Meetup – November 16, 2017

Suite 16

What’s in a number?

In early 2018, Microsoft Office for Mac turns “16”. No, not 16 years old, but version 16.

Microsoft’s partnership with Mac admins has made deploying and managing Office 2016 for Mac easy. Through the MacAdmins team on Slack, we’ve had direct access to members of the teams who are responsible for new features, packaging, profile/plist management, user feedback and bug reports.

Join us at Jamf headquarters Thursday, November 16 (coincidence or not?), for a remote presentation from Paul Bowden and Erik Schwiebert from the Redmond campus at Microsoft. They’ll tell us what changes to expect in the next few months and how those changes will affect us. We’ll learn about their major engineering effort with version 16 to align the Mac code with the PC code (an effort years in the making) and what new features this code change helps bring to the Mac platform.

Get started

Microsoft is asking for our help to test workflows that may be impacted by the simple 15 to 16 number change, test scripts and VBA code against the changes in the code base, test third party add-ins your organization needs to remain productive and test deployment with third party management tools such as Jamf and munki.

This is a first-of-its-kind event where Mac admins can effect change before a new major Microsoft Office for Mac version ships to production. Join us to get started and learn how to participate.

We’ll be live-streaming this event using Google Hangouts at and taking questions via MacAdmins Slack in the #macbrained_twincities channel.

Cards Against IT

America’s #1 gerbil coffin

Are you a Cards Against Humanity fan? This is the highly addictive card game you can download and play for free! (Maybe you saw some of the JNUC 2017 attendees playing this at Brit’s Pub.) Just download the PDF and print your own set. But if you’d like a quality boxed set, pay $25 plus S&H and you’ll receive a handsome black & white gerbil coffin filled with more than 600 playing cards.

Varonis expands on the “party game for horrible people” by creating an expansion pack for “horrible admins” called Cards Against IT. Just like the base game, you can download the PDF for free (requires an email address) and print your own cards. Hate your Network Security team? Are you part of the Network Security team? You’ll receive a second expansion pack PDF featuring the “Super Secure InfoSec Cards”.

Or you can receive a printed set of the “Original Full Strength IT Cards” for free:

  • Follow Varonis on Spiceworks. They’ll randomly pass out a couple packs per day.
  • Comment on a Varonis post on Spiceworks.

Or come to our meetup on November 16 and win one of several boxed expansion packs we’re giving away that evening! We have five expansion packs along with some JNUC 2017 swag for our attendees that evening.

Continue reading Meetup – November 16, 2017

Meetup – July 19, 2017

Target Lights tour 2016

This month, we bring back one of our most popular meetup venues from last year. Come see the lights again as Target Corporation hosts, presents and offers a tour of the Target Lights atop Target Plaza South in downtown Minneapolis. Discover how the EDGE team troubleshoots the string when a lightbulb goes out. Stay to hear about how they support their Mac users in very creative ways.

Be sure to RSVP for one of the two tours before the meetup as well as the meetup itself. You’ll find registration below. Target is providing dinner.

We get to meet Michael Heldebrandt, a Solutions Architect with Elastic. He’ll give us an introduction to his company and then Pete Johnson and Brian LaShomb will tell us how they’re using Elastic products to support their systems and end users at Target Corporation.

Also, our gathering comes on the heels of the MacAdmins Conference at Penn State University, one of the most popular conferences for Apple support professionals in education, enterprise and other arenas. Several of us traveling together from Minnesota and Wisconsin returned late last week from four days of “summer camp for Apple nerds” and we’ll bring back some knowledge to share at the meetup. We’re glad to see more and more join our midwest delegation heading to State College, Pa., each year.

Ever wondered what it’s like to present a session at a conference? Just ask Bryson.

Presentation slides for the MacAdmins conference are already posted and videos should be available in a few weeks. Keep an eye on the @psumacconf Twitter account or our own @mspmacadmns Twitter account for notifications. Or join us in the #psumac or #mspmacadmins channels on Slack.

Here’s the often-requested Spotify playlist from this year:

Continue reading Meetup – July 19, 2017

Meetup – May 23, 2017

We have three months of meetups starting in May. And lots to discuss!

heartITMay 23

First, we return to Jamf headquarters on May 23 to hear from Patrick Eineke (@peineke on MacAdmins Slack) with South Washington County Schools about his experience deploying nearly 1500 MacBooks using Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP). DEP is Apple’s solution for “zero touch” or “out of the box” deployments where macOS and iOS devices automatically join their management server and configure themselves in the field without the need for hands-on setup by technology staff. DEP was introduced in early 2014, and since then administrators have had three years to learn some best practices and develop some tricks for a smooth rollout.

Did Patrick get his end-users to ❤️ IT?

