Cruzio Newsletter - Number 87, August 30, 2005 1. Free Workshop This Thursday: Basic Troubleshooting 2. Cruzio's DSL Student Special: Short Term, Low Price 3. Weekly Workshops in Watsonville 4. Learn About ShopSite on Cruzio TV 5. Throttling Zombified Computers 6. Low Prices Extended on Cruzio DSL, All DSL Customers Eligible 7. Upgrading From Dialup to DSL? Cruzio's Special Offer 8. The FCC, The Supreme Court, and Us 9. VOIP Requires Phone Service 10. New National Numbers 11. Need a DSL Modem Or Router? Get Them at Cruzio 12. Buddy Bucks 13. Feed Hungry Folks Instead of Paying Late Fees 14. About This Newsletter 15. How to Reach Cruzio (Dial-in Or Tech Support) 1. Free Workshop This Thursday: Basic Troubleshooting Thursday, September 1, 12 to 1:30 pm At Cruzio's Santa Cruz location, 903 Pacific Avenue Many computer problems are simple to recognize and repair. A little know-how can save you a great deal of time, money and worry. At this workshop for beginners you'll learn how to avoid and recover from problems on your home or office computer. Cruzio Technical Support's trusted staffer Mike will show you the way. Questions are welcome. This Brown Bag workshop at Cruzio is free and lunch is available for an additional $7. Space is limited, so sign up today at http://events.cruzio.com Please let us know what workshops would be useful for you or your business. You can make a suggestion by using the "Suggestion Box" at the bottom of every page on our Web site ( http://www.cruzio.com ) Coming next: "Wireless for Home or Office" (October), and the 7th Annual Cruzio Small Business Fair on Nov. 16th. 2. Cruzio's DSL Student Special: Short Term, Low Price We live in a college town, and we'd like students to get bargain DSL prices without having to break a contract when they leave town at the end of the year. Now school is about to start and we are ready. Students can end their Cruzio DSL contract, normally a 12-month term, after only 9 months by presenting a valid, full-time student ID card. That goes for all speeds of Cruzio DSL -- students can leave early, no penalty. Cruzio is the only company we know offering a student DSL plan. Scholars can enjoy the benefits of living in Santa Cruz, using a local ISP, and save money too! 3. Weekly Workshops in Watsonville Every Wednesday afternoon, our friendly store manager Gershom holds a free Computer and Internet workshop at Cruzio's Watsonville location, 23 E. Beach Street, Suite 105, Plaza Vigil, Downtown Watsonville. Gershom covers the basics of owning and operating a computer at home or for business, plus how to use Cruzio's Web mail and other features. Please drop in for a visit and ask any questions you may have. Attendees will receive two and half hours of free computer rental time at the Watsonville store. 4. Learn About ShopSite on Cruzio TV Wondering how to set up your own online store to compete with the big national e-stores? Cruzio's ShopSite workshops regularly sell out, but you can see one on Cruzio TV starting next week. The ever-watchable Kathy Bisbee anchors the show, Thursday nights, 6:30 to 7:30 on Comcast Channel 25 or Charter Channel 71. 5. Throttling Zombified Computers When a computer on Cruzio's network engages in virus-induced spam-spewing behavior, we prevent it from sending out more email until the behavior stops. When this happens, Cruzio immediately contacts the affected customer and helps them remove the virus from their system. A more detailed explanation: like computers everywhere, occasionally a computer on Cruzio's network catches a virus and becomes a "zombie." Using background processes, the infected computer sends out thousands, even millions, of messages around the Internet. Because the computer isn't disabled (although it may run very slowly), people don't necessarily notice the activity. And since Cruzio DSL connections are "always on," the owner may not even be home when his or her computer does its harmful work. That's why Cruzio has to step in and prevent email delivery until the virus has been expelled. The fix is brief and relatively painless, and will leave the computer running better. Cruzio will throttle the zombies, but protecting against viruses in the first place is the better solution. We hold workshops from time to time covering this subject -- watch this newsletter and Cruzio's home page for the schedule. The workshops are then shown on Cruzio TV. We also have a detailed Web page about computer security with lots of tips: http://www.cruzio.com/support/security/ If you'd like a short summary on preventing infections right now, here it is: - Keep your computer updated with the latest patches - Turn your computer off when you are not using it - Practice safe email: * don't open attachments unless you know who they are from * doublecheck any email that's supposedly from a financial institution -- call them! - Be wary of downloading free software - Back up your data in case your hard disk is compromised It's like what we tell kids: don't talk to strangers and take the safe way home from school. 6. Low Prices Extended on Cruzio DSL, All DSL Customers Eligible These special prices for Cruzio DSL are available until Dec 30th, 2005: DSL 1.5: $19.95/mo (lowest price) DSL 3.0: $29.95/mo DSL 6.0: $49.95/mo (fastest connection) Cruzio DSL 6.0 is the fastest consumer broadband speed available. It's up to four times as fast as Cable Internet, and up to twice as fast as the highest speed most other DSL companies offer. Everyone is currently eligible for these low prices. Even if you are in the middle of a DSL contract with us, you can re-up and get the new price for 12 months with a new contract. Prices require a one-year term (unless you are a full-time student, see item 2 above) and don't include federally-mandated FUSF fees. Equipment is not included, although it is available for purchase at Cruzio. For more information about DSL, visit http://www.cruzio.com/services/highspeed_access/ From that page, Cruzio members may order new DSL by clicking on the "Upgrade to DSL" link, or renew your existing contract by sending in a new Sales Agreement. 