Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2020-04-03

In this time where days just blur into each other: we made it to April, everyone!

The video conferencing software Zoom is enjoying new popularity, but also (deservedly) new scrutiny. MacAdmins have been complaining about their absolutely insane installer package for years. Now, the security people are on it.

I repeat my offer: I will donate a code for my book “Packaging for Apple Administrators” to any engineer at Zoom who is working on improving the installer. (The book has helped engineers at other companies.)

Stay Safe!

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News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Bruvik: “Turns out – it is impossible to enter the | symbol on a virtualbox machine on a mac if you have both the guest and host keyboard layout set to norwegian”
  • Tim Perfitt: “triple boot successful both with boot files on efi partition and on the volume. next up, quad boot with 2 versions of windows.” (read the thread!)
  • Rich Trouton: “Need to quickly check to see if your web server’s system clock has drifted? Here’s a one-liner to check using curl to see if a web server’s system clock has the correct time by comparing it against Google’s”
  • Tim Perfitt: “Boot Camp on ARM-based Macs? Possible.”
  • Rosyna Keller: “This is a tweetstorm discussing the new features of altool 4.01 (included with Xcode 11.4), changes to the notarization documentation, and a change to notary service requirements, with the far majority coming directly from user requests We’ll start with altool 4.01.” (Thread)
  • BBEdit: “ICYMI from yesterday’s 13.1 beta change notes, there’s a little taste of home for TextWrangler customers who are making the switch.” (Image)
  • Tom Bridge: “Every. Single. Day. I have to explain how the Screen Recording, Mic and Camera permissions work. Every day. Sometimes a dozen times a day. This sucks.”

Zoom Security and Installer

Note: several MacAdmins have known and complained about this for a long time.

Coronavirus and Remote Work

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

Support

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 — 2020-03-27

Update week! As they had announced last week Apple released the ‘Spring Updates’ this week. As has been standard in the last two years, these updates contain new behaviors and features, many of which are relevant to MacAdmins.

Frederick Abeloos, aka ‘Traveling Tech Guy,’ has published a book with all his great research on FileVault:

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macOS Catalina 10.15.4 and iOS 13.4 Updates

News and Opinion

Coronavirus and Remote Work

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • William Smith: “Just learned a handy little command to query security information on macOS: sudo /usr/libexec/mdmclient QuerySecurityInfo This is a fantastic overview!”
  • Brian Stucki: “Confirmed: the updated Mac mini will still identify as “Late 2018” in software, etc. Also confirmed: We’re on pace for the biggest Mac mini signup week ever. Feels good to give people access to build servers, remote desktops, etc while working from home.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “reply with a Mac keyboard shortcut you wish everyone knew. I’ll start: Control-a jumps to start of line (a is the start of the alphabet to remember) Control-e jumps to end of line (e for ”end“ to remember)” (Read the replies, there are some real good ones.)

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Most of these are via Mr Macintosh – thanks!

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

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 — 2020-03-20

Happy Equinox, everyone!

The Coronavirus pandemic seems to be affecting nearly everything this week. WWDC will be an online event this year. Apple Stores outside of China are closed, as are most of our work places and schools.

My wife’s and her home office got featured in this post from Leiden University about how their faculty are dealing with working from home.

But, we also got a new MacBook Air (new keyboard), a new iPad Pro (amazing looking, albeit expensive Magic Keyboard), bumped SSD storage on the Mac mini, and a GM release for the iOS 13.4 family (with trackpad support on iPadOS) and macOS Catalina 10.15.4, with a release date for the OS updates next week.

Stay safe!

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.)

Apple Releases

#! On Scripting OS X

📰News and Opinion

🦠Coronavirus and Remote Work

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Mike Boylan: “Mac Admin Pro Tip: The checkbox to allow an app to record the screen is able to be checked even by a standard user on the Mac. The whole pane does not need to be unlocked. This means your users don’t need to be admins to approve camera, mic, and/or screen sharing for a conf tool.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “the new ipad pro looks like a laptop. i am officially calling BS on the ARM based macs. apple strategy is clear: ios is the future. macs are trucks. Xcode on iOS is coming. The new ipad pro convinces me of that. ARM-based macs rumors are a distraction.”

🐞Bugs and Security

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

♻️Updates and Releases

🎧To Listen

📚 Support

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 — 2020-03-13

Happy Friday 13!

Also, this is or was the week where all the remote work emergency planning was put into reality. In Europe and America, many countries, companies, schools, and other organisations are sending employees and students to remote work or studies. Games, conferences, concerts, and parties are being canceled. All in an effort to slow down the rate of contagion

This is an exceptional situation on so many levels. Everyone, be safe!

When, because of ‘social distancing,’ ‘self-isolation,’ or straight quarantine, you find yourself with extra time, maybe buy and read one of my books!

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.)

Coronavirus and Remote Work

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

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 — 2020-03-06

The world is holding their breath (some quite literally) as COVID–19 spreads. Conferences, companies, schools, and other organisations are reacting and implementing quarantine or other emergency plans. For many IT organisations this will mean a thorough stress test of their remote infrastructure. Some will have to implement entirely new solutions to deal with this situation.

