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Daily Service Bulletin (M.O.T.D.) Chebucto News Archive Permalink

Updated: 18 October 2008

Chebucto Plus membership fees increase Nov. 1

Chair of the Chebucto Community Net Bernie Hart has sent a letter to members notifying them of a fee increase of $25 for all Chebucto Plus-level memberships effective November 1, 2008.

New membership fees

Chebucto Plus (Individual)..........................................$125.00 per year

Chebucto Plus Family.................................................$165.00 per year

Non-Profit Premium (Organization)...........................$150.00 per year

For-Profit Premium (Business)..................................$200.00 per year

Family Sustaining (legacy, no longer offered)..........$225.00 per year

Chebucto Wireless Node Hosts will now pay $75 per year with $150 deposit on equipment. Node Host memberships have to be approved in advance by the Chebucto Office.

The fee increases come at a time when new membership signups are at an all-time low while many existing members are closing their accounts to move to commercial highspeed services. Chebucto Community Net receives no funding other than membership fees and tax-deductible donations. The quality of Chebucto services has done nothing but improve with less resources to work with each year for the past several years now. The irony of the situation is that while the need for Chebucto Community Net services is on the rise, as prices go up and the purchasing power of those on fixed incomes erodes, the lack of resources for public relations means that many of these individuals, families and community groups have no idea that Chebucto Community Net even exists.

Generous corporate donation!

Chebucto Community Net wishes to express its gratitude to Nova Scotia Power, an Emera Company, for their generous donation of $1000 through their Good Neighbour Volunteers' Fund. We greatly appreciate this support from this community-minded business!

Halifax media mostly ignores
Chebucto Wireless press release

Logo: Chebucto Wireless
One month after Chebucto Community Net went public with news about our Chebucto Wireless community-run non-profit highspeed Internet access going live with this press release, there has been no interest from any local media outlet other than the three free weekly newspapers that carry Chebucto's Mousepad newspaper column. Copies of the press release were sent to all local area newspapers, TV and radio stations and magazines.

That Nova Scotia's oldest running Internet Service Provider has successfully developed, tested and has in active operation a new kind of non-profit highspeed service unlike anything being run anywhere else, run by the community itself with its own resources, bringing free access to local and government web-based resources and a third, more inclusive Internet option in a two-provider town is not news is fairly astonishing on the face of it, but that's what has happened.

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 across Canada.

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. This rate is set to rise $25 November 1, 2008, see story above.

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 here.

System upgrades!

Compliments on the improvements to Chebucto's Webmail service have been continuing to come in. The Webmail software was upgraded and the service moved to its own dedicated server. Chebucto's Webmail supports full secure encryption and includes office tools and a file manager program for uploading and managing files on Chebucto's server.

Users of Chebucto's text-based interface now have an extra service, activated this past week. In the text-based PINE email, selecting a web page address in an email will open up the Lynx text-based web browser and display the page while keeping the PINE session open in the background. When the user has finished looking at the web page, they can press "q" to quit the Lynx session and will find themselves back in PINE looking at their email.

Extra UPS (uninterruptible power supply) backup batteries have been installed for longer systems uptime during power outages. Chebucto services now have an uptime of about an hour during a total power outage, with some services able to stay online even longer than that, up from ten to fifteen minutes uptime previously.

In active development is support for SFTP encrypted file uploading and downloading. While it is possible to securely upload and download files using the File Manager in Chebucto's Webmail service, most webmasters on Chebucto use regular FTP, which sends username and password information as plain text.

Scam Alert!

Chebucto users are warned that there are email scams where users are asked for their passwords and other personal information. No matter whom the email says it is from or why they say they need the information, these emails are always a lie. Real organizations do not require you to send them confidential personal information over email. For more information on these sorts of scams, tips to help you recognize these scams and resources to help you find out more, see this Mousepad  column about spear-phishing, yet another in a long line of scams through email designed to snag the unwary.

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 Microsoft Windows.

Web browser: Mozilla Firefox free from
Current version for Windows 2000, XP, Vista: 3.0.3

Current version for Windows 98, ME, and later:
Support for Firefox 2 ends December 2008

Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from
Current version:

All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla SeaMonkey
free from
Current version: 1.1.12.

Anti-Spyware Software:

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 Client Version from

RSS Newsfeed Reader: RSSOwl free from RSSOwl.Org

SSH Client: Putty free from Simon Tatham

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 systems.

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!

[Photo: Cool Chebucto hat - click to see larger photo]   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.



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