#071, December 22, 2003

Cruzio Newsletter - Number 71, December 22nd, 2003

1. Second Harvest Donations Nearing Target
2. Our Mail Service
3. Status and Plans for Our Mail Servers
4. New! Cruzio Dialup Service Nationwide
5. Shameless Plug for Cruzio as Holiday Gift
6. Tech Tip: Viewing Large Quantities of Email Over the Web
7. Buddy Bucks: Sign Up a Friend for Cruzio Credit
8. Late Fees/Cans
9. About This Newsletter
10. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support)

1. Second Harvest Donations Nearing Target
Cruzio has received tremendous donations from members and staff
for the Second Harvest Food Bank, and we're close to matching
our promised $2,000.

Just last week we were worried that donations might fall short,
but then a check came in on Thursday for $500, which we will proudly
match and give to the Food Bank. With that fantastic contribution
(inspiring -- I wish I had seen the couple who left it, to say
thank you personally) we are near our goal.

We still have room for your donation, small or large. Please make
checks out to Second Harvest Food Bank, but send them in to Cruzio
so we can match the funds before December 27th and turn them in.
Or, drop by with cans for our food barrel any time.

2. Our Mail Service
We apologize for the quality of email service from Cruzio in the
last few weeks. It was not up to our usual standard of reliability
and quality.

Cruzio has been delivering email and Internet to members for nearly
15 years. Over that time, we've faced many tough challenges, and
we have always emerged with a better system that delivers more
data faster. We're confident we will do so again.

We cannot rush an important job like updating the email system.
It needs to be done very carefully. We feel strongly that we
must not lose a single piece of email. What we can do to accelerate
improvement is to move all other work aside so that the company
focuses on this task. And that is what we are doing.

The Internet is an open system -- anyone can email anyone else,
almost free of charge and with little accountability -- and it
is growing fast. Every Internet provider has its problems:
slowdowns, spam, all the baggage that comes with rapid evolution.

Even when faced with setbacks, we truly believe that at Cruzio
our dedication to quality means that your Internet experience here is
much better than anywhere else. We'll continue working hard and
re-investing our profits to make it better.

3. Status and Plans for Our Mail Servers
The never-ending saga of spam continues. Once again, the holidays
have brought a staggering increase in junk mail flowing around the

Cruzio's mail filters are effective and useful, so wading through
spam is not so much of a problem any more. But the filters
themselves are being used so heavily that their computations
have bogged down our servers, slowing the sending and receipt
of email.

We don't think the delays recently suffered -- in some cases up
to 2 days -- were acceptable. Cruzio has tried various solutions:
faster hardware; more efficient software; spreading functions across
different servers. But each effort has given only temporary relief,
and some have caused problems of their own.

We believe the real, permanent answer is to overhaul the whole
email system so that it's capable of handling an almost infinite
expansion in spam volume. We had hoped to make this change in
February-March. But now we feel we must begin immediately.

In the last few days, Cruzio has put in some temporary measures
to refuse connections from listed spam houses, something which
large ISP's do regularly but which we hadn't -- we'd rather our
customers decided what email they want. But it's an emergency,
requiring drastic measures. The change has speeded up service.

As for our larger plans, equipment will arrive within a week for
a new email architecture. Over the next month or so we will implement
the new system. We will inform you of any events which might affect
member service (usually in a good way, but occasionally we will
notify you if a server is going off line for upgrade.) As always,
we will continue to maintain the old system as a backup until the
new system is tried and tested to our satisfaction.

4. Cruzio Dialup Service Nationwide
Some Cruzio members travel; some move away. Some members have friends
and family who wish they could get Cruzio service. In the past,
Cruzio hasn't had dialup service available anywhere outside Santa Cruz
County at the price of a local call. But now...

Now you can dial in to Cruzio on local numbers from nearly anywhere
in the United States. Even Hawaii. To learn more, and to look up the
appropriate local Cruzio number, go to


There's no extra charge for this service. It's included with every
Cruzio dialup account, including backup dialups for DSL. Enjoy!

5. Cruzio Service: A Great Holiday Idea
Because Cruzio is a communications service, giving any
Cruzio account carries the extra message "I like hearing
from you."

If you're down to the wire on Holiday shopping, remember
that Cruzio accounts can be ordered on the Web 24 hours per
day. Friends and family will love fast DSL service, and the
price is still very low: $29.95 plus tax per month for the
first twelve months of service if you order before April
30th, 2004. (After 12 months, the price goes up to the
regular price of $49.95/mo. Equipment is not included, and
there is a one-year term.)

Another idea is to order a domain name for a loved one.
Something like "grandpas-garage.com" might be fun. Often,
families enjoy having a site under the family name where
members can post the latest pictures and exchange news and
genealogical lore.

A spiffy tee-shirt or travel mug is included free of charge
with each new account. Cruzio is always on the forefront of tee-shirt
and mug design trends (and our tees are sweatshop-free), so either
makes a nice present wrapped up under the tree.

6. Tech Tip: Viewing Large Quantities of Email Over the Web
Many customers have asked, isn't there a way to delete all the
junk mail (or most of it) at once on the Web? Here, from our own
sagacious Stephen, Manager of Technical Support:

If your Filtered Mailbox gets huge, let's say 2000 messages, it is
possible for the Junk Mail List Screen in the Cruzio Control Panel
to get slower and slower, then ultimately time out from trying to render
the sheer volume of email and prevent you from viewing your list.

It is the amount of email that is the problem. The way to fix this
is to delete obvious junk mail from your filtered mailbox first, to
shorten the size of the mailbox, and make the Junk Mail List manageable.

Making the junk mail filter box smaller.  How?

Step 1. Go to http://mail.cruzio.com
Step 2. Click on the Basic WebMail Link
Step 3. Enter Login: 'sallyann.filtered'  (for instance)
Step 4. Enter Password
        Because the mailbox is huge, it may take several minutes
        to bring up the whole mailbox.
Step 5. Now, you can hit the "Select All" button to select all messages
        for deletion.
Step 6. In order to NOT delete a message you want to keep, unmark
Step 7. Finally, "Remove Selected" which will delete the marked
        junk, and keep the real mail.
Step 8. NOW you can go to the Admin Control Panel, and view the Junk
        Mail List Screen. It will be a lot faster,and much easier
        to manage.

7. Buddy Bucks
Recommend us to friends, family, colleagues: if a new customer
gives us your email address, registration 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.

8. Late Fees/Cans
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

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 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.

10. 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, Georgette, Tapati, Pedro,
        Alec, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, Michael, another Chris,
        Maria, James, Juana, Krissie, Nikkie, Mike, Mario, Don,
        Bruce, Jason, yet another Chris, and Gabriella (the grownups);
        Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids)

Carly, age 6: "It's American Flag Month."
Mommy: "I think that was July, wasn't it?"
Carly: "No, it's American Flag Month this month. And we should
        be very nice to this month, know why?"
Mommy: "Why?"
Carly: "Because it's very, very shy."