Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-05-13

Last week I mentioned that Apple often releases a few things before WWDC, because they don’t fit in the keynote. I should have been careful what I wished for: the iPod touch — the last remnant of the iPod line — is being discontinued.


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Like the discontinuation of macOS Server, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The main iPod line was discontinued in 2017. I wrote an article then, and I think it still holds up well.

The functionality of the iPod has been assimilated by the iPhone, Apple Watch, HomePod, and AirPods, all of which can now play your Music nearly anywhere, anytime. The iPod may be gone, but the Music lives on.

The news summary will be taking a short vacation break. It will resume in three weeks, on “WWDC Eve”, June 3, with a summary of everything else that happens between now and then. Let’s hope Apple is done with canceling products.

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News and Opinion

Social Media

  • Jack Rhysider: “If you’re in IT, I highly encourage you to write a blog. Here are 17 reasons why you should be blogging.” (Thread, if you start a Mac IT blog, be sure to let me know!)
  • William Smith: “For Jamf admins, ensure your configuration profiles with the Exchange (macOS) and Exchange ActiveSync (iOS) payloads are set to ‘Use OAuth for authentication’ before the October 1st deadline.”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

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Support

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-05-06

The month of May is like “advent for Apple fans.” WWDC is looming in a few weeks. Most of the dust from previous system releases has settled. Things have been fixed, or we have gotten used to the workarounds. Anticipation and dread for the next round of releases is rising. Sometimes, Apple even opens a door or two and releases something which didn’t fit in the keynote.


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MacDevOps YVR have announced their speaker line-up for their virtual conference in June, and I am very proud to be among all these amazing speakers. You can still register for the event from June 15–17. You can also order MacDevOpsYVR 2022 t-shirts and hoodies!

Also the dates and location for this year’s Objective by the Sea were announced: It will go from October 3–7, in Spain, near Barcelona.

As always, I keep a list of conferences, their dates and other important links, such as calls for presentation and session video archives from previous conferences on my conferences page.

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News and Opinion

Social Media

  • tlark: “ATTN MDM vendors. Please take a long good look at Munki, it is what IT admin/eng want. We don’t want complex systems that require GUI clicking. We just reduced our level of effort by ripping out third party app deployment/patching from our MDM and deployed Munki in AWS” (Thread)

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

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Updates and Releases

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-04-29

It was a comparatively quiet week regarding Apple and macOS news. Aside from Apple making the first self repair options available, and reporting another blowout quarter.


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The news is that Elon Musk’s attempt to buy Twitter seems to be succeeding. This upsets many, and I cannot say I am excited about this myself. I don’t see much merit in the promises of the prospective new owner, and much potential to change Twitter for the worse.

That said, I have no plans to discontinue the @scriptingosx Twitter account, at least not yet. The advantage of having my website on my own domain, is that I am mostly independent of any specific social media. I cross-post from the blog to various social media and other platforms. Twitter and LinkedIn have the largest number of followers and generate the most traffic back to the site.

I have had a Mastodon (a free, open source, federated social media) account scriptingosx@mastodon.social since 2017 and seen an uptick of new followers in the last few days. (Welcome! You can join a Mastodon server here.) Traffic from Mastodon now exceeds traffic from Scripting OS X’s Facebook page, and is quickly catching up with Apple News traffic. All of these are very low numbers compared to Twitter and LinkedIn.

Scripting OS X also has an RSS feed, so you can add it to your very own curated list of news feeds in your favored RSS News reader. Start with NetNewsWire if you don’t have one yet.

Finally, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly News Summary by email. If you are reading this, it is likely that you are already a subscriber, so thank you. But maybe you know a co-worker or other MacAdmin somewhere who isn’t yet and I would very much appreciate if you suggested this News Summary to them. Thank you!

macOS Server

News and Opinion

Social Media

  • Kat’s Mastodon Quickstart for Twitter Users – Kat Marchán
  • Steve Troughton-Smith: “From the start, we knew the App Store was a symbiotic environment designed to create value-add for Apple devices by giving devs great tools to make apps to entice customers to Apple, whilst also ensuring to deny devs any ability to ever remotely threaten Apple’s position of power” (Thread)
  • Mr. Macintosh: “Wondering why the Self Service store doesn’t look like an Apple website? The site is run by 3rd party partner ‘SPOT’ Service Parts Or Tools was incorporated on Dec 1, 2021 The original Apple announcement was on Nov 17, 2021 Total time = 5 months from announcement to live date”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-04-22

Yesterday, Apple updated the support article on macOS Server stating the app has been discontinued. They also announced that the Fleetsmith service, which they have maintained since the acquisition in 2020 will be discontinued in October.


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The end of both macOS Server and Fleetsmith do not come as a surprise. Apple gutted the functionality of macOS Server in 2018. Back then I wrote a post with my thoughts, and they still hold up well. Most management features and workflows now come from hosted cloud services.

