Tag Archives: os x

Articles and Books

2 New Take Control Books

From Take Control:

Apple Mail. It’s hard to get by on a Mac or iOS device without it. But living with Mail can be a recipe for hair-pulling frustration, whether because of connection failures caused by Mail’s mysteriously unreliable automatic settings detection or trying to figure out the difference between long and short swipes in the iOS version. No one knows more about Mail than Joe Kissell, and he has distilled his most important advice into the second edition of “Take Control of Apple Mail,” now completely revised and updated to explain Mail in 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8. 183 pages of goodness is only $15.

Point others here > http://tid.bl.it/tco-apple-mail

Apple’s Pages word processor built a loyal following because it wasn’t Microsoft Word, but Apple threw us a curveball with the release of Pages 5 for the Mac and Pages 2 for iOS, removing numerous features and shuffling the interface around. Michael Cohen has spent the last year spelunking through the depths of Pages on the Mac, in iOS, and in iCloud to ferret out what has changed, how to accomplish both everyday and complex word processing and layout tasks, and the best ways to work back and forth in all three versions of Pages via iCloud Drive in Yosemite and iOS 8. At 266 pages, “Take Control of Pages” comprehensively documents what you want to do in Pages for $20.

Point others here > http://tid.bl.it/tco-pages-info

Thank you for your support of the Take Control series, and may all your wishes comes true this holiday season!

Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Minneapolis

Reboot Your Own Machine At MacMiniColo

Even a Mac needs to be rebooted sometimes. If you host a computer at Mac Mini Colo, it’s pretty easy to reboot. To reboot your system, log into your account with MacMini Colo.
Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 8.56.40 AM
Once logged in, click on Computers and then click on the computer that you’d like to reboot. Then click on the Reboot button and confirm the reboot.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 8.55.54 AM

Mac OS X Mac OS X Server

Scripted Country Geolocations Using OS X’s Built-In ip2cc

Recently I was working on a project where we were isolating IP addresses by country. In the process, I found an easy little tool built right into OS X called ip2cc. Using ip2cc, you can lookup what country an IP is in. To do so, simply run ip2cc followed by a name or ip address. For example, to lookup apple.com you might run:

ip2cc apple.com

Or to lookup Much Music, you might run:

ip2cc muchmusic.ca

The output would be:

IP::Country modules (v2.28)
Copyright (c) 2002-13 Nigel Wetters Gourlay
Database updated Wed May 15 15:29:48 2013

Name: muchmusic.com
Address: 199.85.71.88
Country: CA (Canada)

You can just get the country line:

ip2cc apple.com | grep Country:

To just get the country code:

ip2cc apple.com | grep Country: | awk '{ print $2 }'

Finally, ip2cc is located at /usr/bin/ip2cc so we’ll complicate things just a tad by replacing the hostname with the current IP (note that private IPs can’t be looked up, so this would only work if you’re rocking on a wan ip or feeding it what a curl from a service like whatismyip brings back):

ip2cc `ipconfig getifaddr en0` | grep Country: | awk '{ print $2 }'

Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Mass Deployment Network Infrastructure Programming Ubuntu Unix

Opposite Day: Reversing Lines In Files

The other day, my daughter said “it’s opposite day” when it was time to do a little homework, trying to get out of it! Which reminded me of a funny little command line tool called rev. Rev reads a file and reverses all the lines. So let’s touch a file called rev ~/Desktop/revtest and then populate it with the following lines:

123
321
123

Now run rev followed by the file name:

rev ~/Desktop/revtest

Now cat it:

cat !$

Now rev it again:

rev !$

You go go forward and back at will for fun, much more fun than homework… Enjoy!

Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Mass Deployment

Refresh OS X CRLs

I recently found an existing image with a lot of stale crl information. We couldn’t rebuild the image, so we decided to instead refresh all of the crl information. This information is stored in /var/db/crls/crlcache.db. Deleting the file turned out to be problematic so we needed to clear items out of the tables instead. While this could be done using a few different tools, it turns out there’s a command built into os x to take care of this process for us called crlrefresh.

To use crlrefresh to clean up stale crlinformation and fetch new crlinformation for all CRL and certificates, use:

crlrefresh rpvv

Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security

See How Long The Active User Has Logged In On A Mac

The following will grab you an integer of the number of hours an active user has logged into a computer:

user=$( ls -l /dev/console | awk '{ print $3 }' ) ; ac users $user | awk '{ print $2 }'

 

iPhone Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security

Casper 9.62 Is Out!

Casper 9.62 is now out! And holy buckets, look at all the stuff that got fixed in this release:

Casper-Suite-9.62-Release-Notes_320_414_84_1416419790

http://resources.jamfsoftware.com/documents/products/documentation/Casper-Suite-9.62-Release-Notes.pdf?mtime=1416856726

PS – There’s also some api improvement goodness!

