#115, April 14, 2008

Cruzio Newsletter - Number 115, April 14, 2008

1. Get Answers at Cruzio's New Hands-on Lab
2. Computer Devices May Harbor Viruses
3. Cruzio Wins Metro Gold Again
4. Good News: No Immunity for Telcos
5. Upcoming Classes in April (starting tomorrow morning!):
   "One Day Web Site," Tuesday April 15th, 9 am to noon, $199
   "Internet 101," Thursday April 17th, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, $29
   "Start Making Money Online," Tuesday, April 22nd, 9 to 11 am, $79
6. Gizmo of the Month: Cruzio Tote
7. April 26th: Computer Care Drop-in Day, Free!
8. Update Your Web Applications
9. Discontinuing Newsgroup Service
10. Moving?
11. Buddy Bucks
12. Feed the Hungry, We'll Waive Your Late Fees
13. How to Reach Cruzio (Dial-in or Tech Support)

1. Get Answers at Cruzio's New Hands-on Lab, April 23rd
	Next session Wednesday, April 23rd, 2 - 4 pm
	Price: starts at $39.80/two hour session

Do you sometimes wish you had your own IT department?

All of us encounter tricky projects and time-consuming road blocks
on our computers from time to time. Cruzio has found that some of these
technical questions are best dealt with in person, at a computer,
with a knowledgeable expert offering advice.

So we've started holding regular hands-on labs where you can go over
your difficulties or your aspirations with Cruzio's knowledgeable technical
staff. You can bring questions about your computer or other devices,
your Internet connections, or your Web site. Feel free to dig deeper
with topics you've learned in a Cruzio class. Come as often as you like.
The cost is as low as $39.80 for a two-hour session -- much cheaper
than your own IT. As usual, Cruzio members get a substantial discount
over regular price.

These sessions are held regularly, generally on Wednesday afternoons
twice a month. For a full schedule and price list, go to

2. Computer Devices May Harbor Viruses
There seems to be no end to the deviousness of hackers trying to
introduce viruses into your computer.

Some hardware comes out of the factory prepackaged with viruses.
The items sitting on the shelf are already infected -- so when you
connect an electronic picture frame or flash drive to your computer,
you may be transmitting the virus. That puts your data at risk of
hijacking, theft, and misuse.

Because of this risk, the first thing you should do after buying new
hardware is (sigh) to scan it with anti-virus software. This is true
of any device that stores data -- anything which a computer reads. It's
a quick process, but an important one.

It's just another reason to have good anti-virus software installed on
your computer, and to update it regularly. For advice on how to do this,
see Cruzio's computer care page at

If you'd rather not do this yourself, Cruzio will scan your computer or
other devices for you for as low as $49. Cruzio can also install
anti-virus software and updates and perform disk cleanups if necessary.
For prices and to sign up, see:

Many thanks to Bruce in Cruzio Technical Support for providing this

3. Cruzio Wins Metro Gold Again
We're pleased and excited to win the Metro's top prize for Internet
service for the 14th straight year, especially because it's awarded
by the people we serve. Many thanks to Cruzio's members for voting
us top honors in Metro Santa Cruz's annual reader poll. It inspires
us to try even harder next year.

4. Good News: No Immunity for Telcos
We're happy to report good news on the security and privacy front.

As a data-carrying service, Cruzio generally stays out of politics
-- we're here to help you communicate your own politics, not ours. The
exception is when we see an important issue affecting the Internet.

We've been concerned about reports of large telecommunications companies
gathering private data from the Internet secretly and without a warrant,
in the name of national security.

A bill was passed by the Senate granting retroactive immunity to the
companies which may have done so, threatening to cut off all investigation
about what data was gathered, for what purpose, and whether it was done

Apparently, efforts from communities and individuals had some effect.
Congressional representatives at last stood up to heavy pressure and
refused to let the bill get to the House floor. We're pleased that
our own representative, Sam Farr, stood strong against immunity. It
looks as though this is now a dead issue for Congress and that the courts
can go ahead and accept cases on the actions of the telcos.

We probably won't hear much about these cases, as hearings on matters of
national security are kept quite secret -- and properly so. But at least
the legal system will have a chance to examine what occurred and if there
were abuses we may be able to prevent them in the future. 

5. Upcoming Classes in April (starting tomorrow morning!):
   "One Day Web Site," Tuesday April 15th, 9 am to noon, $199
   "Internet 101," Thursday April 17th, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, $29
   "Start Making Money Online," Tuesday, April 22nd, 9 to 11 am, $79

Three great classes are offered at Cruzio in the next two weeks:

If you're ready to have a professional-looking website, come to our
"One Day Web Site" class tomorrow morning to get it started. We'll take
you step-by-step from the start of your project, working on your actual
site with plenty of individual attention from experienced instructors.
This concentrated class is worth a dozen lectures or tutorials. The next
class is tomorrow morning, but we still have a few spaces, so sign up now!

