#070, November 18, 2003

   Cruzio Newsletter - Number 70, November 18, 2003

1. Free Cruzio Brown Bag This Thursday: "Safety & Speed"
2. Mail Server Issues
3. Checking Network Status on Cruzio
4. PHP/MySQL Now Available on Many Web Servers
5. Dialup Improvements
6. Working on Dialup in SLV
7. DSL Upload Speed Increased, No Extra Charge
8. Ben Lomond Can Now Get Cruzio DSL
9. Cruzio Will Match Donations Up to $2,000
10. Thanks to the Small Business Fair
11. Cruzio DSL Still Low Priced: $29.95/mo
12. Buddy Bucks: Sign Up a Friend for Cruzio Credit
13. Turn Late Fees Into Food
14. About This Newsletter
15. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support)

1. Free Cruzio Brown Bag This Thursday: "Safety & Speed"

Cruzio members often ask us how best to keep their computers safe,
and about ways to speed up their Internet connection. Join Stephen
and Mike from Cruzio's Technical Support staff on Thursday, November 20th,
from 12-1:30 pm for a free lunchtime seminar on "Safety & Speed Online".

This event will cover how users can protect their computer from worms,
viruses and spam, and preventative and maintenance measures to keep
computer systems safe from outside influences. Registration is
available online at
or by calling (831) 459-6301.

2. Mail Server Issues
Last Wednesday night, Cruzio's central mail server was upgraded.
It ran for a day or two, then sputtered several times, was revived,
and finally experienced serious hardware failure late Friday night.
Each change was closely attended by the Cruzio Engineering staff,
who had to work long hours all weekend long to restore service.
We take the job of delivering email very seriously.

A backup server had been standing by and was deployed. The engineers
revived the crashed server sufficiently to recover the most recent email
and transfer it to the working server. While we put the replacement online
within hours, service was affected for many of our customers, especially
on Saturday morning. Mail delivery was slowed during the data recovery
process, but email is reaching customers normally now.

The volume of spam on the Internet has more than doubled since
the end of summer. This increased tide of email requires that
ISPs across the globe must continually upgrade to ever faster
machines and constantly deploy programs and staff in an effort to

This hardware failure, although not unprecedented, was unusual
for Cruzio. In general, our upgrade programs have worked smoothly.
We have replaced 8 of our more minor mail servers in the last 6 weeks
with barely a ripple. We did not expect this week's problems
and we will be even more vigilant and wary next time.

Many thanks to the engineers who stayed up all night working to fix
the problem, and to the Technical Support and Customer Service folks
who came in on their days off to help answer the many calls. And most
of all, thanks very much to all of you Cruzio members for your patience
and understanding. Your Internet experience is important to us; it's our
highest priority.

We'll be continuing to upgrade and build for the assaults of the
spammers and hackers. Please forgive the bumps in the road forward,
there's heavy weather blowing on the 'net.

3. Checking Network Status on Cruzio
If you want to check what's going on at Cruzio, especially if it
seems like there is a problem, please have a look at our Network Status
Web page. Cruzio Engineers and Support staff put messages about
unusual occurrences which could affect your service onto this page.
Just look at our home site at http://www.cruzio.com and you'll see a box
on the upper right hand corner of every page: "Network Status."
Click here to see what's up.

We also put a message on our phone system every day, whether anything
unusual is going on or not. This message, too, is updated by Support
staff or engineers when they encounter a system problem. To get to the
status line, call us at 459-6301 and choose option 3.

4. PHP/MySQL Now Available on Many Domain Hosting Servers
Many have asked for expanded Web hosting capabilities, and we're
moving toward that goal. PHP and MySQL are now available on
many of Cruzio's domain hosting servers.

When your server has been updated, you'll find the PHP/MySQL options
on your Cruzio Control Panels. We expect all Domain/Web accounts to
carry the new services by the end of the year.

5. Dialup Improvements
Here are some initiatives that Cruzio is currently taking to
improve our dialup service:

    * We have purchased new V92 modem servers and will
        be deploying them soon.

    * We recommend Propel, which speeds up dialup Web surfing
        as much as 500%. For details, see

    * We are currently working on a nationwide dialup plan.

    * Slower connections suffer the most when there is
        a lot of spam. Our new filters are very effective,
        and free of charge.

6. Working on Dialup in SLV
Some San Lorenzo Valley dialup customers have complained of
difficulties dialing in late at night. Cruzio has investigated
and tested (some of our own employees live in the affected
areas.) Some other Internet Providers, especially local ones,
are experiencing the problem as well, and Cruzio is working
with the telephone company to locate the problem. We've had
several hypotheses so far, but found no complete solution. Many
thanks to our persistent Engineering Manager Julianne who refused
to be brushed off or ignored.