7. Upgrading From Dialup to DSL? Cruzio's Special Offer If you have Cruzio dialup and your number qualifies for DSL, we recently sent you a lovely postcard. Included on the postcard was a $50 coupon toward purchase of a DSL modem. If you didn't get the postcard and would like to know if you qualify, please call us -- any dialup customer who upgrades is eligible (one coupon per customer, not good with any other offers). If the billing telephone number on your account is different from the number you'd like to use for a DSL line, or if your number has changed and you haven't informed us, we may have been mistaken about availability. Talk to us if you have a question, or check the speed your line can get by entering your phone number in this form: http://www.cruzio.com/services/highspeed_access/qualify.html 8. The FCC, The Supreme Court, and Us Recently, the Supreme Court and the FCC ruled that cable and telephone corporations don't have to offer their DSL lines to independent Internet Service Providers (ISP's). Cruzio is an independent ISP (and proudly so). We use SBC's lines to provide DSL. Although we disagree with the rulings, there will be no change to Cruzio's situation in the foreseeable future. Cruzio is currently in the middle of a long-term contract with SBC. Independent ISP's like Cruzio have produced good sales for telephone companies, so the business model may not change even when the contracts end. In any case, Cruzio has a commitment to take care of our members through thick and thin and any eventual changes, if they do occur, will be made smoothly and in accordance with our standard of impeccable customer service. Why do we disagree with the decisions? We think the commissioners were mistaken in assessing Internet competition. There are only so many lines and signals the public wants in their airspace and their streets and their front yards. Right now most people have only two options for data transmission: telephone or cable lines, and one of those (cable) is already limited to a single Internet provider. If we reduce the number of ISP's who can purchase transit over existing public utility lines, we will be left with very few choices. Since the public pays the bills (and had contracts with the phone and cable monopolies), the public should have some say on what goes in and out. That's the way it has always been, and the Internet has grown and thrived on this openness. You can find anything you want on the Internet right now, from any point of view. The public is often promised that deregulation will bring more competition, but that doesn't always pan out. We encourage you to communicate with elected and appointed officials on this matter. You can email email@example.com or go to your Congressional Representative's Web site and send in a comment. ( http://www.farr.house.gov is the site for Sam Farr.) 9. VOIP Requires Phone Service VOIP, or Voice Over IP, is a way to use the Internet to make telephone calls. VOIP requires transit over an Internet line. If you are planning to switch to VOIP, please let Cruzio know. At this time, SBC generally will not allow customers to get DSL without also purchasing SBC phone service -- the two are bundled together. Separate DSL service is termed "naked DSL" and is offered by some telephone companies in other parts of the country. Regulatory commissions are considering the issue of naked DSL right now. If you'd like to see this offered, please write to the addresses in item 8, above. 10. New National Numbers If you have been using our national dialup service, we recently sent you email about a change. Our former nationwide vendor did not meet our standards, so we have a contract with a new company. (To see a communication from the new company, which is trying to keep connections up even in the worst of circumstances, see the bottom of this newsletter.) The new vendor is more reliable and provides great coverage. Our national dialup pool was recently expanded with dozens of new numbers. So if you find yourself in Waukesha, Wisconsin or Dora, Alabama, you can reach Cruzio with just a local telephone call. Plug in your laptop and dial in! To look up a local, toll free number for any location in the USA, go to http://www.cruzio.com/support/dialup_isdn/nationwide_numbers.html 11. Need a DSL Modem Or Router? Get Them at Cruzio If you are expanding your DSL network, Cruzio has routers available for just $89 each. We also have DSL modems at $99. Buy the two together for $159, a substantial savings. This equipment is selected and tested by Cruzio Technical Support; if it malfunctions during the first year, bring it back for easy, immediate repair or replacement. 12. 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. 13. 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 Bank barrel. Learn more about this charity at http://www.thefoodbank.org 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 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. 15. 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 (in Santa Cruz County): 459-9408 Nationwide Dialup: Look up local number on our Web page: http://www.cruzio.com/support/dialup_isdn/nationwide_numbers.html 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. 722-6200 .......... Cruzio's number in Watsonville. 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 locations: Santa Cruz: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Watsonville: Plaza Vigil, 23 E. Beach Street, Suite 105, Watsonville, CA 95076 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, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, Michael, Maria, James, Juana, Krissie, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Edgar, Brian, Westi, Andrew, and Jaime; Marco, our helpful intern; Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Conversation with Jake, age 13: Mom: "Please don't hold your goopy pizza over the rug." Jake: "Is it better to spill something on the floor, or on the rug?" Mom: "On the floor." Jake: "Then what is the rug for?" ------------------------------- Status, as of 5 pm Tuesday, of Cruzio's National Dialup Numbers in New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina has been wreaking havoc: "The fuel supply that has powered the site generators has been nearly consumed. The military roadblocks around the area prevent any re-stock of this fuel. In addition, the Governor of Louisiana has ordered an evacuation of the area including our physical POP location. "As soon as we are permitted to return to the facility with the required fuel, service will be restored. We will continue to provide updates as we receive them."