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JAMF Nation User Conference

As the largest Apple IT gathering in the world rapidly approaches, we want to give you an early glimpse into the great presentations at the JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC).

We are excited to announce that we’ve added the first ten JNUC sessions to our site. With sessions for education and commercial organizations, you’re sure to find presentations to meet your needs. Highlights include best practices for preparing Macs for online testing, ways to bring Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Device Enrollment Program (DEP) to life in your environment, and methods for mitigating and addressing Mac security threats.

Haven’t registered yet? There’s still time, but hurry. We’re nearing our capacity. 

Secure your spot and start making your travel plansand accommodations before it’s too late. We hope you can make it!

RSVP Today

August 26th, 2015

Posted In: Mac OS X

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One of the things that is awesome and sometimes frustrating about Apple Configurator is that when you do certain tasks, you end up updating the OS on devices. The reason this is awesome is that it allows you to centralize operations. The reason this can be frustrating is that if you’re on a limited bandwidth connection, you may find that you can’t do very basic tasks before downloading a large OS update. And if you’ve got a bunch of Apple Configurator workstations, and you are running a training session, this can get infinitely more annoying.

In these types of lab environments, you’re in luck. If you have an ipsw (the iOS OS update file), you can copy the file from ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.configurator/Data/Library/Caches/com.apple.configurator/Firmware/ onto another machine. To copy them onto a USB drive called bananarama for example, use the following command:

cp -R ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.configurator/Data/Library/Caches/com.apple.configurator/Firmware/ /Volumes/bananarama/ipsws/

And once you’ve moved that drive, to then copy them back:

cp -R /Volumes/bananarama/ipsws/ ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.configurator/Data/Library/Caches/com.apple.configurator/Firmware/

August 22nd, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator

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Emacs (not eMacs) is an open source project, bundled with every version of OS X. And it can’t be altered. I wrote about the Cookies recipe that Richard Stallman bundled with Emacs long ago. He also has some somewhat sexist dating tips and a bunch of other weird rantings that he bundled in there. But perhaps the best contribution is the games that Emacs comes with. These include doctor, dunnet (which would have been a great MMPORG), pong, snake, solitaire, tetris and the ever-so-popular gomoku.

These games are located in the /usr/share/emacs/22.1/lisp/play directory. But you don’t access the games directly. Instead, you use the emacs command. To get started, fire up Terminal, then run the emacs command:

emacs

At the “Welcome to GNU Emacs” screen (see below), you’re going to need to be very specific about the keys you use. Hit the Escape key.
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At the screen with the red text (see below), hit the x key.

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At the M-x prompt, type the name of the game I listed above that you’d like to play.

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Here, we’ll type snake.

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Press the Enter key and then you will be in the game.

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When it’s over, hit escape, then x and then type the name of the next game if you’d like to, such as tetris.

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August 20th, 2015

Posted In: Mac OS X

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Take Control is here to support you! So through August 24th, you can add any number of our books to your Take Control library for 50% off the cover price. All our books are DRM-free and available in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats, so you can read wherever, whenever, and on whatever device you like. Use this link to pick the titles you need to stay up to date:

http://tid.bl.it/50-percent-off-back-to-school-sale-2015

(We expect everything to work properly, but if our newly redesigned site is overloaded by sale traffic, try again later in the day when things have settled down.)

Remember, there’s no need to read a Take Control title from front to back; instead, each book has a Quick Start that helps you jump instantly to the information you need.

We have books that will help with numerous Apple-related technology tasks and projects, including:

* Converting from iPhoto to Photos
* Figuring out what the heck iTunes 12 is up to
* Maintaining an AirPort-based Wi-Fi network
* Installing and running OS X Server
* Syncing and sharing files with Dropbox
* Enjoying your Apple Watch

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For those new to Take Control and looking for a quick fix, we have a few instant-purchase bundles, also 50% off:

* iWork explained: Apple’s iWork suite — Pages, Numbers, and Keynote — now comes free with every new Mac, and offers a level of power that compares well with the heavyweight Microsoft Office. The three books in our iWork trilogy provide 750 pages of comprehensive documentation. Normally the three books would cost $55, but for this week, they’re only $27.50 — perfect for college papers and projects.

http://tid.bl.it/50-percent-off-iwork-bundle

* Automation for everyone: Macs have fabulous time-saving tools that can turn anyone into a power user. This bundle of “Take Control of Automating Your Mac,” “Take Control of LaunchBar,” “Take Control of TextExpander,” and “Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal” would normally cost $50, but is only $25 in the sale.

