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A Monthly Newsletter - January 2003

Although you may be familiar with the benefits of Secure Shell access, you may be surprised by some of the things you can do with SecureCRT®. This issue focuses on a few of the less well-known capabilities of SecureCRT.

Maintenance releases are now available for VShell 2.1.2™, SecureFX 2.1.2®, and Entunnel™ 1.0.2


1. Key Features - Doing More With SecureCRT
2. New Releases - VShell 2.1.2, SecureFX 2.1.2, Entunnel 1.0.2
3. Current Releases
4. Recommended Reading - "Slack"

1. Doing More With SecureCRT

You probably already know the value of SecureCRT for Secure Shell access. But SecureCRT is more than a command shell. While you may already be using features such as port forwarding and the VCP and Activator utilities, here are a few useful capabilities that you may not be aware of.

SSH Agent Support

SSH Agent support provides a mechanism for caching public key and passphrase information for use when authenticating to multiple SSH servers. Enable the SSH Agent by selecting "Add keys to Agent" in the "Global Options / SSH2" category. The first time you connect using a specific public-private key, you will be prompted for your passphrase. After that, authentications occur automatically until the last SecureCRT window is closed, which clears the SSH Agent cache.

SSH Agent is supported by SecureCRT, SecureFX, and Entunnel.

X11 Forwarding

X11 forwarding allows X Windows clients running on a remote SSH server to be tunneled through an encrypted SSH connection. By itself, X11 is susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks, packet analysis, and similar security threats. X11 forwarding over an SSH session ensures that your X11 traffic is encrypted, authenticated, and private.

Information on configuring and using X11 forwarding appears in the SecureCRT Help, under "Secure Connections / Port Forwarding With SSH."

Chat Window

The Chat Window in SecureCRT and CRT™ provides a type-ahead buffer at the bottom of the session window. The Chat Window is useful for issuing subsequent commands to a remote host and for sending information one line at a time to a chat server or for online games.

Enable the Chat Window by selecting "Chat Window" from the "View" menu, or set it in your "Session Options" dialog in the "Appearance / Window" category.

2. New Releases - VShell, SecureFX, and Entunnel

Maintenance releases are now available for VShell 2.1.2, SecureFX 2.1.2, and Entunnel 1.0.2.

You can download these releases at:

If you need quick access to download links for any previous official releases, go to:

Updated OpenSSH Source Code

VanDyke Software has posted an updated version of extended OpenSSH source code version 3.5p1 as a free download on our web site. These extensions support the Public Key Assistant feature in all secure VanDyke Software products, allowing end users to upload public keys to an OpenSSH server securely. To get the download today, go to:

3. Current Releases

Here are direct links to download individual products:

SecureCRT 4.0.2
CRT 4.0.2
SecureFX 2.1.2
VShell 2.1.2
Entunnel 1.0.2
AbsoluteFTP(TM) 2.0.4
OpenSSH 3.5p1 extended

All VanDyke Software products may be downloaded and evaluated at no cost for 30 days. Licenses include one year of free upgrades and access to our expert technical support.

Pass it along! If you find this monthly newsletter helpful and informative, forward it to co-workers or friends, or tell them where to sign up.

4. Recommended Reading - "Slack"

This month's pick is "Slack," by Tom DeMarco (Publisher: Broadway Books; ISBN: 0767907698; (2002)).

In Slack, Tom DeMarco argues that everybody needs to have some capacity to devote to change. Slack, he says, is time that people dedicate to rethinking how their piece of the whole works, and how it ought to work. DeMarco tackles the "myth of total efficiency" with humor and insight, pointing out that if you are 100% busy, there is no time for the necessary activities of reinvention, adaptation, and response to external events. This is not a book of one-size-fits-all prescriptions for curing organizational ills. Instead, DeMarco uses specific examples of non-slack behavior and open-ended questions that let you to consider the possibilities for your unique organization.

The second part of the book explores the notion of building risk mitigation into project planning. Having the time available to explore "what-if" scenarios during project planning is a perfect example of slack. Most project planning, DeMarco suggests, is based on the fantastic notion that everything will go according to plan. Although this is contrary to nearly everyone's experience, the practice continues, leading to continual revision and extension of many project plans. Risk aversion, rampant in hyper-efficient organizations, leads to conservative project plans that accomplish less than what the organization needs. Such under-achieving plans, he says, are designed with too much emphasis on setting goals that can be safely met and not enough on vision.

If, like many of us, you often feel that your work load is overwhelming and does not offer time to address the "what if..." questions that can lead to real improvements in your work or business, Slack offers compelling ideas to help you take a fresh look at how you do what you do.

Quote of the Month

"Slack is the time when reinventing happens. It is the time when you are not 100 percent busy doing the operational business of your firm. Slack is the time when you are 0 percent busy."
—Tom DeMarco

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VanDyke Software, CRT, SecureCRT, SecureFX, Entunnel, AbsoluteFTP, and VShell are trademarks or registered trademarks of VanDyke Software, Inc. All other products and services mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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