Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-11-13

Usually, I gather 30-40 links a week, which I then curate into this newsletter. This week I had more than a hundred links to work through, and discovered a few more posts and articles while I put everything together. What a week!

Macs with M1

New Macs with Apple Silicon M1 chips were introduced at the “One more thing” event on Tuesday. The MacBook Air, two-port MacBook Pro 13″ and the Mac mini are now available to order with the Apple Silicon M1 chip.

While the performance numbers look really exciting, there are a few interesting caveats, mostly with regards to external displays.All Macs with the M1 chip could drive a 6K display, the MacBooks can only drive a single external display and the Mac mini can only connect two external displays (a 6K and a 4K). External GPUs are not supported. (yet?)

The four port 13″ MacBook Pro and the 16″ MacBook Pro are still availble with Intel chips, as well as a Mac mini Intel configuration, which can have more RAM than the M1 Mac mini and optional 10Gig ethernet.

The M1 Macs cap out at 16GB RAM. This is a concern for many technical minded people. However, I would remind that the iPad Pro seems to fine with even less RAM, and that the fast SSD storage used in Macs these days make the penalty for paging to “disk” much less painful than it used to be.

Big Sur

And then we got Big Sur. Apple published macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 yesterday. And then a weird thing happened. We can only guess details, but it seems that the massive 12GB download overwhelmed Apple’s distribution network, but also took down other parts of Apple’s server network. (Then again, cause end effect might be the other way around. We don’t know.) One of the servers that was not reachable for a while was the OCSP server which macOS uses to verify the developer signatures of applications. Because of this app launches were slow on Macs everywhere. Issues were resolved within a few hours.

I would just love to be a fly on the wall in this post-mortem meeting at Apple. The chain of events that must have happened to cause this must be very strange, indeed.

Nevertheless, we got Big Sur.. eventually. And with Big Sur come lots of reviews, app updates (some universal), support articles, blog post.

Enjoy this “extra big” Big Sur edition of the news!

(If I missed something, please let me know. I will add it next week!)

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#! On Scripting OS X

📰News and Opinion

💻Apple Silicon M1 Macs

🌅 macOS 11 Big Sur and iOS 14

👩‍💻MacAdmins and Users on Big Sur

MDM vendors on Big Sur

Apple on Big Sur

Apple Developer

What’s new for Enterprise

⚙️macOS Catalina 10.15 and iOS 14 Updates

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Thomas Reed: “Scam sites that call just about everything a “virus,” and that promote junk apps to “remove” the “virus,” have become a plague. Consider macsecurity dot net, which scares people with things like a “DuckDuckGo virus” as a means for promoting ComboCleaner.” (Thread)
  • Camille Fournier: “Screw “choose boring technology,” today’s mantra is “make boring plans.” AKA, if you can break a problem down well enough that the plans look to an outsider like they are mostly boring and rote, you are probably a damn fine platform engineer.”
  • Bombich Software: “Apple fixed some of the APFS replication issues in the Big Sur 11.0.1 update, and CCC 5.1.23-b1 includes support for making bootable backups on Big Sur. To participate in this beta cycle, go to CCC’s Preferences > Software Update and check the box to be informed of beta releases.”
  • Panic: “Transmit 5.7 is ALSO now Apple silicon native on Mac, which is kind of a beautiful thing: this means that our little truck has run natively on every single Mac architecture in history, from 68k, to PPC, to Intel, now to M1. It just keeps on going!”
  • Longhorn: “So… I heard a lot of people asking: “can you run Windows on Apple M1 Macs?”( Thread)
  • Victor: “You thought kernel extensions on Apple Silicone were dead, but you were wrong.”
  • Adam C. Engst: “Apple has apparently resolved the problem with the certificate revocation server that was timing out and causing apps to open very slowly. Make sure to remove the workaround line from /etc/hosts if you added it!”
  • Carl Ashley: “Real talk @Apple @AppleSupport – the mechanisms available to #macadmins to withold OS updates and new OS releases is absolutely awful. We absolutely need the flexibility of being able to permanently block releases.”
  • Jeff Johnson: “Don’t confuse Developer ID certificate status (/usr/libexec/trustd to ocsp . apple . com) with notarization (/usr/libexec/syspolicyd to api . apple-cloudkit . com). Notarization check only occurs on first launch. Online Certificate Status Protocol can occur on any launch.” (Thread)
  • Keir Thomas: “Nice little Big Sur tweak for Disk Utility. When you click to use First Aid on a disk – which typically locks-up the Mac for a few seconds – it takes away the desktop and your apps temporarily so you CAN’T do anything.”

🐞Bugs and Security

🔨Support and HowTos

Wrangling file paths in Catalina and Big Sur – Howard Oakley

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

♻️Updates and Releases

📺To Watch

🎧To Listen

📚 Support

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Mac Admin, Consultant, and Author