Cruzio Newsletter - Number 107, August 14, 2007 1. Workshop this Thursday: Troubleshooting Your Computer 2. Hands-on Classes This Month: Photo Gallery and Advanced Blogging 3. Moving? 4. Gizmo of the Month: iPod Recharger 5. AT&T Censors Pearl Jam in Webcast 6. Free Computer Care Clinic Saturday, August 25th 7. The Cruzio Survey Results: What You Said 8. Where Is the Surf? 9. Watsonville New Store Opening, Sunday September 9th 10. Newsgroup Readers Please Read This: A Change in Port Speeds 11. Backup Dialup Charge 12. Summer Hours 13. Class Schedule Through November 14. Buddy Bucks 15. Feed the Hungry, We'll Waive Your Late Fees 16. About This Newsletter 17. How to Reach Cruzio (Dial-in or Tech Support) 1. Workshop this Thursday: Troubleshooting Your Computer Thursday, August 16th, 12:00 - 1:30 pm, $10.00 903 Pacific Avenue, Downtown Santa Cruz At Cruzio, we meticulously care for dozens of our own computers, constantly updating and upgrading their operating systems, hardware, and anti-virus software. We also fix customer computers for reasonable fees. We're ready to share what we know with our members who would like to do it themselves. Come learn the basics from some of our top techs and your computer can be running like a champ. Many tips and tricks of the trade will be imparted at this low-cost workshop -- it's well worth the small fee. Sign up at http://classes.cruzio.com 2. Hands-on Classes This Month: Photo Gallery and Advanced Blogging "One Day Photo Gallery" Thursday, August 23rd, 9:00 - 11:00 am, $99.00 903 Pacific Avenue, downtown Santa Cruz Be honest: does anyone but you ever see your digital photographs? Many of us have a wealth of pictures sitting on our computer's hard disk, and family or friends who would really like to see them. Connecting pictures to viewers isn't hard, and Cruzio can help. Whether you are a professional or just a shutterbug sharing photos with the family, an online photo gallery is the best way to organize, display, and archive your work. Other members of the family can contribute pictures of their own to the gallery. The software we recommend is called Gallery2 and it comes free with a Cruzio Website Plus or Premium account. Gallery2 is easy to set up and populate, even easier when you start out with a little help. Experienced instructors Mike Brogan and Edgar Landeros make the program even easier and more understandable. They'll guide you through every step, from choosing an appearance to helping you actually upload your pictures. When you leave the class, you'll have a real photo gallery of your own up and running -- it's guaranteed. "Advanced Blogging" Thursday, August 30th, 9:00 - 11:00 am, $99.00 903 Pacific Avenue, downtown Santa Cruz Now for the next class. There are a lot of blogs in the blogosphere: some reports say 120,000 new blogs are created every day. If one of them is yours, have you been wondering how to make your site more unique, and how to reach more people with it? Experienced bloggers Mike Brogan and Jessi Hance can help you stand above the crowd with a variety of new customized themes and interactive features. They'll also show you how to analyze your site's statistics and will share tips on popularizing your blog. As with all our hands-on classes, you'll be working on your actual site in the class, so that we can help with real-life problems. Improve your blog and make your online life easier! Sign up for either Hands-on class at http://classes.cruzio.com 3. Moving? We see rental vans crazily parked all around town again -- a lot of folks are moving. Although you may still struggle with your couch, when it comes to moving your Internet, Cruzio can help the transfer go smoothly. In many cases there need be no interruption of service at all and in others hardly a hiccup -- but please let us know you are moving, ideally several weeks before the move takes place. We are very experienced with Internet moves and can help you with the phone company's requirements and other such normally bothersome details -- it is really nice to have Cruzio at your side in these matters. We pride ourselves on making things easy for you. Do give us a call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your plans. 4. Gizmo of the Month: iPod Recharger What do you lose most often? It couldn't be keys, because if you lost those all the time you'd never get in your car or house. It couldn't be wallet because you'd be so annoying to your lunchtime companions ("I'm sorry, would you mind lending me...") No, it must be something small... something your friend or sweetie is always borrowing without asking... something you forget about the moment you unplug it. Obviously we are describing an iPod recharger. Your iPod can't work long without a recharger, and if you are like us you can't work long without an iPod. Cruzio has rechargers in stock at our downtown store and we recommend you get a spare to keep in a drawer somewhere. Better yet, it makes a lovely gift for that special someone who always seems to have yours. Just $19.99 each. 5. AT&T Censors Pearl Jam in Webcast Telecommunications executives assure us there is no danger in leaving all Internet access in the hands of just a couple of companies. Cable, they say, will keep the phone company