Things to Do in Gothenburg in the Fall

Early fall is a great time to visit Gothenburg, Sweden. The students are back at the local universities, which gives any city a certain energy. You’ll also find fewer crowds than other times of the year, agreeable weather, some of the best people in the world, and plenty of serious awesomeness to see and do. Sweden’s second largest city is an important port city, quickly growing in popularity due to a variety of attractions including of course, MacSysAdmin. In addition to popular tourist destinations, there are special events held in September, charming canals that stretch through the city and beautiful neo-classical architecture everywhere you look. Great food at every corner, a vibrant shopping scene, and all the nature you can ask for right at your doorstep are just a handful of reasons that make Gothenburg so unique.

Walk and Ride Around the City

Much of Gothenburg can be explored by walking. I usually register at least 10 kilometers a day when I’m there, but longer distances can be covered via the simple public transportation provided by the city. I recommend the Gothenburg Card that allows you to use all public transportation, and gets you free admissions to museums, parks, and a number of entertainment venues. The card is 40 Euro for 24 hours, 56 Euro for 48 hours, or 72 Euro for 72 hours.

Explore Gothenburg’s Canals by Boat

Just arrived in Gothenburg? A trip through the seemingly endless canals and moats is the best way to get a good overview of the city. Ride in a Paddan boat underneath dozens of bridges, along famous sights, and through scenic waterways while learning all about the city’s exciting history. Boats depart 2-3 times per hour from Kungsportsplatsen right in the center of Gothenburg. Walking along the Canals is also a wonderful way to see the city, especially so you can catch a sunset during your travels!

Visit the Archipelago of Gothenburg

Just outside of Gothenburg lies a breathtaking chain of islands that are home to fantastic beaches, seals, and romantic villages. Several boats drive along the car-free islands, where you can hop off and go for walks. This unique little trip is definitely worth including in any Gothenburg itinerary. You can also easily get there on tram 11 from Gothenburg to the Saltholmen boat terminal.

Shop Till Ya’ Drop

Gothenburg provides a veritable cornucopia of shopping outlets. You’ll find everything from large modern shopping malls like the Nordstan to designer boutiques to vintage shops. Candy, crafts, fashion, electronics, and even toothpaste. Stroll around trendy neighborhoods like Haga and Magasinsgatan that are packed with cool cafés and bistros or, if you’re looking for a broader selection of shopping and nightlife options, walk around the Avenyn Boulevard that stretches from Kungsportsplatsen to Gotaplatsen and along several side streets.

Try the Food

With direct access to the North Sea, it’s no wonder that fresh seafood can be found at every corner – nothing beats fresh fish, oysters, lobsters, shrimp, and of course brilliant salmon. If waking up early isn’t an issue for you, head down to the fishing port where Sweden’s largest fish auction kicks off at 06:30. And while you’re out, try the Tunnsbrödsruller, the Swedish answer to hot dog – sausage, mashed potatoes and lettuce rolled in soft flat bread. If you find yourself in a café make sure to try the Swedish cinnamon rolls, but do yourself a favor and stay away from the salted licorice!

Pet Some Animals

You can pet some animals, visit with woodland creatures like deer and owls, and try and get a donkey to clear out of the road while you’re walking by at Slottsskogen. Stunning woodlands that have been protected as a park since 1874, with plenty of trails, spaces, animals, and Pokéstops, it’s a must!

Visit a Museum

Although Gothenburg offers so many things to do outdoors (and by September I want to spend most of my time outdoors – Winter Is Coming after all), the weather sometimes turns and we retreat indoors. One lovely way to spend some time in Gothenburg is in their wonderful museums. If you love you some science then Universum ( is your answer. Want to know more about the city’s history and its culture? Head off to the Gothenburg City Museum ( for interesting facts and insights – by the way, the museum is home to a real Viking ship, Sweden’s only surviving one. Love cars & machines? Whether you’re young or old, you will love the Volvo Museum ( that will show you everything you ever wanted to know about Volvo and more. Want to check out some fine art? Visit the Museum of Fine art. It’s cool. But check out the others first, as they’re some of the more unique museums you’ll visit.

