Updated: 13 July 2011
Chebucto turned 17!
Chebucto Community Net, the oldest running Internet Service Provider in
Nova Scotia and the second oldest Community Net in Canada, turned 17 on
June 24th. A party was held at the Spencer House Seniors Centre and a
diverse crowd of members and volunteers came out for the fun.
With refreshments generously donated and prepared by members of Chebucto
Community Net's Board of Directors, guests attending represented
Chebucto's origins, our kind hosts at the Dalhousie University Department of
Mathematics and Statistics, individual users, long time Information
Providers, long time volunteers, and assorted well-wishers from Halifax's
networking community so conversation was everywhere and a good time was
had by all.
Maintaining a community net in today's cut-throat commercial Internet
Provider climate is no easy task; in 1997 there were enough community nets
in Nova Scotia to hold a conference with representatives from all regions
of the province. Today, Chebucto Community Net is the sole survivor, one
of only a dozen or so community nets left in Canada.
Chebucto Community Net has helped tens of thousands of people and their
families get online, provided web access to hundreds of community groups
and small businesses and was the first online home for most of Halifax's
major institutions including the City of Halifax, the Public Library
System and Metro Transit, where a volunteer-built database provided
accurate route information years in advance of Go-Time.
A lot of people both in public view and behind the scenes have kept
Chebucto Community Net working to provide access to those people left
behind by the ever-growing Digital Divide over the years. We celebrate
their - and all of our - achievements and look forward to the future.
New mail servers see light of day!
Presenting what will soon be Chebucto's new twin mail servers. With
powerful Intel Core i7 CPUs and a whopping 24 GB of highspeed RAM each
and 12 two terabyte hard drives between them, these mail servers will be
armed for bear. Now awaiting cases and power supplies, these servers when
put in place will replace Chebucto's now aging mail server and offer hot
fail-over so should one server lock up or become unavailable, the other
will seamlessly take over serving user mail with no interruptions in
service. Mail service will also get a significant bump in speed as each of
these mail servers have a lot more system resources than the present mail
Chebucto gets IPv6 addresses
Thanks to its membership in ACORN-NS, Chebucto Community Net has been given its
own range of IPv6 addresses to work with. Chebucto's range is
2001:410:a002::/48 a block containing over 35 trillion network addresses.
By comparison, Chebucto's previous IPv4 block contained about 250
The traditional Internet uses the IPv4 protocol for all computers to
communicate. In recent years the number of available IPv4 addresses has
dropped as more and more computers have connected to the Internet. The
solution is called IPv6, which has many, many more addresses. As time goes
by, more and more of the Internet will move to the IPv6 protocol.
Chebucto plans to start using the IPv6 addresses in the near future, a
change that should be completely transparent to end users.
Chebucto now on Twitter
As you can see from the top of the live News page, Chebucto has joined
Twitter and entered the age of Social Media. The Twitter feed is a way to
communicate news and points of interest to a wide audience in a timely
fashion as well as
giving Chebucto a way to reach members at those very rare times when
Chebucto web services aren't available.
The Twitter feed to bookmark is:
Wireless service news
At the present time the Chebucto Wireless service is offline. The new
transmitter location on the roof of Dalhousie residence Gerard Hall has
been set, worker insurance has been purchased, and worker fall safety
training has been completed. Additional worker certification is still
required at this time. Additional equipment including a new wireless
spectrum analyzer and wireless nodes has been purchased and is being
Signal tests done recently show a large increase in wireless access points
in the immediate vicinity of Gerard Hall, with more than 79 access points
visible using the 11 available wireless channels. With such strong
frequency contention, the range of any individual wireless access point is
very limited and our testing is showing us that we are going to have to
look at using different equipment than we have been testing up to now.
Also, the six year old Chebucto laptop computer burst into flames during
our onsite wireless testing and needs to be replaced when available funds
Late in 2009 members of the Chebucto Board made a presentation on the
wireless service to the residents of Joe Howe Manor, a residence for
fixed-income seniors. Since then Chebucto has been repeatedly turned down
for grant applications to help fund the project and suffered setback
after setback during equipment testing.
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.
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
Email client: Mozilla Thunderbird free from Mozilla.com
All-in-one web browser, email client,
web page editor: Mozilla
SeaMonkey free from
Free anti-virus programs for home users
- Microsoft Security Essentials: available for free from
For Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
(Requires Windows Validation, i.e. legal copy of Windows)
(Note that both of the following free anti-virus
programs also have paid versions which offer additional features):
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware free and paid versions from
- Microsoft Windows Defender free for Windows XP from Microsoft.com
(Requires Windows Validation, i.e. legal copy of Windows XP)
- Spybot: Search & Destroy free from Safer-networking.org
FTP and SFTP Software: FileZilla free Client Version from Filezilla-project.org
RSS Newsfeed Reader: RSSOwl free from
SSH Client: Putty free from
Security Tools and Software:
Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)
- Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)
Microsoft Sysinternals free suite of tools from
Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) free from Secunia
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 3 installed and Windows Vista 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.
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