Cruzio Newsletter - Number 113, February 18, 2008 1. Web Sites, Shopping Carts, Site Ranking: Classes in February and March 2. Elections and Results 3. Free Internet for the City 4. Receiving an Extra Newsletter? 5. Fiona's Gone 6. What's in a Blog? Find Out in Next Week's Class 7. Quick Tech Tip: Work Backwards 8. "Abuse Thrives on Secrecy:" Telecomm Immunity 9. DSL Price Change 10. Moving? 11. Buddy Bucks 12. Feed the Hungry, We'll Waive Your Late Fees 13. Vote for Cruzio in Readers' Polls 14. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Web Sites, Shopping Carts, Site Ranking: Classes in February and March The new year has brought an increased demand for classes and Cruzio has set up an expanded schedule to fit everyone in. You might start by building a useful, attractive and easily expandable site in our "One Night Web Site" class. The next one is tomorrow night, from 5 to 8 pm, and there are still seats available if you sign up now. Or take it later in the month -- see the schedule at http://classes.cruzio.com/schedule.html Once your site is up, add features: put in a shopping cart; publish your writing and pictures in a blog; build communication with customers or friends via mailing lists and surveys. We'll show you how. Cruzio will also help you attract visitors to your site -- we'll even teach you how to get a high search engine ranking. Since the classes are small and hands-on, we'll be able to give your site the individual advice and attention it needs. If you take Cruzio classes you'll be joining a fine community. See impressive examples of Cruzio student work at: http://classes.cruzio.com/graduates.html Remember, if you have taken a class and want to spend more time working on your site with instructors, but aren't yet ready to move on to a more advanced class, you are welcome to repeat. For more details, please visit http://classes.cruzio.com 2. Elections and Results In every election there's a lot at stake, both locally and on a bigger scale. When you're wondering what's up, check Cruzio's home page -- http://www.cruzio.com . We've been pointing to a plethora of campaign information since Super Tuesday and we'll keep it up until November. On election day we will point to sites that refresh with live results almost continuously. So even if you're at work you can pop in and glance at the standings from time to time. 3. Free Internet for the City If you were following the "buy local" discussion in the newspapers last month, you may be interested in the happy ending: When the City of Santa Cruz realized they'd been paying for a service Cruzio had offered to them free, they acted quickly to switch to local service (kudos to Martin Bernal and Sharon Caiocca for their efforts). After Cruzio's offer was made public, another local company volunteered to provide free service as well, and for a short time it seemed that there would be a competition for the right to donate! Cruzio noticed how this situation could be turned to our community's advantage and urged the City to expand its wireless program, allowing all the ISPs to donate -- so now Santa Cruz is getting at least double the original service and saving thousands of dollars a year, thanks to local businesses. Think local indeed. Many thanks to the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Shanna McCord for bringing this to the City's attention. The reports also raised general consciousness about buying local, which is good for everyone involved: 4. Receiving an Extra Newsletter? If you're a new reader, welcome. The Cruzio Newsletter contains items of importance to Cruzio members, such as notifications of upgrades, outages, or changes in service. We include invitations to member-only events, such as free computer recycling days or computer repair clinics, and offer special discounts. We hope the newsletter is interesting and informative, too. This month we have added some addresses to the mailing list, and you may be receiving an unwanted copy. If you feel you are getting this message redundantly, or for some other reason would rather not receive it, please respond to the newsletter and specify what email address you'd like removed from the list. Thank you! 5. Fiona's Gone The Cruzio Kitty logo was created in 1989 by local artist Nina Paley, a housemate of Cruzio's founders. Nina based the cartoon on two tabby cats, Isaac and Fiona, who lived in the house along with numerous computers, tangled phone cables and beeping modems. Isaac was a big, genial neutered tom. He was adopted from an easy life in San Francisco. Fiona was his daffy, frenzied sidekick, found wild as a tiny kitten under a porch in the Seabright neighborhood. Her mother had died, and most of Fiona's siblings had died, too. She lived, but she was wary, wily and tough. From the first day Fiona arrived, it was clear that lazy Isaac had a follower. When he sat over a gopher hole hour after hour, Fiona would watch him, fascinated. He never caught a gopher. When Isaac stretched out lazily in the sun, Fiona would crouch next to him, eager for his slightest movement. But he rarely moved, except to yawn. They had a connection: he was her brother-from-another-mother. Like most cats in the beach town of Santa Cruz, they never saw the beach: six blocks is too far for a cat. Fiona stuck to home, and increasingly in the last few years never strayed far from her little rug, food and water dish. Last week she died on that rug, still six blocks from the bay. Isaac had preceded her by several years. She was buried next to him. The Cruzio logo is short-haired like Isaac, but with a frenzied energy in its eyes and tail which is definitely Fiona's. Logos last forever, but real cats live and die. We will miss our wild mascot. She never lost the slightly crazy look in her eyes that inspired Nina Paley years ago. 6. What's in a Blog? Find Out in Next Week's Class Why blog? Well, to begin with a blog can be its own simple Web site -- a quick site to create and easy to maintain. Adding text and photos to your blog is easy, and lots of "skins" exist to customize the site's appearance (similar to customizing a car with rims, grilles and flame decals, or Martha-Stewartizing your kitchen -- that's the kind of effect you can get instantly when you change your blog skin). Learn to blog by creating your own actual blog under the tutelage of Cruzio's finest: experienced instructors Mike and Jessi will take you through the steps and answer your questions. You'll soon be blogging like