Cruzio/The Internet Store Newsletter - Number 37, August 30, 2000 1) Small Business Internet and Technology Fair on October 12, 2000! 2) Now offering DSL "Self-Install" option 3) DSL status report 4) On-line payment center 5) Meeting with Congressman Farr 6) Planning a vacation on the Net 7) September classes: Using the Internet and Publishing on the Internet 8) If you cancel an account 9) About This Newsletter 10) How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1) Small Business Internet and Technology Fair on October 12, 2000! We at Cruzio like to meet our vendors face-to-face whenever possible. Like us, many small businesses prefer a personal, local touch. But sometimes we are too busy to make appointments to meet Web designers, accountants, insurance providers, and all the rest. This Fair, in its second year, provides small businesses with an invaluable opportunity to meet local vendors. Along with display booths and workshops, there will be a "Brown Bag" discussion where local companies who specialize in small businesses can get up and introduce themselves. We'll have a focus on technology but all are welcome. Now is the time for vendors to sign up. Booth space is going fast. Listings in the program (including 50 word description) and an appearance at the Brown Bag will be available for $99 per business -- and if you sign up before September 13th, the cost is only $89! This is a great deal as the program will be distributed by Metro Santa Cruz (circulation: 37,500) and given out at the Fair. The on-line version will be available year-round. To learn more about the Fair, apply for a booth spot, or register and pay for the vendor listing, please see http://www.smallbusinessfair.com Even if your business can't appear at the Fair or in the publication, you can still get great publicity for your company by donating an item to the raffle. The raffle's entire proceeds go to local non-profit Barrios Unidos's Computer Training Program, an afterschool project for kids and teens to help bridge the digital divide. Suggestions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Who's involved in organizing the Fair? Cruzio is joined by local non-profits that assist small businesses (The Central Coast Small Business Development Center, The Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, The Santa Cruz Downtown Association, Cabrillo College) and local companies who work with small businesses (Coast Commercial Bank, Metro Santa Cruz, Mandala Net Design, Primary Print Services, New Wave Broadcasting.) The Fair will be located in the Santa Cruz Veterans Memorial Hall. We're proud to be working with such a great team! 2) Now offering DSL "Self-Install" option Cruzio's Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service is quite popular. Once installed, the service is very fast: nearly 1.5 megabits per second for some customers. Now, a new DSL installation option is available. Customers ordering DSL can choose to install the hardware and software on their own computers rather than having a phone company technician do so for them. Self-installation means that customers don't have to wait at home for the technician to arrive, avoiding one of the biggest installation hassles (late and non-arrivals). Self installations are also less expensive: technician installations cost a total of $297 for equipment and set-up, self-install setups are just $198 when equipment is included or $0 if you provide the equipment yourself. For details about self-installs and general DSL stuff, please see http://www.cruzio.com/support/dslindex.html 3) General DSL status Since the last newsletter, ASI, the new company split off from Southwestern Bell to provide high-speed communications, has improved somewhat in its service. On Cruzio's end, we have found it frustrating to deal with a constantly changing group of personnel and procedures to arrange installations or correct any errors. Since self-installs (see above) remove some of the more troublesome aspects of installation, we are hoping for good results. Some customers who purchased DSL prior to July 28th experienced installation delays or "cold installs", where equipment was installed but not properly connected by ASI. Cruzio is following up on each and every customer assiduously, providing lists of information to technicians and asking for updates on a daily basis (this means many, many hours on hold each day; our thanks to Julianne, Hilary, Barbara, and Brittany for their patience!). Progress is being made, but slowly. We will continue to press on our customers' behalf. New equipment is expected to speed installations in some areas soon. Here is the latest status from ASI (note that any information may be changed by ASI without notice): Santa Cruz Main- 9/15 scheduled date for new DSLAM equipment install. Scotts Valley- 9/11 scheduled date for new DSLAM equipment install. Felton- No date yet. 4) On-line payment center If you go to your Cruzio control panel (also called the Account Information Manager -- see instructions below) on the Web, you'll now find a place where you can look up your Cruzio balance due and pay by credit card. Yes, you can pay any time of night or day; when you wake up in the middle of the night thinking "have I paid that Cruzio bill yet?" go to the computer and handle it online, then go back to a relaxed and peaceful slumber secure in the knowledge that you have done the right thing! Your Cruzio control panel is located: 1) at http:/members.cruzio.com/admin, if you don't have a private domain account, or 2) at http:/yourdomain.com/admin, if you do have a custom domain (please substitute your own domain name for "yourdomain") Note: please have your login and password ready. Note 2: if you wish to have your credit card billed automatically every month, you can sign up for that on the control panel, too. Very handy. 5) Meeting with Congressman Farr Cruzio was very honored to be invited to a meeting to discuss technology with our Congressman, Sam Farr. It was certainly interesting. Representatives from many local high-tech companies were there and we all had different points of view but all agreed that education was a top priority. A few of us emphasized that high-tech skills are all very glamorous, but a company cannot succeed unless the employees can also read, write, and spell. Programming comes later and is frankly easier to teach, so let's help out those K-12 schools! Please remember to register to vote so that you can make your voice known this fall. Many thanks to the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce for arranging the meeting. 6)Planning a vacation on the Net We just returned from a fine family vacation to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Why is this worth mentioning in the Cruzio newsletter? Well, it's a sign of the times I suppose, that: - Our extended family (Grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins) corresponded about where we wanted to go and when, all via e-mail. We have trouble reaching each other by telephone since we all live in different time zones (some vastly different). All of us have e-mail now and all use it every day. - We found maps on the Web and used them to figure out where we wanted and needed to go. We flew to Missoula, Montana and drove down to Yellowstone, then up to Glacier, then left from Missoula again. It was a lot of driving, but we saw a lot of Montana. - We made hotel and airplane reservations over the Web. Of course, those of us involved with Cruzio have been doing things over the Internet for years. But now the whole family's doing it. It's great! 7) September classes: Using the Internet and Publishing on the Internet In September, 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 October: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, same as September. Please check our classes Web page for the above information and more: http://www.cruzio.com/classes/ 8) If you cancel an account Our bookkeeper begs us to remind customers that if that sad time should come when you must cancel your Cruzio service, please don't just let the account lapse. Notify us by sending e-mail to email@example.com. Otherwise we will sit waiting for you by the window with a candle lit for weeks, even months. Let us know when all hope is gone; we can take it. And please let us know why you are leaving, so we can improve service when possible. 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, Tapati, Hilary, Brittany, Alec, Rachael, Barbara, Raelani, Priya, Stephen, Paul, Tim, Gershom, Myesha, Kelly, Laura, Allyson and Sam (the grownups); Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Annika, age 5, in Yellowstone Park: "I know why they call (the geyser) 'Old Faithful'. It's because it never hurts any animals. Unless the animals get too close and fall in."