Along with Movable Type 3.2 came a ton of new stylesheets from the good folks at Six Apart. And they even created a Style Library that lets you preview each of the new styles before downloading them. My favorite is Lilia Ahner’s Purple Crush. The library is AJAXified, so I haven’t found a way to link directly to the preview pages, but you will find Purple under the Bold Palettes category. For those of you using standard templates on your Movable Type blog, be sure to check out these great new templates.
Almost two months after I prematurely declared that Movable Type 3.2 was released, it is now here. Six Apart has the details. I actually saw Anil’s announcement first. But it was Brad’s post that really sparked my attention today:
The just-released Movable Type 3.2 includes both an OpenID server and consumer plugin. They’re not enabled by default, but this is a good first step.This seems like a step in the right direction. I know what I will be doing tonight.
A while back, I posted a link to SSHKeychain, an OS X tool that acts as a user-friendly graphical interface to the ssh agent. I didn’t begin to use this tool until a few weeks ago. It had been on my short list of new software that I needed to try, but I kept putting it off.
Well, I finally tried it, and I really like it! It just doesn’t get any easier than this. This is such a simple piece of software, but I don’t know how I have lived without it for so long.
First of all, the idea behind the ssh agent is to save time. The agent caches your public keys and uses them to log you in to servers. These keys are normally stored on your hard drive in an encrypted format. When loading them into the agent, they are first decrypted.
In order to use public key ssh authentication without an agent, you would have to type in the key password and then wait for the key to be decrypted before any authentication could take place. Or you could store unencrypted keys on your hard drive, but that’s not something that I want to do on a laptop. So the agent really makes a lot of sense, even if it’s just to save those few keystrokes each time I connect.
But this tool goes a bit further than an ordinary agent. It automatically adds your ssh private keys to the agent when you need them. Automatically. Even if your keys aren’t in the agent when you type your ssh command, they are added when you first use them. With other agents, you have to be sure that you manually load the keys before you ssh. This tool eliminates the need to even think about loading the keys.
Your key passwords are stored in your keychain, the standard OS X password store. This means that you truly have single signon. Log in to your Mac, and you are logged in to all of your servers, too.
And it is integrated so well that I don’t ever notice its presence. In fact, other than typing my password once to unlock my keychain after logging in to my iBook, the only thing I notice is that I don’t have to type passwords to log in to my servers any more. I have not clicked on the SSHKeychain icon on the menu bar once since I first installed it.
But best of all, it is completely free. And the source is available. It is actually donationware, so if you like, be sure to let the author know.
The tool also has support for tunnels, but as of this writing, I have not used that part yet. I am a huge fan of ssh tunnels, so I am sure that I will have more to say about this part soon.
GoogleX was a fine product of Google Labs. It was an homage to OS X’s dock. And as expected, Apple got mad and made them take it down. A search for GoogleX on Google still returns the original URL for GoogleX as the first (and second) search result, but the page only contains these words:
The requested URL was not found on this server.
I had completely forgotten about this site until yesterday, when I stumbled upon a mirror. And as luck would have it, the host of the mirror has the entire site zipped up in one small file for downloading. Now I have my own GoogleX mirror. :)
Jason Kottke exposed a delightful idea in a comment on one of his postings today:
Degradable interfaces…the more you use it the more wear it shows. Why does everything have to look like it has never been used? Give me hard edges that become blunt, rounded corners that get shiny, labels that wear off.
I love this idea. A couple of years ago, I was going to launch a design for kottke.org that changed the more you used it. First time users get new graphics but someone who’s visited the site 50 times gets a less “branded” version, the idea being that someone who’s been here 50 times knows where they are and doesn’t need any big logo or anything, just the info they’re after.
I have not seen any examples of this type of behavior on a website, but I would certainly love to see it in action.