Welcome to the Actrix Newsletter October 1999

This newsletter has been produced to help you get the most out of the Internet and to keep you, as an Actrix customer, informed of developments and services within the company.
Questions and comments can be emailed to editor@actrix.co.nz


Actrix, Y2K and You

At Actrix we take the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem very seriously. As New Zealand's first and foremost Internet Service Provider we embrace our responsibility to be well-prepared for any Y2K related eventuality, and secondly to do all that we can to see that our customers are "armed and ready" now and into the new millenium.

To this end, at Actrix we have been reviewing all our systems and services, including those of our suppliers. We are continuing to check and monitor, but we are pleased to announce that so far we are up to date and 100% Y2K compliant.

We are living in a technological age where the supply of goods and services is more reliant on inter-related computerisation than most of us realise, but if every supplier does their bit towards Y2K preparedness, it is most probable that new year problems will be minimal or non-existent.

But just what is the Y2K bug, and how can Actrix help you to be sure that you are ready and undisturbed come the year 2000?

In a very small nutshell, the problem is related to your computer's "BIOS" which is the program its processor uses to initiate your system at start-up and to manage data flow between your operating system (e.g. Windows) and your hardware. Ultimately, your PC software depends on your BIOS for its system date. If your BIOS reads the year "00" as being "1900," which is what the older computers tend to do, then problems may arise in the new year when your computer refuses to do anything until it can sort out the dating problem, which, of course, it will not be able to manage on its own.


What do you need to do?

Basically you need to:

  • Determine whether or not your BIOS is Y2K compatible.
  • If necessary, patch/upgrade your BIOS, or install some program that will load into your computer's memory at start-up and enable it to read the date correctly after the year 2000.


How can Actrix help?

We've done our homework. We're not going to promise you that determining and fixing your BIOS (if need be) won't be a little tricky, but we have made things as easy as we can for you. We have been collecting information from various sources and writing our own to help. You are invited to visit our year 2000 Project pages at

http://www.actrix.co.nz/y2k/index.html

where you can access and download a free program that will test your BIOS.

Our pages give you step by step instructions on how to:

Important Customer News

Helpdesk Hours Extended
Our helpdesk is now open longer:
Mon-Fri: 24 hours;
Weekends: 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Our helpdesk staff endeavour to respond to all telephone calls and emails promptly and professionally.

Email the helpdesk: support@actrix.co.nz.
Phone the helpdesk on 0800ACTRIX (0800-228749)

Would You Benefit by Upgrading Your Plan?

You can contact Actrix to upgrade your plan at any time. Upgrades take effect at the beginning of your next billing month.

At Actrix we have been working hard to bring internet access to New Zealanders as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. As a result, our plans have become more economical over time.

Customers on our older volume-based or freemail accounts may especially benefit by changing to one of our newer time-based or flat rate dialup plans. Please consult the Actrix homepage (www.actrix.co.nz) or contact the helpdesk if you would like more information about the newer accounts or upgrading.

Web-based Customer Services

Are you fully aware of the services we provide via our homepage?

If not, you are encouraged to pay a visit and click on Customer Services. From there you can check your email, add mailboxes to your account (if your plan allows that), set up email filters, view your acount time or volume details and more!

Internet Explorer 5 can also be downloaded from our Customer Services section, courtesy of Actrix.

Did You Know?

  • "gen" and "co" are interchangeable in your email address.
  • Actrix customers on any of our dialup plans are entitled to a specified amount of personal webspace. Contact our home page or the helpdesk for more information.
  • Unless you request otherwise, all invoices and statements are emailed to you. This allows us to streamline office procedures by cutting paperwork (probably saving a few trees per year, too) and it cuts transit time to you, the customer.


  • install and run the program,
  • deal with the results,
  • find the correct patch or upgrade,
  • install a memory-resident program if that's what you'd prefer,
  • check whether all your software is also Y2K compliant.

Further, we provide you with many links to other Y2K information found around the Internet. We can't take responsibility for everything that may be on those pages, but we believe they are helpful links nonetheless.

So please, as the new millenium rapidly approaches, take the time to visit our Year 2000 Project pages. They were written for you after all, because at Actrix, we value our customers and our community, and we take our responsibilities as your Internet Service Provider seriously.

New Improved Toll Free Plan

At Actrix we are pleased to announce that our Toll Free National Plan has been modified to bring it into line with our dial-up plans which have, until now, been restricted to customers within the main free calling areas of Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland.

If you are currently on a Toll Free National Plan, Your account will automatically be replaced with Toll Free Dial-up 1 account at the beginning of your next billing month, unless you would like to upgrade to a Toll Free Dial-up 2 account. Accordingly, the price for this service has dropped from $16.95 tp $7.95 per month for the same 15 hours. The price of extra hours has also dropped from $1.60 to $1.00 per hour. The cost of the Toll Free Dial-up 2 plan remains the same: $34.95 per month for unlimited access. Please consult the Products and Prices section of our home page, or contact the helpdesk for more information.

----------------------------
Frequently Needed Information
Actrix Office Phone Number - (04) 801-5225
Actrix Office Fax Number - (04) 801-5335
Actrix Helpdesk Phone Number - 0800-228749
Actrix Helpdesk Email - support@actrix.co.nz
Actrix Accounts Email - accounts@actrix.co.nz
Actrix Home Page - http://www.actrix.co.nz

Technical News Updates

Modem and Server Upgrades
Our Wellington firmware has recently been upgraded to enhance modem compatibility. Similar upgrades in other areas of the country are planned for the very near future.

We will also be adding to and upgrading our mail, pop, authentication and web servers over the coming months. Each, of course, will continue to be on a failsafe system where, if one fails, another will be available to take the load.

Similarly, our essential services are all mirrored between Wellington and Auckland to ensure full and timely disaster recovery.

Added Lines
Lines have been added in Wellington and Auckland to keep pace with increasing demands. We do our utmost to see that you never get a busy signal.

Second International Circuit
This month, Actrix will be adding a new and independent international circuit. This is of benefit firstly by increasing our total international bandwidth, and secondly by acting as a backup in case of technical failure at an international level.