to get "hit", but the important thing is to stop it from interrupting the service that we provide.
Apart from this problem, our web provider has given us good service. However, this recurring weekend failure has become more and more routine. We have decided that the only alternative is to change our hosting arrangements and services.
Those who get their Compulife monthly update from the Internet will know that Compulife has been adding other web sites/servers for downloading the monthly update. Altogether we now have four separate domain names/servers that we can direct you to in order to get your monthly update from the Internet. We have gone to this level of redundancy to ensure that we do all that we can to make sure you can obtain your monthly updates.
Given the problems that we have had with the main server in Waterloo, Canada (compulife.com and term4sale.com) we have now taken the time and trouble to set up a mirror copy of our Term4Sale and Compulife services on webservers in Texas. The website address for those sites are www.term4sale.net and www.termforsale.net respectively. You will find term4sale.net is a copy of the services at term4sale.com, and termforsale.net is a copy of the services at compulife.com.
Having told you about the .net addresses, please understand that I want you to forget the .net addresses. Another company acquired compulife.net and that company is in no way connected to this company and so, please, forget about .net when you think of Compulife.
Here in the U.S., .CC domain names have become a growing and popular alternative to .com names. We have acquired compulife.cc, term4sale.cc and termforsale.cc.
The .cc domain names offer two ways to connect that domain name to a website. The first is the traditional method, which is a direct connection in the same way that the .com domain name works.
In our case, compulife.cc has been directly connected to the termforsale.net site/server. Therefore, all the services you have come to expect from compulife.com will be provided in a backup form at compulife.cc. If something happens to compulife.com, and you cannot connect, we recommend you try compulife.cc.
Please note: on any given day the compulife.com will be updated with changes first, and compulife.cc will be updated after. Therefore, it would be better to first check with compulife.com in case you hit us at the same time as an update is being put on the web.
For those doing monthly updates, be advised that the same web page address for your monthly updates at compulife.com, will now work at compulife.cc. Those same web page addresses also work at termforsale.net. Our fourth server will only be activated if all others fail.
The second method for connecting a .cc domain name is a concept called "web forwarding". We have selected that as the method for directing term4sale.cc inquiries.
Web forwarding permits Compulife to instantly re-direct a term4sale.cc request from one server to another. The downside of webforwarding is that the service is provided by the .cc domain name folks free of charge, in exchange for a banner ad which is displayed when the page is forwarded. While that may appear to be our advertising it is actually the advertising of the .cc domain name folks which is how they make money on the whole concept. I think it's a very good business idea and, as long as the ads aren't offensive, we like the ability to instantly re-direct flow. If the site term4sale.cc fails, for whatever reasons, we can just switch it to the other site. The user won't know what happened.
In the future, when we promote term4sale, we intend to direct people to term4sale.cc which will connect to one of the two term4sale websites, and which can be re-directed if the need be. Most consumers who hear and remember the domain name will likely try the .com version first, which is great, because we own that too. Please note that we are doing all we can to ensure that you have uninterrupted web service from Compulife.
Compulife registered the domain name lifeinsurancebrokers.cc and we are now offering that domain name for sale to the highest bidder. The story behind the name and what we were doing when we registered it can be found at www.lifeinsurancebrokers.cc. As it turned out, there was no interest from our Canadian customers to stop registration of "www.lifeinsurancebrokers.com" as a trademark in Canada. Because of that, we have no further interest in using the .cc domain name and we are willing to sell it to the highest bidder.
The balance of the two year registration can be yours. Would you care to start with a bid of $100. Would anyone else like to offer that? Do I hear higher bids?
During August we continued with our overhaul to the Windows comparison program. This modifies the internal way that the program accesses the term rate database. While that work has added to the development process, the result is much snappier comparison performance over the preceding version.
Compulife will not include the newest Windows version with the September edition of program. The latest version will be made available to subscribers as the "UPDATE3.CMP" file at our mid-month update page. Anyone wanting that is welcome to download the UPDATE3.CMP file and try the new Windows comparison program.
We anticipate that the first general release of the new Windows software will now take place in October. The substitution for the old program will be done in two steps. First, those being updated by Internet will have the new version included with their Internet monthly update for October. Second, the new version will be put on the disk update for November or December.
We are breaking this release into two steps to ensure that the support calls generated by the new version do not swamp our telephone support capability. Further, if other bugs and problems show up when we do a more mass distribution, we know that those who have the ability to update monthly by Internet, also have the ability to use this mid-month update facility.
For those wanting to give the new program a try, and we hope that many will, there is still an important safety valve in the new Windows program. You can select, from the Master Menu's option menu, either the Windows comparisons or the DOS comparisons. In other words, you can go right back to having the Windows version call the DOS comparison module just as it does now. If in doubt you can flip back to the DOS module and double check your values. If you are satisfied that the Windows version is working properly, you can flip right back to using the Windows comparison. We like the safety of our built-in Windows/DOS redundancy.
Finally, the free month offer for being the first to find a rate error stands. This means that if you use the new Windows program, and find a rate quotation mistake, you get a free month for being first to report it.