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.


The new Town Hall is a little smaller but manages to accommodate much of the Minneapolis office for its Monday morning company meetings. The meetings are streamed live on big screens for everyone else in the office and across the globe using four remote-control cameras that show not only the presenter but the audience too.

Only your time.

Date & time:
Wednesday, April 20th
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

JAMF Software
100 South Washington Avenue
11th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Use this guide to locate nearby parking options as low as $3.00.


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

All guests are required to sign in using the iPad kiosk at the reception desk. The Town Hall is just to the left of the desk.

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

Bill and Bryson both get to host this evening. After a round of quick introductions, they’ll tell us a little about what’s up with JAMF Software and give us a tour of the new office space.

6:00-6:30 p.m. — Brad 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.

  • Vulnerabilities for sale
    After a heated back and forth battle, Apple and the FBI went back to their corners. Apple appears to have won the first round with regard to whether the government can coerce an organization to help it break into its own “secure” product. The FBI has reportedly gained access to a terrorist’s iPhone 5C, but at what cost? According to the Washington Post, the FBI paid a one-time flat fee for the solution. Will the government disclose the vulnerability to Apple or will it hold on to its secret?
  • Conferences! Conferences! Conferences!
    Anyone headed to MacAdmins at Penn State University in June? What will we learn from WWDC? Planning to attend MacIT in San Francisco? (Think again.) How about the local JAMF Nation User Conference in October? Our options for learning and networking with fellow Mac admins are plentiful. Given this year’s options, which conferences do you plan to attend?
  • It’s finally supported!
    iOS 6 quietly introduced a feature allowing devices to connect to wired Ethernet networks. But the series of costly parts to make it work looks like a Rube Goldberg contraption and has scared away many admins because they feared Apple may stop supporting the solution. In Apple’s March 21st event, Phil Schiller not only introduced the USB 3 Camera Adapter, but explicitly said it will work with Ethernet adapters.
    USB 3 Camera Adapter
  • SIP—Improved security or just smaller holes?
    Apple’s System Integrity Protection (SIP) feature introduced in OS X 10.11 El Capitan promised to be the most secure Mac OS yet. SIP prevents access to critical operating system areas by anyone, including an administrator. In late 2015, though, security researcher Pedro Vilaça and Ian Beer simultaneously (but separately) discovered a hole in SIP that would allow arbitrary code execution on any binary. They reported the vulnerability to Apple and it has patched the flaw in OS X 10.11.4.
  • All your data are belong to us
    The first OS X ransomware was detected in the wild in early March. The open source BitTorrent client Transmission was made a carrier for the KeyRanger malware (with a $400 pay-off) after the Transmission Project website was hacked by opportunistic scoundrels. The site has since added SSL security to prevent the same type of hack. The infected application was available for download March 4-5 before it was pulled and patched.
  • Go forth and download… again
    In mid February, Apple’s Worldwide Developer certificate for verifying third-party app and services integrity expired and Apple replaced it. As a side-effect, Apple’s own OS X installers were no longer validating and current operating systems wouldn’t trust them. Installers included not only El Capitan, but Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion… The only resolution for running the installers was to download new ones signed with the newer certificate. Gigabytes and gigabytes of installers.
  • Apple releases new portable hardware
    Apple released new MacBooks Tuesday and announced new MacBook Pro releases for June. They’ve also released a 9.7-inch iPad Pro as a smaller option in the iPad Pro line.

6:30-6:50 p.m. — Bio-break and dinner! JAMF Software is providing pizza and drinks. Come hungry!

Patrick T. Marsh6:50-7:50 p.m. — Main presentation

Patrick T. Marsh with the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center presents:

From GEMPAK to Python:
Evolution of the Storm Prediction Center’s Graphics In the Social Media Era

Python is not just a scripting language on a Mac but also an extensible development platform with tools for turning raw data into meaningful graphics. Learn how Patrick uses Python along with a handful of modules to convert strings of numerical data into the visual color-coded maps we see online and embedded into weather sites.

7:50-7:45-8:00 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 head over to the Runyon’s to continue the conversation. If you can keep your evening open, we’d love to have time to mingle and get to meet everyone.

We’ll also announce details about our May UNmeetup including date, time and place.

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