After the fire alarm incident I tried to connect to work so that I could send some email to my manager letting him know I'd be in a little late (the last time I sent e-mail from home to work letting someone know I wouldn't be in, I showed up before the mail did). Unfortunately I was unable to connect with my new iMac. I didn't really spend much time on the problem and just assumed it was a temporary malfunction.
Later this week I needed to connect to work to check on the status of a change I'd made that day. Once again I tried connecting from my iMac and kept seeing failures. I finally discovered that there was some sort of java problem on the machine. I looked around on google and found an article that seemed to describe my problem
but its solution was a download that won't work on my iMac (it was a fix for 10.3.9, I'm running 10.4.1). I decided to try the note at the bottom to see if that might fix anything (java was significantly broken, so what did I have to lose?). After executing the suggested command line statements, java was fully functional again and I was able to connect to work. (If I'd found a more appropriate article
I would have had it fixed even more quickly.)