Ready to Upgrade to Wireless Pro?

Here at Cruzio, we’re always looking to upgrade our network infrastructure and our members always get moved to the newest service as soon as humanly possible. We use best-of-breed technologies to connect as many people as we possibly can to the best possible broadband. Right now, as AT&T continues to pull back from supporting and maintaining the copper lines, we’re aggressively building out our independent, Net Neutral fiber-wireless network and moving as many of our Velocity ADSL users over to that service as quickly as we can.

If you’re upgrading from Velocity to Cruzio’s locally-owned and -operated, independent, open and Net Neutral network, here are a few things you might want to know.

What’s the new service all about?
For most folks, this is going to mean switching you to our ultra-fast high-speed wireless service, Wireless Pro. We call it Pro because it’s professional-grade — perfect for connected homes, home businesses or small to mid-sized businesses of all kinds. And our new low price means anyone can afford it.

How’s this going to work?
First step: a site survey. Site surveys come with no commitment or cost, and typically only take 20-30 minutes for our friendly, professional techs to get on the roof of your building to check line-of-sight to one of Cruzio’s many access points and plan any potential wire-runs from the roof to the building. We don’t need you to be present for the survey but if you’d like to be, no problem.

If you happen to be in one of our Certified Buildings (generally an apartment or office building), or if your house had Cruzio Wireless Pro in the past, things are even easier and we can generally skip the survey step.

Once we’ve confirmed eligibility, we’ll schedule the install. For new installations, we’ll mount a small receiver on your roof or eaves and then run wires into your home or office to connect to your wifi gear. If you’ve been living with older copper wiring, you will love the difference our professional work makes. The install will take a few hours and we’ll need a responsible adult there so we can access inside the property. Our techs carry ID and are great with friendly pets.

Is it good for WiFi?
Absolutely. Your internet will be faster. To take advantage of those speeds, you need a good wifi router. If you’re currently renting hardware from Cruzio, we’ll swap that out at no cost to you for a shiny new Gigacenter. It’s a fantastic piece of hardware that’ll give you great wifi speeds and coverage and allow our techs to best support your service in the future. If you don’t currently rent hardware from us, now’s a great time to start. Just add a Gigacenter on the upgrade order form and we’ll install it when we upgrade your connection. If you’d prefer to keep your own hardware, no worries. We just can’t provide the same level of troubleshooting and don’t always anticipate performance will match the Gigacenter.

What about phone?
With mobile phones in all our pockets, we’ve found that many people aren’t using a home phone anymore. If this is you, great. The new service is internet only and blazing fast for all your cloud-based services. If you do still want to keep your phone, the new service doesn’t come with phone included but, don’t worry, we have options. Our recommendation would be to switch to a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone solution. Your new, faster, super-low latency internet service is perfect for VoIP service. There are many VoIP providers, but our research has found that Ooma is one of the best out there. You can grab an Ooma device at Best Buy or Amazon or, if you prefer, you can purchase the unit from Cruzio. It’s not a Cruzio service — Ooma will provide the phone connection and bill you going forward (it’s around $20/mo, much less than a standard landline), but you can get the hardware from Cruzio for $30. Your current phone will plug right into it, and you can keep your current phone number.

Cruzio Celebrates 30 Years of Geekdom

Cruzio Internet's Open House Invitation

Cruzio’s celebrating 30 years with one of our fabulous free parties — and a jingle contest!

Cruzio Internet is having a big anniversary and a big, big party — and you’re invited!

We founded our company 30 years ago, when the internet was new, experimental, and little known. Santa Cruz plunged right in.

Cruzio's family

Cruzio opened a storefront on Pacific Avenue in the early 90s

It Wasn’t Just Cruzio. Santa Cruz Was a Leader in Technology

Santa Cruz in the 1980s was full of fire-dancing free-loving hippies. It was also full of tech nerds who worked for Lockheed or Hewlett Packard over the hill. Students hoping to eventually work for the latter but who partied like the former filled out the mix.

Tie dye and pocket protectors got mixed together and produced the internet,  with its far-reaching cosmic social effects and solid basis in science and math.

tie dye mandela

Precise technicians can express a creative side, too

We founded Cruzio, our quintessentially Santa Cruz internet service provider, in 1989, as members of that vibrant, culturally diverse community.

Santa Cruz is an idealistic place, and Cruzio founders Chris Neklason and I had high hopes for humanity. We were inspired by people like John Perry Barlow, the Grateful Dead lyricist and early internet pioneer who proclaimed things like: 

“We are in the middle of the most transforming technological event since the capture of fire.”

And we saw the light.

Communication is a powerful and a very human thing. The earliest internet had been set up to exchange scientific data. But almost immediately, even scientists in their labs used the medium for non-technical discussions. They shared with each other science fiction, music, and even knitting tips. Personal use of the internet spread.

Many of us in Santa Cruz were inspired by big ideas about bringing the world together with this radical new form of communication. In the late 1980s, we started Cruzio as a Bulletin Board System (BBS). We kept the equipment in our spare bedroom on Palm Street, on the West Side of Santa Cruz.

BBSs were precursors of ISPs. One of perhaps a dozen in Santa Cruz County, the Cruzio BBS allowed people out in the community to have their computers call our computer on the phone, exchange data, and send commands that our computer would follow. Pretty revolutionary in 1989. Mind-blowing!

Cruzio Gamers in Chris and Peggy's Garage

Cruzio gamers in our garage — that’s an Apple “laptop” on the left!

Nerds Joined the Internet First, and Had a Ball

People who ran BBSs were called “sysops” and Santa Cruz had an active and collegial sysop community. We had our own sysop news- and email groups for the exchange of vital information: how to create and maintain fast connections from our little county to the rest of the world. It was hard work. For Cruzio, which had hundreds of customers by the early 1990s, it was all-day, all-night work.

