Cruzio Newsletter - Number 91, February 22, 2006 1. Our Santa Cruz Store Is Beautified 2. Free Friday Rentals in Watsonville 3. Low DSL Prices Available to All Cruzio Customers 4. Cruzio Wireless Internet Free at Spots Around the County 5. Brown Bag Workshops Coming Soon 6. Jake's Picks on the Home Page 7. Cruzio DSL Is the Best Deal for Businesses 8. Children and the Internet 9. Weekly Wednesday Workshops in Watsonville 10. Buddy Bucks 11. Feed Hungry Folks Instead of Paying Late Fees 12. About This Newsletter 13. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Our Santa Cruz Store Is Beautified Our downtown Santa Cruz store is now officially gorgeous. It is a great place to hang out and talk about the Internet with us; it's a great place to rent one of our brand new computers on an ultrafast wireless connection; and there's plenty of space to bring in your machine for our new computer tune-up service. The store has been repainted and rewired, and we did not stint on the hardware (we are tech geeks, after all). There's a new computer bar with six snappy PC's and a couple of sleek, stylish G5 Macintoshes for the Mac-inclined. Decor-wise, there's a giant kitty smiling down on us from the back wall, and the office is more spacious, lighter, and more comfortable. Come on in and try it out -- we're having some events this month and next which might interest you (see item 5 below). Many thanks to Krissie, Nikkie and Brian for leading the way to our fabulous new environment. Their good taste knows no bounds. 2. Free Friday Rentals in Watsonville Every Friday until March 12th, 2006, computer rentals are free of charge at our Watsonville store. Take advantage of the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a high-speed connection to the Internet on our computers without paying a dime! It's on us. 3. Low DSL Prices Available to All Cruzio Customers Cruzio currently offers low prices for year-long DSL contracts. Any Cruzio customer may get the low contract price by signing up for a one-year term while this special lasts. If your contract has expired and you are paying a higher month-to-month price, you can lower your costs simply by signing up for another year. 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, or to extend your current term. 4. Cruzio Wireless Internet Free at Spots Around the County If you are out and about and need a dash of Internet, visit one of Cruzio's local "hot spots" to get free Internet access. Our 20 spots are mostly at local coffeehouses where you can sit down with your laptop, read your email and otherwise engage in Internet tasks. The hot spots are listed at http://www.cruzio.com/services/wireless/ Or, just look for the Cruzio Cyberhub Kitty in the window of your favorite cafe or laundromat. Business owners who'd like to join our Cyberhub program can email email@example.com for more information. 5. Brown Bag Workshops Coming Soon Web Design Basics, Thursday, February 23: Sold Out Computer Security for Home or Office, Thursday, March 16 12-1:30 PM, $10.00 At Cruzio's Santa Cruz Store, 903 Pacific Avenue Seats Still Available Cruzio's current Web Design Basics class has already sold out. But we hold this workshop from time to time. If you're interested in learning to create Web pages, and would like to attend a Web Design Basics workshop in Santa Cruz or in Watsonville, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Next month, on Thursday, March 16th, we'll be holding a Brown Bag workshop on "Computer Security for Home or Office." This popular Brown Bag teaches you how to fight spyware and adware, and how to keep your computer free from viruses and worms. Stephen and Mike, our experts from Cruzio Technical Support, are veterans in the computer security battle and will be happy to answer your questions. See http://events.cruzio.com for more details. 6. Jake's Picks on the Home Page If you are a fan of the Star Wars and Star Trek tribute home movies created by obsessed fans -- and who isn't? -- you will love the entries from Jake in the current "staff picks" list on our home page http://www.cruzio.com Check out these links: You'll see stormtroopers. You'll hear a science officer with flimsy antennae warning the captain of anomalies. You'll see gadgetry you can't believe people made in their spare time without being paid. It's the geeked-out world of sci-fi fandom, part of the American psyche, and it's lots of fun -- thanks, Jake. 7. Cruzio DSL Is the Best Deal for Businesses Cruzio doesn't charge business customers higher fees for DSL -- but most other Internet providers do. That means your business would pay about 50% more to use DSL or other broadband from a non-Cruzio provider. (Yes, 50% more.) Big savings can mean a lot to a small business. And Cruzio's DSL is fast and reliable, with nearly 6,000 customers in the Santa Cruz area. If you'd like to inquire about our business services, please send an email to email@example.com or come in and talk to our friendly staff. 8. Children and the Internet Recently, a local 26-year-old Santa Cruz man was arrested for enticing an underage minor to meet with him. As the news tells it, the man read the girl's online profile and started chatting with her using the popular MySpace.com social network and AOL instant messenger chat. Cruzio was not involved with the case in any way, but it is a reminder to us about taking care with children and the Internet. Many parents have contacted us over the years concerned for their children, and as this case illustrates, there are predators lurking on the Internet. What can a parent do? First, the bad news. There is no technology fix, no filter, no mechanical parental control which can absolutely prevent your children from accessing pages on the Internet. While it is true you can install filtering or parental control software on your own computers, determined children are adept at circumventing technology, either by figuring out how to turn it off or by using someone else's computer. They can surf the 'Net the same way they listen to music you don't want them to listen to, or watch movies you don't want them to see -- in other words, like other media. But as parents, we know that making an effort is worthwhile. For links to parental filtering software, see our Family Web page at: http://www.cruzio.com/members/families.html Even more importantly, take an interest in your children, what they read, who they hang out with, what music they listen to and what engages their curiosity. Build and maintain a rapport and the best possible relationship. You can also set some rules. Make sure your children understand the following: -- There are predators on the Internet. -- Do not divulge personal information to anyone online. -- Do not share passwords. -- Tell a parent immediately if someone is trying to make a date for a meeting or is pressuring for personal information, or if there is any discomfort in anything happening online. -- The parents can and will inspect the computer or look over the kids' shoulders at what they are doing at any time. At our house, we have 3 children and 6 computers. The computers are all in the family room -- we don't let the kids have computers or televisions in their rooms. We talk to them about what they might see online and what we think is dangerous or suspicious or just plain wrong. It's "don't talk to strangers" all over again. The Internet is an amazing resource, a wonderful environment, like our lovely planet Earth, for everyone. Follow the guidelines above to help your children understand how to have a safe Internet experience. 9. Weekly Wednesday Workshops in Watsonville Every Wednesday afternoon, knowledgeable Cruzio 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, how to use Web browsers and search engines for best results, and how to use Cruzio's email and other features. Please drop in for a visit and to ask any questions you may have. Attendees will receive two and half hours of free computer rental time at the Watsonville store. For more alliterative events in Watsonville, see item 3 above on our Free Fridays. 10. 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. Lower your costs and do friends a favor, all at the same time. 11. Feed Hungry Folks Instead of Paying Late Fees If you're late on a payment to Cruzio, turn it into a donation to hungry people 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 12. 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. 13. 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) Consider voting for Cruzio as your favorite Internet Service Provider: http://www.metroactive.com/cruz/ Thanks very much from Cruzio: Chris, Peggy, Julianne, Kathy, Mark, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, Michael, Maria, James, Juana, Krissie, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Edgar, Brian, Westi, Andrew, Jaime, another Chris, yet another Chris, and Nancy; Melissa, our helpful intern; Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Jake, age 13, when questioned about reading his homework while wearing earphones: "Now that I have audio books on my iPod, I want to see if I can listen to one book and read another book at the same time, to double my reading speed!"