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NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM VANDYKE SOFTWARE®

A Monthly Newsletter – January 2011

In this new year we want to help all our customers take advantage of key features in the SecureCRT® and SecureFX® applications. As the first in a series on essential skills, we unfold the power of the Connect dialog.  Then we look at a relatively new set of SecureCRT logon options.  For our scripting customers, there is a summary of useful books and websites to learn Python programming. A new set of features under development has been added to the call for SecureCRT testers. And our forum members post their experiences using Dropbox to store SecureCRT config files.

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Contents
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1. Essential Skills:  Using the Connect Dialog
2. Customize It: Logon Options in SecureCRT for Windows
3. Resources for Learning Python Scripting
4. SecureCRT Call for Testers: New Scripting Capabilities
5. Heard on the Forums: SecureCRT Sync with Dropbox
6. New and Current Releases

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Online Resources
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1. Essential Skills:  Using the Connect Dialog
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Over the next several issues, we will develop a basic skill set to help you take full advantage of SecureCRT and SecureFX. These ideas are valuable whether you are new to the software or just short of time to keep up with recent changes. The tip "Maximizing the Value of the Connect Dialog" covers the key elements of organizing your sessions so you can quickly store, customize, find, and launch them.

Here are just a few things you can do with the Connect dialog:

    • Use existing SecureCRT or SecureFX session data as a template for a new session.
    • Arrange the session tree in any arbitrary order.
    • Search for a session name buried deep in your folders with CTRL+F.

To read the complete tip on the Connect dialog, visit the VanDyke Software website support pages today.

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2. Customize It: Logon Options in SecureCRT for Windows
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SecureCRT for Windows version 6.1 and later offer several options for system logon to give you more control over the logging on process and initial session window state. These options include logging on through the terminal window, running scripts at logon, and new expect-send capabilities.

Possible applications of scripts and expect-send sequences are configuring a remote session, quickly initiating server "hops", and providing an alternative to a UNIX/Linux dot file, as for logging onto a router.

To learn more about recent logon options, visit this Support web page.

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3.
Resources for Learning Python Scripting
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With cross-platform Python scripting new in SecureCRT, you may be interested in ways to learn more about this highly adaptable language.  We've compiled a list of websites and books to consider. Dates in parentheses represent the date of publication or last revision.

Python.org is the official website for the language.  It has many resources for programming, such as the "Beginner's Guide to Python" and "Python for non-programmers", as well as a list of Python interpreters in non-English languages from Afrikaans to Zulu."

Dive Into Python by Mark Pilgrim (2004)

Dive Into Python is an online Python compendium for experienced programmers, available in book form as well as online.  It has  been translated to Italian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Russian.

Python Rocks! (2007)

  This personal site has a high-level introduction to Python, with a basic tutorial.

Of course a horde of Python-related titles are published by a variety of technical presses. Among the copious listings from O'Reilly Press are the following:

  "Python in a Nutshell", Second Edition
  "Programming Python", Fourth Edition
  "Python for Unix and Linux System Administration"

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4.
SecureCRT Call for Testers: New Scripting Capabilities
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In addition to the new capabilities announced in December, there are several features in SecureCRT for users interested in testing pre-beta releases.

New scripting-related SecureCRT features:

    • Map a key or button to browse and select a script.
    • Browse for a file from within the scripting API.
    • Retrieve the full path to the currently-running script using the new ScriptFullName API.
    • crt.Session.Connect can fail silently instead of displaying a dialog box if a connection attempt doesn't succeed.

Pre-beta capabilities announced in December:

    • SecureCRT for Mac: paste path on dragging to a local shell session, option to paste path on dragging to a remote session.
    • All platforms: script recorder supports Python scripts.
    • All platforms: more buttons on the button bar, copying between button bars, and moving buttons on a button bar.
    • All platforms: option to sort sessions logically in the Connect dialog.

Please contact SecureCRT Product Director Maureen Jett at if you are interested in participating in pre-beta testing.

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5. Heard on the Forums: SecureCRT Sync with Dropbox
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Customers who are comfortable using web-based or "cloud computing" services to store their information have found that SecureCRT can be synchronized with the Dropbox online file storage site as a convenient way to access session settings. Forum member travisll relates his success in storing and accessing SecureCRT files in this post:

  http://forums.vandyke.com/showthread.php?t=6096

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6. New and Current Releases
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Maintenance releases of the SecureCRT 6.6 and SecureFX 6.6 applications, along with the ClientPack 6.6 utilities, were made available November 4.

The SecureCRT 6.6 release offers cross-platform scripting with Python and a "Send Binary" file transfer option. The first version for Mac OS X systems delivers a full complement of advanced session management, security, terminal emulation, and automation capabilities.

SecureFX 6.6 adds the ability to limit bandwidth available to transfers and an option to set the number of parallel transfers allowed. ClientPack 6.6 improves the VRALib interface for COM and .NET applications.

Here is a list of the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 6.6.1
  SecureFX 6.6.1
  VanDyke ClientPack 6.6.1
  VShell 3.6.5 Server for Windows
  VShell 3.6.5 Server for UNIX
     Redhat Enterprise Linux 5.0
     Redhat 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.

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.

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

Do you have questions, comments, or ideas? E-mail us at or use one of our web forms.

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VanDyke Software, CRT, 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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