Cruzio/The Internet Store Newsletter - Number 36, July 18, 2000 1) Cruzio wins Service Award from Downtown Association 2) DSL status report 3) This Thursday at Cruzio: "Christmas in July" workshop 4) And the winner of the survey contest is... 5) August classes: Using the Internet and Publishing on the Internet 6) Intro to the Computer 7) Spam: What's Cruzio doing to prevent it? 8) About This Newsletter 9) How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1) Cruzio wins Service Award from Downtown Association My, we are proud! On July 13, Cruzio was given the annual Service Award by the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz. This means a lot to us because the Downtown Association represents our neighbors, largely small businesses who use us for e-mail and e-commerce. We are proud to have served our community well. Cruzio is working with the Downtown Association on a number of projects, including a program to teach shopowners how to set up e-commerce sites. The program includes one-on-one tutorials and a careful plan for beginning store sites which can be expanded or changed at any time by the store owners. Note that unlike many other shopping cart services, Cruzio does not take ownership of your store. ShopSite is hosted on Cruzio's Web servers, but it is completely under your control. For more information, please see http://www.cruzio.com/support/shopsite 2) DSL status report Last week, a DSL status report would have been very grim indeed. ASI, the company now performing DSL installations (the only company doing such installations at a reasonable cost) had missed many installation dates. People waited at home all day for ASI technicians, who often did not arrive as scheduled. This was happening throughout California. To add insult to injury, ASI sent confirmation letters to many customers with a listed charge of $3,000.00. There is no such charge for DSL service and customers were naturally alarmed. At first, Cruzio's frequent calls to ASI bore no fruit. Folks at ASI and Pacific Bell were apologetic but could not provide immediate help. However, in part due to complaints from customers and their Internet Service Providers such as Cruzio, ASI's service has gradually improved. Part of Cruzio's response to the situation has been calling ASI on a daily basis, checking each and every scheduled installation. As of the end of last week, many customers were getting proper installations on schedule. We will continue to call until we see a consistent improvement in the situation. In general, Cruzio been unhappy with the process of scheduling and performing DSL installations, under both Pacific Bell and the new spinoff company, ASI. Once installed, the service is generally good and we hear few problems. The price is excellent for the speedy service provided. Because of the difficulty with installations Cruzio now recommends DSL only to customers who can tolerate last-minute cancellations and other such problems. We will be posting updates in the newsletter every month for those who'd prefer to wait until the installation process is less worrisome. 3) This Thursday at Cruzio: "Christmas in July" workshop Thursday July 20th, 2000 12:30-2PM at Cruzio Christmas in July!!! This Christmas may be the largest online shopping spree ever. Is your business online and ready to accept credit card orders? Plan your Web site and e-commerce solution now to prepare for a busy Christmas season. This Brown Bag Workshop covers Internet Office, ShopSite and a discussion about e-commerce. ShopSite offers everything you need to set up an on-line store to sell products and services. It's fast, easy, inexpensive, secure and you can set up your Web store in minutes. Brown Bags are generally $5 to attend, lunch is extra $6. Register for this event at: http://www.cruzio.com/support/business/brownbags.html Coming Next Month: Thursday, August 17th at 6 pm: Consultants' and Web Designers' Brown Bag and Networking Workshop Speakers to be announced; free refreshments; no charge for this event. This workshop will be a wonderful opportunity to hobnob with Web designers, consultants and other small tech services. We'll be helping companies prepare for the upcoming Small Business Internet and Technology Fair (see below). Coming this fall: In early October of 2000, Cruzio will be hosting a Small Business Internet and Technology Fair offering networking opportunities, technology services and promotional assistance for small businesses. If your business serves small businesses, or needs the services of small businesses, this event is for you. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in having a booth at the fair or otherwise participating. The Fair will be co-sponsored by Cruzio, the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, and the Small Business Development Center. More details in next month's newsletter. 4) And the winner of the survey contest is... James Jarvis! Mr. Jarvis was selected by a highly technical random process. (Not eeny-meeny-miney-mo. Much more technical than that.) Mr. Jarvis will be receiving $200 worth of Internet Service from Cruzio. Thanks to everyone who took the survey -- it helps us understand what's important to Cruzio members so we can better serve you. 5) August classes: Using the Internet and Publishing on the Internet In August, Cruzio will be offering: Tuesdays, 6:30-9pm: "Using the Internet", packed with tips and tricks for speedy, fun Internet usage. Taught by the knowledgeable, engaging Brittany. Wednesdays, 6:30-9pm: "Publishing on the Internet I", Scintillating instructors John and Kathy guide students through the process of creating Web sites for their family, hobbies or businesses. Our most popular series. Coming up in September: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, same as August. Thursdays, 6:30-9pm: E-commerce. The basics of creating an E-commerce site which can make commercial transactions on the Internet. Issues of security, simple programming tricks, and an overview of the whole process are covered. ShopSite is covered in detail; each participant creates a working Web store before the class ends. Taught by the exceptional Kathy, Mark, and John. Please check our classes Web page for the above information and more: http://www.cruzio.com/classes/ 6) Intro to the Computer Students from all walks of life have reported great enthusiasm for the "Intro to the Computer" classes that Cruzio is holding in conjunction with Santa Cruz Parks and Rec. Priya is a fine instructor. The classes are short, inexpensive, and to the point. To find out the difference between a bit and a byte, or between a hard disk and memory, look up Cruzio in the upcoming Fall Catalogue and register through the Parks and Recreation Department: 420-5250 or (of course!) register on the Web at: http://www.santacruzparksandrec.com/ 7) Spam: What's Cruzio doing to prevent it? Every so often a wave of "spam" comes to Cruzio users. Spam is another name for unsolicited e-mail -- you might call it junk e-mail. Cruzio is firmly opposed to spam. When a member of Cruzio is found to have sent out spam the user's account is terminated. We monitor our system for abusers, and we have removed many spammers from our system over the years. The incoming side of spam is harder to monitor. We don't wish to read, censor, or observe our members' e-mail in any way. Cruzio does check all incoming mail to see that the e-mail address is legitimate, that it came from a known host on the Internet, and other such tests weeding out a great deal of spam. But Cruzio does not filter for words like "sex" or "$$MAKE MONEY$$". We have felt that such filtering is best left to the discretion of the recipient. Most e-mail programs have "filters" on them which will put aside or delete e-mail matching certain criteria. If you find certain e-mails objectionable, we suggest you use the filters on your system. Cruzio's step-by-step instructions for e-mail filtering using common e-mail programs will be ready in early August. Cruzio is always open to ideas about further steps we could take toward curbing spam. We understand that spam can be annoying and even shocking at times. Please e-mail email@example.com to contribute suggestions. 8) 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. 9) 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, Tapati, Hilary, Temoc, Brittany, Alec, Rachael, Barbara, Raelani, Priya, Stephen, Paul, Tim, Gershom, Myesha, Kelly, Allyson, and Laura (the grownups); Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Annika, age 5, came home one day and told me she'd seen "a beautiful hot dog sandwich made of frosting." It took me a minute: a chocolate eclair!