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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

One of my favorite options in the latest round of home automationry is the ability to voice control all the things. The Wink has a pretty substantial list of supported home automation devices. The Alexa can control the Wink. Therefore, the Alexa can do all the things, even though integrations with Alexa were not built for most of those devices by Amazon.

The beauty here lies in the ubiquity of APIs these days. Alexa has a recipe-style option called a Skill (further humanizing her). Basically, you add the Wink skill, then scan for devices that are connected through the Wink, then viola, tell Alexa to do something to them. To get started, open the Alexa app and tap on Skills. Search for Wink and then tap on Enable.

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At the Wink screen, enter the username and password for your Wink account and then tap on Sign In.

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Provided all goes well, you’ll then be told that Alexa linked with Wink (there’s a joke there… anyone?).

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Alexa doesn’t know about your devices that are connected through Wink yet. So now tap on Discover Devices.

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The app then shows all the devices connected. Mine will have about 20, but I’ve only got two setup for now.

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From the Wink app, let’s add another device.

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Then let’s tap Discover Devices again from the Alexa app.

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Any new devices are then displayed.

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Different devices have different voice commands. For example, a thermostat can change the temperature whereas a light switch can turn on and off, a dimmer can be set to a certain percentage of power, or a garage door opener can open a garage door. Now, if I can only find the dip-switch controlled coffee pot and hook it up to an automated receptacle so Alexa can make me a cup of coffee…

July 7th, 2016

Posted In: Alexa, Home Automation

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I’ve worked with a lot of organizations switching between Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions in my career. And I’ve seen the migration projects go both really, really well, and really, really poorly. In most cases, the migration is somewhat painful no matter what you do. But in this (my first) article on the JAMF blog, I try and organize my thoughts around a few things to look out for when migrating between MDMs/MAMs, and some context/experience around those.

https://www.jamfsoftware.com/blog/10-things-to-consider-when-switching-between-mobile-device-management-solutions/

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June 23rd, 2016

Posted In: Articles and Books, iPhone, JAMF, Mac OS X

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The seventh episode of the MacAdmins podcast is now available! This is my first time sitting out an episode, which might explain why it’s the best episode so far!

June 21st, 2016

Posted In: MacAdmins Podcast

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Been awhile since I contributed any content to the wonderful Bushel team, so provided an article on accounting concepts that every small business owner should know. A sample:

To be a successful small business owner, you don’t need to be an accounting expert; you can outsource that. But you do need a solid grasp of basic accounting concepts. As a small business owner, you need more than an intuitive feel for the performance of your business. Understanding a few basic Accounting 101 concepts goes a long way towards keeping the goals for your company in alignment with your performance. Here are 5 accounting concepts to get you started:

Read More at http://blog.bushel.com/2016/06/5-accounting-concepts-small-business-owner-needs-know/

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June 18th, 2016

Posted In: Articles and Books, iPhone, Mac OS X

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I’m a bit late in posting this, but better late than never! In this episode, we interview the venerable Arek Dreyer about his upcoming book, and learn a little of his origin story! More on that in issues to come I’m sure!

June 15th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server

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Wrote an article awhile back that got edited by and is now posted at http://www.smallbizdaily.com/hiring-the-best-it-support-for-your-smb-to-make-the-most-of-your-investment/.

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If it’s your kinda’ thing, hope you enjoy!

June 9th, 2016

Posted In: Articles and Books

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Episode 5: SSO & Puppies, Two Tales of Adoption with Tom Bridge, Pepijn Bruienne, Marcus Ransom, and I is now available at http://podcast.macadmins.org or using the embed below. Hope you enjoy!

And a special thanks to Andrew Seago, Miles Leacy, and Mikey Paul for joining us!

June 7th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac Security, MacAdmins Podcast, Mass Deployment

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Hey Devops peeps! Got this, so just quoting and posting:

Just a reminder that the Early Bird rate for the MacDeployment Conference ends on Monday (May 16) at 23:59 MT. This applies both to the Conference day (June 16, CAD $75) as well as the Conference + Workshop days package (June 16 + 17, CAD $275). While the conference is meant to serve (and further build) the Mac Admins community in Alberta (Canada), it is open to all. Speakers include Tom Bridge, Luis Giraldo, Tim Sutton, and Teri Grossheim. For further information, visit macdeployment.ca.

You should go.

May 16th, 2016

Posted In: Consulting, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, MacAdmins Podcast, Mass Deployment

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Last week, I gave a presentation on criteria for evaluating partners, managing revenue streams and partner channel programs. The presentation, given on May 4th, is available below.

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The file is ACES_Partners

 

May 12th, 2016

Posted In: Active Directory, Apple Configurator, Bushel

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One of my favorite things to do every year is head to Gothenburg to see Tycho, Patrik, and the rest of the wonderful country of Sweden (and city of Gothenburg). It’s a great city and Tycho does a great job to curate MacSysAdmin into an informative conference. And, the site is now live to buy your tickets for the 2016 event!

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It’s one of those conferences that sells out, so don’t wait too long to pick up your ticket! 🙂

May 10th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, MacAdmins Podcast, Mass Deployment

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