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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

I’ve written about SQLite databases here and there over the years. A number of Apple tools and third party tools for the platform run on SQLite and it’s usually a pretty straight forward process to get into a database and inspect what’s there and how you might programmatically interact with tools that store data in SQLite. And I’ll frequently use a tool like Navicat to quickly and visually hop in and look at what happens when I edit data that then gets committed to the database.

But I don’t always have tools like that around. So when I want to inspect new databases, or at least those new to me, I need to use the sqlite3 command. First, I need to find the databases, which are .db files, usually stored somewhere that a user has rights to alter the file. For example,  /Library/Application Support/My Product. In that folder, you’ll usually find a db file, which for this process, we’ll use the example of Data.db.

To access that file, you’d simply run sqlite3 with the path of the database, as follows:

sqlite3 /Library/Application\ Support/My\ Product/Data.db

To see a list of tables in the database, use .tables (note that a tool like Postgress would use commands like /tr but in SQLite we can run commands with a . in front and statements like select do not use those):

.tables

To then see a list of columns, use .schema followed by the name of a table. In this case, we’ll look at iOS_devices, which tracks the basic devices stored on the server:

.schema iOS_devices

The output shows us a limited set of fields, meaning that the UDID is used to link information from other tables to the device. I like to enable column headers, unless actually doing an export (and then I usually do it as well):

.headers ON

Then, you can run a standard select to see what is in each field, which in the below example would be listing all information from all rows in the myapptable table:

select * from myapptable;

The output might be as follows:

GUID|last_modified|Field3|Field4
abcdefg|2017-01-26T17:02:39Z|Contents of field 3|Contents of field four

Another thing to consider is that a number of apps will use multiple .db files. For example, one might contain tables about users, another for groups, and another for devices in a simple asset tracking system. This doesn’t seem great at first, but I’ve never really judged it, as I don’t know what kind of design considerations they were planning for that I don’t know. If so, finding that key (likely GUID in the above example) will likely be required if you’re doing this type of reverse engineer to find a way to programmatically inject information into or extract information out of a tool that doesn’t otherwise allow you to do so.

February 24th, 2017

Posted In: Mac OS X, SQL

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Published 5 Lessons App Developers Can Learn From Pokémon Go with App Developer Magazine. Really more focused around the business of app development and release, and a quick read. Hope you enjoy!

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August 19th, 2016

Posted In: Product Management, Programming

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One of the primary use cases for Apple Configurator 1 and Apple Configurator 2 is to get apps on devices. Even with MDM, you can use Apple Configurator 2 for app deployment. The value here might be that you end up transferring 10 gigs of apps over a USB cable, rather than over the air in larger deployments. Here, we’ll look at a basic app deployment using Apple Configurator 2.

To get started, first download the app and get it in iTunes. This can be accomplished by copying the .ipa file for an app onto a device, or syncing an iOS device with iTunes that has the app installed. Take care that the Apple ID associated with the app will be applied on the device. Then, open Apple Configurator 2 and choose a Blueprint (View -> Edit Blueprints) you’d like to apply, or deploy, this app to. Once uploaded and assigned, any device that you apply the Blueprint to will receive the app. Right-click on the Blueprint and click on Add and then choose Apps in the submenu.

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You will need to authenticate to the iTunes Store using an Apple ID. Notice that if you’ve previously connected Apple Configurator 2 to the iTunes Store that you will routinely get prompted to reconnect when the key expires (seems to be after a good 4 hours of inactivity, but not sure yet exactly when to expect – this might be a bit annoying for environments that have students that don’t have that password doing some of the work).

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The when you authenticate, you’ll be prompted for a list of apps to install. Here, we’re just going to choose some generic app and click on Add Apps (yes, that’s plural, you can choose more than one).

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The app will be listed. Any device the Blueprint is applied to then receives the app.

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You can also assign an app to a device manually. To do so, control-click (or right-click) on a device and then use Add to choose the Apps… option. The rest of this process is pretty much the same.

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Overall, these options are similar but a bit more matured than they were in Apple Configurator 1. There are a few other pretty cool options that we’ll explore soon, but for now this should get you started in getting apps as a part of your Apple Configurator 2 deployment.

November 9th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

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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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Starting today, Bushel can be used to deploy Volume Purchase Program (VPP) apps to Apple devices running iOS 9 or OS X 10.11 El Capitan without the need for an Apple ID. That’s right, no Apple ID required!

Read More About VPP App Distribution Without Apple IDs on the Bushel Blog

August 13th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone, JAMF

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There’s a quick and easy IT Business Edge slideshow at http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/the-5-mobile-apps-you-really-need-for-smb-success.html that I helped with about 5 Mobile Apps You Really Need for SMB Success.

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Hope you enjoy!

August 10th, 2015

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

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We’ve all been there, or spoken with someone who’s been there: you’re looking at a locked device and someone doesn’t know the PIN to unlock the device. On an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch a Mobile Device Management product such as Bushel can unlock that device by resetting the PIN and allowing you to configure a new PIN. It’s kinda’ awesome when someone forgets a PIN they assigned a device, leaves the company or just plain forgets. But, there are a few things we should probably mention about this feature of Bushel:

Read More About Unlocking A Locked Device On The Bushel Blog

July 15th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone, JAMF, Mac OS X

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We’re going to try using Zendesk’s Help Center feature to manage our help articles. The feature essentially provides a simple CMS for providing support for our fantastic users. If you go to Bushel.com, there is now a link in the header called “Support”. It takes you to support.bushel.com.

Find Out More About Bushel’s New Help Center On The Bushel Blog

June 12th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel

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Now that I’ve found the right calculator for me, I should point out that I still take my phone out of my pocket to use a calculator. That’s a habit thing though, not a problem with the size of the objects on the Apple Watch.

Calculator for Apple Watch

Calculator for Apple Watch is a free, basic, standard little calculator app. It’s the app that could be built into the Apple Watch.

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Calcbot

Calcbot is a slight step up from Calculator. Here, we gain the ability to convert some basic things as well, such as kilograms to pounds, Fahrenheit to Celsius and a few other little things. There’s also a little tip calculator for those who need it.

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Calculator+

If you need more functions, you can also do some scientific functions, fractions, percents, etc with this one.

Oh, and Calculator+ supporting using handwriting!

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PCalc

Similar to Calculator+ but adds constants and conversions. See the ellipse. That opens up a lot of different options. And you have a glance to see recent calculations from the iOS app, which can be cool if you’re in a meeting!

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CALC

Scientific calculator (the only one where the numbers are separate on the screen). Also has history and the options available in PCalc, but adds speakable items!

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XE Currency

Simple currency converter. A few of the more traditional calculator apps have some currencies, but XE has all the world currencies.

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Calculator Free

As with a few of the calculator apps, this one has themes, so you can match it up with your band. But it also has a tip calculator, basic conversions and some of the bigger buttons (’cause lets face it, it’s a small screen).

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Calculator Pro

All the calculator things, matched to your watch band – but you have to buy it.

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Cruncher – Watch Calculator

Very basic calculator but with big buttons. Buttons are big because there are multiple objects within them. If you need bigger buttons give this one a shot.

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Inflation Calculator

Another specialty calculator. How much is $20 from 1980 worth today?

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Bonus: There are tons of calorie counters out there for both Apple Watch and iPhone.

Bonus 2: There are tons of tip calculators out there for the Apple Watch, but I didn’t include any of those here.

May 27th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch, Apps

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