All that was left were Profile Manager and Open Directory. With the release of Apple Business Essentials there is no need for macOS Server/Profile Manager and Fleetsmith to continue. There will surely be missing features and elements, and it will be the MacAdmin’s job to identify these and find workarounds and alternative solutions. For example, Apple Business Essentials is currently only available in the US. MacAdmins in other regions have to look at third party solutions.

File Sharing, Time Machine Server, Content Caching, and Xsan are now part of ‘normal’ macOS. Xcode Server moved into Xcode and then into the cloud.

The macOS Server app cannot be found in the Mac App Store anymore. You can still find it in the list of purchased apps. macOS Server 5.12.2 will be the last update. It should continue to work on Macs running Monterey, but the description in the Mac App Store explicitly points out it will “not be compatible with future versions of macOS.”

Nevertheless, this is a moment to be nostalgic about Mac OS X Server.

Mac OS X Server 1.0 was released before Mac OS X for the client, mostly as a proof of concept, but also as a platform for some services, such as Apple FileSharing, NetBoot and WebObjects. Together with the Xserve and Xserve RAID, Mac OS X Server was part of a strategy to provide services and management to fleets of Macs, in a time where support from third-parties was challenging to non-existent. Even though the path wasn’t always smooth, or even clear, it was an important part of what made enterprise style deployments of Macs possible.

Apple canceled the Xserve and changed the distribution and price model of Mac OS X Server in 2011, and an era ended. Apple ceded most of the services to third parties, some of which were and are rivals, such as Microsoft and Google. With few exceptions, Apple always seemed to be following instead of leading in this field and in the end, the commitment wasn’t there. Nevertheless, the modern tools for MacAdmins: MDM, Automated Device Enrollment, and all the various workflows, all have their roots in the previous server tools.

Because Apple’s tools, documentation and support were often… a challenge, this time also generated the MacAdmin community, in mailing lists like ‘mac-enterprise’, IRC chat rooms and later the MacAdmins Slack. This is also when the MacAdmins culture of sharing and open source emerged, which is still alive and well.

In most ways, Mac OS X Server ended in 2011, then again in 2018. What was left was finally discontinued yesterday. But, during its lifetime, Mac OS X Server and the many people who worked on and with it, defined and earned a place for Macs and Apple devices in organisations and enterprises.

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macOS Server

MacAdmins on Social

  • Glenn Fleishman: “As Apple expands communication safety to the UK (on-device AI-based ID of images with nudity for kids < 18), note the version rolled out doesn’t include an option for parental notification (for under 13). Apple proposed that as two separate options, but hasn’t added the second.”
  • Rich Trouton: “In the wake of macOS Server being discontinued, a non-zero number of folks will now need to look at migrating away from Open Directory to something else. Charles Edge has guidance available

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

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Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

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Just for Fun

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-04-15

Even though it is a long week-end here this news summary still delivers!

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates and I hope you get a bit of a reprieve this week-end either way.


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News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Social

  • Matt Godden: “If you’re using macOS HighSierra or Sierra, iCloud has stopped working / can’t log in, and you can’t access icloud.com in Safari – here’s a solution: Install the Apple IST CA 2 – G1 certificate, and everything will work again.” (via Michael Tsai)

Security and Privacy

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Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-04-08

Apple announced dates for WWDC ’22: June 6–10. The conference will be online again, but there will be a live audience “to watch the keynote and State of the Union videos” at Apple Park. This implies that these sessions will also be pre-recorded. Is the era of Apple live events over?


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uberAgent: application performance monitoring

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uberAgent is an innovative user experience monitoring product for macOS and Windows. uberAgent’s highlights include detailed information about application performance, network reliability drill-downs, application usage metering, browser performance, and web app metrics. Try for yourself and get your free 100 user community license at uberagent.com.


After last week’s surprise update, Apple released the first round of betas for macOS 12.4 and iOS 15.5 and siblings. We also got new versions of the apps formerly known as iWork: Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.

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📰News and Opinion

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Léo Natan: “Do you prefer the old style macOS alerts? There is a way to get them globally for AppKit in Big Sur and Monterey: defaults write -g NSAlertMetricsGatheringEnabled -bool false” (via Michael Tsai)
  • Nathaniel Strauss: “TIL HomePod can install wireless profiles”
  • mikey: “If you’ve updated to macOS 12.3.1 your /etc/pam.d/sudo will have been reset, here’s a programatic way to (re-) enable using TouchID to authenticate sudo

🔐Security and Privacy

🔨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 — 2022-04-01

Yesterday morning, I glanced at the list of links so far and thought it’d be a quiet week… And then surprise update week happened!


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Aside from suprise updates, we also got the SixColors Apple in the Enterprise Report Card. Many thanks to Jason Snell for putting this together and to everyone who contributed!

