Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

I was going through Red Cross training recently, and one thing that was mentioned was whether we have Medical IDs setup on our iPhones. I do. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d set it up a long time ago. I then asked around and no one else had one setup. So I grabbed my testing iPhone and decided to write it up.

To get started setting up your Medical ID on your iPhone, open the Health app. From the Health app, tap on Medical ID and then tap on Create Medical ID.


At the Medical ID screen, enter allergies, medications you are on, add emergency contacts, provide your blood type, define if you wish to be an organ donor, and add your weight. Viola, you’ve now given all this information to first responders and medical professionals should they need it.


To then access a Medical ID on an iPhone, swipe to unlock the phone. From there, tap on Emergency in the lower left corner of the screen.


At the Emergency Call screen, you’ll see Medical ID. Tap here to see the information provided earlier, even when your phone is locked.


November 20th, 2015

Posted In: iPhone

Tags: , , , , , , ,

One Comment

When I was doing a lot of hiring, the pool of Mac Admins was smaller. And it was in a way easier for me to recruit people, because I knew a lot of them. As the pool has grown and a lot of the talent has matured, keeping your finger on the pulse of the hiring market around Apple has become much more challenging. Also, I’ve recruited far more developers and marketing professionals than Apple engineers in the past couple of years. But, there are still a number of places that you can look to find good Mac and iOS engineers looking for a gig. Here’s a quick and dirty list (which can be used to find jobs as well, I suppose) of a few of the better places to look for people you might choose to try and hire:

  • One of the best places to find someone is whatever site or email list appeals to the administrators of products you run. For example, this could be the Studio SysAdmins list if you’re in the film industry, JAMF Nation if you run the Casper Suite, or the Munki forums if you use Munki. If your target is to hire someone with a specific skillset, then looking where the people who have those skills lurk is never a terrible idea. Do be gentle there, though, and know what the protocol is for posting a job (e.g. many have specific threads for job and employee seekers). But nothing is as legitimate as flexing your knowledge of a product on the products own forums. This is more challenging if you’re looking for a generalist. There you likely have more people suitable, so opening your net to a job board isn’t terrible idea. I’d also include the Mac Enterprise email list, and all the Mac conferences. Having said that, protocol is important. For example, in my opinion, it is crass to actively recruit someone at a conference if their employer paid for them to be there. Grab a card, do it when you get home if you need to.
  • It’s cheap, it’s easy to post, and I see a lot more people using this site than I see for some of the larger sites. They do aggregate data from some of the larger sites, so a lot of candidates might start their searches there.
  • Craigslist. I’ve found some of my best employees on Craigslist. You get a lot more resumes that aren’t appropriate, so you’ll spend a little more time weeding through them. It’s the cheapest place to post a job, and you’ll spend more time vetting candidates, but it’s not a bad place if you’re looking for local generalist talent and have the time to spend.
  • is one of the oldest of the recruiting sites. It’s not a terrible place to post a job. You get fewer candidates than many other places, but they’re often more qualified than you might think. I do find you get people waaaaay outside your geography, which is always hard, especially for a smaller company who can’t pull the trigger on a Visa as quickly as they’d like to fill a vacancy.
  • CareerBuilder is similar to Monster, so most of the things there apply to it as well. Pick one of these sites, if you’re looking fora good generalist. If you have a specialty, you can search their resumes but aren’t likely to find a ton of candidates in the Apple space.
  • is another big job board.
  • LinkedIn. It’s the professional social network, right? I found many really good candidates. I got a response per maybe 10 messages I sent, and of those, most were qualified on paper at a minimum. It can take some time to sort through people, but do yourself a favor and get a Premium account. It will cost less than posting a job to many of the big sites, and you’ll have much better search and communication tools at your disposal! You can also post a job there, but it only amplifies by your social network, so you’ll need a good number of connections for this  to pan out well for you.
  • This site used to have more normal techie jobs. These days they’ve gone into more executive and management, which sometimes you’ll need to hire.
  • If you need interns, check out AfterCollege.
  • Peercisely. A peer-based job board that rewards referrals. ‘Cause referrals are the best way to find employees, after all!
  • is a great spot for hourly employees. Which most Mac engineers are not. But some are…
  • is one of the most important tools many potential employees have in their job hunting arsenal. And you can post your job there. Chances are, they’ll look you up there, btw, so review what the reviews on you say.
  • Superuser, stackoverflow, (you can post jobs to these), github (who wrote the cool projects you like or contributes to them), Twitter, etc. A good strategy I used was to Google for the answer to a question I had. Sometimes I’d pick a juicy trouble ticket from the previous week and copy the text and paste it into a browser. If someone answered that question, then I might very well want them on my team. This worked best when I was after employees who could live anywhere in the US or world. It’s harder when you need an onsite engineer.
  • Slack. It’s not often that something comes along and really changes an entire community. Launched maybe a year ago, the MacAdmins Slack channel, accessible at has become a great place to find talented Mac Admins, and see what else they have have posted previously!
  • Grow your own. I’m sure this isn’t what anyone who finds this post with a Google search is going to want to find. But consider giving someone on your team a chance to become a good Mac Admin. They may surprise you!
  • Finally, The community is still small enough that you can search for speakers at the various Mac Conferences and look into whether some of them are local to you. This is kinda’ funny, because they might not even remotely be the best talent, but they might – or they might know someone looking!

