Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2018-09-21

iOS 12 release week! I already posted a list of relevant links for the iOS updates earlier this week.

Now, all MacAdmins are waiting for Monday, when macOS Mojave will be released. Well, most will alredy have the last version from the beta program installed. But, as with every other major release, it will be ‘interesting’ to see how well the beta testing holds up to ‘real world’ deployment.

Good luck, everybody!

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Headlines

On Scripting OS X

News and Opinion

macOS Mojave

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Arek Dreyer:
    “If you have two different versions of macOS installed on your Mac, guess which version of macOS Recovery you get when you shut down, power on, then press and hold Command-R? The version you set in Startup Disk (regardless of Startup Manager choice).”

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!

iOS 12 Links

iOS 12 release week. With all new releases for the entire iOS family there is a boatload of new features, support articles, user guides and references.

Even most of the features and guides are focussed on the end user and not admins, it is often also the job of a MacAdmin or consultant to be the most knowledgeable person on the OS, so these should be useful. And, admit it, while new OSes can be a pain for admins, but are still fun as an end user.

If you have any links that I missed that should be part of this list, then let me know and I will update this post.

Reviews

There is obviously a neverending stream of reviews out there. I like the excellent reviews from MacStories.

iOS 12

watchOS 5

Apple TV

Shortcuts

iWork

More

If you are looking for a book (or two, or three) to test the new Apple Books, please consider one of my great books for Apple Administrators!

References

The configuration profile reference is back in HTML! Thank you to whoever is responsible for this.

User Guides

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2018-09-14

We got new iPhones and Apple Watches this week. You can read all about them in all the usual places. More importantly for admins, we also got release dates for iOS 12 (September 17) and macOS 10.14 Mojave (September 24). Are you ready?

The developer releases for the iOS family (iOS, tvOS, watchOS) are now labeled GM. macOS Mojave is beta 11.

Other than the Mojave release date, there was no Mac news at the iPhone event. This shouldn’t surprise or dismay anyone. The September iPhone event has been fully focussed on iPhone and Apple Watch for the last few years. This year, there wasn’t even room for the iPad. There may be some ‘silent’ Mac hardware releases over the next few weeks or Apple may even do a second event. While Apple has had November and December releases in the past, they are rare.

Keep in mind, that any new Macs that are released after the Mojave release date will likely require Mojave. The release window for new Macs that can still run High Sierra is very, very short indeed. Next week should be interesting.

In other news, it was revealed that a number of popular apps in the Mac App Store would exfiltrate the user’s browser history. The apps in question were promptly removed by Apple, but this does cast some doubt on the effectiveness of Apple’s review process.

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

macOS Mojave

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • William Smith: “TOMORROW (Tuesday, September 11) Office for Mac transitions from the 2016 to the 2019 generation. Office 365 customers: Nothing to do. Volume License customers: AutoUpdate will hold apps back until the new Serializer is available September 24. Don’t push 16.17.”
  • Erik Gomez: “Apple: we don’t understand why you built umad, but okay… Me: because there’s so many MDM enrollment bugs!”
  • mikeymikey: “hey fruitco peeps Why isn’t 18A389 released on MAS? SUS feeds were updated and delta updates published – but no full installer app exists via “approved” download methods. MAS is still offering the prior product build. Kind of an important time for testing beta 11”
  • William Smith: “For #MacAdmins using MAUCacheAdmin to cache Microsoft Office for Mac updates to a local server for distribution, be sure to download v2.0 to get support for Office 2019 (16.17+) for Mac. GitHub
  • Felix Schwarz: “AppleScript support still hasn’t returned to Mojave’s rewritten DVD Player app as of beta 10. It was super-useful for remote apps to determine when a menu is shown, to eject DVDs, etc. Would make me sad if that change was permanent & something I’m working on couldn’t use it.”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Watch

  • William Smith: “Streamlined Microsoft Office for Mac Activation with Automatic Outlook Setup for Office 365 Thanks to @jeffreykalvass and his team for listening to #MacAdmins and making Outlook for Mac manageable with configuration profiles. Now in Insider Fast v16.18.”

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 — 2018-09-07

This week most of the Mac Admin news was about the imminent “AEpocalypse” or the effect of the new privacy and security controls in macOS Mojave on scripts and applications that send Apple Events.

Also Microsoft changed the OS requirements for Office after they got much feedback from the community, including many admins. (So, yes, talking to your reps and filing bugs, does sometimes help!)

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.)

