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:

Only your time.

Date & time:
Thursday, December 17th
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

JAMF Software
301 4th Avenue South
10th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Off-street parking is available in the Jerry Haaf Memorial Parking Ramp next to the Grain Exchange building and across the street in the Gateway Ramp across the street. Or use this guide to find more affordable parking.


5:00-5:30 p.m. — Arrival and socializing

5:30-6:00 p.m. — Introductions, about JAMF Software

Our host Bryson is a Desktop Services Specialist at JAMF Software who finds unique ways to support his users. He’s been busy the past couple of months presenting novel solutions using Casper at the JAMF Nation User Conference in October and switching from Lync to HipChat at the Atlasssian Summit in November. After a round of quick introductions back in his home office, he’ll tell us a little about what’s up with JAMF Software and maybe give us a tour.

6:00-6:30 p.m. — Brad, Brian and John lead an open discussion of current news

We learn from each other and this is a chance for our group to discuss what’s happening in the Mac admin world.

  • Mega-Apple Patch Tuesday: Update all the OSes!
    Apple chose Tuesday, December 8, to upgrade all the OSes: X, i, Watch and tv. iOS 9.2 now includes 
    Mail Drop, a feature released for Apple Mail on OS X back in October that uses iCloud to help send large attachments up to 5 GB. OS X 10.11.2 includes improvements for Wi-Fi, Handoff and AirDrop. WatchOS 2.1 includes more language support. And tvOS 9.1 adds Siri support as well as Remote app support for remote control and text input. Read more at Ars Technica.
  • Patch, patch, patch, patch, patch, patch…
    Intego reports iOS 9.2 patched 50 security vulnerabilities in addition to adding new features. One vulnerability allowed someone with a privileged network position (network administrator) to bypass HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). HSTS is a security protocol from a site that forces HTTPS communications rather than HTTP.
  • Swift goes Open Source as promised is Apple’s community for Swift 2.0 and higher developer software, which is hosted on GitHub. Snapshots of the software not only include OS X for development but Linux Ubuntu as well. Unlike Xcode, Swift will evolve in the community with community input. Read more at Ars Technica. IBM has also released its IBM Swift Sandbox, an interactive website allowing you to write Swift code and execute it in a Docker container on a Linux server!
  • Signed, sealed, won’t deliver
    According to Enterprise iOS, Apple is averaging about 13 days signing overlap between prior iOS versions and the most recently released version. Signing is Apple’s mechanism for validating iOS versions as they are installed onto devices. All methods for installing iOS must first validate with Apple. If it has stopped signing an older release then you can’t install it (can’t downgrade). This doesn’t stop currently installed versions working, but it does mean you have a very small window for vetting a new version before you’ll be forced to install it when preparing devices.
  • Big, bigger, biggest yet!
    Apple started shipping the iPad Pro around mid November. Is it enough of a professional grade tool to fit into enterprise? Is it too expensive for education? Although its performance capabilities are impressive, The Verge says developers are in a quandary because it’s still running a mobile OS that’s no more capable than the OS on an iPhone. Apple doesn’t allow trial software or paid upgrades to long-term users. Does it fit in your organization? Could it be a MacBook replacement?
  • Office 2016 for Mac – Relicensed
    Volume license customers who’ve already deployed Office 2016 for Mac or will be deploying it in early 2016 should be aware of some upcoming bug fixes. Microsoft will release v15.17 to fix deployment issues with licensing. They’ve identified another bug with licensing and will release a tool to help Mac admins correct the problem. Both fixes are coming in January.
  • BONUS Topic: Digital stocking stuffers for the Mac admin
    We may not all celebrate the same holidays but we all wear socks and love technology, right? What’s on your list of digital stocking stuffers? Wi-Fi tools? Backup utilities? Coding apps? Can you recommend an app or two that have really become an important part of your administrator’s toolbox?

6:30-6:50 p.m. — Bio-break and dinner

JAMF Software is providing pizza, beer and pop.

Paul Bowden6:50-7:50 p.m. — Main presentation

Bill along with Paul Bowden from Microsoft present:

Ask Paul Bowden

Microsoft is the largest software developer for Mac outside Cupertino, employing more than 200 product managers, developers, testers and engineers. Microsoft Office for Mac is probably the most installed third-party software on Macs in both enterprise and education.

Paul Bowden is responsible for the deployment, update and administration experience for Office for Mac. (You might think of him as that guy who makes the installers.) Paul did something extraordinary back in early November. He joined the #microsoft-office channel in the MacAdmins Slack team and started communicating directly with Mac admins.

He’s listened to our concerns about missing volume license files, Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) issues, patch management and more, and started making changes to support Mac admins who support Office for Mac. The 15.17 update in December should show some great improvements based on his outreach to the community.

We’ll spend an hour getting to know Paul and he’ll answer questions from Mac admins about Office for Mac.

7:50-8:00 p.m. — Wrap-up

We’ll ask for announcements from the group as well as job openings. Your next boss might just be in the same room!

After the meetup we’ll continue the conversation at Crooked Pint Minneapolis. If you can keep your evening open, we’d love to have you stay, meet and mingle with your peers.

We’ll also announce details about our February meetup including date, time and place.

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