Cruzio/The Internet Store Newsletter - Number 46, May 21st, 2001 1. Spam filter news 2. Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Business Fair, May 23rd 3. Cruzio sales office closed May 26th 4. Cruzio sales and support on holiday Memorial Day, May 28th 5. Bilingual support and sales 6. Cruzio wins the Good Times reader poll: Best ISP, Best Web Site! 7. Cruzio Day 8. About this newsletter 9. How to reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 10. Stories from kids and old-timers 1. Spam filter news Cruzio's software for allowing members to filter out "spam" (junk e-mail) will be released to many users within the next month. We are finishing the first stage of the project, covering Cruzio users who have mailboxes ending in "cruzio.com". Right now we are entering beta testing, and our exact release date will depend on how the testing goes. If you are not an engineer, you may wonder "what is beta testing?" It's a part of the software test cycle. Alpha testing is testing a new software program in-house, with company employees. Beta testing is a field test, where real customers use the product and try to break it. Several Cruzio customers volunteered and will soon be using the filter on their very real e-mail and spam. In initial testing, Cruzio found the filter blocked about 99.9% of spam. The blocked mail is set aside in a special mailbox which you can examine, so that if any wanted mail is mistakenly blocked you can still read it (and adjust the filter to let similar mail in next time.) Good software is made with good testing. We are committed to teasing out as many bugs and anomalies as possible before the phase one release. If you have your own domain name (such as "myname.com"), or if you are using one of our extra mailboxes, the spam filter will not be ready for you in this first release. We will be working on those filters over the summer, and will let you know of our progress. In the meantime, please visit our Spam information page at http://members.cruzio.com/~docs/menu.html#spam for tips on how to block spam right now using e-mail programs on your own computer. 2. Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Business Fair, May 23rd On Wednesday, May 23rd, Cruzio will be hosting a booth at the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Business Fair at the Cocoanut Grove. If you are at the fair, please stop by and say hello. We'll be showing off some of our business services, including our Web hosting, domains, and ShopSite, Cruzio's Web store software. As always, we welcome the chance to hear what you need to make the Internet work better for you. Faster connections? More features? Let us know. 3. Cruzio sales office closed May 26th Cruzio's sales office is normally open on Saturdays from 10 am till 2 pm. But on Saturday May 26th, sales will be closed so that sales staff can attend the wedding of one of our employees (we won't say which one, but if you come in be sure to ask and make him blush). Support will be answering phones that day, so don't hesitate to call with technical support questions. And of course, our servers will be humming along as usual. Reminder: Cruzio has a mail slot in our front door on Pacific Avenue, so you can drop off payments or finished applications even when we are closed. Reminder #2: You can make payments and order services on line. Payments are made from your Cruzio Control Panel (go to www.cruzio.com/support and enter your login and password at the top of the page) and new services can be ordered from: http://www.cruzio.com/order 4. Cruzio sales and support on holiday Memorial Day, May 28th We'll be out of the office on Memorial Day, which is Monday, May 28th. Sales and support will both be closed for the day. All services and systems will be monitored, of course, as always. 5. Bilingual support and sales Cruzio has offered bilingual sales and technical support services to Spanish speakers for many years. Our enthusiastic Spanish team is now drafting new Spanish applications, step-by-step documentation and is preparing to teach an Intro to the Internet workshop in Watsonville on June 27th. As part of providing Internet services in Santa Cruz, we offer many free or low-cost workshops and give special discounts to local organizations, government offices and community non-profits. We would like to expand our offering of similiar resources to the Pajaro Valley, and we'd love your help to create a regional link. Please e-mail us at email@example.com with any Web addresses for useful local sites and organizations in South County to add to our growing list. Watch for more on this project in upcoming newsletters! 6. Cruzio wins the Good Times reader poll: Best ISP, Best Web Site! Just a quick mention: Cruzio won the Good Times' Reader Poll in categories Best ISP and Best Local Web Site for the 6th year in a row, each. We've also won the Metro polls for six and seven years in a row in each category. It makes us feel we are doing something right. We know many of our customers must have voted for us. Thanks for your confidence. 7. Cruzio Day What a surprise at Cruzio's birthday party on April 26th, when Santa Cruz City Council member Christopher Krohn and local pundit Bruce Bratton got up and read a proclamation: *Mayor's Proclamation* I, Tim FitzMaurice, Mayor of the City of Santa Cruz, Do hereby proclaim April 26, 2001 as "Cruzio Day" in the city of Santa Cruz and encourage all citizens to join me in congratulating Cruzio on its twelfth year of serving the Santa Cruz community and expressing heartfelt appreciation for its numerous contributions to the citizens and City of Santa Cruz. Whoa! We were flabbergasted by this surprise proclamation, when all we were expecting was a nice bit of cake. Congratulations to all members of Cruzio, we are clearly contributors, one and all, to our community. A very fun part of our 12th birthday celebration was asking long-time users for their Cruzio stories. I'll put a few of them near the bottom of the newsletter. We're putting together a Web page of the old-timer tales and will let you know when it's up. Remembering back just 10 years in Internet time seems like the pioneer days (how slow was YOUR modem?). Please feel free to send your Cruzio stories any time to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you want us to use a pseudonym instead of your real name, as we will publish the stories. Sorry we didn't know that it was "Cruzio Day", or we could have asked everybody to wear their Cruzio tee shirts that day or some such thing. Maybe next April 26th. Many thanks to our members for making it possible! 