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When applying management profiles, it helps to be able to look at the logs and troubleshoot why any settings aren’t applied. To view logs on an Apple TV, open Xcode and then click on an Apple TV.

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From the Apple TV screen, click on View Device Logs. The logs will appear in the app.

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Click Done when you’re finished reviewing the logs.

November 8th, 2015

Posted In: Apple TV

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The 4th Generation of the Apple TV supports installing apps. And part of playing around with new apps is sometimes you’re not going to want them on your TV any more. To remove apps, the process is similar to that of an iPad. Highlight an app that you’d like to remove and then hold down the clicker on the app.

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The app will go a little larger. Click on it again and you’ll get the option to Delete the app.

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Click Delete and the app disappears.

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That’s it. The app, and any storage that is being consumed by the app, is then freed up.

November 7th, 2015

Posted In: Apple TV

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The most substantial part of the update to the 4th generation of the Apple TV is the addition of an App Store. Awesome! There are a nice number of apps so far. Not too many, just yet. Let’s look at installing an app. To do so, start your Apple TV and from the home screen, click on the App Store icon.

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From the App Store, search for an app and click on it. If you like the screenshots, click on the Get button (it’s a free app so it says Get).

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Once installed, click on Open.

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The app opens. Yay. Very easy.

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Some of the apps from your other devices may work on the Apple TV. If you go to Purchased Apps from the top row of options, you’ll be able to click on All Apps. From there, you’ll see a list of apps available for the Apple TV.

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If you click on an App, you can then click on Install.

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Once installed, you can open apps and use them.

November 4th, 2015

Posted In: Apple TV

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The new Apple TV has a USB-C port. It’s got some great uses. One of which is that you can use it to take screenshots through Xcode. To do so, you’ll either need a USB-C MacBook or a USB-C to USB adapter. Once you’ve plugged your computer into the back of the Apple TV, open Xcode and choose Devices from the Window menu at the top of the screen.

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From Devices, click on your new 4th Generation Apple TV. You’ll then be greeted by a Take Screenshot button. Click on it.

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You should then see the screen from your Apple TV. Now, good luck with that pose… Now that I can take a proper screenshot of an Apple TV I’ll have to meditate on whether or not I’ll someday write a book on the darned things…

 

November 3rd, 2015

Posted In: Apple TV

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The new fourth generation Apple TV is everything I hoped the third generation would be. We have a touch remote with a Mic, great video, USB-C, and most importantly, an App Store! And while I have security concerns around the setup process, I am sure Apple has thought through the myriad of questions I have surrounding sharing Apple ID keys over bluetooth from a phone to the Apple TV to streamline the setup process. So about that setup process. Configuring the new Apple TV is pretty straight forward. To get started, get your phone out. Yes, your phone. Then unwrap the Apple TV and plug it into the HDMI port on your TV and the AC adapter (which is the same as the second and third generation Apple TVs).

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Once plugged in, boot up your Apple TV. When prompted, click Set Up with Device on the fancy  new remote.

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At the Set Up Your Apple TV prompt, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your phone and then wait for it, the TV will see your phone!

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When prompted on your phone, tap Continue.

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When the TV tells you to enter the Apple ID on your phone, make sure your phone is unlocked and then provide that information.

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You’re then prompted for whether you’d like the Apple TV to retain your password. Obviously, if you have kids that love to buy in app purchases, this might be a bad idea. If you live alone, maybe a good idea.

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Make your selection and then you’ll be prompted for whether you’d like to send data to Apple. I usually tap OK here, as I prefer my experience to get better with products (and usually don’t go in for all the tin foil hat stuffs).

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Back on the TV, choose whether or not to enable Location Services. If you travel with Apple TV, this might be helpful. If not, then it’s likely not a biggee.

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One of the great new features is the new Siri integration with Apple TV. While Siri on my TV doesn’t seem to like me much, I’m sure it’s my fault, so I’d still click that Use Siri option.

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I loved the photos on the previous generation of Apple TV, so decided to let Apple give me some more. You may not want to use their background for a screensaver. Click Automatically Download if you’d like to use theirs, or Not Now if not.

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You’re then prompted for whether or not to send Diagnostics and Usage Data to Apple again. Choose if you’d like to do so.

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If you want your apps to get better, click Share with App Developers.

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Click Agree to agree to the warranty.

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Click Agree to agree to Apple’s Terms and Conditions (for these, you can’t proceed unless you agree to them; otherwise you can return the device).

