Tag Archives: setup

iPhone Mac OS X Server Mass Deployment

Disable Options At Initial Config Time Using Apple Configurator

In Apple Configurator 1.4.3, which just dropped, you can reduce the setup time for iOS devices. This is pretty helpful in Configuration Centers and when warehousing/performing thin setups of devices. To access this new feature, open Configurator and go to the Prepare screen. From there, you will have the Setup tab. Click on Setup and then in the resultant screen, you will see each of the initial screens in iOS that you can now skip.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 2.46.56 PMSo put this in perspective, if you check the Location Services box and then prepare a device, even if not restoring a backup, you then won’t be prompted for whether or not you want to enable Location Services. Instead, the device will accept the default option. Nice, small new feature, that will save a lot of people a lot of time, even if not using Apple Configurator to Supervise devices.

Windows Server

Adding Roles In Windows Server 2012

Out of the box a Windows Server 2012 isn’t really that helpful. But luckily, it has these things called Roles. Roles are things like Hyper-V, File Sharing, Windows Update Services, Web Server, etc. Each role then has a collection of services that it can run as well, within the Role. Roles include (borrowing from Microsoft here):

  • Active Directory Certificate Services Overview
    This content provides an overview of Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) in Windows Server 2012. AD CS is the server role that allows you to build a public key infrastructure (PKI) and provide public key cryptography, digital certificates, and digital signature capabilities for your organization.
  • Active Directory Domain Services Overview
    By using the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) server role, you can create a scalable, secure, and manageable infrastructure for user and resource management, and provide support for directory-enabled applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server.
  • Active Directory Federation Services Overview
    This topic provides an overview of Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) in Windows Server 2012.
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Overview
    Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) is a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory service that provides flexible support for directory-enabled applications, without the dependencies and domain-related restrictions of AD DS.
  • Active Directory Rights Management Services Overview
    This document provides an overview of Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) in Windows Server 2012. AD RMS is the server role that provides you with management and development tools that work with industry security technologies—including encryption, certificates, and authentication—to help organizations create reliable information protection solutions.
  • Application Server Overview
    Application Server provides an integrated environment for deploying and running custom, server-based business applications.
  • Failover Clustering Overview
    This topic describes the Failover Clustering feature and provides links to additional guidance about creating, configuring, and managing failover clusters on up to 4,000 virtual machines or up to 64 physical nodes.
  • File and Storage Services Overview
    This topic discusses the File and Storage Services server role in Windows Server 2012, including what’s new, a list of role services, and where to find evaluation and deployment information.
  • Group Policy Overview
    This topic describes the Group Policy feature in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. Use this topic to find the documentation resources and other technical information you need to accomplish key Group Policy tasks, new or updated functionality in this version compared to previous versions of Group Policy, and ways to automate common Group Policy tasks using Windows PowerShell.
  • Hyper-V Overview
    This topic describes the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2012—practical uses for the role, the most significant new or updated functionality in this version compared to previous versions of Hyper-V, hardware requirements, and a list of operating systems (known as guest operating systems) supported for use in a Hyper-V virtual machine.
  • Networking Overview
    This section contains detailed information about networking products and features for the IT professional to design, deploy, and maintain Windows Server 2012.
  • Network Load Balancing Overview
    By managing two or more servers as a single virtual cluster, Network Load Balancing (NLB) enhances the availability and scalability of Internet server applications such as those used on web, FTP, firewall, proxy, virtual private network (VPN), and other mission-critical servers. This topic describes the NLB feature and provides links to additional guidance about creating, configuring, and managing NLB clusters.
  • Network Policy and Access Services Overview
    This topic provides an overview of Network Policy and Access Services in Windows Server 2012, including the specific role services of Network Policy Server (NPS), Health Registration Authority (HRA), and Host Credential Authorization Protocol (HCAP). Use the Network Policy and Access Services server role to deploy and configure Network Access Protection (NAP), secure wired and wireless access points, and RADIUS servers and proxies.
  • Print and Document Services Overview
    This is an overview of Print and Document Services, including Print Server, Distributed Scan Server, and Fax Server in Windows Server 2012.
  • Remote Desktop Services Overview
    Remote Desktop Services accelerates and extends desktop and application deployments to any device, improving remote worker efficiency, while helping to keep critical intellectual property secure and simplify regulatory compliance. Remote Desktop Services enables both a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and session-based desktops, allowing users to work anywhere.
  • Security and Protection Overview
    The table on this page provides links to available information for the IT pro about security technologies and features for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.
  • Telemetry Overview
    Find out about Windows Feedback Forwarder—a service that enables you to automatically send feedback to Microsoft by deploying a Group Policy setting to one or more organizational units. Windows Feedback Forwarder is available on all editions of Windows Server 2012.
  • Volume Activation Overview
    This technical overview for the IT pro describes the volume activation technologies in Windows Server 2012 and how your organization can benefit from using these technologies to deploy and manage volume licenses for a medium to large number of computers.
  • Web Server (IIS) Overview
    This document introduces the Web Server (IIS) role of Windows Server 2012, describes new IIS 8 features, and links to additional Microsoft and community information about IIS.
  • Windows Deployment Services Overview
    Windows Deployment Services enables you to deploy Windows operating systems over the network, which means that you do not have to install each operating system directly from a CD or DVD.
  • Windows Server Backup Feature Overview
    This section provides an overview of the Windows Server Backup feature and lists the new features in Windows Server 2012.
  • Windows Server Update Services Overview
    Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) enables information technology administrators to deploy the latest Microsoft product updates. By using WSUS, administrators can fully manage the distribution of updates that are released through Microsoft Update to computers in their network. In Windows Server 2012, this feature is integrated with the operating system as a server role. This topic provides an overview of this server role and more information about how to deploy and maintain WSUS.
  • Windows System Resource Manager Overview
    With Windows System Resource Manager for the Windows Server 2012 operating system, you can manage server processor and memory usage with standard or custom resource policies. Managing your resources can help ensure that all the services provided by a single server are available on an equal basis or that your resources will always be available to high-priority applications, services, or users.

