Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2019-11-29

Happy day after Thanksgiving to the US readers! Happy “week where we can take a breath from tech news” for everyone else!

It is tradition to reflect on things you can be grateful for. There are many standard replies, such as family, friends, and—more particular to this newsletter—the amazing MacAdmins community. But, this year I wanted to say that I am grateful to be working in a field that is always changing.

I started out using and managing Macs in the nineties. Back then Apple had a strong market in the print and publishing business and education, but nearly nowhere else. It was obvious that the Macintosh operating system needed a complete overhaul to remain relevant, but Apple’s attempts to build a new system failed. Apple was considered stagnant and irrelevant. The change came in 1996 when Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs returned to the company. The iMac, iBook, and Mac OS X saved Apple.

Even though, in hindsight, it is obvious that Mac OS X was an important part of that transition, there were many back then who rejected the new system. There were many reasons for being conservative: the iMac, iBook, and even the blue PowerMac towers looked like “toys,” third party applications were slow to adopt Mac OS X, the new OS was not yet ready for some critical workflows, Windows and Linux were tempting alternatives.

In the beginning, it was mainly new users who would embrace the new Mac OS. Java and web developers, as well as scientists, who realized there was now a Unix(-like) platform with a nice UI and MS Office (one of the first major commercial app suites to have a Mac OS X version). It always felt like the “traditional” Mac users had to be dragged along.

Apple has changed multiple times since then: online and retail stores, the iPod, the iTunes Store, the iPhone, the App Store, the iPad, the Apple Watch, and a focus on services.

There were also failures, dead ends, and missteps along the way: the hockey puck mouse, the Cube, the various incarnations of iTools/dotMac/Mobile me/iCloud, server hardware and software, the butterfly keyboards… In the MacAdmin space we had WebObjects, NetInfo, MCX, Workgroup Manager, NetBoot, NetRestore, Profile Manager, Mac OS (X) Server, bash3 and Python2…

We often complain about the pace of change in the technology field. I agree the entire field would be well-served with more consideration, rather than rushing features at all cost to fulfill an arbitrary, self-imposed deadline. But the absence of change is stagnation and irrelevancy.

I remember when Apple was considered stagnant and irrelevant. I really don’t miss those times.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Talking about change: My new book “Moving to zsh” is now available in the Apple Books Store.

Howard Oakley from the Eclectic Light Company calls it: “[T]imely, invaluable, and very clearly written for anyone who ever uses the command line.”

Packaging for Apple Administrators” and “Property List, Preferences, and Profiles for Apple Admnistrators” are on sale until Dec 3. I also permanently dropped the price for “macOS Installation.”

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

  • Rich Trouton: “Need a quick way to check Apple’s system status boards? System status: isappleup.com Developer system status: developer.isappleup.com
  • Victor (groob): “Adding async command information to @micromdm_io Admins will be able to check the status of each command in the queue and see the raw request/response at any time.” (video)

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 — 2019-11-22

My new book, “Moving to zsh,” is now available in the Apple Books Store!

If you have been reading this newsletter for a while, you know what this book is about, otherwise you can read all the details in my blog post. This is the first of my books that is not targeted specifically at Mac Admins, but is useful to anyone who use the Terminal on the Mac.

Please, spread the word to friends, co-workers, fellow admins, developers, and power-users who you think would benefit from this book. Thank you all for your support.

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

  • Timo Perfitt: “New MacBook Pro 16” in the house!… ” (Thread)
  • Tech Girl: “It’s weird jamf sells jamf protect and treats patch like their child they’re pretending doesn’t exist. How many #macadmin pay for jamf also need jamjar/autopkgr/Munki to properly patch & notify users?”
  • Victor (groob): “Is there someone at Apple who understands that security updates are not optional and that an enterprise might want to enforce a deadline? Lack of MDM options to make this possible suggests otherwise.” (Thread)
  • Carl Ashley: “Things your postinstall scripts are doing that are 100% bad 100% of the time: cp /tmp/foo.app /Applications/foo.app; chmod 777 /Applications/Foo.app; chown root:admin /Applications/Foo.app” (Thread)

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 — 2019-11-15

Hard to believe, but Apple software updates this week (except for new beta releases). Instead we got a new MacBook Pro! (And yes, it has a new keyboard—I really hope we can put this behind us now…)

Also Jamf Nation User Conference in Minneapolis! Hope everyone had a great time and safe travels home!

