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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One way to automatically archive objects from Outlook is to use rules. To do so, first create a folder on your local computer (e.g. Archived). Then, from the Tools menu, select Rules. Create a rule by clicking on the plus sign (let’s just call it Archiving) and then click Date Received in the “When a new message arrives: section. Configure the middle field as “is Greater than or equal to” and then configure the number of days (e.g. 90 or 180). In the “Do the following:” section, choose “Move message” and then choose the archive folder you created in the previous step. Finally, check the box for Enabled and you’ve got a pretty simple automated rule to move messages off your Exchange server and onto your local computer. To move existing mail, click Rules from the Message menu and then click on the name of the rule. Once done, click on the Outlook menu and then click on Preferences. Click General and then in the Folder list section, check the box for “Hide On My Computer folders”. The only problem with this method is that mail is just getting dumped into a folder on your local computer. Mail is searchable, but not stored in a .pst file as with the old school keep it on a mapped drive method frequently used with Outlook for Windows. These folders can be exported into .mbox files by dragging a folder to the desktop. The maximum size of the file is 2.15 gigs. The .mbox file can then be imported using the Import option under the File menu and then clicking on the .mbox file in question. Another, more automated and old fashioned way to archive mail is to use Outlook Email Archive X, a tool that takes care of much of the tasks you just did. This tool, from, is available at I like Outlook Email Archive X because I can drop emails back into outlook because they’re stored in .eml files. These are also indexed using Spotlight. To install Outlook Email Archive X, extract the dmg from the downloader. Then drag the OEAX folder to the /Applications folder. Modern Exchange and Office 365 instances provide archival options, as do tools such as GFI. Outlook is pretty much AppleScriptable. So you should be able to automate this stuff if you so choose if you don’t have access to any of the other tools. Good luck!

September 7th, 2013

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mass Deployment, 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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Here’s a quick command line you can send out to disable the Microsoft Office auto-update functionality. This is particularly useful in environments where you are freezing systems and then pushing out all updates, rather than allowing hosts to automatically install updates:
defaults write HowToCheck -string “Manual”
Note: Autoupdate has now been updated to version 2, so the string for more modern versions of Office is now:
defaults write HowToCheck -string “Manual”
Thanks to @seankaiser for the update!

April 14th, 2009

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mass Deployment

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