Memory. It’s a funny thing.

Memory is such a funny thing.  Scrambled and chaotic, it doesn’t have a user accessible file structure or an index, and the search engine is for crap.  Sherlock referred to it as his Mind Palace.  I find that term particularly apt, because in reality you are not standing in the middle of a field with your memories stretching out in all directions and plainly visible if you just look in the right direction.  Rather, it seems like my memories are piled up in corners, stacked on flat surfaces, and wedged between unrelated volumes.  My point of reference seems to dictate what I can perceive, and due to the chaos I might be standing in the middle of a room of related memories, but I can’t see the one I left in the hallway.  This framework was painfully reinforced today.

It’s been a rough week.  I’ve spent a lot of it wracked with grief.  This morning was different, though.  Instead of grief I have been high strung with anxiety.  I couldn’t figure out the source.  I vacillated between wanting to go to work to be around people, and wanting to stay home and hide.  At the top of my thoughts was that I had a package arriving today, and did I want to be home for it or did I just want to get it later.  Over and over, round and round, it was diving me crazy.  In the end, I went to work because it was the least financially impacting decision when all the other factors kept cancelling each other out over and over.

What was the package?  Does it matter?  It was a cute kickstarter I bought into a few months ago.  Custom designed coins done in the style of depression era hobo coins.  Hobo coins were crafted works of art that used coins as the base, but with intricate designs inlaid over the original design of the coin.  I saw the kickstarter on BoingBoing, and thought they would make really cool trinkets to give to friends and strangers.

So, having decided to do something, rather than get stuck in an indecision loop, I headed to work.  I’m walking own Market Street, on my way to my office, and my phone chimes with a delivery notice.  My hobo coins have arrived.  Cool, right?

My next thought was “Now I can give Sam and Elliot… the… coins… I… got… them…” and Boom!  I’m leaning against a lamp post on Market Street bawling my eyes out.  Sure, I’ve been thinking about Elliot, and thinking about the coins arriving, but as my conscious mind moved around my Mind Palace, it was never at the right spot to see the various memories in the same frame.  My subconscious mind, on the other hand, really wanted me to just go back to bed and avoid this day all together.

Memory.  It’s a funny thing.

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 sensoring 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.

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.