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Tuesday March 17

13:15
About the security content of Safari 8.0.4, Safari 7...

This document describes the security content of Safari 8.0.4, Safari 7.1.4, and Safari 6.2.4.

| Read more »
09:16
Use AirPlay to wirelessly stream content from your...

With AirPlay, you can stream music, photos, and videos to your Apple TV, or stream music to your AirPort Express or AirPlay-enabled speakers. And with AirPlay Mirroring, you can display your iOS screen on your Apple TV.

| Read more »
09:00
Laundry innovator wrings insights and productivity...

Today’s post about Office 365 was written by John Buccola, chief information officer at WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems.

I had been on the job barely a week when WASH made its biggest acquisition ever: Coinamatic, Canada’s largest multifamily laundry service. Overnight, our company grew by a third, and I had to do my part to get email and other services to our 300 new team members as quickly as possible—connecting them to the culture and the business.

It hasn’t slowed down since.

WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems installs washers and dryers in apartment complexes, military bases, college dorms and other multifamily settings. We’ve grown like crazy since the company was founded in 1947, doubling in the past five years. Today we have more than half a million installed machines in 75,000 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Five million people do their...

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09:00
Universitas Gadjah Mada—enhancing learning and...

Today’s post on Office 365 was written by Widyawan, Ph.D. and director of the Directorate of Systems and Information Resources at the Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Our educational philosophy at the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) is deeply rooted in the culture of our country: the university was founded shortly after we declared independence in 1945. We are committed to preparing our students for a modern, global workplace. So while our students fulfill their mandatory, two-month rural community service, you’ll likely find them using mobile devices to access their latest class assignments. It’s scenarios like this that reflect the high priority we place on using technology to improve the quality of our academic services. As the director of the Directorate of Systems and Information Resources, I am responsible for integrating technology and educational resources to transform...

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09:00
White House 2016 budget in 3D using Power Map for...

Today’s post was written by Igor Peev, senior program manager on the Power Map for Excel team.

On February 19th, I received an email from Vice President Joe Biden. I have never had the pleasure to meet our Vice President and I was a little surprised. The email looked legit and not like a phishing scam. The subject of the email was “Good Job.” I figured the email was sent to millions of people and I was one of them, but because I like compliments, I opened it.

The first sentence in the email read, “This time of year, I like to break out a little saying: Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.” I searched the web for “White House budget dataset,” and found just the thing I was looking for. The dataset containing the information about the White House 2016 budget announcement was posted as a...

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06:00
Announcing Azure ExpressRoute connectivity to Office...

Today’s post was written by Julia White, general manager for the Office 365 team.

We’re pleased to announce that starting later this year, Office 365 customers will be able to use Azure ExpressRoute to establish a private, managed connection to Office 365. This is something our customers have been asking for since ExpressRoute launched last year. Currently, ExpressRoute provides customers with dedicated network connectivity through a private connection from their network to Microsoft Azure, and we’re excited to extend the same option for connectivity to Office 365.

With network performance as predictable as your own on-premises environments, you might think of ExpressRoute for Office 365 like having the full Office 365 productivity solution in your own datacenter. ExpressRoute will offer Office 365 customers more predictable network performance, the...

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05:00
Mac Admin Meets Jägermeister

Charles corrupts all the admins (click for the animation – it’s beautiful).

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Monday March 16

10:00
OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (14D105g) Now Available

OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (14D105g) Now Available

| Read more »
10:00
OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (14D105g) Now Available

OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (14D105g) Now Available

| Read more »
08:58
X World: See You At The Sydney Mac Conference

I’ll be doing a couple of presentations in Sydney on July 9th and 10th at X World. Judging from the sessions in past years, it looks to be a great time that’s sure to make you smarter!

If you’re able, check it out at http://auc.edu.au/xworld/about/.

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06:47
Pepijn Bruienne Reverse-Interview by Charles Edge,...

