Please read the newsletter this month. It has very important items (#1 and #2) about upgrades to your account and about problems you may have in reading Cruzio's bills. Thanks, Happy New Year! Cruzio/The Internet Store Newsletter - Number 30, December 29, 1999 1) Please watch for your Cruzio bills 2) New features on your account at no extra charge 3) Brown bag event coming up: "Putting your Business Online" 4) Downtime in January? Cruzio classes 5) DSL status: Doing well 6) What Cruzio is doing on New Year's Eve 7) What Cruzio suggests you do on New Year's Eve 8) Getting to your Admin page 9) About This Newsletter 10) How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1) Please watch for your Cruzio bills The good news is, Cruzio has a new billing system which will help us better track accounts and offer options to our members. More good news is that the billing system seems to be billing our customers accurate amounts at appropriate intervals -- a very basic requirement which we are watching closely. The bad news is, changing a basic system always has its glitches. Please have patience, we are working on all the issues as we see them. Here are some things you may need to be aware of: - If your credit card is automatically billed, you will see a statement that doesn't mention auto-debiting. Don't worry, we know who has this service. We will bill your card within 5 days of your due date as usual, and we will let you know if there are any problems. - The bills aren't plain text any more. Most e-mail programs will simply interpret the bills, which are set up for viewing on the Web. But older e-mail programs will see some computerese gobbledeegook which you may find confusing. Please let us know if you get a bill and can't read it -- send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (just replying to the e-mail will do the trick). Or, if you wish to try to sort through it to see your total due it's an e-mail with this subject: "Cruzio/The Internet Store, Inc Billing Statement" and about 2/3 of the way down the mail you can find these lines: Amount due: 57.00 Note that in the middle of all the "<>"s, there are the words "amount due" on one line, followed by a line that contains an amount. That's your payment due. We are working (hard!) on getting the bills into a universally readable format. - The date on the bills is different. It used to be the bills were dated with the day they were sent. Now they're dated with the date that they are _due_. You have a grace period of 14 days after the due date before any changes are made to your account. - For those of you who are forced, through unusual and uncontrollable circumstances, to pay your bill late, please be aware that we are not sending out late notices through the regular ("snail") mail right now. We will be reinstating this system as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! 2) New features on your account All accounts on Cruzio have been upgraded. Every dial-up or DSL account on Cruzio now comes with one cruzio.com mailbox (as always) and an additional five (5) extra mailboxes with a choice of alternate domains. All Internet Office, or Custom Domain accounts, receive five (5) extra mailboxes on their domain. The 5 extra mailboxes are available to everyone with an existing account. It's free of charge. If this service matches one that you were paying for, Cruzio has reduced your rate accordingly. But that's not all. Also, effective immediately, each of those free extra mailboxes has 10 megabytes of web space available with it. That means that, rather than 10 MB of web space, now 60 MB of web space comes with a standard Cruzio account (in 10 MB chunks). How can you use all these new features? You set up and tear down the mailboxes yourself, from your "admin" page. (For instructions on getting to your admin page, see topic "Getting to your Admin page", below). When you set up a mailbox, you get the web space automatically. The URL of the web space will be www.alternatedomain.com/~your_mailbox_name -- see examples below. Mailboxes are easy to create and destroy... just be careful, because when you destroy a mailbox, you lose its associated web space, too. Why? Well, Cruzio is examining different ways of conducting business and personal lives on the Internet. It doesn't take much on our part to open up a lot of possibilities for our members -- we've got a great engineering team. We wanted to offer low-cost mailboxes, but we were worried about using up too many cruzio.com names (so that an email address would look like "MaryJane1930984@cruzio.com"), so we wanted to give people a choice of interesting domain names to choose. Anyway, please enjoy the new features! Here are examples: For a standard account: Joe has an account on Cruzio, with e-mail address email@example.com Now, Joe can set up 5 new mailboxes, with addresses like "firstname.lastname@example.org" "email@example.com" and "firstname.lastname@example.org" People who share Joe's connection or who have their own Internet connection can use these mailboxes. Joe's sister Twig can put up a web space whose URL is http://www.rattlebrain.com/~twig And so can "joe" and "pete", the other mailboxes. (this is just an example, it doesn't really exist!) For an Internet Office (custom domain) account: Phyllis has an account at Cruzio, with the domain name bzzzzzz.com Now Phyllis