Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client

Courtesy of my recent upgrade to MacOS Catalina, I’m currently testing version 4.8.00175 of Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client for MacOS. Before installing it I was warned that it might be buggy and possibly might even not work at all.

Having tried it for a short while, here are my initial impressions. Installation wasn’t a problem, but then it rarely is under MacOS. The software starts just fine, and connects without fuss. The connection, once made, seems solid but the connection indicator in the application’s dock and menu bar icons remains stubbornly set to an ‘X’, indicating that a connection has not been made, even though it has. Not a major problem, but a bit of an irritation, especially if one needs to check.

I also noticed that the application starts automatically after a system reboot, and there seems to be no way to disable this. Again, an irritation but not a deal-breaker.

It seems to me that Cisco have somehow managed to be caught out by Apple dropping support for 32-bit applications in MacOS, even though they must have known about it for some considerable time, and have rushed out an update that isn’t really ready for release. It works, at least for me, but that’s all that can really be said for it.

Software Is Never Done

Software Is Never Done

This is all too true. I’ve worked on a fair few different projects in my time and, apart from those that were only ever designed to be used once to produce some very specific output, not one of them has ever reached a state that could be described as ‘finished’. Even the small personal projects I’ve embarked on over the years, although to be fair that’s largely because I’m an inveterate tweaker and twiddler. I suspect that most programmers are the same.

Web Development on the iPad

I’ve been enjoying my iPad very much over the last few weeks. Apart from the numerous games and productivity apps I’ve downloaded, I’ve also tried most of the major web development tools. Some of them are very good, but there’s still room for a real killer app. Personally, I’d like to see a version of Eclipse for the iPad, ideally with Subversion support, the latter being sorely lacking. I need PHP, JavaScript, HTML and CSS syntax highlighting and code completion as a bare minimum.

If anybody’s aware of an app that fulfils all my needs I’d love to know about it.

Google Latitude History

I’ve been using Google Latitude for some time now, and have built up quite a bit of history. I’ve been having a play with theĀ Location History Dashboard, which is quite scary. It’s correctly guessed which location is home and which is work and can tell me how much time I spend in both places, but it also shows me which of my friends I’ve visited and when, and can also show me a little animation on a map, showing my movements over any period of time.

I like it but it’s somewhat freaky. Of course, the real crux of the thing is to figure out something useful to do with this information. I keep thinking that there must be something but what exactly that is eludes me. Any suggestions?

First Impressions of Google Wave

I’ve been playing with the preview of Google Wave for a few days now and overall I’m quite impressed. It’s still a little rough around the edges but I think that by the time it’s launched in 2010 it’ll be much better. And as developers start to build extensions it’ll become even more useful. I’m already pretty happy to use it for collaborating with friends on small projects and as a replacement for email and IM as Google intend. The only downsides are that it clearly uses a lot of Javascript and users with older machines may not be entirely happy with its speed and that it’s a bit more complicated than regular email and instant messaging.

Incidentally, I have a number of invites to give away, so if I know you and you’d like one, drop me a line.

WordPress 2.7

I tried to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress this morning and regretted it, since it screwed things up rather badly. Possibly it was the automatic upgrade plugin I was using. If you tried to view the site earlier today and couldn’t, that’s why. I’ll try again using the normal procedure when I get the time and see if I can get it to work.

Update: I have now tried the normal upgrade procedure and have run into the same problem, which is that when I try to load and page which is part of WordPress (other scripts elsewhere are fine) I’m offered the page as a download, as if the web server was no longer configured to process PHP scripts. I’ll see if I can find a solution to the problem (no luck so far) but if I can’t I shall either have to change hosting company or blogging software.

Google Drops Support for Browser Sync

I read yesterday that Google has decided not to port Browser Sync to Firefox 3 and to finish supporting it at the end of this year. I’m very sorry to hear this as I really have come to rely on it.

I’ve installed Foxmarks in preparation but, although it does a good job of synchronising bookmarks, it doesn’t handle history, cookies and passwords. I guess I’m going to have to knock something up myself when I have time. It shouldn’t be that hard to do.

Firefox 3 Font Rendering

I’ve been playing with the latest pre-release version of Firefox 3 and overall it’s excellent. It’s fast, much more memory-efficient and has some nice new features. There is, however, one major problem. The font rendering is quite simply atrocious. It’s eye-wateringly ugly and nothing I’ve tried so far has improved it to the point where it’s usable.

I should mention here that I’m talking only about the Linux version – from what I’ve seen online, the Windows and Mac versions are fine. I’ve also seen screenshots of it on Linux that look fine, so clearly the problem depends on your precise set up. For the record, I’m using KDE 3.5.7 on OpenSUSE 10.3. I’ve tried Gnome and found that it makes no difference, and I don’t think I would switch to Gnome just so that my browser looked prettier anyway. I love KDE way too much.

I’m sure there’s a solution out there that will work for me. Indeed, it’s entirely possible that when OpenSUSE’s official version of the final release comes out it’ll work beautifully and I’ll be a happy man. It’d be kinda nice to be reassured that all will be well before then, though.

Update: I finally managed to get it sorted, after much messing around. I’m now ready for the launch on Tuesday.