Cruzio Newsletter - Number 90, December 21, 2005 1. Sober Worm: New Attack Looms 2. Last Minute Cruzio-Related Gifts 3. Cruzio DSL -- *The* Lowest Priced DSL 4. We're Redecorating 5. Let Cruzio Care for Your Computer 6. Please Update Firefox and Internet Explorer 7. Web Site Changes 8. We'll Match Your Donations Until Dec 30th 9. Cruzio's Holiday Schedule 10. Free Brown Bag Workshop Jan 12th: Wireless Internet 11. Goodbye Tapati 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. Sober Worm: New Attack Looms By shunning unexpected email attachments and regularly running antivirus programs, you can help the Internet run smoothly. That's especially important in the next few weeks. The Sober Worm is back. It's a chameleon-like worm which comes disguised in any number of email messages -- pretending to be from the FBI, or from a long-lost friend, or even pretending to be an anti-virus patch from Microsoft. It only attacks machines running Windows. Once the user clicks on an attachment in the email, the worm invades the user's email system. It makes the computer a "zombie" which infects other computers. The worm has its own email program, so the computer's owner won't see anything unusual in the "sent" mailbox. The Internet has already been hard hit by this worm for the past several weeks. Hotmail and MSN's email systems were stalled by it last week. Cruzio's engineers have been kept busy. We've managed to avoid serious harm, but it's cost us time and placed a burden on our equipment. On January 5th, 2006, the worm is set to unleash new damage. Anti-virus gurus have figured out the date, but don't yet know what new form the worm will take. They're asking folks to be especially mindful. Details can be found in this article: http://www.flexbeta.net/main/comments.php?id=17279&catid=11 Advice on how to prevent your computer from becoming a zombie is on Cruzio's Web site: http://www.cruzio.com/support/security/virus_info.html#steps 2. Last Minute Cruzio-Related Gifts CNN is reporting gifts of facelifts for Christmas. We've got some other suggestions for people who've procrastinated: What about getting a friend or relative their own domain -- an email address like "firstname.lastname@example.org?" It's like having a star named after them, but they can actually do things with it: get email at their own name, put up a Web site, take it with them wherever they move. The right to their name can last until they no longer want it. Namespace with email starts at just $10.95 per month. Or, give your loved one a Cruzio Computer Spa Package and their computer will run like new. It's just $99 for the full treatment. Please call to arrange an appointment with our Support deparment, and in just two business days Cruzio will have cleaned up adware, spyware, and viruses; we'll have installed software to protect against these irritations; and much more. You'll be surprised how much better your sweetie's computer will run, and they will love it. (Plus, the computer will not be a zombie -- see item 1.) You can order many services on our Web site ( //signup.cruzio.com ) or call us at 831 459-6301. Accounts are normally set up the same day. If you stop by our stores in Santa Cruz or Watsonville, you can pick up a tee-shirt or mug. Wait, breaking news from the Sales department -- the new tee shirts are in at our Santa Cruz store! Contrasting trim, wonderful colors, and a Cruzio kitty on the front. They come free with every new account, or buy them for just $12 each. 3. Cruzio DSL -- *The* Lowest Priced DSL Although Cruzio DSL includes our superior service, we are also currently the absolutely lowest-priced provider we know for a year of broadband Internet connectivity: cheaper (by far) than cable. Cheaper (by a good margin) than the telco giants. Now's a good time to sign up! //signup.cruzio.com Until January 15, 2005, Cruzio is offering DSL 1.5 at just $19.95 per month for an entire year. And we're also running a special on our higher speed DSL 3.0: for new customers only, the first month is FREE and equipment is $25 off. Those of you who already have Cruzio DSL can sign up for a new one-year term at the low current prices, as long as this program lasts. Visit http://www.cruzio.com/services/highspeed_access/ for more information, and //signup.cruzio.com/dsl_sale.html to sign up for a new term. 4. We're Redecorating After nearly 9 years, it was time for Cruzio to remodel our Santa Cruz storefront. It became more necessary after the Santa Cruz staff saw our nice, freshly painted store in Watsonville -- they were a bit jealous. We took the plunge a few weeks ago. Led by the unfailingly tasteful Krissie with help from Nikkie and Brian, we have demolished and rebuilt countertops, created enormous holes in our walls which became doors, and ripped out vast tracts of carpet. We've looked at swatches and painted swathes and walked around in booties made of plastic bags. We did the messy stuff when customers weren't around, but you can see our continuing progress if you stop by. Like all remodels, it is fascinating to watch. It's not all for glamour: we're planning more space for computer rentals and such services as printing, fax, and computer maintenance which people have been requesting for a while. Customers are already using just-purchased, brand new, fast, sleek rental computers. So please pardon our mess for the next few weeks. Things will be getting better and better until we are just gorgeous. We hope you will come to visit and enjoy it when it's done (watch for our Grand Re-opening in 2006!), and in the meantime we appreciate your patience with the transitional state of our store. 