8. About This Newsletter Cruzio doesn't like to waste bandwidth with extra e-mail, 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 e-mail email@example.com 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 e-mail to Cruzio, use one of these addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org ......for technical support email@example.com .......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, Pedro, Alec, Rachael, Barbara, Priya, Stephen, Paul, Tim, Gershom, Kelly, Allyson, Laura, another Chris, Jessi, Michelle, and Ben (the grownups); Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) 10. Stories from kids and old-timers Carly, age 3, complains: "Mommy, I have a stomachache in my shoulder." Here are some old-timer tales: "I hadn't really thought about it much - Cruzio's been a part of my life for around ten years now, in whatever incarnation it's been in. When I got Newsletter 45, I thought, "Whoa - it CAN'T have been that long ?!" I got to thinking about the whole evolutionary thing. In those days, access to the 'Net was mostly through BBS', and I was an Information Junkie with a number of accounts on different sites scattered around. The Web was still a brass ring to be reached for (I didn't know much about it, most providers were big, impersonal corporations, and the cost seemed prohibitive at the time,) so I kinda just floated amongst the BBS'. And then, my friend Jeff turned me on to the Cruzio BBS. Some SCO geek named Chris was running this cool BBS with access to lots of interesting stuff, Usenet newsgroups, easy access, and was a really helpful system administrator You know, the sort of thing a used car salesman says. So, I surreptitiously checked it out. A Cruzio Junkie was born...." -- Roxanne Acheron "The twelve hundred baud modem and text-based email were about like motoring before the invention of the electric starter." -- Roy Kiesling " I can remember Cruzio back to the summer of 1994. I had just retired from NASA and my wife and I moved to Santa Cruz. I had used e-mail and Usenet for many years and knew they would be necessary in the new business I was planning. I had used a program called Mosaic and thought that this new thing they were calling the world-wide-web might prove useful. I wanted to sign up with a local firm instead of a national provider and I chose Cruzio. Soon after, the folks at Cruzio announced they were ready to help people obtain domain names. I must have been one of the first ones to sign up. It wasn't long until I realized that most of my contacts came from visitors to my web pages. I quickly shifted my emphasis from advertising to improving and enhancing the content of my web pages. Soon, nearly all my orders were coming from people who saw the web site. Last year, when the ShopSite options became available, I saw that this was the way to provide a secure ordering option that made me look just like the folks who have millions to spend on marketing. Three fourths of my orders now come this way. I know that many, maybe most people use their internet service provider to acquire information and entertainment. In my case it is the foundation of my business, providing my advertising, communication with customers, order entry and in some cases fulfillment. Frankly, I couldn't do business without it." -- Ralph Carmichael "Hi, Cruzio Folks, Here's my story of how I began with Cruzio. It wasn't my first experience with being online. Back in the early 80's, I was the proud owner of an Apple IIe, and my son, who was then in junior high, encouraged me to get a widget called a "modem." He wanted to get onto a local bulletin board to get some games to play on the computer. I also wrote back and forth to some of the members of the bulletin board, but beyond half-duplex typed conversations, that was all that could be done and it was pretty boring. There was no such thing as the worldwide web, and each bulletin board had to be dialed individually. It was about as exciting as watching paint dry, and very, very slow, I think it ran at 300 bps. Anyway, I quickly grew disenchanted with it, pretty much abandoned it, until my son graduated from Davis and got a job as an engineer for AMD. One weekday, he came home, yakking excitedly about getting me "signed up for a SLIP account with my local ISP." I was used to his techno-babble, and I usually just smiled at him bemusedly, but this involved doing something to Mom, so I figured I'd better listen up. To make a long story even longer, he brought me another of those modem widgets, this one a bit faster, hooked it up to my Mac IIcx, and away we went downtown to a place called "Cruzio." It was just a little office upstairs on Pacific Avenue, filled to the gills with modems, hard drives, blinking lights, whirring things, buzzing things, and I was scared. I had no idea what the heck I was in for. There was a baby in a playpen there, though, so I thought, "how bad could it be if they let little kids watch?" So, I signed up, was given a printout with many, many confusing and mysterious voodoo hexes written on it, and son Dave and I went back home to "config my system." Once I understood what getting online was, that it was a gateway to all the stuff in the world that people chose to throw out there, I was totally blown away. I took classes at Cruzio, and at the UCSC extension, bought books and plunked myself down to teach myself this HTML stuff. I'm still learning and doing, and I thank my crazy son and Cruzio every day for giving me a new, never-endingly fascinating and challenging thing in my life. I made myself a silly little personal website, and since I was already print-publishing my husband's fly fishing club's newsletter, I started authoring a website for the Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen, starting out with some commercial space rented on my Cruzio account, and now doing their domain administration. I'm running a juiced-up Mac 8500 now, and have plans to jump into a G4 when Apple starts shipping them with OS X. My husband thinks my son created a monster, but I think he's helped make Mom a happy web camper!" -- Pat Steele We love these stories. We'll have more up on the Web soon. Please do send your story any time to firstname.lastname@example.org -- whether you are an old timer or newbie!