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 9.56.41 PM

Good luck. Good people make your company and you more successful. A bad hire has the opposite impact. Choose wisely! And if you found a job and think you have a good add, post a comment. I’m always interested in how people found their gigs!

November 18th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security

Tags: , ,


I’ve been thinking a lot about the iPad Pro (which might be obvious to my readers). Sooooo, I wrote up a little article for CBS Pulse on the iPad Pro. It’s available at Hope you enjoy!

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.32.32 PM

November 17th, 2015

Posted In: Articles and Books, Bushel, iPhone

Leave a Comment

Honored to have gotten to hang out with @chuckjoiner @jmartellaro and @donmcallister on @macvoices this past Sunday. It was a blast and I look forward to doing more of these!

November 16th, 2015

Posted In: iPhone

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Comment

One of the tasks you’ll need to perform in Apple Configurator 2, is to assign Profiles to iOS devices in order to set them up with features or restrict the device from using certain features. I cover creating a profile here. To get started applying a profile to a device, bring up the Blueprints screen.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.44.35 PM

Choose a Blueprint and right-click on it. Choose Profiles…

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.44.53 PM

Browse to the profile and then click on Add Profile.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.45.11 PM

The profile is then applied to any devices that the Blueprint is applied to. For more on Blueprints, view this article.

November 15th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Apple Configurator 2 is a great new evolution in iOS initial and configuration management. And there are lots of great options. And to help you wrap your head around all this new fun stuff, I’ve written up a quick and dirty guide for using Apple Configurator 2.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.02.03 PM

It’s not completely done, but it will be shortly. Hope this help someone. Enjoy!

November 14th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

The new iPad Pro is pretty much the most ridiculously luxurious device I’ve seen in a long, long time. It’s huge. There are still many of the same limitations as on an iPad. The lack of browser plug-ins keeps us from accessing certain types of content. There isn’t access to the Finder as with OS X. But the screen is ridiculously massive and provides a whole new way to view data. It’s a beautiful, marvelous piece of technology. When we were looking at Bushel and the blog on on it, we suddenly found the top and bottom bars of Safari to be just a bit too much lost screen real estate. And it made me think of yet another benefit of Web Clips: getting more screen real estate.

Click Here To Read More On Web Clips And iOS on the Bushel Blog

November 13th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Comment

Enter Apple Configurator 2, a free tool on the Mac App Store. This tool basically fixes most setup challenges for iOS, but does so over USB. This means that Apple Configurator is not necessarily a replacement for MDM. In fact, you can deploy Trust and Entrollment profiles for MDM and automate the MDM enrollment for a device through Apple Configurator 2. Instead, Apple Configurator 2 is a tool that can either help to manage iOS devices during a mass deployment and do so in a manner that is easy enough that you don’t need a firm background in IT to manage devices on a day-to-day basis.

Here is what Apple Configurator can do:

  • Update iOS devices to the latest version of iOS.
  • Rename devices using a numbered scheme (e.g. iPad 1, iPad 2, etc).
  • Erase (wipe) iOS devices.
  • Backup and Restore iOS devices.
  • Deploy profiles/policies (e.g. no Siri for you, disable cameras, setup wireless, etc) to iOS devices.
  • Export profiles.
  • Activate devices (after all a restore of a freshly activated device is an activation).
  • Push any kind of app to devices.
  • Track Volume Purchase Program (VPP) codes used on devices.
  • Manage the wallpaper on “Supervised” devices (more on supervision later).
  • Manage the names of devices en masse.
  • Load content to apps on devices.
  • Skip initial Activation steps on devices.

