Updated: 17 December
Spam doubles again!
While ice storms rage outside, inside a steadily increasing volume of junk
email keeps flooding Chebucto mail servers. Incoming spam (unsolicited
commercial ad) email has more than doubled since August 2007. Chebucto's
mail system is laboring under the heavy load but is still keeping ahead of
the spam, now comprising an incredible 99% of all incoming mail.
Unfortunately there are no signs that this hurricane of garbage will slow
down any time soon. The spam, coming from an ever-growing network or
botnet of hijacked home and business computers on high speed connections,
doubled last year and the year before and now has doubled again.
Users on high speed connections should make sure their Windows Operating
System software is up-to-date, have an up-to-date antivirus program, and
are recommended to use a router between their computer and their high
speed connection as a firewall. It should go without saying that under no
circumstances should anyone ever buy something from a spammer or send
money to a spammer, but clearly enough people do to keep the whole
criminal enterprise in action. Users at home or at business on a high
speed connection who think their computer has become slower should
download fresh antivirus software and use it to scan the entire contents
of the computer.
Chebucto Wireless update!
Software for the nodes of the Chebucto Wireless service has had a major
redesign over the last couple of months. The new software design uses
software virtual machines for additional node system control and
stability. There has been a lot of work put into stabilizing the hardware
and software so the final nodes require the minimum of ongoing
The main transmitter for the Chebucto Wireless service has been
broadcasting the free local access service from the top of Fenwick Place
on a test basis for the last couple of months. This test signal is not
representative of the final Chebucto Wireless service, where users would
be connecting to close-by wireless nodes on the ground rather than long
distance to the Fenwick Place roof.
The first area to have access to the Chebucto Wireless service is in
South-end Halifax just to the North of Fenwick Place, an area roughly
bordered by Morris Street, South Park Street, Clyde Street and Queen
Street. People with wireless 802.11g network adaptors living in the area
should look for the Chebucto Wireless SSID. Full network access will not
be available while equipment is being tested and reception areas are
In recent onsite tests
of the transmitting equipment a clear high speed internet connection was
made over 510 metres away from the rooftop Fenwick Place transmitter with
an ordinary laptop computer with no external antenna.
The Chebucto Community Net plans to bring non-profit high-speed Internet
to the metro Halifax area by building a mesh network of wireless
nodes hosted by users themselves.
Chebucto Wireless would offer free public access to local metro and
government websites and full Internet access to Chebucto Plus level
memberships, currently $100 per year for individuals.
The areas to be served by the new wireless access will be determined by
the residents of metro themselves.
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
Chebucto's project was the cover
story of The Coast's August 3, 2006 issue. It was
first announced to members at the Annual General Meeting this past
Mousepad finds new homes!
Chebucto Community Net's computer advice column The
Mousepad has found a new real world home in local newspapers
Bedford-Sackville Weekly News, Dartmouth-Cole Harbour Weekly
News and Halifax West-Clayton Park Weekly News. Appearing every
two weeks, subject to space limitations, The Mousepad offers a mix of
answers to user computer questions
and how-to columns for computer users looking to broaden their
The Mousepad was started in January 2003 by Mark Alberstat and was
published in the Sunday Chronicle Herald until August 2007.
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 services maintenance window
The Chebucto Technical Committee wishes to advise Chebucto users of
upcoming regularly scheduled planned maintenance downtimes. Chebucto
Community Net services may be unavailable between 3:30 AM and
4:30 AM Tuesdays to allow for system upgrades. Some or all Chebucto
services may go down with minimum or no warning during this maintenance
window as systems are shut down and restarted.
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
Web browser: Mozilla Firefox free from Mozilla.org
Current version: 18.104.22.168.
Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from Mozilla.org
Current version: 22.214.171.124.
All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla
SeaMonkey free from
Current version: 1.1.7.
free and paid versions from Lavasoft.de
A-Squared free and paid versions from
Spybot: Search & Destroy free from Safer-networking.org
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 from FileZilla.SourceForge.net
RSS Newsfeed Reader: RSSOwl free from
SSH Client: Putty free from
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
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!
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.
Go to the Beacon
Go to the Services