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A Monthly Newsletter – December 2006

So the weather outside is frightful – cold, wet, windy, snow, rain, ice. You changed your ringtone to a snappy tune from Der Bingle, and you just spent the whole weekend on the wrong side of a cash register: so you're ready for the good side of what's coming. We offer you our festive mix of practical ideas and the lighter side. For the hard-at-work, scripting with SecureCRT® tabs, and moving files with the SecureFX® SFXCL command-line utility, along with a shot of good password construction. If your attention is straying, we've got some ideas on how to find just the right widget for a favorite sysadmin's stocking.


1. The Script Doctor Is In: Tab Scripting With SecureCRT
2. Heard On The Forums: Using The SecureFX SFXCL Move Command
3. What's Your Password IQ?
4. In The Nick Of Time: Holiday Gift Guides
5. New And Current Releases

Online Resources

1. The Script Doctor Is In: Tab Scripting With SecureCRT

This month's tip demonstrates the capabilities in SecureCRT 5.2 to create scripts using the tab interface. The tab object/tab scripting functions allows you to control multiple tabbed sessions from a script, including connecting Secure Shell command and SFTP tabs, cloning tabs, activating tabs, and
closing tabs. Examples of common applications are opening multiple sessions in tabs in a specific order, and prompting for a command and sending it to multiple tabbed sessions.

Sample scripts are available on the VanDyke Software web site.

2. Heard On The Forums: Using The SecureFX SFXCL Move Command

Transferring files just became easier with SecureFX 4.0. With the new /Move flag in the SFXCL command-line utility, you can transfer and delete files in one step.

A forum member using SecureFX 4.0 asked how they could use SFXCL to move files from a remote server running VShell® to their local server.

The /Move option will transfer the specified files and then delete the successfully moved files from the source directory. You can also specify passwords on the command line.

On the VanDyke Software web site, you can see examples of how to use the /Move option and how to combine the /Rename and /Move options to transfer a file to a new folder on a remote server.

You can also read the original forum thread.

Got a Suggestion or Question?

Your IT security issues are critical, and our goal is to listen carefully to your requests and feedback so we can better meet your needs.Let us know what issues you're encountering, and what enhancements you'd like to see in current and new features.

Send us your feedback today.

3. What's Your Password IQ?

For those who might be playing Maytag repairman over the holidays, we thought we would suggest some light but still work-related reading to keep your faceprints off the desktop. Microsoft has a straight-forward and informative page on creating quality passwords, "Strong passwords: How to create and use them". It's not "The Onion", but when the boss walks by, hey, it's work-related.

The article covers such topics as six steps to creating a good password, why it's a good idea to write them down, the place of misspelling, testing with a (supplied) password checker, things to avoid, and protecting passwords from phishers. Also covered is password security when using an alien computer (think internet cafes). Of course, you should be using public key authentication wherever possible, but passwords in some form are unavoidable, if only in the form of passphrases, so it's important to have the strongest ones you can.

Read "Strong passwords" on the Microsoft web site.

4. In The Nick Of Time: Holiday Gift Guides

Have any techie friends you need to find a gift for? Warm the cockles of their hearts with the right object of fascination. Until full-size commercial robots are available from Honda, check out suggestions from Network World and the Open Source Gift Guide.

Network World's list is a top 100, though if you take out phones, computers, and MP3 players and accessories, that leaves about 50. There are still some interesting, offbeat and even creative ideas. Top of that list would be the Hammacher Schlemmer Hot Diggity Dogger, which cooks/toasts hot dogs and buns; a steal at $50. The only knock appears to be that the "pump it up" dogs get stuck in
the machinery. Next, the GTD adherents out there will appreciate that a Brother Label Maker sneaked onto the list by virtue of "ruggedized" construction – so you can do your monthly "purge" on the road, I guess. Close to a robot would be the Scoobas S900 Floor Washing Machine, which is a bit steep at $300, but could definitely replace DVDs in the entertainment category, at least for awhile. The out-there option in phones is the Netgear Skype Wi-Fi phone for $212, which lets you roam anywhere your home wireless network will reach.

The Open Source Gift Guide from is a bit more off the beaten path but has the kind of wonky yet extensible widgets the Linux lover in your life might just wig out over. How about Leaf, your basic open-source robot? A notebook, some casters, plywood, and a few bits in between and Bob's your uncle. For the kids or perennial kids, there's LEGO Mindstorms NXT for $250. NXT Firmware and developer kits are open source, so have at it! Also, Open Gameboy – doesn't that just sound great? For the musically inclined, there is xOxbOx for $315, an open-source synthesizer/sequencer modeled on the original Roland design. Finally, check out Free Beer, an open source ale whose recipe is
distributed under a Creative Commons license. What's next – an open-source hot dog toaster?

7. New And Current Releases

Maintenance releases of SecureCRT, SecureFX, and CRT™ were made November 16.

Here is a list of the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 5.2.1
  SecureFX 4.0.1
  CRT 5.2.1
  VShell 2.6.2 Server for Windows
  VShell 2.6.2 Server for UNIX
    Red Hat Linux 7.x
    Red Hat Linux 8.x
    Red Hat Linux 9.x
    Red Hat Enterprise v2.1/v3
    Solaris 8
    FreeBSD 4.8/5.3/5.4
    HP-UX 11
    Mac OS X 10.2
    AIX 4.3/5.2/5.3

All VanDyke Software products may be downloaded and evaluated free for 30 days. Licenses include one year of free upgrades and access to our expert technical support.

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VanDyke Software, CRT, SecureCRT, SecureFX, and VShell are trademarks or registered trademarks of VanDyke Software, Inc.

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