Then on Thursday of this week: If you're reading this newsletter, we
imagine you're pretty comfortable with Internet basics like getting
connected and reading email. But perhaps you've always felt like
you could use a better understanding of what you are doing. If you --
or someone you know -- feels a little shaky on the basics, we recommend
a quick, low-cost class in "Internet 101" at Cruzio. We'll go over
ways to make the Internet work for you, from email setups to expanded
online research to making purchases safely online.

And next week: Any business that doesn't sell its products online is
losing a great opportunity. Web sales are low-cost, cover the globe
and can happen while you are asleep. Once installed, an online shop can
bring in income for years. Learn how to add a ShopSite shopping cart
to your Web site at next Tuesday's hands-on class "Start Making Money

For more information about classes and to sign up, go to

6. Gizmo of the Month: Cruzio Tote
If you have been buying gizmos month after month, maybe it's
time to get a bag to carry them. Cruzio's stylish new tote
bag will fill the bill, in attractive lime green with a kitty
displayed on the side.

It's green in another way, too: it's reusable.

The bag is big enough to carry your groceries, or a beach towel
and picnic lunch. There are side pockets for your suntan lotion.

Right now the tote bags are on sale, just $4.95 each (the regular
price is $7.95). You'll find them at our stores in Santa Cruz
and Watsonville, or on the Web at:


7. April 26th: Computer Care Drop-in Day, Free!
	Saturday, April 26th, 10-2 pm
	903 Pacific Avenue, downtown Santa Cruz

Does your computer need an upgrade? Does it have a virus? Trying to
do a project -- or play a game -- on a sluggish or virus-laden computer
can be as frustrating as slicing tomatoes with a dull knife. You'll
save time and effort if your computer is running well, and you'll feel
less stressed-out.

If you'd like your system to operate at its best, take advantage of the
upcoming drop-in session to have Cruzio's experts check out your computer
free of charge. 

We'll not only diagnose your computer's problems -- we'll also work
on optimizing its startup time right then and there. We can often
make significant improvements in the wait time between turning on
your computer and starting work, which can be some of the deadest
time of your day.

So bring your computer down and let us help improve your life.

8. Update Your Web Applications
When someone's running an old, exploitable script on their website, it
can compromise the network as well as the individual site.

So please, remember to be a good netizen. When you are running software
like WordPress, PHPSurvey, Gallery II or Joomla! on your website, please
update it from time to time (Cruzio Website Plus or Premium accounts
receive email whenever an update becomes available). You may not need to
do major upgrades -- such as from 1.0 to 2.0 -- but generally it is good
to install the minor, bug-fixing updates, such as when software goes
from 1.1 to 1.2 or from 1.1 to 1.11.

When you're not using your scripts any longer, please go ahead and
uninstall them. If you aren't sure, or have any questions, just ask.
Email support@cruzio.com or call us at 459-6301 option 4.

9. Discontinuing Newsgroup Service
As mentioned last month, we are discontinuing our direct newsgroup
service so that we can focus our resources on priorities shared by
more than two percent of our customers. We extended the service an
additional month just to be sure newsgroup readers had plenty of time
to find a new source.

Newsgroup access will continue to be available via your Cruzio
connection from third party providers. We have had a good experience
for many years with a news provider called Newsguy, who is offering
Cruzio members a special deal that includes a free month of unlimited
downloads. Check their offer here:

There are also sources for free newsgroup access, such as

We apologize for misquoting Newsguy's lowest monthly price in the
last newsletter, as an alert reader pointed out. The lowest monthly
rate is $7.95 (you can see why, even at discounted group rates, this
service was expensive for Cruzio to make available to 10,000 members).

By the way, Cruzio receives no commissions or kickbacks of any kind
from Newsguy or any other news provider. We're just passing along
a recommendation based on many years of experience. They seem like
nice guys over at Newsguy.

10. 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 cancelling 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. Call us at 
831 459-6301 or email office@cruzio.com.

11. Buddy Bucks
Did you know you get a credit for every friend you refer? It's the
easiest way to save a few bucks each month while sharing Cruzio with
your buddies. Recommend us to friends, family, or colleagues: if a new
customer gives us your email address, registration number, or full name
when they sign up you'll get at least $10 credit to your account. If two
friends sign up, $20. Three friends, $30. It just goes on and on. 

12. 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 three cans into our office for our Second Harvest
Food Bank barrel. Learn more about this charity at

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 support@cruzio.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.

13. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support)
To reach the Cruzio Information Center, for online technical and
sales information:

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:
  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:
  	support@cruzio.com ......for technical support
	office@cruzio.com .......for billing and ordering information

Cruzio's locations:
	Santa Cruz: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
	Watsonville: Plaza Vigil, 25 E. Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076
Cruzio's hours:
	Sales hours: 10 am - 6 pm, Monday through Friday; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday
	Technical support: 8 am - 6 pm, Mon to Fri, 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, Mark, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, James,
	Juana, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Westi, Andrew, Jaime,
	another Chris, yet another Chris, Diana, Jake, Shawn,
	Zachary, Carlos, and Josh;
	our talented interns, Jeff, Chris and Jimmy;
	and Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids)

Carly, age 10, enjoying nature at a park:
"You know that swan was ready to kill me for a piece of bread."