Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2019-01-18

Apple has repeated their strong position on data privacy and security with an op-ed by Tim Cook in Time. Ironically, I cannot read the original op-ed, because of European data privacy laws…

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On Scripting OS X

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Social Media

  • Bob Gendler: “I’m pretty stoked. While we’re not supposed to do work during a furlough I’ve used this time to catch up on some skills that would be useful for work. I created a macOS app in Swift that interacts with a JamfPro server to toggle some settings for use at NIST. This is my first GUI based app I’ve built in Swift with Xcode.”
  • Victor (groob): “Did you know that on macOS 10.14.x launchd has its own plist parser and requires self closing tags for booleans? Bug here (OpenRadar) Thanks to @twseph for patching”
  • Fraser Speirs: “Re: the discussion on @_connectedfm about the 9.7” iPad rising in price to make room for a new mini 5 below it – such a move would be a clear signal that Apple is ceding K–12 education to Chromebook and wants out of the market.” – Thread!
  • Neil Martin: Imaging is dead. Take an hashtag#Apple hashtag#Mac (or a lab full). Add a dash of awesome hashtag#NoMAD Login with upcoming DEPNotify functionality. (video)

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book extra!

PLIST Editor can Open Signed Mobileconfigs

Last year I posted about a useful app to read and edit property list files: PLIST Editor.

In its last update (1.15) the app gained a feature which is tremendously useful to MacAdmins: it can now open signed property lists.

MacAdmins regularly encounter signed property lists when they download configuration profiles (.mobileconfig) from a management server. Since the cryptographic signature is binary data wrapping the property list, most property list editors, such as Xcode or PlistEdit Pro, choke on the signature.

The new PLIST Editor (1.15) now detects a signed mobileconfig and will automatically unwrap the plist data from the signature and display a notification.

PLIST Editor Message

When you click on the notification, you will get more detailed information on the signature itself.

Once you edit and save the mobileconfig, the signature will obviously be removed. You can re-sign the edited mobileconfig file with a tool like Hancock or in the Terminal with:

$ security cms -S -N "Identity Name" -i profile.mobileconfig -o signed.mobileconfig

(Learn more on in my book: ‘Property Lists, Preferences and Profiles for Apple Administrators’)

This addition will be very useful for my workflow and think for other MacAdmins as well.

PLIST Editor is available in the Mac App Store for US$3.99 (price will vary depending on region).

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2019-01-11

Slowly emerging from the post-holiday and vacation swamp. CES was this, and even though Apple had no official presence, they did gather some headlines from smart TV support of AirPlay 2, HomeKit and iTunes videos. Also they got some attention for this banner ad.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Mac Mule: “TIL: https://help.apple.com/businessmanager/#/apd1d81e5169 The timescale for processing app licences depends on how many you purchase: 5,000 licences or less are processed straightaway. 5,001 to 19,999 licences are processed after 13:00 PST daily. 20,000 licences or more are processed after 16:00 PST daily.”
  • Erik Gomez: “InstallEnterpriseApplication is broken and I’m really hoping Apple fixes this by 10.14.3, or the next few months are going to be extremely painful.”
  • Kyle Crawford: “SecureToken is broken and I’m really hoping Apple fixes this by 10.14.3, or the next few months are going to be extremely painful.…”
  • Eric Holtam:softwareupdate is broken and I’m really hoping Apple fixes this by 10.14.3, or the next few months are going to be extremely painful.…”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2019-01-04

Happy New Year!

2018 was certainly “interesting times.” I have the feeling 2019 will not dissappoint in this regard either.

While many admins seemed to enjoy just taking a week or two off, some took the time for some very interesting posts and projects.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Jamf: “In case you missed it: @MacTechConf is now in October and JNUC is in November. We’re working together and looking forward to sponsoring the event again in 2019!”
  • MacDeployment YYC: “2019 Conf. Dates: @macaduk 26–27 March, London @acesconf June 4–6, Kansas City MO #MacDeploy June 10–11, Calgary @MacDevOpsYVR June 12–14, Vancouver @psumacconf July 9–12, State College PA MacSysAdmin 1–4 Oct., Göteborg @MacTechConf Oct. 15–18, L.A. JNUC Nov. 12–14, Minneapolis”
  • Geert Barentsen: “2019 is the final year for Python 2. No bug or security patches will be applied to Python 2 beyond Jan 1st, 2020. Time to start using Python 3 only! pythonclock.org
  • Jason Broccardo: “Apple will upgrade system python sometime in 2020.… ”
  • Joseph Chilcote: “More likely Apple will remove system python sometime in 2023.… ”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2018-12-21

Welcome to the last news summary of 2018. I will be taking off next week for the holidays. I don’t expect much will happen, but if it does, you will see it the first news summary of the new year, on (or around) January 4, 2019.

This was the first full year of the News Summary. I wrote 49 summaries this year. The number of subscribers more than quadrupled, which is both exciting and humbling. I am too lazy to whip up a script to get an exact count but that adds up to about 1500 links to tweets, articles, updates and posts.