Catch Some Sportsball

Sports fans won’t want to miss the Gothenburg Basketball Festival, where young players from 20 different nations come together for the largest basketball tournament in the world. Every competitor is under the age of 20, and games are played at more than 30 courts throughout the city. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to see the next Jonas Jerebko before they end up at the Celtics!

Visit the Book Fair

Bibliophiles will enjoy the Goteborg Book Fair, which features many celebrated authors. Here you can attend seminars, exhibitions, and enjoy a variety of activities geared towards book lovers. The fair is held in the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre.

Check Out Other Beautiful Nordic Destinations

If you’re coming through Gothenburg, you’re in Sweden. Stockholm is the largest city in Sweden and easily accessible by trains that take you through stunning countryside while you swipe away at those elusive Charmanders. Oslo, Norway is close, as is Copenhagen. But as with many places, more important than the big cities in the region are the plethora of adorable small cities and towns that dot the landscape.

Get Your Rollercoaster On

Opened in 1923, Liseberg Amusement Park is home to roller coasters (41 rides!), a beautiful garden, and all the craptastic fair food you can stomach (and a vegetarian menu btw). There’s also The best wooden rollercoaster in the world, which is the name of the coaster, not an award it’s been given. And if you’ve got any energy left, you can catch a show at the Stora Scenen, an attached concert venue. If you get there in later October, you can also catch the Halloweeeeeeen festivities there!

Grab a Drink

Gothenburg also has a vibrant night life. If you happen to be in Gothenburg for MacSysAdmin, which is when I make my annual pilgrimage there, chances are you can easily find me at the Bishop’s Arms, the Dubliner, or the bar in whatever hotel you’re in. And there are plenty of night clubs if you want to go dancing (Glow and Parken), cafes for lounging, and of course, McDonald’s for getting a few calories back in your system after hours of cavorting with friends. I have a lot of friends that visit Gothenburg frequently, or live there. What did I miss, what are some of your favorite spots, or stories of Gothenburg?

MacSysAdmin Site Now Live

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! Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 2.59.40 PM It’s one of those conferences that sells out, so don’t wait too long to pick up your ticket! 🙂

MacSysAdmin 2014!

Well, it’s that time of the year when one of my favorite conferences opens up registration! Come one, come all to MacSysAdmin for good times, good people and lots of fun Macinnerdiness! I hope to see you there! The official page is up at Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.02.49 PM

MacSysAdmin 2013

Hooray for Sweden! I am very happy to make the trip to Gothenburg, Sweden again this year for MacSysAdmin 2013. This year, I’ll be presenting on something near and dear to my own heart: technical writing. The other presenters that I’ve seen there have all done great jobs, including Arek Dreyer, Rick Wylie, Alan Gordon, Andrina Kelly, Greg Neagle, Gary Larizza, Ed Marczak, Duncan McCracken and Zack Smith. I’m also excited by the new additions: Kevin White and Rich Trouton who I’ve seen do presentations very well on multiple occasions and Daniel Svensson, Nurani Nimpuno and Jody Rodgers who I haven’t seen give presentations but am excited to see. I look forward to seeing many of the people I’ve met there in years past again and meeting some fresh new people as well. I hope to see you all there! PS – I would also like to say that the very much appeals to my own design aesthetics. Well done, especially in having Arek and I, er, I mean me, gazing longingly into one another’s eyes! Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 12.33.00 AM