Progress update: my new book “Moving to zsh.” has been sent to the proof readers!

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

  • Timo Perfitt: “In prep for the MDS 2 release, I created some new videos and postings for the new MDM service in MDS.” (Thread)
  • Patrick Fergus: “If anyone was using a CLI uninstall of an Adobe product, the path to Setup changed, assumedly with CCDA 5”
  • Rosyna Keller: “Some fun new stuff with altool 4.0 (Xcode 11.x) is now available.” (Thread)

Jamfnation User Conference

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 — 2019-11-08

Another week, … yes, really… another update. iOS 13.2.2 dropped last night. At this rate, I am surprised there is no Catalina 10.15.1 Supplemental update yet. Maybe next week. We did also get new betas for all the next updates.

In other news, Adobe is finally shipping Photoshop for iPad, and announced Lightroom and Illustrator for the future. I will leave the discussion if this is really a “full” Photoshop or not to others. But I will point out, that this is yet another “Pro” application that is now available on iPad. There are still plenty of reasons or excuses to have a Mac over an iPad, but they are dwindling.

Progress update: I got a lot of work done on my new book “Moving to zsh.” I had set the delivery date to Dec 31, because the Books Store interface required me to enter a date, but I am quite confident now that I will beat that.

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

🐦On Twitter

  • Rene Ritchie: “I’d love both word count and a plain text option in Notes .app.… ”
  • Bryson Tyrrell: “I think I’ve been vastly under-calculating the amount of traffic that Community Patch serves.” (Thread)
  • Arnold: “Xcode, all you ever tell me is WARNINGS and ERRORS, it’s always problems and bad things with you, that’s so toxic would it kill you to say nice things about my code every once in a while?…” (Great Mockups)

🐞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 — 2019-11-01

While I got to take off a week for vacation, Apple certainly did not… Welcome back!

We got expiring certificates and lots of updates! Also, new AirPods Pro.

I have tried to put some order into all the links I gathered over the last two weeks. If you think I missed anything, please let me know!

Also, remember that my new book “Moving to zsh” is available to pre-order!

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

  • Adam Codega: “Vendors and others who link to macadmins.org: make sure you’re linking to macadmins.org and not our (now offline) Heroku URL”
  • Erik Gomez: “Catalina brings an undocumented change to MDM profiles. You can no longer mark them as ”removable“. The only way to remove MDM profiles now is by unenrolling from MDM or the MDM sending a removal command. This was never mentioned in WWDC, Developer Notes or AppleSeed.”
  • Peter Steinberger: “There’s a user default setting: NSApplicationCrashOnExceptions to make macOS apps terminate when an exception is thrown – just as things are on iOS. Microsoft has great documentation on that. Apple, not so much.”
  • Mr. Macintosh: “macOS Catalina 10.15.1 Beta 3 is now available. This post was late because I was thinking about stopping my Beta Update posts. Instead, I need to keep showing everyone how embarrassing macOS Patch Notes have become.”
  • Patrick Fergus: “Adobe Shared Device License 2.0, released 10/21/19 – Sign-in only shows needed information, e.g. if only Federated IDs allowed, Facebook not shown – Prompt reminds users to save & sign out of CC – CCDA Apps panel optionally visible & users can install & update”
  • Preshit Deorukhkar: “Massive update to Adobe Creative Cloud on iOS that brings the entire @AdobeFonts / @Typekit Collection to your iPhone or iPad. Dark Mode too.”

Bugs and Security

Expired Package Certificates

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Apple Updates

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 — 2019-10-18

Another week, another iOS update. And also another macOS Catalina… Supplemental… Update?

As a Mac admin, I am getting envious of iOS system version numbering.

While I grumble about the nomenclature, the “Supplemental Update” fixed the persisting request to log in to iCloud i had on my MacBook, so it is welcome, whatever it is called.

Note: because of travel and vacation, there will be no Newsletter next week, October 25. The newsletter will be back on November 1!

