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:

Only your time.

Date & time:
Wednesday, July 19th
5:30 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.


4:30-5:00 p.m. — Lights Tour 1 @ Target Plaza North (1000 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN, 55403)

5:00-5:30 p.m. — Lights Tour 2 @ Target Plaza North (1000 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN, 55403)

5:30-6:15 p.m. — Arrival and socializing

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

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

6:30-7:00 p.m. — 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.

  • Death knell for Creative Cloud Packager
    At the 2017 MacAdmins Conference at Penn State University, Adobe announced it is deprecating its Creative Cloud Packager tool, widely used to deploy one or more Creative Cloud applications to client workstations. Balmes Pavlov relays his notes from the session in Automation of Adobe Creative Cloud Packages on his blog and offers his own suggestions for improvement.
  • I’m(aging) not dead yet!
    Imaging Macs with any Mac OS earlier than macOS 10.13 High Sierra has relied on Apple’s Software Restore (ASR) technology. The first 10.13 beta released to developers and beta testers showed the new Apple File System (APFS) would not restore with ASR. However, according to Rich Trouton’s Notes from WWDC 2017 Deployment Lab Part One post, “they [Apple engineers at WWDC] fully expect to support asr restores in the future, even with APFS”.
  • Mac malware from hell
    According to BleepingComputer, statistics released by Symantec on July 12 reported the second most widespread Mac malware today is a cryptocurrency miner called DevilRobber, which saw a huge spike in activity last month. DevilRobber took up only 2.4% of all the Mac malware detections in May 2017, but in June 2017 grew nine times its size to a whopping 21.6% of all detections. And according to Thomas Reed with Malwarebytes, we need to teach users how to identify fraudulent web sites and apps. Mac admins need to learn the telltale signs of an infection and they need to keep systems up-to-date with security patches. Tom was also a guest on Episode 43 of the Mac Admins Podcast.

7:00-7:20 p.m. — Dinner and bio-break

Michael HeldebrandtPete JohnsonBrian LaShomb7:20-8:20 p.m. — Main presentation

Michael Heldebrandt (left), Pete Johnson (middle) and Brian LaShomb (right) present:

Using Elastic Beats for endpoint visibility

Michael will begin with an introduction to Elastic and its open source search and analysis tools. Pete and Brian will continue with discussing how they use Elastic Beats, an agent for collecting and sending endpoint data to a central logging system, in their environment. And then Michael will give a more detailed view of the Beats platform and answer questions.

7:45-7:50 p.m. — Last call for beers!

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 visit with everyone.

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