To add a Role is a pretty straight forward process. To get started, open Server Manager and click on the Dashboard. From the Dashboard, click on the Manage menu and click on Add Roles and Features.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.17.44 PM

At the Add Roles and Features Wizard click on Next at the Before You Begin Screen.

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At the Installation Type screen, click on Role-based or Feature-based Installation, unless you are installing Remote Desktop Services (formerly called Terminal Services), then click on that radio button instead.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.20.00 PM

At the Server Selection screen, click on the server you’d like to install the role on and then click on Next.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.22.17 PM

At the Add Roles or Features screen, choose the role you’d like to install.

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If there are any requirements to use the service, you’ll then be notified that those requirements exist. I usually leave the Include management tools (if applicable) box checked the first time I install a role and click on Add Features.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.25.52 PM

If any issues are encountered, you’ll then be alerted that there was a problem. If you’d like to correct the issue, click cancel, correct the issue and then rerun the tool. Or if you’d like to proceed anyway, click Continue.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.27.07 PM

Back at the Server Roles screen, the box will then be checked. Click on Next. At the Features screen, you can add a feature, although in this case we won’t be doing so. Then, click Next.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.30.43 PM

At the screen for the role you just selected, read the information, then click Next.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.32.04 PM

At the Confirmation screen, click Install. Optionally, you can also choose whether to reboot the server when the service is finished installing.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.37.36 PM

Once installed, click Close. Also, at this screen, you can export the configuration settings for the service for future use.

That’s it. You’ve now installed DNS services in Windows Server (or whatever service you are setting up). The services still need to be configured, but the initial install should now be complete!

Mac OS X

Notification Center, Mountain Lion and Me

I love Notification Center on my phone. I think it’s great to receive a simple list of items that have changed since the last time I looked at the phone.  I can also quickly dismiss the screen so the fact that there’s often 20 or more items in the list when I’ve been sitting at my computer for 10 minutes and not looking at the phone doesn’t really bum me out much.

In Mountain Lion, Notification Center comes to the Mac. What I’ve grown to love on the iPhone, I’m not sold on for OS X. You see, the alerts that pop up on the screen are great for a phone, because if you’re looking at your phone (hopefully not while driving) then you’re likely multitasking. Since most mobile solutions are so great for multi-tasking, many of us have gotten used to multi-tasking on our mobile devices and then plugging into a keyboard when we need to do something that requires focus. Or at least that’s my workflow.