MacTech Conference 2012 In Retrospect

I love going to conferences. MacTech Conference this year is a great example of why. The conference organizers and staff did a superb job, the attendees were top notch and the weather was just right. But it was the same last year in all three regards. What I felt really made MacTech special this year was the Disney pixie dust magic coming together with all of that. And I was only there for a day, regrettably… The talent level at these events continues to be top notch. As Jeff, Nigel, Peter, Gary, now Zack and others have moved on to other platforms and other roles I have continually wondered whether the Mac community would stay as vibrant and talented. But what I forget is that there are more and more people joining us every year as well as tons that have been there all along and just not been as attention-deprived as those of us who tend to write a lot. The talent has shifted, for sure. Once upon a time the OS X community offered an upgrade. Get good at the client and then the server. Now, it’s become more about get good at the client and then get really good at the client. This ends up involving getting good at automating things, scripting, 3rd party management tools such as JAMF and even going beyond scripting and writing things that we feel the OS should have. Ed Eigerman, from Google, with the first talk of the IT track really drove this home with an excellently thought out jab at the lack of Apple Remote Desktop development. While the talent has shifted, the community has continued to get stronger. This is no more evident than when you get to see Rich Trouton, Derick Okihara, Armin Briegel, Aaron Freimark, Nathan Toups and others in one day. I’m sure I’d throw a lot of other names in that list, but either a) I have more to say about them later or b) I didn’t actually see them the day I was there. I hope that I can continue to in some way help to grow and shape the community. Allister Banks, who practiced his talk the night before delivering it, has been a great addition to my team at 318. While his contributions to the community are his own, I’m glad that I’m able to give him the freedom to work on community projects and speak at conferences with company time (as well as what seems like plenty of his own time). I have also brought in a few more people recently that I hope will continue to contribute plenty to this community that has given me so much (and I will likely be hiring more soon if you’re interested!). But Allister deserves praise for a great presentation, assuming it went as well in front of the MacTech audience as it did for me. Now, there is already a ton of hero-worship for Greg Neagle in the OS X sysadmin community. But I’ve never really jumped on that bandwagon. So let me just tell you how I feel about that… It is obviously completely deserved. I could go on and on about his code and his website and his public speaking and even that book he did. But you probably know about all of that already. What impresses me the most is how much he loves where he works: Disney. The way he puts Disney movies into his presentations, the way he talks about the creatives he enables, he’s a Disney man through and through. And from others I know within Disney he’s as highly regarded as they come both at work and in the community. The ability to take that love for your employer and fuse it with the love for the community has a lot to do with the night he was able to help put together for the MacTech community. He is responsible for a lot of the good things that happen inside the Mac community and it is great to see the appreciation that community has for him! Speaking of Greg’s book, Ed Marczak (who wrote it with him) was wearing a tie. He ran dozens of miles around the valley while managing to do a little of his day job and a lot of cat herding of the speakers delivering the presentations he pretty much selected and coached. He called me while I was still developing the idea for mine, checked in before the conference and then while we were there carved out a little time to talk to me. After doing that with everyone, I’m not sure how he managed to have any fun at all. But his hard work has a lot to do with the quality of the presentations and the direction of the IT portion of the MacTech conference. Ed is in every way a class act and someone I hold in the highest regard. AND he was able to pull off a tie with as busy as he was! And then there’s Neil Ticktin. Neil is a speaker, but not on the speaker list. Namely due to the fact that he puts on the conference. When WWDC didn’t have an IT track any more, a lot of people were complainy complainersons. Neil responded not with cluttering my inbox with countless gripes to message lists. Instead he took his position as the publisher of MacTech Magazine. And now it’s a national traveling show for consultants and in depth as well as a national conference showing off the best and the brightest. Neil (and his team) worked hard to put MacTech Conference together and  their contributions to the Apple community are something to be proud of. With MacTech, MacWorld/MacIT, MacSysAdmin, Penn State MacAdmins and others one could spend all of their time just preparing for and attending conferences. With JAMF Nation User Conference this week, the conference season is basically coming to a close. I wish I could have spent more time with everyone and hope that I am able take part again soon. You all give me such hope for the future of the community and the platform, and I thank you for that and for the friendship you’ve provided me over the years. I really wish I could have stayed up there all 3 days. Thanks to everyone I spoke with for the time you took to hang out. And for those I didn’t get a chance to see, I look forward to hearing about how you’re doing next time our paths cross! Now, let’s go ahead and book our flights early for MacTech 2013: Nov 6-8, 2013.

Goodbye & Thanks To MacSysAdmin

MacSysAdmin, a great conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, is now over. The conference went off without a hitch. There were many great presentations and speakers. But I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank the great people from Apoio and especially Patric and Tycho. Tycho, I hope, can now ride Sleipnir home and take his well deserved Odinsleep. Anyway, MacSysAdmin was a class act all round and something I’m proud to have been a part of for the past few years. Thanks, guys!
Adding Last Minute Tweaks To My Slide Deck – Thanks to Luis Giraldo For Posting The Picture
Now to finish up my MacTech talk!

