Cruzio Newsletter - Number 71, December 22nd, 2003 1. Second Harvest Donations Nearing Target 2. Our Mail Service 3. Status and Plans for Our Mail Servers 4. New! Cruzio Dialup Service Nationwide 5. Shameless Plug for Cruzio as Holiday Gift 6. Tech Tip: Viewing Large Quantities of Email Over the Web 7. Buddy Bucks: Sign Up a Friend for Cruzio Credit 8. Late Fees/Cans 9. About This Newsletter 10. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Second Harvest Donations Nearing Target Cruzio has received tremendous donations from members and staff for the Second Harvest Food Bank, and we're close to matching our promised $2,000. Just last week we were worried that donations might fall short, but then a check came in on Thursday for $500, which we will proudly match and give to the Food Bank. With that fantastic contribution (inspiring -- I wish I had seen the couple who left it, to say thank you personally) we are near our goal. We still have room for your donation, small or large. Please make checks out to Second Harvest Food Bank, but send them in to Cruzio so we can match the funds before December 27th and turn them in. Or, drop by with cans for our food barrel any time. 2. Our Mail Service We apologize for the quality of email service from Cruzio in the last few weeks. It was not up to our usual standard of reliability and quality. Cruzio has been delivering email and Internet to members for nearly 15 years. Over that time, we've faced many tough challenges, and we have always emerged with a better system that delivers more data faster. We're confident we will do so again. We cannot rush an important job like updating the email system. It needs to be done very carefully. We feel strongly that we must not lose a single piece of email. What we can do to accelerate improvement is to move all other work aside so that the company focuses on this task. And that is what we are doing. The Internet is an open system -- anyone can email anyone else, almost free of charge and with little accountability -- and it is growing fast. Every Internet provider has its problems: slowdowns, spam, all the baggage that comes with rapid evolution. Even when faced with setbacks, we truly believe that at Cruzio our dedication to quality means that your Internet experience here is much better than anywhere else. We'll continue working hard and re-investing our profits to make it better. 3. Status and Plans for Our Mail Servers The never-ending saga of spam continues. Once again, the holidays have brought a staggering increase in junk mail flowing around the Internet. Cruzio's mail filters are effective and useful, so wading through spam is not so much of a problem any more. But the filters themselves are being used so heavily that their computations have bogged down our servers, slowing the sending and receipt of email. We don't think the delays recently suffered -- in some cases up to 2 days -- were acceptable. Cruzio has tried various solutions: faster hardware; more efficient software; spreading functions across different servers. But each effort has given only temporary relief, and some have caused problems of their own. We believe the real, permanent answer is to overhaul the whole email system so that it's capable of handling an almost infinite expansion in spam volume. We had hoped to make this change in February-March. But now we feel we must begin immediately. In the last few days, Cruzio has put in some temporary measures to refuse connections from listed spam houses, something which large ISP's do regularly but which we hadn't -- we'd rather our customers decided what email they want. But it's an emergency, requiring drastic measures. The change has speeded up service. As for our larger plans, equipment will arrive within a week for a new email architecture. Over the next month or so we will implement the new system. We will inform you of any events which might affect member service (usually in a good way, but occasionally we will notify you if a server is going off line for upgrade.) As always, we will continue to maintain the old system as a backup until the new system is tried and tested to our satisfaction. 4. Cruzio Dialup Service Nationwide Some Cruzio members travel; some move away. Some members have friends and family who wish they could get Cruzio service. In the past, Cruzio hasn't had dialup service available anywhere outside Santa Cruz County at the price of a local call. But now... Now you can dial in to Cruzio on local numbers from nearly anywhere in the United States. Even Hawaii. To learn more, and to look up the appropriate local Cruzio number, go to http://www.cruzio.com/services/basic_internet/nationwide_dialup.html There's no extra charge for this service. It's included with every Cruzio dialup account, including backup dialups for DSL. Enjoy! 