Chebucto Exposed!

text by
Andrew D. Wright
Beacon Correspondent

photos by
Jeff Warnica
CCN Technical Volunteer

          Since the very first Beacon issue with its article on what exactly Chebucto was, people have been curious what it looks like. Well, your wait is over. Recently CCN-Tech started to move things around in the machine room in preparation for adding more modems to the Chebucto Plus graphical access service and CCN-Tech volunteer Jeff Warnica rented a digital camera to document the machine room layout. It looks only slightly different now; all the Chebucto Plus modems and the PortMaster are now in a separate rack.

          So here it is, in all its glory! Around 3000 people a day are logging into the Chebucto Community Net and this is what they are accessing.

[Photo of Chebucto modems and machines]

  1. This is Halifax, the main Chebucto machine. Directly below it (you can just see a bit of the top with some loose modems sitting on it) is Phoenix, which until September 1998 was the main machine. Phoenix now just handles some archiving and housekeeping matters. Beside Phoenix on the bottom shelf is the PortMaster, which administers the Chebucto Plus modems. The blue rack visible in the background to the left is the new home for the PortMaster and the Chebucto Plus modems.

  2. To the right of Halifax are some external hard drives. All the web pages and email on CCN gets stored on these and the various machines' internal drives. Some external modems share the shelf. This shelving unit started out life as a rack for holding backup tapes before being recycled as Chebucto's home.

  3. These are two sets of rack modems, each holding sixteen individual modems.

  4. These are the older individual 14,400 baud modems that the text-based Chebucto service is running on.


[Photo of SCSI terminal servers]
          Here are a couple of SCSI Terminal Servers which are hanging on the back of the shelves holding the modems. They each administer sixteen modems, simultaneously sending signals to and from each modem to Halifax, the main Chebucto machine. Behind them are the individual modems and their power bars.


[Photo of a rat's nest of cables]
          And you thought the back of your computer was intimidating. This is just below the terminal servers looking at the back of the shelves holding Halifax and Phoenix, which are just off-camera to the right of the picture. This is a mass of power cords, phone lines and SCSI cables, none of which are labelled.


[Photo of a mass of phone lines]
          The phone lines for both the Chebucto Community Net and Chebucto Plus services. Remember how much it cost to get that extension line installed in your bedroom? The lights downtown flicker when the phone company prints our bill each month.



You may direct comments or suggestions about this article to:

Andrew D. Wright,


You may direct feedback or questions about the photos to:

Jeff Warnica,


Back To The Beacon Index