Updated: 18 February
Chebucto Wireless update!
Development continues on Chebucto's wireless node software. Stability of
the wireless nodes continues to be an issue and the software is undergoing
yet another re-design. Tests of the new software design will take place
Development of the Chebucto Wireless project has been slow. There have
been physical stability issues with donated hardware, driver issues with
wireless network cards working under Linux, temperature issues with
transmitter hardware and much general bug-fixing. There has been a lot of
progress made however and in developer Johnathan Thibodeau's words, "We
are closer than ever before to the finished product".
The Chebucto Wireless project is an ambitious design to bring secure
low-cost high-speed wireless internet access to Metro residents. There
has been interest in the project from community nets and other groups
There has been zero development money from any outside source and all work
on the wireless project has been in addition to the regular technical
maintenance that Chebucto requires to keep operating.
The Chebucto Community Net plans to bring non-profit high-speed Internet
to the metro Halifax area by building a mesh network of wireless
nodes hosted by users themselves.
Chebucto Wireless would offer free public access to local metro and
government websites and full Internet access to Chebucto Plus level
memberships, currently $100 per year for individuals.
The areas to be served by the new wireless access will be determined by
the residents of metro themselves.
Chebucto is looking for residents able to host wireless nodes, the
cornerstone of the network, and when we get enough nodes in a
neighbourhood, we can look at bringing network access where it is needed.
A node sign-up form is online
Chebucto Board news
The Chebucto Community Net Board of Directors has had two members resign.
New Board member Matthew Newton, who was appointed to the Board after
last year's Annual General Meeting to
complete the second year of resigned Board member Tom Daly's two year term
tendered his resignation at the beginning of February 2008.
Long-time Chebucto volunteer and Board member Ed Dyer has resigned from
his multiple posts as Vice-Chair of the Board effective May 2008, as
Chair of the Technical Committee and as Chebucto Postmaster. He was
elected to the Board for his fourth consecutive two year term at the April
2007 Annual General Meeting. Long-time Chebucto volunteer and technical
staff Johnathan Thibodeau will be taking over the Technical Committee
Chair and sharing Postmaster duties with Andrew D. Wright.
Ed Dyer, one of the last three original Chebucto volunteers still actively
involved with the running of the community net was recognized several
times over the years for his volunteer efforts with Chebucto. He will be
very sorely missed and we all wish him the very best for the future.
High spam volumes continue
Spam levels remain high two months after the Christmas season peak. The
amount of spam (unsolicited commercial email) doubled between August and
December 2007. Currently more than 710,000 messages are being received
each day, with between one and three per cent being legitimate mail.
Chebucto's mail filtering servers have been keeping up with the
ongoing flood of junk mail, which has caused higher than normal system
loads and congested mailing lists, creating added work to administer them.
The spam, coming from an ever-growing network or
botnet of hijacked home and business computers on high speed connections,
doubled last year and the year before.
Users on high speed connections should make sure their Windows Operating
System software is up-to-date, have an up-to-date antivirus program, and
are recommended to use a router between their computer and their high
speed connection as a firewall. It should go without saying that under no
circumstances should anyone ever buy something from a spammer or send
money to a spammer, but clearly enough people do to keep the whole
criminal enterprise in action. Users at home or at business on a high
speed connection who think their computer has become slower should
download fresh antivirus software and use it to scan the entire contents
of the computer.
Mousepad celebrates 5th year!
Chebucto Community Net's computer advice column The
Mousepad celebrated its fifth anniversary in January. There have been
125 Mousepad columns written since the first column was published in the
Sunday Herald in January 2003. Originally written by Mark
Alberstat, since June 2006 it has been written by Andrew D. Wright. The
is currently published in local newspapers
Bedford-Sackville Weekly News, Dartmouth-Cole Harbour Weekly
News and Halifax West-Clayton Park Weekly News. Appearing every
two weeks, subject to space limitations, The Mousepad offers a mix of
answers to user computer questions
and how-to columns for computer users looking to broaden their
Help promote Chebucto!
We need your help. We invite our members and supporters to
help promote the Chebucto Community Net in the community by printing
off and distributing Chebucto brochures and posters from our website.
Chebucto Community Net RSS how-to guide
Chebucto Community Net has posted a guide on how to use our RSS
news feed here:
Our RSS feed is our way of letting people know fast about important
software updates and security alerts as well as new developments at
Chebucto. Stay informed with the news as soon as we have it ourselves with
our RSS news feed.
Updated - Recommended software list
With the recent interest in Internet security and the rise in various
exploits meant to take over user machines, the Chebucto Office has
compiled this list of recommended software for user computers running
Web browser: Mozilla Firefox free from Mozilla.com
Current version: 18.104.22.168.
Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from Mozilla.com
Current version: 22.214.171.124.
All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla
SeaMonkey free from
Current version: 1.1.8.
free and paid versions from Lavasoft.de
A-Squared free and paid versions from
Spybot: Search & Destroy free from Safer-networking.org
Free anti-virus programs for home users (Note that both of these
programs also have paid versions which offer additional features):
FTP Software: FileZilla free from FileZilla.SourceForge.net
RSS Newsfeed Reader: RSSOwl free from
SSH Client: Putty free from
The Chebucto Office does not recommend using the Internet Explorer web
browser for any use except for accessing Microsoft's own Windows Update page. The
popular web browser has been repeatedly successfully targetted by virus
writers in particular seeking to break into home computers to use them for
criminal purposes such as sending out spam, sending out viruses to break
into other computers and being used to disrupt services on other computer
After many reports
about vulnerabilities for 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.
Keeping Microsoft Windows up to date is also very important. Windows XP
users should have Service Pack 2 installed. All Microsoft Windows users
should make a point of using Internet Explorer to visit the Microsoft
Windows Update site
at least once a month and download all critical updates.
Cool Chebucto hats available!
We have available these 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.
Go to the Beacon
Go to the Services