Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Click for lightning. Merge-your-damn-self.


But if you commit with a well written message (and not just a period to get past a sanity check), I’m happy. Tom Hardy likes it when you tell me wtf.


November 29th, 2015

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

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This is my 3,000th post on The past 3,000 posts have primarily been about OS X Server, Mac automation, Mac deployment, scripting, iOS deployments, troubleshooting, Xsan, Windows Servers, Exchange Server, Powershell, security, and other technical things that I have done in my career. I started the site in response to a request from my first publisher. But it took on a mind of its own. And I’m happy with the way it’s turned out.

My life has changed a lot over these past 11 years. I got married and then I got divorced. I now have a wonderful daughter. I became a partner and the Chief Technology Officer of 318 and helped to shape it into what was the largest provider of Apple services, I left Los Angeles and moved to Minnesota, left 318 to help start up a new MDM for small businesses at JAMF Software called Bushel, and now I have become the Consulting Engineering Manager at JAMF. In these 11 years, I have made a lot of friends along the way. Friends who helped me so much. I have written 14 more books, spoken at over a hundred conferences, watched the Apple community flourish, and watched the emergence of the Post-PC era.

In these 11 years, a lot has happened. Twitter and Facebook have emerged. Microsoft has hit hard times. Apple has risen like a phoenix from those dark ashes. Unix has proved a constant. Open Source has come into the Mac world. The Linux gurus are still waiting for Linux on the desktop to take over the world. Apps. iOS. iPad. Mobility. Android. Wearables. Less certifications. More admins. And you can see these trends in the traffic for the site. For example, the top post I’ve ever written is now a list of Fitbit badges. The second top post is a list of crosh commands. My list of my favorite hacking movies is the third top post. None of these have to do with scripting, Apple, or any of the articles that I’ve spent the most time writing.

That’s the first 3,000 posts. What’s next? 3,000 more posts? Documenting the unfolding of the Post-PC era? Documenting the rise and fall of more technologies? I will keep writing, that’s for sure. I will continue doing everything I can to help build out the Apple community. And I will enjoy it. I’ve learned a lot about writing along this path. But I have a lot more to learn.


The past 3,000 posts have mostly been technical in nature. I’ve shown few of my opinions, choosing to keep things how-to oriented and very technical. Sure, there’s the occasional movie trailer when I have a “squee” moment. But pretty technical, overall. I’ve been lucky to have been honored to speak at many conferences around the world. One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is that when people ask me to speak at conferences, they ask me to speak about broader topics. They don’t want me doing a technical deep dive. People use the term thought leader. And while I don’t necessarily agree, maybe it’s time I step up and write more of those kinds of articles here and there.

I’ve learned so much from you these 11 years. But I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. I look forward to learning together over the course of the next 3,000 posts! Thank you for your support. Without it, I’d have probably stopped at 10 articles!

November 16th, 2015

Posted In: 318, Apps, Articles and Books, Bushel, Business, certifications, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment, Microsoft Exchange Server, Minneapolis

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Apple Configurator 2 is a great new evolution in iOS initial and configuration management. And there are lots of great options. And to help you wrap your head around all this new fun stuff, I’ve written up a quick and dirty guide for using Apple Configurator 2.

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It’s not completely done, but it will be shortly. Hope this help someone. Enjoy!

November 14th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

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Financial services is an interesting business when it comes to what you need to do to meet your regulatory requirements. With so much data and the services that enable you to access data moving to the cloud, it can be hard to keep up with how solutions meet any regulatory requirements you might have. At the end of the day, you’re primarily concerned about customer data leaking out of your environment and making sure that you can report on every single thing that happened in an environment. Whatever help we can provide in this article, make sure that you vet anything against what the individuals that review your regulatory requirements say.

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November 13th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel

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Blueprints are a new option in Apple Configurator 2. Blueprints allow you setup a template of settings, options, apps, and restore data, and then apply those Blueprints on iOS devices. For example, if you have 1,000 iOS devices, you can create a Blueprint with a restore item, an enrollment profile, a default wallpaper, skip all of the activation steps, install 4 apps, and then enabling encrypted backups. The Blueprint will provide all of these features to any device that the Blueprint is applied to.

But then why not call it a group? Why call it a Blueprint? Because the word template is boring. And you’re not dynamically making changes to devices over the air. Instead you’re making changes to devices when you apply that Blueprint, or template to the device. And you’re building a device out based on the items in the Blueprint, so not entirely a template. But whatever on semantics.

