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: https://www.mspmacadmins.org/live/.

Continue reading Meetup – December 17, 2015

We're gonna need a lot more NetBoot bolts!

JNUC Social Recap – October 28, 2015

Mac conference season is almost over. We have just one more left—Mactech Conference 2015 in Los Angeles, November 4-6. Minneapolis just finished hosting its sixth JAMF Nation User Conference, the largest Mac admins conference to date. For one week, the Stone Arch Bridge becomes probably the most photographed landmark in downtown and one of the iconic symbols of #JNUC.

Stone Arch Bridge

We return to the 360 degree view next week at the top of the Twin Cities! Our host is mono, an advertising, creative and design firm for clients such as Target, the NHL and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Their office is on the top floor of the MoZaic Art Park building in Uptown. And we’re devoting the entirety of this month’s meetup to a recap of the JNUC. Even if you’re not using Casper in your environment, the conference had many sessions about Mac administration that would apply anywhere.

Continue reading JNUC Social Recap – October 28, 2015

Anyone up for a road trip to Europe?

Meetup notes – August 26, 2015

RelaxAugust is a busy month for Mac admins. It’s the end of vacation season just before school starts and everyone is either taking PTO for that last summer family outing or covering for someone else who’s on vacation.

If you’re stuck in the office that means you’re wrapping up those overdue system updates, finishing student labs or getting your new servers in place and into production before peak season hits and Change Management says, “No changes for the next three months!” Sucks to be you. Or does it?

Sucks to be you. Or does it?

Most of your users are on vacation too! There are no interruptions to fix printer problems and email just seems to work during the month of August. Your commute hasn’t been bad lately either—seems like you’re seeing fewer cars on the road. Oooooh, and your co-worker’s free candy jar is your little secret that you don’t have to share with anyone.

Your “If I’m Hit by a Bus” disaster guide seems to be magically writing itself and the screen shots are flowing from your computer like water flows from a hose. What use to be a terse mess of techno-babble is now an administrative masterpiece you’re considering putting online for others to see. SharePoint finally makes sense!

Ah, it’s nice to go back to work and finally relax! This is admin nirvana.

Continue reading Meetup notes – August 26, 2015

‘I'm in the directory—look me up‘

Meetup – August 26, 2015

Uptown Apple briefing roomOur first Twin Cities Mac Admins meetup this year was in the middle of winter at the Uptown Apple Store in its briefing room. We return to Apple in the middle of summer for this month’s meetup.

What’s happened in the Mac admin community in seven short months? Plenty!

We’re seeing a surge of Mac admin meetups around the country. JAMF Software maintains a page of Casper User Groups. MacBrained is strong in San Francisco with meetups most every month. And both Chicago Apple Admins and Philly Mac Admins not only held their July meetups the same evening, but they had users Periscoping their talks. You could watch live streaming presentations or watch on the web up to 24 hours later.

Starting in June, we’ve had four major Mac conferences including Apple’s WWDC, PSU MacAdmins, MacIT and newcomer MacDevOps in Vancouver. We still have MacTech and JAMF Nation User Conference to go. If you’ll be in or near Sweden in late September and early October, be sure to check out MacSysAdmin 2015.

Slack has boomed too! Since May it has grown to nearly 1000 Mac admins and is probably by far the largest online gathering of Mac professionals every day. Not sure if you should be on Slack? We’ve got a primer for you.

Continue reading Meetup – August 26, 2015

Slack for Mac admins: A primer

SlackSlack is the new hotness for the Mac admin support community. Since May, more than 850 people have joined the MacAdmins team, which is now one of the larger virtual gatherings of professionals from the education, enterprise and consulting markets supporting Apple products using commercial and open source tools.

Why should you be on Slack?

The Mac admin community is global yet very close. Its members have a history of supporting each other with tools, scripts, best practices, job postings, meetups, conferences and personal friendships.

The Mac admin community is global yet very close.

Everyone needs support and everyone can provide support. That’s what makes a support community. Here’s how to jump in and get started with the Slack MacAdmins team—a welcoming community that’s easy to join.

  • team (tēm) noun A group coming together to achieve a common goal. MacAdmins is the Slack name for this community.