Once again donning the yellow jersey, Charles Edge returns to reverse-interview Pepijn Bruienne, recorded back at the turn of the year. We’re so happy to have Charles back with his new role at Bushel, mostly because we can finally drag out the ‘scrum masters’ tag again. Lovingly polished by the awesome Aaron Lippincott, we’re splitting this one in two to get it out sooner rather than later.

About Allister Banks

Allister has had the honor of writing a book with Charles Edge (http://url.aru-b.com/packtbook), an article or two for MacTech Magazine, and speaking at conferences like MacAdmins Conference at Penn State. He lives in NYC, contributes to various open source projects, and speaks enough Japanese to order food.

...

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05:30
Get ready for Skype for Business

Today’s post was written by Giovanni Mezgec, general manager for the Skype for Business team.

Today at Convergence, our CEO Satya Nadella encouraged companies to embrace the open exchange of information using intelligent, collaborative tools that enable people and organizations to achieve more. Delivering technology that helps people connect—to discuss, share and collaborate—is central to Microsoft’s mission to reinvent productivity.

We announced last November that the next version of Microsoft Lync would become Skype for Business. I am thrilled to announce that the technical preview of the Skype for Business client starts today, and that the new client, server and online service will become generally available starting in April! The tech preview gives...

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05:30
Office Delve—discover exactly what you need, when...

Today’s post about Delve was written by Julia White, general manager for the Office 365 team.

In his keynote today at the Convergence conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella showed Office Delve as a prime example of how Microsoft is reimagining productivity to help people work in new and more connected ways. Delve is an experience within Office 365 that surfaces relevant content and insights tailored to each person. It is powered by the Office Graph, an intelligent fabric that applies machine learning to map the connections between people, content and interactions that occur across Office 365.

Today, we are excited to announce the rollout of Delve to all eligible Office 365 business customers worldwide. We’re also pleased to announce that Delve now surfaces content from email and social feeds within Office 365.

...

| Read more »
05:30
Announcing the Office 2016 IT Pro and Developer...

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office 365 Client Apps and Services team.

I’m pleased to announce the IT Pro and Developer Preview of Office 2016 for the Windows desktop. We’ve been in private preview with Office 2016 for several months. Now we’re ready to expand the program to our commercial Office 365 customers, an important milestone that gives IT pros and developers an opportunity to start testing the upcoming release. To be clear, this early build doesn’t yet contain all the features we’re planning to ship in the final product. However, through the course of the preview, customers should expect to see new features delivered through monthly updates.

We’ll share more on the end-user enhancements planned for this release at a later date, but here’s a brief summary of some of the valuable updates for IT pros and developers.

Data Loss Protection (DLP)—Over the last few years we’ve added...

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Friday March 13

09:00
Administer on the go with the updated Office 365...

Today’s post was written by Lawrence Chiu, senior product marketing manager on the Office 365 team.

Administer Office 365 on the go with the updated Office 365 admin app, which now enables you to complete common admin tasks when you are away from your computer. This could be resetting your CEO’s password, adding a new hire or deleting a user who suddenly has left the company. In addition, to help you stay in better touch with us, we added the Message Center—a central location for Office 365 service communications.

This short video highlights some of the new capabilities:

When you log in to the app, the new dashboard, featuring four Notification Tiles, is displayed. You can quickly see useful information about your Office 365 environment including: number of users who don’t have Office 365 licenses, the current health of your service, number of recent messages and number of active service requests....

| Read more »

Thursday March 12

10:00
OneNote Clipper 2.0—introducing a more powerful and...

Today’s post was written by Avneesh Kohli, program manager on the OneNote team.

Today, we’re introducing OneNote Clipper 2.0–a major update that offers enhancements for capturing web content into OneNote and enriching that content to make it more useful. The OneNote Clipper is the easiest way to save anything from the web to OneNote.

Responding to some of the more popular requests from Clipper users, in this update we’ve added a redesigned user interface, a location picker, intelligence (for clipping just what you need, minus the clutter), and region clipping for Chrome.

