Cruzio/The Internet Store Newsletter - Number 44, March 21, 2001 1. Cruzio voted best again! Many thanks! 2. Brown bag workshop tomorrow, March 22nd, at 12:30 pm at MAH 3. Cruzio member wins $200 worth of services!! 4. Spam update 5. Are we looking at a long summer of blackouts? 6. Senior Center DSL up and running fast 7. Revamp of local listings 8. Naked wife virus 9. Computer Troubleshooting Brown Bag on April 19th 10. About This Newsletter 11. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Cruzio voted best again! Many thanks! Once again -- and for every year since 1996, in fact -- Cruzio has won the Metro's "Goldie" award for Best Internet Service Provider and www.cruzio.com has won the Goldie for Best Local Web Site. We thank you, our customers. Clearly you're the ones who voted for us or who spread the word. We promise to try even harder next year. It's an honor and a privilege to work in a great community like this one. Aww, we are blushing now! 2. Brown bag workshop tomorrow, March 22nd, at 12:30 pm at MAH Thinking of adding an online presence to your store or service business? Cruzio provides a way to do so. Please attend our lunchtime workshop on: "ShopSite: Web Store, Easy, Fast, Inexpensive" It will be held tomorrow, Thursday, March 22nd, from 12:30-2pm at the Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St. in Santa Cruz. This month's event is FREE! Normally, business brown bags are $5 to attend, which can be applied to domain, web or e-commerce hosting fees after attending. Attendance is limited to the first 20 participants. ShopSite is a Web Store, which includes a shopping cart. It provides everything you need to set up an online store to sell products and services to a world market. ShopSite is available with your Cruzio Internet Office domain and is easily administered through your Web browser. Call Cruzio for more information, or e-mail email@example.com 3. Cruzio member wins $200 worth of services!! During the lucky timeframe between February 14th and March 17th -- otherwise known as Valentine's to Saint Patrick's Day -- Cruzio entered everyone buying a new service into a drawing for $200 worth of free Cruzio products. The drawing included both brand new customers and existing customers buying a new service. Yes, we value our existing customers and wanted to give you all a chance at the prize! Yesterday, through an extremely technical random process, we picked the winner. We are proud to announce it's (drum roll ............): Beth Purcell! So Beth will have $200 credited to her account. Thanks to everyone who participated. It was a lot of fun! 4. Spam update Cruzio is working hard at a solution to "spam", or junk e-mail. In the past few weeks, we have been conducting the first tests of our new filtering software and this week we plan to load it on an all-new, high-powered machine for further testing and refinement. Cruzio does not consider itself the best authority in determining what email should be delivered to _your_ mailbox. Our approach is to give _you_ the tools to filter your mailbox on our server. Incoming email which is filtered out according to your criteria will be set aside in a separate email box. You will be able to review the contents of this email box, which will be periodically and automatically emptied so as to prevent a massive buildup of filtered email on our servers. This solution is similar to one currently available to Cruzio members on their home machines, when using e-mail programs which support filtering. The main difference is that Cruzio's filters will divert spam before it is downloaded to your machine, so that spam will not slow your e-mail transmission as it currently does. We still have at least a month of work ahead. It is crucial that we have a thorough testing period. But relief is in sight, and the project is going well. We will keep you updated. In the meantime, filters are already available for many common e-mail programs, and we can recommend several measures. We provide instructions for using mail filters on your own computers, and other advice, at: http://www.cruzio.com/support/email/spaminfo.html 5. Are we looking at a long summer of blackouts? Cruzio is prepared for blackouts, rolling or otherwise. We have backup generators to keep your e-mail flowing and your Web sites visible to the world, even if power is out in parts of Santa Cruz. But we have to admit that computer use has increased the burden on our state's electricity. Here are some tips from Cruzio about reducing your computer-time power usage and protecting yourself in case a blackout does roll in: - Your computer's "at rest" mode saves about 40% of the electricity used by the computer. But turning your computer off saves 100% of the electricity. So if you are going to be away from your desk for more than an hour, shut it down all the way. - Remember that local lighting for your work area saves watts over lighting up the whole room. - Use Compact Fluorescent Lights for ambient lighting. Although the bulbs cost more initially, they last much longer than incandescents and use about a quarter of the electricity for the same level of brightness. Cruzio has instituted a program of giving away these bulbs to our employees, more than 40 distributed so far! - Don't wear a tie and jacket to work in the summer! That lowers the need for air conditioning. And be ready in case a blackout does interrupt your computer work: - Use Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS's); don't