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Updated: 12 July 2003

Message Of The Day Chebucto News Archive

Slow server troubles soon over!

There have been several developments in the ongoing slow server woes that have plagued many Chebucto services over the last ten days.

The problem has been caused by a combination of several problems; an increase in the amount of junkmail Chebucto has been receiving combined with a large mail queue and a temporary hard disk not up to the task of running user services for thousands.

The temporary hard drive was an emergency replacement for one which died June 21 and its slow response times and timeouts have been causing delays in writing new files and reading information including mail and websites. Thursday evening, July 10, Technical committee members Johnathan Thibodeau and Jeff Warnica installed the warranty replacement hard drive for the server quality hard drive which had died and it began to copy over information from the slow drive, a bit at a time so as not to add to its already slow response times. The current plan is to finish this drive cloning Sunday, July 13 then remove the slow drive, which should then have Chebucto back up to full running capacity again.

In another development Thursday, July 3, the Chebucto Board of Directors agreed to purchase a replacement machine for Chebucto's main server 'halifax'. At this time several different servers are being considered but the upshot no matter which is purchased is that all Chebucto services currently running on 'halifax' including user mail and websites would see a dramatic increase in speed on the new server.

Cool new Chebucto hats available!

[Photo: New Chebucto hat - click to see larger photo]   Just in time for summer, we now have available excellent quality Chebucto Community Net hats. Click on photo to see larger version. These fashionable stone coloured washed cotton Chino twill hats are low fitting with adjustable strap and antique silver ring buckle for a perfect fit and are embroidered with the Chebucto Community Net logo and web address. Machine washable and drip dry with a pre curved peak, this hat will provide years of comfortable wear as well as showing your support for Halifax's own one-of-a-kind independent Community Net.

You can get your very own Chebucto Community Net hat from the Chebucto office for $20 or we can mail it out to you for an additional $10.

Spam, full inboxes cause load problems

A dramatic increase in spam targetting Chebucto users and full user mailboxes are causing high system loads on the main Chebucto server. While most users are taking advantage of Chebucto's spam filtering capabilities to filter out the unwanted junk mail, Chebucto's mail server is still having to process an ever-increasing amount of it to remove it from the system. Compounding the problem is a large number of users with over-flowed mailboxes, which means that new mail coming in for them is put in a queue for three days, trying every few minutes to be delivered. The Chebucto Technical committee is aware of the problem and are working on solutions.

According to internet sources and confirmed by our own counts, spam, which is the term for unsolicited commercial email, is now making up more than half of all email. The amount of rubbish mail has been skyrocketing over the last year and a half. Almost all internet providers have had to put in mail filters of one sort or another but this is an ongoing war as spammers craft their unwanted messages to slip past filters with an ever-increasing variety of tricks. Internet providers have to upgrade their filters frequently to combat this but the spammers keep coming back with smarter spam.

Chebucto Newspaper Column Give-aways!

[Photo: New Chebucto Mousepad] Chebucto's Mousepad newspaper column, written by Chebucto Board member Mark Alberstat with occasional help from some fellow Chebucto volunteers, is being well received and a third free mousepad for a column idea has been sent out. The column is published every second week in the Sunday Chronicle Herald. The Mousepad focuses on computers and internet technologies and how they can be used by people for an almost infinite variety of purposes. People can write in questions to the column and if they are used they will get a cool new Chebucto Community Net mousepad. Email questions to the Mousepad at

Chebucto mousepads may be purchased from the Chebucto Office for $10 each or mailed out for $15 each. Contact to order.

Alert: Windows updates important!

We advise all of our users with computers running Microsoft Windows (all versions) to keep updated with the latest security updates from Microsoft. There are major security holes in the Microsoft Windows Operating System, Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser and Microsoft's Outlook Express email program which can be fixed with software patches from Microsoft's own Windows Update site.

Unpatched versions of these Microsoft products are vulnerable to many viruses, worms, trojan programs and exploits where hostile users can get access to your computer and files. Users are advised to keep current with Service Packs and Critical Updates for Microsoft products.

Chebucto Users still tops in *.NS.CA SETI processing

SETI, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, has been processing their radio telescope data with home users' computers for years now. Using an innovative screensaver which runs whenever the user computer is not in use, SETI has had more than 1,533,000 years of high quality computer processor time donated to it.

Of all the computer domains ending in the letters NS.CA, denoting Nova Scotia, now ranks number one, producing more than double the results of both the government of Nova Scotia and the vast resources of EdNet, the schools network combined. Current stats here. Chebucto users have sent in more than 21,800 results, representing more than 44 years of CPU time that would otherwise have been wasted.

SETI is about to enter a new phase, targetting the top 200 candidate signals for direct observation using the full resources of the world's largest radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Outlook user email advisory

After the continuing wave of viruses specifically targetting users of Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express email programs, and the constant stream of user complaints about randomly altered program settings and difficulty using the program, the Chebucto Community Net Office and the Chebucto Technical Committee recommend our users do not use either Outlook or Outlook Express as their email program.

Windows Users can find a selection of email programs available for download here and Macintosh users can find a selection of email programs here.



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