We’d had an earthquake early on in Cruzio’s history. We saw that our service could be a lifeline, like ham radio. So we knew it had to be up and running 24/7, 365 days a year.

Most computers only displayed text back then, with rudimentary graphics. But users were creative about what they did with text. We drew pictures (often of cows), wrote poems, designed and played multi-user games. Students and people who worked in tech companies made up most of our users in the early days — they’d had email and newsgroups, and wanted them at home, too.

An ASCII cow

In 1990, when the internet was available to private companies, we jumped on it immediately. Cruzio became one of the first commercial ISPs in the country.

“Join the INTERNET,” we announced, using all caps for this obscure technical term. The software got better, partly due to Santa Cruz-based companies. And as more people put things online, online became more interesting.

In the next several years everyone, not just geeks but everyone, got on the internet.

We Love Our Community and Our Customers

Cruzio was lucky. Santa Cruz, our community, had the vision to embrace this new world early and enthusiastically. Our experiment was successful, and Chris and I were able to quit our day jobs and devote full time to the venture.

Our customers have always loved our fast, reliable internet and reasonable prices. They’ve also loved our local staff, our cats, and our kids. And we’ve responded by constantly working to improve speed and stability of internet connections: dialup begat DSL, DSL gave way to Velocity, and now wireless and fiber connections are replacing everything that came before.  We see our company as a connector between the most advanced technology in the world and the needs and capabilities of real humans.

Chris and Peggy in the house where Cruzio started

Chris and Peggy in the house where Cruzio started

 

Cruzio now sells internet connections for $75/month which are often 1,000 times faster than the old 1200 baud (baud!) connections from 1989. The fiber optic cables supplying backhaul to our network carry more data than all the lines supplying all of Santa Cruz County twenty years ago — and we have more than one set of them, for redundancy.

Things move fast.

Many years have passed, and we’re still grateful to a community that embraces creativity and independence, and cares about honesty and hard work. 

One of Our Cruzio Family Stories

And in the spirit of mixing the personal and the technical — which is what the internet allows us to do — I’ll end with a timely quote from one of our children, who grew up with modems beeping and buzzing all around her and her funny words written down in the Cruzio newsletter:

“Now I know how cats feel doing jumprope” declared Carly, at age 9, wearing her Halloween costume of cat ears and tail and trying to jump rope.

Thanks for all the support, and here’s to another 30 years of independent internet!

ASCII Cows

 

 

                                            (__)
                                            (oo)
                                     /-------\/
                                    / |     ||
                                   *  ||----||
                                      ~~    ~~
                                  Hello from 1989!

In the early days of the internet, our computers didn’t do graphics very well. So people got creative with letters and other keyboard characters.

One of the big fads was ASCII cows. Here’s a selection, collected from newsgroups and email in 1989:

            --==>>  THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO COWS  <<==--
                 as you've NEVER seen them before!

                  ________________________
         (__)    /                        \         * OFFICIAL EDITION *
         (oo)   (  November 1989 Version!  )
  /-------\/  --'\________________________/      * WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION *
 / |     ||
*  ||----||             Edited by Eric W. Tilenius
                    Please send your submissions to:
     Cow                ewtileni@pucc.Princeton.EDU // ewtileni@pucc.BITNET

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

         (__)             (__)             (__)             (__)
         (oo)             (oo)             (oo)             (oo)
  /-------\/       /-------\/       /-------\/       /-------\/
 / |     ||       / |     ||       / |     ||       / |     ||
*  ||----||      *  ||W---||      *  ||w---||      *  ||V---||
                                              
     Cow           Cow laden        Same cow       Nancy Reagan-type
                   with milk     after milking     cow with milk

         (___)             (___)    *        (___)             (___)
         (o o)             (o o)     \       (o o)             (o o)
  /-------\ /       /-------\ /       \-------\ /       /-------\ /
 / |     ||O       / |     ||O         |     ||O       / | #>-+|O
*  ||,---||       *  ||@\--||          ||,---||       *  ||,----|
                                                  
     Bull       Same bull after    Rotc bull after    Red-blooded American Bull
                seeing above cow   seeing other bull   shooting the Rotc bull



         (__)             (__)             (__)             (__)
         (oo)             (oo)             (oo)             (oo)
  /-------\/-*     /-------\/       /-------\/   
 / |     || \     )*)(\/* /  *     / |     ||
*  ||----||  *   \ |||/)|/()(    
\/|(/)(/\/(,,/   \)|(/\/|)(/\
  Cow munching   Grass munching   Cow in water       Cow in trouble
    on grass         on cow

          (__)             (__)    *        (__) *      (__)
          (oo)             (oo)     \       (oo) |      (oo)
  /--------\/      /-oooooo-\/       \-------\/  \-------\/
 * o|     ||      * ooooooooo     o  o|     ||   /     ||
    ||----||     ooooooooooooo        ||----||>==/-----||
 ooo        ooooooooooooooooo                  
  Cow taking      Cow in deep         Cow getting the shit
    a shit            shit             kicked out of her


         (__)
         (oo)                       U
  /-------\/                    /---V
 / |     ||                    * |--|                       .
*  ||----||
       

Cow at 1 meter.         Cow at 100 meters.        Cow at 10,000 meters.