Jamf is also providing pizza and beverages.

June 22

In June, we join Hopkins Public Schools again for their EDU iOS and macOS Bootcamp and present our second Solutions Summit. The summit—open to all enterprise, education, government and consultancy administrators—is an opportunity for Mac admins to present short TED-style talks (typically less than 10 minutes) about something he or she is passionate about, lessons learned from real life or a neat trick that saved time or frustration.

This is a community participation event! Start thinking about your talk and look for more details coming to your Inbox in a few weeks.

Target Lights tour 2016July 19 or 20 (TBD)

And in July, we bring back one of our most popular meetup venues from last year. Come see the lights again as Target Corporation hosts, presents and offers a tour of the Target Lights atop Target Plaza South in downtown Minneapolis. Discover how the EDGE team troubleshoots the string when a lightbulb goes out. Stay to hear about how they support their Mac users in very creative ways.

And more…

Don’t forget, we’ll discuss events and news in the meantime.

World Wide Developers Conference – June 5-9

We’ll discuss Apple’s announcements for the next macOS (Snow Sierra?) and iOS platforms.

MacAdmins Conference at Penn State – July 11-14

Are you planning to attend this year? Let us know! You won’t be traveling alone.

Continue reading Meetup – May 23, 2017

Meetup – October 18, 2016

Update [November 21, 2016]: We couldn’t record to Paul’s presentation due to technical issues, however, we asked him to re-present later for the University of Utah Mac Managers meeting in November.

What's new with managing Office for Mac

NOTICE: Our venue for this meetup has changed to Open Book in downtown Minneapolis.

Microsoft developer Paul Bowden returns to Twin Cities Mac Admins in person to present his latest work on Office 2016 for Mac. He’s responsible for Office installers and Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) and has made leaps and bounds helping Mac admins deploy and manage Office since joining them on the MacAdmins Slack team just a year ago.

Specifically, he’s introduced these new management features, resources and more with your input:

  • – A site with a detailed list of updates, documents and support tools
  • Volume License Serializer – A tool for easily deploying a volume license with non-VL installation
  • Github – Some Office application management scripts
  • The A-Team – A group of 14 Microsoft developers Paul has introduced to Mac admins on Slack
  • Office Insider – A tool letting admins preview and test features before release to the public
  • Admin-free updates – MAU no longer requires admin privileges to update Office software
  • Silent updates – Enabling MAU to update Office apps in the background
  • Manageable plists – MAU has several new plist keys for managing settings using configuration profiles
  • Scriptable MAU – Coming soon! Control MAU via command line
  • UpdateCache – Create your own internal Office software update server
  • OneDrive – Manage settings for Office apps to access to Microsoft’s cloud service
  • SQLite management – Upcoming tools for managing settings in the new sqlite database preferences file

This abbreviated meetup is a JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC) Mini Event hosted at Open Book in downtown Minneapolis, however, attendance is not limited to JNUC attendees. Anyone may attend, but please RSVP below.

Paul has started a Burning hot topics? discussion on JAMF Nation. Add your questions or comments there or speak with Paul in person at the meetup.

Continue reading Meetup – October 18, 2016

Meetup – September 22, 2016

“Being a geek in this town is really gratifying
because you don’t have to look very far to find your kindred spirits.”

In 2015, Forbes named Minnesota the fastest growing tech community in the country. It’s headquarters for large companies like 3M, Best Buy, General Mills and Target. It’s known as “Medical Alley” with major device companies like Medtronic, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific. And, of course, it’s a technology leader in the Apple management space with companies like Code 42 and JAMF Software.

For our September meetup, we’re gathering together to view the release of DocuMNtary: The Story of Tech in Minnesota.

Continue reading Meetup – September 22, 2016

tap tap tap... is this thing on?

Meetup – June 23, 2016

The microphonePeople form communities to find solutions to common problems. If you’ve ever had an inspired moment or if you’ve discovered a hidden nugget of wisdom, we ask you share it with us now.

For the past few years, Hopkins Public Schools has helped shape the Mac admin education community in Minnesota with its summertime conference focused on supporting Apple products in schools. This year, they’re opening the second day of their 2016 Hopkins EDU iOS & OS X Bootcamp “The Summer Apple Technical Thing” to include Twin Cities Mac Admins (including enterprise, government and consultancies) to form the first:

Solutions Summit

Have you ever seen a TED Talk? These are short talks (typically less than 10 minutes) where an individual provides an inspiring presentation about something he or she is passionate about. For this event, we want to try something similar. We are going to spend approximately 2.5 hours having individuals share a short presentation in a rapid fire session of presenters.