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* Safe computing: Today’s Internet is unfortunately an insecure place, with hackers, malware, and bots threatening your privacy and security. With calm, friendly advice, Joe Kissell explains how you can stay safe in “Take Control of Security for Mac Users,” “Take Control of Your Online Privacy,” “Take Control of Your Passwords,” and “Take Control of FileVault.” Together they’re normally $50, but if you’ve been meaning to lock down your Mac and improve your passwords, you can now pick them up for only $25.

http://tid.bl.it/50-percent-off-security-bundle

We also have books about Yosemite, iOS 8, Apple Mail, iCloud, Audio Hijack, PDFpen, Scrivener, DEVONthink, Apple TV, and more. So stock your Take Control library today with the titles that you’ve been wanting to read or that might be useful in the future!

http://tid.bl.it/50-percent-off-back-to-school-sale-2015

Thanks so much for your continued support, and the many useful questions and kind comments you’ve sent over the years. Please do us a quick favor, and spread the word about this sale to your friends and colleagues — it’s the perfect way to introduce someone to the series or to get your mother to switch over to using Photos.

 

August 18th, 2015

Posted In: Articles and Books, sites

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I’ve been underwhelmed (if that’s a word) by the list of common ports used on the Apple platform recently, so I started my own. It’s available at http://krypted.com/guides/common-apple-ports/ if you’re interested. It’s also under the Tools menu of the site. And yes, I’m aware that I can cat /etc/services; this includes some rudimentary notes.

August 17th, 2015

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

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Recently, I had a bit of a problem with some code I was sending back and forth through Messages. This was caused by smart quotes, which replace single and double quotation marks with directional quotation marks. This can cause a lot of problems. To disable smart quotes:

defaults write com.apple.messageshelper.MessageController SOInputLineSettings -dict-add "automaticQuoteSubstitutionEnabled" -bool false

August 16th, 2015

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

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You can easily create a backup of an iOS device using Apple Configurator. Once you’ve created a backup, it can be restored onto a number of devices. This contains iOS data and data outside of the secure enclave. These backups allow you to restore an iOS device, add apps (not using the backup), set backgrounds, set app locations on the home screen, etc.

To do so, open Apple Configurator and then click on the Prepare icon.

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At the Prepare screen, click into the Restore field and then click on the Create Backup button.

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At the pop-up menu, select the device you’re backing up (usually there’s only one) and then click on the Create Backup button.

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Then choose the location you’d like to place the backup file.

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Click Save and the backup starts.

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Once the backup is complete, you will have an iosdevicebackup file in the location you saved the file to. This is stored on the iOS device and can then be restored to other devices.

August 15th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone

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We tend to use a lot of commands in the Terminal app. That is, after all, what it’s there fore. And there’s a nice history of what we do. There are also a number of ways to view and manage the bash history. The simplest of which is the history command, which will show the previous commands run. Here, we’ll simply run it:

history

Keep in mind that this shows the history based on context, so if you sudo bash, you’ll potentially see a different history. You can also use the bash built-in fc command, which has the additional awesomeness of being able to edit and re-run commands from the history. To start, we’ll simply look at showing the last 16 commands using the -l option:

fc -l

You can also constraint entries in the output by specific line numbers. For example, to see lines 12 through 18, simply use them as the first two positions of the command after fc:

fc 12 18

You can load the history into an editor and remove or add entries using fc without any options:

fc

To exit the editor, hit control-z. I’ve written in the past about using substitution. For example, sudo !! to run the last command. fc can do some basic substitution as well. For example, use the -s to start substation and then enter a string, which will append whatever you like before a command. So the following would put sudo in front and re-run the previous command:

fc -s sudo

And let’s say that you were doing a find for a string of krypted. To then swap that string with charles:

fc -s krypted=charles

Overall, the bash history can be incredibly useful. I frequently pipe the output of a series of lines into a new file with a .sh at the end as a starting point for scripts and use these substitution options to save myself a bunch of time not retyping longer commands. Enjoy.

August 14th, 2015

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment, Ubuntu, Unix

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You may have noticed a few new articles on Apple Configurator 1 recently (which isn’t assuming anyone actually notices what I’m writing about). While preparing for the massive change that is Apple Configurator 2, I’ve taken the liberty to put a page up compiling many of my articles that align into a guide on Apple Configurator 1, to offer up an outline for what I’ll be working on for Apple Configurator 2. This guide is now available at http://krypted.com/guides/apple-configurator/.

August 13th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone

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Apple Configurator is a great tool to manage iOS devices. It’s also a pretty decent tool when you need to create profiles for use on Macs. Apple Configurator is easily installed using the Mac App Store. This involves 3 workflows:

  1. Prepare: Setup a device initially.
  2. Supervise: Manage a device using Apple Configurator long-term.
  3. Assign: Manage content on devices using Apple Configurator.

However you plan on using Apple Configurator, the first step to use the product is to download it for free and install it on an OS X computer. To install Apple Configurator, first open the App Store and search for Apple Configurator.

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When listed, click on Apple Configurator.

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Then click on Get, then click on Install App. If prompted for your Apple ID, provide it.

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This downloads Apple Configurator to the /Applications directory on your computer. Once installed, open Apple Configurator and click on Prepare to get started with the product. I’ve done a series of articles at http://krypted.com/guides/apple-configurator/ to help guide you through the process of getting comfortable with Apple Configurator.

August 12th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator

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