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November 20, 2001

The recent severe storms have affected the quality of the telephone service between Cardiff and Newcastle, and as a result our network is unable to make a 56k ('fast') network connection to OzEmail and the rest of the Internet. Until Telstra fixes the problem, the speed of our out-going modem connection will have to run at 'slow' (33.6 kbps) ... This will unfortunately make web browsing rather sluggish for the next few days. (If anyone needs to set their own modems to go slow, and are brave enough to hack their modem initalisation strings, you can do that by disabling the 'k56flex' or 'V.90' protcols; the webpage at lists what the "AT" commands are to do that.)

November 07, 2001

There were several electrical failures that took down the network, and anyone who was connected to a modem, between 7 and 7.30pm this evening. Carolyn and I were able to trace the fault to a faulty power supply plugpack. (This plugpack is now in the bin!)

August 12, 2001

Photos taken by Chris Baird at the APANA® 2001 AGM yesterday in Sydney can be viewed at

August 12, 2001

Following my election as the Treasurer for APANA® Inc. yesterday, I have resigned (as required by APANA's rules) from the positions of Regional Co-ordinator and Managment Committee Representative for the Hunter Region. Until my successor/s has been appointed by the Regional CommitteePeter Longworth, our Deputy Regional Co-ordinator will assume these roles. I will still be here taking care of the physical netowrk and all members are welcome to continue paying their fees in person to me if they so wish.

June 18, 2001

The network will be going down at 2pm today (Monday, 18th) for about half an hour to correct a household wiring problem.

May 15, 2001

We are currently experiencing problems with our Ozemail link. I have contacted them regarding the problem and they have advised that it should be fixed shortly.

May 09, 2001

Members can now check the mail in their Hunter mailbox via a webpage and if they choose download it later or delete it there. This will allow members to identify mail with attachments that may contain viruses or to check their mail while away from their own computer more easily. A link has been placed for this 'webPOP' on the Local Links webpage.

May 01, 2001

The upgrading of our Ozemail/UUNet link to 56K on April 20th was accomplished without incident. Since then the improvement in the operation of the network has been significant to the point where the backup link to Dingoblue is only needed during peak periods. This has worked in well as the 'reasonable use limitations' came into full effect today. The RC has decided that for a trial period the dingoblue connection will only be up from 6pm to Midnight every day with our main link handling all the proxied traffic during other times. This trial period will continue until it can be determined how much is being downloaded over that link during that period. Session lengths may be lengthened or multiple sessions per day implemented for that link if it appears that its usage will fall below the 1.5GB per month limit. Conversely if it appears that the usage will go beyond that figure then session lengths may be shortened and if that limit is reached that link will stay offline for the remainder of the month.

April 10, 2001

On Friday 13th from 10am the network will be down for major upgrading by the Admin Team. It is expected that this will take a number of hours as the main target is to upgrade Giles to a Pentium and with the use of the 32-port card have ALL the modems connected to it. So NO-ONE will be able to connect to any machine on the network until giles has been properly configured. So please don't frustrate yourself by trying to connect before 4pm (at least) on 'Good Friday'.

April 10, 2001

This morning at 12.20am a power disruption caused all the machines to crash and all the modems to go offline. The machines automatically rebooted themselves without any problems but most of the modems stayed offline until I was able to manually reset them around 7am.

April 02, 2001

Dingoblue has introduced a 'Reasonable Use Statement' that may limit the amount of downloads and time online per month of our proxied link. This may mean that access to that link may have to be restricted for some hours of the day, for particular purposes and/or individual limits placed on members' usage of that link. All regional members are asked to self-limit their use of the proxy until the status of that link can be determined.

March 22, 2001

The next meeting of Hunter's Regional Committee will be held at Carolyn's place (21 Reservoir Road, Glendale) at 2pm on Sunday March 25th, 2001. All members or prospective members of the region wishing to attend will be welcomed. A fix-it session will be held after the meeting and some downtime may result if any work needs to be done to the hub (highly likely).

March 17, 2001

An overload on one of the powerboards caused most of the modems to disconnect at around 12:20pm today. If anyone knows an electrician willing to make a customised powerboard for us at a reasonable price, please contact Carolyn.

February 07, 2001

Telstra has repaired 5 of our dialin lines and the rotary is now working again. The technician's report will state that the street cable needs replacing, but it hasn't been yet. So any member who experiences a disconnection is asked to notify me of it immediately so that a fault report can be lodged and that line repaired without delay. The more times they get called out to do repairs the more likely the cable will be replaced.

February 06, 2001

The Telstra technician has been and checked the lines from inside the house. He's confirmed that the problem is 50 metres away - that's the distance to where the cable was cut previously. Unfortunately he advised that it won't be able to be fixed until it stops raining, but said if it's fine tomorrow morning then the repair crew should be here first thing.

February 06, 2001

I had a call from Telstra and they are sending someone out to physically exam and fix the line. They said "hopefully soon'". In the meantime we've disabled the noisiest lines and turned the modems off. From what I've deduced so far the following lines seem to allowing short connects but for how long is anyone's guess with the current weather situation:

4954 7301
4954 7360
4954 7391
4954 7861

4954 7214 was the only line that tested OK. It's the first line on the rotary dialin so members are requested to please limit the amount of time they are connected to this line to give other members who haven't been able to connect and don't know what is happening at least the chance to connect and pick up their mail so they can find out what is going on.

ttyC2 and ttyC3 are the only modems that connects can be made to from the main rotary dialin number so members who have already received this message are requested not to use 4954 8168, 4954 7214 or 4954 7301 on subsequent connects until the problem is resolved. You can check to see which modem you are currently connected to using the first link on the 'System Status' webpage.

February 06, 2001

Telstra has advised that the problem is between here and the exchange. Still no word as to how long it will take them to fix it though.

February 06, 2001

I remembered a comment this morning made by the Telstra technician when he was here to install our last lot of phone lines which I think is the most probably cause of all our problems since the heavy rain we had last week.

Two years ago some of you may remember, the street's phone cable was severed by a guy on a ride-on mower 3 doors up from me. Telstra came and they advised me that they had replaced that cable. However what the latest Telstra technician told me was that they hadn't - they had just spliced it together - that 'spliced cable' is directly over a drain. So perhaps there have not been any modem failures at all and all the problems we've experienced recently have been caused by water getting into the 'spliced connection'.

I've just rang Telstra to advise them of this and to get them to check all the lines.

February 05, 2001

The 4th line on the dialins is dialtone whatsoever. I've reported it to Telstra but until it's fixed the rotary won't work so you'll need to dialin direct to one of the following numbers to make a connect. 4954 7214 4954 7301 4954 7360 4954 7391 4954 7861 4954 7851

January 28, 2001

Our Ozemail link is currently down and we are unable to make a connect due to modem failure at their end. It may take some time for them to rectify it. In the meantime Gav has organised for all services (apart from incoming mail and news) to be handled by our Dingoblue link. If that link seems a little sluggish then that is the reason. There will be no new mail until our Ozemail connection is back up.

January 11, 2001

I've finally changed the CDs in the drives. You will find a link to them from 'Local FTP'.