a pro. For information, and to register, visit: http://classes.cruzio.com 7. Tech Tip: Work Backwards Now that so many of our customers have multiple computers on home or office networks, we find their connections suffer, as we all do from time to time, from the increased complexity of modern life. Our techs advise that if you are still having trouble after completing the time-honored trick of turning all equipment off and on (which fixes at least 50% of all technical difficulties), you can often find the problem by reverting to the architecture of a simpler era. If your setup involves a wireless router and multiple computers, begin debugging by plugging a single computer directly into the DSL modem with an ethernet cable. If that works, move forward by re-attaching the router to the modem and connecting one -- just one -- computer to the router with the ethernet cable. If this simple setup works, take another step. Disconnect the computer's ethernet cable from the router and try setting it up wirelessly again. Start with just the one computer which you know to be working. If you can connect, try using Internet on the other computers one by one. These simplifying steps can help you isolate a piece of faulty equipment or a loose cable (probably another 20% of local network problems can be fixed by jiggling or re-seating cables). With luck you'll quickly locate and fix the problem. If your computer or connection continues to act up, or if you're just not handy or interested in geeky pursuits of this kind, bring your computer, modem and router to Cruzio. We can do the job for you for at a reasonable fee. As a Cruzio member you'll get $20 off any Computer Care service over $99. We can check, repair, and help you defend against viruses, worms, and other threats to your computer's vitality and security. For more information, see http://quartz.cruzio.com/signup/index.php?formname=ccs.html 8. "Abuse Thrives on Secrecy:" Telecomm Immunity We are disappointed that the U.S. Senate recently voted to approve a new FISA bill allowing warrantless wiretapping and granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies who allegedly passed data to the NSA without court orders, starting as early as 2001. What they did, how, and why are all secret and will remain so permanently if the immunity measure passes Congress. The primary value of lawsuits would be in making the actions public. Immunity will wipe out the 40 or more lawsuits brought by individuals who suspect they were spied on illegally. Our hero for civil liberties this last month was once again Chris Dodd. He spoke stirringly against the bill for over 20 hours in the Senate. Watch highlights on YouTube: Among other things, Dodd mentioned that "every telephone conversation, every fax, and every email of millions and millions of Americans" was captured without a warrant. Dodd quoted Watergate-era Senator Frank Church, who said: "Abuse thrives on secrecy." The House is now debating this issue. Updated news can be found here: http://arstechnica.com/search.ars?Tag=protect+america+act Cruzio is a neutral organization and we do not generally take sides on political issues. However personal privacy is an important principle to our business and we are very concerned about this. 9. DSL Price Change As the telecommunications industry consolidates and consumer demand increases, prices are going up. Faced with rising costs, Cruzio will soon be forced to join virtually every other Internet Provider in the market in raising our prices to compensate. Customers getting DSL 1.5 or any DSL on a business line will see a notice on their bills this month informing them of the modest amount by which their rates will increase as of their next bill. Our prices will still be well below cable Internet rates and comparable to other DSL providers. In the case of business customers, Cruzio's rates will remain about half what most carriers charge after temporary teaser rates expire. We apologize for the added fees. When we're able to lower rates (as we have in the past), we will. 10. Moving? If you are moving your home or office, please contact Cruzio. We're here to help the Internet portion of your move go smoothly. It's best to let us know several weeks ahead of time, especially if you have DSL or if you're cancelling a phone line. We can often save you from an interruption in Internet service and prevent costly fees -- but you've got to let us know. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call customer service at 459-6301, option 2. 11. 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 or more credit to your account. If two friends sign up, $20. Three friends, $30. You might never have to pay another bill. 12. Feed the Hungry, We'll Waive Your Late Fees 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 Bank barrel. Learn more about this charity at http://www.thefoodbank.org 13. Vote for Cruzio in Readers' Polls We've been honored to be chosen as favorite Internet Provider and favorite Local Web Site in local reader polls since the early 1990's. We're hoping you'll choose us again. If you'd like to vote for us and your other local favorites, please check out the polls which are now under way: http://www.gtweekly.com/ http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=qUTUXp42WJoh7I4gMWTizg_3d_3d 14. 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). Dialup (in Santa Cruz County): 459-9408 Nationwide Dialup: Look up local number on our Web page: http://www.cruzio.com/support/dialup_isdn/nationwide_numbers.html or call Cruzio toll free, 1.800.303.3302 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. 722-6200 .......... Cruzio's number in Watsonville. 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 locations: Santa Cruz: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Watsonville: Plaza Vigil, 25 E. Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 Cruzio's hours: Sales hours: 10am-6pm, Monday through Friday; 10am - 2pm Saturday Technical support: 8am to 6pm, Mon to Fri, 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, Mark, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, James, Juana, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Westi, Andrew, Jaime, another Chris, yet another Chris, Diana, Jake, Shawn, Zachary, Carlos, Josh and Maria; our awesome interns, Jeremy, Anna, Michele, and Rodney; Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) "It is impossible to be bored when you are lazy." Annika, age 13.