Apple Configurator 2 is a great new evolution in iOS initial and configuration management. And there are lots of great options. And to help you wrap your head around all this new fun stuff, I’ve written up a quick and dirty guide for using Apple Configurator 2.
It’s not completely done, but it will be shortly. Hope this help someone. Enjoy!
krypted November 14th, 2015
The new fourth generation Apple TV is everything I hoped the third generation would be. We have a touch remote with a Mic, great video, USB-C, and most importantly, an App Store! And while I have security concerns around the setup process, I am sure Apple has thought through the myriad of questions I have surrounding sharing Apple ID keys over bluetooth from a phone to the Apple TV to streamline the setup process. So about that setup process. Configuring the new Apple TV is pretty straight forward. To get started, get your phone out. Yes, your phone. Then unwrap the Apple TV and plug it into the HDMI port on your TV and the AC adapter (which is the same as the second and third generation Apple TVs).
Once plugged in, boot up your Apple TV. When prompted, click Set Up with Device on the fancy new remote.
At the Set Up Your Apple TV prompt, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your phone and then wait for it, the TV will see your phone!
When prompted on your phone, tap Continue.
When the TV tells you to enter the Apple ID on your phone, make sure your phone is unlocked and then provide that information.
You’re then prompted for whether you’d like the Apple TV to retain your password. Obviously, if you have kids that love to buy in app purchases, this might be a bad idea. If you live alone, maybe a good idea.
Make your selection and then you’ll be prompted for whether you’d like to send data to Apple. I usually tap OK here, as I prefer my experience to get better with products (and usually don’t go in for all the tin foil hat stuffs).
Back on the TV, choose whether or not to enable Location Services. If you travel with Apple TV, this might be helpful. If not, then it’s likely not a biggee.
One of the great new features is the new Siri integration with Apple TV. While Siri on my TV doesn’t seem to like me much, I’m sure it’s my fault, so I’d still click that Use Siri option.
I loved the photos on the previous generation of Apple TV, so decided to let Apple give me some more. You may not want to use their background for a screensaver. Click Automatically Download if you’d like to use theirs, or Not Now if not.
You’re then prompted for whether or not to send Diagnostics and Usage Data to Apple again. Choose if you’d like to do so.
If you want your apps to get better, click Share with App Developers.
Click Agree to agree to the warranty.
Click Agree to agree to Apple’s Terms and Conditions (for these, you can’t proceed unless you agree to them; otherwise you can return the device).
Now you’re at the Main Apple TV screen. If you’re used to using Netflix, the next thing you’ll want to do is head over to the App Store and install some apps. You can also go ahead and start buying media, etc. Enjoy!
krypted November 3rd, 2015
Posted In: Apple TV
I’ve written a couple of articles about the Caching service in OS X Server 5 for El Capitan. As of OS X Server 5, the Caching service now caches local copies on the computer running the Caching service of iCloud content. This allows you to cache content once and then have it accessed by multiple devices faster. I’m torn on this option. On the one hand, I love the fact that I can cache things and on the other hand I find it frightening that a random user can cache things I might not want them to cache on behalf of another user. I know, I know, they’re encrypted with a device key. But when you have data on disk, it can always be decrypted. I almost feel like there should be a plist on machines that whitelists allowed caching servers. Maybe I should make a feature request on that.
Either way, as it stands now, I might be disabling this option in larger offices. To do so, I can write an AllowPersonalCaching key into the Config.plist file at /Library/Server/Caching/Config/. The most graceful way to do this is using the serveradmin command, followed by the settings verb and then caching:AllowPersonalCaching option, setting that equals no, as follows:
sudo serveradmin settings caching:AllowPersonalCaching = no
To turn it back on:
sudo serveradmin settings caching:AllowPersonalCaching = yes
This can also be done by dropping a Config.plist file into the correct location for new server installations. I’ll have an article out shortly on doing so, as you’d want to normalize a few options in the file before deploying en masse (e.g. if you have a large contingent of Caching servers to manage.
krypted October 16th, 2015
Posted In: Mac OS X Server
The first thing you’ll want to do on any server is setup the networking for the computer. To do this, open the System Preferences and click on Network. You usually want to use a wired Ethernet connection on a server, but in this case we’ll be using Wi-Fi. Here, click on the Wi-Fi interface and then click on the Advanced… button.
At the setup screen for the interface, provide a good static IP address. Your network administrator can provide this fairly easily. Here, make sure you have an IP address and a subnet mask. Since we need to install the Server app from the Mac App Store, and that’s on the Internet, you’ll also need to include a gateway, which provides access to the Internet and using the DNS tab, the name servers for your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Once you have provided a static IP address, verify that you can route to the Internet (e.g. open Safari and visit a website). Provided you can, the first step to installing OS X Server is to download the Server app from the Mac App Store. If you install an El Capitan machine (or Yosemite), you can then open the App Store app and search for Server. In the available apps, you’ll see the Server app from Apple. Here, click on Buy and let the app download. That was pretty easy, right. Well, the fun has just gotten started. Next, open the app.
When you first open the Server app, you’ll see the OS X Server screen. Here, you can click on the following options:
Click Continue to setup OS X Server on the machine you’re currently using. You’ll then be prompted for the licensing agreement from Apple. Here, check the box to “Use Apple services to determine this server’s Internet reachability” and click on Agree (assuming of course that you agree to Apple’s terms in the license agreement).