Whatever situation you are in, I wish you health, strength, and the necessary nerves, patience, and luck to get through this!

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

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • tlark: “Wrote a quick and dirty python tool for jamf to rip Crowdstrike off macOS devices due to how their tamper protection can cause edge cases where their install tokens don’t work.”
  • Erik Gomez: “I really want to know where you are now @lauraroesler because we finally caught up! This includes minor versions as well, not just major.” (follow link for diagram)
  • Laura Rösler: “We have around 93% of our fleet on #Catalina with the majority on 10.15.3. Luckily, we got rid of our last two 10.12 devices in the last weeks.” (Love MacAdmins bragging about their adoption rates. Well done all!)

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

Support

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 — 2020-02-28

The most exciting thing that happened this week was, of course, that someone online found out how to re-enable the startup chime on modern Macs!

Other than that, we got another round of beta releases for the Spring Updates.

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

  • tlark: “We have successfully POC’d using ChromeOS for our digital signage. I’ll be ripping out every Mac Mini soon and replacing macOS with ChromeOS. I’ll never have to worry about softwareupdate on these devices again.”
  • Bryson Tyrrell: “I foresee an indeterminate period of time where we have Macs running ARM or x86. The iMac Pro and Mac Pro I think need to stay x86. iMac and Mac mini I could see going ARM. Shifting over entirely doesn’t feel right with their “pro” focus in the past year.”
  • Brad Neuberg: “Oh hey Homebrew just completely removed the Python 2.7 cask with a smarmy ”you should have upgraded“ message. Thanks Homebrew!” (via groob)
  • Mr. Macintosh: “The macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Beta 3 (19E242d) Update is now Available Apple also made a Full .app installer available for Beta 3 Updated Beta 3 AppleSeed Notes include changes around the Kernel Extension Incompatibility warning messages that first arrived in Beta 2.”

🔨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 — 2020-02-21

Another slow-ish news week for MacAdmins. At least what we can talk about. 10.15.4 beta 2 (and iOS 13.4. beta 2 and related) dropped this week. As the last few “Spring Updates” this update has new “features” that will affect managed deployments. You should be using your AppleSeed for IT accounts and start testing the impact on your environment.

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.)

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Nathaniel Strauss: “10.15.4 beta 2 includes new kext deprecation notices. Occurs every 30 days even if kexts are MDM approved. File feedback! Apple: We are obsessed with the end user experience Also Apple: Recurring notices about software installed by IT with text you don’t understand. ”

Bugs and Security

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 — 2020-02-14

Somewhat quiet week on the Apple Admin side. I think 10.15.3 is now the point where many MacAdmins are busy rolling out Catalina, or at least seriously preparing for it.

If you believe I missed something, let me know!

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

MacAdmins on Twitter

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 — 2020-02-07

We got a remarkable series of open source updates this week. AutoPkg, JSSImporter, and Outset all published updates that make the project independent of the pre-installed Python 2.7 on macOS. Since Python 2.7 will be deprecated really soon, Apple had announced that future macOS versions will not include a pre-installed Python anymore. These projects join Munki which had the update with “Python” independency with version 4.0 in December. Thanks to all contributors who put their efforts into these open source projects!

The next beta cycle for the Apple operating systems started this week. Once again, it looks as it if the “Spring Updates” for macOS 10.15.4 and iOS 13.4 will add features and changes relevant for users and administrators. Check out the details in the AppleSeed for IT portal.

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

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Martin Lang: “The number of SAP colleagues who chose a Mac as their primary computer has doubled over the last 15 months, it’s at almost 26K now with 82% of them running the latest macOS Catalina”
  • Laura Rösler: “We‘ve finally more than 26,000 Macs at SAP ….and crossed the 85% for macOS Catalina.”
  • Andrew Laurence: “For those in the ITlife who might not be familiar: MS plans to flip configurations on DCs, requiring either packet signing on LDAP connections, or using TLS with LDAP. This has been recommended for years.” (Thread)
  • Parker Higgins: “I used to wonder why the interfaces on Star Trek are so clunky given that it’s centuries in the future, but I guess that’s just Enterprise software for you”

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 — 2020-01-31

Update week! macOS Catalina 10.15.3 and the iOS 13.3.1 and other related updates dropped. And while the Catalina update seems to fix some things it also breaks others. Thanks to the all the contributors for the extra information that Apple does not provide.

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

  • Sarah: “Well, it’s racked. Looks kind of funny next to an Xserve though. https://t.co/BnKwR499VI” (Images)
  • Rosyna Keller: “Don’t use PackageMaker to make installer packages. It’s a long dead tool (2012 or so) and developers should switch to productbuild/pkgbuild*, which incorporate the command line utilization. It also can’t create signed packages. *Or is a third-party toool that scripts these. Installer packages are required to be signed to be notarized (so PackageMaker packages are out) and, as PackageMaker was a 32-bit app, it won’t run on Catalina. It’s that old.”

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

🏝macOS Catalina 10.15.3 and iOS 13.3.1

♻️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!