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Update News for June 2024

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

    • Testing Term4Sale Emails

    • Mid-Month Update Frequency

    • Reset Defaults
      Fixall for Lost or Distorted Windows

    • The Latest Delay – Internet Engine

    • Our Current Programming Plans for 2024

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

Testing Term4Sale Emails
Jeremiah, who is in charge of our internet based services, advised me that a couple of subscribers had discovered they were not receiving email contacts from visitors to Term4Sale. He explained that he made some changes to our email servers to address some issues from our end, which may have contributed to the problems that those subscribers reported.

As you all know SPAM is an ever present problem and tech giants that provide email services (gmail, yahoo, are constantly making changes that make it more and more of a challenge to send and receive emails to their systems. As far as I can tell, gmail has the biggest base of users by far.

Email is NOT the only technology being affected. I have a part time hobby, that can feel full time some days, of being a political volunteer that is focused on making campaign phone calls. Personal phone prospecting was what I did in the good old days when I sold life insurance, and it was a VERY fruitful way to find prospects.

During the course of my political campaigning I make hundreds and hundreds of phone calls using a VOIP service which I switched to for outbound calls at Compulife. In the good old days we have two land lines in the office, one we kept open for inbound calls, and the other for making outbound calls. This was to make sure we kept the inbound line as open as possible, so you had the best chance possible to get through to one of us live. Jeremiah and I both have the same setup in our respective offices. Our second lines are now VOIP. I will NOT abandon our old copper based lines that the toll free numbers are connected to because I just do NOT trust the newer technology, and I think it is important to be able to make calls when the electricity goes out, or we lose internet service.

I have learned, after making a large volume of cold calls, that the outbound phone number I use gets branded as SPAM. That’s a problem because people do NOT answer phone calls flagged as spam. As we move forward, getting the SPAM label is getting easier and easier to receive. What I have learned to do is to change the phone number. In fact, in past years the problem was bad enough that I have purchased and assembled a buffet of phone numbers that I hold in inventory, phone numbers that only I use, and that I leave fallow for long periods of time so the SPAM label eventually goes away.

The same problem occurs with SMS texting of political messages. I found, during one SMS bulk message being sent by a firm I use, that they ran into the SPAM label issue and they had to stop using a phone number. I had a long and interesting conversation with them about how I buy phone numbers from this business: It lets me find acquire local numbers that I can use in conjunction with the VOIP account that I have.

Back to emails. I am constantly frustrated when I send an email for first time, from my account, to a new person with a gmail account. The email will invariably go straight to their spam folder. When I am sending such an email, I will then use my gmail account to send them a second email to tell them I sent them the first email, to check for that first email in their SPAM folder and to move the email from SPAM to the inbox. Once that is done, they are able to receive future emails from me without them going to SPAM.

This will beg the question, why not just switch over to using gmail for all emails and the reason is VERY simple, I do NOT trust big tech. They have their own agendas and YOU DO NOT MATTER. Worse, big tech collaborates with government far too much and governments get VERY strange ideas about what you should and should not be allowed to do. They will find it increasingly easy to use big tech to control our lives and I am not going willingly. I’ll stop right there because I could go on for pages.

Back to emails. To deal with SPAM “Big Tech” is constantly raising the bar and making people jump through more and more hoops to be able to do the same thing that they did yesterday with no problem. Suddenly Big Tech adds a new twist and what had worked yesterday does not work today.

When Jeremiah investigated the problem he learned there is a new security issue that has been introduced, that we were not following and he fixed it. However, there was another issue that the receiver of the email needed to be dealt with, and we cannot control what is on your end of email communication.

High volume buyers of Term4Sale zip codes receive a steady and routine flow of emails, and so they very quickly suspect when something is wrong because they get a sudden drop (to zero) in email traffic. For them, that is NOT happening. Even so, moderate or low use subscribers will contact us from time to time to inquire because they hit a dry spell. The fewer zip codes that you have, the more likely you are to have a period of complete inactivity. In poker we call it a “cold deck”. Anyone who plays cards knows what I am talking about.

If you are suspicious there may be an email problem, the simple way to “TEST” is to go to and put in one of the zip codes that you know you are listed in. Next, click the how to purchase button next to one of the products. When the list of 3 agents appears, confirm your listing is there. At that point fill in the client request form using “TEST” as the name, and submit the request. You should have an email from the system within 5 to 10 minutes.

If you do NOT receive the email the first thing to do is check your spam folder to make sure the email did not go to spam. If that happened move it to your inbox and that should solve the problem with a SPAM flag in the future.