just plug computers directly into wall sockets. And use a UPS that's powerful enough for your computer. Simple surge protectors won't prevent computers from suddenly shutting off when power to your house or office is cut. A surge protector may save your equipment, but not your work. - Save your work often; Uninterruptible Power Supplies are not 100% reliable. - Keep backups of all important files. Power ups and downs can wreak havoc on computers. A floppy drive, zip drive, DAT tape drive or CD Rom drive and burner are very, very handy when you have files whose loss would be costly. Cruzio is also looking into renewable power sources such as solar power. We hope lots of businesses are doing the same. 6. Senior Center DSL up and running fast Cruzio is happy to announce an upgrade in the donated service we provide to Senior Net of Santa Cruz. We are long-time buddies with this group, and had donated ISDN to them for years. But now they are up and running on Cruzio DSL. We hope they enjoy the increase in speed and convenience (DSL can be over 10 times as fast as ISDN, and it's "always on"). The Seniors use routers to split a single DSL connection among many computers, so that all the computers can use the Internet simultaneously. It's a great use of the technology. For more information about DSL, please check: http://www.cruzio.com/support/dsl.html If you'd like to see what Senior Net of Santa Cruz is up to, they have a great Web page: http://www.seniorcomputer.org/ 7. Revamp of local listings Cruzio provided a nice space on our home page for local calendar, classifieds, and directory listings put up by our customers. But the housekeeping was labor-intensive, and we decided to let it go if we couldn't do it right. As of Thursday, March 22, the calendar, classifieds and directory will be removed from our home page and your account administration control panels. We are always interested in providing services to local residents, so that people can use computers to strengthen their ties to the community. Just FYI, we still provide: - A list of local businesses doing online sales at http://www.cruzio.com - A list of local computer and e-commerce consultants, Web and graphics designers at http://www.cruzio.com/consultants - A list of personal and business Web pages, free to all Cruzio customers at http://members.cruzio.com/index.html and http://www.cruzio.com/commercial If you would like to be listed in any of these resource guides, please check the URL (Web address) listed above for a instructions. All eligible entries are listed free of charge, because Cruzio believes that an open system is best for the community. 8. Naked wife virus If you did not heed the warning on keeping backups in case of power outages, there is another reason to back up your computer files: computer viruses. We were abruptly reminded of this two weeks ago when a virus appeared in e-mailboxes all over the country, instructing people to open an executable attachment to see a picture of a naked wife. If the executable was activated (by clicking on it!) the Windows operating system was destroyed and the computer needed to be re-installed from the original CD. When something like this happens, some people find, to their dismay, that they do not have their computer's system CD. Viruses can also destroy other files on your hard disk, and people are unhappy when they notice that files are gone and can't be recovered. But these are two calamities that can be prevented ahead of time. - When you buy a computer, find and save your system CD. There are many situations where it comes in handy. - Always back up important files to floppy or Zip disk, tape, or CD. - Use virus-detection software, and - Don't open executable files that come in e-mail unless it's something you are expecting! More information on viruses can be found at: http://www.cruzio.com/support/email/e-mailfaq.html#virus 9. Computer Troubleshooting Brown Bag on April 19th Cruzio will be hosting a free business brown bag evening event on Basic Computer Troubleshooting on Thursday, April 19th from 6:30-8pm at Cruzio. The event, co-sponsored by Grey Wolf Computer Systems, will give an overview of basic troubleshooting tips for both Mac and Windows. Learn what you can do yourself, when technical support can help, and when to call a professional. To register, visit http://www.cruzio.com/support/business/brownbags.html 10. 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. 11. 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: 831 459-6301............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 Cruzio's location: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Cruzio's hours: Sales hours: 10am-6pm, Monday through Friday; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday Technical support: 10-6 pm, Monday through Friday, 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, John, Julianne, Patton, Kathy, Mark, Martin, Georgette, Tapati, Hilary, Brittany, Alec, Rachael, Barbara, Priya, Stephen, Paul, Tim, Gershom, Kelly, Allyson, Laura, another Chris, Jessi, Steve, and Michelle (the grownups); Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) My children told me the babysitter makes excellent meals. "Delicious!" said my six year old. "Like eating at a fine restaurant" claimed my nine-year-old. I was curious. The kids never like anything I cook, so I asked the babysitter "What do you cook?" "Fried butter sandwiches," she replied.