Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2019-05-10

More 10.15 and iOS13 rumors (or previews), Microsoft goes Terminal and open source and leaks the Chromium-based Edge browser for Mac, Mac admins continue to explore the effects of the 10.14.5 notarization requirements, and Adobe ‘unauthorizes’ old versions.

In additonal news, I will be giving Scripting Classes at Pro Warehouse in Amsterdam. The first class is a two-day “Introduction to Scripting macOS.” If you are interested, you can get more information and register here!

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

  • mikeymikey: “Just sharing this out here – because I didn’t know this detail – and codesign and spctl don’t show this particular reason for Gatekeeper rejection”
  • William Smith: “Download Microsoft Edge (Canary) for Mac, Reference the chromium.org key/value pairs here: www.chromium.org/administrators/policy-list–3 Use “com.microsoft.Edge.Canary” domain to manage (plist or configuration profile).”
  • Patrick Fergus: “I annotated Adobe’s “authorized” applications table with “marketing” versions. Note “if an Adobe product is not listed in the table below, all versions continue to be authorized.””

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 — 2019-05-03

The big news this week was that Apple has started removing certain iOS applications which allow fine-grained parental controls for their children’s iPhones and iPads. The first post on this in the New York Times speculated that Apple was removing products that compete with Screen Time. However, Apple clarified that these companies are using MDM (Mobile Devices Management servers) to get the features, which is a “guideline violation.”

Since this discussion involves MDM, I believe it is very relevant to Mac and iOS administrators.

You could discuss whether these services should be using MDM to get the feature set their customers desire. You could have (the ever repeating) discussion on how Apple reverses years’ worth of approvals because they now suddenly realize the app has been in violation all along. You could question how fair and reasonable the 30 days ultimatum for an updated app without MDM was, since there is no other API with a similar feature set, and how well the ultimatum was communicated.

But I want to point out that MDM enrollment, both on iOS and macOS, has to be manually initiated the user, and approved with a passcode. This required user approval, is a big hurdle for automated delpoyments, something which administrators are longing for.

The workaround for this, according to Apple is Automated Device Enrollment (formerly known as DEP) where the chain of possession from Apple, through a reseller, to the purchasing organisation is proven and logged in Apple’s servers. Even with DEP, user approval of the management features is necessay at first boot.

There have been cases where malware has installed MDM profiles on iOS and Macs and supposedly user approval should protect from these cases. Yet, when a service or application, which promises a solution the user desires, asks for approval, the user will click anything.

Users are trained to approve these security dialogs. The more dialogs the system throws at the user, the more they are trained to quickly approve and authorize them without really reading or understanding. Too much user approval can be detrimental to its purpose.

MDM servers need certificates from Apple to work. They need to register with the push notification service to communicate with the clients. The client applications that are distributed through the iOS and Mac App Stores, need developer certificates from Apple.

Apple would have many options to control and block malicious actors in this field without hurting legitimate services and administrators seeking automation.

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📰News and Opinion

Parental Control Apps/MDM

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • mikeymikey: “Different techniques, different goals. Internet recovery has been modified multiple times over the years (example change in 10.12.4), whereas netboot was a device independent standard that would have needed a total overhaul for Secure Boot.”
  • Steve Troughton-Smith: “Just 35 days to WWDC! 35 days to iOS apps on the Mac, 35 days to multi-window iPad homescreen revamp, 35 days to Dark Mode on iOS”
  • Steve Troughton-Smith: “Dashboard isn’t the only thing gone in 10.15 — so is 32-bit app & plugin support, Carbon, Ink, QuickTime 7 & QuickTime plugins, PPTP, and hardware RAID. You will get Python 3.7 and Ruby 2.6, at least” (Python 3 alongisde the soon-to be EOL’ed Python 2.7 would be good news.)
  • Emily kw, ph.d.: “Hello. I’m a Sr. Systems Engineer for a Fortune 25 company. I am not interested in your Technical Support Specialist job offers. Goodbye.”

🐞Bugs and Security

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

♻️Updates and Releases

🎈Just for Fun

📚 Support

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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 — 2019-04-26

I am traveling with just my iPad this week, so this is the first time that I am assembling the newsletter entirely on iOS. It has been an interesting challenge. I built a shortcut which copies a page from Safari in Markdown format, something that Byword on Mac does automatically on drag’n drop, but Byword on iOS does not.

If there are any errors or differences in this week’s newsletter because of that, please be tolerant. Since I am traveling and somewhat distracted, there may have been a post or news that I missed. Please tell me and I will add it next week! (Contact info at the end of the letter.)