         (__)                     )__(                vv    vv
         (oo)                     (oo)                ||----||  *
  /-------\/               *-------\/                 ||     | /
 / |     ||               / |     ||                 /\-------/
*  ||----||              /  ||----||                (oo)
                        vv    vv                ()

American Cow              Polish Cow            Australian Cow



         (__)                     (__)                     (__)
         (oo)                ____ (oo)                _---_(oo)
  /-------\/               /-    --\/               /-     -\/
 / |     ||               / |     ||               /|      ||
*  ||----||              *  ||___-||              *  ||___-||
                                                 

Freshman Cow at          Freshman Cow             Freshman Cow
start of school     After the "Freshman 15"    After the "Freshman 20"


         (__)                     (__)                     (__)
         (OO)                     (@@)                     (xx)
  /-------\/               /-------\/               /-------\/
 / |     ||               / |     ||               / |     ||
*  ||----||              *  ||----||              *  ||----||
                                                 

Cow who drank Jolt       Cow who ate              Cow who used Jolt to wash
                      psychadelic mushrooms      down psychadelic mushrooms


                                         /\                  __
                                        /  \                 ||
             (__)                 (__)  \  /               (_||_)
             SooS                 (oo)   \/                 (oo)
      /------S\/S          /-------\/    /S          /-------\/
     / |     ||           / |     ||    /  S        / |     ||
    *  ||----||          *  ||----||___/    S      *  ||----||
                                                  
    This cow belonged     Ben Franklin owned       Abe Lincoln's
  to George Washington       this cow                   cow


                                                 (__)
         *        (__)                           (oo)
          \       (oo)                     /------\/
           \-------\/                     /|  |/  |
            | ==$ ||                     / |  [) ||
            ||----||                    *  ||----||
                                           
     Old "One Arm" belonged           This cow was given to
       to Ceasar's Palace           Hugh Hefner for his Birthday


                  (___)               (__)      (__)
                  ( O )               (oo)      (oo)
           /-------\ /                 \/--------\/
          / |     ||V                   |        |
         *  ||----||                    ||------||
                                          
  The cyclops that Jason and         This cow lived with
the Argonauts met had this cow          Dr. Doolittle


             (__)                   (__)
             [##]                   (@o)
      /-------\/             /-------\/              /-------  (__)
     / |     ||             / |     ||              / |     || (oo)
    *  ||----||            *  ||----||             *  ||----|---\/
                                                  
 This cow belonged      This cow lived with      This cow belonged to
  to Flash Gordon       the Little Rascals       the Headless Horseman


                    (____)             (____)                           (____)
                    (oo  )                (o  o)                        ( O O)
         /-----------\  /          /-----\    /----          /-----------\  /
        / ||       |  \/          / |   |  \/   |           / ||       |  \/
       /  ||       ||||           \ |  |      | | |        /  ||       ||||
      *   ||||-----||||            *| | |-----| | |       *   ||||-----||||
          /\/\     /\/\             /\ /\     /\ /\                
     This cow belonged         This was Salvatore      No one was sure whether
      to Pablo Picasso        Dali's favorite cow    M.C. Escher's cow had four
                                                           legs or eight


               O__O                             \_|_/
               (oo)                             (oo)
        /-------\/                       /-------\/
       / |     ||                       / |     ||
      *  ||----||                      *  ||----||
                                          
    Cow at Disneyland         Cow visiting the Statue of Liberty



                        (__)                        (__)
                      (oo)                        (--)
             /-------\/                        /-\/-\
           / |     ||                        /|    |\
          *  ||----||                        |    | 
      ============                     |    |
/                                     /----\
                                /    \ \
                     * 
     Cow Hanging Ten at Malibu           Cow sunning at Fort Lauderdale
                                             (What a bod, huh guys?)


               )\               (__)
              /  \              (oo)
        
           Cow swimming at Amityville
(Where Jaws was filmed, for those less educated)


        *                                                 (__)
         \                                                (DD)
          \                                        /-------\/
          |\                                      / |     ||_\_/
        \ | \ (__)                               *  ||----|
        \\|| \(oo)                                      
         \||\ \\/                         Cow chugging brews and staring at
           \||                            sunbathers at Fort Lauderdale
           \\ ||
            \\||
             \||
                                               / / / / / / / / / / /
               \\_                              / / / / / / / / / / / /
                \_                              / / / / / _______   / /
 Cow skiing a Black Diamond at Aspen            / / /    /   |   \  / /
                                                / / /    (__)|      / /
                                                / / /    (oo)|      / /
   ( @@@ )                                        /-------\/ |
    ( @@ )            (------------)             / |     ||_|
       @@  (__)       (  *>COUGH<* )            *  ||----|
        @@ (oo) . . . (  *>COUGH<* )                   
     /--UU--\/        (____________)
    / |    ||                              Cow sheltering from English Weather
   *  ||---||

   (New) Jersey Cow


                       O O                 O O
                        \ \               / /
                         \ \          (__) /
          (__)            \ \         (xx)/
          (DD)             \ +--------+\//
   /-------\/               \|        | /
  / |     ||                 +--------+
 *  ||----||
        
Cow fantasizing about "Riding the Mechanical Bull"
            at Gillies in Texas


         o  o
         |__|             (__)             (__)
         (oo)             (oo)            =(oo)=         oo
  /-------\/       /-------vv       /-------\/
 / |     ||       / |     ||       / |     ||
*  ||----||      *  ||----||      *  ||----||
                                 
 bill bixby        bela lugosi      boris karloff  claude rains
 male relative     cow              cow            cow
 cow
                       x
                   xxxx|xxxx
                xxxxxxx|xxxxxxx
                       |
                      //
                (__) //                        (__)   (__)
                (oo)//                         (oo)===(oo)
         /-------\//                    /-------\/     \/-------\
        / |     |//                    / |     ||       ||     | \
       *  ||----|                     *  ||----||       ||----||  *
                                                    
     Julie Andrews Cow                         Siamese cows


                            o        o             (__)    
                             \      /              (oo)   /
                              \    /           _____\/___/
             (__)              \__/           /  /\ / /
             (oo)       _______(oo)            /  * /
    /---------\/       /|  ___  \/             / ___/
   / | x=a(b)||       / | {   }||         *----/\
  *  ||------||      *  ||{___}||             /  \
                    ||-----||            /   /
                                            