I merely gather all these links. The summary would not be possible without something to summarize. My never-ending gratitude goes out to all the people who generously share their expertise and time in all these posts, on the different fora, and in person.

Thank you for writing, and thank you all for reading!

I hope you all get to enjoy a break for the holidays and New Year.

Happy Holidays and all the best for the New Year!

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Arek Dreyer: “macOS Support Essentials 10.14 Supporting and Troubleshooting macOS Mojave Exam Preparation Guide was posted! It’s posted at the bottom of the course description page, but here’s the direct link. https://training.apple.com/content/dam/appletraining/us/en/2018/documents/macOS_Support_Essentials_10_14_Exam_Preparation_Guide.pdf”
  • Carl Ashley: “Dear macOS software devs. If you build apps that trigger user consent prompts – aka TCC, please thoroughly document ALL affected binaries with the file path & what PPPCP payloads are required to make the prompts go away. Make this info readily available. MacAdmins will love you.”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2018-12-14

Lots of interesting posts this week. Jamf 10.9, MS Office now supports the Dark Side… er dark mode.

The MacAdmins Podcasts got Doug Brooks and Jeremy Butcher from Apple on the show to talk about Apple, deployment and the T2 chip!

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Charles S Edge: “The github.com/jamfit github.com/jamfprofessionalservices && github.com/jamfsupport accounts have now been consolidated into one @JAMFSoftware Open Source Community at github.com/jamf to make it easier to find projects that do things you might need to do”
  • John C. Welch: (Long Thread, worth reading.)
  • William Smith:
    “Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac v 16.20 drops today with Dark Mode for Mojave users! And if that’s a little too stark when using Outlook (or any other app), here’s how to turn it off. defaults write http://com.microsoft.Outlook NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance -bool yes”
  • Patrick Gallagher Jr: “Well hello XProtect, been a while!” (Note: MRT got an update, too.)
  • Eric Holtam: “News to me so may be news to others. Firefox 63+ supports mobile config policies. Here begins the move away from the great CCK2. Example settings at https://github.com/mozilla/policy-templates”
  • Graham Gilbert: “If you are a fellow #macadmin and want to speak at a conference in 2019, let me know and I’ll try to make that happen. Whether it is making the right introduction, looking over your proposal or being someone to practice your slides on, let me know how I can help.”
  • lamby: “Symlinks.… ”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Watch

  • Tim Perfitt: “Using a Smart Card out of the box with macOS for login authentication”
  • Tim Perfitt: “Provisioning Certificates on a Smart Card / Yubikey for macOS authentication”
  • Otto the Automator: “My session at the @JAMFSoftware JNUC 2018 showing how to manage iOS devices upon attachment to a Mac. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aSW_47rXKE ”

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2018-12-07

We got the macOS 10.14.2 update this week, along with iOS 12.1.1 and watchOS 5.1.2. Versioning is really weird this time around. One can assume something major is planned for iOS 12.2.

For macOS 10.14.2 looks like a unified build for all current hardware. It’s been a while.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Jason Broccardo: “10.12.6 + SecUpdate 2018–006 = 16G1710 10.13.6 + SecUpdate 2018–003 = 17G3025 10.14.2 = 18C54”
  • Jason Broccardo: “!!!! 10.13.6 + 2018–003 = 17G4015 !!!”
  • William Smith: “2019 calendar for Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac for 2019 monthly releases is posted. (Subject to change.) https://macadmins.software/calendar/”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2018-12-01

Just a brief summary this week as I am still travelling through beautiful NZ. Just as a warning: next week’s letter may also be short and late.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2018-11-23

Just a quick roundup this week. Because of the US Thanksgiving week it is pretty quiet, and I am travelling. I will try writing up a newsletter over the next two weeks, but no promises.

I have put together a few deals. My own books are also on sale through Monday, Nov 27 (Cyber Monday)

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

Black Friday Deals for Admins

On Scripting OS X

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • mikeymikey: “Sounds like some Quicktime codec support changes coming again.… ”
  • Tim Hardwick: “I’ve been testing Folder Actions in macOS Mojave 10.14.1, and the results aren’t good. Apple needs to look at how new security approvals are implemented for workflows containing Apple Event scripts, because the reliability of automated actions has taken a dive.”
  • William Smith: “Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac 10.2.4 beta introduces… SCRIPTING SUPPORT! See today’s announcement in #microsoft-rdc channel on #MacAdmins Slack for details and usage. Run ”Microsoft Remote http://Desktop.app/Content/macOS/Microsoft … Remote Desktop” –script help
  • Greg Neagle: “Ralph Breaks the Internet opens today in the US and some other markets! Be sure to stay through the credits for mid-credits and post-credits scenes!”

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

There are no ads on my webpage or this newsletter. If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Books Sale for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

My three books will be on sale from now, over Black Friday, through Cyber Monday (Nov 26). This is a great chance to pick the books up at a few dollars or euros less:

Prices shown are for the US Apple Books store, but the prices in all regions where the books are published will be reduced.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US and happy deal hunting to everyone!