To get started, open Apple Configurator 2.

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Click on the Blueprints button and click on Edit Blueprints.

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Notice that when you’re working on Blueprints, you’ll always have a blue bar towards the bottom of the screen. Blueprints are tiled on the screen, although as you get more and more of them, you can view them in a list.

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Right-click on the Blueprint. Here, you’ll have a number of options. As you can see below, you can then Add Apps. For more on adding Apps, see this page.

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You can also change the name of devices en masse, using variables, which I explore in this article.

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For supervised devices, you can also use your Blueprints to change the wallpaper of devices, which I explore here.

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Blueprints also support using Profiles that you save to your drive and then apply to the Blueprints.

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Blueprints also support restoring saved backups onto devices, as I explore here.

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For kiosk and single purpose systems, you can also enter into Single App Mode programmatically.

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You can also configure automated enrollment, as described here. Overall, Blueprints make a great new option in Apple Configurator 2. These allow you to more easily save a collection of settings that were previously manually configured in Apple Configurator 1. Manually configuring settings left room for error, so Blueprints should keep that from happening.

November 11th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, Mac OS X, Mass Deployment

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One of the common tasks to perform when doing some larger iOS deployments is to restore an iOS device as part of setting the device up for users. Restoring a device will retain a few things like icon placement on a device. To restore a device, we’ll first create a backup, described here. As of Apple Configurator 2, you can use iTunes and Apple Configurator 2-sourced backups of devices. You can also now assign the restore task to a Blueprint or do so manually.

To get started with restoring a device, first plug in a device and open Apple Configurator.

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Right-click on a device and then choose the Restore from Backup… option.

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You’ll then be prompted to verify that you want to restore the device. To restore the device, click Restore.

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At the “Restore from the backup screen”, select the backup to use as your restore point and click Restore.

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When prompted, provide the password for the backup and click on the Restore Backup button.

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If the device has been prepared, you will be prompted to approve the restore. Assuming you actually want to restore the device, click on the Restore button.

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You will need to accept the iOS licensing agreement. Click Accept when prompted.

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The restore will start.

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You can also assign a Back Up to a Blueprint. Then, any time the Blueprint is assigned to a device, you will restore the selected backup. To do so, bring up the Edit Blueprint screen and then right-click on the Blueprint to edit.

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Select Restore from Backup… from the menu and select the appropriate backup. Then, when the Blueprint is applied to a device, the device will be restored using the selected backup.

November 9th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

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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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Recently, I had my third Fitbit in a year break. I decided to pick up a Jawbone UP3 instead. But I got to missing my Fitbit friends and some of the other features that are great on the Fitbit. So I looked into using the Fitbit app without a Fitbit device. And I was in luck; I found that the Fitbit app has a feature called MobileTrack. MobileTrack allows you to use your iPhone as a Fitbit, in a way.

To setup MobileTrack, install the Fitbit app from the App Store and login with your FitBit account. From the Fitbit app, tap on the “Account” icon in the icon bar.


You’d normally add your Fitbit at this screen. At the Account screen, tap on “Set Up a Device”.


At the list of device types, you’d normally select the tracker that you’re installing. At this point, tap on “No Fitbit Yet?”


At the next screen, you can see an advertising message about what a Fitbit tracker can do, or you can proceed with setting up an iPhone 6 as your tracker. Go ahead and tap on Set Up Your Phone at this screen.


Once configured, you’ll see MobileTrack listed in the Account screen. Here, you’ll see the last time your account was synchronized. Here, let’s just tap on MobileTrack to see what’s up with it.


You’ll see that it’s syncing. And viola, you’ve now picked up a Fitbit without wearing it. Granted, there are tons of features I’ve grown to love about a Fitbit, like the alarm, altimeter, etc. But it’s a good start, still tracks steps (assuming you have your phone on you), and allows you to participate in challenges. So overall, not a bad little app, even without a physical device.

November 9th, 2015

Posted In: Wearable Technology

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MacTech is a conference for the Mac engineer and developer. And at JAMF Software, whether you prefer the Casper Suite or Bushel, we love to hang out with engineers and developers. So we’ll be at MacTech this week, in Southern California, hanging out to meet you, answer any questions you might have, and maybe have people from product management ask you lots of questions. If you’ll be there, come find us. For more on MacTech, check it out at:

For More, Read About Visiting Bushel At MacTech on the Bushel Blog


November 7th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone, JAMF

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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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