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: “32-bit Intel Macs: Introduced 13 years ago – stopped shipping that same year. Every since has been 64-bit. 10.7 Lion: Launched 8 years ago in 2011 – required 64-bit. macOS had warnings about 32-bit app launches in 10.13 and 10.14. Why was ANY dev shipping 32-bit -only-?” (Thread)
  • Erik Schwiebert: “It took us /years/ to get rid of the Carbon code in Office and make the switch to 64-bit. And we were done in 2016…”
  • John Goering: “A WWDC slide from a more civilized time in Apple’s history.” (Image)
  • Armin Briegel: “System Image Utility is gone from macOS Catalina. It is not possible to build a NetBoot or NetInstall nbi based on Catalina. (You can probably hack one together, this is not meant as a challenge.) No currently sold Mac model is able to NetBoot. NetBoot is dead.”

macOS Catalina

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 — 2019-10-11

Release week! (again)

macOS 10.15 Catalina was released this Monday.

You may be terrified of dialog fatigue or excited about new features like Sidecar. You may be waiting for some critical third party to fix their installers or not planning to upgrade for a year anyway.

Whether you are holding back the update or diving in right away, this means a lot of extra work and learning for MacAdmins. Thanks to all the MacAdmins on Twitter, Slack, and weblogs for helping and sharing information.

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

macOS 10.15 Catalina

Adobe and Catalina

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Jerry Olla: “Need to be able to see Wi-Fi connection details in iOS? Install the “Wi-Fi for iOS” diagnostic profile”
  • Tom Bridge: “Quick PSA based on some feedback from friends: Do NOT notarize someone else’s software, your Developer ID might end up in hot water.”
  • Robert Hammen: “Want to block macOS Catalina from showing up in Software Update preferences on macOS Mojave? sudo /usr/sbin/softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Catalina" prevents it from appearing! Credit to @wegotoeleven”
  • Pepijn Bruienne: “And for those interested in implementing Watch-based auth in macOS 10.15 themselves, take a look at this newly added ACL as part of the Keychain Services API
  • William Smith: “MacAdmins, if you’ve told your technicians to use the Command-Option-R method to boot into Internet Recovery mode on your Macs to reinstall macOS, be aware this will now install Catalina not Mojave.”
  • Erik Schwiebert: “Mac Office 16.29 and later are fully supported on the new macOS 10.15 Catalina! Version 16.31 (due out in mid-November) will drop support for macOS 10.12 Sierra.”
  • Eric Holtam: “Confirmed by @ClassicII_MrMac – a bricked T2 that failed previous DFU bridgeOS restores can be revived.”
  • Jason Broccardo: “Which OSes are offered 10.15 in the GUI Software Update: – 10.10: 10.13 is offered – 10.11: untested – 10.12: 10.15 not offered in SU or App Store>Updates – 10.13: 10.15 not offered in SU or App Store>Updates – 10.14.x: 10.15 offered in SU GUI but not CLI”
  • Rosyna Keller: “I wanted to clarify a few things that have caused some confusion about the Jan 2020 date. 1. All software created after June 1st, 2019 must still be notarized for Catalina. 2. A notarization ticket issued before Jan 2020 still remains valid forever.”
  • John C. Welch: “Yeah, the auth dialogs in Catalina can be annoying. Anyone got a better method besides “pretend your mac isn’t under constant attack and hope for the best” aka “hopes and prayers” or “get cissp certified before you’re allowed to use a computer”?” (Thread)
  • Nikolaj Schlej: “macOS Catalina brings a small, but important update to Mac Firmware Password mechanism: you can now opt-out (and back in) from password reset mechanism used by AppleCare. It makes FW password harder to reset, use it on your own risk!”

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 — 2019-10-04

Greetings from Gothenburg, where I have been attending MacSysAdmin conference this week. I am humbled to be among the amazing line-up of speakers again. My thanks and congratulations to the organizers, speakers, sponsors, and, especially, attendees for another wonderful conference! See you all next year!

In other news, we got Catalina beta 9 earlier this week and then ‘GM seed’ yesterday. So, this also seems to be coming to a close. Several other Apple related updates as well.

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

macOS Catalina

Bugs and Security

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

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 — 2019-09-27

Another week of releases. We got iOS 13.1, iPadOS and tvOS. Also a misnumbered Supplemental Update for macOS Mojave.

There was also the interesting incident of the Google Updater process that deletes the /var symbolic link, which shows how quickly the MacAdmin community can come together and solve an issue. Great work, everyone!