On Scripting OS X

News and Opinion

macOS Mojave

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Erik Gomez: “Most #macadmins have considered homebrew harmful for many reasons.… ” (Thread)
  • Uluroo: “Mac users: With the release of macOS Mojave on the horizon, let’s talk about the bits of macOS that haven’t changed in a while, that we’re surprised still exist, and that are fun little Easter eggs.” (Thread)
  • Caleb Coy: “#macadmins Slack team just hit the milestone of 20,000 registered members. Some will nit pick and argue that register != active. Frankly, I don’t care. This is pretty amazing.”
  • Jeremy Reichman: “User approval is definitely at the intersection between liberal arts and technology.”

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 — 2018-08-31

Things are heating up in the iOS 12 and macOS Mojave beta cycle. Apple has announced an event on September 12, which will presumably present the new iPhones and Apple Watch. There may or may not be new Macs at that event, though in the past Apple would often have a second event later in the fall.

From the September 12 date and the schedule of past years, you can extrapolate the release dates and you will realize that we merely have weeks and not months left.

Even more concerning is that Apple has just recently released working versions of the profile payload to control the new privacy settings, especially for Apple Events. You can learn the details in this excellent post by Felix Schwarz. I need to highlight this piece from his summary:

I feel, though, that the most responsible way for Apple to handle this situation would follow the playbooks for Group FaceTime and 32 Bit deprecation: postpone the feature until it has matured – and make it available to developers behind a feature toggle until then.

Also, minor milestone: this newsletter has passed 300 subscribers! Thank you all for reading and recommending! (and don’t stop spreading the news!)

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

macOS Mojave

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Aron Griffis: “Working on a new Bash book. So far: Intro: You chose the wrong tool. Ch 1: Have you considered Python? Ch 2: Try calling Python from your Bash script. Ch 3: If you’re still here, try adding quotes.”
  • Jason Broccardo: “Tea leave reading: Once Apple is shipping Macs with their own A-series ARM chips, VMware Fusion will still works”
  • MacDevOpsYVR: “The next MacDevOps:YVR conference will be in Vancouver, Canada, June 12–14, 2019”
  • Zack McCauley: “Per @Contains_ENG recommendation to post this #MacAdmins please @Apple give us documentation, give us feedback, and for the love all that is left please don’t give us a feature that makes this so much worse on users” (Video)
  • mikeymikey: “! HEY #MACADMINS HEADS UP ! 2017 iPhone event: Sept 12 (T) iOS 11: Sept 19 (T) macOS 10.13: Sept 25 (M) ’16: 7 (W) iOS 10: 13 (T) mac 10.12: 20 (T) ’15: 9 (W) iOS 9: 16 (W) mac 10.11: 30 (W) NOW: 2018: 12 (Wed) iOS 12: 19 (Wed)? macOS 10.14: 26 (Wed)?”
  • Jason Broccardo: “Sys Admin’s idea of winning the lotto: You automatically get elevated past tier 1 on any support call because you’ve already covered all those steps in your troubleshooting before you filed a ticket.”
  • Patrick Gallagher Jr: “Firefox 63 for Mac will add support for using keychain certs.” (but with limitations, read this thread)
  • Carl Ashley: “Remember when we all though SIP was the worst thing?”
  • Kyle Crawford: “Our Apple SE said last year that they regretted how they handled Kext restrictions. Yet here we are again with #AEpocalyse.”

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 — 2018-08-24

As we are getting closer and closer to the iOS 12 and Mojave release, more information is being released and discovered.

Mojave will disable Find-My-Mac, so the application Screens from Edovia has been “reverse Sherlocked!”

Scripting will become much harder for MacAdmins with the new privacy controls in Mojave.

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.)

Headlines

#! On Scripting OS X

News and Opinion

macOS Mojave

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Thomas Reed: “There appears to be an issue in macOS where removing the ‘restricted’ flag from /Library/StagedExtensions/ causes installation of kernel extensions to always fail.”
  • Guillaume: “If you’re part of a IT or security team managing Mac, make sure you watch at least one of these talks before every Mac out there has a T2 Chip! https://t.co/1MGo5zqPk1 by @gregneagle And https://t.co/kIdpnP5xwh by @grahamgilbert”
  • Laurent Guigo:
    “after .local now .dev extension not enable for localhost develop built in server (no ssl)”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

Just for Fun

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 — 2018-08-17

Days are getting shorter, summer is starting to wane, and the Apple System release date is getting closer and closer.

Apple released new betas and finally updated the MDM and Configuration Profile References, leaving MacAdmins little time to test and file bugs to be fixed. MacAdmins took to Twitter to complain.

Also Twitter finally turned off many API features, thus crippling third party Twitter apps TweetBot and Twitteriffic.

If you are considering moving away from Twitter – there certainly enough reasons, technical and non-technical – Scripting OS X and this newsletter are available on many other channels, including Micro.blog, Mastodon.social, and Apple News. You can find all ways to follow at the end of this post.

