#087, August 30, 2005

    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

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

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

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:

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
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:

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 fccinfo@fcc.gov 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

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

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).

   Dialup (in Santa Cruz County): 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.
         722-6200 .......... Cruzio's number in Watsonville.

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 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."