5. Cruzio Service: A Great Holiday Idea Because Cruzio is a communications service, giving any Cruzio account carries the extra message "I like hearing from you." If you're down to the wire on Holiday shopping, remember that Cruzio accounts can be ordered on the Web 24 hours per day. Friends and family will love fast DSL service, and the price is still very low: $29.95 plus tax per month for the first twelve months of service if you order before April 30th, 2004. (After 12 months, the price goes up to the regular price of $49.95/mo. Equipment is not included, and there is a one-year term.) Another idea is to order a domain name for a loved one. Something like "grandpas-garage.com" might be fun. Often, families enjoy having a site under the family name where members can post the latest pictures and exchange news and genealogical lore. A spiffy tee-shirt or travel mug is included free of charge with each new account. Cruzio is always on the forefront of tee-shirt and mug design trends (and our tees are sweatshop-free), so either makes a nice present wrapped up under the tree. 6. Tech Tip: Viewing Large Quantities of Email Over the Web Many customers have asked, isn't there a way to delete all the junk mail (or most of it) at once on the Web? Here, from our own sagacious Stephen, Manager of Technical Support: If your Filtered Mailbox gets huge, let's say 2000 messages, it is possible for the Junk Mail List Screen in the Cruzio Control Panel to get slower and slower, then ultimately time out from trying to render the sheer volume of email and prevent you from viewing your list. It is the amount of email that is the problem. The way to fix this is to delete obvious junk mail from your filtered mailbox first, to shorten the size of the mailbox, and make the Junk Mail List manageable. Solution: Making the junk mail filter box smaller. How? Step 1. Go to http://mail.cruzio.com Step 2. Click on the Basic WebMail Link Step 3. Enter Login: 'sallyann.filtered' (for instance) Step 4. Enter Password Because the mailbox is huge, it may take several minutes to bring up the whole mailbox. Step 5. Now, you can hit the "Select All" button to select all messages for deletion. Step 6. In order to NOT delete a message you want to keep, unmark it. Step 7. Finally, "Remove Selected" which will delete the marked junk, and keep the real mail. Step 8. NOW you can go to the Admin Control Panel, and view the Junk Mail List Screen. It will be a lot faster,and much easier to manage. 7. Buddy Bucks Recommend us to friends, family, colleagues: if a new customer gives us your email address, registration number, or full name when they sign up you'll get $10 credit to your account. If two friends sign up, $20. Three friends, $30. It just goes on and on. 8. Late Fees/Cans If you're late on a payment to Cruzio, turn it into a donation to hungry folks in our community. We will waive your late fee if you bring 3 cans into our office for our Second Harvest Food Bin barrel. Learn more about this charity at http://www.thefoodbank.org 9. About This Newsletter Cruzio doesn't like to waste bandwidth with extra email, but we sometimes have events and announcements that users need to know about. This seems like the most efficient way to let people know what's happening. Hope it's helpful. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions. By the way, we would love to have a regular, predictable schedule for this newsletter...but we simply do not send it unless there is real news enclosed. Thus the haphazard datelines. 10. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) To reach the Cruzio Information Center, for online technical and sales information: http://www.cruzio.com/support To dial in to Cruzio, set your software to dial one of the numbers below (note: we've expanded and joined modem pools, so you may be using another number. If so, don't worry, it still works just fine). 56k: 459-9408 33.6 kbps and under: 459-6230 To call Cruzio: 459-6301............Use this number to check Cruzio's system status, pay your Cruzio bill, find out more about our hours and location, or to reach someone in customer service and technical support. To send email to Cruzio, use one of these addresses: email@example.com ......for technical support firstname.lastname@example.org .......for billing and ordering information Cruzio's location: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Cruzio's hours: Sales hours: 10am-6pm, Monday through Friday; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday Technical support: 10-6 pm, Monday through Friday, 10am - 2pm Saturday System monitoring, including customer-alerted emergencies, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year (leap years, 366 days) Thanks very much from Cruzio: Chris, Peggy, Julianne, Kathy, Mark, Georgette, Tapati, Pedro, Alec, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, Michael, another Chris, Maria, James, Juana, Krissie, Nikkie, Mike, Mario, Don, Bruce, Jason, yet another Chris, and Gabriella (the grownups); Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Carly, age 6: "It's American Flag Month." Mommy: "I think that was July, wasn't it?" Carly: "No, it's American Flag Month this month. And we should be very nice to this month, know why?" Mommy: "Why?" Carly: "Because it's very, very shy."