Meetup – November 16, 2017

Suite 16

What’s in a number?

In early 2018, Microsoft Office for Mac turns “16”. No, not 16 years old, but version 16.

Microsoft’s partnership with Mac admins has made deploying and managing Office 2016 for Mac easy. Through the MacAdmins team on Slack, we’ve had direct access to members of the teams who are responsible for new features, packaging, profile/plist management, user feedback and bug reports.

Join us at Jamf headquarters Thursday, November 16 (coincidence or not?), for a remote presentation from Paul Bowden and Erik Schwiebert from the Redmond campus at Microsoft. They’ll tell us what changes to expect in the next few months and how those changes will affect us. We’ll learn about their major engineering effort with version 16 to align the Mac code with the PC code (an effort years in the making) and what new features this code change helps bring to the Mac platform.

Get started

Microsoft is asking for our help to test workflows that may be impacted by the simple 15 to 16 number change, test scripts and VBA code against the changes in the code base, test third party add-ins your organization needs to remain productive and test deployment with third party management tools such as Jamf and munki.

This is a first-of-its-kind event where Mac admins can effect change before a new major Microsoft Office for Mac version ships to production. Join us to get started and learn how to participate.

We’ll be live-streaming this event using Google Hangouts at and taking questions via MacAdmins Slack in the #macbrained_twincities channel.

Cards Against IT

America’s #1 gerbil coffin

Are you a Cards Against Humanity fan? This is the highly addictive card game you can download and play for free! (Maybe you saw some of the JNUC 2017 attendees playing this at Brit’s Pub.) Just download the PDF and print your own set. But if you’d like a quality boxed set, pay $25 plus S&H and you’ll receive a handsome black & white gerbil coffin filled with more than 600 playing cards.

Varonis expands on the “party game for horrible people” by creating an expansion pack for “horrible admins” called Cards Against IT. Just like the base game, you can download the PDF for free (requires an email address) and print your own cards. Hate your Network Security team? Are you part of the Network Security team? You’ll receive a second expansion pack PDF featuring the “Super Secure InfoSec Cards”.

Or you can receive a printed set of the “Original Full Strength IT Cards” for free:

  • Follow Varonis on Spiceworks. They’ll randomly pass out a couple packs per day.
  • Comment on a Varonis post on Spiceworks.

Or come to our meetup on November 16 and win one of several boxed expansion packs we’re giving away that evening! We have five expansion packs along with some JNUC 2017 swag for our attendees that evening.

Only your time.

Date & time:
Thursday, November 16th
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

100 South Washington Avenue
11th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Use this guide to locate nearby parking options as low as $5.00. You’ll also find plenty of on-street parking nearby. Metered-parking is very easy to manage using the MPLS Parking app.


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

5:30-5:45 p.m. — Introductions, about Jamf

We’ll ask Bill and Bryson to emcee and give our hosts some time to tell us what’s new at Jamf.

5:45-6:30 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.

Say No to KRACK

Just as we finally got our non-technological friends or parents off WEP and onto WPA2, along comes KRACK! Short for Key Reinstallation AttaCK, this vulnerability exists in the third step in the four-way authentication handshake between devices and your Wi-Fi access point. Someone within range of your AP can decrypt traffic and steal passwords, credit card information and anything else you may consider private or sensitive. PCWorld’s recent article on KRACK discusses whether anyone’s seen this in the wild, who’s most vulnerable and how to protect yourself.

See you later, AVGater!

The best way to skip the line and get into that popular night club is to compromise (sorry, schmoooooze) the bouncers — turning the management’s own security against itself. Ars Technica discusses how the AVGater vulnerability is pwning multiple popular antivirus softwares by using their quarantine functions to escort in the malicious code. So far, this exploit appears to only compromise the Windows OS.

!P@55w0rd! Oopsie

This one’s been out for a few months, but it’s worth repeating. That guy who wrote the original National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines for creating secure passwords — usually at least eight characters, an upper case letter, lower case letter, number and symbol — says “Never mind“. He made it up. More secure passwords don’t require users to change them every 90 days or complexity requirements. Just make them longer but easier to remember. Okta helps debunk old myths about what we though was secure but really isn’t.

JNUClheads swarm the Twin Cities

OK, we’re at Jamf HQ this month. We had to bring this up. The Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC), currently the world’s largest gathering of Apple administrators, concluded less than a month ago. Since this one’s in our backyard, it’s an easy conference to attend. What were your thoughts about this year? Consider attending just one more — choose your own adventure.

6:30-6:50 p.m. — Dinner and bio-break

Paul BowdenErik Schwiebert 6:50-7:50 p.m. — Main presentation

Paul Bowden (left), and Erik Schwiebert (right) present:

Getting ready for Suite 16

Since its initial release in Summer 2015, Office 2016 for Mac has shipped monthly updates using the major version of ‘15’. For example, 15.37 was the August 2017 update, and 15.38 was the September 2017 update.

Microsoft is making a large engineering effort to align the Office 2016 for Mac code and feature set more closely to that of Office 2016 for PC—this will allow them to release new features on the Mac platform at a greater pace. To reflect this code alignment, Microsoft is incrementing the major version of the Mac product to ’16’. Learn how these changes will affect Office for Mac and the timeline for these upcoming changes in early 2018.

Macbrained Twin Cities Sticker7:50-8:00 p.m. — Wrap-up

Giveaways! We’ll have drawings for five Cards Against Humanity expansion packs from Varonis as well as JNUC swag from this year’s conference.

Come get your laptop-friendly Macbrained Twin Cities stickers! Everyone gets one. Use the secret passphrase: “Hey, [ Bill | Brad | Brian | Bryson | John ], gimme a sticker.”

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

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.

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