CCN Userhelp FAQ


          Here are three commonly asked questions to CCN's Userhelp, in no particular order.


          I've been getting harassing mail, what do I do?

          Harassing mail can come in three basic forms:

    1. Unsolicited commercial email a.k.a. spam
    2. Personally harassing mail from a Chebucto user
    3. Personally harassing mail from another system

          The first type is easy. Delete it. Do not reply to it even if it tells you to in order to remove yourself from its mailing list. As Chebucto spam-fighter Norman De Forest says, Rule #1 is that spammers lie and Rule #2 is that if in doubt, see Rule #1. Replying to a spam letter only confirms to a spammer that your email address is a valid one and it can then be sold to other spammers for a higher price meaning that you will end up getting more spam. Chebucto does have a spam filter in place, but spammers are always finding new ways around such filters so it is a constant struggle for us to keep ahead of the latest dodges. Suffice to say that we would all be inundated by unwanted ads without this filter.

          Alternately, you can take up arms and fight the spammers. You can get more information on this from Norman's Anti-Spam Page.

          For the second kind of harassing mail - personally harassing mail from a fellow CCN user - again it is best to ignore it; more often than not it is a one-shot deal. If, on the other hand, the mail is clearly in violation of the Chebucto User Agreement, then you can complain to the CCN Policy Committee at and they will look into the matter.

          For the third type of harassing mail - personally harassing mail which originates from another Internet Service Provider (i.e. not Chebucto), the first part of the advice remains the same - it is often best simply to ignore it. Do not complain to Chebucto about it, there is nothing we can do.

          You can complain to the originating system's postmaster, but first you will have to do a bit of work on your own. As you may be aware, every email contains information in its headers not usually visible which is critical to identifying the sender. If you make a complaint to the postmaster, usually with the address: postmaster@XXXXXX where XXXXXX is the address of the originating system (e.g., or, you must forward them the offending email with its full headers. In PINE, the CCN mail program, you will have to set this up yourself.

          First, go into PINE. Once there, press "m" (without the quotes) for Menu. Press "s" (without the quotes) for Setup, then "c" (without the quotes) for Configure. You will now see a screen full of options. Scroll down until you see:

                    [ ]  enable-full-header-cmd

highlight it with your cursor and type in "x" (without the quotes). Hit "e" (without the quotes) to Exit the configuration menu and "y" (without the quotes) for Yes to Commit changes and save the new setting. When you return to the Menu, highlight the Folder List and hit Enter then highlight INBOX and hit Enter. Now, when you press "h" (without the quotes) you turn the full Header display on and off.

          To forward this letter with its full headers, turn the Header display on, highlight the letter in the index and press "f" for forward. You will be asked if you want to forward the message as an attachment. Say no and you will be in the familiar email compose editor with the offending email and its full headers already in place. Put in the relevant postmaster address and in the body of the letter add any other pertinent information about the letter or its sender and send it as you would an ordinary email.

          Some system postmasters are more diligent than others and this is just a fact of life on the Internet. A good postmaster will send you a reply telling what action they have taken within a few days.

          If the email contained a physical threat, you should contact the police. Criminal Harassment and Uttering Threats are in violation of Section 264 and 264.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada, available online on the Justice Department's web site.


          Is the TIN newsreader coming back?

          The current plan is to return TIN to service but the all-volunteer tech team has been up to their eyeballs with other more critical projects. In the meantime, PINE can be configured to read newsgroups.

          When the system was upgraded several months ago, the Operating System on the machines was changed so we could not continue to use the old version of TIN. The upgrade version that runs on our current Operating System has bugs and needs to be configured and fixed and no one has had the time to do it. So be patient.


          I have had trouble getting connected, what's going on?

          A big part of the problem is our modems are getting old. They have been running without a break connecting users to Chebucto for almost five years now. Some of these modems may never have been turned off since 1994. The tech team is busy working on this problem and we are in the process of purchasing some new modems. Now would be a good time to mention how important your paid membership with Chebucto is....


You may direct comments or suggestions about this column to:

Andrew D. Wright,

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