Redesigned user interface

We’ve designed a beautiful new experience for clipping pages to OneNote in your favorite web browser. It’s clean, takes up significantly less space in your window, and includes animations we think you’ll enjoy.

...

| Read more »
10:00
iOS 8.3 beta 3 Now Available

iOS 8.3 beta 3 Now Available

| Read more »
10:00
iOS 8.3 beta 3 Now Available

iOS 8.3 beta 3 Now Available

| Read more »
10:00
Xcode 6.3 beta 3 with Swift 1.2 Now Available

Xcode 6.3 beta 3 with Swift 1.2 Now Available

| Read more »
10:00
Xcode 6.3 beta 3 with Swift 1.2 Now Available

Xcode 6.3 beta 3 with Swift 1.2 Now Available

| Read more »
10:00
OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (14D98g) Now Available

OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (14D98g) Now Available

| Read more »
10:00
OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (14D98g) Now Available

OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (14D98g) Now Available

| Read more »
10:00
OS X Server 4.1 Developer Preview (14S1062i) Now...

OS X Server 4.1 Developer Preview (14S1062i) Now Available

| Read more »
10:00
OS X Server 4.1 Developer Preview (14S1062i) Now...

OS X Server 4.1 Developer Preview (14S1062i) Now Available

| Read more »
09:00
Sway Use Case series #1: Educator Sways

Sway makes it easy for you to create and share an interactive and multimedia-rich canvas that brings your ideas to life. It’s been amazing to see the variety of Sways created by educators, students, travelers, hobbyists, small business employees and more to share their passions, stories and expertise. This blog series is all about highlighting great examples of Sways across a variety of different scenarios.

In today’s blog, we’ll celebrate a number of interesting ways that educators are using Sway. Educators are always looking for new, easy-to-use tools to liven up the classroom and enhance the quality of their teaching. Sway is helping teachers engage their students, parents, and other teachers in exciting new ways—all while saving time and helping them focus on the important work they do in and around the classroom. Here are some highlights:

Swaying students with an interactive lesson and study guide

Alex Smilovitis (@mistersmilo) has been creating a number...

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09:00
Students discover the power of the collective...

Students across the country are discovering the transformative power of their combined actions through OneNote’s Collective Project. Last fall, the OneNote team realized that many students today are energized to create positive change in the world. But with little or no income and limited free time, they are ill-equipped to do so. The OneNote Team wanted to show students that their ideas, passions and collaborative efforts could result in actions that change the world. The OneNote Collective Project was born out of a need to recognize those students and rally their community to help them in their cause by using tools such as OneNote to achieve their goal using collaboration.

We combed college campuses across the U.S. and interviewed amazing students to find those whose ideas and causes could be an inspirational spark to everyone else. All of the students we are highlighting exemplify generosity of spirit by setting aside their individual goals and agendas in favor of the...

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09:00
Office 365 Developer Podcast: Episode 037 on ng-conf...

In this episode Jeremy Thake talks to Dan Wahlin and Andrew Connell about ng-conf last week and our news on our Office 365 APIs supporting CORS.

http://officeblogspodcastswest.blob.core.windows.net/podcasts/EP37.mp3

Download the podcast.

Weekly updates

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07:34
Get Hyperion Enterprise to Run on Windows 2008 64 bit

Hyperion Enterprise is still a 32-bit app. So to get it to run in IIS, you’ll need to make sure that 32 bit apps can run in those containers. To enable 32-bit apps in IIS, run the following command (assuming that IIS is installed in the default location and that your Windows directory is C:\Windows:

C:\Windows\system32\inetsrv\appcmd set config - section:applicationPools - applicationPoolDefaults.enable32BitAppOnWin64:true

If you need to undo this for any reason, simply run the following from a Windows command prompt:

C:\Windows\system32\inetsrv\appcmd set config - section:applicationPools - applicationPoolDefaults.enable32BitAppOnWin64:true

Note: You’ll obviously need to be an admin (or elevate your privileges) to run these commands.

