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

Meetup notes – December 17, 2015

Our last meetup of 2015 fell on the eve of the release of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. While preparing for our meetup, we were a little nervous attendance might be lower than expected. Quite to the contrary, though, we had one of our largest turnouts so far!

To say Thank You! for taking time out of your busy holiday season along with scheduling around “the movie we’ve been looking for”, please enjoy this five-hour long Darth Vader Yule log. We hope it brings you as much warmth as we’ve received putting together these meetups throughout the year.

Continue reading Meetup notes – December 17, 2015

Meetup – December 17, 2015

Pinned itemsOur host’s motto is “We code all winter.” We return to JAMF Software‘s Town Hall in downtown Minneapolis just before they slip away to their fiber-connected cabins up north for the next few months. This is your opportunity to find your favorite JAMF and drive home how you really need that new feature in Casper early next year.

Whether you’re a JAMF Software customer or not, though, our main presentation is for all Mac admins. Paul Bowden with the Apple Platform Experiences (APEX) team at Microsoft joins us on the big screen from Redmond for a question and answer session about Office 2016 for Mac. He’s your guy if you’ve ever wondered:

“Why doesn’t my volume license installer
actually install the license?”

“How do I stop those annoying
What’s New windows?”

“Why is Office for Mac
so friggin’ huge now!?”

“Why does my Office installer
download as a Windows .iso
instead of a Mac .dmg?”

“Can I use a choices XML file
when installing Office 2016 for Mac?”

The pinned items list in the #microsoft-office channel of the Slack MacAdmins team includes half a dozen tidbits of information that Paul has provided in the last few weeks. He’s also listening and taking feedback from Mac admins about how to make the admin and user experiences better.

If you’ve ever wondered how the sausage was made at Microsoft, bring your questions. We’ll also broadcast our meetup online for anyone outside the Twin Cities to ask questions too. We’ll spend an hour getting a developer’s perspective creating a major software product. Share your thoughts and raise your concerns around administering Office for Mac while you have the ear of someone who’s making a difference.

Watch the event live if you’re unable to attend in person:

Continue reading Meetup – December 17, 2015

We're gonna need a lot more NetBoot bolts!

JNUC Social Recap – October 28, 2015

Mac conference season is almost over. We have just one more left—Mactech Conference 2015 in Los Angeles, November 4-6. Minneapolis just finished hosting its sixth JAMF Nation User Conference, the largest Mac admins conference to date. For one week, the Stone Arch Bridge becomes probably the most photographed landmark in downtown and one of the iconic symbols of #JNUC.

Stone Arch Bridge

We return to the 360 degree view next week at the top of the Twin Cities! Our host is mono, an advertising, creative and design firm for clients such as Target, the NHL and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Their office is on the top floor of the MoZaic Art Park building in Uptown. And we’re devoting the entirety of this month’s meetup to a recap of the JNUC. Even if you’re not using Casper in your environment, the conference had many sessions about Mac administration that would apply anywhere.

Continue reading JNUC Social Recap – October 28, 2015

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