Apple Configurator 2 does have some caveats, including the following:

  • In order to push apps through Apple Configurator, the system running Configurator needs access to Apple’s servers and Apple Configurator needs an AppleID associated with it that is not the VPP facilitator if you are leveraging any paid apps.
  • You can use Apple Configurator “off-line” or without an AppleID to Prepare devices with Profiles, just not to Activate devices. For the initial device activation process, Macs running Apple Configurator will need to be online. Additionally, you’ll be prompted to enter your Apple ID routinely.
  • If you push Trust and Enrollment profiles to automatically join Profile Manager (or another MDM vendor) the device isn’t associated with a user unless the MDM has been prepped to designate each UDID or Serial Number to a given user.
  • If you accidentally plug in your iPhone to a machine and you’re using Apple Configurator on it and you’ve chosen to Erase in the application, then it will wipe your phone along with the 30 iPads you’re wiping. It’s awesome and scary like that (yes, I’ve accidentally wiped my phone).

I see a number of uses for Apple Configurator. Some of these use cases include:

  • Company and education labs: manage devices end-to-end (no MDM, iTunes iPhone Configuration Utility or other tools needed), managed by the lab manager.
  • One-to-One environments (schools): Manage the distribution of infrastructure settings (mail, wireless networks, etc) for devices as well as Trust Profiles to make it faster to enroll in MDM environments and Web Clips to manage the links for enrollment.
  • Device distribution: Pre-load applications (that can’t be updated unless they’re cradled again), renaming, profiles, activation, iOS software updates, etc.
  • Backup and Restore only stations where you don’t interfere with later iTunes use.

These can enhance practically every environment I’ve worked with. But unless it’s a small environment (e.g. the labs), Apple Configurator isn’t a replacement for the tools already in use in most cases, like an MDM solution. Instead, it just makes things better. Overall, Apple Configurator 2 is a welcome addition to the bat belt that we all have for iOS management and deployment. Now that we’ve looked at the when/where of using it, let’s look at the how.



At this point, we’ll explore the Profiles options in Apple Configurator 2. To create profiles, use the File menu and click on New Profile.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.23.16 PM

At the Untitled profile name, enter a name in the Name field. This is how it will appear in the Profiles section of Apple Configurator. Because you can deploy multiple profiles, I’m just going to configure the SSID and Web Clip and call it MDM Enrollment Staging. Optionally, give it some notes, organization name, etc.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.25.29 PM

Click on Wi-Fi and then click on the Configure button. Here, enter the SSID of the deployment network (MDMEnroll in this example). We’ll use the Hidden Network field to indicate the SSID is suppressed and we’ll use the network type of WEP and throw the password into the Password field as well. Now, before we move on, notice that there’s a plus and minus sign in the top right of the screen? You can deploy multiple of each, so if you have 10 wireless networks, 4 Email accounts, 9 VPN connections, 29 SSL Certs etc, you could deploy them all easily with multiple entries of each.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.27.04 PM

Next, we’ll go ahead and enter a name for our Web Clip and the URL that the device will point to.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.36.06 PM

We’ll also disable certain features of iOS. To do so, click on Restrictions, and uncheck various boxes in order to disable features you don’t wish to use.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.39.22 PM

Go ahead and close the window and you’ll be prompted to save the profile.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.29.55 PM


You’ll then see MDM Enrollment Staging.mobileconfig in the Finder where you selected to store it. You can also save an enrollment profile from Profile Manager as we explained here. We could go that further further and actually enroll the device by exporting the enrollment profile as well, but again, I want each user to provide their username and password so I as an administrator don’t have to go through and attach each device to a user in this scenario. I’ve been looking at importing devices and associating them with users via postgres, but that’s going to be another 3am article, on another night…


Apple Configurator 2is really a great tool when used in the right scenarios. In learning how it works and interacts I actually learned a lot about both iOS and Mac OS X that I didn’t know before. I hope I did the tool justice with how easy it is to use. This is a fairly long article and it’s probably more complicated than it needs to be in parts, but that’s more my method of trying to figure out what it’s doing than the tool being complicated. It’s not hard to figure out at all. I am sure I could teach any non-technical iOS admin basic use of Apple Configurator 2 in less than an hour.

Overall, in Apple Configurator 2, we have a new, powerful iteration in our arsenal that makes up the iOS administration ecosystem. I also hope that no matter what, if you manage iOS devices, that you’ll take a look at it. I expect you’ll find it useful in some part of your management toolkit!

November 13th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


The articles continue, on this site and others. Just did an article on The Rising Tide of Mobile Devices In Small Business for Re/Code. It’s available here. 

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 8.22.49 AM

And in case you’re curious, the reason I post a link and clip of them here is so I have all the articles in a central location to go back and reference… I don’t post links to the Bushel ones I write, ’cause they’re already centralized in one place. Although I have considered an auto-slug based on the RSS feed of my author page there… But that’s something I’ll look at one day when I have a little free time…

November 12th, 2015

Posted In: iPhone

Tags: , , ,

One Comment

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.20.41 PM

November 11th, 2015

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

Leave a Comment

Next Page »