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I sometimes find the Java setup on my various Apple devices to be a mystery. The first thing is that you have to do some configuring of both Java and Safari to get the applet to run at all. Once that was all done, I could log in from all my Macs, fire up the applet and establish a secure connection. The console showed a Java crash.
But on the third Mac, everything worked fine. I made sure that the Safari and Java preferences were set the same on each machine but still no joy. That was on the working Mac. Then I remembered the difference between ‘System’ Java, Java plugins, and Java development kits.
Simply put, you can have multiple versions of Java in different places. What was happening on the not-working Macs was that the jdk versions were being used, and the Juniper vpn client won’t work with them. To fix things for the moment I simply removed the jdk folders. And then checked that the reported version of Java was 1.
Web applets still use the up to date, secure version 1. A few weeks ago, a number of people started reporting having trouble with Siri. Phrases like ‘Call my wife’ or ‘Tell my dad’ stopped working. Siri knew who those people were but proclaimed ‘Uh oh, I don’t have a phone number for Jane Isa Doe.
I debugged this for over an hour and on a hunch, found a workaround that seems to work for nearly everyone who has tried it. That’s why I call it a workaround instead of a fix. I figure Apple is mucking around with Siri and perhaps caused a bug or some sort of corruption. I’d be curious to know from MacOSXHints users whether they are experiencing this problem in the first place and if the workaround works for you, too. I’d also like to understand why this works and why the problem even exists. I had tried a ton of suggested fixes for the issue before stumbling upon this work around. You can read more about it in my blog entry.