Cruzio Newsletter - Number 92, March 27, 2006 1. Cruzio Wins "Best ISP" Award for 12th Time 2. One Year in Watsonville 3. Workshops Coming Soon: Web Basics for Realtors, Wireless 4. Technical Services: Cruzio Customers $20 Off 5. Office Services in Santa Cruz 6. AT&T, Telecom-glomeration, and Us 7. Cruzio Hosting Local Chamber Event 8. Wednesday Workshops and Free Fridays in Watsonville 9. Buddy Bucks 10. Feed Hungry Folks Instead of Paying Late Fees 11. About This Newsletter 12. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Cruzio Wins "Best ISP" Award for 12th Time Cruzio caught the Internet wave early, setting up shop 17 years ago when "Internet" must have sounded like science fiction to most people. It was years before the local papers put Internet providers into their "Best of" questionnaires. But when they did, Cruzio popped right to the top of the list. And there we have stayed. We've just won our 12th "Best Internet Provider" award from readers of the Santa Cruz Metro and, again, we'd like to extend our gratitude to our members. We can express our thanks best by continuing to get better, as we have every year. Cruzio has a wonderful team of owners, employees, vendors and customers, almost all locally based, and we will continue to do remarkable things. In the last year we've added a new location in Watsonville, remodeled our Santa Cruz storefront, started doing in-store service for customer computers, and have erected ever-more-massive barriers against viruses, spam, and other forces of evil out there on the Internet. We've taught free or low-cost workshops nearly every month. We have fantastic plans for the coming year -- stay tuned. 2. One Year in Watsonville On March 12th, 2005, Cruzio held a big party in Watsonville to open our new store. Since then, we've noticed that customers from all over the county have visited our Watsonville location. A lot of people find it handy for paying bills, asking questions and renting computer time. Like our Santa Cruz store, Cruzio Watsonville is an open and welcoming center for computer and Internet technology. Customers and non-customers alike stop in on Wednesday afternoons for free workshops, and students drop in on Friday afternoons for free computer rentals. Watsonville, with capable store manager Gershom at the helm, led the development of Cruzio's new office services -- printing, CD-burning, faxing and using mini-cameras for online chat. Our Santa Cruz store has followed suit. We are glad to help people from all around Santa Cruz County adapt to ever-new technology. Thanks, Watsonville, for the warm welcome, and especially to El Pajaro CDC for helping us and other businesses in the area! 3. Workshops Coming Soon: Web Basics for Realtors, Wireless Two workshops coming up at Cruzio: "Building an Online Presence for Realtors and Real Estate Agents" Thursday, March 30, 12-1:30 PM $10.00 (This Thursday!) Downtown Santa Cruz Store, 903 Pacific Ave. Suite 101 Real estate agents are welcome to a special edition of Cruzio's popular Web Basics Brown Bag workshop, led by Cruzio's personable Marketing Director Kathy Bisbee. She'll share tips on how to attract and retain visitors to your real estate Web site, along with email tools and advice for using the Internet to get and publicize information about properties. Sign up, and order an optional lunch, at http://events.cruzio.com "Wireless for Home or Office" Thursday, April 20, 12-1:30 PM $10.00 Downtown Santa Cruz Store, 903 Pacific Ave. Suite 101 Next month's workshop, on Thursday, April 20th from 12-1:30 pm will be "Wireless for Home or Office." Come learn from the experts about how to set up a convenient wireless network. The cost is $10, and lunch is $7 if you wish to order it. This brown bag often sells out, so register early at http://events.cruzio.com . 4. Technical Services: Cruzio Customers $20 Off We've been doing in-store computer care at Cruzio for several months now, and it's a popular service. Our Spa packages are treatments we all really ought to give our computers, but we don't have the tools or the time. Instead, we work around popups and try not to mind how slow the computer runs. If you bring your computer to Cruzio for a treatment, our technicians will spend many hours cleaning viruses, adware and spyware, and installing protective software. For a lot of computers, it's like getting the machine back new again. Some computers require extra work, so we've added another level: the Super Spa package. The regular Spa Package has been expanded, too. Cruzio customers get $20 off either package. For Cruzio customers who are busy, or who find computers daunting, we will also take in a computer to do a custom email install or Internet setup for a small fee ($25). All Cruzio Technical services are done at our Santa Cruz store. To schedule care for your computer, please call us at 459-6301 and select option 4. For more information, please see our Web page at http://www.cruzio.com/services/tech_services/ . 5. Office Services in Santa Cruz We recently doubled the number of our popular rental computers in downtown Santa Cruz and replaced all the machines with new, fast models. Plus, they are attached to our ultra-fast computer network (when you are an ISP, you have the benefit of really fast Internet connections). Following Watsonville's lead (see item 1, above) our Santa Cruz store has added in-store office services like burning CD's, printing, and sending faxes. Cruzio's prices are the lowest around, and the convenience is priceless. These services are available in both Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Buy a prepaid rental card and you'll save 50% on computer rentals. Students, teachers and seniors get an additional discount. 6. AT&T, Telecom-glomeration, and Us We were just getting used to the swallowing up of AT&T by SBC, which then took the name AT&T, when the announcement came that AT&T will now swallow BellSouth. How does this affect Cruzio and our customers? Cruzio purchases circuits wholesale from the corporation now known as AT&T. We supply everything else -- email, servers, storage space, network routing, security, technical support -- except the bare-bones circuit. We are currently on a long-term contract with AT&T for these circuits. We don't anticipate any quick changes in the status quo. For the Internet as a whole, a truly competitive market is probably the best way to get low prices and good service. The next best would be having regulations protecting the public interest. Having neither is probably the worst of the options: unregulated monopoly or oligopoly. Prices have been going steadily down, and the Internet which was built by scientists and entrepreneurs is still running freely on public utility lines. But there have been some ominous rumblings about tiered content or making content providers pay transit. At Cruzio, we continue to do what we can to keep the Internet low cost and open to everyone. 7. Cruzio Hosting Local Chamber Event Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 5-7 PM $5 for Chamber members, $10 for non-members This Wednesday, Cruzio will open its newly repainted doors to the Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce. We'll be holding a mixer and networking event, part of which will be a raffle benefitting Second Harvest Food Banks's "Food for Children" program. This program directly provides nutrition to many children at area schools and housing complexes. The raffle prize will be a computer Spa Package, which will rejuvenate your computer, along with some relaxing goodies for the human as well. If you have a business in Santa Cruz, you'll want to attend! 8. Wednesday Workshops and Free Fridays in Watsonville Every Friday until June 12th, 2006, computer rentals are free of charge for high-school or college students at our Watsonville store. Take advantage of the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a high-speed connection to the Internet. And every Wednesday afternoon from 3 to 6 pm, you are welcome to visit Gershom in Cruzio's downtown Watsonville store for a free workshop. He'll be discussing various Internet and computer topics, and will answer questions. As a bonus, attendees receive 2.5 hours of free computer rental time! These rentals and workshop are both at Cruzio's Watsonville store, 23 E. Beach Street, Suite 105, Plaza Vigil, Downtown Watsonville. 9. 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. There's no limit -- we appreciate your referrals. 10. 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 11. 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. 12. 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, to reach someone in customer service and technical support, or to schedule in-store computer care. 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: Technical support: 8am - 6pm, Mon to Fri, 10am - 2pm Saturday Sales hours: 10am-6pm, Monday to Friday; 10 am - 2 pm 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, 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) Carly, age 8: "This toast is going to be famous for its butter."