Re: Alden update...

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Since there is a discussion of DIFAX on the LDM users message list, here's a 
message I sent out on the DIFAX circuit yesterday:

Here's an update to my suggestion that some of you might want to consider 
getting DIFAX from Unisys instead of Alden.

Our current DIFAX agreement with Unisys ends on Sep 30. I contacted Mike 
Porreca at Unisys to set up the next year's blanket purchase order for DIFAX. 
He told me that there would have to be a price increase for the service. That 
didn't surprise me, everything costs more today than it did yesterday. Then he 
told me what the increase was and I was surprised.

For educational institutions, the price is going from $300.00 per year to 
$3300.00 per year. That's a modest 1000% increase. He said it costs Unisys over 
$300.00 just to process the paperwork for one school. It sounds as though they 
intend to pass the costs for their bad management practices along to their 

Needless to say, we will not be getting DIFAX from Unisys next year.

He did tip Unisys's hand a bit. He said "Where else are you going to get DIFAX?" Sounds 
as though they've been following the Alden epic, too. And then he said "If Unidata were to 
contract with us, instead of individual schools, then the schools could get DIFAX for $300.00 per 
year." The quotations are approximations, I never bothered to learn shorthand. The dollar 
costs are exact, however.

Sorry if I raised anyone's expectations. I guess we'll just learn to live 
without DIFAX. This is sad, because Dan Vietor has created a really neat PNG 
format version of DIFAX and it's as good as any other DIFAX product I've ever 


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