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

macOS Mojave

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Objective-See: “Announcing ”Objective by the Sea“ a new Mac Security Conference: Nov 3rd/4th in Maui Hawaii @ the stunning Wailea Beach Resort Talks by @thomasareed @iamevltwin @patrickwardle @rrcyrus @jbradley89 & more! …and free for Objective-See patrons”
  • Federico Viticci: “Nice to see a new Shortcuts beta on Aug. 10th”
  • Guilherme Rambo:
    “They AirPlay2’d Group FaceTime…”
  • Erik Gomez: “Apple releases MDM changes on beta 7 and asks for feedback/regression testing. The reports wont be fixed in 10.14.0. Remember when you warned people to get tickets in before beta 2 to ensure they make it into the GM? These changes should be delayed to the Spring Release”
  • Erik Gomez:
    “#macadmin #macadmins – if you’re interested in testing some important changes coming to Mojave, please join the #tcc channel on macadmin’s slack Also here is a google doc for tracking this, much like we did with kexts/32-bit apps https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sai3Q8qj9HdyDJfcSAchRELD0mOpik1NPYxr0F9AJRc/edit#gid=0”
  • Tim Sutton: “If you would ever like the automated creation of a macOS Mojave system image to be possible – (asr imaging or creation of VMs via vfuse or similar).. you may want to dupe Mike’s rdar quoted below, and/or mine: http://www.openradar.me/radar?id=5004136198176768”
  • Per Olofsson:
    “I posted a new beta of AutoDMG with a couple of Mojave workarounds”
  • mikeymikey: “Honestly – between you and me – with what this bug does and what beta 7 just added, 10.14 feels like it’s shaping up to be “10.13 Part 2” / “The Revenge of 10.13” for #macadmins”
  • William Smith: “New installs of Office for Mac 16.16 (this month’s release) and higher will install Microsoft AutoUpdate 4.2. Going forward, it will default to Automatically Download and Install. #MacAdmins, if you need to manage this, the best method is use a configuration profile.…”
  • Rich Trouton:isnetbootdead.com

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

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 — 2018-08-10

Summer is progressing. Fall is nigh. Mojave beta 6 dropped. The first Mojave posts are appearing.

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

macOS Mojave

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • mikeymikey: “This thread contains a good reminder of one of the few things I’ll tell you mobileconfig profiles are great at… ”
  • Scott Knight: “I created an osquery extension so #MacAdmins could query 32-bit usage across their fleet once 10.14 is released. Hopefully this makes it even easier to identify software that needs to be upgraded prior to 10.15.”
  • macshome: “Oh cool! The Apple developer docs now go all the way back to 1985! Presenting Technical Note OS01”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

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 — 2018-08-03

Briefly resurfacing from vacation. Much has happened in the last three weeks. This is a long one: find a nice sunny (or shady) spot to settle down, read, and enjoy.

(Vacation time isn’t over. Updates will remain irregular until the end of August.)

Mojave and iOS 12 are now at beta 5. There may be Photoshop on iPad. Apple had a record quarter (once again) and is the first company to be traded at a market cap of 1 trillion USD. They also cancelled the affiliate program for Apps on iOS and macOS.

About the last topic: I use affiliate links for apps and books in this newsletter and other posts on the weblog. I don’t make much money from them – it adds up to be enough to afford a movie on iTunes every month or so. The affiliate rate for books remains unchanged (for now). Only Apple has the full insight to the numbers involved, but this still seems like a petty move from Apple.

In this time of free services and apps, writing a review or article that convinces someone to part with their money is not easy. If you can pull that off, affiliate links can be a way to earn money from writing (or podcasts, or videos) without filling up your site with obnoxious ads that are not under your control.

Doing so on a scale that the payout is actually worth the effort is incredibly hard. You have to build up a reputation and trustworthiness with your writing (or videos or podcasts). This takes a lot of time and effort. In the end, Apple and the producer (developer, author, etc.) profit from a good review or recommendation. This should have been a win-win-win situation.

Of course, Apple can do what they want and is not and has never been obliged to provide or continue this program. But I am sad that the affiliate program for Apps is going away, as many sites that I enjoy and appreciate will suffer from it. I believe this is a wrong step for the community and eco-system.

If you want to support this newsletter and my weblog (so I can keep buying new movies), buy my books!

In other book- and milestone-related news: This week I sold my 1000th book on the iBooks Store.

A huge “thank you” to everyone who put enough trust in my writing to buy one or more of my books. Even more thanks to those who recommend the books on Slack, conferences, in personal discussion and with reviews on the store. (Seriously, please leave a review!) Writing and publishing continues to be an exhilarating, rewarding and humbling experience.

On to the next book and the next 1000 sales!

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.)

