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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

There is a new service in macOS, called Tetherator. Tethered-caching is a script that allows you to easily and quickly interact with the tethered-caching service, which has a few kinda’ cool options. This is on a client, and really speeds up all that crazy provisioning stuff you do. It can also check for the presence of a macOS Caching Server and use that as a source for the cache. The tethered-caching script is located at /usr/bin/tethered-caching.

Before you do anything with the service, check the status. That’s done with the -s option (there’s also a -v option to get verbose):

tethered-caching -s

The results before activated should be as follows:

2017-02-28 10:44:45.730 AssetCacheTetheratorUtil[3665:182657] Tetherator is disabled: (no error)
2017-02-28 10:44:45.746 AssetCacheActivatorUtil[3666:182664] Built-in caching server can be activated.
2017-02-28 10:44:45.762 AssetCacheActivatorUtil[3667:182673] Built-in caching server is deactivated: (no error)

Then start the service using the -n option in tethered-caching, along with the IP range to be used:

tethered-caching -n 192.168.1.0

This sets the ListenRanges key in the plist and should result in an activation process that appears as follows:

Starting tethered caching…
2017-02-28 10:47:59.691 AssetCacheActivatorUtil[3848:192902] Built-in caching server can be activated.
2017-02-28 10:47:59.706 AssetCacheActivatorUtil[3849:192910] Built-in caching server is deactivated: (no error)
Filtering the log data using “subsystem == “com.apple.AssetCache” AND messageType == 16″
Timestamp (process)[PID]
2017-02-28 10:48:05.098735-0600 localhost AssetCache[2882]: [com.apple.AssetCache.builtin] Built-in Caching Server activated. Exiting to allow re-launch.
2017-02-28 10:48:05.207493-0600 localhost AssetCache[2882]: [com.apple.AssetCache.builtin] Built-in Caching Server shutting down (0)
2017-02-28 10:48:07.362926-0600 localhost AssetCache[3862]: [com.apple.AssetCache.builtin] Built-in Caching Server version 170 started
2017-03-02 10:45:53.753 AssetCacheTetheratorUtil[29283:2526186] Tetherator enabled.
Started tethered caching. To stop it, press control+c once.

At this point, you’re calling /usr/bin/AssetCacheLocatorUtil to register and then start /usr/libexec/AssetCache/AssetCache via /System/Library/Preferences/Logging/Subsystems/com.apple.AssetCacheServices.plist which defaults read nets:

{Activator = {};
"DEFAULT-OPTIONS" = {
"Default-Privacy-Setting" = Public;
"Enable-Oversize-Messages" = 1;
"Event-Log" = {
Enabled = Inherit;};
Level = {
Enable = Inherit;
Persist = Inherit;};
TTL = {Debug = 0;Default = 10;Info = 10;};};
Daemon = {};
Extensions = {};
Framework = {};
Tetherator = {};}

The AssetCache preferences can be seen by catting /Library/Preferences/com.apple.AssetCache.plist:

Activated = 0;
CacheLimit = 0;
DataPath = "/Library/Caches/com.apple.AssetCache";
LastConfigData = ;
LastConfigURL = "http://suconfig.apple.com/resource/registration/v1/config.plist";
LastPort = 50775;
ListenRanges = ({first = "192.168.1.1";last = "192.168.1.254";});
ListenRangesOnly = 1;
LocalSubnetsOnly = 0;
PeerLocalSubnetsOnly = 1;
Port = 0;
PublicRanges = automatic;
ReservedVolumeSpace = 2000000000;
SavedCacheDetails = {};
SavedCacheDetailsOrder = ("Mac Software","iOS Software","Apple TV Software",iCloud,Books,"iTunes U",Movies,Music,Other);
SavedCacheDetailsStrings = {All the language keys as arrays - which I cut out to truncate the contents of the plist read};
SavedCacheSize = 0;
ServerGUID = "C5F29418-6158-4D3B-9162-XXX";
Version = 1;

Note that in the above, the LastConfigData key is pulled at activation by curling http://suconfig.apple.com/resource/registration/v1/config.plist. I’ve truncated the key as it’s kinda’ long…

A simple command that will be pretty common is to increase the size of the cache. To do so, you’d just edit that CacheLimit key to be the number that you want the cache to be. In the following example, we’re writing the CacheLimit key into AssetCache.plist at 100 gigs:

defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.AssetCache.plist CacheLimit -int 100000000000

There’s also com.apple.AssetCache.builtin.plist in /Library/LaunchDaemons which starts the builtin AssetCache, AssetCacheC, and CacheDelete service.