Please contact Cruzio (email support@cruzio.com or give us a call)
if you are experiencing late-night connection problems from a
location in the San Lorenzo Valley. We'd like to get more data
on the issue, and we do have a workaround to suggest.

7. DSL Upload Speed Increased, No Extra Charge
Good news! In the last month, Cruzio DSL speeds were increased
and now instead of upload speeds up to 128 kbps, you can look for
speeds up to 256 kbps. No action is required on your part -- you'll
just notice the improvement if you send files up to the Internet for
any reason. Double the upload speed, for the same low price as
before. Enjoy!

8. Ben Lomond Can Now Get Cruzio DSL
Another piece of good news. We've been waiting for this one.
While other nearby towns, such as Boulder Creek, Felton, and
even Brookdale (as one of our staffers, who lives in Ben Lomond,
griped) all could get DSL, Ben Lomond had been left out in the cold.
That's over now. Give it a try, there are still limitations on
distance from the remote terminal but many Ben Lomond households
are now eligible. See
to find out if DSL is available at your location.

9. Cruzio Will Match Donations Up to $2,000
This year Cruzio will once again match customer and staff donations
to the Second Harvest Food Bank. The money helps local residents who
can't afford to buy food.

Last year, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of our staff
and customers, and doubled our matching fund from $500 to $1,000.
Even then, we couldn't keep up with all the donations. So this year,
we are raising the bar and doubling our matching fund once again.
>From now until December 23, 2003, Cruzio will match staff and
customer donations to the Food Bank up to a total of $2,000.

That's a lot of money for a small company. But it's a difficult
year for the county. Many folks are out of work and services are
shrinking as government budgets decline.

Here's how to get Cruzio to match your donation: make out your
check to Second Harvest Food Bank and send it to Cruzio. We will
send it on to the Food Bank, adding the same amount to our own
check until we reach our limit.

In addition, as always we have the food barrel in our downtown
Santa Cruz storefront. We've got Second Harvest piggy banks on
our front counters. We'll take donations large and small and pass
them on to the Food Bank. Please give what you can.

If you'd like to see what the Food Bank is all about, here is
their Web site:

10. Thanks for the Small Business Fair
Last month, Cruzio held the 5th annual Small Business Fair.
The event was crowded with people from all sorts of businesses
around the county, and we heard from the kinds of professionals
-- accountants, telephone and computer experts, Web designers,
community leaders -- who really help us out. Many thanks to Kathy
Bisbee, our Marketing Director, and the rest of the Marketing staff
for making this event so fabulous!

Cruzio holds the Fair every year because we work with thousands
of local businesses. Since we provide friendly, accessible sales
and technical support, we're asked for all sorts of advice, some
of which is beyond our expertise. So we gather the experts together
every year to help. Cruzio does not make a profit on the event, we
just hope it helps small businesses to survive and thrive. With big
corporations moving offshore, small businesses are employing more
and more Americans these days and are creating the most new jobs.
We're very enthusiastic about small businesses.

Many thanks to the other businesses who helped us put on the event
by contributing time and dollars. We'd especially like to thank the
Museum of Art and History for providing a great venue.

11. Cruzio DSL Still Low Priced: $29.95/mo
Get a low-priced, high speed connection to the Internet with
Cruzio DSL. It's still just $29.95 per month, plus tax (FUSF
tax, about $2.82.) To learn more, visit

12. Buddy Bucks
Recommend us to friends, family, colleagues: if a new customer
gives us your email address, id number, or full name when they
sign up you'll get $10 credit to your account. If two friends
sign up, $20. Three friends, $30. It just goes on and on.

13. Turn Late Fees Into Food
If you're late on a payment to Cruzio, turn it into a donation
to hungry folks in our community. We will waive your late
fee if you bring 3 cans into our office for our Second Harvest
Food Bin barrel. Learn more about this charity at

14. 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 support@cruzio.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.

15. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support)
To reach the Cruzio Information Center, for online technical and
sales information:

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:
        support@cruzio.com ......for technical support
        office@cruzio.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, Julianne, Kathy, Mark, Martin, Georgette,
        Tapati, Pedro, Alec, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, Michael,
        another Chris, Maria, James, Juana, Krissie, Nikkie, Mike,
        Mario, Don, Bruce, Jason, & yet another Chris (the grownups);
        Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids)

Annika, age 8, got a huge lollipop from her violin teacher.
I had to ask her to put it away for dinner and she protested:
"No, Mommy, I'm trying to make a dent in its vastness."