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Now you’re at the Main Apple TV screen. If you’re used to using Netflix, the next thing you’ll want to do is head over to the App Store and install some apps. You can also go ahead and start buying media, etc. Enjoy!

 

November 3rd, 2015

Posted In: Apple TV

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I’ve had my Watch for eighteen days now. Everyday I learn something new, and everyday the Watch becomes more apart of my everyday life. It keeps me on time for my meetings, has me connect to my friends on a more personal level, and it made me realize I need to cut out the large amount of caffeine I rely on. We put together a list of 18 features we have found to be useful that maybe you haven’t seen before!

To Read The Rest Of The 18 Days and 18 Features of the Watch Article, Click Here

April 14th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch, Bushel

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I recently purchased a new TV (actually won, but that’s aside from the point). I put the DirecTV receiver on there and it worked like a charm. Then I put the Apple TV on and it appeared to work like a charm. But when the screensaver kicked in, the colors inverted. Sometimes I’d see lines across the screen and other times the Apple TV would get weird and just be blurry. I knew immediately that I was sending it too much. Turns out the new TV couldn’t do less than 1080p and the old Apple TV couldn’t do anything higher than 720p. To confirm, I looked up the serial number. All Apple TVs have Wi-Fi (up to 802.11n), 10/100 Ethernet, optical audio and an Infrared receiver for the remote control. So, here’s some information on model-specific connectivity to your other equipment:

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  • Early 2012 Model: Model A1427 or A1469, with HDMI that supports 720p or 1080p
  • Late 2010 Model: Model A1378, with HDMI supporting 720P
  • Early 2007 Mode (Silver): Model A1218, with HDMI supporting 480p and 720p as well as RCA and a built-in 40 or 160GB hard drive

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April 27th, 2014

Posted In: Home Automation, iPhone, Mac OS X

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My daughter is always finding features I’d never heard of. I’m sitting there, watching the Katy Perry movie with her. She hits some random buttons on the Apple TV remote and a screen comes up and then disappears as quickly as it appeared. A screen I’ve never noticed…

Flash forward to later in the day and suddenly the subtitles for Lillyhammer are in Spanish. Now, my Spanish just isn’t as good as it used to be. So here I’m wanting to switch it to English. But, where’s the setting? I finally found it by browsing to Settings, then Audio & Video. Then browse to Closed Captioning and switch it to English, or just Off if you’re only looking to see captions when something is in another language.
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This caused me to start trying every possible key combination (with only 6 keys it didn’t really take that long) until I held down the Play button for a few seconds while inside Netflix and streaming a movie to my Apple TV. This brought up a menu allowing me to select the Closed Captioning language.

Fun stuff. Good luck!

January 26th, 2014

Posted In: Home Automation

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My next book, coauthored with Mr. TJ Houston, is now available. The rough draft was mostly complete the week of MacSysAdmin in Sweden. I announced the book at the conference and was busy at work after to get as much as possible complete. And after many an hour and month spent editing this book (props to TJ for doing a lot of the editing), it’s finally  available on Packt Publishing. To quote the site, this is what the book is on:

The Apple Configurator is an incredible piece of software which grants full control in mobile device management, but on a larger scale. The popularity of people taking their own devices to work has grown tremendously. However, valued professional and personal information is at risk, through loss, theft, or hacking. Instant Apple iOS Configuration Utility How-to is a hands-on guide that eliminates any worries that are associated with the deployment and security of iOS devices. This book provides practical, quick win solutions to combat these issues, with clear, concise, and informative examples providing solutions to secure, remote wipe, and encrypt devices. The book will further explore how to personalize iOS devices for configuration and deployment.

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With the Instant Apple iOS Configurator Utility Book How-to, learn to build profiles with customised control settings, with examples on how to capture device information and use console logs for added protection. You will become skilled at tracking and installing provisional profiles for greater security. We will also explore developing workflows for successful deployment, installing software and applications whilst managing files on iOS devices, and how to deploy enrolment profiles for mobile device management solutions en masse. If you are looking for a complete guide that provides simple solutions to complex problems, look no further.

To buy, visit this link: http://www.packtpub.com/apple-ios-configuration-utility/book

Note: I think the title is a little off, that’s in progress for being fixed.

