Cruzio Newsletter - Number 79, October 20, 2004 1. Free Workshop Tomorrow: Basic Troubleshooting for Your Computer 2. Cruzio is 15! 3. Cruzio DSL Range Expanded 4. The Perils of E-voting 5. How Excellent are Cruzio Tee Shirts? 6. Cruzio's 6th Annual Small Business Fair Coming Up 7. Buddy Bucks 8. Pay Your Late Fee by Helping the Hungry 9. About This Newsletter 10. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Free Workshop Tomorrow: Basic Troubleshooting for Your Computer Thursday, October 21st, 12:00 - 1:30 pm At the Cruzio Store, 903 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz Get to know your computer better! Whether it's Windows or Macintosh, office or home computers, learn to diagnose and solve common problems at a brown bag workshop led by two of Cruzio's knowledgeable staff members, Mike and Derrick. Questions are welcome. For more details, and to register, please visit http://www.cruzio.com/brownbags 2. Cruzio is 15! Cruzio started business 15 years ago, in the spare bedroom of a rented house in Santa Cruz. Our first customers were a handful of local tech-fanatics, the kind of people who knew what email was in 1989. Some of them are still our customers today. We've seen a lot of far-out ideas, such as the notion of an "Internet" itself, morph into commonplace realities -- fulfilling the wild dreams of visionaries in thick glasses and ill-fitting suits. They imagined you as you are now, at your computer, reading something like this. Today, up close, we can see the problems: the spam, the viruses, the connections that never seem fast enough. But it's a world that once looked idyllic on paper, and we are living it. Cruzio's co-founder, Chris Neklason, spent years dreaming of and discussing the Internet before putting the first Cruzio server on line. We started with a single 60-megabyte hard disk and a super-fast Zoom 1200 baud modem. Fifteen years later, our disks are measured in terabytes and our customers connect at speeds up to 6 megabits per second. In other words, we store millions of times as much data and our customers can connect at five thousand times the speed. Cruzio has always been tied to the people in our community, who in return have been good to us. Supporting the creative group mind of our community is one of the most rewarding possible jobs and we continue to thrive on it. We love it all, from working with local non-profits, to showcasing local artists and musicians, to helping libraries and schools, to giving local entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Maybe the job we love best is the humblest one: giving you an easy way to talk to friends and family. It's not just any business that's successful for 15 years. Cruzio is the story of using patience and hard work to master technology. It's the story of employees and their families growing alongside the technology -- the baby squalling and the computer siren wailing simultaneously at midnight and somehow both are fed, content and quiet a few moments later. We're happy to celebrate this occasion and we send out our thanks to all our customers -- to all of *you*: thanks for being part of this with us. 3. Cruzio DSL Range Expanded If you couldn't get Cruzio DSL in the past, you might want to try again. In the last few months, improvements have been made and DSL is now available in more neighborhoods. It's easy to check if a Cruzio DSL connection is possible at your home or office: just visit http://www.cruzio.com/services/highspeed_access/qualify.html and enter your address and phone number. Cruzio will contact you to let you know if DSL can be connected at your location. 4. The Perils of E-voting Santa Cruz County isn't using electronic voting in this year's elections, and from where we sit that looks like good news. In the long run, computerization can make voting easier and more universal. Perhaps we'll soon be voting from home, office or from our cell phones. We'll get a printout to doublecheck before pressing the "submit" button -- that should reduce errors and confusion. But before we enjoy the benefits, we need to put in more work to prevent errors and malfeasance. Newspaper stories on e-voting mishaps sound familiar, don't they? The server crashed, no backups, lost data. Tech people were sent in to repair problems and we don't know exactly what they did -- installed something? It's all pretty typical for a computer system. But there are things we do to make those flawed systems work reliably, steps that haven't yet been taken. In our experience at Cruzio -- and we consider ourselves pretty technical -- data backups are essential. When information is vital to our company (tax records for instance) we keep paper backups as well. We often keep data in more than one format so we can compare and verify it later. We generally favor open software because it's better tested and more often reviewed, reducing the power of the elusive, expensive tech experts who come in to fix proprietary software when it's broken. So though we're not in the electronic vote-counting business, we can say from our experience that the e-voting model we read about in the papers is a lousy model. No paper records? Proprietary systems that can't be validated by outside professionals? We wouldn't use it for our core business and we wouldn't recommend it to our customers, even for a business less important than counting votes. E-voting, when properly done, will make voting more convenient and more correct. If we move past the corporate software model, we do believe all its advantages will come to pass. As for this coming election, let's all hope for the best because we haven't yet got it right. Cruzio has produced two television shows featuring lively discussion on electronic voting, which will be shown on Santa Cruz Community TV, Cable Channel 25, every Thursday in October at 6:30 pm. 5. How Excellent Are Cruzio Tee Shirts? Cruzio tee shirts are so excellent that those of us who work here wear them all the time, even though we don't have to. We even wear the shirts on our days off. Cruzio shirts are 100% cotton, sweatshop-free, very comfortable, and stylish to boot. You can buy Cruzio tee shirts at our downtown Santa Cruz store, at 903 Pacific Avenue. Only $10.00 each, or free when you sign up for a new account. We do have some pretty small ones for kids 6 and up -- sorry, no baby shirts. We have got some fairly large ones as well (adults XXL). Show the world that you're savvy about fashion *and* about Internet providers with an authentic Cruzio tee! 6. Cruzio's 6th Annual Small Business Fair Coming Up Cruzio's Small Business Fair comes in November this year, on two Wednesday evenings, 4:30 to 8:00 pm. Our topics this year are: Nov 10th: "Business Survival Skills for Artists and Small Businesses" and "Marketing Your Art and Products" Nov 17th: "Web Basics and Ecommerce" and "Emerging Art and Technology" Admission for each evening is $35 and includes a light dinner, two panel presentations, and networking with other artists and small business people. Cruzio's Small Business Fair is always helpful and informative. We have great speakers lined up and -- as always -- wonderful artwork by Mott Jordan on our poster and Web site. For more details, and to register, please visit http://www.smallbusinessfair.com 7. Buddy Bucks Recommend us to friends, family, colleagues: if a new customer gives us your email address, registration number, or full name when signing up you'll get $10 credit to your account. If two friends sign up, $20. Three friends, $30. It just goes on and on. Since Cruzio dialup is available nationwide, you can even reap rewards from recommending us to distant friends and relations. So if you know a matador in Milwaukee who needs a reliable connection, or a fry cook in Philadelphia who'd like the friendly feeling of Cruzio, send them to us and we'll award you a $10 credit for each one. 8. Pay Your Late Fee by Helping the Hungry 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 Bank barrel. Learn more about this charity at http://www.thefoodbank.org 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 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. 10. 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). Dialup: 459-9408 Nationwide Dialup: Look up local number on our Web page: http://www.flexpop.net/hub.php3?c=Locations&p=Numsearch or call Cruzio toll free, 1.800.303.3302 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: 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, Julianne, Kathy, Mark, Tapati, Alec, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, Michael, another Chris, Maria, James, Juana, Krissie, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Edgar, Brian, Jhonee', Derrick and Westi; Eric (our fabulous intern); Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Bumper sticker: "Don't believe everything you think." Carly, age 7, hiking in Yosemite: "Mommy, hold my hand. That way if I get lost, you will be lost too."