    Mathematical        Television      This cow does Disco
        Cow                 Cow        (That's what comes of
   (developer of        (Cow-thode      snorting cow-caine)
     cow-culus)          Ray Tube)

            o
            | [---]
            |   |
            |   |                              |------========|
       /----|---|\                             | **** |=======|
      /___/___\___\                         o  | **** |=======|
      |            |                     ___|  |==============|
      |           |                ___  {(__)} |==============|
      \-----------/             [](   )={(oo)} |==============|
       \  \   /  /             /---===--{ \/ } |
    -----------------         / | NASA  |====  |
    |               |        *  ||------||-----
    -----------------           ||      |      |
      /    /  \   \                         |
     /     ----    \
                          This cow jumped over the Moon


                (__)
               ([][])            "I have this recurring dream
               __\/_--U              about golden arches."..  (__)
              /\    \__                                   :..("")
             /\\\  /  /                         //\  ____\_____\/ //
            /----/__/\ /\                     // \\/     \___ / //
                \\\____/--\--                 // /-/__________/ //
                 /======   \/            =======/==============//
              *_/ /    \   /              //  /              \\
                 /      \                //                   \\

                     Psycowlogist and patient


                                               (___)
          \\   (__)                    (o o)
           \\\ (oo)                     \ /
        *-----\_______\/\/                    \--O--/
      _______/   ---  \______              // -----\
     --------\   \S/  /\_____              \\/_{} /==V===[]
               \______/                        \_____\\//
                                                \__/
   It's a bird...                               //\\         The Boss
    It's a plane...                             //  \\   (Bruce Holstien)
                                                //   //
                                                    


                                          ==================
 _____________________________            H                H
 |             |-------------|            H     (__)       H
 |             |   ________  |            H     (oo)       H       __
 |   COWNTY    |  | (|__|) | |            H    / \/ \      H     /    \
 |    JAIL     |  |  |oo|  | |            H   | |  | |     H    | STOP |
 |             |  |__|\/|__| |            H   D===b=-----  H     \ __ /
 |             | o           |            HH       ||
 |             |            |            H                H       ||
 |             | ]           |            H                H       ||
 |             |             |            H                H       ||
 |_____________|_____________|            H                H       ||
                                               
 Some cows get in trouble...                 Cattle Guard


     (  (    )
   ( (     )   )
   ( (         )
  (           / )
 ( ( \\       )
     ( |  // )
       |   |    (__)
       |   |    (oo)                   (__)
       |   | ----\/              ______(oo)_____
       |   |    ||              ( _)_______(__) )
     **|   | ---||                \ __________/
    ``'---------
        Cow Hide                     Cow Pie


                   \  |  /         ___________
    ____________  \ \_# /         |  ___      |       _________
   |            |  \  #/          | |   |     |      | = = = = |
   | |   |   |  |   \\#           | |`v'|     |      |         |
   |            |    \#  //       |  --- ___  |      | |  || | |
   | |   |   |  |     #_//        |     |   | |      |         |
   |            |  \\ #_/_______  |     |   | |      | |  || | |
   | |   |   |  |   \\# /_____/ \ |      ---  |      |         |
   |            |    \# |+ ++|  | |  || |      | |  || | |
   |            |    \# |+ ++|  | |  || |      | |  || | |
|    () |#| H  |_ ||  | |||| | ||         |
   |    ( ||| ) |     #     |  | |||| | |      | ||||||| |
   ________/  /_____ |  | |||| | |      | ||||||| |
        `v'-                            | ||||||| |
         || |`.      (__)    (__)                          ( )
                     (oo)    (oo)                       /---V
              /-------\/      \/ --------\             * |  |
             / |     ||        ||_______| \
            *  ||W---||        ||      ||  *
                                 

                        "Cow Town"


              \ (__)                       (__)
              \\(oo)                       (\/)
         /-----\\\/                 /-------\/
        / |    (##)                / |     ||
       *  ||----||"               *  ||----||
                                     
    This cow plays bagpipes.      Cow from Beijing


         (__)                     (__)                     (__)
         (\/)                     ($$)                     (**)
  /-------\/               /-------\/               /-------\/
 / | 666 ||               / |=====||               / |     ||
*  ||----||              *  ||----||              *  ||----||
                                                 

Satanic cow           This cow is a Yuppie         Cow in love


         (__)                                              (__)
         (oo)                                              (oo)
  /-'''''-\/                            /-------------------\/
 / |'''''||                            / |                 ||
*  ||''''||                           *  ||----------------||
                                                     
 Cow in Argyle                                Stretch Cow
                         *
                      **   **
                 * **  * * *  **
                *   /  /   \ *  *
             \  \ /  \        / /                         (__)
          *  /  / \  \  (__)  \ \                /--------(00)
            /           (00)  / /               / |      |(  )
            \    /-------\/   \ \              *  ||---- ||()
            /   / |     ||    / /                 ||     ||
          \ \  *  ||----||    \ \                      
         /  /             / /            Cow Chewing Marbles
                 Cow in Heat


           (___)
           (o o)
     /------\ /   (__)                         (__)
    /    ____O    (oo)                         (oo)
   |   / /----\----\/                   /-------\/
   /\oo===|  /    ||                   / |     ||
  | ||   *||-----||                  *  OO----OO
  *           
    Cowt in the Act                   low rider cow


         (__)                 \__\                 (__)
         (oo)             o   (oo)                 (oo)
  /-------\/           ____\___\/          *+-------\/
 / |     ||           / |     ||           ||______||
*  ||----||          *  ||----||             ||----||
   OO    OO             OO    OO             OO    OO
Detroit cow          Mustang cow            pickup cow


                 (__)              (__)              \_||_
                 (oo)              (oo)              (*||*)
  /---------------\/           /----\/        /-------\||/
 / |             ||           /    ||        / |     ||
*  ||------------||        *-||----||       *  ||----||
   OO            OO          OO    OO          OO    }{
      li-moo-cow          fastback cow      teenager's cow


