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HTML problem solved; Cisco VPN client ranting

Discovered the solution to the HTML-escaping problem I reported in my last post: it turns out PyDS’s MetaWeblog API implementation attempts to be “smart” and render as reStructuredText unless the post starts with a <. Guess what I started this post with? :-)

In someone’s infinite wisdom, the Siebel Center provides one Ethernet port per desk for graduate students. We’re all supposed to use wireless for our laptops—which requires a VPN, because one of the available non-VPN wireless networks is for faculty and staff only, and the other doesn’t support AirPort cards. So I have to use the excellent *cough* Cisco VPN3000 client, which slowly breaks over repeated connections until the following dance is required to get it to connect.

% vpnclient connect DCSnet-wireless
*** malloc_zone_malloc[18118]: argument too large: 3269996800
malloc: Cannot allocate memory
% sudo kextunload -b
kextunload: unload id succeeded (any personalities also unloaded)
% sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext
kextload: notice: extension /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext has debug properties set
kextload: /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext loaded successfully
% vpnclient connect DCSnet-wireless
fread: Unknown error: 0
Cannot secure command line arguments.
% sudo vpnclient connect DCSnet-wireless
Cisco Systems VPN Client Version 4.0.2 (C)

Eventually, not even unloading and reloading the KEXT and running vpnclient as root fixes the problem, and I have to reboot. That usually takes about a week. I guess that qualifies as an improvement over the VPN5000 client, which would cause repeated kernel panics. Of course, OpenVPN’s kernel component doesn’t crash at all, it works wonderfully, requires next to no setup, and I never have to touch it. The coming 2.0 version will make it possible for multiple users to connect, so it’ll be useful as more than a “personal” or permanent VPN connection.

You know, it sometimes helps if people test their software to see if it breaks over, oh, I dunno, 20 or 30 uses.

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