Now there are situations where I have had email accounts set up for other websites that I have, and when I sent an email to a gmail account the email does NOT even appear as SPAM. It simply disappears. What is VERY aggravating is that I get no email error message from the email receiving server that the email was rejected. And when gmail does that to me I am NOT very happy with gmail and THAT is another reason why I would never totally switch to gmail for all my email communications. If you encounter a problem like that there is literally NO ONE at gmail to call because they do NOT care. We are always left to figure out the problem ourselves. Fortunately Jeremiah and Chris our programmer are pretty resourceful guys, and almost always come up with the answers.

We are quite certain that the email problem is NOT a widespread issue, but if you are wondering then use the “TEST” for client name and go ahead and test it. Please make sure the client name is TEST so that the other two agents in the listing know that you are just checking the email technology and do NOT waste their time pursuing a bogus request for insurance.

IMPORTANT:   When we receive the copies of the “TEST” emails, they are moved to a folder that is NOT the same folder were we keep copies of all the Term4Sale request emails for audit purposes (year end – to determine warranty claims).

Also IMPORTANT:   Do not send more than one test request unless you are testing to see if a problem you did find has been fixed. You will just annoy other subscribers.

Mid-Month Update Frequency
One of the options which are found under “options” on the top of the Red Menu is “Enable automatic downloading from Internet”. If that option is enabled there should be a blue check to the left of that option. It’s a simple option, it is either off (no check) or on (checked).

If it is NOT checked the system assumes you (for whatever reason) are MANUALLY downloading update files. The VAST MAJORITY of subscribers should have it checked.

The very next option under that is “Number of days between update checks”. The default setting for this is 0 (zero). What that means is that EVERY time you start Compulife the program checks the web to see if there is a midmonth update. Because that check is so quick, particularly with modern high speed internet, no one notices the VERY slight pause when that happens and so there is no issue.

In the good old days, we put those options in the program to deal with situations where automatic updates could create problems because of slow internet services, very difficult firewall systems (in particular with LARGE corporate clients) or customers who operated computers which were NOT connected to the internet all the time. If those situations exist, the error message that pops up when our system cannot find whether there is an update or not, can be annoying. The solution is to turn off the automatic updates, and set the frequency to some higher value like 7 which would mean the system would not automatically check for an update, and would only remind you to manually check once a week.

In the May monthly update we had a VERY BIG rate error with one Canadian life company, for their 10 year term for face amounts over $3,000,000 for male non-smokers. Our quotes were FAR TOO LOW and if you ran that quote it was VERY obvious that the quote was wrong. The mistake was my goof and was VERY easily and quickly fixed. I put the update on the web in minutes.

We then were still getting calls, days and even weeks later when people were hitting the rate error. It was obvious those people had NOT gotten the midmonth update. The meant their options for updates were NOT set to check for updates each time the program ran, or were only checking for mid month updates infrequently.

At that point we told them there was an update that fixed the problem and to go get it.

One subscriber argued they were checking and had the latest update. I had to go back and forth and point out that the latest “monthly update” did NOT mean they had the latest midmonth update. They finally figured it out and their problem was solved.

To review, a monthly update is a COMPLETE REFRESH of ALL your Compulife program and data files at the beginning of each month (actually, the very end of the month preceding that). If automatic updates are checked (it should be for MOST subscribers), then starting on the 28th of the month the program will automatically check for a new monthly update EVERY TIME you start it, regardless of what the midmonth update frequency is set to. Once the program knows it has the new monthly update, it stops it’s check for that update until the 28th arrives again.

Midmonth updates can occur MULTIPLE times between the monthly updates, and midmonth updates only make incremental changes to ONLY those files that have changed since the beginning of the month. If there is a change to 10 year term rates, then only the 10 year files are updated.

Some people assume a midmonth update means an update about the 15th of the month – that is WRONG. These can occur ANYTIME and because they are important, you need to let your system check for them as frequently as possible.

Reset Defaults
Fixall for Lost or Distorted Windows
The most routine technical support call that we are getting these days is for missing columns in the comparison window. One of our rather PERSISTENT subscribers likes to resize the width of the various columns of information that we display in our comparison, and each time he closed the program and restarted it, it would go back to default widths, that virtually no one else was complaining about. But he was PERSISTENT, and we made a change to the program that lets you change the column widths and it remembers what you did.

The thing I feared the most was a bug that slipped in, which at times causes columns to become VERY wide, and so columns to the right would be “off the page”. Very easy to fix if you know how to click on the partition between column headers, and drag the bar to change the widths, but that is something a lot of infrequent computer users do not understand or do.

