Cruzio Newsletter - Number 102, March 15, 2007 1. Free: Computer Drop-in Clinic This Saturday 2. This Month's Focus: Building Web Sites 3. Apologies for the Outage 4. Save Internet Radio 5. DSL Bandwidth Increase 6. Westi's Besties: Favorite Hot Spots 7. Gizmo of the Month 8. Class Schedule for the Next Three Months 9. Moving? 10. We Appreciate Referrals 11. Feed the Hungry, Get Late Fees Waived 12. About This Newsletter 13. How to Reach Cruzio (Dialup or Tech Support) 1. Free: Computer Drop-in Clinic This Saturday March 17, 10-2:00 PM 903 Pacific Avenue, Downtown Santa Cruz Cruzio is holding a free computer clinic this Saturday. If your computer is running sluggishly, or you suspect it is infected with a virus or could use an upgrade, bring it to Cruzio on Saturday for a check-up. You don't even have to be a Cruzio customer to take advantage of this service. Our top technicians -- experts on both PCs and Macs -- will be on hand to examine all computers on a first-come first-served basis. These folks keep our computers at Cruzio running securely and at top speed. They are the best. Free of charge, we'll give you an analysis of what could get your computer running faster. Is it memory? Is it virus cleanup? We'll optimize the startup time of Windows machines to get your computer running its fastest. We've reserved the parking spots on Pacific Avenue in front of our store for easy drop-off and pickup. 2. This Month's Focus: Building Web Sites Let's say you had infinite time and knowledge. Along with winning the trifecta each day you could be doing lots of cool things on the computer. There's always some aspect of the Internet that's new and exciting, low cost, and might be great for your business or family -- but just being busy and lacking experience keeps it out of your grasp. Maddening. You might be too busy with your actual family to learn how to make a family Web site, for example. Or you're so occupied running your small business that you haven't time to set up a company Web site to help your business thrive. That's why Cruzio offers more than just the inexpensive tools you need to build a great Web site -- we can also shorten your learning/building curve. This month we're focusing on building Web sites and we'll have specials and extra classes on the subject. Try a Brown Bag Workshop for an overview, then come in to our "One Night Web Site" when you are ready to sit down and actually build a site with the help of an experienced instructor (and only 8 students in a two-teacher class). Add a WordPress blog -- we've got a "One Night Blog" scheduled for April 24th. If you take that class, you can follow up with an advanced class the next month -- see the schedule in item 8 below. With the Website Plus and Premium packages, and some help picking up the technology, you'll have a new, up-to-date site quickly and you'll know how to improve and maintain it. For a full schedule of upcoming classes, see http://events.cruzio.com 3. Apologies for the Outage Cruzio is excited to be leasing major new bandwidth for our customers' DSL data (see item 5 below). But the transfer to new circuits was more troublesome than we anticipated, and we apologize for the lack of connectivity many of you experienced earlier this week. To say it wasn't up to our usual high standards is an understatement. This is not the first time we've transferred traffic to different circuits, and in the past it's been almost completely transparent to our customers. This move was to a facility in San Francisco that's one of the largest in the country, and we were not only working with our own excellent staff but with top professionals from the area. Because of our success in the past, we were probably overconfident about the results this time. We won't be overconfident from now on. There were several unanticipated failures, including an outside technician who bumped or pulled our main cable out of its housing altogether on Wednesday at noon. That one brought a collective cry of frustration from all of us. It was quickly fixed, but affected a large number of customers. Our engineers and technical support staff were busy around the clock running down every issue for every customer who called in, and the rest of the staff, including all managers and owners, pitched in wherever they could. We ran at full mental, physical and technical capacity for days and we are very proud of our staff. They are champs. They tracked down every major problem and are still working hard on the few that remain. Our phone system was overwhelmed for a time on Tuesday but it it recovered by Wednesday morning. Because we were in troubleshooting mode, we had customers on the line for long periods of time: we knew that if we could find an answer for one customer, we could apply the fix to others in the same situation. We appreciate your patience and, even more, how courteous you've been to our staff. That helped us concentrate on the issues and get them solved. Cruzio members who called in and gave us details have been a big part of the solution and we thank you. Please continue to let us know if you're experiencing any problems with your connection. By the way, we are not planning to move our circuits again for a long, long time. 4. Save Internet Radio In our office, we often listen to Internet Radio. There are some great little stations out there: sometimes we listen to a station that specializes in rock music from the Netherlands. Other times it is German hip-hop, or indie rock, or Baroque classical. One station just plays the Beatles all day, every day (which is surprisingly good). You can find all of these on iTunes, and on many sites around the Internet. In fact, it's easy to find just about any sort of music you like. This thriving community of little radio stations is about to get bulldozed. As of March 1, 2007, the US Copyright Office announced new rates for Internet radio -- not broadcast radio, just Internet -- so high that most Internet radio stations will have to close down. Because we're in the business, we often hear of issues affecting the quality of our customers' experience and the future of the Internet, two things we care a lot about. When we become aware of an issue like this one, we put it on our Web site: http://www.cruzio.com/members/state_of_internet.html