Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-01-29

This week featured Data Privacy Day with some interesting accouncements from Apple. Also, we got the iOS 14.4, iPadOS 14.4 ,and watchOS 7.3 updates. macOS 11.2 was not released. We got a third macOS 11.2 release candidate in the beta channels instead.

In other news, the review and editing work for my next book: “macOS Terminal and Shell” is progressing nicely. I have made the book available for pre-ordering in the Apple Books Store. Apple Books requires me to put in some date for the release, but I anticipate that we will beat the “March 1” date that I filled in as a placeholder.

This book will teach you to use Terminal and the shell on macOS. It starts with an introduction to the command line, the terminology, its history and concepts. Then we examine macOS, its file systems, and shells (sh, bash and zsh) in detail. We learn how to configure the Terminal application and zsh to work more productively. This is a great entry book for technical minded users new to the command line, but also a great reference for experienced users.

While my experience as a Mac system administrator has certainly influenced the book, it is relevant for all users who need to or want to learn using Terminal and the shell, such as developers, scientists and “pro” users in general. Please share this with readers who will be interested.

I have been working on this book, on and off, for a long time. In the mean time, macOS has changed its name, split the boot volume, changed the default shell, “gone to eleven,” and moved to Apple silicon. This is my longest book yet. It would print out to be more than 300 pages. Though you would loose several movies and all the hyperlinks on paper.

The price after release will be US$/€ 19.99. To reward loyal readers of this newsletter and my weblog, there will be a special introduction price for the pre-order period at US$/€ 17.99 (10% off).

Go pre-order “macOS Terminal and Shell” on the Apple Books store!

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News and Opinion

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Tim Perfitt: “You can drag items from the control center to menu items on Big Sur. Neato.” (Video, thread)
  • Dr. Graham R. Pugh: “/usr/lib/java_home behaves differently on Big Sur. If you’re using it in scripts to show if JDKs are installed, watch out!”
  • Martin: “If you want to make an Intel Mac boot into the Startup Manager automatically, type into terminal: Sudo nvram manufacturing-enter-picker=true” (Video, via Mr Macintosh)
  • David Smith: “Double checking: people using Console.app on macOS know about right clicking messages to get options for filtering them out, right?”
  • Anthony Reimer: “Minor bit of trivia for my #MacAdmin friends: Apple has stopped using the AirPort branding for Wi-Fi as of the M1 Macs. Compare the labels on the iMac 2020 and Mac mini M1 2020.” (Images)
  • Jason Broccardo: “Why is the CLI tools update asking for a restart, it’s never done that? Apply update, “Restart Now” disappears.”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen


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Mac Admin, Consultant, and Author