February 20th, 2013

Posted In: iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server

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Sometimes it can be really useful to have an SSH connection into your AppleTV. If I need to explain why then you probably won’t want to do it. Unless of course, you’re just after getting something like Boxee running, which we’ll look at as well. Before we get into doing anything to your AppleTV, when we’re done I do not know how Apple will feel about your warranty moving forward, so do this stuff at your own risk (but that’s pretty much true for many articles on this site)…

So first up, let’s install SSH. To get started, plug in a jump drive you don’t mind reformatting. Then run the df command and look at which filesystem that the jump drive was mounted as. In most cases this should be /dev/disk1s1 or /dev/disk2s1 or something like that. Note this location and while you’re at it, double-check that the data is trivial to you and that you really don’t mind reformatting the jump drive.

Next, let’s download atvusb-creator, a little utility that will generate a new patchstick based on that jump drive (a patchstick being the term applied to usb sticks that will hax0r an AppleTV). Once downloaded, run the tool. Select ATV-Patchstick in the Choose an Installation dialog, and then select the version of the AppleTV OS you have (if you’re fully software updated then as of the date of this writing that would be 3.x). Next, choose ssh tools from the 3rd field in the Installation Options section, making sure that the box is checked. If you are just trying to get XBMC or Boxee running then you can check the boxes for those as well at this point.

ATV USB Creator Screenshot

ATV USB Creator

Next, set the USB Target Device field to be the filesystem you selected earlier and then click the Create Using button and wait for the process to finish. Once the patchstick has been created, plug it into your AppleTV and reboot the unit. You’ll see a bunch of code, similar to starting Mac OS X into verbose mode. When the screen tells you that you’re done, unplug the patchstick and reboot the device. Upon reboot it will be running SSH with a username and password of frontrow. If you’re not using a static IP address then if you open iTunes and connect to the device you’ll have an entry in your arp table for it. You can run arp and find the IP fairly easily. Once found, use the SSH command to connect to the device. For example, if mine is on an IP address of 10.0.0.100 then I would use the following command to connect to it:

ssh frontrow@10.0.0.100

Now you have an AppleTV running SSH. Even though this article isn’t meant to be about Boxee or XBMC, you can then install those by going to the new Launcher menu and then to Downloads and downloading those applications (otherwise if you try to access them you’ll get an error that the .app bundle can’t be found). Once those are in place it should open pretty easily.

Now that you’re running SSH, let’s look at one of the uses. I want a web browser on the AppleTV (even though typing a URL in it is pretty painful unless you install a keyboard too). For this instance, I’m going to use CouchServer, ’cause I like the way the keyboard works and because there’s a silverlight that kinda’ sorta’ works with it. First, download the files for CouchSurfer here. Then copy the files that were downloaded up to the device (assuming the filename is CouchSurfer-Lite.tar) from your client computer:

scp ~/Desktop/CouchSurfer-Lite.tar frontrow@10.0.0.100:~

Next, SSH into the AppleTV and extract the tar file:

tar -xvpf CouchSurfer-Lite.tar

Then move the extracted data into the PlugIns directory (which will display the appliance similar to how Launcher would be displayed at this point:

sudo mv CouchSurfer.frappliance /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/PlugIns/

(your password will be frontrow in case you have hard core add and have forgotten it already)

We’re gonna’ give ownership to wheel:

sudo chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/PlugIns/CouchSurfer.frappliance

Then reboot the AppleTV. Upon reboot, you will then have a shiny new web browser making your AppleTV even more like a full fledged Mac with Front Row. Now you’re in pretty good shape. You’ve pretty much put more stuff on your AppleTV than you can possibly use, but you still probably just want NetFlix to work on it. For that, you’ll need to get Silverlight working with CouchSurfer and just browse to the movies in the web browser at Netflix.com as the Boxee implementation for AppleTV doesn’t yet work with NetFlix and there aren’t any native Plug-Ins that work with it yet either (that I’m aware of). Also, if you’re going to use any of the 3rd party media browsers, keep in mind that they’re sitting on top of the OS layer and that their resource utilization seems pretty poor compared to the native media browser on the device (given the abstraction there, it seems logical it would be so no complaints).

BTW, another fun little app (to help make your AppleTV more like your iPad):

http://code.google.com/p/weatherfront

And the most intriguing one that I haven’t actually gotten to work yet (haven’t had time to get past the second or third step – busy) is:
http://www.appletvhacks.net/2007/04/02/install-asterisk-on-apple-tv/#more-41

What I’d like to see – the ability to run my AppleTV as a Zwave controller… Or iPad… Or Newton… 🙂

April 23rd, 2010

Posted In: Home Automation, Mac OS X

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