Cruzio/The Internet Store Newsletter - Number 50, October 1, 2001 1. Recent outages and other problems 2. Small Business Series starts this Wednesday 3. Viruses and Worms: what to do 4. .info names available starting today; .biz delayed 5. Epitaph for Scruz.net 6. About this newsletter 7. How to reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Recent outages and other problems This is a big apology to those of you who suffered outages or slowdowns in the week of September 17th to 24th. First came the Nimda virus (see item 3 below.) Then, Cruzio had to move equipment away from our long-term provider, Tycho networks, which was lost to this year's high-tech meltdown (see item 5 below). At various times in that week, some Cruzio customers experienced dropped connections, unreachable Web sites, or other inconveniences. We kept the interruptions to a minimum, moved equipment at midnight, and worked around the clock to make necessary changes and repairs. Many thanks to our intrepid engineering and support staff for their hard work! And to all of you: we appreciate your patience, and hope you will enjoy our normal, high level of service in the future. In fact, Cruzio took advantage of the move to improve many aspects of our connection to the greater Internet. 2. Small Business Series starts this Wednesday Starting this Wednesday, October 3rd, Cruzio and our co-sponsors will be holding our third annual Small Business Fair. This year it's a series of events, rather than just a single day. On the first four Wednesday evenings in October, local consultants, technology and service experts, and small business decision- makers will meet to discuss current technology and techniques. It will be a great opportunity to see what's available and to get your questions answered. We'll have everything from Quickbooks specialists to Web designers to business loan managers. To read more about the event, and to register, please go to http://www.smallbusinessfair.com Admission is just $25 per night, $80 for all four nights, if you pre-register (it's $5 higher if you pay at the door.) The price of admission includes an elegant buffet prepared by very fine local caterers: Southern Exposure Catering on October 3rd, and Jozseph Schultz, the former chef at India Joze, for the other nights -- yes, we totally lucked out! We would love to see you there! The facts: When: The first four Wednesdays of October from 4:30 to 7 pm Where: The Museum of Art and History, 705 Front Street, Downtown Santa Cruz Topics: Oct 3rd: "Growing your business" Oct 10th: "Working with technology and consultants" Oct 17th: "Small Business marketing and public relations " Oct 24th: "Building an online presence" Price: $25/evening, $80/whole series, if you pre-register. All pre-registrants receive a special limited edition Cruzio kitty baseball cap! More details: http://www.smallbusinessfair.com 3. Viruses and Worms: what to do Two weeks ago, amid the initial horror of the World Trade Center tragedy and in the same week when Cruzio was moving servers, a "worm" hit the Internet and wreaked a great deal of damage upon individual machines and the network itself. A worm is a destructive computer program which infects systems by "worming" its way through the guts of a computer's operating system, or from one system to another. It doesn't usually alter files, but rather does its damage by replicating itself until the system or network is clogged with spurious messages, packages, files, and data. The Nimda Worm was very sophisticated, exploiting weaknesses in Microsoft's Outlook Express and Internet Information System to spread rapidly from system to system. Cruzio's computers, which are Unix-based, were not directly affected by the worm. But Cruzio's service was affected when sites all over the Net running Microsoft software started spewing data directed at mail and Web servers. At first, people noticed that Web sites were difficult or impossible to reach. Then, Cruzio started finding that packets were jamming our computers' processors -- so many incoming messages that our servers could not work fast enough to keep e-mail and Web services working smoothly. Our staff had to be very alert to notice and solve jams as soon as they occurred. Many thanks to Chris and Mark for their tireless efforts! Problems were discovered and solved very quickly. We were bailing data out as fast as it was rushing in. But many of our customers and other folks around the world had to completely replace their system software. So it's time to remind everyone of the three rules of fighting viruses: 1. Don't open attachments unless they are something you are expecting from someone you know. 2. Back up your data regularly to floppy, tape, CD, or Zip disk *and* check your backups regularly to see if they really work. 3. Put virus detection software on your computer. And please, if you have the type of computer prone to infection -- usually Windows and Windows NT -- please download the patch from Microsoft to fix the security hole. Sometimes the same virus will hit again and again because people