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

Updated: 19 August 2008

[EXTRA!]
Main server problems

[Photo: Chebucto's main server.]  Chebucto staff and volunteers have worked around the clock to figure out why Chebucto's main server has mysteriously started shutting down unexpectedly. The server, which has been in flawless service since 2003, controls Chebucto email sorting and access, and hosts the majority of Chebucto's web pages. Each time the server is shutdown improperly it takes up to three hours for it to check and correct hard drive errors before users can log on to it.

In early July 2008 the main server was upgraded with more memory and two faster CPUs. There was an early problem with overheating which appeared to have been fixed by leaving the server case open and directing cold air towards it. After changing various components with spares and still seeing the mysterious shutdowns, it is now believed that the problem may be with overheating from one of the two CPUs and the main server is currently running as a single CPU machine.

User email has been stored on the three mail scanning servers while Chebucto's main server has been offline. That accumulated email is being delivered as fast as the main server can process it. Delivery of the backlogged email is expected to take more than 12 hours.

The strategy is to watch the main server closely over the next few days with an eye to replacing it with a more powerful 4 CPU server.

UPDATE 11 PM, August 19th: The main server has been set up with two CPUs again and repositioned so it gets a direct feed of cool air from one of the machine room air conditioners. The mail queue is dropping from a peak of 1.35 million messages at 8:15 PM.


Chebucto Wireless update!

Logo: Chebucto Wireless
Chebucto Wireless is online. Hardware to construct wireless nodes is on order and a number of node host candidates will be contacted in the next few weeks about becoming live nodes.

The Chebucto Wireless project is an ambitious design to bring secure low-cost high-speed wireless internet access to Metro residents. There has been interest in the project from community nets and other groups across Canada.

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.

The Chebucto Community Net now brings non-profit high-speed Internet to the metro Halifax area with a mesh network of wireless nodes hosted by users themselves.

Chebucto Wireless offers 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. There's a map here.

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 here.


Mousepad celebrates 5th year!

Chebucto Community Net's computer advice column The Mousepad celebrated its fifth anniversary in January. There have been 130 Mousepad columns written since the first column was published in the Sunday Herald in January 2003. Originally written by Mark Alberstat, since June 2006 it has been written by Andrew D. Wright. The column is currently published 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 computer horizons.


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: chebucto.ca/rss/

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 Mozilla.com
Current version for Windows 2000, XP, Vista: 3.01
Current version for Windows 98, ME, and later: 2.0.0.16.

Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from Mozilla.com
Current version: 2.0.0.16.

All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla SeaMonkey
free from Mozilla.org
Current version: 1.1.11.

Anti-Spyware Software:

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 RSSOwl.Org

SSH Client: Putty free from Simon Tatham

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 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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