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01:00
OneNote for iPhone note previews and OneNote for Mac...

Today’s post was written by Anav Silverman program manager on the OneNote team.

Today, we are releasing updates to OneNote for iPhone that introduce note previews and notebook re-ordering; and OneNote for Mac that deliver enhanced notebook sharing features. In addition, we recently released an exciting update to the OneNote Clipper for Mac and Windows desktop.

OneNote for iPhone–note previews and notebook re-ordering

Note previews are especially handy when you are on the go and need to a find a specific note in a pinch. With a quick glance at your page list, or your Recent Notes list, you can scan snippets of your notes, including visual content like photos and handwriting, which...

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Wednesday March 11

09:00
Easier navigation and playback with Office Mix

Normally in our Office Mix posts, we explain one or more of the features for authoring new mixes. Today, want to share some cool things about the playback experience that you might not have noticed.

Slide Sorter view

One of the benefits of Office Mix is that mixes, unlike normal web videos, are partitioned by slides, not by time. For example, have you ever watched a web video, only to wish you could “go back” to a certain part and watch it again? Usually, to re-watch a portion of the video, you have to drag a timeline slider to start at just the right moment. With Office Mix, you just click the slide section on the timeline, which makes it easier to start playback at just the right time.

But it gets better. PowerPoint has a nifty feature called the Slide Sorter, which lets view multiple slides at the same time. We liked it so much that we applied the same idea to the OfficeMix.com player. When you watch a mix...

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Tuesday March 10

09:00
Engineering success in the cloud

Today’s Office 365 post was written by Daniel M. Horton, chief information officer at Michael Baker International, a leading global provider of engineering and technical consulting services

Pushing the technology envelope brings innovation and mobility to clients—that’s real value that we add to help them achieve strategic objectives. The engineering and development projects that our company performs position us to better understand what global companies need to succeed in the twenty-first century. To that end, we recently began to move our own infrastructure into the cloud.

Making any major technology transition requires diligence, focus and a deep understanding of alternatives. For example, facing a messaging system upgrade in 2014, we carefully reviewed our options, one of which was to adopt Microsoft Office 365 cloud services.

After evaluating the...

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01:00
OneNote welcomes partner Obindo

Over the course of the last year, we’ve been excited to welcome more and more partners to the OneNote ecosystem, as we combine forces to increase the power of the tools you use every day to get stuff done. Today, we’re excited to highlight another great partner, Obindo—a new Google Chrome extension to help you capture ideas and files from Gmail and send them to OneNote or Yammer without leaving your inbox.

Obindo routes all your great ideas, thoughts and files, which often get stuck in email to OneNote where you can work with them more easily. Rather than having to continually switch back-and-forth from Gmail to OneNote, you can make sure information is saved to OneNote where it belongs.

Obindo also works with Yammer. If you receive a message in Gmail that you would like to share with others in your organization, just click the Yammer button on the Obindo toolbar. You can use Obindo to share a conversation or set of...

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Monday March 9

13:00
Xcode 6.2 including iOS 8.2 SDK with WatchKit Now...

Xcode 6.2 including iOS 8.2 SDK with WatchKit Now Available

| Read more »
13:00
Xcode 6.2 including iOS 8.2 SDK with WatchKit Now...

Xcode 6.2 including iOS 8.2 SDK with WatchKit Now Available

| Read more »
11:40
About the security content of Xcode 6.2

This document describes the security content of Xcode 6.2.

| Read more »
09:00
Support corner webcast—what’s new in Project Online...

Join us this Tuesday, March 10th at 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. ET for a discussion on what’s new in Project Online and Project Server 2013.  This webcast will cover recent updates to Project Online as well as details of the March 2015 updates for our on-premises customers of Project and Project Server 2013.

