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Updated: 28 August 2003

Message Of The Day Chebucto News Archive

New mail server helps with backlogged email

Chebucto Community Net this week set up a new mail filtering server in an effort to cope with an unprecedented increase in the volume of incoming email. This new mail filtering server means that there are now two computers devoted to nothing else except tagging spam and removing virus-infected mail before the mail is passed to Chebucto's main server. As a result of the dramatic increase in virus-infected mail caused by the W32 Sobig-F worm, Chebucto has had to change mail policy so now virus notices are no longer sent back to the sender address and the virus-cleaned previously infected mail is not passed on to Chebucto users. This is due to the fact the return address on virus infected mail is now almost always false and the messages themselves contain no useful content. Other mail systems on the internet are still sending virus notices back to these fake addresses: one Chebucto user found himself receiving more than 20,000 of these notices a day for several days because his address had been a popular choice for the virus to use as a return address.

There is a backlog of mail to Chebucto users from earlier this week which is being delivered as fast as Chebucto's main server can process it. Many users have overfull mail boxes from large amounts of incoming mail and this is slowing down the mail system further as all new incoming mail for these users is added to the already oversize mail delivery queue. Other systems on the internet are also experiencing this increase of mail volume and delays in mail transmission are not uncommon.

Chebucto's recent mail system problems have underscored the need to upgrade Chebucto's aging main server. Plans are to do this as soon as possible with a powerful dual processor system currently on loan to Chebucto from Dalhousie University's Department of Math and Statistics.

July 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]   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.

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 fourth 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 strongly 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 1,593,000 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 22,700 results, representing more than 46 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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