Here is your challenge:

You will get exactly 8 minutes (maximum) to show something cool that you do with a Mac or an iOS device. This compelling presentation should be related to your work managing Apple devices or something that you do on your own personal time. This could be a demonstration of an app that has changed your (the) world. You could demonstrate a management script that you wrote or an incredible workflow that you’ve created that has made your life easier. Another possibility would be an incredible video or series of photos you’ve created using Apple devices in some unique way.

We want you to show us your best thing. Remember — you get only 8 minutes to present.


  • You will get exactly 8 minutes. If you go over we will cut you off to make sure the next presenter has his/her 8 minutes.
  • So we don’t get 12 people all trying to present on the same thing, we are asking you to submit your presentation idea and the committee that is putting on this event will notify you if you are selected to present. Due to time we may not be able to accept every presentation submitted.
  • As part of your submission, please let us know if you have any unusual AV requirements beyond a microphone to amplify your voice, a plug in for connecting your device for audio amplification, and a projector.

Twin Cities Mac Admins Solution Summit Presenters Application:

Continue reading Meetup – June 23, 2016

Meetup – April 20, 2016

Update [May 30, 2016]: We had to postpone making our video of the April meetup available since we wanted to include the tour of the new Jamf headquarters. We think it was worth it!

A lot can happen in a year. Things move fast.

Brad and I were chatting in Slack the other day and we realized that just a year ago we both worked in the same office. Today we both work for different organizations. A year ago in our meetups, we were discussing the not-so-new Rootpipe vulnerability in OS X and a rumor Apple may be working on a way to let us install apps on iPads without Apple IDs. And a year ago, we held our April meetup in JAMF Software’s newly renovated Town Hall.

A year later and we’re planning to hold our April meetup in JAMF Software’s Town Hall again… But this time we’ll gather in their new offices in 100 Washington Square in downtown Minneapolis. To accommodate their rapid growth, they have moved down the street just a few blocks to a location that’s nearly four times the size and still has awesome views of the city.

Photos by Kevin C. Walker, Tech.MN. Click for more views of the new space.


Continue reading Meetup – April 20, 2016

Planes, trains and automobiles...

Bound for MacAdmins Conference at Penn State University

Many roads lead to State College, but where we’re going, we don’t need… roads. Because we’re flying.

Be a part of the Minnesota delegation to the MacAdmins Conference at PSU this year! A group of us flies out late Sunday morning, June 26, and returns the following Thursday evening around 9:00 p.m. If this is your first time attending, you’ll be traveling with folks you already know. And knowing somebody is the first step to meeting more of your colleagues from around the globe.

This conference is for professionals in both education and enterprise and has a good mix of attendees from both markets. It covers a broad range of topics from OS X to iOS, packaging to deployment, and commercial to open source solutions.

Organizers have dedicated the first day to all-day workshops, which are already posted. These are in-depth and sometimes hands-on workshops ranging from the fundamental to the downright nerdy. The remaining 2-1/2 days include up to 60 75-minute presentations from community members and conference sponsors.

If you’re planning to attend or want more information, let us know in the comments below or join the conversation in the #mspmacadmins channel in the MacAdmins team on Slack.

Continue reading Bound for MacAdmins Conference at Penn State University

Meet up Notes – February 2016

Target and their EDGE team hosted our first official meetup of 2016, and our venue was the highly fashionable and welcoming Target Plaza Commons.

Target Lights

The evening started with a tour of the Target Lights, a light display hosted atop the target world headquarters. Designed to resemble the natural wispy colors of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), the system was first powered on in 2001. However, the first light show was modified and displayed early as a response to the national events of September 11th with a red, white, and blue display.

Old Style Lights Three Color Wheel

Continue reading Meet up Notes – February 2016

Meetup – February 17, 2016

Target LightsFebruary’s meetup starts 34 stories up in the air with an optional tour of the Target Lights that shine nightly over the downtown Minneapolis skyline.

Our host (and Steering Committee member) Brian LaShomb manages the light display at the top of the Target Plaza South tower as part of his duties with the EDGE team at Target Corporation. He invites anyone interested in showing up a little early to get a view from the inside. This isn’t something the general public gets to see! Tour begins at 5:15 p.m.

We then head downstairs to the Target Plaza Commons for two presentations about Ansible — a technology company bringing Automation for Everyone. This DevOps tool, offering paid and open source versions, is a simple IT automation platform that makes applications and systems easier to deploy.

First, David Federlein with Ansible will introduce us to the software and tell us how we can benefit from automation. Then Pete Johnson and Brian, both engineers with Target, discuss how they use Ansible with JAMF Software’s Casper in their environment.

The Target Lights tour and meetup each require separation registrations. If you’re interested in both then please be sure to register for each.

Continue reading Meetup – February 17, 2016

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