Presenters—Adrian Jenkins has been at Microsoft for 25 years and has spent most of his time working on Microsoft Project in one capacity or another. Currently, he is a senior escalation engineer and works heavily with the cumulative update release process, future directions and so forth. Brian Smith is a senior escalation engineer on the Project support team and has been supporting Project Server for as long as it has existed.  He  also now supports Project Online and Project Pro for Office 365.

Join Lync Meeting | Conference ID: 704980577

Office 365 support webcasts are a critical...

| Read more »
01:00
OneNote and AVID—positively impacting my students...

Today’s post on OneNote for Education was written by Madeline “Brandi” Collins, AVID elective teacher/site coordinator at San Jacinto Intermediate School in Pasadena, Texas.

There is an old saying, “When you find a job you love, you will never have to work another day in your life.” For me, no words have ever been more true and I can say without a doubt that I stopped working three years ago when I began teaching AVID at San Jacinto Intermediate in Pasadena, Texas. AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. AVID began with one teacher’s extraordinary vision for one group of students and more than 30 years later, AVID reaches 800,000 students in 44 states and 16 countries/territories.

AVID teachers are taught to focus on what I like to call the big three: Binders, Cornell...

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Friday March 6

10:00
Increasing opportunities for JavaScript developers...

Today’s post was written by Jeremy Thake, product marketing manager on the Office 365 team.

Today, we launched new capabilities to allow JavaScript developers to interact with the Office 365 APIs. The OneDrive for Business and Sites APIs now have cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) support and Mail/Calendar/Contacts are coming soon. As more Office 365 API endpoints come online for services they will also support this including Office Graph, Yammer, Video Portal, Skype and content services.

Developers now have the choice to call the Office 365 APIs from the server-side or client-side. This means developers can write single page applications, which have a better user experience and better performance, because they don’t have to proxy all their calls through a server-side façade service.

As we have said in the past, we are listening on all the channels we encourage you to participate on (UserVoice,...

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02:00
Office 365 News Round-Up

Microsoft Office was initially conceived as a productivity tool for business—the name says it all—and many people had their first experience with Office applications either at work or at school. Office is still essential for many businesses, of course, and companies of all sizes are realizing even more benefits by adopting Office 365 and moving to the cloud. Today, Office 365 is also an important tool for education and government, helping schools, universities and government agencies reduce costs, enhance collaboration and increase productivity.

During the past two weeks, we made it easier than ever for students worldwide to get free access to Office 365, which will help them develop the skills they’ll need to succeed when they enter the...

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Thursday March 5

10:00
3 updates to Excel Power Query

A new update for Excel Power Query is now available to you! This update includes tremendous Performance improvements, a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online connector and a couple of new transformations supported in the UX.

Please take a look at the details below and download this update from the Official Power Query download page.

What’s new in this update?

The following features have been added or improved in this update:

  • Performance improvements
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online connector
  • New transformations

Watch the following video and then continue reading below for more details.

Performance improvements

We’ve made significant Performance improvements to Power Query in a couple of areas:

  • Query load—Performance of loading queries has improved by about 2x-3x in this...
| Read more »
10:00
The Office 2016 Mac Preview is here!

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office 365 Client Apps and Services team.

Today is a big day for the Mac community–we’re excited to announce that a preview of the new Office 2016 for Mac is now officially available! Click here to give it a try and please send us your feedback.

Office 2016 for Mac is powered by the cloud so you can access your documents on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint at anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Cloud connected with OneDrive, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint.

Similar to our recent announcements of universal Office apps for Windows 10 and...

| Read more »
10:00
Office 365 Developer Podcast: Episode 036 on Office...

In this episode Jeremy Thake talks with Matthias Leibmann about the new app-only scenarios with the Exchange Online Office 365 APIs.

http://officeblogspodcastswest.blob.core.windows.net/podcasts/EP36.mp3

Download the podcast.

