Has SecureCRT 8.1.0 got you down?

tl;dr – If you upgraded to SecureCRT 8.1.0 and your sessions are slow, globally change your font in all your sessions.

SecureCRT is hands-down my favorite secure terminal application on OS X, Windows & iOS.  I’ve been using it since early 1998, and I have never found a better tool.  That said…

This past weekend I got around to renewing my license so I could upgrade to SecureCRT 8.1.0.  I even ponied up for a three year license / upgrade plan.

Withing a few minutes of upgrading, I knew something was wrong.  Slow screen scrolling, slow pasting into sessions, absolutely intolerably slow trying to scroll back through my terminal buffer.

It was downright painful.  So painful that I pulled version 8.0.2 out of my trash and ran it side by side.  Tests using slo-mo video mode on my iPhone revealed that the new version was scrolling text at 1/5 of the speed of the old version.  That’s a big steaming pile of no joy.

While I had no crash dumps, or forensic evidence of the issue, I shot off an email to support to let them know about the issue.  I got a prompt reply, as I always do from VanDyke Software.  Support was wonderfully patient with me.  (If you have heard that doctors make the worst patients, then ya gotta figure that DevOps Security types make the worst customers of tech.)  They hadn’t encountered the issue, and weren’t able to reproduce; but the back and forth willingness to keep working at the issue is one of the things that makes VanDyke Software an awesome company.

While trying to document a couple of different permutations of the issue, I stumbled onto the cause.  In doing so, I also realize why the ubergeeks at VanDyke Software were not able to reproduce the issue.  I’ve been running SecureCRT on OS X since version 6.6, and some of my existing session configs were originally created in that version, back in 2010.  Who knows how many bits of my configs are functional, but not optimal.  One of those non-optimal settings was apparently my font.  When I globally changed my font, all my sessions sped up.  But wait, there’s more…  When I then globally changed my font back to the original setting, my sessions were still gloriously fast.  How’s that?  I diffed one of my old session configs against a newly ‘fixed’ config. Despite them both having the same font selected in the GUI they had slightly different font settings in the config.  Something had changed in my font catalog, and while using the original data technically worked there was a noticeable increase in overhead to make it work.  Functional, but not optimal.

If this helped you out, please let me know.

Screw you, NameCheap.

A couple years back I took advantage of NameCheap’s “Move your domain day” specials to move from GoDaddy to NameCheap. I was motivated by a couple of things. First was GoDaddy’s effective censoring of RateMyCop.com by yanking their registration, and second was their CEO’s prolific hunting of endangered animals. So, fuck GoDaddy, I moved to NameCheap.

Today I noticed that I had lost a domain. It was a domain that I had hosted for a friend for nearly 20 years. I perused my email, and I didn’t have a single domain renewal email for this domain in 2015; but when I logged into NameCheap I found a long list of renewal notices that had been logged internally on their system but never delivered by email to my contact email address. When I contacted support @ NameCheap with the request that the delivery issue be tracked down, they actually offered to get my domain back for $10.87. Delighted, I transferred money to my NameCheap account. Within the hour they refunded it. Apparently, the first support agent hadn’t bothered to actually look at the issue, and had fired off some bullshit response that gave me false hope the issue could be rectified. The second agent conceded that they couldn’t get my domain back, and assured me that the problem couldn’t be on their end and I was therefore screwed.

I offered to how them ten years of mail server logs, proving their mail servers hadn’t even had a failed SMTP handshake with mine, if they’d show me their logs they said proved they had emailed me notifications.  Not that it really mattered, as some scumbag domain speculating company snatched up that domain and they aren’t giving it back unless I pay a ton of money.

Bob Parsons is a dick, but I know that GoDaddy will call me directly a dozen times before they let a dime of registration money slip through their fingers. I’d rather deal with a dick than lose another domain.

Screw you, NameCheap.

ps. I’m really sorry Marietta.

Installing MacPorts on OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’

High Sierra Update:  If you are looking for instructions on how to manually install MacPorts onto the High Sierra GM release, check here:  Installing MacPorts on MacOS “High Sierra”

Update: MacPorts has released their official El Capitan installer. You should probably use it instead. 🙂

Update: Since people are ignoring my above comment, I have updated the below instructions to reflect the version changes reported by Chrisp in the comments.

Another year, another OS X update.  If you are like me, you’ve weaseled a copy of the OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’ Gold Master installer, and you have started checking to see how much of your software is going to break if and when you install.  Given the issues I’ve had in the past, MacPorts is the very first thing I test.  🙂

The first thing I noticed is that there is no El Capitan installer for MacPorts, and the Yosemite installer will not run on OS X 10.11.  So, we are back to compiling it ourselves.  Fortunately, this goes pretty smoothly.

The first caveat is that in addition to needing access to OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’ , you will need a copy of Xcode 7 (beta, RC, etc).  You won’t be able to compile MacPorts for El Capitan with Xcode 6 because of changes to one or more of the header files that ship with the OS X 10.11.

The second caveat is that I did a clean install of OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’, so my instructions may not adequately deal with any cruft left over by previous installs.  If you have an upgrade issue, please comment here and I’ll do my best to help you out and improve the instructions.  You may want to follow the MacPorts uninstall instructions before starting the below steps.

  1. Install OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan’
  2. Install Xcode 7
  3. Launch Xcode:
    1. Agree to the license.
    2. Let it install the extra components it says it needs.
    3. Quit xcode.
  4. Open a terminal window:
    1. sudo bash
    2. export PATH=/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin
    3. xcode-select --install
    4. cd Desktop
    5. mkdir macports
    6. cd macports
    7. curl -O https://distfiles.macports.org/MacPorts/MacPorts-2.3.4.tar.gz
    8. tar xzvf MacPorts-2.3.4.tar.gz
    9. cd MacPorts-2.3.4
    10. ./configure --enable-readline
    11. make && make install
    12. echo 'export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH' >> ~/.profile
    13. source ~/.profile
    14. port -v selfupdate

At this point, you should be ready to start reinstalling your ports!  Wee!

If you see this error at step 4-10:

checking for Apple Foundation library... no
configure: WARNING: GNUSTEP_SYSTEM_ROOT is not defined in your environment, preventing the use of GNUstep's Foundation library
configure: error: Could not find a working Foundation implementation

It means you either have not installed Xcode 7 GM, or that you are running Xcode 7 Beta.  Xcode 6 doesn’t know how to handle the changes to /System/Library/Frameworks/Foundation.framework/Headers/Foundation.h that happened with El Capitan.  The configure script is able to find the header file, but the test compile fails so it reports that the Apple Foundation library isn’t there.

If you are running Xcode Beta, you can get around this by using the following command in the shell you opened above, and then going back to step 4-10:  (Thank you SadDigger for the comment on Reddit!)

xcode-select -s /Applications/Xcode-beta.app

Update 2015-09-15 11:06AM – Fixed a typo in instruction 4-3 where WordPress was converting a double-hyphen into an extended hyphen.  I have also updated it to the latest version of MacPorts, so that the final just updates the ports rather than rebuilding the whole thing. Sorry about that!