can set up 5 extra, password-protected mailboxes under her domain, such as "email@example.com" and "firstname.lastname@example.org". Each of those mailboxes can be accessed from a different location, for example an employee working from home could get e-mail there rather than at the office. These mailboxes don't have web space attached. Try out the new stuff! Kudos to our dashing engineer, Jay for all the hard work. 3) Brown bag event coming up: "Putting your Business Online" 12:30-2pm Thursday, January 20th, 2000 Brown Bag "Putting your Business Online"--Many of your customers shop on the Internet. Learn what you need to start to get your business online well ahead of the Christmas 2000 sales season. Led by Cruzio Senior Staff John Govsky and Kathy Bisbee. Registration is $5, and $6 extra if you'd like a lunch. Please register online at http://gate.cruzio.com/support/business/brownbags.html 4) Downtime in January? Cruzio classes In January, many of us suffer from "post-holiday letdown". We've eaten too much, partied too much, stayed up late and who knows what. Okay, enough of that. Now it's time to get active, learn the skills you need to make the new year a productive one, perhaps by taking a class to improve your Internet skills. The classes are held in downtown Santa Cruz, at Cruzio headquarters. They're scheduled for convenient early evening hours. The classes start on January 4th, 5th, and 6th, respectively. In January, Cruzio is offering: Tuesdays, 6:30-9pm: "Using the Internet", packed with tips and tricks for wiser Internet usage. Taught by the futuristic Sam and Amy. Wednesdays, 6:30-9pm: "Publishing on the Internet" I, Terrific instructors John, Kathy, and Mark guide students through the process of creating Web sites for their family, hobbies or businesses. Our most popular series. Thursdays, 6:30-9pm: "Publishing on the Internet II", A continuation of the first "Publishing" series, where Mark and John present more sophisticated and effective methods of creating web pages. Coming up in February: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, same as January. Thursdays, 6:30-9pm: E-Commerce. The how-to's of creating an Web site which can make commercial transactions on the Internet. Issues of security, simple programming tricks, and an overview of the whole process are covered. Taught by the talented Websters Kathy, Mark, and John. 5) DSL status: Doing well I just looked over at the monitor and there are 27 people using Cruzio DSL right at this moment. There have been some hitches here and there; DSL does involve a visit from Pacific Bell and some changes to your computer and modem setup. But once it's on, DSL stays on and the speeds are fantastic. To look into it, go to the Cruzio DSL web site: http://www.cruzio.com/support/dsl.html 6) What Cruzio is doing on New Year's Eve On New Year's Eve 1999, Cruzio's top technical staff will be at our office to monitor all our systems and respond to any Y2K issues. They will have a bottle of champagne with them, and if all goes well they'll relax and enjoy a glass. If there are any troubles, Cruzio is equipped with 2 generators, full backups for servers, and we are ready to respond to foreseeable emergencies. Our aim is always to keep Cruzio up and running for our customers; even more so when there are community-wide problems (communication channels are essential, as we found after the 1989 earthquake!) 7) What Cruzio suggests you do on New Year's Eve Computer-related problems are not unlikely after New's Years Eve. When Cruzio checked its systems for Y2K problems, most (being Unix) passed without a hitch. But there were some auxilliary systems which did need updating in our support and accounting departments. If you're a procrastinator, and haven't looked into Y2K yet, don't be surprised if a bug or two turns up. The most essential preparation is backups. Make sure you have copies of the files you use in your business or which are important to you at home. Keep backups on floppies, CD's, or whatever storage medium you have available. Watch carefully for the first few weeks: are the dates on things looking normal? And try not to get flummoxed by computer problems. They stem from humans, after all. 8) Getting to your Admin page Your Admin page lets you make full use of the features Cruzio includes in your account. We are always adding things, so it's good to spend some time checking the Admin page every now and then. To get to your Admin page, go to http://www.cruzio.com/support and enter your login in the field at the top of the page where it says "Check Your Account". Or, if you aren't having luck with this approach, go to http://www.cruzio.com/support/locate/uniloc.cgi which gives a fuller explanation of the process and a table full of alternate links to try. If you have questions, please let us know by emailing email@example.com. 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 email@example.com.....for questions about Cruzio's World Wide Web service Thanks very much from Cruzio: Chris, Peggy, John, Julianne, Patton, Kathy, Mark, Martin, Georgette, Jay, Tapati, Hilary, Jessica, Amy, Temoc, Sam, Brittany, Will, Alec, Rachael, and Barbara (the grownups); Jake, Annika and Carly (the kids) The Theory of Evolution According to Annika, age 4 and a half: "First came the sea creatures. Then, dinosaurs. Then, mermaids. Then, people."