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

  • Graham Pugh: “IBM have issued a hotfix for SPSSStatistics 26 silent installer so that it works with recent JDKs (11+). Check your support channels for ”Interim Fix IF007“. IF006 also updates the JRE that gets installed.”
  • Tim Perfitt: “In an unexpected turn of events, I am now releasing Imagr builds: https://t.co/o80PeR2GMO”
  • CarrickDB: “Every stack overflow answer about bash: Answer 1: Use ${VAR}:$_!% Comment 1: No, it’s _$${}VAR!$$ Comment 2: No, it’s [[{$VAR} == !*%&#$*#)#]] comment 3: No, it’s #&$!@[&#”[$^$#]@“?$(#$)&&=‘$_$&*’]($&)@:””
  • Harald Monihart: “We have more people running macOS 10.15 seeds @SAP than versions that are older than 12 months. Kudos to @lauraroesler for leading the macOSCatalina readiness and @laxthxdude for a great security and compliancy framework that motivates users to keep their Macs up to date”
  • Guilherme Rambo: “Approve sudo with Apple Watch on Catalina with this handy plug-in. https://t.co/KQWIaBB3Vb (via @NSBiscuit) https://github.com/biscuitehh/pam-watchid”

macOS Catalina

All the Apple updates

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 — 2019-09-20

Apple’s release schedule this year is certainly not following any previous pattern.

After releasing a beta of iOS 13.1 during the beta phase of 13.0. Apple then announced that iOS 13.0 (for the iPhones) would be released on Sep 19 (yesterday) and iOS 13.1, together with iPadOS 13.1 on September 30. Yesterday, iOS 13.0 was released on schedule, but the release date for iOS and iPadOS 13.1 was moved ahead to September 24.

watchOS 6 was release yesterday alongside iOS 13, but only for Series 3 and up. While Series 1 and 2 watches will be supported by watchOS 6, they will have to wait for an update “later this year.”

Meanwhile, all we know about the Catalina release date is “October 2019.”

As the features and products become more and more intertwined and dependent on hardware, software, and cloud services, getting everything ready for release at the same time seems like an enormous, self-imposed burden.

Take, for example, the new Reminders application. All the new features in iOS 13 and Catalina means that the data is stored in a new format, which older versions of the Reminders application cannot read. Because of this, when you update your iPhone to the iOS 13, it will not synchronize with the Reminders app on the iPad or Mac, until you update those, which you cannot for several days or weeks.

Hypothetically, if Apple were to separate the Reminders app from the iOS release cycle, they could have waited for the update until all platforms, including iCloud, can support it. Users could then choose to update the app on all their platforms when it is convenient for them, without interrupting the user’s workflow.

Big feature laden software releases are a relic of the past when software was purchased on physical media in boxes. The big feature reveals at WWDC and then later at the release keynotes bring Apple a lot of attention and press. But, the chaos and delays (perceived and real) of the self-imposed release dates are not helping Apple’s reputation.

And yes, it is easy to criticize from the comfort of sitting behind my MacBook keyboard, while the amazing engineers and managers at Apple have to do all the work. There are probably people at Apple working this out in some way or another. Apple has put features into the interim “Spring” updates for High Sierra and Mojave and are deferring several features shown at WWDC to later versions of iOS 13 and Catalina.

How this continues to develop in the future will certainly be interesting.

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

  • Eric Holtam: “DEP admins: “On September 19, Apple will release updated software license agreements. On that date a Program Administrator must go to the Apple Business Manager website and accept the following agreements to continue to use the program””
  • Scott Knight: “Need to do some quick hex editing? Just use VIM. Open your file and then :%!xxd to view the hex. Edit away and then %!xxd -r to switch back to the binary view. Save just like you would any other file in VIM.”
  • Arek Dreyer: “Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager now available in China, Thailand, Saudia Arabia, and Vietnam. Wow!”
  • Rich Trouton: “Wow! Thanks to everyone who’s pre-ordered, you’ve pushed @cedge318 and my Apple device management book to the top of the charts on Amazon!” ( Pre-order on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Affiliate Links)
  • Rosyna Keller: “The altool docs have been updated to include the new --store-password-in-keychain-item option, which allows you to create a keychain item specifically for use in notarization scripts that use -p "@keychain:<item name>"
  • Arek Dreyer: “Another reminder for the appropriate person in your organization to log in to Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager and agree to the new terms and conditions.”

macOS 10.15 Catalina and iOS 13

🐞Bugs and Security

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

iOS 13

watchOS 6

“watchOS 6 is currently compatible with Apple Watch Series 3 and later. Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 will support watchOS 6 later this year.”

♻️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!