Weekly updates

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09:38
Thunderstrike Need-To-Know

When we heard about the ‘bootkit’ exploit branded Thunderstrike having the potential to remove all of your security controls it was pretty disturbing. Luckily Apple controls a relatively small number of models, and released a patch for several affected CPU versions, bundling it with 10.10.2 so as to lessen the number of reboots required. Unfortunately Apple doesn’t seem to have updated this page of boot ROM versions accurately. (You can query the current boot ROM value of your fleet with this munki conditional by Graham Gilbert.)

Still, in the description about what the security content of the patch (as separately provided to 10.8 and 10.9 as security update 2015-001) contains, they get...

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Wednesday March 4

22:13
See Version Information In Linux

There are a number of ways to see information about what version of Linux that you’re running on different

cat /etc/lsb-release

Which returns the distribution information, parsed as follows:

DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
DISTRIB_RELEASE=12.04.5
DISTRIB_CODENAME=precise
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (LTS)"

LSB_release can also be run as a command, as follows:

lsb_release -a

Which returns the following:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (LTS)
Release: 12.04.5
Codename: precise

lab_release can be used as a command as well:

cat /etc/issue.net

Which returns:

Ubuntu Precise Pangolin
(development branch)

In Debian, you can simply look at the version file:

cat /etc/debian_version

Which returns the following:

wheezy/sid

Or Red Hat Enterprise can also be located...

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13:57
Put your Apple TV into sleep or standby mode

You don't need to turn off your Apple TV. It will go into sleep or standby mode automatically when you're not using it. You can also put it into sleep or standby mode using your Apple TV remote.

| Read more »
10:15
A new foundation for connected business processes at...

Today’s Office 365 post was written by Dr. Matthias Geselle, a Vice President, member of the IT leadership team at Merck. Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company and is operating in 66 countries. Since 1668 the name has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. It does business as EMD Millipore and EMD Serono in the United States and Canada.

Connect 15 is Merck’s companywide program to replace the fragmented landscape of collaboration, messaging, and communication tools into a unified Microsoft technology, which simplifies communications around the world and facilitates collaboration between our employees, partners, and customers. When everything is implemented Connect 15 will enable a new way of working within Merck. The first step in our initiative was updating our Office suite from Office 2007 to Office 365 ProPlus,...

| Read more »
02:00
Understanding network connectivity to optimize your...

If you have ever wondered how network connectivity to Office 365 works, today’s Office Mechanics show gives you an insider’s look at datacenter and network coverage in Office 365. Jeremy Chapman is joined by Paul Andrew to demonstrate tools for optimizing network performance by planning capacity when connecting users to Office 365, troubleshooting bandwidth and latency, plus tips for setting up your network for peak performance.

In this show we demonstrate several tools ranging from capacity planning in OneDrive for Business to network traces as we not only explain the physics behind the global connectivity of the Internet, but also what you can do as an admin to get the most from Office 365.

| Read more »
02:00
What’s new: February 2015

February may be a short month, but it was packed with Office 365 updates. You can now preview the next chapter of Office on Windows, scan documents into PDF files from your Windows Phone, work with Office files stored in third-party cloud storage, handwrite and draw in OneNote for iPad and much more. There’s a host of improvements for business, too. Two new compliance capabilities and a new admin mobile app were added, Yammer and Power Map for Excel both got new features, and many security improvements were added for password-protection on mobile device, identity and access management, and encryption. And for millions of eligible students around the world, it’s now easy to sign yourself up to get free Office from your school. Leave us a comment to let us know what your favorite new feature is. If you missed last month’s updates, see What’s new: January 2015.

Office 365 Personal, Office 365 Home and...

| Read more »

Tuesday February 24

13:20
Xserve (Early 2009): Power consumption and thermal...

Learn about the power consumption and thermal output of Xserve (Early 2009) computers.

| Read more »
13:20
Xserve (Early 2009): Power consumption and thermal...

Learn about the power consumption and thermal output of Xserve (Early 2009) computers.

| Read more »
13:10
If Lion Server has share points and privileges you...

