Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

I recently got the announcement of the new official Microsoft Office Accreditation through MacTech. I was lucky enough to sit in on the previous version of this, so thought I’d push out the information on it. It’s attached to the MacTech Pro Events that MacTech has been running: MacTech_Pro_Events-150
As you know, Microsoft released a public preview of Office 2016 for Mac. MacTech and Microsoft have created a new accreditation for Apple techs called “Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS Accredited Support Professional, 2015.” Prior to the public Office 2016 announcement, we did a preview of this new course under NDA in Seattle earlier this month. We’re now announcing the new accreditation — which covers not only Office for Mac (2011 and 2016), but also Office for iOS and Office 365. In short, anyone that supports others using Microsoft Offie on OS X or iOS should get attend and get this accreditation. If you’re interested, check it out here
PS – You can actually hear Neal’s voice when you read it! 😉

March 20th, 2015

Posted In: certifications, iPhone, Mac OS X, Microsoft Exchange Server

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Last week, MacTech released the news of a Microsoft Office accreditation currently in pilot for Apple techs with the following press release, announcing a half day course for the certification:
– Working together, MacTech and Microsoft are making available a new accreditation program for Apple consultants and techsFebruary 21, 2013 — Westlake Village, CA — Today MacTech, who publishes MacTech Magazine as well as produces live events, announced the event and city schedule to obtain Microsoft’s new “Microsoft Office for Mac Accredited Support Professional” accreditation. This pilot program is a half day long, and will take place the day prior to each MacTech BootCamp II in 2013.  This new Microsoft accreditation program is training and evaluation focused on the issues every consultant and tech should know when advising on or supporting Microsoft Office for Mac, and Microsoft Office 365 suites, with a focus on Apple users.  All registered attendees to MacTech’s 2013 BootCamps, are welcome to attend the course, and become accredited, at no charge. Space is limited.
The pilot accreditation program will cover topics such as installation; Office Web Apps; best practices in configuration, preferences, settings and use; licensing options; cross platform features; sharing documents with SkyDrive, SharePoint, and more; troubleshooting and common questions; available support resources; and more.  The accreditation is specifically designed for Apple consultants and techs supporting others using Microsoft Office for Mac, and Office 365 suites.  At the end of the course, attendees will be evaluated on the content presented, and those who demonstrate sufficient knowledge will become a “Microsoft Office for Mac Accredited Support Professional.”  Once obtained, attendees will receive an accreditation certificate from Microsoft, and be able to display the new accreditation graphic on their web sites and other promotional materials, as well as in their credentials.
“Microsoft Office for Mac has always been at the heart of most professional Apple installations.  With Office 365, Web Apps, an array of collaboration options, and more, consultants need to have the right knowledge to support their clients not only in making the best solution decisions, but also in helping them to understand the features available to them,” said Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, MacTech Magazine and MacTech BootCamp Event Organizer.  “We’ve been working with those in the community and with Microsoft for some time to create the right kind of accreditation that will help consultants and techs perform their duties, as well as help grow their support offerings and consulting business.”
MacTech BootCamp II is the next incarnation of MacTech’s successful BootCamp events. The event benefits both return attendees as well as those that have never attended a MacTech BootCamp. Held around the country, MacTech BootCamp II is specifically designed for those that support small-to-medium sized business and small office/home office, organization support staff, and even consumer support. MacTech BootCamp II is a single-track, hotel based seminar that is specifically geared to serve the needs of consultants and techs wanting to serve their base better.  Sessions include topics such as: Key Building Blocks for Today’s Apple Consultant; Mobility and Profiles; Local Storage, Network Storage, Backups; Network and Routing; Command Line; DNS; Deployment; Apple IDs; and more…
There are seven MacTech BootCamps in 2013 in cities around the United States.  The Microsoft accreditation course and evaluation is a half day program that takes place the day BEFORE each MacTech BootCamp II as follows:
Seattle, WA : MacTech BootCamp II on Mar 6, 2013; Microsoft accreditation course on Mar 5
   Dallas, TX : MacTech BootCamp II on Apr 17, 2013; Microsoft accreditation course on Apr 16
   Boston, MA : MacTech BootCamp II on May 15, 2013; Microsoft accreditation course on May 14
   Washington, DC : MacTech BootCamp II on Jun 26, 2013; Microsoft accreditation course on Jun 25
   Chicago, IL : MacTech BootCamp II on Jul 17, 2013; Microsoft accreditation course on Jul 16
   San Francisco, CA : MacTech BootCamp II on Aug 13, 2013; Microsoft accreditation course on Aug 12
   Atlanta, GA : MacTech BootCamp II on Sep 18, 2013; Microsoft accreditation course on Sep 17
MacTech BootCamp is economically priced and includes lunch, sessions, and sponsor interaction.  Each event has early bird registration pricing available in limited quantity, saving registered attendees up to $200 (Normal price: $499, Early Bird Price: $299).  Take note of when the early bird period ends for each location.
For more information about MacTech BootCamp, see
For more information about the accreditation, see
About MacTech MagazineEstablished in 1984, MacTech Magazine is the only monthly magazine focused on Apple at the technical level. Each month, MacTech and is read by 150,000 technical Macintosh users in over 175 countries, from network administrators to programmers, from solution providers to Enterprise, and in general anyone that’s interested in the Macintosh beyond the user level. If you’re interested in getting under the hood of your Mac, or if you want to know how to make things happen inside the box, you should be reading MacTech Magazine. Contact the magazine. Toll free: 877-MACTECH, International: 805-494-9797custservice@mactech.com
I tried to scour the Microsoft domain for more information about this new certification but was unable to find any information about it on Mactopia, the Office:Mac twitter feed, etc. As the Office client is something I specifically hired someone to supplement our skills for last year, I see this is another notch in a good engineer’s belt. Clearly much of the Mac community is moving to a focus on the client, and many a large environment leverages Office as a key element of the client. So overall this sounds like a very nice step in continuing to further legitimize the Apple platform and the place that Office plays there! Having recently cert’d up with Office 365 I might even nerd out to this one as well!

