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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Another article for CBS, this one I’m just getting around to, before spring is officially gone! Enjoy!
Do you use Apple devices at your small business? Is everything as centralized and organized as you want it to be? Maybe things are great and you just want to make them a little bit better. Regardless of your situation, spring is the perfect time to assess what you have, what’s working, what isn’t, and to clean out some of the clutter so that you can focus on efficiency moving into the rest of the year. Here are some top spring-cleaning tips you can implement to help make the most of your Mac, iPad, and iPhone investments.
To read more, click here… Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.32.42 AM

June 2nd, 2016

Posted In: Articles and Books

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When I was speaking at MacADUK, I asked Tom Bridge about starting a podcast. He’s got a great voice, and I thought he’d be a great co-host. Before we were able to get to that when we got home, Adam Codega, independently of the conversation I’d had with Tom, dropped a note on Twitter to see who else might be interested in doing a Podcast. A few people responded that they’d be interested in also jumping in on a new Podcast. Over the next few weeks, decisions were made that the podcast would be hosted as a part of MacAdmins.org, the format, the hosting location, and lots of other really cool stuff. And some of us got together and recorded the first episode. And then, last night, we recorded the second episode just in time to get that into editorial before Episode 1 is released. And soooooo, episode 1 is out! It includes Tom Bridge, Emil Kausalik, Adam Codega, and myself. We also have an interview with some of the organizers from the Penn State Mac Admins conference, which I wasn’t able to sit in on, but find just fantastic. And Tom did some of the editing. Aaron Lippincott (@dials-Mavis) did a lot of work on the mastering and deserves lots of credit there (he made everyone sound way betterer). And John Kitzmiller did a lot of work on the domain and website and DNS type of stuff, as well as helping with hosting of the podcast assets as well. And Adam’s done a lot of work on the back end linking things together, so a great team effort. The next episode also features Pepijn Bruienne and Marcus Ransom (who I lovingly decided we should call the He-Man of the Mac Universe) and covers the latest iOS 9.3 release, as well as some information about the Classroom app. So stay tuned for that, but click below to give the episode a listen, or find on iTunes once it appears (and I’ll post a link to that once we can). Overall, I’m really stoked to get this thing going, and that the group has built a great system for future episodes, that should be sustainable for many, many episodes. I’m also really stoked to be able to get to work with this specific group – I’m a big fan of everyone, and I look forward to many episodes to come! So follow on Twitter at @MacAdmPodcast and feel free to let us know if you’ve done something awesome and we should mention it or interview you!
Episode 1: It Begins
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March 28th, 2016

Posted In: iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment, Network Infrastructure, personal

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You can see exactly what Bushel, and other MDM platforms do to your OS X devices using the System Information utility. As with all Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions that interface with OS X, you can use the About this Mac menu item under the Apple menu at the top of the screen to bring up the System Information utility. When you open this tool, you will see a lot of information that can be derived about your devices. Scroll down the list and click on Profiles. Here, you will see all of the Device and User profiles that have been installed on your computer, the payloads within each profile and the keys within each payload. Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 12.00.11 PM Inside each profile there are a few pieces of information that define how the profile operates on the computer. Click on one to see the specific details for each Payload. Payloads are a collection of settings that a policy is changing. For example, in the above  screenshot, allowSimple is a key inside the com.apple.mobiledevice.passwordpolicy payload. This setting, when set to 1 allows simple passcode to be used on the device. When used in conjunction with the forcePIN key (as seen, in the same payload), you must use a passcode, which can be simple (e.g. 4 numeric characters). Using these settings, you can change a setting in Bushel and then see the exact keys in each of our deployed payloads that changed when you change each setting. Great for troubleshooting issues!

December 2nd, 2014

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone, Mass Deployment

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