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Members' Forum Report
Editor's Note: Due to the importance of some of the issues discussed,
the Board Notes have been cross-listed as this month's feature article.
The Board hosted a Members' Forum at the Halifax North Branch Library on
Tuesday, November 28th, attended by most of the Board of Directors and
about 50 society members. The Forum was chaired by David Trueman and Joan
The evening began with a user help session led by two of the many volunteer
trainers, Bonny Lee and Rob Currie. Members asked questions and received
assistance on a number of points. Several different people asked about the
difficulty users are experiencing connecting to certain remote systems
which presented no difficulty in the past. David Trueman explained that
the new numerical address Chebucto has is not being recognized by SprintNet
in the US. This seems to be a problem originating with the way SprintNet
is set-up but Chebucto will soon have new numbers and that should solve the
problem. David also mentioned that this had been posted to the
ccn.hot_topics newsgroup. Subscribing to this newsgroup is an excellent
way to keep up-to-date with problems and solutions specific to Chebucto!
New Network Contract
There was a brief discussion about the contract and David referred members
to the November Newsletter where there was a full report.
Domain Name Change
The time has come for Chebucto to move to its own address on the internet.
Up to this point we have shared the address of the Computing Science
department at Dalhousie (cs.dal.ca) but the university would like us to
acquire our own address. A number of possibilities were presented and
members expressed their opinions. The following were considered:
The first two were the most popular but the final decision will be made by
the registrar of domain names.
There will be lots of warning before any change and users will be informed
of the best process for them to follow to make it a smooth transition.
David Tower, the Society's Treasurer, reported on our current financial
situation. The fall off in revenue from membership renewals is creating a
major cash flow crunch.
Our cash resources come from:
Our expenditures are for:
- 46% Membership Fees
- 32% Government Grant
- 8% Corporate
- 11% Contract Work
- 22% Administrative Salaries
- 9% Development Salaries
- 24% Network Connection and Phone Lines
- 34% Hardware
Peter Henry, a member of the Board of the Society, reported on some action
the board is proposing to strengthen our membership.
Draft User/Member Policy
This passed at the last Board meeting on Nov. 13.
The intent of this resolution is to:
- Preserve the existing structure of a Community Net operated by an
- Remove some of the confusion associated with
this two tier (Metro*CAN operating Chebucto Community Net)
structure by giving them similar names.
Enhance the access to the operating society by
allowing a person to pay "the fee for one's category
or whatever one can afford", not the mandatory
fee as is now the case.
Preserve the present idea that one may be a
user without being a member.
Develop additional revenues by:
- blatantly and aggressively encouraging people
to join the OPERATING society,
requiring EVERYONE (member and users) to
re-register every year,
removing USER privileges if one does not
making it easier to pay than to decline
User/Member Policy Resolution
- The present structure of the Metro*CAN Society
and the Chebucto Community Net be maintained.
- The Metro*CAN Society be renamed The Chebucto
Community Net Society.
The membership fee in the CCN Society be
modified from the mandatory fee of $20 to "the
discretionary fee for one's category
or whatever one can afford"
Family........$40 or as much as you can afford
Individual....$20 or as much as you can afford
Student.......$12 or as much as you can afford
Unwaged.......$12 or as much as you can afford
There be no "User Fee" for the use of the
Chebucto Community Net.
A membership mechanism be put in place whereby
each member and each user is required to re-
register each year.
This mechanism would **remove** user privileges
if the user does not re-register.
This mechanism would, to the extent possible,
encourage membership in the society by making
it easier to become or remain a member than to
refuse becoming a member.
That we develop a means to accept "easy"
payment schemes such as automatic account
debit" and/or VISA and Mastercard.
Joan Macintosh, the new chair of the Resource Development Committee,
reported on a proposed Resource Development Plan:
Resource Development Plan
make paying memberships easy for people
- pre-authorized payments
- VISA and Mastercard
develop "benefits of membership" plan
- allow members to choose personalized account name, for a fee
- solicit local stores for membership benefit
- solicit membership for contributions to membership benefit plan
partnerships with local businesses
- special membership category $200/year
- decals or plaques for display: "We Support Chebucto Community Net"
- phone line sponsorship $65/month or $650/year
- page sponsorship (2nd page)
- page sponsorship (3rd page)
- green pages advertising
- sale of User Guide (link from our "boutique" to GreenPage)
- sale of t-shirts/mugs (link from our "boutique" to GreenPage)
services to users
Some suggestions that came from the meeting included:
- connection set-up support (fee for service)
Volunteers are needed to work on fund raising and are asked to get in touch
with Joan Macintosh with offers to
help and suggestions.
- sale of gift certificates
- advanced internet training at rates similiar to commercial rates
- special development for specific ip's with the ip's obtaining funding
for the development
- community fund raising events
Rationing of Phone Lines
David Trueman reported that our financial resources do not permit adding
more phone lines at this time although it is a recognized need. He
presented the following proposal to help the current situation:
Examples (actual numbers may vary):
- idle sessions get terminated
- time quota becomes time guarantee
- no session is terminated if lots of modems are available
- length of guarantee depends on proportion of modems available at login time
- timeout between sessions depends on proportion of modems available at
At 1:00 AM you login and get a time guarantee of 60 minutes. At 2:00 AM,
more than 40% of the modems are available so you get to stay on as long as you
want (at least until the next morning when modems become less available).
At 11:00 AM you login and 20% of the modems are available so you get a 60
minute guarantee. At 11:50 PM, almost all the modems are in use so you get
a 10 minute warning and get disconnected at 12:00 PM and cannot reconnect
until 12:10 PM.
At 6 PM you login and no other modems are available so you get a 30 minute
guarantee. This condition persists, so you are warned at 6:25 PM and
at 6:30 with no reconnection possible for 20 minutes.
Members were pleased at the idea of no log-outs when modems are available,
expressed support for the idea of longer timeout between sessions but some
were concerned that shorter time guarantees would limit what could be done.
David reported that off-line mail and news readers will be available soon
and will help meet these concerns.
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Month: November 1995
Month: January 1996