Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

The world of Apple is bored with me (or at least I am) and so I think it’s about time for some new blood in the Apple speaker community. I’d be happy to help a few talented MacAdmins get some exposure in whatever way I can. If you’d like any help in preparing a presentation or a proposal, please feel free to reach out! Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 8.11.29 PM To quote the most excellent organizers of the Penn State MacAdmins conference:
The MacAdmins 2016 Call for Proposals is now open!  We’re looking for engaging, well-crafted sessions and workshops that showcase the latest tools and strategies for managing Macs and iOS devices.  From technical deep dives, case studies, and soft skills, to workflow improvements, tool overviews, and essential admin skills – we want to showcase your knowledge and experience at one of the premier Mac and iOS conferences in the world. If you’d like to present a workshop or conference session, please visit our site below and fill out a proposal: < > Call for Sponsors Interested in sponsoring the MacAdmins Conference in 2016?  Want to get your products and services in the hands of influential Mac and iOS administrators from across the world?  See our information below and become a sponsor! < > Save the Date Penn State MacAdmins Conference 2016 will be held June 27-30. Early Bird Registration Details on registration will be released in February!  Stay tuned!
Again, I think it’s time for a whole new generation of speakers, and please feel free to reach out if you’d like to be amongst them and would like a little help getting there!

December 28th, 2015

Posted In: public speaking

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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.

October 21st, 2012

Posted In: public speaking

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Not sure if I mentioned awhile back that I’ll be doing a talk at MacTech Conference in Los Angeles. This session is on Regression Testing. The official description is:
We have images, packages, scripts, file drops, managed preferences, profiles and countless other means to create change on client systems. This means a practically infinite number of combinations of change on client systems. In order to qualify whether an “image”, which is in reality a combination of all of these things, passes our test of whether or not we can roll it out to users, we must first test it. Otherwise, we end up flooding our help desk, touching systems by hand, working late hours to get things fixed or the dreaded full on reimaging! Measure twice, cut once. But measuring every combination can be daunting manually. In this session, we will look at leveraging scripts, graphical automations and 3rd party tools to verify that our images mass the muster. We’ll start with how to get started and the easy scripting that can be done and then quickly jump into both open source and automated 3rd party tools that can be leveraged to quickly and reliably give you the insight into whether your imaging framework is doing exactly what it is that you want it to be doing!
There are a lot of really good speakers at the conference. There are also a lot of really good engineers. Some are even both, although I tend to be neither. As I’m not doing a lot of public speaking any more, this will be one of the last 3 talks that I have booked. I’ll also be doing MacTech Minneapolis and MacSysAdmin out in Gothenburg, Sweden and then likely taking a break from doing any more talks for awhile.  

August 7th, 2012

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

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Ever get nervous in front of a crowd?  I had an interesting recommendation for this kind of thing today: curl your toes.  It’s funny, it helps keep you from gesticulating madly, mubling, etc.  Shout out for that one!

March 6th, 2008

Posted In: On the Road


For those attending, my speaker page to DefCon 14, in Las Vegas, Nevada:

January 1st, 2005

Posted In: Mac Security, public speaking

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