Once started, you will have a sqlite3 database called AssetInfo.db at /Library/Caches/com.apple.AssetCache. A basic structure of how data is stored includes the following tables:

  • ZAFFINITY with the following column: Z_PK INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, Z_ENT INTEGER, Z_OPT INTEGER, ZLASTSAVED TIMESTAMP, ZID VARCHAR
  • ZASSET with the following columns: Z_PK INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, Z_ENT INTEGER, Z_OPT INTEGER, ZMD5OFFSET INTEGER, ZTOTALBYTES INTEGER, ZCREATIONDATE TIMESTAMP, ZLASTACCESSED TIMESTAMP, ZCHECKSUM VARCHAR, ZGUID VARCHAR, ZINDEX VARCHAR, ZLASTMODIFIEDSTRING VARCHAR, ZNAMESPACE VARCHAR, ZURI VARCHAR, ZMD5CONTEXT BLOB
  • Z_METADATA with the following columns: Z_VERSION INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, Z_UUID VARCHAR(255), Z_PLIST BLOB
  • Z_MODELCACHE with just the Z_CONTENT column
  • TABLE Z_PRIMARYKEY with the following columns: Z_ENT INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, Z_NAME VARCHAR, Z_SUPER INTEGER, Z_MAX INTEGER

Once enabled, updates will be cached to the computer that the service is enabled on, metadata stored in the previously mentioned database, and then change ports and network ranges when needed.

March 27th, 2017

Posted In: Apple Configurator, Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPhone, JAMF, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mass Deployment, precache

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September 9th, 2016

Posted In: Apple Watch, Apps, iPhone, Mac OS X

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Posted a Huffington Post article from my notes from the WWDC keynote. Hope you enjoy!

Apple kicked off WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) today, with a Keynote that showcased some of the upper tier of talent and management within Apple. As a former WWDC speaker, I watch the keynote and most sessions through the remainder of the week religiously. Here, you see what’s coming in the fall releases of the four operating systems: macOS, watchOS, iOS, and tvOS (for Macs, Apple Watches, iPhones and iPads, and Apple TVs respectively).

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 2.01.07 PM

PS: macOS autocorrects to tacos. Mmmmm, tacos…

June 14th, 2016

Posted In: Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPhone, JAMF, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server

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The first Apple Watch update appeared a few days ago. This update brings with it “improved performance” for Siri, different elements of activity tracking, accessibility and third party support. 1.0.1 also brings Brazilian Portugese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Thai and Turkish language support. And a few minor security issues were addressed. In short, you might want to run this one… To do so, first make sure your phone is close (less than 20 feet in my opinion) and that the watch has at least half a charge.

To run the upgrade, start by opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. From the default screen (My Watch), tap on General and then tap on Software Update.

From the Software Update screen, tap on Download and Install and let the watch do it’s thing (note, you’ll be prompted for a passcode if you have one configured). The update usually takes around 15 minutes. Don’t reboot or get the phone more than 20 feet from the watch during the update. Enjoy your Brazilian Portuguese!

May 29th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch

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I keep looking for more and more ways to have my Apple Watch be really functional without having it talk to my phone when I need the function it’s performing. One of those can easily be looking at photos. One of these is to sync some photos to the watch so that if my battery dies or I leave my phone on my desk, I still have access to photos if I want to get to some. To sync pictures from your

First, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Then tap on Photos in the list of apps under the default My Watch tab.

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From the Photos screen, choose to be notified of alerts. I leave this set to Mirror My iPhone. Then, set the Synced Album to any album on the phone that you’d like to sync to the watch. This might be Camera Roll, the default, or you can select any album that you’ve created. After I did this, I’ve created a new album call watch that syncs all the pictures I want on my watch.

IMG_3927

Tap on Photos Limit to configure how much space you allow the photo album to fill up on your watch. You can select 25, 100, 250 or 500 photos, which nets 5MB, 15MB, 40MB and 75MB respectively. Then tap

Then wait. The photos will be sync’d to your Watch.

May 28th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch

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Now that I’ve found the right calculator for me, I should point out that I still take my phone out of my pocket to use a calculator. That’s a habit thing though, not a problem with the size of the objects on the Apple Watch.

Calculator for Apple Watch

Calculator for Apple Watch is a free, basic, standard little calculator app. It’s the app that could be built into the Apple Watch.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.29.10 AM

Calcbot

Calcbot is a slight step up from Calculator. Here, we gain the ability to convert some basic things as well, such as kilograms to pounds, Fahrenheit to Celsius and a few other little things. There’s also a little tip calculator for those who need it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.50.58 AM

Calculator+

If you need more functions, you can also do some scientific functions, fractions, percents, etc with this one.

Oh, and Calculator+ supporting using handwriting!

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.54.09 AM

PCalc

Similar to Calculator+ but adds constants and conversions. See the ellipse. That opens up a lot of different options. And you have a glance to see recent calculations from the iOS app, which can be cool if you’re in a meeting!

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.57.36 AM

CALC

Scientific calculator (the only one where the numbers are separate on the screen). Also has history and the options available in PCalc, but adds speakable items!

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.58.42 AM

XE Currency

Simple currency converter. A few of the more traditional calculator apps have some currencies, but XE has all the world currencies.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.03.27 AM

Calculator Free

As with a few of the calculator apps, this one has themes, so you can match it up with your band. But it also has a tip calculator, basic conversions and some of the bigger buttons (’cause lets face it, it’s a small screen).