When migrating data and settings from Lion Server to OS X Server (Mountain Lion), previously configured share points will not be retained. Make note of any existing share points prior to migration.

| Read more »
13:10
If Lion Server has share points and privileges you...

When migrating data and settings from Lion Server to OS X Server (Mountain Lion), previously configured share points will not be retained. Make note of any existing share points prior to migration.

| Read more »
12:38
If you can't send or receive messages on your...

You might see an exclamation mark next to a message you try to send, or you might not receive messages that someone sends to you. These steps can help. 

| Read more »

Monday February 23

15:50
Apple Web Server notifications

This article provides credit to people who have reported potential security issues in Apple's web servers.

| Read more »

Thursday February 19

12:53
Find the serial number of your Apple hardware product

Learn how to find the serial number of an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, or other Apple product.

| Read more »

Tuesday February 17

07:25
Stop Remediating While you Audit

Let’s talk about orchestration. This term is different than just applying the normal set of configuration profiles you want near-permanently enforced on the workstations under your management. Too much theory isn’t necessarily helpful, but sometimes I come across something that feels right, and then experience validates it as a real, valuable practice to follow. My thesis: you should not affect a change through orchestration on the same pass as you check if the change is necessary. Taking a step back, orchestration as a concept, in my own definition, means you’re leading the customers under your care through a change. Better practices of sysadminery include not having too rigid or monolithic a structure when piecing your workflow together. These concepts combine when I see folks talk about (potentially continuously) affecting changes without first, separately, discovering/evaluating/assessing what needs to change, or the impact it will have to make it.

... | Read more »

Friday January 30

11:03
Enhancing Sal with Facter and Profiles

In a previous post, I showed how to set up Sal.

Sal‘s basic functionality is useful on its own, for the basic Munki reporting – what are the completed installs, pending updates, what OS versions, how many devices checked in the past 24 hours, etc. In this post, I’m going to demonstrate how to get more out of Sal.

Adding in Facter:

You can add much more, though, by the use of Puppet, and more specifically, the piece of Puppet called Facter. Facter is a separate program that works with Puppet that simply gathers information (“facts”) about the host OS and stores them (ostensibly so that Puppet can determine what the machine’s state is and what needs to happen to it to bring it in line with configured policy).

At the bottom of Sal’s...

| Read more »

Tuesday January 27

10:00
About the security content of Apple TV 7.0.3

This document describes the security content of Apple TV 7.0.3.

| Read more »
09:59
About the security content of OS X Yosemite v10.10.2...

This document describes the security content of OS X Yosemite v10.10.2 and Security Update 2015-001

| Read more »
09:57
About the security content of iOS 8.1.3

This document describes the security content of iOS 8.1.3

| Read more »
09:50
About the security content of Safari 8.0.3, Safari 7...

This document describes the security content of Safari 8.0.3, Safari 7.1.3, and Safari 6.2.3. 

| Read more »

Monday January 26

15:14
Using Puppet with WebHelpDesk to Sign Certs, with...

In a previous post, I showed how to use Munki with Puppet SSL Client certificates in a Docker image.

In that example, the Puppetmaster image is set to automatically sign all certificate requests. Good for testing, but not a good idea for production use.

Instead, we should look into Puppet policy-based signing to sign requests only based on some credentials or criteria we control. This means that random nodes can’t come along and authenticate to the Puppet master, and it also means that the Puppet admin won’t have to manually sign every node’s certificate request. Manually signing works great for testing, but it quickly spirals out of control when you’re talking about dozens, or hundreds (or...

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Friday January 23

10:58
Running Munki with Puppet SSL Client Certificates

Previously, I showed how you can run Munki in a Docker container. Then, I talked about how to build Munki to use Puppet for SSL certificates.

Assuming you’ve got a running Puppetmaster image (which I talked about building here), let’s run the Munki-Puppet image we just built.