Continue reading Slack for Mac admins: A primer

‘Tell My Wi-Fi Love Her’

Meetup notes – July 15, 2015

We took a small hiatus from our monthly meetups in June but returned in July with plenty to discuss.

Conference season started with Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June followed by Penn State’s MacAdmins Conference in early July and IDG’s MacIT Conference just a week later. Conferences are perfect opportunities for deep-diving into both new and existing technologies. Nothing beats removing the distraction of the office and immersing yourself in a few days of concentrated career education.

But almost everyone who attends a Mac admins conference says the most valuable experience is between sessions in the hallways. That’s where you strike up conversations with complete strangers who, coincidentally, have the same frustrations and problems to solve as you. That’s where I met Tom Bridge a little more than a year ago.

Question: What do these have in common?
Full beer kegs
Full Beer Kegs
Tom Bridge
Tom Bridge
Brick wall
Brick Wall

Continue reading Meetup notes – July 15, 2015

Let's get physical!

Meetup – July 15, 2015

Wi-Fi signalMeetup Notes

If you go on vacation in Minnesota, you go up north. Even if you live in Embarrass, there’s still a little more north to go.

Tom Bridge is a consultant and Mac admin living in Washington, D.C., but his mother’s family is from the North Shore. He has many fond memories of summers there. He’ll be returning in mid July with his wife Tiffany and nearly two-year-old son Charlie to make some new memories.

I asked Tom if he’d mind stopping by for a quick presentation on his way and he was gracious enough to accept the invitation. This comes on the heels of the PSU MacAdmins conference where he’s presenting an all-day workshop Fundamentals of Wi-Fi (or, Arguing with Physics).

He’ll present an abbreviated version for us where I’m sure he’ll discuss those infuriating little bars—symbols of weakness, indicators of helplessness.

Our host for this meetup is Colle+McVoy, an advertising, design and branding agency in downtown Minneapolis.

Continue reading Meetup – July 15, 2015

'Mortimer, we're back!'

Apple announces new device management tools

This year’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) didn’t officially restore the IT track it’s had in past conferences, but Enterprise (including Education) returned to the agenda. And Apple has opened its WWDC 2015 conference videos to the public giving device administrators a glimpse of new features.

Device deployment and management

Apple’s most important session for Mac and iOS admins What’s New in Managing Apple Devices details many new features for supporting devices. Most improvements center around new Mobile Device Management (MDM) commands, settings and deployment.

Todd Fernandez, Senior Manager for Device Management, covered four major areas in his 52 minute presentation.

Continue reading Apple announces new device management tools

‘It’s great to be together!’

Study group – Pizza and Python

Tim Cook WWDC 2015 KeynoteTim Cook’s closing remark at this year’s WWDC keynote was “It’s great to be together!”

Those words couldn’t better describe why we have Twin Cities Mac Admins. Mac admin meetups and conferences are surging in popularity right now both north and south of the equator not only because we want to learn new things but because we want to be together and share our common interests.

Our next formal meetup isn’t until July 15 (more on that a little later after we’ve finalized the details) but we didn’t want to go nearly two months without gathering.

So, we’re planning two events in the meantime that are more on the social side.

We’ve already announced a meetup for July 1 after the Hopkins iOS & OS X in EDU Admin Bootcamp (more on that later too). But we hinted at our last meetup we may get a study group together for those participating in the Coursera Programming for Everybody (Python) online course.

Continue reading Study group – Pizza and Python

lpadmin, lpoptions, lpinfo, oh my!

Meetup notes – May 21, 2015

Faces are becoming important.

At our meetups over the past five months I’ve seen faces of former co-workers, customers, Twitter-friends and other members of the Mac admins community. And each month I still see new faces. Every meetup is a chance to reconnect with old friends and new friends—and eventually call everyone by name. (Insert theme song from Cheers!)

Meetup at the long table

We didn’t gather around a bar but we did gather around mono’s long table on the top floor of the MoZaic building in Uptown after spending part of a beautiful Thursday afternoon on the outside deck. Thanks, Grant Griffith and Patrick Mullen for hosting us at your office on top of Minneapolis.

Notes

We seated 21 Mac admins around the long table for the meetup and seated nearly a dozen around the tables at The Republic for our after-meetup gathering for dinner and drinks.

Continue reading Meetup notes – May 21, 2015

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