The Chebucto Office

One look says it all. It usually says "Is this all there is?" A couple of desks, black and white computer terminals and a mess of paper is all there is to be seen at the Chebucto office. Oh yeah, and usually either somebody on the phone or it rings shortly afterward. It is another typical day running the operational aspects of CCN.

It does get a little better than that. Tucked away in the back of the locked Dalhousie's Department of Math, Stats and Computing Science machine room, there is a Sun Sparc 20 computer (a small cream box), a couple of large capacity disk drives (even smaller cream boxes) and a whole bunch of flashing red lights from the 64 modems. It is still decidedly unimpressive.

The reason, of course, is that CCN is really run by volunteers. The office serves as the home for myself, office volunteers and temporary staff funded through contracts with other organizations (the G7 and Human Resources Development Canada, to name two).

So, what do we do at the office? It actually serves many roles. We process the paperwork to activate user accounts and bring Information Providers (IPs) on-line. We manage the cash and cheques received from memberships, donations, sales of mugs and tee-shirts, and other sources. We staff the userhelp voice support telephone line. We serve as a communication centre for Metro*CAN Society board and committee members, volunteers, users, Information Providers, and anybody else who calls or sends email to the office mailing list, office@ccn·cs·dal·ca. And, when we get the time, work on the development of Chebucto Suite, the award winning software that provides you access to the Internet.

We deal with user connection problems, quota problems, forgotten or misplaced passwords, and system failures. We figure out what went wrong when things do, how to configure communication program such-and-such on computer so-and-so, what happened when ?????. We interpret the how a user got into such a mess. We try to keep up with all the changes in HTML and the Web.

Currently, Blaine Murphy and myself are working on a Csuite Office Management Manual. Blaine is diligently preparing HTML documents describing the procedures we follow, consolidating our information on user connection problems, preparing an office orientation and training manual and testing the programs that I write to meet one of our goals for Csuite. We believe it is possible to run a Community Network completely through the WWW interface. When it does, any volunteer with a modest amount of training will be able to assist in the effort to "run the Community Net".

Chebucto Monthly Statistics.


Chebucto Connections OPERATIONS REPORT
is written by Gerard MacNeil, P.Eng. Operations Manager, CCN
who is happy to receive Questions. Comments or Suggestions.
If your browser does not support mail, write to Gerard later at aa030@ccn·cs·dal·ca.

Last Month: July 1995 Next Month: October 1995