As a result we will get the call or email telling us they can’t see the premiums or the screen is blank. It’s an easy fix, and if we get the request by email, we send this email:

      • COMPULIFE – Reset the defaults
      • Do the following to reset your defaults:
      • 1. Go to the top of the Red Menu and click “options”.
      • 2. Come down to the option which says “Reset Defaults”. After you click that it will ask if you want to reset, click on Yes.
      • 3. Reopen your COMPULIFE program.
      • 4. Go to the top of the Red Menu where it says “options”.
      • 5. Come down to the option which says “Reset Pick 12 Styles”. After you click that it will ask if you want to reset, click on Yes.
      • 6. Restart the program and see if your problem has been resolved.
    • If not, please email us or give us a call.

The reset does MUCH more than just change the comparison columns, it puts all the settings for all options back to defaults (the way we like them). For example, the previous discussion was about automatic updates and frequency. If you do a reset, the default setting are set to yes for automatic defaults and zero days between update checks.

The column issue will be VERY resolve in the new version of our software: CQS.EXE. We have added an option that lets you choose to have automatic sizing of columns, the way it used to be, or manual sizing of columns the way it is now. The default for reset will be automatic.

Some will ask, “Why not add that to the existing program?” Simple, everything we spend time adding to the existing program is time taken from the new version of the program and the delays and interruptions are FRUSTRATING.

The Latest Delay – Internet Engine
The latest delay in our development of the new software is yet another compiler problem. This time we have an encountered an issue with the Linux compiler which is behaving badly and reacting badly to some of the new code written for the new version of the program.

Those following this saga will remember the problem we turned up in the new Windows PC compiler where fonts were being dramatically altered (and shrunk) in the Pick 12 printouts. That problem happens when we compile our software code with the newest version of our Windows PC compiler. The same programming code, when compiled with the older compiler that we were using, works just fine. We are still trying to get to the bottom of that one but have not figured out (yet) what part of our new code is creating the issue. There are two ways to address a compiler problem. The first is for the compiler manufacturer to fix their problem, or for us to rewrite the code that is turning up the bug in the compiler.

Another issue that required a change to the internet engine, turned up another compiler problem with the Linux compiler that we use to produce the Linux server version of our Internet software. That one has also been driving our programmer nuts, and he is focused on tracking that one down.

In total we produce 3 different compiled versions of our software, the Windows PC version, the Linux server version and the Windows server version. The same source code (the quoting engine) is used for all three. The Windows PC version has a user interface, the internet server versions do not. They all share the exact same calculation engine that produces quotes. What one compiler likes, another compiler may not. We try to keep the code the same for all three, and have done so in the past. But it has been a while since we compiled a newer engine, and something in the new codes has led to a problem that our programmer is having to track down.

Some subscribers wonder why we do not produce software for Apple products. Let me assure you that the headaches we get from trying to remain compatible with the 3 versions of our software that we produce programs for are enough without adding to that the Apple systems where Apple is the least friendly of all those platforms. Besides, if you are THAT dedicated to using Apple Mac hardware, you can buy a product called “Parallels” which lets you run Windows programs seamlessly on your Apple. It’s only about $100 dollars and does not just let you run Compulife on your Mac, but the vast majority of Windows software products on your Mac.

But some Mac users will only run “Mac software”. Their DEVOTION to that product line is astonishing to me, given that Apple routinely manipulates their customers in to EXPENSIVE upgrades that render their older products useless. And yet Apple customers continue to love their Apple products and stand buy the brand fearlessly.

In the VERY good old days, when I was a parts man in the farm implement business, and worked for non-John Deere dealers, we used to say that a John Deere customer (the Apple of the implement business) would stand next to a John Deere tractor, lying in pieces in the shop, and swear that they never had a day’s trouble with it. As I say, there is no accounting for some people’s devotion to some brands.

From our position, it’s easier to take Muhammad to the mountain than to bring the mountain to Muhammad. If you want Compulife on a Mac, you need to buy Parallels. Alternately you can run one of the internet based versions of Compulife on the Mac and/or iPhone. Hopefully you understand that is why we are not going to be adding an Apple OS compiler to stable of programming tools.

Our Current Programming Plans for 2024
The following is the current order for new work that we will be doing in 2024:

      • Introduction of New PC Version: CQS.EXE
      • Overhaul Of Current Product Data Files
    • Introduction of Compulife Mobile* Plus (with Pick 12)

Anyone with questions about any of these upcoming projects can call Bob Barney to discuss:

(888) 798-3488

Please don’t email me essay questions, just call. If I’m not in, email me your phone number, I’ll call you.

These planned objectives will easily consume our programming time during the balance of this year and throughout 2024. The good news is that once the product data files have been converted, and we have introduced the new CQS.EXE, and upgraded our internet engine to use the new data files, Compulife will be turning it’s full attention to our web based, Compulife Mobile software. The long term goal is to have a web based product that does everything our PC based software does.


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