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A Monthly Newsletter – December 2011

Among all the information available on VanDyke Software products, some topics deserve special emphasis such as the most frequently read web tips in 2011. While many subjects are clearly key, the popularity of certain subjects may surprise you. The chat window is such a valuable tool that it merits repeated attention."Walking the walk" on customer-driven development, we explain how we handle and act on your feature requests. As so often before, the online discussion forums yielded another nugget: two new ways to capture a quick log of session output.


1. Top Online Product Tips of 2011
2. Harnessing the Power of Chat, SecureCRT® Style
3. Inside VanDyke Software: Feature Requests
4. Heard on the Forums: Quick Logging with SecureCRT
5. New and Current Releases

Online Resources

1. Top Online Product Tips of 2011

A look at the web logs revealed the ten tips that have received the most visits so far this year. While everyone's needs may differ, this is a strong indication of how valuable they are. Look to see if there are tips you haven't read that might be of use to you.

At the top of the list, the Scripting Essentials guide received by far the most views. The guide is a first critical step to effective scripting for SecureCRT customers.

  1. Scripting Essentials: A Guide to Using VBScript in SecureCRT
  2. Importing CRT sessions to SecureCRT for Windows
  3. Running SecureCRT for Windows from a USB flash memory drive
  4. Using a SecureCRT Secure Shell connection as a SOCKS proxy
  5. Importing SecureCRT sessions from a data file
  6. Using the SecureCRT button bar to run scripts, commands, and launch programs
  7. SSH Agent forwarding with SecureCRT
  8. Logon script to log on to multiple hosts with SecureCRT
  9. Backing up and restoring SecureCRT for Windows and SecureFX settings
  10. Setting up remote server connections using local IP addresses

Consider also visiting the automation tips web page for valuable ideas on how to save time with VanDyke Software applications.

2. Harnessing the Power of Chat, SecureCRT Style

A SecureCRT customer gave us three novel ways to take advantage of the chat window's versatility. Just one example is using it as a notepad when assembling shell commands. Take a look at all three ideas:

Innovative Uses of the SecureCRT Chat Window

Of course there is also the "conventional" use of the chat window to broadcast commands to several running sessions, illustrated in this web tip:

Using the Chat Window To Send Commands to Multiple SecureCRT Sessions

The forum post below includes more useful ideas on the chat window. You might also be interested in what our product director says therein about the uses of session tiling, a feature that is scheduled for an upcoming release:

SecureCRT "Chat Window" and the Escape Key

3. Inside VanDyke Software: Feature Requests


We're pretty sure you've noticed the frequent calls for pre-beta testers that appear in this newsletter. We want to back up a few steps and explain how to make a request, what happens once you press the "Send" button, and how new features go from initial testing to official release.

The best way to suggest a feature is to submit a secure request through the Feature Request form on the VanDyke Software website.The link is found on many product and support web pages as well as via the following direct link:

Submit a feature request

Feature requests come from many avenues: web-based request forms, technical support e-mail, replies to satisfaction surveys, and online forum posts. Wherever they come from, all requests are
entered in our feature request database. Some requests, like a Mac version of SecureCRT are echoed by hundreds of users, and each one is counted in the database.

VanDyke Software staff, from product directors and support representatives to software engineers, work to flesh out the request to get a complete understanding of the issue. Once the basic entry is complete and has been prioritized, it may be selected for further investigation. VanDyke staff may be in touch with one or several customers to gather more information on certain aspects of the request.

The VanDyke Software approach to product development relies on testing new features early to zero in on the desired implementation: customers evaluate and provide feedback on software still in development, though it might still be rough around the edges. As a requester you may be contacted to preview the feature in pre-beta form. If you agree, the product director adds you as a tester, creates an account for you, and assigns you to a release distribution group. When the software build is ready, we send you e-mail with a link to your release. You download and install the new release from our website, review the changes, and e-mail back your assessment. Your feedback may confirm our design or show a need to make changes, and we repeat the cycle as necessary.

We hope that this overview of how we handle and respond to your feature requests will encourage you to send your product requests to us at the link below or by e-mail at .

Submit a feature request

Heard on the Forums: Quick Logging with SecureCRT

Forum member pn8830 posted the following request. "I want to be able to use a context menu to start a second log file...just to capture some of the session output and save it. While the 'quick log' is active the session output goes into both log files."

Support representative, Brenda, shows how to create an alternate log using the Receive ASCII command on the Transfer menu. The approach toggles the Receive ASCII output on and off as needed. For those who can use SecureCRT scripting, Brenda also provides a Visual Basic script with greater capability that employs the ReadString() method.

To read the complete forum thread visit the VanDyke Software forums today.

5. New and Current Releases

Official releases of all VanDyke Software products, including the VShell 3.8.3 server, SecureCRT 6.7.3, SecureFX 6.7.3, and ClientPack version 6.7.3 clients were made available November 8th. The VShell server added RHEL 6.0 and Ubuntu 11 support, while SecureCRT for Mac now supports Mac OS X 10.7 or "Lion".

The following is a list of the latest official product releases:

   SecureCRT 6.7.3
   SecureFX 6.7.3
   VanDyke ClientPack 6.7.3
   VShell® 3.8.3 Server

To download any of the current or previous releases, go to:

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.

For a list of supported platforms, visit the Systems Requirements page.

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  VanDyke Software, Inc.
  4848 Tramway Ridge Drive, NE
  Suite 101
  Albuquerque, NM 87111 USA
  tel: +505-332-5784

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VanDyke Software, SecureCRT, SecureFX, 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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