February 24th, 2013

Posted In: Mac OS X, Microsoft Exchange Server

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Apple has posted the first of the Mountain Lion certifications. Information about the Apple Certified Associate – Mac Integration 10.8 is available at This certification requires only one exam, 9L0-408, which can be taken online. There’s no word yet on the ACSP or ACTC for 10.8, although I am certain work on them is in progress. The current table of certifications is as follows: The test is relatively simple. I took it this morning and it focused completely on the client in a heterogenous environment. There were questions about AD binding, sharing files between Windows and OS X Mountain Lion clients, securing the OS (Gatekeeper, FileVault 2), Time Machine, Messages and Boot Camp. Overall, a quick one. I think it took me 35 minutes, including paying for the thing, fishing around for my credit card, etc. Good luck!

August 1st, 2012

Posted In: certifications, Mac OS X

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I’ve been involved with Brainbench for some time. There is now a new iOS development test available at Also, we’re currently working on a Mountain Lion test and could use some reviewers if anyone is interested.  Let me know if you’d like to be involved with that.

July 30th, 2012

Posted In: certifications, iPhone

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For some time, Juniper has been agressively trying to win converts from Cisco. Not only in terms of sales, but also the hearts and minds of the engineers who influence purchasing decisions. Aggressively going after engineers has meant that for years, Juniper has made their certifications essentially free for those of us who were certified with Cisco. But now, they’re starting to cast their net a little wider and go after getting anyone and everyone certified for free, provided of course that you can pass the test. Juniper’s Junos is being offered for free for a limited time. If you’re interested in beefing up your security and/or networking skills, this might not be a bad certification to look at (can’t beat the price and all):

August 28th, 2010

Posted In: Network Infrastructure

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If you do a fair amount of Blackberry Enterprise Server management then you’re gonna’ want to think about the new certifications that are being offered by Research In Motion.  There are now training classes and an accompanying certification: There’s also a track for users:

May 4th, 2008

Posted In: Microsoft Exchange Server, Windows Server

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I originally posted this at The Tiger Apple Certified Systems Administrator (ACSA) track allowed certification candidates to accomplish the ACSA by getting an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) and then obtaining 7 points. Points were obtained by taking a variety of exams whose point values were based on the number of days of the corresponding class. Apple has now posted the ACSA requirements for 10.5. There is no longer a point system, which was a unique approach in the IT industry for achieving certifications. Instead, for the Leopard ACSA, Apple has now trimmed down the number of courses that are provided and require that all exams be completed to accomplish the ACSA. For now, the certificates listed include: Mac OS X Server Essentials v10.5 Directory Services v10.5 Deployment v10.5 Advanced Administration v10.5 Notice that there are no workstation oriented exams listed. The Support Essentials exam is all that is required to achieve an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist (ACHDS) for Tiger. The ACHDS certification has been retired and replaced with the Apple Certified Support Professional for Leopard, which replaces the ACHDS and only requires the Support Essentials exam. More information on the new certification program can be found here:

October 22nd, 2007

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

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