         ____
        (____)
                               .xxxx.
         (__)                  '(oo)`
         (oo)            /-----'-\/ `
  /-------\/            / |    |============>
 / |     ||            *  ||----| ()
*  ||----||                   
                    Moo-ammar Cowdafi
   holy cow            armed and dangerous


         (___)             (___)
         (o o)             (o o)
  /-------\ /       /-------\ /
 / |     ||O       / |  O ||O
*  ||,---||       *  ||,---||
                     
    A Bull       A-bomb-in-a-bull     No-bull


           (---)
           (   )
          /-----\                          (___)
          |     |                          (o o)
          |  |  |                   (-----) \ /
          |  |  |                  /  / \    O
          |  *  |                 *  | O |
                                 -----
          Coward                  Phone Bull


                  __________________________
         }__{    / Send YOUR cow pictures to \
         (00)   ( ewtileni@pucc.Princeton.EDU )
  :****** \/ ==='\___________________________/'
 : #     ##
   ##****##
   ""    ""


 |    |                              |    |           *
 |    |            (__)              |    |            \       (__)
 |    |            (oo)              |    |             \      (oo)
 |    |     /-------\/               |    |          -----------\/--
 |    |    / |     ||                |    |          ----|      |---
 |    |   *  ||----||                |    |              --------
 |    \_____________             |    \_________________
 |     _________________             |     _________________
 |    /                              |    /
 |    |                              |    |
 |    |                              |    |
 |    |                              |    |
 |    |                              |    |
 |    |                              |    |
 |    |                              |    |
 |    |                              |    |
/      \                            /      \

Cow perched on a tree.              Cow attempting to fly off tree.


 |    |
 |    |
 |    |
 |    |
 |    |
 |    \_________________
 |     _________________
 |    /
 |    |
 |    |
 |    |
 |    |
 |    |
 |    |                                (__)
 |    |                      *---------(..)
/      \                        ----\/

Cow that has failed miserably in the attempt.


  .            /\         .       .        :                (__)
        .     /  \      .          .       :                (xx)
             /    \   .        .    *      :         __------\/
            /      \              *        :        * ||____||
            | (__) |   .    .   **         :         / |    |\
     .     /| (oo) |\           **         :
          / | /\/\ | \   .     . *         :         Hamburger
      .  /  |=|==|=|  \     .      *       :
     . /    | |  | |    \  .               :
      / USA | || |NASA \     .           :       *        (__)
     |______|    |______|       .        :        \       (oo)
    .       (__||__)     .   .             :         \-------\/
       .    /_\  /_\  .     .    .         :        8-|     ||
            !!!  !!!                       :          ||----||
                                           :              
  The cow that jumped over the moon.       :         Flying Cow


                          ...---...
                       ../  / | \  \..
                     ./ /  /  |  \  \ \.
                    /  /   /  |  \   \  \
                   /  /   /   |   \   \  \
                   
                   \          |          /
                    \         |         /
                     \        |        /
                      \       |       /
                       \      |      /
                        \     |     /
                         \    |    /
                          \   |   /
                           \  |  /
                            \ | /(__)
                             \|/ (oo)
                          /---++--\/
                         / |  || ||
                        *  ||-++-||
                               

               Cow surviving attack by Red Baron


              ..---..                             (__)
             /       \                            (oo)
             |  RIP  |                     /-------\/
             |       |                    / |     ||
             |       |                   *  ||----||
             |       |                          
             |       |
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\/////////////////

            Elvis's Cow...      ...Or is it alive and living in tax exile???


                     (__)
                     (oo)
        /---+      +--\/
       / |  |      | ||
      *  ||-+      +-||
                                                *

   David Copperfield's Cow               David Copperfield's other Cow



                                    (__)
                                    (oo)
                             /-------\/
                            / |     ||
                           *  ||----||
                                  
                             (__)  (__)
                             (oo)  (oo)
                      /-------\/    \/-------\
                     / |     || -- ||     | \
                    *  ||----   --       ||  *
                                         
                      (__)                (__)
                      (oo)                (oo)
               /-------\/                  \/-------\
              / |     ||                    ||     | \
             *  ||----||                    ||----||  *
                                            
                 Barnum's Troupe of performing cows



                    (__)                       _--------_
                    (oo)                      |__________|   BIG
             /-------\/                        XXXXXXXXXX    MAC
            / | 007 ||                         __________
           *  ||----||                        |_        _|
                                            --------
       Cow licenced to kill      Enemy Cow after having met previous cow


                                                     (__)
                                                     (oo)
                                                    /'-m
            (__)                                   / '' ` )
            (oo)    o     /| /|/|_                |      /|
           / \/    /    /      _ /                |  |  | |
          /  _\===   ___\_____/___               |_____|_|
      ___|__/ |/\    (___________(_)               //|| ||
     *                                          *  ww ww

            Mrs. O'Leary's Cow                 Cow'nt Dracula


 ____             ____                                |+++++|
|++++|    ___    |++++|                       ____    |+++++|
|++++|   |++ ______________________          |++++|   |+++++|
|++++|   |++/      /( )\           \         |++++|   |+++++|   __
|    |   |+|      |-oo- |           \______  |++++|   |+++++|  |++|
-----(__)--|       \__\/           _(__)_  \ ----------------------------------
 o   ( oo /_______________________| (oo)  \ |         __
 |  _/\_| |  M O O - B U S T E R S|__\/\ /| |        /oo| - Bleaurgh!
 |-|  \\____                         ------  )_    /|  /\
  -|_  \_|-_| 0     _|  *  \/  *
     \  |  __________________________________/
     |  W|  \ \_/ /----------------- \ \_/ /
     / /\ \  \___/                    \___/
    / /  \ \
                                             Who you gonna call...?


