Calgary Community Network Association CCNA News!
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Vol. 1, No. 10,
December 1, 1999


*PAT Power

Ed Kuntz is setting up new graphical PAT sites at the Golden Age Club, the Schizophrenia Society, and Millican-Ogden Family Resource Centre. The Golden Age Club will use a member line on the basis that our members lines are not extremely busy during weekdays, when the Golden Age Club would be active. The Schizophrenia Society will be using the phone line and modem from the CUPs location. The Millican-Ogden Family Resource Centre will be using the router that was freed up when we moved all our Calgary Public Library (CPL) location PATs to the 4th floor.

According to Shirley Barwise, to date we currently have a total of 36 free Public Access Terminals, text base and grahical browsers in:
* W.R. Castell Cental CPL branch
* Kerby Senior Centre
* Calgary Native Friendship Centre
* Old Y Building (housing non-profit organizations)
* CUPS (Calgary Urban Project Society)
* Chinese Christian Mission Centre
These terminals handle on average 1300 logon sessions per week. Shirley is in the process of training two potential volunteers to manage the CPL PATs a couple of nights per week, with the ultimate goal of keeping the terminals open four nights vis-a-vis two. The CPL PATs are now open Sunday afternoons.



Test Your Y2K Compatibility

Industry Canada has provided Free Y2K Software on CDRom. This Free software, called
Check 2000, will:
    Test the BIOS (your computer's basic input/output system which sets the date and time necessary to run applications used for accounting, spreadsheets, inventory, scheduling and payroll). After checking the BIOS the software will tell you whether your PC will continue to set the date and time accurately beyond January 1, 2000.
    Analyze software program - Every software application treats date-dependent data a little differently. Check 2000 will inventory your aplication programs based on the 27,000 programs listed in its database, and will tell you which ones are most at risk.
    Check the operating system - the active, 32-bit Windows operating system of your PC (Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0 allows you to run software applications. Check 2000 will identify any 2-digit settings and recommend any changes you need to make.
A CD can be picked up at our office in the W.R. Castell Library, 4th floor (SW corner). Contact the CCNA Office for details.

*What's Going On?
Word From the Board

Grants

In response to CCNA grant applications, Volnet (Industry Canada) and the Office of Learning Technologies (The Department of Human Resources, Government of Canada) have requested more information about the Calgary Community Network Association.

Shirley Barwise and Ed Kuntz met with representives of the Housing Registry Network of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, Volunteer Calgary, and the Calgary Foundation. The Calgary Foundation people toured our office/PAT area at the Calgary Public Library.

Corporate Donations

A corporate donations policy is in the works where donations will be recognized by how much is given to the CCNA. The proposed policy has donors recognized as Gold, Bronze or Silver donators. Donators will receive charitable tax receipts and have the company's name noted on our website on an ongoing rotating business for one year after the date their donation is received. Announcements will also be posted in our office and in the CCNA newsletter. Details of the new policy to be announced.

UCCI Energy Corporation has donated seven 486 computers (minus monitors). These computers are in excellent working condition. Also, the City of Calgary has graciously given the CCNA 14 Compaq 50 MHz computers and 23 Windows '95 licenses.

Secondary Domain Name Server

Don Ingram has built, configured and put into use a Linux box to act as a secondary domain name server. The CCNA can now host Information Provider web sites with their own domain names.

New Treasurer

The CCNA's new Treasurer is John Matayas. Welcome aboard, John!



Y2K, Other Potential Disasters, and the CCNA*

As January 1st approaches, everyone is probably learning that the Year 2000 (Y2K) bug is not a concern for MacIntosh users or for programs that are not time dependent. The Y2K problem has been described as a managerial problem and not a technological problem since managers have known that the technology to fix Y2K has existed for some time.

We can take a glimpse into the near future, by looking at past trends with other similar computer bugs. We can look at what resulted on January 9, 1999, April 9, 1999, September 9, 1999, and August 22, 1999. *These dates marked a crucial turning point for some computers, and the fact that no major disasters occurred may be a testament to good management.

One way computers calculate time is by using the total number of days. On the 9th day (January 9th) and the 99th day (April 9) of the 99th year (1999) the computer sums the time as "0999" and "9999". This time matches a program code which the computer reads as "end of input."

A second way to calculate time is to determine the day, month, and year. September 9, 1999 was a turning point for computers using Cobalt programs having a "9999" code embedded to stop the program.

One other potential disaster to consider is the Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS is a satellite-based system that allows consumers who use electronic receivers to determine their location and receive timing information. Recreational boaters and pilots, hikers, campers, hunters, and fishermen are among the consumers who rely on GPS receivers. The military and businesses also use GPS.

* The GPS rollover occurs every 1,024 weeks resulting about once every 20 years. The GPS system calculates time by counting the number of weeks since Jan. 6, 1980 -- up to a maximum of 1,024 weeks. At midnight between Aug. 21-22, 1999 Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) (which is 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) the GPS week "counter" rolled over to zero weeks. After Aug. 22, receivers that were not built to standards would have processed satellite data incorrectly and displayed inaccurate information.

To manage these problems, three days earlier, on Aug. 19, new information tables were uploaded to the GPS satellites. These tables, known as almanacs, contained information that allowed GPS receivers to predict which satellites were in view at an estimated time and location. GPS receivers that were not compliant with the current standards may have experienced malfunctions when using the new almanacs.

Since these potential disasters came and went with hardly a sound, it's very likely the world will probably survive the Y2K disruption with no ill effects. CCNA users can also rest comfortably knowing that Y2K is not a concern for the network. Our system administrator, Don Ingram, reassures us of this. Alan MacDonald has confirmed this saying, "The CCNA operates under UNIX on an IBM RS 6000 machine. All [of the] UofC machines central computers (incl. the CCNA machine) have been declared Y2K compliant."

* However, for survivalists hankering for a disaster, there's always the question of communication satellites surviving solar storms. Currently, solar flares are nearing the peak of their eleven year cycle.

Y2K Information on the Web:



Keep the Calgary Community Network Association viable
-- please donate generously.



Calgary Community-Net Membership Discounts!!

* Practicar Systems Inc. and the 100 Rent-A-Wreck Franchises across Canada are pleased to offer the CAR CLUB PROGRAM as a free benefit for members of the Calgary Community Network Association.

Visit the

Members Discount

page!



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Did You Know?

IS YOUR PC PERFORMING AT ITS BEST?
Turn on WinTune 98 and test your PC live online and compare its performance to hundreds of other systems.

Y2K COMPATIBLE?
Check your computer's Y2K compatibility from home. Download for free Internet 2000's Y2K Tester software.


* * * Input

So how are we doing? What would you like to see in your newsletter? What would you like to know? What would you like to share? This is your spot. Drop us a line at: ccnanews@calcna.ab.ca

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In the next issue:
  • The Computer -- Past / Present / Future
  • Freebies
  • The Spirit of Giving

Coming December 15, 1999




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The CCNA Newsletter Committee is:
Heather Richards, Peter Williams and Wanda Martin
Join us!
Email us at:
ccnanews@calcna.ab.ca


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