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Updated: 21 July 2003

Message Of The Day Chebucto News Archive

Slow server troubles continue

A temporary emergency replacement hard drive is still on Chebucto's main server 'halifax' and is needing to be reset every few seconds, causing delays with everything from web page loading to logging on to Chebucto's text service and retrieving mail. Twice this past week Technical Committee members Johnathan Thibodeau and Jeff Warnica and Technical Committee Chair Ed Dyer have worked right through the night to try and install the new server grade hard drive, but without success. The hard drive replacement is a complicated process: after days of gradually copying over files from the slow hard drive to the new hard drive, the system needs to be taken down while the two hard drives are completely synched up so all files are identical. Only then can the new hard drive be installed.

For some as-yet unknown reason, the new hard drive is not being recognized correctly by Chebucto's server. A second server on loan from Dalhousie University's Department of Mathematics and Statistics has been set up so the new hard drive can be investigated. This new server is a more powerful dual processor model capable of running a 64 bit Operating System and is being considered as a replacement for 'halifax'. In one scenario, the new server could become the new 'halifax' in as little as a week. It is planned that Chebucto will be using redundant hard drives (where all data is written to two or more hard drives simultaneously) in the new server.

All other Chebucto services not dependent on 'halifax' including Chebucto Plus dialup access are running normally.

Webcam moved to East side of Fenwick Place

[Photo: Top of Fenwick - click to see larger photo]   The famous Chebucto Community Net webcam has moved from pointing towards Point Pleasant Park and the mouth of Halifax Harbour to looking East towards George's Island and Eastern Passage. Andrew Wright, shown here working on adjusting the web camera, and Johnathan Thibodeau have taken fall safety training for working in high places. The webcam has been in place for three years, and has proven to be one of the more popular sites on the Chebucto Community Net website. At its peak during the Tall Ships 2000 event, there were several million visitors a day but since then the webcam site has stabilized at around 3,000 - 5,000 visitors a day.

Cool new Chebucto hats available!

[Photo: New Chebucto hat - click to see larger photo]   Just in time for summer, we now have available 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.

Spam, full inboxes cause load problems

A dramatic increase in spam targetting Chebucto users and full user mailboxes are causing high system loads on the main Chebucto server. While most users are taking advantage of Chebucto's spam filtering capabilities to filter out the unwanted junk mail, Chebucto's mail server is still having to process an ever-increasing amount of it to remove it from the system. Compounding the problem is a large number of users with over-flowed mailboxes, which means that new mail coming in for them is put in a queue for three days, trying every few minutes to be delivered. The Chebucto Technical committee is aware of the problem and are working on solutions.

According to internet sources and confirmed by our own counts, spam, which is the term for unsolicited commercial email, is now making up more than half of all email. The amount of rubbish mail has been skyrocketing over the last year and a half. Almost all internet providers have had to put in mail filters of one sort or another but this is an ongoing war as spammers craft their unwanted messages to slip past filters with an ever-increasing variety of tricks. Internet providers have to upgrade their filters frequently to combat this but the spammers keep coming back with smarter spam.

Chebucto Newspaper Column Give-aways!

[Photo: New Chebucto Mousepad] Chebucto's Mousepad newspaper column, written by Chebucto Board member Mark Alberstat with occasional help from some fellow Chebucto volunteers, is being well received and a third free mousepad for a column idea has been sent out. The column is published every second week in the Sunday Chronicle Herald. The Mousepad focuses on computers and internet technologies and how they can be used by people for an almost infinite variety of purposes. People can write in questions to the column and if they are used they will get a cool new Chebucto Community Net mousepad. Email questions to the Mousepad at

Chebucto mousepads may be purchased from the Chebucto Office for $10 each or mailed out for $15 each. Contact to order.

Alert: Windows updates important!

We advise all of our users with computers running Microsoft Windows (all versions) to keep updated with the latest security updates from Microsoft. There are major security holes in the Microsoft Windows Operating System, Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser and Microsoft's Outlook Express email program which can be fixed with software patches from Microsoft's own Windows Update site.

Unpatched versions of these Microsoft products are vulnerable to many viruses, worms, trojan programs and exploits where hostile users can get access to your computer and files. Users are advised to keep current with Service Packs and Critical Updates for Microsoft products.

Chebucto Users still tops in *.NS.CA SETI processing

SETI, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, has been processing their radio telescope data with home users' computers for years now. Using an innovative screensaver which runs whenever the user computer is not in use, SETI has had more than 1,545,000 years of high quality computer processor time donated to it.

Of all the computer domains ending in the letters NS.CA, denoting Nova Scotia, now ranks number one, producing more than double the results of both the government of Nova Scotia and the vast resources of EdNet, the schools network combined. Current stats here. Chebucto users have sent in more than 22,000 results, representing more than 45 years of CPU time that would otherwise have been wasted.

SETI is about to enter a new phase, targetting the top 200 candidate signals for direct observation using the full resources of the world's largest radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Outlook user email advisory

After the continuing wave of viruses specifically targetting users of 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.

Windows Users can find a selection of email programs available for download here and Macintosh users can find a selection of email programs here.



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