By default, Notification Center assumes the same level of multi-tasking is done on desktops as on mobile devices.  But with some tuning, Notification Center can be even more useful. For example, when I’m writing I like to cut down the distractions. Doing so helps me to stay focused. And when I’m trying to keep the distractions down, there are certain things that should still jar me out of my otherwise focused state. By default, Notification Center pops up alerts on my screen that tell me that things have happened with some of my apps, such as I got an email, a calendar event is prompting or there was a tweet about me. But Notification Center allows me to configure what kinds of alerts I want to see. For example, I might want an alert about a Reminder to come through and not have tweets pop up on my screen while I’m writing. To disable one of the applications allowed to pop up an alert on the screen, open the Notifications System Preference pane and find the application in the list provided.

Then select None to disable notifications. The default setting for each app is to provide what is known as a Banner. A Banner is a prompt that informs users that an event has occurred with a supported app and then goes away. You can also set each app to provide an Alert, which is a banner that doesn’t go away on its own but must be clicked on to disappear.

You can also configure options that make Notifications a little more useful. These are configured per app and include the following:

  • Show in Notification Center: Indicates the number of items for each app that are shown in the Notification Center at a time. The default is 5 and this shows you, for example, the subject, sender and first few lines of emails or the name and sender of Tweets that have information about you.
  • Badge app icon: Removes the red indicator for each app. For example, when unchecked for mail you’ll no longer see how many unread emails you have.
  • Play sound when receiving notifications: Enables an audible alert (ding, ding) that a notification is waiting for you.

Overall, I think it’s really awesome that I now have a feature that is very iOS-centric sitting right here on my Mac. I do think it’s a bit verbose by default, but then, that’s my workflow – the developers are probably targeting the people who feel multi-tasking is healthy on every single computing device you touch. I don’t necessarily agree, but I dig it anyway. So me and my 2 apps that still have notifications enable are going to use this feature, if a bit less verbosely than most!

cloud Mac OS X


Google recently decided that it was time to force some other company to buy cloudy dispositioned upstarts, Dropbox and Box.net. Google also decided that Office365 represented Microsoft being a little too brazen in their attempts to counteract the inroads that Google has made into Microsoft territory. Therefor, Google thumped their chest and gave away 5GB of storage in Google Drive. Google then released a tool that synchronizes data stored on a Google Drive to Macs and Windows systems.

Installing Google Drive is pretty easy. Just browse to Google Docs and Google will tell you that there’s this weird new Google Drive thing you should check out.

Here, click on Download Google Drive for Mac (or Windows if you use Windows). Then agree to give your first born to Google (but don’t worry, they’d never collect on that debt ’cause they’re sworn to do no evil).

Once downloaded, run the installer. You can link directly to your documents now using https://drive.google.com.

The only real question the installer asks is whether you’d like to automatically sync your Google Drive to the computer. I said yes, but if you’ve got a smallish drive you might decide not to. Once the Google Drive application has been downloaded and installed, open it (by default it’s set to open at startup). You’ll then see a icon in the menu bar that looks a little like a recycling symbol. Here, click on Open Google Drive folder.

The folder with your Google Docs then shows up on your desktop. Copy an item in there and it syncs up to Google. It can then easily be shared through the Google Apps web portal and accessed from other systems.

While there are still a number of features that Box.net and Dropbox will give you due to the fact that they’re a bit more mature, I’d expect Google Drive to catch up fast. And given that I already have tons of documents in Google Docs, it is nice to have them saved down to my local system. I’m now faced with an interesting new challenge: where to draw the line in my workflow between Google Drive, Dropbox and Box.net. Not a bad problem to have, really! Given the frustrations of having things strewn all over the place I’ll want to minimize some of the haphazardness I’ve practiced with regards to why I put things in different places in the past. In some cases I need to be able to email to folders, have expiring links or to have extended attributes sync between services, so there are some aspects that are likely to be case-by-case… Overall though, I’m very happy with the version 1 release of Google Drive. I mean, who complains about free stuff!?!?!