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.

MacTech In-Depth: Mobile Device Management

As many of you are aware, I will be speaking at the MacTech Conference in November. is also a sponsor of MacTech and I personally very much find everything they’re doing over there with these events to be great stuff. And now there’s more coming out of their incubator. MacTech has announced a great new series called MacTech In-Depth. This takes the existing format for the MacTech Conference and MacTech BootCamps that have gone on the road and brings a much more in-depth (as the name implies) approach, looking at a single topic for a full day. The first topic that is getting tackled is Mobile Device Management, in San Francisco. Register by October 31st to take advantage of the Early Registration and pay only $295 to register for MacTech In-Depth: Mobile Device Management (a $200 savings). As with the other MacTech events, it’s a great deal. For more information, see the official site at or here’s the official press release:
September 19, 2011 — WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — On the heels of the incredible success of MacTech Conference for IT Pros and Developers, and MacTech Boot Camps held all around the United States, MacTech has announced today a new (third) type of event: MacTech In-Depth — a series of one day seminars each focusing on a single topic. MacTech In-Depth is a single-track, hotel-based seminar that is specifically geared to serve the needs of IT Pros, consultants and techs looking for a deep dive on a single topic. The first MacTech In-Depth will focus on Mobile Device Management, and will be in the City of San Francisco on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011. “MacTech Conference 2010 was an enormous success delivering amazing content and a quality conference to IT Pros and developers in the large organization, Enterprise, and ISV markets. MacTech Boot Camp events have been a terrific success in helping consultants grow their company and support small business. What’s been really clear from the feedback is that attendees want even more from MacTech. Our new MacTech In-Depth series of seminars will squarely address that request,” said Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, MacTech Magazine. “The In-Depth format gives us the flexibility of not only having different seminars on different topics, but to make them available in regions all over the country.” Using MacTech’s proven “running order” approach, we pack in the maximum amount of sessions possible into the time available combined with the opportunity to talk to sponsors, network with peers and meet new contacts. Event topics expected include: MacTech In-Depth: Mobile Device Management (first one scheduled) MacTech In-Depth: Network and WiFi Design and Troubleshooting MacTech In-Depth: Lion Server Administration and others… The first event, MacTech In-Depth: Mobile Device Management (MDM) will spend the entire day focused on MDM. Topics will include: • Security and Mobility • Solutions Requirements • Asset risks and security threats • Mobility Business Drivers • Monitoring and Control • Protecting the Enterprise, business, and the organization • Enabling Employees • Protecting data and devices • Mobility creating new business intersections • How to develop a mobility strategy for your organization • Securely supporting social media, commerce and sales • Defining Technology Initiatives Additional information on topics and sessions at “Now that Apple is pouring it on with the onset of OS X Lion, iOS, and mobile devices, there is no better time than right now to fully integrate, deploy and maintain mobile operations along with securing valuable mobile assets and company proprietary information. This is exactly what we do when working with organizations of all sizes, helping our clients create seamless solutions through every stage of mobile operations,” said Russell Poucher, MacTech In-Depth: Mobile Device Management Sessions Chair, and Principal of Creative Resources Technology Group. “MacTech does an amazing job of putting live events together. As sessions chair for the event, we’ve been working with MacTech to create their MDM curriculum and secure some of the best speakers in the industry.” “We are extremely pleased to be involved in this event to share best practices on how to fully embrace Mac and iOS devices in the Enterprise,” said Jonathan Dale, Fiberlink Communications. “With the rapid pace of change in mobility, cloud-based mobile device and application management platforms, such as MaaS360, are critical to enable the full adoption of the comsumerization of IT.” MacTech In-Depth events are economically priced, include the full day of sessions, and lunch. Those who register by October 31st can take advantage of the Early Registration and save $200.00 and pay only $295 to register for MacTech In-Depth: Mobile Device Management. More information on the MacTech In-Depth series at More information on MacTech In-Depth: Mobile Device Management at Registration is open now at About MacTech Magazine Established in 1984, MacTech Magazine is the only monthly magazine focused on Macintosh 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. For more information about MacTech Conference, see and for more information on MacTech Boot Camp, see If you’re interested in getting under the hood of your Mac, 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: 805-494-9797,, For more information, contact: Neil Ticktin 805-494-9797 publisher at