have neglected to do this. We've got a whole page outlining viruses and techniques for combating them: http://www.cruzio.com/support/security/virusinfo.html 4. .info names available starting today; .biz delayed Many Web sites on the Internet have addresses ending in ".com". Others use ".net", ".org", or less common suffixes such as ".tv". Now some new suffixes are becoming available: ".biz" and ".info". Today, October 1st, 2001, is the first day that open registration of the .info names will occur. The .biz names were slated for today, too, but have been delayed until October 23rd. For more information about the new suffixes, known as Top Level Domains or TLD's, please see our Web page on the subject: http://www.cruzio.com/support/tld/ Cruzio is ready to handle registration for .biz and .info. If you are interested, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by our office at 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, or fill out an online application at: http://www.cruzio.com/app 5. Epitaph for Scruz.net There are perhaps a few dozen people in Santa Cruz County who know that an era has just passed. In about 1992, or forever ago in Internet time, a group of Santa Cruz computer administrators began corresponding and meeting regularly. Many represented "geek houses": residences inhabited by a number of, well, geeks, who were interested in computers and networking, and who wanted direct connections to the nascent Internet for their super-wired homes. Others, like Cruzio's founders, were providing Internet services to folks in the community. All of us wanted higher speed data lines over the hill to the big data backbone in Silicon Valley -- the promised land. We were, up till then, all making do with telephone lines for connections. And we all had day jobs. Matthew Kaufman and Qarin Van Brink were the ones who set up an organization, Santa Cruz Community Internet (aka Scruz.net), to bring the data line over the hill. They started with a T1 to a place called The Little Garden in Santa Clara. The Little Garden was another geeky cooperative. Almost all of us who'd attended the meetings kicked in funds to get the project started, and Cruzio was one of Scruz.net's first customers. Over the years, Scruz.net sold Internet connections and so did Cruzio. Scruz.net sold Web hosting and so did Cruzio. But the two companies worked closely together to provide the best data connections and Internet service possible, and helped Santa Cruz become the Internet-savvy community it is today. To this writer, the relationship between Scruz.net and Cruzio proved that businesses don't have to be cutthroat to succeed: we can co-operate, even while competing, to improve services and prices all around. In that way it's perhaps an "only in Santa Cruz" phenomenon. Our cultures were different. Scruz.net employees wore black and drank endless cans of Coke (one of their first pieces of furniture was a Coke machine); Cruzio employees drank herbal tea and sported Teva's. Scruz.net had a dog at work, and of course we have the Cruzio Kitty (the logo, anyway.) We each had our niches, and would refer customers to the other when their services were more suitable. When we'd go upstairs to ask a question, the Scruz.net folks were unfailingly polite and helpful: great neighbors, great business colleagues. Scruz.net was merged into Netsource, and then purchased by Tycho.net. Tycho was bought by DSL.net. Now DSL.net has abandoned most of its Santa Cruz business -- including the business with Cruzio. So we had to pack up our servers and move them elsewhere. We were sorry to see the last of Scruz.net go. Our deepest appreciation goes out to Qarin, Matthew, Stephanie, Jim, and many other Scruz.net/ Tycho/DSL.net employees for the fine service they provided us all these years. We tips our hats to you. 6) 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 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. 7) 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: 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, Brittany, Alec, Rachael, Barbara, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Phil, Allyson, Laura, Jessi, Alice, Edgar, Alex, Michael, and another Kathy (the grownups); Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Here is a story, verbatim, by Annika, age 6. She is in first grade and just learning to write. She loves making stories with lots of illustrations. You can imagine that this story has very lovely pictures: gown, crown, beautiful flowing hair. By Annika THE PRINCESS Whose Hair was Down to hre [her] Heels One day in england a Princess was getting dreSSed When She noticed Hre Hair was not very loge [long] at all. Taet [that] nigt the Pincess wood not go to SleeP! She put on a wige [wig] the next morning! She didn't like it very much! She Thought and thought For about a minute or 2. but She couldn't think of someting to do. Annika asked me, at this point, how long it takes hair to grow. "About two years," I replied. Unfortunately, that didn't make for a very exciting story, so it ends right here.