        (__)                   (__)                    (__)       (----------)
        (00)                   (-o)                    (--) . . . ( *>YAWN<* )
  /------\/              /------\/               /------\/        (----------)
 /|     ||              /|     ||               /|     ||
* ||----||             * ||----||              * ||----||

Cow w/ Glasses    Flirtatious cow (winking)   Cow after pulling an all-nighter


*        (__)              (__)               (__)               (__)
 \       (oo)              (oo)               (oo)               (oo)
  \-------\/        /-------\/         /-------\/         /-------\/
  /|      |\       / /      \         / \      /         / \      \
 //||----||\\     * //------\\       *   \\--//         *   \\----\\
                                                        
Cow walking         Cow jogging         Same cow        Cow breaking


          (__)
          (oo)                       (__) o       *     (__)
           \/                        (oo)/ "      |     (oo)
       ____| \____            /-------\/(__ o=o=o=|------\/
       ---/   --**           / |       /          |      |
    *____/    |___//        *  ||----||           ||----||
        //--------/                               
       //__                      Cow           Cow pooing
       Cow marching            standing


   Side      Front   Side   back                (___)  Where's all the bulls!
   (__)      (__)    (__)   (__)                (O O)/
   ( oo      (oo)    oo )   (  )              _/\ /\_  
   /\_|      /\/\    |_/\   /  \            \\/   O   \//
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(___)
(  OO
 \_ | - Got some cows that aren't in here?  Add yours to the official
   \O   collection!  Send them to:  ewtileni@pucc.Princeton.EDU


(___)
(  --
 \_ | - G'nite, and thank you for your support.   Zzz z z z z z  z   z
   \O

          Thanks to EVERYONE who contributed COWS!

Save the date! November 1st, 2019

Cruzio’s Annual Open House Extravaganza and 30th Anniversary

Come celebrate with Cruzio! We’re having our annual open house the night after Halloween, and you’re invited! We’ll have all the usual, like awesome food trucks, craft beer provided by Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery, music (more on that in a little), and beautiful art. Free admission, free booze, all conveniently on First Friday November and at our downtown headquarters.

This year is especially important to us here at Cruzio, because we’ve officially been in business for a mind-blowing 30 years! We are very excited to commemorate that with all of our customers, city leaders, friends, neighbors, and more, and hope you can make it.

We mentioned music before, but this won’t just be a playlist of rockin’ 80’s music (though we are excited to have a curated playlist by our very own rockin’ James Hackett). We are having our first ever jingle contest! What’s that you say? Glad you asked. We’re offering a load of prizes (totaling out at $1,500) for writing and performing your take on a good jingle for us! Internet fame, cash, and the change to perform at our party! You can find more information at
jingle.cruzio.com.

We hope you can come and join us for this unforgettable night, and can’t wait to party!

Remember the Cruzio Baby?

Cruzio's family in 1997

1997: Cruzio kept the family in tie-dye in the early years

Why are Those Kids on the Counter?

When Chris and Peggy started up Cruzio as a real business, there was an unexpected benefit: they got to bring their babies to work every day.

From infancy, the kids were extremely popular with staff and customers. People cooed and smiled at them, and even sometimes held them while a parent typed on a keyboard or got files from a drawer.

These babies did not tolerate playpens — when placed in a playpen, they’d simply stand up, hold the side, cry, and try to escape. Nothing makes a parent as nervous as noticing a playpen about to tip over.

Mom in the Playpen

So Cruzio gave away the company playpen and set up a fence around Peggy’s desk, essentially making a giant playpen with desk, chair, mom, and baby inside. Peggy often answered tech support email and calls in the makeshift playpen,  baby on her lap. Or both would work on the floor: baby finding something acceptable to chew on, Mom getting account paperwork in order.

Cruzio staff at the time — pioneers of the internet — John, Deana, and Judy, would sometimes take the baby out to local coffee shops to give the exhausted parents a chance to get a little work done. At the coffee shops more oohing and ahhing would occur. The Cruzio kids were known throughout the neighborhood before they could even walk.

The babies were sort of Cruzio’s mascots — along with the Cruzio Kitty, of course. As they grew up, all three kids were often at the office. Even during their surly teen years, the kids took advantage of the extremely fast internet Cruzio always has at our headquarters and often hung out, developing a fondness for obscure anime and child-friendly internet games like Neopets and Club Penguin.

Those Funny Things Kids Say

And in recognition of their place in the Cruzio business, at the bottom of every newsletter — despite their eye rolls — we always put quotes from the Cruzio kids. They are all grown now — the oldest is 27! — so they don’t say such silly things any more. But we kept lots of notes and we post quotes from the early years of Cruzio and the family. You’ll see an example at the bottom of this newsletter (all past newsletters are in our archive).

Running your own business is hard. Last week we described the awful racket of modems and crying babies in the little house where the family lived with multiple modems before Cruzio moved to a real office at 903 Pacific Avenue. Stage two was bringing the babies to the downtown office on the third floor. And stage three saw Cruzio hiring some wonderful staff members (looking at you, Mark!) who allowed Peggy and Chris to take a vacation after about 10 years without one.

(By the way, you can’t see her, but the third kid is in the picture: another baby was on the way.)

Saving the Planet

This week there are climate actions all over the world,  including locally.

Folks at Cruzio live and work locally — in a coastal area. Our office is near a river which flooded its banks just two years ago. We’ve watched fires take down infrastructure around our mountain facilities, and of course the fire disaster news from other parts of California serves as a warning to people in Santa Cruz County. It could happen here, too.

Cruzio has always been mindful of the environment. The internet is a way to travel by moving data, not cars.

Green Building

When Cruzio refurbished our building with our partners at Ecology Action, we followed strict environmental guidelines and achieved LEED Gold certification. We had to pay attention at every stage of construction: we reused everything we could from the previous incarnation of the building as a newspaper publishing plant. We salvaged old lumber and architectural details. When we couldn’t reuse, we put in items made from recycled materials. Or failing that, items made from natural materials like sea grass or flax seed oil. We put in openable windows so that air could naturally flow, and floor-to-ceiling interior windows so light could flow, too. The result? A work environment that’s both pleasant to look at and easy to breathe in.

