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A Monthly Newsletter – January 2010

Once introduced, capabilities like scripting, drag and drop, or the tab interface often become richer over time. With the latest enhancements to SecureFX® and SecureCRT(® 6.5, we want to review the nuances of file drag and drop.  Next is an overview of using the SecureCRT script recorder.  Then we outline the addition of support for Amazon EC2 keys to public-key authentication.  Since we haven't looked at professional reading materials for many months, the remedy for that is a review of the best books – and review sources – of the past year.


1. How to Drag and Drop Files in SecureCRT and SecureFX
2. Creating Scripts with the SecureCRT Script Recorder
3. Heard on the Forums: SecureCRT and Amazon EC2 Keys
4. Best Books of the Past Year
5. New and Current Releases

Online Resources

1. How to Drag and Drop Files in SecureCRT and SecureFX

With the latest drag-and-drop features available in SecureCRT 6.5, now seems to be a good time to review the file-oriented drag and drop currently supported in SecureCRT and SecureFX.  In this tip, we cover the key details of drag and drop to SecureCRT sessions, the SecureCRT SFTP tab, and dragging into and out of SecureFX. Make sure you take advantage of these time-saving capabilities.

To read more about drag and drop, visit the VanDyke Software website.

2. Creating Scripts with the SecureCRT Script Recorder

If you're spending valuable time keying in the same shell commands many times a day, you can regain control of your productivity with the SecureCRT script recorder.  The script recorder captures keystrokes and function keys, then outputs a basic VBScript that you can use or modify as needed.  Then, whenever you need it, you run the script from the button bar or attach it to a hotkey with a keymap.

For details on using the SecureCRT script recorder, see the VanDyke Software Scripting Essentials guide.

Heard on the Forums: SecureCRT and Amazon EC2 Keys

Forum member lraab asked for help logging on to an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) server.  SecureCRT 6.5 simplifies EC2 authentication by delivering improved support for EC2 keys.
A second thread discusses how to convert .pem format keys to OpenSSH- or VanDyke-compatible keys.

Read this post for instructions on using SecureCRT 6.5 with EC2 keys.

To configure EC2 keys for use with SecureCRT versions before 6.5, see this forum thread.

4. Best Books of the Past Year

As we have often covered compelling business and technical books in the past, we thought we'd branch out this time, to sources of recommendations and reviews.  Check this list of lists out, whether you want to compare selections, find out what real people think of their reading material, or just branch out from Amazon suggestions for a change.

  1. "The 100 Best Business Books of All Time:  What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You," by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten

    To help you choose among the 1.9 million business titles listed on Amazon, a selection by the operators of 800-CEO-READ, a specialty business-book retailer, from Dale Carnegie to  Dr. Seuss.

  2. blog -- Top 50 new software development books

    Not all recent, but a list of classics, with many titles related to agile development.

  3. Linux Magazine 7/2009 -- "Three Books Every System Administrator Should Read"

  4. SANS Reading Room

    Online access to security papers, surveys, vendor white papers and audio, and more.

  5. Goodreads Best Science Fiction

    Read what book beats out both "Dune" and "The Hitchhiker'sGuide" as the members' favorite sci-fi novel.  This social networking site hosts member book reviews, compiles lists of favorites, and offers other book-related activities. Mainly focused on reading for personal interest.

6. New and Current Releases

Official Releases were made December 10 of the SecureCRT 6.5 and SecureFX 6.5 applications, along with the VShell 3.6 server and VanDyke ClientPack 6.5 utilities.  Here are some highlights of
these releases:

SecureCRT 6.5 –Tab status indicator options, real-time keyword highlighting, drag-and-drop transfers from Windows Explorer, Windows 7 taskbar integration, revised button bar.

SecureFX 6.5 – New tabbed main window, SCP transfer protocol support, parent folder ".." navigation.

ClientPack 6.5 –VRALib, a new .NET and COM-compliant component scripting SSH2 connections in Windows.

VShell 3.6 server – Limit access to SSH2 commands and services by public key, set environment variables via SSH2, audit vshelld events with Solaris BSM.

Here is a list of the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 6.5
  SecureFX 6.5
  CRT™ 6.1.4
  VanDyke ClientPack 6.5
  VShell 3.6 Server for Windows
  VShell 3.6 Server for UNIX
     Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0
     Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0
     Solaris 10 (SPARC)
     Solaris 8 (SPARC)
     FreeBSD 7.0 (Intel x86)
     FreeBSD 6.1 (Intel x86)
     HP-UX 11
     Mac OS X 10.5 (Intel x86)
     Mac OS X 10.2
     AIX 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. Licenses for three years of upgrades and support are also available.

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

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