Universal Thread lowers its prices

Good news from Michel Fournier of Level Extreme Inc., who announced a reduction in the price of the Universal Thread subscription, aka the Premier Universal Thread Membership or PUTM. The price of a monthly subscription drops to CAD$9.95 after the first month, while an annual subscription is reduced to CAD$99.95 (about USD$90.05 at today's exchange rates). The official announcement is at www.universalthread.com/news/subscription.asp.

This should be welcome news for everyone who subscribes to the UT, as well as for those who may have been thinking about subscribing but were put off by the price. For my part, I have always considered a PUTM subscription to be well worth the price, and now even more so. I literally can't count the number of times I've quickly found a solution to a problem or a valuable reference for an issue on the UT. It's a real time saver.

Evidently Canadian GST tax still applies to all subscriptions including international (i.e., not Canadian) residents. This has long been a source of contention but is outside Level Extreme's control. Michel said today that the appeal of this ruling is still in progress.

The only thing I'd question here is why the first month should cost more (CAD$14.95) than the standard monthly rate. It seems to me one good way to attract new subscribers would be to offer the first month for free instead of charging more for it. OTOH I suppose some people might take advantage of this, so maybe that's why it's the way it is.

Tags: Universal Thread, Visual FoxPro, VFP



Beyond Compare Update

Version 2.4.2 of Beyond Compare, the great little file and folder comparison utility, was released last Thursday. Readers of this blog know I consider Beyond Compare an indispensable part of my developer's toolkit, so I'm always alert for a new version.

In addition to a number of new enhancements, version 2.4.2 introduced a minor bug that caused zip files within zip files to compare incorrectly - they were displayed as different on each side of the comparison even though they were in fact identical and showed the same size and date-time stamp. Knowing how responsive Scooter Software is, I knew it wouldn't take long for a fix to be posted, and sure enough version 2.4.3 appeared this morning with the fix for the zip-in-zip bug and a couple of other things as well.

If you use Beyond Compare, go get version 2.4.3. The best keeps getting better.



Presentation Fears and Fiascos

As I work to put the finishing touches on my presentations for Southwest Fox 2006, I had a good laugh at this post on Scott Guthrie's blog this morning. Scott posts a link to The ten worst presentation moments from the Microsoft UK site along with the story of one of his own "interesting" conference presentation experiences. Anybody who's made a presentation to a group of any size can probably identify with these moments, or at least has had the fear of something similar happening to them. On the list of ten, my personal favorite is #4. What's yours?

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Southwest Fox 2006

Southwest Fox 2006 is less than three months away! Join your friends and colleagues October 19-22 at the Fiesta Inn Resort in Tempe, AZ for this outstanding event. Southwest Fox has earned a well-deserved reputation for excellence in past years and promises to deliver top-notch content and value again this year. Register via the conference website, where you'll also find a full listing of speakers and topics, hotel information, and more.

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