Running the Container:

Run a data-only container to keep our data in:
docker run -d --name munki-data --entrypoint /bin/echo macadmins/munki-puppet Data-only container for munki

Run the Munki container by linking it to the Puppetmaster:
docker run -d --name munki --volumes-from munki-data -p 80:80 -p 443:443 -h munki --link puppetmaster:puppet...

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10:49
Building Munki with Puppet for SSL Client...

Note: this is based on the README for the Munki-SSL docker container.

In a previous post, we ran a Docker container serving Munki repo content via Nginx. That works fine, but only serves insecure HTTP content. It’s generally in everyone’s best interest to use a secure connection between the Munki web server and its clients, and that’s described in detail: either through basic authentication or with SSL client certificates.

Using SSL client certificates is not a trivial matter, as it involves setting up a CA, or using a third-party CA to generate your client certificates, which involves a lot of work on both server and client end....

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09:28
Building a Puppetmaster with Docker

This is based on the README I wrote for the macadmins/puppetmaster image.

Puppet is an industrial-strength cross-platform configuration management engine. Though you’ll find lots of existing Puppetmaster images on the Docker registry, this one will serve as the baseline for other expanded uses of Puppet – such as using it with Munki and SSL client certificates.

This is a walkthrough for building a Puppetmaster Docker container.

Building Puppetmaster into a Docker container:

Let’s start with our Dockerfile:
FROM centos:centos6
MAINTAINER nmcspadden@gmail.com
ENV PUPPET_VERSION 3.7.3
RUN rpm --import...

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05:11
Running Munki in Docker

In the previous post, I built a container that serves static files at http://munki/repo using Nginx.

Now that we have build the Docker image, let’s put it to use.

Data Containers

We’re going to hook up the Munki image to a data-only container. Data-only containers are a way of keeping data portable and not tying it to specific locations or configurations on the host OS. This data-only container serves one purpose: to store the contents of the Munki repo and share it with other containers. The benefit to doing this is that we can raise and destroy as many Munki server containers as we want without losing any data (such as the contents of the Munki repo).

Creating a Data Container:

Create a data-only container to host the Munki repo:
docker run -d --name munki-data --entrypoint /bin/echo nmcspadden/munki Data-...

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Thursday January 22

17:57
Building Munki with Docker

Munki is an incredible tool for Mac software deployment, and the setup process is fairly straightfoward – configure a web server, create your repo, run the tools to populate it with software, and configure clients.

It’s the “configure a web server” aspect that may give some pause, as setting up and configuring Apache or Nginx has a bit of a learning curve, and many OS X admins may not necessarily have access to or control over network infrastructure or server infrastructure to do this easily, especially in education.

Docker simplifies this process quite a bit, because you can create a simple webserver with only a few commands that will give you exactly what you need to start serving Munki content – and you can easily transport this Docker webserver from host to host, as it’s designed to be portable and self-contained.

In this example, we’ll use my fork of...

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Wednesday January 14

12:20
When Yosemite has Fallen, and it Can’t Get Up

People are noticing a symptom, branded LoginLockout (credit @andrewrose), where Yosemite seemingly freezes during startup. The keyboard shows caps lock light, no mouse cursor appears, and it could either be during post-FileVault(hereafter referred to as FV2) login, or on a ‘black-screen with white apple’, normal boot. Correlated ingredients for this symptom are 10.10+, AD binding, and possibly FV2. I’ve noticed it on roughly 20% of the computers I’ve migrated, and in some instances a reimage does not clear it – the moment the computer is bound to AD, even with a clean shutdown or without FV2, the progress bar at boot starts stalling at about 1/4 in, and definitely makes no progress when reaching about halfway. You know you’re NOT having the symptom if a mouse cursor appears by about a 1/3rd into the progress bar. We started noticing it on 10.10, and its persisted through 10.10.1.

...

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Monday May 3

09:17
iPad: How to transfer or sync content to your...
 

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