1. Cruzio is 20 This Year 2. Gigantic Email Servers Have Entered the Building 3. Lively Local Blogs at Cruzio 4. New Phone System 5. Watch Out for the New Worm: Update Your Windows 6. New President and New Technology 7. Looking Back at 2008: Cruzio's Accomplishments 8. Looking Forward to 2009: Cruzio's Plans 9. Upcoming Classes 10. Cruzio Members Come Through for Local Charities 11. Moving? 12. Get Cruzio Credit with Buddy Bucks 13. About This Newsletter 14. How to Reach Cruzio (Dial-in or Tech Support) 1. Cruzio is 20 This Year Yes, 20. Unbelievable, isn't it? And looking back, there was very little that you might call "Internet" 20 years ago. But what there was, Cruzio was serving. And Santa Cruz County ate it up. The founders were then a young married couple -- now they have children in high school. Cruzio's circuits pushed data in hundred-byte packages, but now it's in gigabytes (we'd barely heard of giga back then -- it's like saying a trillion). Our big, impressive hard disk in 1989 couldn't hold a gnat's worth of today's data. How far we've come. But the more interesting question is, how far will we go? We have big plans to meet and exceed your Internet needs and introduce new capabilities this year and every year. You'll be reading about changes every month in this newsletter and on our website, http://cruzio.com -- stay tuned. 2. Gigantic Email Servers Have Entered the Building Cruzio has received shipment of eight new email servers with enormous storage capacity. The new equipment will provide storage beyond anything most people would need in a lifetime. (Of course, our industry evolves so fast we're always having to anticipate, so we're ready to add even more.) We're testing the servers now, in preparation of deployment. Expect news in the next few months of a big leap ahead for your email. 3. Lively Local Blogs at Cruzio What you'll find at http://cruzio.com/blogs : -- Thrilling news about the upcoming Tour of California bike race -- Inspiring on-the-ground inauguration coverage from Washington DC -- Audacious picks for best movies and best music of 2008 -- Thought-provoking book talk from local writer Chris Watson -- Captivating fiction, opinions, photos and videos And the best part of the Cruzio blog is... *you* can freely add your own words and images. Read and respond, or just publish: it's easy. It's a great way to get readers for your work and promote your standing in the great statistical mashup of the World Wide Web. 4. New Phone System Every so often, a major office system requires an update. It's hard to miss the signs. Late last year, Cruzio's highly-evolved phone system crashed. We recovered, but decided it was too risky for the rigors of our busy customer service. Thanks to Support Manager Chris Frost we completed the installation two weeks ago. The new system is easier for you: more sensible options, faster, less confusing. Naturally, there may be a few stumbles with the new equipment. If you've had a strange phone experience with us lately that's probably why. Please let us know of any glitches you encounter as we continue smoothing out the fine points. 5. Watch Out for the New Worm: Update Your Windows There's a nasty new virus-carrying worm on the Internet called Conficker. It's hitting Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. This one has a twist: the worms are designed to be symptom-free for now (though some may notice computer slowness or other quirks) but are set to be activated by commands from the Web at a later date. In other words, a ticking time bomb -- and experts don't know what it's going to do. Your job is to make sure your Windows operating system has all its updates installed, especially the latest patch, which can be downloaded free: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS08-067.mspx If you think you might be infected, there are recovery procedures here: http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Entry.aspx?Name=Win32/Conficker If you'd like Cruzio to check your computer, remember we do 15-minute diagnoses free of charge. If you'd like us to update your software or clean up any viruses, we are happy to do it for a reasonable fee. Please make an appointment for diagnosis and/or treatment at: https://quartz.cruzio.com/signup/index.php?formname=ccs.html Remember that an unguarded computer in virus season can have a 90% chance of being infected with a virus within 10 minutes of connecting to the Internet. Be sure to protect your computer with antivirus software and take care when clicking on links in email or plugging in USB accessories. Contact Cruzio for any assistance you need -- we are computer security experts and we're here to help you. 6. New President and New Technology First sign that the new president is tech savvy: the Blackberry on his belt. A second indicator is the new White House website that came up at 12:01 pm the day of the inauguration: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ The new site contains detailed descriptions of platforms and plans. And get this: it is even Web 2.0, which means that it's a participative community site. There's a blog on the front page and you can sign up as a "participant" (so Web 2.0!) with the new administration. To sign up, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/opl/ We'll soon be seeing changes to actual policies that will guide our nation's technical life. Cruzio has been outspoken in the last several years: in the area of telecommunications, we support more transparency; regulation where appropriate; fewer giveaways to lobbyist and their mega-corporations; net neutrality and privacy protection. 