Green Business

We set a goal when we opened our coworking space and started building our fiber network: 3,000 cars off the road. With fast internet, people can work from home. With great internet and a shared facility, local people — including Cruzio employees — can cowork in a professional environment without going over the hill or spending their workday under low ceilings and inefficient lights. That’s good for our lives — less stressful, less time spent commuting — and better for the planet.

And we’ve always avoided waste by sending electronic, not paper, bills. It took a while for once-ubiquitous old windowed envelopes and fax machines to go out of fashion, but many offices, like ours, use the internet to go nearly paperless.

Participating in Bigger Efforts

But let’s face it, there is much, much more that we need to do.

We use electricity. How is that generated? We were early supporters of Monterey Bay Community Power, in hopes that would spur innovation and increased use of renewable energy.

Our employees and customers often drive to downtown Santa Cruz. How can we further reduce hours on the road? We’re supporting local efforts to create more workforce housing close to businesses like ours.

And some issues are so large we barely have a voice. But we encourage everyone to stay aware and to advocate for the right thing when given the opportunity.

All this is a lead-up to the events that are happening this week. Check out the speech by teen environmentalist Greta Thunberg and consider participating in local and national actions.

Do You Want to Screw Over Your ISP?

“Internet providers are real bastards…”
So begins a recently published TechCrunch article charmingly titled 13 Ways to Screw Over Your Internet Provider

As you can imagine, since Cruzio is an internet provider, that raised an eyebrow over here and we figured we’d take a look. Wow. Amazing what some folks have to go through — it’s like they’re at war with the company who supposedly serves them!

A lot of the measures suggested by the deeply disgruntled author aren’t necessary when you have an independent, Net-Neutral ISP like Cruzio. So we thought we’d set the record straight by responding to their “advice.”

Our comments might surprise you. Or, if you’re a Cruzio customer, maybe not. Read on…

1. “Buy a modem and router instead of renting”
Sure. Unless the equipment is specifically required by the technology (for instance, with fiber connections) any Cruzio customer can feel free to buy their own and we’re totally up front about that. We don’t rent hardware to gouge our peeps. But, we’re also up front about being experts when it comes to modems. Our hardware is top-of-the-line and gives us much more ability to support the connection, and we’ll swap it out for free if it ever breaks or anytime there’s a better model available. It’s just like leasing a car over buying — but obviously much cheaper.

2. “Avoid service calls, or if you can’t, insist they’re free”
Believe us, a service call is a last resort. It’s expensive and time consuming for everyone. But, if we need to come out to fix the service, the call is always free unless the issue turns out to be with your home wiring.

3. “Get deals from the installer”
No need to try to wheedle deals from our field techs. We don’t have hidden pricing or special offers. We just have one upfront price with no hidden fees. You don’t need these tricks with us like you do with the big guys.

4. “Complain, complain, complain”
Again, not necessary. We get this a lot from new customers coming over from other ISPs. They’ve learned over time, poor things, that they need to yell and complain to get what they need. Not with Cruzio. Our whole deal is getting your service as good as we can get it. That’s our job. That’s why we’re here.

5. “Choose your service level wisely”
Cruzio has one price and for that price you get the best connection we can provide in your neighborhood. Then, as we expand and improve the network, we don’t use that as a reason to bump your price. We just upgrade everyone to the better speeds automatically and for free. We’re doing that all the time. You might get an email from us saying it’s your turn any day.

6. “Stream everything because broadcast TV is a joke”
Well this one we don’t have much to say about other than: yes, yes, 100% yes. Everything is streaming these days and we can help you set that up. #CutTheCord.

7. “Watch your bill like a hawk”
If you want to, please feel free, but there’s no need. If we ever raise our price, we’ll email you and let you know. We don’t do contracts so you can quit anytime. We don’t do hidden fees so there’s nothing for us to sneak in there.

8. “Go to your account and opt out of everything”
Nothing really to opt out of. We don’t do a bunch of add-on fees. We just try to do one thing great — internet. And we don’t want you paying for anything you don’t want.

9. “Share your passwords”
We don’t do TV so, no comment. We would never advise you to share your streaming passwords. Shocking.

10. “Encrypt everything and block trackers”
We’re all for security and we’re massive on privacy, so we don’t disagree. But we’re one of the only ISPs that do not track and sell your data. Maybe it’s a Santa Cruz thing, but we’ve never seen our customers’ data as a potential profit center. We will never give away or sell your private data. Ever.

11. “Use a different DNS”
No need. As we said, we’re not tracking you. And our DNS will be faster than any of the other options. See how there’s just less to worry about with an honest ISP?

12. “Run a home server”
There are better ways to do this. It’s a lot of trouble to set up a server and keep it going 24/7. People must hate the big ISPs! But if you want to run a server just give us a call. Let’s chat.

13. “Talk to your local government”
Yes! Please do. Local, independent ISPs like Cruzio are up against some big, deep-pocketed competitors who (see above) are not always out for your best interests. Without partnerships with local municipalities, it’ll be hard for independent ISPs to expand availability and service long term. And without us, you’re stuck with, well, them.

That was fun! I guess when you’re not out there trying to screw over your customers, you’re less likely to get screwed yourself. Huh. We knew that of course. It’s what we built Cruzio on. But it’s always good to be reminded.

Cruzio Met the Aggressive Squirrel

Emily the squirrel in a box

Emily, just prior to her notorious escape

Cruzio has a small office which happens to be next door to the grapefruit tree where a local squirrel became famous.

Emily’s Story, in a Nutshell

The squirrel was abandoned as a kitten, then raised by hand by a kindly human who named her Emily. But this July, Emily’s onset of maternity (which honestly can be overwhelming) combined with her lack of fear of humans and possibly some innate character flaw caused her to go psycho on passersby.