More information on Internet radio rulings can be found there, along with a link to a petition. We encourage you to sign. By the way, here are the URLs of the radio stations mentioned above. Give them a try soon, they may not be around long: http://www.zeilsteen.com http://www.radioparadise.com http://www.1.fm/Stations/Baroque/TuneIn.aspx http://www.rautemusik.fm/ http://www.beatlesarama.com 5. DSL Bandwidth Increase We all do it: many of us do it every day. Use bandwidth, that is. On the Internet, graphics, sound and text travel in the form of pulses on high-speed fiberoptic lines. When we read more Web pages or watch more You Tube movies, we use more of the capacity of these lines: more pulses of light per second. More bandwidth. To keep our customers happy (indeed, blissfully unaware), Cruzio has steadily purchased larger and larger amounts of bandwidth each year. Recently, we signed a deal nearly doubling capacity for DSL subscribers and placing us closer to the center of the Internet backbone. Although DSL speeds won't increase in speed tests, this should often result in better performance in some areas: quicker downloads and better streaming audio, among other things. In all, including DSL customers, Web sites hosted on Cruzio, dialup and wireless customers (in that order), Cruzio leases more than half a terabyte of data transit. Enjoy the moveable feast! 6. Westi's Besties Favorite Internet hot spots from Cruzio's Marketing Manager Westi Haughey. At any of these locations you can sit down with a laptop and a slug of java and enjoy free Internet from Cruzio: Best Hot Spot to Write a Paper The Attic Best Hot Spot to Hang with Friends Caffe Pergolesi Best Hot Spot for a Rainy Day Coffeetopia Best Hot Spot for a Staff Meeting 99 Bottles of Beer Best Hot Spot to Do Your Laundry tie! Wired Wash Cafe/University Wash N Dry Best Hot Spot for Breakfast The Bagelry Best Hot Spot to Watch the Ocean The Kind Grind Best Hot Spot for Coffee Art Peoples Coffee Best Hot Spot for a Muffin Heather's Patisserie Best Hot Spot for a Veggie Sandwich Java Lounge Check out our full ever-growing list of hot spots at http://www.cruzio.com/local_info/wireless.html If you have a business and would like to set up a hot spot, see http://www.cruzio.com/services/wireless/cyberhub_faq.html 7. Gizmo of the Month One of our favorite columns in cooking magazines is the "what is it?" column. Every month, readers find a gadget in an antique shop or cooking store and the editors explain what it is: a potato de-eyer? A tureen built specially for eels? In that spirit, Cruzio offers a new "gizmo of the month" entry in every newsletter. There are many items out there which might help your computer run better or faster (or run at all). When you come to Cruzio's store you might pick up the package and turn it around, wondering: "what the heck is this thing?" Many computer-related devices elicit this response. It would be unutterably dull to list every such item, and we can't even fit a long explanation for each one on the package. Instead, we'll pick one each month and tell you how to use it and why. This month's item: the USB four-port hub. Many computer accessories, like digital cameras, printers, music players or backup hard drives (You do back up your computer regularly, don't you? Good then), have USB connectors. You plug them into a slot (a USB port) on the back of your computer or keyboard. For some of us, the two or three USB ports that come with our computers are no longer enough to satisfy us. The ports on the keyboards don't always work reliably. And we've got so many devices to plug in! We want to download from the camera while listening to music, and do we really have to unplug the printer every time we do backups? The answer: a four port USB hub. Like an extension cord for an electrical outlet, you plug one end into the port and you've now got an extra three ports. If you need a USB hub, come on in to Cruzio's Santa Cruz office. We sell them for just $10 each plus tax. 8. Class Schedule for the Next Three Months We've been developing a new program of classes and we've planned a schedule for the next three months. Each month we'll highlight the upcoming classes, but since you may want to plan ahead, here's what we've got in the works (subject to change): March: 17th - Computer Care Drop In Day 22nd - Brown Bag - "Web Hosting: New and Improved" 26th & 28th - Intro to Computer and the Internet, in English 29th - One Day Web Site April: 10th & 12th - Intro to Computer and the Internet, in Spanish 12th - Brown Bag (Overview: Building a Web Site) 24th - One Day Blog 24th & 28th - Intro to Computer and the Internet, in English 26th - One Night Web Site May: 10th - Advanced Blogging 17th - Security Brown Bag 24th - One Day (or night) Web Site For upcoming classes, you'll find more information and a registration form at: http://events.cruzio.com 9. Moving? If you are moving your home or office, please contact Cruzio. We're here to help the Internet portion of your move go smoothly. It's best to let us know several weeks ahead of time, especially if you have DSL or if you're canceling a phone line. We can often save you from an interruption in Internet service and prevent costly fees -- but you've got to let us know. For more information, please see http://www.cruzio.com/services/highspeed_access/move_dsl.html 10. We Appreciate Referrals 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. 11. Feed the Hungry, Get Late Fees Waived 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 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) Thanks very much from Cruzio: Chris, Peggy, Julianne, Mark, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, Michael, James, Juana, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Edgar, Brian, Westi, Andrew, Jaime, another Chris, yet another Chris, Reema, Diana, and Maria (welcome back!); our awesome interns, Christi, Kristi, and Edi; Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) 4th Grade Science Experiment Results: Carly: "I have done an experiment to see which would get done faster, jello with hot water or jello with cold water and ice underneath." Mom: "Which was faster?" Carly: "I couldn't tell. One of them was eaten." Mom: "Eaten by whom?" Carly: "By me."