Updated: 18 October 2008
Chebucto Plus membership fees increase Nov. 1
Chair of the Chebucto Community Net Bernie Hart has sent a
letter to members
notifying them of a fee increase of $25 for all Chebucto Plus-level
memberships effective November 1, 2008.
New membership fees
Non-Profit Premium (Organization)...........................$150.00
For-Profit Premium (Business)..................................$200.00 per
Family Sustaining (legacy, no longer offered)..........$225.00 per
Chebucto Wireless Node Hosts will now pay $75 per year with $150 deposit
on equipment. Node Host memberships have to be approved in advance by
the Chebucto Office.
The fee increases come at a time when new membership signups are at an
all-time low while many existing members are closing their accounts to
move to commercial highspeed services. Chebucto Community Net receives no
funding other than membership fees and tax-deductible donations. The
quality of Chebucto services has done nothing but improve with less
resources to work with each year for the past several years now. The irony
of the situation is that while the need for Chebucto Community Net
services is on the rise, as prices go up and the purchasing power of those
on fixed incomes erodes, the lack of resources for public relations
means that many of these individuals, families and community groups have
no idea that Chebucto Community Net even exists.
Generous corporate donation!
Chebucto Community Net wishes to express its gratitude to Nova Scotia
Company, for their generous donation of $1000 through their Good Neighbour
Volunteers' Fund. We greatly appreciate this support from this
Halifax media mostly ignores
One month after Chebucto Community Net went public with news about our Chebucto Wireless community-run
non-profit highspeed Internet access going live with this press
release, there has been no interest from any local media outlet other
than the three free weekly newspapers that carry Chebucto's Mousepad
newspaper column. Copies of the press release were sent to all local area
newspapers, TV and radio stations and magazines.
That Nova Scotia's oldest running Internet Service Provider has
successfully developed, tested and has in active operation a new kind of
non-profit highspeed service unlike anything being run anywhere else, run
by the community itself with its own resources, bringing free access to
local and government web-based resources and a third, more inclusive
Internet option in a two-provider town is not news is fairly astonishing
on the face of it, but that's what has happened.
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. This rate is set to
rise $25 November 1, 2008, see story above.
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
Compliments on the improvements to Chebucto's Webmail service have been
continuing to come in. The Webmail software was upgraded and the service
moved to its own dedicated server. Chebucto's Webmail supports full secure
encryption and includes office tools and a file manager program for
uploading and managing files on Chebucto's server.
Users of Chebucto's text-based interface now have an extra service,
activated this past week. In the text-based PINE email, selecting a web
page address in an email will open up the Lynx text-based web browser and
display the page while keeping the PINE session open in the background.
When the user has finished looking at the web page, they can press "q" to
quit the Lynx session and will find themselves back in PINE looking at
Extra UPS (uninterruptible power supply) backup batteries have been
installed for longer systems uptime during power outages. Chebucto
have an uptime of about an hour during a total power outage, with some
services able to stay online even longer than that, up from ten to fifteen
minutes uptime previously.
In active development is support for SFTP encrypted file uploading and
downloading. While it is possible to securely upload and download files
using the File Manager in Chebucto's Webmail service, most webmasters on
Chebucto use regular FTP, which sends username and password information as
Chebucto users are warned that there are email scams where users are asked
for their passwords and other personal information. No matter whom the
email says it is from or why they say they need the information, these
emails are always a lie. Real organizations do not require you to send
them confidential personal information over email. For more information on
these sorts of scams, tips to help you recognize these scams and resources
to help you find out more, see this Mousepad
column about spear-phishing, yet another in a long line of
scams through email designed to snag the unwary.
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: 3.0.3
Current version for Windows 98, ME, and later: 220.127.116.11.
Support for Firefox 2 ends December 2008
Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from Mozilla.com
Current version: 18.104.22.168.
All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla
SeaMonkey free from
Current version: 1.1.12.
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 Client Version 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