Category Archives: System Notes

5 Alternatives to SwapShop and Craigslist (Classifieds)

For a few years, the Naples Free-Net has hosted a Swap-shop online, where Southwest Florida residents were able to post wanted/sell ads online. With the arrival of Craigslist in Southwest Florida the NFN Swapshop was hardly used and we only had about 1 new ad per month posted over last two years. So it was time to discontinue the service and we shut it down per September 30, 2014.

The largest online classified sites is Craigslist Southwest Florida, but we also found a few more sites, some of them much more modern and optimized for mobile consumption.

We scouted around the Internet and found a few more.

  1. eBay Classifieds 
  2. Oodle
  3. Pawngo
  4. Poshmark
  5. SnobSwap

If you have a favorite classified sites that’s not listed, feel free to let us know about it in the comment section below.

Important Updates for our DSL Users

This message was sent out Monday, May 5, 2014 by Roger Kastel, NFNPresident

To provide better support to our current NFN DSL users, Network Tallahassee (NetTally)  – our current whole-sale partner, will take over existing NFN DSL operations effective with the June, 2014 monthly dsl billing period. All billing and support for dsl will be done by Network Tallahassee rather than NFN DSL. This change will NOT affect members who are using DIAL UP services or other Internet Service Providers for their connections (for example, Comcast, Century Link, Nu-Vu/Summit Broadband, etc.).

This change applies only to our current NFN DSL high speed Internet users and they will be given a toll-free number to call for support or billing questions. If you are uncertain whether this change applies to you, please call the Helpdesk at 417-1400 between 9:30am -1:30pm Mon-Sat with your username and a volunteer will look up your account and confirm whether this applies to you.

DSL operations have become increasingly more complex over the years as changes in technology have increased Internet options and Internet-enabled devices. Our all-volunteer staff has decreased in size over the years as volunteers age, move away, or leave for personal reasons. Members currently using NFN DSL will be better served with direct technical support from Network Tallahassee (Nettally) who offers support during their business hours of 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Eastern time and on a callback basis at other times.

Active NFN DSL users will transition over to Nettally at their existing rates but will need to provide Nettally with billing information. This protects you by ensuring that you are the one providing information directly to Nettally. More information will be sent directly to all active NFN DSL users in a separate e-mail from NFN DSL Administration and active NFN DSL users will have until the end of May to provide Nettally with their information.

Active NFN DSL users who do not provide Nettally with their information will be suspended from NFN DSL on May 31, 2014 and will be required to contact Nettally directly after that date for re-instatement which may cause a delay in their re-activation. Seasonal NFN DSL users who are currently suspended need not do anything until they wish to re-activate. Information will be posted at

The Naples Free-Net continues to expand their offerings to members through Education, One-on-One Tutoring, NFN4Good for Non-Profits, Tuesday Tuneups, and E-mail Services. Memberships include premium accounts for a $68 annual tax-deductible donation as well as standard nfn numbered e-mails for which any voluntary contribution is appreciated. We appreciate the many loyal members we have and thank you for your continued support as we seek to serve you in the best way possible.

Roger Kastel
President, Naples Free-Net

NFN users and NFN4Good site owners secure from Heartbleed bug on Open SSL

The good news first, our system administrator , Warren Anderson, reported earlier: “

Warren Anderson Presidents Award 2014“The “Heartbleed” bug affects OpenSSL versions 1.01 and 1.02. Naples Free-Net does not use the affected software. External tests have shown that we are not vulnerable.”

In other words, NFN users information is securely stored and was not exposed.

Mashable posted: The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

Thank you to Steve Hart, who allowed us to use his article, published this morning on Relevanza.

Heartbleed bug on OpenSSL is an open wound

You’ve no doubt read about the Heartbleed bug that could affect websites using OpenSSL encryption for secure services – like financial transactions.

There is certainly no shortage of posts about the bug and it presents potential danger for some websites. An estimate published by ARStechnica suggests approximately 600,000 of a reported 28 million servers and other devices responding to a SSL connection request remained vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. That estimate was made April 8th and at the time it was suggested a third of all servers had received a security patch to fix the vulnerability.

Other estimates suggest two-thirds of all servers dependent on OpenSSL have the potential to be affected.

OpenSSL is an open-source system of software networks which works to encrypt just over half of all websites which need secure connections to do business. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and if your website URL adds an “s” to the http preface on the URL – https – you are probably using OpenSSL.

HeartbleedThe Heartbleed bug, as it’s come to be called, is a recently discovered vulnerability in the software that could allow hackers to access sensitive, important encrypted information such as passwords or, even, credit card numbers on the way from your computer to the web site using the data. There is currently no way to know if any particular site has been exploited because of the flaw but companies are moving very quickly to make patches and mend the flaw.

There are at least two sites (probably others) website users can go to check a site for vulnerabilities. One site is was set up by the security firm, LastPass. Another site was set up by Filippo Valsorda, Twitter and GitHub and can be found here.

Links reading more:

Photo: The Mothership by Trey Ratcliff,

Learning Programming Languages

Earlier this week we notified our members and the public of our new initiative, one-on-one tutoring sessions. It triggered an interest and George Santos, program manager, takes care of them. One member has had more in-depth tutoring needs. He asked:

“What about writing real code (eg, C++, Python, Javascript, Java)?”

Any computer science program at local universities will cover an array of programming languages. And there are quite a few online learning sites. They offer more problem oriented coding tutorials and are free of charge or a very reasonable priced. All courses are conducted online with coursework published on web pages and in videos, and contain in addition tests, code review and provde a community forum to connect with professors and fellow students.
Make not mistakes: Online courses require a certain amount of self-discipline, curiosity, patience and perseverance, all traits of an aspiring software engineer.



Make Use Of, one of my favorite technology sites, published a while ago the article:  3 Websites To Get Started With Learning C++ 

The Tech Shell provided in a slighly more recent article: 4 Best Sites To Learn C and C+

This should get people started, that would go more hard core on the learning path.

If you, dear reader know of any additional sites and resources, please post them in the comment section.

Photo: Chicago by Trey Ratcliff, Stuck In Customs