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macOS Monterey 12.3.1 and iOS 15.4.1

macOS Monterey 12.3.1

iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4

watchOS 8.5.1, tvOS and HomePod

Apps and Services

Reactions

News and Opinion

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

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Updates and Releases

To Listen

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Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-03-18

Update week! We got macOS 12.3, iOS 15.4 and all the siblings this week. Did you already update? Your users?


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My most anticipated and now favorite feature in these updates is Universal Control. You can tell it still has a few rough edges (despite the delay, Apple still labels it as ‘beta’) but it is already eminently useful. The (already high) usefulness of my iPad Air 4 increased dramatically. Universal Control lets the iPad do what does best, while still being just a trackpad swipe away from the Mac.

But Apple gives and takes away. Long forwarned, this update really removed the Python 2 binary, and yes, some admins, and developers were still blindsided. I have built a summary of links to posts, issues and solutions on my weblog and will keep updating that post over the next few weeks.

Apple developers must be taking a well-deserved break, beacuse we have not seen the macOS 12.4 beta yet. Any day now. Remember to remove the developer/beta profile!

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macOS 12.3 Monterey and iOS 15.4

macOS Monterey 12.3

iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4

watchOS 8.5

tvOS and HomePod

Apps

Reactions

Support

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

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Updates and Releases

To Listen

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If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-03-11

Apple’s “Peek Performance” event this week, delivered plenty of great news. A new iPhone SE, which is mostly identical to the 2020 model, but now uses the A15 chip. Green color choices for the iPhones 13 and 13 Pro. A new iPad Air, using the M1 chip. And then… a new desktop Mac model called “Mac Studio” using the M1 Max or a doubled up M1 Mac chip which Apple calls the “M1 Ultra.” And a new 27″ 5K Studio Display to go along with the Mac Studio.


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These are great products that will certainly fill many checkboxes in many people’s and organization’s wish lists. Untypically for Apple, there were a few hints on what is yet to come. At the end of the video, John Ternus (SVP of Hardware Engineering) mentions, there is “just one more product to go: the Mac Pro, but that is for another day.” Earlier in the event, John says the M1 Ultra will be the last chip added to the M1 family.

This sets up the intriguing question on how an Apple silicon based Mac Pro will exceed the performance set by the Mac Studio. Some speculate the Mac Pro will be the first Mac to get the next generation Apple silicon chip. However, announcing the M2 with the Mac Pro, would stifle demand on all the other Mac models though, as people will hold off purchases until those product lines are updated, as well. Apple runs a risk of “Osborning” their most popular Mac product lines. It is more likely the M2 will be introduced with the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or a successor model to one of these.

We also learned which Mac model will not transition: The 27″ iMac disappeared from the Apple Store this week. Apple seems to consider the Mac Studio with Studio Display a valid replacement. This combo may seem much more expensive than the base iMac 27″, but the Studio Display will likely outlive the Mac it is purchased with, making the direct comparison difficult.

Interestingly, the Intel Mac mini is still available. Keep in mind that if you need an Intel Mac for Bootcamp or compatibility testing on the Intel platform and older versions of macOS, you should either make plans to retain Intel Macs past the usual lifetime in your organization or puchase a Mac mini or Mac Pro now.

The persistence of the Intel Mac mini calls attention to a strange omission in Apple’s Macs with Apple silicon product line: there is no Mac desktop using the M1 Pro. You can get the iMac 24″ and Mac mini with M1. Mac Studio comes with M1 Max and M1 Ultra. The Intel Mac mini sort of fills the spot where a Mac mini or Mac Studio with the M1 Pro would be. (Both price and feature wise.) It might be that Apple needs all the M1 Pro chips they produce to satisfy demand of the MacBook Pro and we will have to wait for more availability until we see desktop Macs with that chip. This gap is even more annoying beacuse it matches the needs of MacAdmins very well.

Either way, exciting times for the Mac, with more interesting things to come!

Oh, the new Mac Studio will require macOS 12.3 and ship next week, so we will also get the macOS 12.3 update next week, which should not come as a huge suprise as Apple released 12.3 RC to AppleSeed this week.

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News and Opinion

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

To Watch

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 — 2022-03-04

Apple has announced an event for next week. Of course, we don’t know what Apple is going to introduce then, but the fifth beta for macOS 12.3 that we got this week, may be the last. How is your testing going? Have youound all the uses of the Python 2 yet?


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uberAgent: per-application network monitoring

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uberAgent is an innovative user experience monitoring product for macOS and Windows. uberAgent’s highlights include detailed information about application performance, network reliability drill-downs, application usage metering, browser performance, and web app metrics. Try for yourself and get your free 100 user community license at uberagent.com.


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

  • cdros: “A pattern I’ve seen in many places. Companies hire adults, thrust technology at them, provide little training, and distrust the actions of employees.” (Thread)
  • Asia Orangio: “I’m seeing a lot of people who are surprised to learn their favorite software has been built and/or marketed by a Ukrainian team. Here’s a running list of them (plus how you can help Ukraine fight back)” (Thread)

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

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Updates and Releases

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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!