Bushel iPhone Mass Deployment

How To View What Payloads Do To Devices

You can see exactly what Bushel, and other MDM platforms do to your OS X devices using the System Information utility. As with all Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions that interface with OS X, you can use the About this Mac menu item under the Apple menu at the top of the screen to bring up the System Information utility. When you open this tool, you will see a lot of information that can be derived about your devices. Scroll down the list and click on Profiles. Here, you will see all of the Device and User profiles that have been installed on your computer, the payloads within each profile and the keys within each payload.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 12.00.11 PM

Inside each profile there are a few pieces of information that define how the profile operates on the computer. Click on one to see the specific details for each Payload. Payloads are a collection of settings that a policy is changing. For example, in the above  screenshot, allowSimple is a key inside the com.apple.mobiledevice.passwordpolicy payload. This setting, when set to 1 allows simple passcode to be used on the device. When used in conjunction with the forcePIN key (as seen, in the same payload), you must use a passcode, which can be simple (e.g. 4 numeric characters).

Using these settings, you can change a setting in Bushel and then see the exact keys in each of our deployed payloads that changed when you change each setting. Great for troubleshooting issues!

Bushel iPhone Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Mass Deployment

Bushel Goes Into Invitation Mode!

Yesterday the Bushel team finished some new code. This code allows you to refer your friends to Bushel! This skips the codes that everyone was waiting for and lets people create accounts immediately!

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 10.07.02 PM

From your home screen, click on Invite Friends. Or from the Account screen, scroll down to the section that says “Invite friends to join Bushel”. From here, you can post codes to Facebook, Tweet codes, post codes to LinkedIn and even email them.

We’re not going into general availability just yet. But we’re definitely making it easier long-term to sign up and use Bushel! We hope you love it as much as we do!

Since we’re still architecting how these final screens look, the final features and stress testing the servers, also if you’re testing the system please feel free to fill out our feedback form so we know what you think of what we’re doing and where we’re going!

Or if you’re still waiting for a code, use this link to skip that process https://signup.bushel.com?r=fd0fcf9e6d914a739d29c90421c0fb45.

Articles and Books Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security Mass Deployment

My Take Control Of OS X Server Book Now Available!

Thanks to all the awesome work from Adam and Tanya Engst, Tidbits announced today that my Take Control of OS X Server is now available! To quote some of the Tidbits writeup:

Some projects turn out to be harder than expected, and while Charles Edge’s “Take Control of OS X Server” was one of them, we’re extremely pleased to announce that the full 235-page book is now available in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket versions to help anyone in a home or small office environment looking to get started with Apple’s OS X Server.

As you’ll likely remember, we published this book chapter by chapter for TidBITS members, finishing it in early September (see “‘Take Control of OS X Server’ Streaming in TidBITS,” 12 May 2014). Doing so got the information out more quickly, broke up the writing and editing effort, and elicited reader comments that helped us refine the text.

Normally, we would have moved right into final editing and published the book quickly, but from mid-September on, our attention has been focused on OS X 10.10 Yosemite, iOS 8, and our new Take Control Crash Course series. We were working non-stop, and while we wanted to release “Take Control of OS X Server,” we felt it was more important to finish the books about Apple’s new operating systems for the thousands of people who rely on Take Control for technical assistance.

During that time, we had the entire book copyedited by Caroline Rose, who’s best known for writing and editing Inside Macintosh Volumes I through III at Apple and being the editor in chief at NeXT. Plus, we went over the book carefully to ensure that it used consistent terminology and examples, optimized the outline, and improved many of the screenshots.

The main problem with this delay was that Apple has now updated OS X Server from version 3.2.2 (Mavericks Server, which is what we used when writing the book) to 4.0 (Yosemite Server, which is all that works in Yosemite). Updating the book for Yosemite Server would delay it even longer. Luckily for us, veteran system administrators say that you should never upgrade OS X Server on a production machine right away. And even luckier, the changes in Yosemite Server turn out to be extremely minor (a sidebar in the Introduction outlines them), so those who want to get started now can use the instructions in the book with no problem. It’s also still possible to buy Mavericks Server and install it on a Mac running Mavericks, as long as you have the right Mac App Store link from the book. We are planning to update the book for Yosemite Server (which mostly involves retaking screenshots and changing the “mavserver” name used in examples) in early 2015 — it will be a free update for all purchasers.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 7.59.44 PM

You can find out more about the book at http://www.takecontrolbooks.com/osx-server. An update will be due out in early 2015, so stay tuned for more!