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.

Only your time.

Date & time:
Wednesday, February 17th
5:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Target Plaza Commons
1011 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Off-street parking is available in surrounding ramps. Use this guide to locate nearby affordable parking.


5:15-5:45 p.m. — Optional Target Lights tour (separate registration required)

5:45-6:15 p.m. — Arrival and socializing

6:15-6:30 p.m. — Introductions, about Target Corporation

We’ll ask Brad to emcee and give our hosts some time to tell us what’s new at Target.

6:30-7:00 p.m. — BillBryson 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.

  • Don’t lose that Sparkle
    In late January, a Security Engineer who goes by Radek blogged about a man-in-the-middle (MitM) vulnerability in the ubiquitous Sparkle framework many applications use for automatic updates. “In short, all applications that use the Sparkle Updater framework and are connecting over HTTP instead of a secure HTTPS connection are vulnerable.” Popular apps include Adium, Coda, iTerm and VLC. Sparkle has provided a fix (v1.13.1) for both the vulnerabilities but developers still need to update their apps. Here’s a long list of Sparle-using apps.
  • VMware Fusion development moves to China
    VMware laid-off the US-based development teams that worked on its Fusion and Workstation desktop hypervisors on January 25. According to a former team member, the applications may not be long for this world, however VMware says this move does not impact the existence of the current product line and will continue “to invest in all of its offerings across the portfolio, with emphasis on our growth products.” VirtualBox, anyone?
  • Enterprise Connect coming to Education customers
    Rick Lemmon from Apple Professional Services started a conversation on JAMF Nation to answer questions about their product that provides a good level of Active Directory integration for Macs that are not domain bound. Details before this were scant and only available to large Apple customers. Some Mac admins would like to know why it’s simply not in the OS X system itself instead of being sold as a $5500 add-on with two days of engineering services. Apple Educations services say Enterprise Connect is in a pilot phase and hoping to launch for all Education customers by end of February.
  • First In, First Out
    Ars Technica reports a bug in Adobe’s Creative Cloud updater is deleting Mac user data without warning. A script activated by Creative Cloud deletes the contents in the alphabetically first folder in a Mac’s root directory. Backblaze, a data backup service, reports its users are begin heavily hit by this bug because they install a folder at the root of the volume named .bzvol. However, their product is not the only one affected. 
  • Apple School Manager coming for iOS
    iOS 9.3 is currently in beta and will introduce Apple School Manager and a new classroom app for Education customers. The classroom app is very similar to JAMF Software’s Casper Focus, which allows teachers to focus iPads to a single app during class. Additionally, Apple will offer the ability for schools to create and assign Apple IDs to students as well as a new shared iPad experience where students simply log in to an iPad portal and see their files.

7:00-7:15 p.m. — Bio-break

David Federlein7:15-7:45 p.m. — Main presentation 1

David Federlein presents:

Talking about Ansible 2.0

David Federlein is Director of Customer Success at Ansible, helping Enterprise Customers with Tower support and training classes.

7:45-7:50 p.m. — Last call for beers!

Pete JohnsonBrian LaShomb7:50-8:20 p.m. — Main presentation 2

Pete Johnson and Brian LaShomb present:

Automating Casper Infrastructure with Ansible

Pete is Lead Engineer on the EDGE team at Target and Brian is an Engineer on the EDGE team. They will discuss how they use Ansible in their Casper environment.

8:20-8:30 p.m. — Wrap-up

We’ll ask for announcements from the group as well as job openings.

After the meetup we’ll continue the conversation over at The News Room just down the street. If you can keep your evening open, we’d love to have time to chat and get to meet everyone.

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

Target Lights Tour
5:15-5:45 p.m.

We’ll set up visitor badges in advance. Please ensure your information is correct, including company name if applicable. We’ll meet in Target Plaza South, on the second floor (enter from street, then up the escalator) by the security desk.

5:45-8:30 p.m.

Please bring your ID for admission, this is a 21+ event. Target Team Members Pete Johnson and Brian LaShomb present how the EDGE team at Target automates provisioning of their JAMF Software Casper setup using Ansible. Beer and swag giveaways!

Comments are closed.