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

  • Bertrand Pourcel: “Command-IT : la conférence pour les pros du monde Apple”
  • William Lam: “Been getting asked about our progress with ESXi on new 2018 Apple Mac Mini Here’s quick summary …”
  • Ben Toms: “Kernel extensions signed after April 7th, 2019 must be notarized in order to load on macOS 10.14.5.”
  • Kitzy: “So @SlackHQ, an app specifically aimed for enterprise use, doesn’t support enterprise deployment.”
  • Eric Holtam: “TIL about wdutil and sudo wdutil info for showing wireless info.”

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

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 — 2019-04-19

The video for my MacADUK Presentation “Modern Deployment Workflows for Business” is online! You can find the link, the slides and the notes on the permanent presenation page. There is also a link to the entire MacADUK 2019 playlist. There are many great presentations worth watching.

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

  • Tim Perfitt: “Grab any corner of a window of an app in macOS and drag while holding the option key. The window will expand around the center point. Add in shift (so it is now command-shift) and it expands around the center and keeps the aspect ratio.” (Original tweet wrongly states ‘command’ key instead of the correct ‘option’ key.)
  • Joe Bourne: “Support for OS X Mojave has come to Azure Pipelines hosted agents and it includes Xcode 10.2! If you’re using the ‘Hosted macOS’ pool, your pipelines will already start running on Mojave. YAML customers can use ‘macos–10.14’ for their pool VM Image (Link)”
  • Steve Troughton-Smith: “RIP Dashboard, 2005–2019 You will be missed”
  • Rich Trouton: “If you’re a user of First Boot Package Install, there’s a new version available. Same great functionality, but now it’s signed and notarized!”
  • Thomas Reed: “Think Macs can’t get infected with malware? Or that they only get infected with adware and junk software? Think again. Here’s a story involving supply chain attacks, millions of dollars stolen… and Mac malware.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “Adding Munki server and automatic munki client provisioning into MDS 1.7. Also added MunkiAdmin to the toolbar so you can setup, manage and deploy Macs using MDS + Munki without ever touching the command line.…”

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 — 2019-04-12

One of the key takeaways from my MacADUK presentation on “Modern Delpoyment Workflows” is that MacAdmins now have to expect new, rules-changing ‘features’ in macOS at any time during the release cycle. (Video is not available yet, I will post when they release it.)

Apple is proving this advice with the announcement that thrid party kernel extensions and certain applications have to be notarized, starting with macOS 10.14.5 beta2.

In typical Apple fashion this announcement is brief and to the point and leaves many questions open for interpretation, especially for MacAdmins. Thankfully, the MacAdmin community has, once again, leapt to action and filled in a few of the critical missing pieces.

Also, we have updated our EraseInstall app! And yes, it is notarized.

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News and Opinion

10.14.5 App Notarization Changes

MacAdmins on Twitter

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 — 2019-04-05

Since I assemble and publish this news summary on Friday mornings (European Time), I sometimes just miss interesting news dropping on Friday afternoon in US. Usually, Friday afternoon news in bad news for the organisation releasing it.

Exactly this happened last Friday. After two weeks of seemingly non-stop releases, on Friday afternoon Apple cancelled the AirPower charging mat which was pre-announced at the iPhone X event in September 2017.

On the other hand, a different pre-announcement made at WWDC last year was fulfilled this week. BBEdit is back in the Mac AppStore! (No secret that BBEdit is my favored text editor, I wrote a bit about why last year.)

Also, the email version of this summary broke through 500 subscribers! Thank you all! (And keep spreading the word.)

We also got a lot of great posts with helpful advice from various MacAdmins. As usual a huge thank you to everyone who so willingly shares their experience.

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

  • MacDeployment YYC: “Last night at our MacDeploy Meetup, we were pleased to announce our plans for this year’s Conference, June 10–11 here in #yyc. 1/” (Thread)
  • Nigel Kersten: “I don’t think I’ve ever really told the story on Twitter about the time Steve Jobs sent me a polite but dismissive email and then proceeded to make my life at work rather hellish.” (Thread)
  • Eric Holtam: “Munki admins: Apple SUS update testing requested.”
  • Libbi Garret: “Do you use Apple School Manager? Great News! Our amazing F3 Legal Council has worked with Apple Edu and determined that ASM is FERPA & Ed Code 49073.1 (AB1584) compliant! You can view/download the letter and terms on our CETPA page studentprivacy.net
  • Eric Holtam: ‘VMWare Fusion needs a feature to say “Snapshot on the next reboot because I’m going to forget and waste hours of prep time”’
  • Tim Perfitt: “Work is progressing on #MDS 1.6. You can specify variables when creating workflows that causing techs to get prompted and the values are passed to your scripts. This is so awesome you might need to sit down for a bit.”
  • Rene Ritchie: “Apple has dropped its #HomePod price to US$299 (down from US$349). Similar cuts internationally.”
  • Suzana Ilić: “This is really neat! You take a screenshot of an equation, it gives you the LaTeX code, you can directly modify in the taskbar, copy, paste, done. mathpix.com

🐞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 — 2019-03-29

We did get the long awaited Apple Event this week. Since Apple unloaded many of their releases last week already the event could focus entirely on new subscription services. Apple showed subscription services for magazines (Apple News+), games (Apple Arcade), credit card (Apple Card), and tv series (Apple tv+). Only Apple News+ is available now, the rest will come “later this year.” 10.15 release should be interesting.