My MacSysAdmin Presentations For Today

The first presentation I’ll be doing at MacSysAdmin today is on Windows Server in Mac OS X and iOS environments, which can be found here: MacSysAdmin_Windows The second presentation I’ll be doing today at MacSysAdmin is on iOS deployment, which can be found here: MacSysAdmin_iOS If you’re not able to attend then I hope you will enjoy. I’ll try and get them to Tycho for uploading to the official site asap.

MacSysAdmin 2012!

MacSysAdmin has quickly become one of my favorite conferences to attend. I love the high level of technical acumen and the chance to row a canoe from Minneapolis to Gothenburg, Sweden, which is a serious workout, let me tell you! The 2012 lineup boasts one of the politest guys I know in Arek Dreyer, my coworker Zack Smith, Andrew Renz (of Code 42/CrashPlan fame), the well dressed (and spoken) Ed Marczak, the great Greg Neagle (Munki/Repasado/awesome guy), Alan Gordon’s alter-ego Alan Gordon, the JAMFerific Andrina Kelly, the ostentatious Duncan McCracken, Rick Wylie, Gary Larizza, Luis Giraldo in all his wireless awesomeness, Sébastien Tomasi (representing the file set goodness that is FileWave) and someone I told Tycho he simply had to add to the list of speakers after last years event was over, Per Olofsson (I’m sure my recommendation had little to do with his addition as he has plenty of merit, but I’m very excited to see him do his thing anyway). Oh and least of all, I’ll be there and hopefully my demos will work this year (or more likely be pre-recorded). Many of the same speakers from last year, but all fresh content. More important than the speakers, the attendees are fun to be around and impressive (I sure wish that H1 Visas were easier to come by in the US). I can’t think of a group of people I’d rather be around! The most important aspect, the content, will be focusing on large scale Mac administration, with sprinklings of Mac servers and other oddities. A great overall look and feel to the program. Even a little iOS in there… The conference will again be held at Folkets Hus, in Göteborg, Sweden. The dictator will again be the enigmatic Tycho, who always facilitates a great event. After last year, I left there wishing I could stay for a few more weeks with that brain trust! It really is an impressive collection of people and I hope to see you there!

iOS Device Sales Outpace All Macs Ever (in 2011 alone)

