Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

I have another article up on the world webs. This one is on cloud use in small businesses, with IT Business Edge. Check it out at

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January 20th, 2016

Posted In: cloud, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment, Microsoft Exchange Server

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I published an article with with my (and Bushel’s) predictions for how small businesses will leverage the cloud in 2016.

In today’s increasingly mobile world, more and more small businesses are taking advantage of the cloud, as 72 percent indicate they use mobile apps in their business, with roughly 38 percent reporting they could not survive – or it would be a major challenge to survive- without mobile apps, says a recent survey report.

Given this trend, here’s a look at what cloud-connected small and medium-sized businesses can expect in the year ahead:

Read the predictions here…

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December 17th, 2015

Posted In: Articles and Books, Bushel, cloud, Small Business


Who still says “like a boss?” I guess I did. Get over it. But don’t get over spam. Especially annoying are the ones we know we accidentally signed up for. Because it’s our own darn fault. But luckily, there’s a lot more tools for dealing with bulk mail (solicited or unsolicited) these days. Most modern email clients have the ability to deal with spam. Exchange/Office 365 has clutter and junk. You can build rules on sites. You can use spam assassin on your servers. But, there’s also a nice little app called Once you sign up you’ll have 3 ways of dealing with each message: request removal from a list, mark as rolled up into a single daily digest, or mark as good email.

Download it here. The app works a lot like something like Tinder. You swipe right to like something, left to not like something. Facebook should implement this into your timeline!

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If you decide to mark emails as digests, you’ll get an email once a day that looks like this:

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This works great for organizations that actually properly remove you from lists (which is surprisingly most). Using this swiping type of workflow, you can knock through 100 or more emails in 10-15 minutes. For organizations that don’t respect unfollow or stop sending me your crap emails, there’s also always just marking them as spam. The only problem with this is that you likely have a phone, a computer, a home computer, and maybe a tablet. No one wants to mark the same email as spam four times and then potentially have emails disappearing and not being able to figure out which computer they were marked as junk on.

There are lots and lots of options for this type of thing. But given the ease of use an quick evisceration I can do on my mailbox, I rather like Give it a shot. You might hate it. I don’t.

December 3rd, 2015

Posted In: Apps, cloud, Network Infrastructure

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I am stoked to have been able to contribute a little to on the introduction of the new iPad Pro. That article is here.

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November 11th, 2015

Posted In: Articles and Books, Bushel, cloud, iPhone

In technology, we often find a lot of cool stuff that, as developers, engineers and yes, even product managers, we think is just plain cool. In agile development, we create epics, where we lay out customer stories and tie them into a set of features; however, while we’re working towards our goals we often find those technical places where we discover we can do something super cool. And we sometimes want to weave those into our stories as features in products simply because we want to make stuff that we’re technically proud of. But should we?

Too often we don’t consider what the social ramifications are to features. Time and time again we hear stories of what seemed like a cool feature that got abused. When we’re creating software, we think of the art. We want to change the world after reading too much Guy Kawasaki. We want to build sometimes just for the sake of building. And sometimes we come to a place where we think we just have to add something into a product. Then we stop and think about it, and we come to a place where we’re just torn about whether that feature is something that should go back to the obscure place we found it. And in times like that, when we’re torn about what to do, we have to remember that “we are the goodpeople” and do what’s right.

That is all.

September 30th, 2014

Posted In: cloud, personal, Product Management

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Before I post the new stencil, let me just show you how it came to be (I needed to do something, which required me to do something else, which in turn caused me to need to create this):


Anyway, here’s the stencil. It’s version .1 so don’t make fun: AWS.gstencil.

To install the stencil, download, extract from the zip and then open. When prompted, click on Move to move it to the Stencils directory.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 10.05.56 PMReopen OmniGraffle and create a new object. Under the list of stencils, select AWS and you’ll see the objects on the right to drag into your doc.

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Good luck writing/documenting/flowcharting!

June 5th, 2014

Posted In: cloud, Network Infrastructure

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Especially in environments with files in Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, Wikis, file servers, portals and any other place that makes it hard to aggregate exactly what you need.

May 30th, 2014

Posted In: cloud, Mac OS X Server

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Meraki has a syslog option. To configure a Meraki to push logs to a syslog server, open your Meraki Dashboard and click on a device. From there, click on “Alerts & administration”.

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At the “Alerts & administration” page scroll down to the Logging section. Click on the “Add a syslog server” link and type the IP address of your syslog servers name or IP. Put the port number into the Port field. Choose what types of events to export. This could be Event Log, Flows or URLs, where:

  • Event Log: The messages from the dashboard under Monitor > Event log.
  • Flows: Inbound and outbound traffic flows generate syslog messages that include the source and destination and port numbers.
  • URL: HTTP GET requests generate syslog entries.

Note that you can direct each type of traffic to a different syslog server.

April 16th, 2014

Posted In: cloud, Mac Security, Network Infrastructure

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Any time doing a migration of data from one IP to another where that data has a DNS record that points users towards the data, we need to keep the amount of time it takes to repoint the record to a minimum. To see the TTL of a given record, let’s run dig using +trace, +nocmd to turn off showing the version and query options, +noall to turn off display flags, +answer to still show the answer section of my reponse and most importantly for these purposes +ttlid to toggle showing the TTL on. Here, we’ll use these to lookup the TTL for the A record:

dig +trace +nocmd +noall +answer +ttlid a

The output follows the CNAME (as many a www record happen to be) to the A record and shows the TTL value (3600) for each: 3600 IN CNAME 3600 IN A

We can also lookup the MX using the same structure, just swapping out the a for an MX and the FQDN with just the domain name itself:

dig +trace +nocmd +noall +answer +ttlid mx

The response is a similar output where 3600 IN MX 0 3600 IN MX 10

January 23rd, 2014

Posted In: Active Directory, cloud, Consulting, iPhone, Kerio, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment, Microsoft Exchange Server, Network Infrastructure, Windows Server

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