Updated: 19 August 2008
Main server problems
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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.com
Current version for Windows 2000, XP, Vista: 3.01
Current version for Windows 98, ME, and later:
Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from Mozilla.com
Current version: 188.8.131.52.
All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla
SeaMonkey free from
Current version: 1.1.11.
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