#079, October 20, 2004

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

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 


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

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

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).
   Dialup: 459-9408

   Nationwide Dialup: Look up local number on our Web page:
   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:
        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, 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."