Headlines

On Scripting OS X

News and Opinion

macOS Mojave

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • William Smith: “After two days of trying to reformat PDF text and pictures on my #psumac slides to fit all my presenter notes, a simple 2-minute AppleScript fixes my problem. tell application ”Keynote“ to set size of presenter notes of every slide of front document to 18 #voilà”
  • Nigel Kersten: “It’s been a long time since I last made the NVRAM claw. ⌘ ⌥ O F Never Forget.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “Ok, so after many tried, this works reliably: power down, then power up. As soon as the apple appears, press control option on left side and shift on right along with power. Keep holding until the machine powers down and a bit more. It then goes into DFU.” (Thread)
  • Nikolaj Schlej: “macOS 10.13.6 update brings (limited) UEFI SecureBoot support for iMac Pro, so now if SecureBoot is enabled, Windows detects that and acts accordingly. PK, KEK, db and dbx are read-only (hence limited), configured to trust MS 1st-party CA only.…”
  • Emily St: “Extremely cool macOS information for mega-nerds: If you’re wondering what iCloud Drive is up to in a given moment, a command will tell you all the transactions it’s running: brctl log --wait --shorten Recommend piping that to less because it’s a huge log of output.”
  • Ryan Govostes: “Early screenshot of System Integrity Protection, MacOS 8.0 (1997)… ”
  • Jordan Morgan: “A fun bit of #macOS development history I stumbled upon today, Apple Tech Note 2034. Essentially it included a bunch of guidelines and tips on macOS development but contained such inflammatory assertions that Apple straight up pulled it down (2033/5 are still there)!” (Thread)

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Just for Fun

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 — 2018-07-13

This week started off with the release of the macOS 10.13.6 and iOS 11.4.1 updates – quite unusually posted on a Monday.

Later this week, with another weird scheduling, Apple released new MacBook Pros. The 15“ MacBook Pro can now be configured with a six-core i9, up to 32GB of RAM and up to 4TB of SSD. The 13” MacBook Pro can now be configured with a quad-core, but retains the 16Gb max RAM limit. It also includes the T2 system controller which was so far exclusive to the iMac Pro.

The T2 chip is what controls (among other things) the Secure Boot process and controls the booting off external drives. Apple has updated the support articles and it is official:

Mac computers that have the Apple T2 chip don’t support starting up from network volumes.

(Not surprising, but surprisingly clear.)

Now, Apple has upgraded their flagship product to Secure Boot. Even when so far admins could ignore the limitations of the expensive iMac Pro, soon Secure Boot will be everywhere. Installation-based deployment workflows should be already in place or a top priority for every Mac Admin.

Read about the background and the options “macOS Installation for Apple Administrators” (Sample section: Strange New World)

And finally, this newsletter and my website will be going into vacation mode for the next five weeks. That means no newsletters and much fewer blog posts. I hope you all get time to enjoy some summer vacation as well. I will keep gathering interesting links that I find during that time and restart with a summary of the summer time in late August.

See you then!

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.)

Headlines

On Scripting OS X

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Ben Markowitz: “BRB, making Harry Potter spells into Siri Shortcuts.… ”
  • Rich Trouton: “When and how do you really know that you built a robust deployment solution? When you essentially stop paying attention to it for a month, while it’s in daily 24–7 use by others, and that’s OK; everything worked fine.”
  • Victor (groob): “Yes, for both commands InstallApplication and InstallEnterpriseApplication no longer appear to have concurrency issues.… ”
  • Victor (groob): “You thought one @micromdm_io was enough? Not a photoshop #macadmins… ”
  • Filippo Valsorda: “For when you want to figure out how to apply some macOS preference from the command line, without Googling for hours for out-of-date defaults commands: $ defaults read | pbcopy # make changes in System Preferences.app $ diff -u -F ’^ ”’ <(pbpaste) <(defaults read)”
  • Graham R Pugh: “I improved my macOS Erase-Install script. Now it can cache macOS installer ready for later use, and it automatically selects the current production version of macOS: https://github.com/grahampugh/erase-install”
  • Ross Derewianko: “Thanks to @zoocoup here’s the macOS builds if it matters to you 10.11.6 + SecUpdate 2018–004 = 15G22010 10.12.6 + SecUpdate 2018–004 = 16G1510 10.13.6 = 17G65”
  • John C. Welch: “if you’re on mojave beta 3 and your script menu scripts silently fail, resave them as apps. Then you get the “authorize” dialog. Bug filed.”
  • Rene Ritchie: “I don’t look at it as buying an app (or song or book or whatever). I look at it as supporting creators who make things I value. If I don’t do that, I risk it becoming unsustainable and not getting the next update or app (or game or movie or whatever.) It’s an investment.… https://t.co/llpRFSZniM”

Support and HowTos

PSU MacAdmin

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

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 as well!