After several unnervingly hostile staredowns and biting incidents, people alerted the fire department to the squirrel.

The fire fighters and a brave animal rescuer removed Emily and her three small babies from the grapefruit tree. In a sad echo of her own early orphanhood, Emily then abandoned her kittens as she chewed through a plastic box and fled. It’s reported that she may have been seen, post-escape, in Live Oak. (But how can people tell it’s her, really?)

This is all documented in local and national news stories. Here’s a great video of the incident.

Cruzio’s Experience with Emily

Cruzio, being nearby, has additional exclusive information and footage of this squirrel prior to her arrest and escape.

We had noticed an odd squirrel in the maple tree outside our office, just about 30 feet from the site of her eventual capture.

In early spring, we saw the squirrel chewing on something strange. Not a nut. Not a scrap of food. On closer examination, it turned out to be a cigarette lighter.

Emily, the video

Emily, spotted near her grapefruit tree a few months before the famous incident

Okay, that’s weird. Another day, we went outside and noticed our 3-foot-high avocado plant had been ripped out of its planter. The foliage had been torn off and thrown several feet away and the pit from which it rooted was chittered into hundreds of pieces strewn around our porch — as if a tiny wood chipper had gone at it.

At first we thought it was a human vandal but who would chip an avocado pit into literally hundreds of small pieces? Not a human and not even a normal squirrel.

A squirrel who’d gone bananas, that’s who.

Later, when the squirrel hostilely stared down passersby and even bit several people, the word was that she was just protecting her babies. That may be so. But in our experience, she was already pretty nutty.

Takeaways:

  • Squirrels are wild animals. Changing their ways can be hazardous.
  • Also, don’t feed squirrels. One of the attacks happened when a young man tried to feed Emily a potato chip.
  • Don’t leave your young avocado plants outside…

Squirrels Were Once Beloved Pets

Colonial girl with squirrel

To be fair to squirrels, humans often have a hand in their weird behavior. Let’s go over some of their history in the USA.

Colonial Squirrels: Beloved Pets

Colonial Americans lived among many wild animals and tamed both deer and squirrels for pets. Even Ben Franklin, living in England just prior to the Revolutionary War, felt he could best show his gratitude to his host family by having his wife ship some American grey squirrels to them as pets. The squirrels were a hit. One of them was particularly beloved, and when it was killed by a dog in 1772 Franklin wrote a sad ode in its honor.

“…Daily wert thou fed with the choicest Viands
By the fair Hand
Of an indulgent Mistress.
But, discontented, thou wouldst have more freedom.
Too soon, alas! didst thou obtain it…”

Tame squirrel enthusiasm waned, however, as sharp claws and teeth, plus a tendency to steal food and bury it all over the house, revealed squirrels as less than desirable pets.

And don’t get any ideas. Today, it’s illegal to have a squirrel as a pet in the State of California.

Squirrels and Technology: a Bad Combination

Cruzio has another objection to squirrels: they like to chew on fiberoptic cables. Their teeth grow rapidly and they must chew to keep the teeth short and sharp. As bad as landslides and storms are for telecommunications infrastructure, squirrels give those trials a run for their money. Squirrels have gnawed outage-causing cuts into fiber cables in Santa Cruz several times in the last decade. It’s one reason that Cruzio has to have doubly- and triply-redundant connections.

(Other animals, like rabbits and rats, also chew. Why do communications companies focus on squirrels? Because they climb utility poles, so cables hung on poles are susceptible. That’s one reason Cruzio likes to build underground when we can!)

Remember Noisy Modems? Imagine a House Full of ‘Em

Chris and baby Jake

Chris and Jake in 1993, when modems filled the family garage.

More Memories from our 30-year History

In the late 1980s and 1990s, when Cruzio’s founders started offering dial-up connections, people connected to us over phone lines.

It seems primitive today, and jury-rigged. It was! We were using the tools available to us — and luckily the breakup of Ma Bell had freed people to use the infrastructure as we pleased. Fax machines, voice mail, and the internet resulted.

(Telecom monopolies have been reassembling in the 2000s, like some sort of Death Star, but that’s another topic…)

Sharing a phone line with the internet was kind of a drag, because when you connected to the internet you couldn’t make a phone call on the same line. And people used to use their landline telephones a lot more, since many didn’t have the internet and nobody had smart phones.

Lots of problems ensued, mostly intergenerational: older people got furious because the phone was busy for hours and hours while a kid in the house was playing a multiuser game on the computer. Even then, the internet was a huge time suck.

What if You Were the ISP?

In the Cruzio family household, founders Chris and Peggy had it worse than most because their house was the site of several modem servers which made loud modem noises all day and night. Every time a customer connected to Cruzio, the servers would screech and crackle. The equipment was in the attached garage but could be heard throughout most of their small house.

Boing, boing, boing. Crrrrrrr. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Add to this the alarms Chris set to go off whenever equipment faltered. Loud shrieks rang through the little house, waking everyone in the family as Chris valiantly rushed to repair whatever had gone wrong.

Cruzio’s founders knew from the start that the internet is a 24/7 responsibility 365 days a year. People rely on it. And when you host it in your house, you’re going to notice it. All night long.

Things got even worse after the Cruzio babies were born. Any problem with the internet service was immediately followed by a cascade of sound effects: the alarm shrieking, Mom and Dad yelling expletives, babies wailing.

That’s how you ran a startup ISP in 1992.

It’s Different Now

Luckily, Cruzio — maybe because of the valiant efforts — attracted enough customers to become a real business. When Cruzio moved to a downtown office building in 1994, great joy, and much more sleep, ensued.

And our world in 2019 — with its wifi and blue tooth, phones that play movies and fit in our pockets — looks very different now. The babies are grown up. But Cruzio still answers alarms any time there’s a problem with our internet service, any time of day or night.