Cruzio Newsletter - Number 89, November 14, 2005 1. Small Business Fair This Wednesday, November 16th 2. Cruzio Technical Support Hours Expanded 3. We'll Match Your Donations 4. Cruzio DSL Upgrade 5. Free Brown Bag Workshop December 1: Computer Security 6. Faster, Faster! 7. Buddy Bucks 8. About This Newsletter 9. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Small Business Fair This Wednesday, November 16th "Growing a Sustainable Small Business" On Wednesday, November 16th, 4 to 9 pm At The Attic, 931 Pacific Avenue, in Downtown Santa Cruz Registration is $35 in advance, $40 at the door A delicious dinner is available for an extra $10 For more information, and to register, go to http://www.smallbusinessfair.com Small businesses thrive in Santa Cruz County, with new ones starting up every day. How do you move from the idea stage to an initial venture to a sustainable enterprise? And how do local small businesses succeed (and perhaps become less small)? If you own your own business, or are thinking about opening a business, this event will help you navigate the transitions. It's helpful to hear from others who have been in your shoes, and have come through your situation successfully. That's why our panels are mainly composed of well-known local business people, such as (among others): Gayle Ortiz, from Gayle's Bakery; Eddie Scher, from Soy Vay; Tony Robinson, from Martinelli's; and our own beloved founder, Chris Neklason, from Cruzio. We'll also be presenting experts who are familiar with the different stages of a successful business. Cruzio will present three workshops in one evening: "Growing Your Small Business" "Finding and Keeping Customers" "Marketing Basics and Beyond" There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions of our distinguished panelists, and also to get to know other local business people who are attending. Please register soon, as we have only limited space left: http://www.smallbusinessfair.com 2. Cruzio Technical Support Hours Expanded Need computer help first thing in the morning? Cruzio Technical Support is now available from 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, 10 am to 2 pm Saturday. In addition, as always, our engineers and support staff monitor the network and respond to system problems 24 hours a day. When someone at Cruzio answers the phone, he or she can almost always solve your problem. Unlike many companies, Cruzio's Technical Support staff are all a) local, and b) knowledgeable -- and you rarely have to wait to talk to someone. We have chosen to provide high quality support for as many hours as possible rather than watered-down, contracted-out support for longer stretches of the night. If you'd like to send suggestions on how we could improve our hours or our service, please contact us by clicking the "Suggestion Box" at the bottom of any page on our Web site, http://www.cruzio.com . 3. We'll Match Your Donations Please help Cruzio feed the hungry this year. We are offering to match contributions from our members and staff to the Second Harvest Food Bank up to a combined total of $1,500 between November 28th and the end of the year. The Food Bank is a worthy organization which fulfills the very basic need of feeding the hungry in our community. To learn more, please see their Web site: http://www.thefoodbank.org Along with this local cause, we will also be matching donations to an organization assisting earthquake-stricken Pakistan. Doctors there are still climbing over boulders to reach the injured and sick; housing is short, and the winter is cold. We usually focus our holiday giving on local folks in need, but certainly, Santa Cruz County residents understand the devastation that an earthquake can cause. We'll match contributions to Medecins Sans Frontieres -- also known as Doctors Without Borders -- up to a total of $1,000. You can learn more about MSF by going to their Web site: http://www.msf.org/ Whether you choose to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank, or Medecins Sans Frontieres, or both, Cruzio will match your contributions if you make the check out to "Second Harvest Food Bank" or "Medecins Sans Frontieres" -- separate checks, please, if you donate to both. Send your contribution to Cruzio, 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz 95060. When we get the check, we will log it and increase our contribution accordingly (until we top out). Then we'll pass along your original contribution, matched dollar-for-dollar by ours. We will send you a confirmation that you can use for tax purposes -- donations to both these causes are tax-deductible. Cruzio also accepts cans of food for Second Harvest Food Bank. As always, if you are late on a payment, you may bring in 3 cans for the food barrel in lieu of a late fee. Thank you for helping. 4. Cruzio DSL Upgrade In late October Cruzio upgraded all our DSL lines and equipment. The improvements are needed to handle ever-increasing Internet traffic: many Cruzio members have recently switched from dialup to DSL, and from slower DSL to faster DSL speeds (Cruzio DSL 3.0 and 6.0). Certainly, our low prices have helped spur the change. This is a trend across the Internet. 