honest and vice versa. No need for any other Internet providers (like Cruzio or Earthlink, for example). But then one of those big companies does something revealing, like silencing singer Eddy Veder's words in a concert when he inserted his own lyrics into Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall." The words which AT&T cut were "George Bush, leave this world alone." Of course, it is a private broadcast and AT&T or its subsidiary can beep out anything it likes, just as a newspaper can refuse to print statements it finds offensive. But without other companies willing to broadcast alternative viewpoints, what would the Internet be like? Are two Internet providers really enough choice? Cruzio believes that more competition is necessary to ensure Net Neutrality -- the principle that Internet providers will keep their hands off the content of what they deliver. See the song and the cuts for yourself on YouTube: 6. Free Computer Care Clinic Saturday, August 25th 10 am to 2 pm 903 Pacific Avenue, Downtown Santa Cruz Macintosh or Windows computers One customer told us her computer has been "prattling:" making strange busy noises when she's not using it. Other folks have noticed slowness or have been overwhelmed by popup windows. Even more seriously, people are rightly concerned about the security of their data, which viruses may read or erase -- both potentially devastating. There is no need to tolerate a computer that's not operating properly or that's leaking your personal information. And with Cruzio's upcoming free clinic, you can solve these problems fast. Bring your computer in to Cruzio on Saturday, August 25th and our expert technicians will have a good look at it free of charge. Does it run slower than it should? Is it infected with a virus? Does it need more memory, an operating system upgrade, security or privacy protection? Or is it beyond hope of repair? Your visit will include a free start-up optimization. If your computer has problems requiring further repair, leave it with us and we will give you 25% off any of our computer care services. (So please, be ready to leave your computer with us if necessary). Please arrive no later than 1:30 pm so we can slot you in for a full diagnostic. First come, first served. Read about this and other events at http://events.cruzio.com 7. The Cruzio Survey Results: What You Said If you filled out our recent online survey, many thanks! Here are some of the results: As promised, Cruzio top management read not only the overall statistical results but every single comment entered. We received a lot of compliments (thanks, we love you too!) and a lot of suggestions on how to improve our service, which we welcome. After all, we are here to serve you. That's simple but profoundly true, and we never forget it. Overall, we were happy that so many people took the five minutes to send us their thoughts. That is a kind thing to do when you all have such busy lives. We had over 300 responses, which is great. About half of those responding were interested in classes and workshops. We had a lot of suggestions for new workshops, and our Classes Program Manager Mike is considering them. A lot of DSL customers responded. We found that most people who have DSL are happy with the speed and the price. Cruzio got its highest marks in friendliness, technical support, reliability, and billing (our finance department is very proud of that last one -- go Nikkie and Chris!). Some responders wanted longer technical support hours. We're aware that people would appreciate more hours and we increased them earlier this year. It's a tough issue, though: many companies provide longer hours, but sub-standard support, often outsourced overseas. At Cruzio we require that anyone who answers the phone be able to actually help you. Most survey-takers asked us not to change the format of the newsletter to something fancier. Rest assured, if we change the format it will not be anything complicated or huge to download. We'll only switch formats if we find something tasteful and minimal that can work for everyone. One person urged us to "encourage really dumb questions." Done! Please ask us your dumb questions, often they are easy to answer and a quick email or call makes everyone happy. We enjoyed reading your thoughts about Cruzio. We also enjoyed using the spiffy new survey software and we hope you liked it too: if you have a Web Plus or Premium account on Cruzio, as many hundreds of you do, you can use the same survey software free of charge. 