Snow Leopard Certifications

Apple has released the Snow Leopard certification information and site. To make a long story short, for those who are ACSA inclined, you basically have the Apple Certified Support Professional, which is just one exam based on the Snow 101 course. You then have the Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC), which is the Support Essentials Exam along with the Server Essentials Exam, based on the Snow 201 course. Now for where the changes come into play. First and foremost security has returned, although it’s been lumped in with mobility, likely to focus the syllabus on settings through managed client (ie – automated FileVaulting). Therefore, I guess the SANS course will no longer be needed (I wrote it following the cancellation of the Apple security course), so this can be a pseudo-announcement that it is going away. You can take Directory Services, Deployment or Security + Mobility (these are Snow 301, 302 & 303 respectively) in conjunction with the aforementioned Server Essentials Exam and then have an Apple Certified Specialist in that category. If you take all three then you will be an Apple Certified Systems Administrator. Overall, for most, not a lot of changing up in the program, but adding the additional specialist certifications is interesting and similar to how Microsoft added the MCTS which given the number of products Microsoft makes has a lot of potential choices for exams, each with its own unique identifier.

Hey Snow Leopard, Where's My QuickTime Broadcaster

As you may have noticed, I’m posting a lot about where tools have moved or what happened to them right now. Next on my list is QuickTime Broadcaster. It’s no longer included in Mac OS X client. So to install it, go to the /Applications folder on Mac OS X Server 10.6. I’ll try and put future items into a single post so as not to pollute news readers out there. Thanks for the patience.

Snow Leopard & Directory.app

If you grew accustomed to using Directory.app in Leopard and you’re thinking about an upgrade to Snow Leopard then you might want to pause, if only for a moment. You see, there is no Directory.app in Snow Leopard. If you were using Directory.app to allow users to create Blogs and Wikis, then check out the new web interface and see if the specific functionality you seek is there; otherwise look into SACLs and consider pushing out Workgroup Manager. If you were using it to hook into LDAP and allow for looking up contact information then check out Address Book Server, included in 10.6 Server…

Using Podcast Composer in Podcast Producer 2

In Snow Leopard Server, Apple has introduced a whole new way to make Podcast workflows. It’s now simple to use, but still with amazing and powerful new automations that give Podcast Producer admins the ability to configure a host of new options quickly and easily. To get started, first setup Podcast Producer. Then, fire up Podcast Composer and go through 7 quick steps. First, provide a default name, author name and title for your workflow, then click on step 2.
Podcast Composer Step 1: Select a Source
Podcast Composer Step 1: Title & Author Information
In step two you’re going to configure the source of the video and audio. For each of the three options, Single Source, Dual Source and Montage, you’ll have an i to obtain more information about the source and configure settings more granularly. Single Source will perform much of the same functionality as Podcast Composer 1, you can select audio, video or Screen Recording (aka – screen capture). There’s a nice new feature for Automatic chapter generation for longer videos now, as well. Dual Source will allow users to use Keynote along with the video being captured, one of the coolest aspects of Podcast Composer 2 by far. You can select how the Keynote will interact with the video using some transitions familiar to users of both Keynote and iMovie. Finally, you can select Montage, which will use QuickLook to transition between various movies, images, documents (Word, Pages, PDF) and presentations (PowerPoint & Keynote) – if QuickLook can interpret it then you can drop them in.
Podcast Composer Step 2: Select a Source
When you’ve defined your source, let’s move on to Step 3, a very basic editorial workflow going from left to right on the screen, again using the information overlay (when you mouse over an item) to first define an Introduction movie, then a title sequence and effects for the title (which is user defined using your defaults), then the watermark (which you can now place anywhere on the screen, control the opacity for and place a bar along the bottom with information from your title bar and finally you define the exit credits. For all of these Apple has provided some stock footage but you can also define your own as well.
Podcast Composer Step 3: Intros, Outros & Watermarks
In step 4, define the output format (or formats as you can output a number of different clips if you so choose). Here, you can set the video and audio codecs that you would like to use. You don’t actually usually need to change anything in this step once it has been predefined in the workflow on the server.
Podcast Composer Step 4: Export Settings
Podcast Composer Step 4: Export Settings
In Step 5, choose where the recordings are to end up.  Using this is really nice as you can simultaneously send your new podcast to a wiki, a Final Cut Server and a workflow-defined directory.  If sending to a directory or a Final Cut Server then you have the option to perform further automations against the file.
Podcast Composer Step 5: Destinations
Podcast Composer Step 5: Destinations
In Step 6, choose who to notify (if anyone) about the new podcast.
Configuring Notifications in Step 6
Step 7 is to deploy the podcast workflow to your server. Simply click Save to output a file or Deploy to actually add that workflow to a Podcast Producer server (plug in host name, user name and password and hit save). Now, when users go to use Podcast Capture they’ll be able to use the new workflow! Podcast Composer is a great start to allowing systems administrators to take more use of Podcast Producer 2 and all its new features without having to go out and learn complex ruby programming. I hope you enjoy it as much as I clearly have been.

Snow Leopard Server Videos

A number of videos I’ve been working on for Snow Leopard Server topics. My first time experimenting with YouTube playlists so please be gentle if it’s weird looking… They’ll be posted individually into the 318 TechJournal shortly. These are mostly covering the new features of Mac OS X 10.6 Server, although some of the older videos might be on other topics.