5. Let Cruzio Care for Your Computer We scrupulously maintain our equipment at Cruzio, and we are good at keeping computers updated and running smoothly. Now we are offering this as a service for our members' computers, too. For just $25, we'll set up your computer with your Cruzio email and Internet account customized just as you like it: folders, settings, and personal touches you may want to add. We'll do all the settings for DSL or dialup, test it, and explain the setup to you. All you have to do is take it home and plug it in. If you'd like to get your computer checked, Cruzio offers a free 15-minute in-store diagnostic of any problems it might have. Then, if you'd like your computer scrubbed of viruses, adware, and the like, we'll do it for just $45 per hour -- a low price for such tender care. And for just $99, we'll give your computer the works: the Spa Package. We'll clean out the viruses and adware. We'll check it for any infections. We'll install software to protect against further problems. From what we've seen, many computers out there are running much slower than they should be and we can help. Right now these services are only available if you bring your computer to Cruzio's downtown Santa Cruz store, at 903 Pacific Avenue. We'll have news about expanded services in months to come. 6. Please Update Firefox and Internet Explorer If you are using Firefox as your Web browser -- and many of us at Cruzio recommend it -- please update to the latest version. Firefox versions 1.0.4 or earlier have a bug which may allow hackers to install and run malicious code on your computer. Download the newest version here: http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/ This is similar to a recent warning about Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you run IE, please download the latest patch: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/critical/ q313675/default.asp Updating your software is quick and easy (I just did it while writing this item -- it didn't even require a reboot) and it protects your own computer as well as the greater Internet. 7. Web Site Changes There have been several changes to the Cruzio Web site at http://www.cruzio.com . We've added improved weather service as well as new local, national and world news headlines. Don't forget to check out the 'Staff Picks' box for a list of favorite Web links from beloved Cruzio staffer Tapati. 8. We'll Match Your Donations Until December 30th Cruzio will continue to match staff and customer donations to the Second Harvest Food Bank and Doctors Without Borders, up to a combined limit of $2,500, until December 30th, 2005. For more information about the Food Bank, please visit http://www.thefoodbank.org To learn more about Doctors Without Borders, and the work they are doing to help Pakistan deal with the recent earthquake, please see http://www.doctorswithoutborders.com/ Cruzio can match your contributions if you make a check out to "Second Harvest Food Bank" or "Doctors Without Borders" -- 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 with ours. 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. 9. Cruzio's Holiday Schedule Cruzio's storefronts will be closed from Saturday, December 24th, to Monday, December 26th; back at work on Tuesday, December 27th. We'll also be closed on Saturday, December 31st. During this time our engineers will be keeping an eagle eye on our systems, but we won't be setting up new accounts or answering calls in Technical Support. Happy holidays! 10. Free Brown Bag Workshop Jan 12th: Wireless Internet Thurs, Jan 12th, 2006, noon to 1:30 pm At Cruzio's Santa Cruz location, 903 Pacific Avenue The workshop is free; order lunch for just $7 A wireless Internet connection can be so convenient. No more fussing with jacks and cables, no more drilling through walls whenever you move your desk. Cruzio's Technical Support experts, Stephen and Mike, will explain the process from setup to security to equipment recommendations. They're happy to answer questions, too! To sign up, please go to http://events.cruzio.com 11. Goodbye Tapati This will be Tapati's last month at Cruzio, after more than 8 years of helping customers and co-workers. We know many people have benefited from her mindful care, first as a Sales Staffer and for the last several years in Cruzio Accounts Receivable and Human Resources. Many thanks, Tapati, and good luck to you! 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. Feed Hungry Folks Instead of Paying Late Fees 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 email@example.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: 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: firstname.lastname@example.org ......for technical support email@example.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, 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, our helpful intern; Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Carly, age 8, was visiting Mom at her office (no school this week). Carly: "You should have a mattress in your office, in case someone gets bored." Mom, absent-mindedly: "Who would get bored?" Carly: "Me."