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

Updated: 13 July 2011

Chebucto turned 17!

[Photo: CCN 17th Birthday Party 2011] Chebucto Community Net, the oldest running Internet Service Provider in Nova Scotia and the second oldest Community Net in Canada, turned 17 on June 24th. A party was held at the Spencer House Seniors Centre and a diverse crowd of members and volunteers came out for the fun.

[Photo: CCN 17th Birthday Party 2011 cake] With refreshments generously donated and prepared by members of Chebucto Community Net's Board of Directors, guests attending represented Chebucto's origins, our kind hosts at the Dalhousie University Department of Mathematics and Statistics, individual users, long time Information Providers, long time volunteers, and assorted well-wishers from Halifax's networking community so conversation was everywhere and a good time was had by all.

Maintaining a community net in today's cut-throat commercial Internet Provider climate is no easy task; in 1997 there were enough community nets in Nova Scotia to hold a conference with representatives from all regions of the province. Today, Chebucto Community Net is the sole survivor, one of only a dozen or so community nets left in Canada.

Chebucto Community Net has helped tens of thousands of people and their families get online, provided web access to hundreds of community groups and small businesses and was the first online home for most of Halifax's major institutions including the City of Halifax, the Public Library System and Metro Transit, where a volunteer-built database provided accurate route information years in advance of Go-Time.

A lot of people both in public view and behind the scenes have kept Chebucto Community Net working to provide access to those people left behind by the ever-growing Digital Divide over the years. We celebrate their - and all of our - achievements and look forward to the future.

New mail servers see light of day!

[Photo: Twin motherboards for mail servers] Presenting what will soon be Chebucto's new twin mail servers. With powerful Intel Core i7 CPUs and a whopping 24 GB of highspeed RAM each and 12 two terabyte hard drives between them, these mail servers will be armed for bear. Now awaiting cases and power supplies, these servers when put in place will replace Chebucto's now aging mail server and offer hot fail-over so should one server lock up or become unavailable, the other will seamlessly take over serving user mail with no interruptions in service. Mail service will also get a significant bump in speed as each of these mail servers have a lot more system resources than the present mail system.

Chebucto gets IPv6 addresses

Thanks to its membership in ACORN-NS, Chebucto Community Net has been given its own range of IPv6 addresses to work with. Chebucto's range is 2001:410:a002::/48 a block containing over 35 trillion network addresses. By comparison, Chebucto's previous IPv4 block contained about 250 available addresses.

The traditional Internet uses the IPv4 protocol for all computers to communicate. In recent years the number of available IPv4 addresses has dropped as more and more computers have connected to the Internet. The solution is called IPv6, which has many, many more addresses. As time goes by, more and more of the Internet will move to the IPv6 protocol.

Chebucto plans to start using the IPv6 addresses in the near future, a change that should be completely transparent to end users.

Chebucto now on Twitter

As you can see from the top of the live News page, Chebucto has joined Twitter and entered the age of Social Media. The Twitter feed is a way to communicate news and points of interest to a wide audience in a timely fashion as well as giving Chebucto a way to reach members at those very rare times when Chebucto web services aren't available.

The Twitter feed to bookmark is:

Wireless service news

Logo: Chebucto Wireless
At the present time the Chebucto Wireless service is offline. The new transmitter location on the roof of Dalhousie residence Gerard Hall has been set, worker insurance has been purchased, and worker fall safety training has been completed. Additional worker certification is still required at this time. Additional equipment including a new wireless spectrum analyzer and wireless nodes has been purchased and is being tested.

Signal tests done recently show a large increase in wireless access points in the immediate vicinity of Gerard Hall, with more than 79 access points visible using the 11 available wireless channels. With such strong frequency contention, the range of any individual wireless access point is very limited and our testing is showing us that we are going to have to look at using different equipment than we have been testing up to now. Also, the six year old Chebucto laptop computer burst into flames during our onsite wireless testing and needs to be replaced when available funds allow.

Late in 2009 members of the Chebucto Board made a presentation on the wireless service to the residents of Joe Howe Manor, a residence for fixed-income seniors. Since then Chebucto has been repeatedly turned down for grant applications to help fund the project and suffered setback after setback during equipment testing.

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.

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: 5.0.1.

Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from
Current version: 5.0.

All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla SeaMonkey
free from
Current version: 2.2.

Free anti-virus programs for home users

  • Microsoft Security Essentials: available for free from
    For Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
    (Requires Windows Validation, i.e. legal copy of Windows)

(Note that both of the following free anti-virus programs also have paid versions which offer additional features):

Anti-Spyware Software:

  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware free and paid versions from
  • Microsoft Windows Defender free for Windows XP from
    (Requires Windows Validation, i.e. legal copy of Windows XP)
  • Spybot: Search & Destroy free from

FTP and SFTP Software: FileZilla free Client Version from

RSS Newsfeed Reader: RSSOwl free from RSSOwl.Org

SSH Client: Putty free from Simon Tatham

Security Tools and Software:

  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) free from
  • Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)
    free from
  • Microsoft Sysinternals free suite of tools from
  • Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) free from Secunia

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 3 installed and Windows Vista 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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