Installing OS X Server must be done with elevated privileges. At the prompt, enter the credentials for an account with administrative access and click on the Allow button.
The services are then configured as needed and the command line tools are made accessible. This can take some time, so be patient. When the app is finished with the automation portion of the configuration, you will be placed into the Server app for the first time. Your first order of business is to make sure that the host names are good on the computer. Here, first check the Host Name. If the name doesn’t resolve properly (forward and reverse) then you will likely have problems with the server at some point. Therefore, go ahead and click on Edit Host Name… Here, enter the fully qualified address that the server should have. In the DNS article, we’ll look at configuring a good DNS server, but for now, keep in mind that you’ll want your DNS record that points to the server to match what you enter here. And users will use this address to access your server, so use something that is easy to communicate verbally, when needed.
At the Change Host Name screen, click Next. At the “Accessing your Server” screen, click on Internet and then click on the Next button.
At the “Connecting to your Server” screen, provide the Computer Name and the Host Name. The Computer Name is what you will see when you connect to the server over Bonjour and what will be listed in the Sharing System Preference pane. The Host Name is the fully qualified host name (fqdn) of the computer. I usually like to take the computer name and put it in front of the domain name. For example, in the following screen, I have osxserver as the name of the computer and osxserver.krypted.com as the host name.
Once you have entered the names, click on the Finish button. You are then prompted to Change Host Name. Click on Change Host Name at this screen.
Next, let’s open Terminal and run changeip with the -checkhostname option, to verify that the IP and hostname match:
sudo changeip -checkhostname
Provided that the IP address and hostname match, you’ll see the following response.
sudirserv:success = “success”
If the IP address and hostname do not match, then you might want to consider enabling the DNS server and configuring a record for the server. But at this point, you’ve finished setting up the initial server and are ready to start configuring whatever options you will need on the server.
krypted October 4th, 2015
Posted In: Mac OS X Server
You waited. And you tapped your fingers on the desk. And you sat and waited some more, for the UPS person. You stared at your mailbox. And then, after all of that, UPS showed up. And you signed. And then you had that box in your hands. The cardboard box, when opened, gave way to a sweet white box. You opened it by pulling the little tag off, and then you pulled the watch out of the box. You tried on the two bands. And you picked the one that fit you the best.
So now what? Turn on the watch by hitting the button on the side and watch that beautiful Apple logo light up the screen. But now you need to pair the watch with your phone for it to be useable. So what to do? Well, first of all, make sure your phone is updated to the latest and greatest version of iOS. From there, open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone.
The app will prompt you to start pairing a watch with the phone. You can only pair one watch with an iPhone. Tap the Start Pairing button. When prompted, line up the screen on the watch with the image and the outline.
Wait for the watch to complete pairing and then tap the Set Up Apple Watch button.
You’ll then be prompted for which wrist to put the watch on. I used my dominant wrist, so right.
You’ll then be prompted to accept the Terms and Conditions (aka license agreement) from Apple. Tap Agree.
Tap Agree again.
Next, when prompted for the Apple ID to use, if you’d like to use an Apple ID with the watch, provide the password for that Apple ID using the Enter Password button, or use the Skip This Step option to skip the Apple ID.
At the Location Services screen, tap OK. This is really just informational to let you know that Location Services will be used. It’s kinda’ necessary to use the watch properly.
At the Siri screen, again, you’re informed that Siri will be used. Tap OK.
At the Diagnostics screen, same thing. You’re informed that diagnostics will be supplied to Apple. Tap OK.
At the Apple Watch Passcode screen, choose whether you’d like to use a passcode on the watch. I’m not a fan of using a passcode on the watch; however, you will have to use one if you want to use Apple Pay on the watch. Tap Create a Passcode to set one up now and then provide the passcode you’d like to use.
The Apple Watch will sync apps and show glances from apps that are on the phone. Tap Install All to go ahead and install any Apple Watch apps on the device. You can always turn them off later. Or you can tap Choose Later to go ahead and complete setup and wait until later to set up the watch and finish apps setup later. I’d recommend using Install All and then turn off the ones you don’t want later.
Then the watch will start syncing with your devices. At the Apple Watch Is Syncing screen, wait. Don’t do anything else or get the watch too far from the phone or you’ll have to start over from scratch.
The watch looks like this while it’s syncing.
Once the watch is finished syncing, use the My Watch app to sync apps, show glances, setup Apple Pay and configure which built-in apps are shown on the device.
The next and most important aspect of your new Apple Watch is to use it and love it. Go for a run, sync some apps, enjoy the hell out of your new watch. It’s great. Now, get to it!
krypted May 9th, 2015
Posted In: Apple Watch
Bushel allows you to deploy settings for Wi-Fi networks to all of your users enrolled in Bushel. Bushel supports WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
krypted April 6th, 2015
Posted In: Bushel
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.
So 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.
krypted December 18th, 2013
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):
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.
At the Add Roles and Features Wizard click on Next at the Before You Begin Screen.
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.
At the Server Selection screen, click on the server you’d like to install the role on and then click on Next.
At the Add Roles or Features screen, choose the role you’d like to install.
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.
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.
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.
At the screen for the role you just selected, read the information, then click Next.
At the Confirmation screen, click Install. Optionally, you can also choose whether to reboot the server when the service is finished installing.
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!
krypted June 6th, 2013
Posted In: Windows Server
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:
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!
krypted July 25th, 2012
Posted In: 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!?!?!
krypted May 11th, 2012