Updated: 20 August 2008
Main server stable, mail backlog shrinking
A CPU overheating problem with Chebucto's main server appears to have been
resolved with some re-routed ductwork carrying refrigerated air directly
to the two CPUs. The main server, which sorts mail, controls user mail
access, and hosts most of the Chebucto Community Net website, has been in
stable use since 2003. Since last weekend it had been shutting down
unexpectedly, with each reboot taking up to three hours to check and
correct hard disk errors before users could login. No ready cause for the
shutdowns could be found and staff and volunteers have been working around
the clock, swapping out hardware, trying to diagnose the cause of
A backlog of email, 1.35 million messages at its peak early Tuesday
evening (August 19, 2008), representing around one day's volume of email,
is being delivered as fast as it can be processed. At the same time, a
rise in incoming spam mail, a "spam storm", means more new mail for the
mail scanning servers to tag and the main server to have to deliver. At
current processing rates it is estimated all queued mail should be
delivered by some time Thursday morning (August 21).
The main server was upgraded in early July with two new faster CPUs and
more memory. While it is currently running stable, plans are to replace it
with a more powerful 4 CPU Enterprise-class server sometime in the near
UPDATE: 8 PM, August 20, 2008: The mail queue has now dropped to
just over 800,000 messages, or about 60% of a normal day's mail. Today
around 1.4 days worth of mail has been processed so far - the mail
processing needing to keep up with today's "spam storm" surge of junk
mail as well as process the queued mail.
Chebucto Wireless update!
Chebucto Wireless is online.
Hardware to construct wireless nodes is on order and a number of node host
candidates will be contacted in the next few weeks about becoming live
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. 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 now brings non-profit high-speed Internet
to the metro Halifax area with a mesh network of wireless
nodes hosted by users themselves.
Chebucto Wireless offers 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. There's a map here.
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
Mousepad celebrates 5th year!
Chebucto Community Net's computer advice column The
Mousepad celebrated its fifth anniversary in January. There have been
130 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 for Windows 2000, XP, Vista: 3.01
Current version for Windows 98, ME, and later:
Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from Mozilla.com
Current version: 220.127.116.11.
All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla
SeaMonkey free from
Current version: 1.1.11.
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