In search of the American Dream? Apple has sold approximately 122 million Macs over the course of 28 years. They have sold 55 million iPads since those were released in April 2010 (in less than 2 years) and sold 156 million iOS Devices for 2011 alone, bringing the total of iOS devices to 316 million. The handset market is set to increase by around 33 percent and there’s really no telling where the tablet market is set to go over the course of the next few years. What does all of this mean? It means that iOS is continuing to increase in visibility, that App Store sales will continue to rise and that integration into mainstream business will continue. The traffic for mobile device data is set to increase 8 times over the course of the next four years, Cisco and other companies are starting to jump into the mobility space with product offerings and Windows 8 is supposedly going to make a big splash on release. The Apple App Store is about to hit 25,000,000,000 downloads. That’s a lot of zeros. And that’s a lot of Angry Birds, 99 cent fart jokes and useful business apps that are driving innovation. Mobility as a term is on every CIOs mind at at the tip of their tongue. Giants such as IBM and HP are starting to jump into the MDM space that has previously been occupied by companies like JAMF Software and AirWatch. I witnessed something similar to this twice before. The first was the final and complete domination of all things IT by Windows at the beginning of my career. Back when I was swapping out 32 floppies to install Windows 95, a vicious process that will make even the sanest person nasty with hallucinations, I had the chance to go to COMDEX a couple of times. The first year I went, it seemed like a lot of people interested in hacking things together. The second year, it was all corporate headhunters, looking to seize the IT revolution occurring inside their businesses by placing golden handcuffs on the best and the brightest in the industry. And of the companies presenting, well, they mostly got acquired by large companies with big names and their products diluted. A complete turnoff, this led me down the path of open source and security. After COMDEX, I went to DefCon and Black Hat for a number of years. I used to love watching the random weirdness that these otherwise completely reclusive people would throw together. There were capture the flag events (that is, finding the flag on someone else’s box), people went out into the desert to shoot guns and of course, dumpster diving competitions. There still are all of these things actually. And DefCon itself has managed to very much stay true to that form. But the companies that used to have booths at Black Hat have now mostly been acquired by companies like IBM and HP. These corporate denizens only want to complete a portfolio or gain access to “synergistic” products. Mergers put great little companies with people that really care about their products as small parts of Symantec. And the top talent at those organizations usually leave once they realize they’re not in the least bit impactful and they move on to other companies. They’re replaced by people who’ve achieved the title of Vice President at a competitor, whether that person deserves it or not. In some cases they thrive, but in far more cases, the products flounder, end up getting renamed, repositioned and either sold off to another company for the brand recognition or simply fade into the distance. In each of these there has been a moment. A moment where I said, you know, something substantial has changed here. There are a few things happening that make me leery about the Mac/iOS IT space, and a few things to look for.
  • The first is recruiters. Whenever a college football team wins a national title, their coaching staff is gutted. I’ve been noticing recruiters all over the place trying to pick up top Mac talent. But this isn’t the ACN here or there or the graphics department in a company, it’s corporate head hunters after IT or business unit talent. I spoke to at least 6 or 7 at Macworld/MacIT. The things to look out for here are strategy. Do they have one, do they want one, or do they just want to hire someone to make the CIO happy?
  • The second is the big boys. IBM and HP have both announced MDM products. Dell continues to make KACE and I have heard rumors from other large companies that they’re looking to get into the space as well. The thing to look for here is acquisition.
  • The third is consolidation. Many of the MDM vendors are privately held. A company like IBM, HP, Symantec, Dell, etc can throw enough money at most of these companies to bring them into their fold. Once there, the companies would have an almost unlimited sales and marketing purse, but be careful of a drop in innovation and engineering effort is often had to counteract those slick sales efforts. I would also expect the people who really drove the products, you know, the ones to get the big paydays, will also be the ones taking an extended vacation (wouldn’t you?). Today there are something like 21 products for MDM (I count RobotCloud and Casper as one). I anticipate the next two years will see a good number of those acquired. It’s easy to assume Symantec has an MDM provider on their shopping list, considering their keep-up-with-the-jones thing with McAfee, who’s already jumped into the market. I would expect none of the MDM providers that run on Apple hardware only to be acquired (if you’re after a big payday, run on *nix or Windows). Look out for the disillusioned ones that don’t get the big payouts from these companies after putting in 100 hour weeks for years…
  • The fourth is more sales people. Anyone at Macworld this year would have noticed scantily clad lasses selling software to fix your iTunes. But when larger companies start getting involved in things such as this, I would expect slicker, more professional sales people, more booths (more money after all) and less nerds. The big problem here is a diluted message of technical excellence and a bigger messages of interconnectedness to other systems. Someone still needs to build the middleware though.
  • The next thing I expect to see is those recruiters go after people at mobile companies. The same way the bastards scavenged the carcass of every security company in the earlier part of the 2000s, and the same way that Auburn’s, Alabama’s and LSU’s assistant coaching staffs got hit after each of their recent national titles, I would fully expect top brass at all mobile companies to start trading places, or getting acquired by other companies. These will range from going to work for competitors, to going to work for resellers to going to work for other industries that want that level of innovation. The architect of Apple Retail now works where?
  • The consumerization of the technology is going to be driving many of the best and brightest into larger IT. This will mostly mean taking those puppet, cfengine and custom python hackeration skills to another platform. It’s regrettable, but I could easily see it happen to the top tier of people, as we’ve seen it happen a few times already. But sticking with the platform and finding the niches that allow for working with these devices is likely still a good way to go, or at least, staying close. Keep in mind, you’ll be the senior fellows of the platform if you’ve already been around for a few years…
But here’s the thing about all of this. It doesn’t have to be bad. If we all keep our eyes wide open about what’s going on around us the continued influx of massive amounts of money isn’t going to be a bad thing. Basically, our opportunities will explode over the next few years. If we learn our lessons from the dot com era, from COMDEX, from the rise of info sec, then we’ll stay off the coke, not buy really fast cars and remain engaged. I hope not to look at this as I’ve looked at other revolutions in the past. While he wasn’t much of a computer geek, Hunter S. Thompson put it into words best:
And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.… So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.