7. Looking Back at 2008: Cruzio's Accomplishments * Email. Mailbox sizes for cruzio.com tripled in 2008 as step one of our massive email upgrade plan. Step two was revamping members' extra mailboxes for better performance. It's all about scalability (on a massive scale), speed, and getting rid of spam -- the three S's. * Cruzio.com. We'd already updated our members' web tools in 2006. In 2008 we used those tools to create a new version of our own website. Cruzio now publishes more and better information about our community (Santa Cruz County) including surf reports, up-to-the-minute traffic, restaurants and reviews, and a comprehensive listing of what's happening in town. Better yet, cruzio.com is now a publishing platform for members who aren't yet ready to set up their own site. You can publish your own business listing, blogs, photos, restaurant reviews and publicize an event -- with just a couple of button clicks. After we updated the site, readership shot up. We recommend makeovers like this every now and then for your site, too. * Bandwidth. Cruzio added another 50% to the bandwidth for our DSL customers to fill the ever-growing need for data. Hello, YouTube. * Classes: Hundreds of students learned how to set up and market new websites. Check out Cruzio students' work at http://cruzio.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=886&Itemid=232 8. Looking Forward to 2009: Plans * Continue with email improvements. We're planning to vastly expand your email storage capacity (see item #2 above). It will be dramatic and it will be soon. * Bring low-cost, extremely high speed Internet to Santa Cruz County. We are aiming to start at five times the current maximum. When you have a lot of data, you need to move it fast. And new innovations tend to use more data. * Get more members involved in publishing their creative and journalistic work online. We have a creative community -- it's a great time to help people be productive. * Expand our online help forums so we can all benefit from each other's expertise. Do you have ideas for Cruzio service in the coming year? Let us know by clicking "Suggestion Box" at the bottom of every page in our website: http://cruzio.com 9. Upcoming Classes Some excellent classes coming up in the next few months -- have a look at how to improve your Web and Internet expertise. Cruzio One on One: Come into Cruzio's downtown Santa Cruz classroom for a solo session with our knowledgeable teaching staff. You can ask all the specific questions that have been puzzling you, remove obstacles, and get help planning your next moves. Offered every Wednesday afternoon Plan Your Web Presence: A free class to help you chart your course. What do you really need to publish on the Web and publicize your work? Ask questions, hear excellent advice, save time and money. Thursday February 5 12:00-1:15PM Tuesday March 3 12:00-1:15PM One Day and One Night Website: Our most popular class. Kick start your website with up-to-date technology and a snazzy look-and-feel that's easy to maintain: Tuesday February 10 5:00-8:00PM Saturday February 28 9:00AM-12:00PM Tuesday March 10 5:00-8:00PM Thursday March 26 9:00AM-12:00PM Search Engine Optimization Secrets: You've got a site. How do you get viewers? The most effective (and inexpensive!) method is to raise your placement in the search engines. Thursday February 26 9:00-11:00AM Tuesday March 31 5:30-7:30PM Internet 101: For those who struggle to get their computer to do what they want, an intro to the Internet. Thursday February 12 9:00-11:00AM Thursday March 12 9:00-11:00AM Start Making Money Online: The greatest thing since sliced bread is making money while you sleep. The Internet runs your store for you with Cruzio's shopping cart program. Tuesday February 17 5:30-7:30PM 10. Cruzio Members Come Through for Local Charities In 2008, thanks to Cruzio members and staff, we were able to send a record (for us) contribution to Second Harvest Food Bank to feed the hungry people in our area. It benefits our entire community to help the neediest, most of whom are families who've fallen on hard times. We also thank you on behalf of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, which dodged a budgetary bullet and will survive to produce more of their high-quality plays. There are so many ways to support our community: Buy local. Help those in need. Participate and donate to local art and culture. Not only can we each do our part -- we can also help and encourage each other. 11. 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 459-6301 or email email@example.com. 12. Get Cruzio Credit with 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. 13. 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. 14. How to Reach Cruzio (Dial-in or Tech Support) To reach the Cruzio Information Center, for online technical and sales information: http://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 the left side of the page: http://cruzio.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=183 or call Cruzio toll free, 1.800.303.3302 If you've got a problem, but can still surf the Web: Most questions are answered in Cruzio's Support Forum at http://cruzio.com/support 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. 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 Member services contact form: http://cruzio.com/index.php?option=com_contact&task=view&contact_id=6&Itemid=310 Support Contact Form: http://cruzio.com/index.php?option=com_contact&task=view&contact_id=5&Itemid=312 Or leave a message for us in the forums: http://cruzio.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=183 Cruzio's location: Santa Cruz: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Cruzio's hours: Sales hours: 10 am-6 pm, Mon to Fri; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday Technical support: 8 am to 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, Jake, Shawn, Zachary, Carlos, another Jake, Sandi, Amber and McKinley; Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) And welcome to our new fabulous interns: Ryan, Hai and Rebecca. Congratulations, President Obama. Grandma reads aloud about a hotel from our guidebook. "'Each room is furnished with Swedish antiques and reproductions.' What does that mean, kids?" she asks. "Don't even think about touching the furniture" suggests Annika, age 13. "Don't sit on the chairs." says Jake, age 16. "Stay outside as much as possible," pipes in Carly, age 11, "or on the floor, unless there are nice rugs."