60% of home users, and about 85% of business users in America now have broadband -- DSL or cable. Those who still have dialup have access to accelerators (such as Cruzio's free Web Accelerator.) All this speed means that Cruzio has to keep up by purchasing huge new routers and locking in high-capacity data lines to bear the load. The recent improvements mean that we are ahead of the game for now -- but we are already planning our next upgrades. If you're interested in the growth of the Internet, you'll find a lot of raw numbers at this site: http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/ 5. Free Brown Bag Workshop December 1: Computer Security Thursday, December 1, 12-1:30 pm "Computer Security for Home or Office" At Cruzio's Downtown Santa Cruz Storefront, 903 Pacific Ave Every so often Cruzio publishes information -- in this newsletter and on our Web site -- about viruses, worms, spyware and adware that can affect your computer's performance or even destroy data. We can help you react to problems after they occur, but a better plan is to guard against them in the first place. Learn how to practice safe computer use with our friendly, helpful Technical Support staffers, Stephen and Mike. Bring your questions! The event is free, and you can order a sandwich for $7. To register, please visit: http://events.cruzio.com 6. Faster, Faster! Many have heard of Moore's Law for computer circuits. The law states that computing power doubles every 18 months. Until recently, speeds in telecommunications weren't doubling at anything like that rate. As a young man, my grandfather had a telephone very like the one we have in our house today. Higher bandwidth for consumer telecommunications wasn't needed for over 50 years. All that has changed. Computers eat data at a rate much greater than an old-fashioned telephone. There's been a shift in human interaction -- communication, performance, record-keeping, research, commerce, games -- onto the Internet. Want to download music or movies? You'll need a bigger line. What about telephone over the Internet? That will take bandwidth, too. In fact, you'll probably find yourself using more and more as the years go by. That's been the trend since the Internet began. Some say traffic on the Internet is now doubling every six months -- faster than Moore's Law. Here's the history: when the Internet first began, its data traveled over Plain Old Telephone Service lines, or POTS. The Internet took less data than a phone call. Fiberoptics were used by big telecommunications companies to carry long distance calls, but line capacity wasn't an issue on the consumer side. As companies realized the different kinds of data that could go across the Internet -- not just text, but graphics and sound -- there was pressure to increase Internet bandwidth. Consumers began to want lines to their homes as big as the ones telecommunications companies had been using to transport interstate traffic. Replacing lines to homes and offices -- the "last mile" -- is prohibitively expensive, so consumers and carriers have instead found ways to put more and more data on existing telephone and cable TV lines. You don't have to lay new cable to get broadband Internet. You just need to put new equipment on the old connection. DSL is a technology that uses the same old POTS lines -- but equipment at each end of the line increases capacity to broadband speeds. What will happen next? Clearly we'll need to go faster and get more data to more devices. Even your coffeepot may be using the Internet someday. Demand for more capacity has pushed businesses to invent new technology and invest in infrastructure. That's likely to continue. Where does Cruzio stand in all this? We currently lease POTS lines from SBC, providing our own DSL service through their copper. We pay wholesale prices and pass the savings on to our customers: currently Cruzio's prices for a year of DSL are lower than SBC's and our speeds are just as high. We lease fiber circuits from high-speed telecomm "backbone" companies to relay data between our customers and the greater Internet. We'll continue to look for the best uses of new technology, and to push the bar higher. It's exciting to be in this field -- a business of exponential change. 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. 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. 9. 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, Watsonville, CA 95076 Cruzio's hours: Sales hours: 10am-6pm, Monday through Friday; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday Technical support: 8am to 6pm, Mon to Fri, 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, Jaime, another Chris, and yet another Chris; Marco, Tiffany, and even another Chris (!), our helpful interns; Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Jake, age 13: "Can I borrow your umbrella?" Carly, age 8: "No, I don't want it to get wet."