Archived entries for Tools

Leopard 10.5.1 Update Breaks Cisco VPN, with Fix

I updated my Mac to Leopard a few weeks ago. All good.

Yesterday I ran the update to 10.5.1. Not so good: It knocked out my Cisco VPN client. Permanently. Rebooting did not help. Reinstalling did not help. (I rely on VPN non-stop, even to retrieve my office email.)

So today I poked around for a while and after some deep searching found the fix. It’s easy, and worked for me on the first try. The solution was on Anders Brownworth’s site (thanks Anders!), and I’m reprinting an excerpt here in the hopes that it will make it easier to find for somebody else.

If you are running Cisco’s VPNClient on Mac OSX, you might be familiar with (or tormented by) “Error 51: Unable to communicate with the VPN subsystem”. The simple fix is to quit VPNClient, open a Terminal window, (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal) and type the following:

sudo /System/Library/StartupItems/CiscoVPN/CiscoVPN restart

and give your password when it asks. This will stop and start the “VPN Subsystem”, or in other words restart the CiscoVPN.kext extension.

Down to 22,490…22,491

Spent a bunch of time in the past few days pruning and organizing my feeds, and catching up on some blog reading. When I started, my feed inbox was at about 65,000 unread items. I’ve got it down to a much less daunting 22,491 unread items now.

I read about 400 feeds (well, the 65k unreads number tells you that I don’t *read* them all). If you’re interested in my reading list, and you don’t mind how dated, ugly, and messy it is, then by all means take a look. (Im working on improving it, and will post as update when it’s better.)

Video: Information R/evolution

Information R/evolution is a five minute video telling the story of the transformation from a world of categorized information to a world of living information the we all enrich continually. It’s from the same guy (Michael Wesch) and in the same style as "Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us."

When his "Web 2.0," video came out I wrote that

Perhaps the so-called ’social web’ isn’t about connecting people, but about information conservation: If a person chooses to do something — no matter how small — it’s inherently interesting, precious, and valuable.

I still think that’s true, and I find more support in this new video:

Here is "Information R/evolution" by Prof. Michael Wesch:

Hap tip to the information aesthetics blog which is a great source for "data visualization & visual design."

What Browsers Need to Provide – Alex Russell’s Perspective

Alex Russell (of Dojo fame) has an good post up right now called Browser.Next in which he lists 10 key things browsers need to give us poor developers so we can do our jobs without going insane. Here’s the list, but head to his blog to read the details:

  1. Event Opacity
  2. Long-Lived Connections
  3. Expose [DontEnum] To Library Authors
  4. Fast LiveCollection -> Array Transforms
  5. Provided A Blessed Cache For Ajax Libraries
  6. Mutation Events
  7. onLayoutComplete
  8. HttpOnly cookies
  9. Bundle Gears
  10. Standardize on the Firebug APIs

I’ve long felt that the balance of power between web developers and browser vendors is out of whack: for every one developer working on the browser itself there are probably 1000 web developers at companies around the world toiling endlessly, struggling to overcome the shortcomings and weaknesses of the browsers. It’s wrong. It’s wasteful. It’s expensive – a drain on the economy, and serious sand in the gears of what should be the world’s most powerful innovation platform.

And so, from that perspective, I’m very happy to see visible developers like Alex telling the world (*cough* browser vendors *cough) what needs to change. He’s got a good list of comments going over on his blog – I hope you’ll join in the rally.

YSlow, a Web Performance Plugin for Firebug, Release by Yahoo!

I let the cat out of the bag about the forthcoming YSlow plugin for Firebug during my @media presentation (High Performance Web Sites) last month. But the wait is finally over and I’m happy to let you know that Steve Souders, Yahoo!’s Chief Performance Yahoo! (and the guy who’s data I used in my presentation), made the announcement during his session at OSCon yesterday.

YSlow has three main views: Performance, Stats, and Components. Performance view scores the page against each performance rule, generates an overall YSlow grade for the page, and lists specific recommendations for making the page faster. Stats view summarizes the total page weight, cookie size, and HTTP request count. Components view lists each component (image, stylesheet, script, Flash object, etc.) in the page along with HTTP information relevant to page load times. It also contains several tools including [Douglas Crockford's] JSLint.

Give YSlow a try, your users will thank you. And for more about performance, check out the Exceptional Performance section on the Yahoo! Developer Network.

Heading to StartUp Camp on Monday

StartUp Camp 2 is this Monday in San Francisco.

Startup Camp is an unconference-style event that’s dedicated to bringing together the various members of the startup community for a face-to-face collaborative meetup where its the attendees that drive the agenda (in true unconference fashion).

I’m really looking forward to tasting the excitement in air and seeing all the cool projects. 100s of people have registered – it should be fun. (But the real reason work’s giving me the day to attend is so I can be on hand to help people realize their dreams using YUI.)

If you’re there, please come find me and say Hi (even if you don’t need YUI support).

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