8. Where Is the Surf? Where are the waves? The weather is beautiful but the bay is smooth as glass. Come on, swells, it's summertime in Santa Cruz! Remember: you can check surf conditions before you go to the trouble of getting your gear together and heading out. We recommend Surfin' Santa Cruz as a great local resource for forecasts, plus there's excellent advice from "the Kahuna" (whose name is also apparently Bob) on how to avoid surfer's ear and other perils. Even if you don't surf, how can you call yourself a local if you don't heed advice from "the Kahuna?": http://www2.cruzio.com/%7Erls/surfnSantaCruz.html This is just one fine local Web site for outdoor summer fun. You may want to check out some others, too. We've collected some sites about local cycling, hiking, and more on Cruzio's "Cool Stuff" page: http://www.cruzio.com/local_info/cool_stuff.html 9. Watsonville New Store Opening, Sunday September 9th 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, Free 25 East Beach Street, Downtown Watsonville Our Watsonville store has done so well that we've moved to a larger and sunnier location right on Beach Street in downtown Watsonville, across from the plaza square. If you'd rather not drive Highway 1 to Santa Cruz, please drop by the Beach Street office. You're especially welcome to join us on September 9th for our Grand Opening party. While there, you can use our ultra-fast new rental computers, learn about downloading music the legal way, and see how to set up photo galleries -- all free of charge. We'll have activities, games, and cake. Best of all -- unless you *really* love cake -- you can enter a raffle to win a year of FREE DSL! And you know the thing about a Cruzio raffle is, unlike a nationwide or statewide raffle, you actually have a decent chance of winning. Everyone is welcome to participate, current and new customers alike. Since it's such a convenient and visible location, we hope you'll find it easy to stop by. Gershom Toriz, the Watsonville store manager, is almost always on hand to help you with your services and he'll definitely be there to say hello at the opening party. 10. Newsgroup Readers Please Read This: A Change in Port Speeds Since high-speed connections are more and more common these days, Cruzio is switching all our newsgroup services to those that can handle a fast DSL connection. That means if you've been reading newsgroups at slower speeds you might have to make a small change to your settings. We expect to upgrade in about a month, and we'll be happy to walk you through the change. Just give us a call or email email@example.com if you have any questions. 11. Backup Dialup Charge As those of you with DSL 1.5, 3.0 and 6.0 may have noticed, Cruzio is now charging a nominal fee of 82 cents per month for the backup dialup connection that was formerly free with each account. We are forced to add this small fee because the costs of supplying DSL and dialup access have risen. We recommend that you keep the backup connection. It can be useful when you are traveling, since it is available nationwide, or if your DSL equipment or circuit is temporarily not functioning. The backup dialup is rarely used, however, so if you would like to cancel the service please call us or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cancel the backup, and wish to reinstate it later, we can certainly do so, but there will be a $5.00 reconnect fee. We regret having to charge for this service. Luckily, however, we are able to keep the charge very low, less than a fifth of what some other ISPs charge -- when they offer the service at all. Cable Internet, for example, does not have any backup and when it is not working there is no Internet connection at all. 12. Summer Hours While Pacific Avenue is at its summer-busiest, Cruzio will be keeping our store open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 4 pm. If you need to stop by to make a payment or use a rental computer (free for a half hour to any Cruzio customer) you're welcome to do so. It's store hours only -- Technical Support hours remain the same as always. 13. Class Schedule Through November September September 6: "Get Rid of Spam" Brown Bag September 11: "One Night Web Site" Hands-on class September 13: "Selling Your Products Online With ShopSite" Brown Bag October October 11: "One Night Blog" Hands-on class October 18: "One Night Web Site Advanced" Hands-on class October 23: "Set Up Your Online Store" Hands-on class November November 8: "Free Software Alternatives" Brown Bag November 13: "Introduction to the Internet" Hands-on class November 15: "One Day Web Site" Hands-on class Check http://classes.cruzio.com for the latest information and to sign up. Dates or topics occasionally change. 14. Buddy Bucks Remember to tell your friends that among its many beauties and special features Santa Cruz is home to one of the oldest and most independent Internet Service Providers on the planet. Yes, Cruzio is a local feature, just like the surf and the Boardwalk. When you recommend us to your friends, you can get substantial savings on your own account. We will give you $10 credit for any access customer you refer, and if they buy a number of services you can get even credit. Be sure they tell us your full name, email address or account number when they sign up. 15. Feed the Hungry, We'll Waive Your 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 16. 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. 17. 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, Mark, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, James, Juana, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Edgar, Brian, Westi, Andrew, Jaime, another Chris, yet another Chris, Diana, Maria, Tommy, Orlando and Loren; our awesome summer interns, Peter, Doreen and Shogo Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) "When life gives you lemons, make beef stew." -- Jake, quoting a TV program on what to do when the going gets tough.