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.12.23 AM

Calculator Pro

All the calculator things, matched to your watch band – but you have to buy it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.05.46 AM

Cruncher – Watch Calculator

Very basic calculator but with big buttons. Buttons are big because there are multiple objects within them. If you need bigger buttons give this one a shot.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.20.44 AM

Inflation Calculator

Another specialty calculator. How much is $20 from 1980 worth today?

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.22.55 AM

Bonus: There are tons of calorie counters out there for both Apple Watch and iPhone.

Bonus 2: There are tons of tip calculators out there for the Apple Watch, but I didn’t include any of those here.

May 27th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch, Apps

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When I first got it, the battery on my Apple Watch didn’t last throughout a day. I knew that I had to charge it every night before I bought it, but I thought it would have lasted me all day. Now it does. Don’t kill the functionality that you want from an Apple Watch.

Apple-Watch-MagSafe-main

Instead, pick and choose the things you don’t mind loosing, otherwise the watch might just be somewhat useless to you. So here’s a list of the things I experimented with:

  • Put the device into Power Saving Mode: OK, so this basically kills the use of the watch. You could also put the watch into airplane mode. This stuff is really if you won’t be using the watch for awhile. You know, like on a flight.
  • Disable the heart-rate monitor on the watch during your workouts. This only helps during workouts and has a negative impact in that you aren’t tracking heart rate and you get less accurate active calorie data. But if you’re running an ultra-marathon, you probably wanna’ do this. To do so, open the Apple Watch app, tap on the entry for the Workout app and then tap on Power Saving Mode.
  • Reduce notifications. To do so, open the Apple Watch app and then tap on Notifications. From here, check out this article for more information on managing notifications.
  • Disable wrist detection. I’m remiss to tell anyone to disable this option, but it is one way to make the watch battery last longer; especially if you gesticulate a lot! To do so, open the Apple Watch app and then tap on General. Then just slide the Wrist Detection entry into the OFF position.
  • Similarly, the Reduce Motion option reduces the number of automations when opening and closing apps. I love these animations and I’ve found that unless you’re doing a lot on the watch that this doesn’t really help with battery as much. But if you spend a lot of time during the day opening and closing apps, then this can be a nice bump.
  • Pick a watch face that isn’t a power hog. Watch faces with animation kill the power. I use the default watch face, which is bit of a drain because it pulls weather and shows your activity. But if you are really active, you might benefit from a very basic watch face that isn’t polling information on your phone to, for example, update the weather all the time. To switch between watch faces, Force Touch (press and hold) on a watch face and then swipe horizontally to select a new one.
  • Reduce the brightness on your device. One of the reasons that the Apple Watch is so awesome is that the screen is the prettiest on the wearables market. Reducing the brightness will only make the screen less and less awesome. But if you need more battery life, it will help! To turn down the brightness, open the Apple Watch app, tap on Brightness & Text Size and then slide the BRIGHTNESS entry to the level of brightness you can deal with. You can also go grayscale, on that same screen. It’s kinda’ sad to go this route, but if you’re about to do a Marathon with the watch, you might as well. You can always go back to a normal screen afterwards.

May 26th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch

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And so ya, I guess I have an Apple Watch… Here’s my own little guide on the darn thing. It’s fun.

http://krypted.com/guides/apple-watch/

May 25th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch

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By default, the Apple Watch acts as a control mechanism for the Music app on your iPhone. The Apple Watch can play music without an iPhone present as well. But first you’ll need to sync a playlist to the watch. To do so, open the Apple Watch app and scroll down to the Music app listing.

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From there, you’ll see an option for Playlist Limit and Synced Playlist. First, we’ll limit the amount of space on you watch that the music from your playlist can take up. Tap Playlist Limit in the MUSIC STORAGE section.

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Here, I’ll tap on 2.0 GB. This will limit the amount of storage that can be taken up by the music from the playlist that we sync to the device. Then tap < Music to go back to select a playlist.

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At the Synced Playlist option, select a playlist from your phone. I’m going to select one I created for this purpose called Local.

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Once you do so, the music from the playlist will start syncing to the watch. You can then play it to a bluetooth device without having your phone present. For those who didn’t want an Apple Watch because they wanted to go on runs without a phone on them, you’re in luck. Now you just need a pair of bluetooth headphones.

May 24th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch

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The Apple Watch will display notifications for any app that can push notifications to the watch. You can configure which can, by opening the Apple Watch app on your phone and tapping on the Notifications section. From here, you’ll be able to disable Notifications on the watch and control each app.

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The app with the most options is Activity. This is where you can disable stand reminders, progress updates, indications that the goals are complete, summaries and of course achievement notifications.

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Most of the other built-in apps can mirror an iPhone or be disabled. You can also manually control the built-in apps, which by default mirror alerts from your iPhone.

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The Notifications Indicator option in that Apple Watch app will disable the whole red dot at the top of the screen thingy. I don’t recommend that. If you get a lot of notifications, the better thing to know is how to disable all the notifications at once. To do so, Force Touch to invoke the Clear All screen. Tap it and all those notifications get cleared at once. Now, hopefully you can find all the things you didn’t see.

May 23rd, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch

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