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Updated: 4 August 2003

Message Of The Day Chebucto News Archive

New membership records broken!

Chebucto Commmunity Net membership figures set new records in July, according to the Chebucto office. There were 63 new Chebucto Plus accounts, beating the previous record of 51 set in January 2000. This year to date there have been 268 new accounts, as compared to 205 new accounts for all of 2002. Chebucto Plus has set new high records for six of the seven months this year so far since the upgrade to 56 K service. As well, 88% of last July's accounts have renewed, the best July total since 1997.

Membership gains in the Chebucto Plus service have come in large part from the closing of Dalhousie University's own dialup modem service. Dalhousie recommended the Chebucto Community Net to their users and many of them have become new Chebucto members. We welcome these new members and invite them to tell their friends about the Chebucto Community Net.

Webcam moved to East side of Fenwick Place

[Photo: Top of Fenwick - click to see larger photo]   The famous Chebucto Community Net webcam has moved from pointing towards Point Pleasant Park and the mouth of Halifax Harbour to looking East towards George's Island and Eastern Passage. Andrew Wright, shown here working on adjusting the web camera, and Johnathan Thibodeau have taken fall safety training for working in high places. The webcam has been in place for three years, and has proven to be one of the more popular sites on the Chebucto Community Net website. At its peak during the Tall Ships 2000 event, there were several million visitors a day but since then the webcam site has stabilized at around 3,000 - 5,000 visitors a day.

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.

System problems fixed, load problems continue

After a third all-night session, members of the Chebucto Technical Committee were able to successfully install a new warranty-replacement hard drive to Chebucto's main server and remove the malfunctioning temporary hard drive that had been causing slow responses to everything from text service logins to users accessing their email for the past four weeks. With the replacement drive in place, Chebucto services are restored to where they were prior to the original June 21 hard drive failure.

Some high system load problems continue, due largely to a dramatic increase in spam targetting Chebucto users. 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.

The best solution at this point is a new, more powerful server to replace the current one. The Dalhousie Department of Mathematics and Statistics has loaned Chebucto such a server and Technical Committee members have been working on the new server for the past two weeks, configuring it and working on ways to make the server transfer as efficient as possible. Plans are for the new server to have redundant hard drives so the failure of one drive would not cause an extended loss of service.

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 1,562,000 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 22,300 results, representing more than 45 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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