January 23, 2016

Connecting to an SFTP Server with an FTP Client

The Problem

Recently I upgraded this web site to a new service provider. The new service provider only supported secure ftp (SFTP) for uploading/downloading of files to/from the server and this meant that any client software that did not support SFTP was effectively rendered useless.

I’m quite reliant on software like Windows Live Writer for posting blog entries and WebLog Expert for analysis of server log files. However, both of these software clients only use “regular” ftp for uploading/downloading files. I momentarily thought I would not be able to use them but soon realised there must be some software that provides a bridge between an FTP client and an SFTP server. A quick Google soon revealed the software I thought was most suitable for the job.

The Solution

Bitvise SSH Client

According to their web site Bitvise SSH Client for Windows includes state of the art terminal emulation, graphical as well as command-line SFTP support, an FTP-to-SFTP bridge, powerful tunnelling features including dynamic port forwarding through integrated proxy, and also remote administration for our SSH Server.

I downloaded a trial version of the software and very soon found myself purchasing a licensed copy as I found it quite suitable for my needs and simple to use.

Firstly you capture the login credentials of the SFTP server you are connecting to

Bitvise SSH Client SFTP Login Screen

Secondly you activate or establish the ftp to sftp bridge. This effectively creates a local ftp interface at IP 127.0.0.1 (localhost) which can be used by any client software that would like to connect to the server through the tunnel.

Bitvise SSH Client FTP to SFTP Bridge Creation

Lastly, you can now configure any client software you have to connect using Bitwise. In the examples below I show the ftp details you would enter for Windows Live Writer image upload via ftp and the Weblog Expert ftp details you would specify to download log files for analysis from your Web Server.

WebLog Expert FTP Configuration

WebLog Expert ftp configuration

Windows Live Writer image FTP setup

Windows Live Writer FTP Setup for Images

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January 21, 2016

Rhapsody E11 - Dave Macleod’s ascent captured by Hot Aches Productions

Recently I watched a movie entitled E11 which features one of the top climbers in Britain, Dave Macleod, establishing and climbing a route called Rhapsody at Dumbarton Rock in Glasgow. The movie can be purchased at the online adventure company SteepEdge and was produced by Hot Aches Productions in 2006 . Here’s a short description of the film:-

One of the best all-round climbers in the world seeks to take traditional rock climbing to the next level of difficulty and inevitably danger. The steep and intimidating rock face protecting the seaward flanks of the historic Dumbarton Castle in Scotland is the scene of Dave MacLeod’s very personal battle.

E11 is a movie about Dave Macleod climbing RhapsodyFrom award winning filmmaker Paul Diffley, E11 reveals the dedication, frustrations and shear physical and mental effort that goes into MacLeod’s climbing. We see him take a series of terrifying, massive, gut wrenching falls. Relationships become strained as he struggles to cope with the difficulty and seriousness of the endeavour. Doggedly, even obsessively, he keeps returning to his ‘ultimate’ project.

For those not familiar with the grading system used for climbs in Britain, E11 is the equivalent to French 8c+ or US 5.14d (note there are no bolts and 22-metre/70-foot fall potential)

E11 was shortlisted for best film at the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival. It was also a finalist in the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival (November 2006).

The clip below gives you an idea of the height of the rock and shows some of the falls taken during the climb

Towards the end of the movie there’s also some additional footage of Dave working on a boulder problem called Pressure – graded font 8b or V13.

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January 20, 2016

Jules Lines solo climbs a building to get that girl

I just finished reading a book called Tears of the Dawn by Jules Lines. It’s an exquisitely written book about the adventures of Jules Lines, a well known British solo climber. One of the more interesting stories in the book is one in which he solo climbs a five story building to deliver a bunch of roses to a girl. Here’s a short excerpt:

Jules Lines British Solo ClimberThe nightclub was all push and shove, choked with people - chaos ensued as waves of people rippled to and from the bar. I don’t like nightclubs, and I never really understood why I frequently ended up in them until the early hours, explicable perhaps in part by the fact that I had a flat by the Somerset tube station, essentially party-central. This time was no different, but I was out on the town with Don Cattanach. Don was a couple of years younger than me, and a party animal. He loved it, and once he started he just didn’t stop. We arrived at ten. I was buzzing at the thought of all the Singaporean girls in petite dresses. I had fallen ‘in love’ with one such girl once. I hadn’t known her long, and it was the eve of Valentine’s Day. During the middle of the night, I had climbed five stories up her tower block with a bunch of roses in my teeth and left them on her windowsill. The conversation that followed didn’t go to plan. First of all, she was concerned that I had climbed the building; it was directly opposite the police station. If I had been caught by the police, then I would have been given a prison sentence and the cane - law and order was tough in Singapore. Moreover, she was upset at the gift of roses, and said that if I really loved her then a Louis Vuitton handbag would have been more appropriate. I always seemed to attract my polar opposites - story of my life. That was the last conversation I ever had with her.

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