More interesting for Apple Admins, the updates for macOS Mojave 10.14.4, iOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2 and tvOS 12.2 were released as well. Since these are the “Spring Updates” they bring with them some new user facing features: Apple News+, dark mode for Safari content, AirPods 2 support. Also some new features for administrators which I already outlined in a post.

Overall, not as big an update as 10.13.4 was, but still quite the event.

Also this week was MacAD.UK, where I presented on “Modern Delpoyment Workflows for Business.” I had a wonderful time meeting everyone at the conference. My thanks to the organizers, speakers and attendees for making this a great event.

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

🐞Bugs and Security

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

Spring Udpates

Swift 5

Downloads

♻️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 — 2019-03-22

Apple flooded us with new releases this week. We got a new iPad Air and new iPad mini, a long-awaited update to the iMac, new Airpods, changes to the BTO pricing for iMac Pro and MacBook Pro, Apple School Manager Federated authentication, and some software updates. As Steven Troughton-Smith pointed out, there have been keynotes for less news.

Not everyone is happy about the “new” iMacs, though: No T2 System Controller and 1TB 5400rpm spinning disks in the base models. I will have some thoughts about the “new” iMacs in my presentation at MacADUK next week! (See you there, if you are going, there may be a few tickets left.)

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

News and Opinion

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Zachary Cutlip: “Illustrated: talking to a VMware Fusion guest’s serial port… ”
  • Anthony Reimer: “The surprising thing about today’s iMac update: the bottom, non-Retina 21.5″ model was left completely untouched. Budget model, I guess.”
  • Alex: “The T2 cannot interface with Fusion Drives and Apple doesn’t seem to want to spend the time to make it work. My guess is that next year we will see the end of HDD. I was hoping maybe a redesign would have made it happen this year but no luck.”
  • Steve Troughton-Smith: “iPad Air, iPad mini, iMacs, iMac Pro BTO bump, iPod touch, AirPods, AirPower and Watch bands as press releases — we’ve had full-blown keynotes for less”
  • Charles S Edge: “The contracts are signed and about half the pages are written, so pleased to announce that @rtrouton and I will be turning in the first draft of a new book called “A Unified Theory of Apple Device Management” to @Apress in July of 2019! Rich, you’ve been awesome to work with!!!”
  • Fraser Speirs: “Apple is continuing to cede the K–12 identity, data and workflow space to Microsoft. Maybe the right call but puts them at enormous weakness and disadvantage in the sector.”
  • Laura Rösler: “We finally reached the 20k Mac clients at @SAP. Let‘s open a bottle of #champagne”

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 — 2019-03-15

Lot’s of news for important conferences this week. JamfNation User Conference, MacSysAdmin, and WWDC are getting obviously closer. Also, MacADUK has sold out of tickets! (10 days and counting…)

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

Conferences

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Tim Perfitt: “Version 1.4 of MDS is going to be awesome. How awesome you ask? Glad you asked. 1/” (Thread)
  • Steve Troughton-Smith: “I like to remind myself sometimes that the current Mac Pro was announced before iOS 7…”

News and Opinion

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

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 — 2019-03-08

Steve Troughton-Smith gave us all a glimpse of the future this week as he documented how to already use the “Marzipan” framework that allows UIKit (iPad) apps to run on macOS. Even if you don’t develop it is worth browsing through those posts. You will get an interesting look at the features and limitations that ported apps will have.

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

  • Akshay Bakshi: “Coming soon to a Dock near you. New app icons in Office for Mac.… ”
  • Jeff Johnson: “The Mac App Store has put price pressure on Mac apps, but not as bad as in the iOS App Store. Mac app prices are still generally much higher on average than iOS app prices. Marzipan could change that though.” (Thread)
  • Timo Perfitt: “MDS was just approved in the app store. Didn’t expect this. I’m going to need a minute.… ”
  • Steve Troughton-Smith: “I had another go at making this work, and I got somewhere: here is AppleScript in a Marzipan app… ”
  • Otto the Automator: “Steve, that’s a beautiful thing to see. Thank you for making my day.… ”

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!