lonely written words—are all you’ve got”

—Virginia Shea

“communication happens when I know you know what I know”


Rabble Rabble Rabble!

For everyone who’s on Twitter these days promoting fairness, equality and the betterment of mankind through selflessness—good for you! Bless your hearts! Keep up the good fight.

But if all you’re doing is retweeting, sharing or posting links to someone else keeping up the good fight, I’m going to severely filter you and eventually I’ll probably stop following you. Sadly, I may miss something from you I really wanted to hear.

Woah! What what’s with the snippy attitude, dude?

Without filtering, my Twitter timeline sounds like this South Park clip:

That noise isn’t coming from the businesses, celebrities or organizations I’m following. It’s coming from you, the people I follow! I know most of you personally, but the signal to noise ratio is getting really out-of-hand.

Here’s why I followed you on Twitter:

  • I thought what you had to say would be interesting.
  • To keep in touch with you and tune in to what’s happening in your life.
  • We have things and ideas in common (or maybe not and that’s what I find interesting).

This isn’t why I followed you:

  • To hear your political opinions over and over and Over and OVER and OVARH and OOOOOOOVER.
  • I want you to be my personal RSS feed to random stuff.
  • For you to share outrageous, incendiary or id-stimulating speech over and over and Over and OVER and OVARH and OOOOOOOVER.
  • To receive a company’s marketing spam so you could win a prize.
  • To read your blog post in my Twitter feed. (Just write it out and link to it, OK?)

Before I stop following you, I’ll filter you. Thank gawd for Tweetbot and its ability to weed out crap. This is what I call “crap”:

  • You’re retweeting someone else without adding your own comments.
  • You’re retweeting others frequently.
  • You’re linking to news articles and blog posts on major websites or tweeting through them.
  • You’re auto-tweeting from another app or service because you did an insignificant thing.

I’m tired of the noise. Here’s how I’m filtering.

First, if you retweet too often without adding your own two cents, I’ll right-click your name at the bottom of the tweet and simply Disable Retweets. Your retweets. All of them.

disable retweets

If you’re repetitively posting random stuff, you’re probably being consistent with how you do it. Good for me. I’ll use a keyword filter.

Repetitive tweets


Tweetbot also supports regular expressions. This filters any article where the headline is in curly quotes followed by a space and then a link (not foolproof but gets the job done).

Regex filter

Amazingly, this reduces my timeline by dozens of tweets each day. It’s manageable. I can keep up and my eyes don’t hurt from rolling so much.

So, I have two requests, dear tweeters-whom-I-follow.

Be more cognizant of the noise you’re producing and do less of it. Be meaningful with what you want to tell me or want me to see. I’m interested in you and your thoughts. Otherwise, I’d follow all those other people or sites. If you don’t talk much, then fine. I’m good with that. I’ll pay more attention when you do.

Or, just keep what you’re doing and keep doing it consistently. Keep your noise on the same sine wave and I’ll just apply my noise-canceling headphones.

JNUC 2017: The Great Mac Admin Get-Together

Building your own Death Star with Legos

Our Marketing group at Jamf is busy putting the final polish on the silverware, pulling the plastic from the furniture, airing out the spare bedrooms in the Minneapolis Hyatt and making hotdish. Lots of hotdish.

Next week is JNUC 2017!

Minnesota’s state fair, one of the largest and best attended fairs in the U.S., is nicknamed the Great Minnesota Get-Together. For me, JNUC is the Great Mac Admin Get-Together. It’s the largest gathering of Mac and iOS administrators in the world with this year’s registration setting a new record at more than 1500 attendees from around the world.

The keynote

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Posting my PSU 2017 MacAdmins Conference presentation

Administering Office 2016 for Mac Part III

This was my fourth MacAdmins Conference, which means I’ve had the opportunity to attend half the conferences since it started in 2010. That’s not a record and I know plenty of folks who’ve attended most or all of them. But it does give me perspective to see some of its formula for success.

Invariably, a few of us will start a discussion after dinner and realize we’re the last ones left in the room. (Leslie, Bryce, Brad, Brian and Pete.)

Part of that formula is that it’s fairly eco-system agnostic. It doesn’t try to cater to people using Chef,

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Jamf AND not Jamf OR

I was a Jamf customer for nearly 10 years before becoming a JumpStart Integrator and later an employee. Friday’s release of a marketing piece (now retracted) comparing Jamf to free and open source software (FOSS) was a surprise to many Jamfs as well as the community at large. Don’t let this mistake set your opinion about Jamf’s culture and values.

How many remember Jamf when its employee total was two — just Chip Pearson and Zach Halmstad? I do. I remember meeting them at a local user group around 2005 where they were taking every advantage of opportunities and events

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Posting my PSU 2016 MacAdmins Conference presentation

Meeting Paul

Tech conferences are both energizing and exhausting at the same time. For five days at PSU 2016 MacAdmins Conference, I got to spend time with friends from here in the Twin Cities area, visit with long-distance friends (some I hadn’t seen in 2-3 years), eat lots of food, let someone else make the bed in the morning and absorb much smartness.

My favorite takeaway from this year, though, was getting to present a session about administering Office 2016 for Mac with Paul Bowden, a developer with Microsoft. He’s become a good friend over the past eight months since I first

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2015: The year of careers

Today, I start a new job with a new company. After more than three years with 318, Inc., as a consultant, I’m moving to Minneapolis-based JAMF Software as a Professional Services Engineer. JAMF is a company I’ve known more than 10 years with many people I’ve known nearly as long.

In a call with my former boss late last week, I told him coming to 318 was a needed kick in the seat of the pants for me. Ten years with my employer before that had made me complacent and I didn’t realize how much I needed a new challenge.

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Meeting Paul Bowden

MVP logo

Just a little more than a week ago, Paul Bowden introduce himself in the #microsoft-office channel of the Slack MacAdmins team:

Thanks to @talkingmoose for introducing me to the group. I was going to set my slack username to “Mr sudo $USER” but I’ll just have to plead for forgiveness from all of you and make it up by fixing this stuff. Do feel free to ping me with your top 3 wishes for installers and/or MAU. Thanks! Paul.

It was a perfect mix of levity, humility and outreach that started some amazing dialogue between Mac admins and Microsoft.

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Posting my PSU 2015 MacAdmins Conference presentations

Coffee mug

From the home office in Saint Paul, MN, I’m posting my PSU 2015 MacAdmins Conference presentations. Below are links to both PDFs as well as the original Keynote files, which include my notes and talking points.

The conference organizers recorded most of the sessions and will post them in a few weeks. I’ll add an update here letting folks know when they’re ready.

2016’s conference is scheduled for June 27-30 and I’m already planning to return. This event has become one of the highlights of my year working as a Mac admin.

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PSU MacAdmins II: Return to the very human tech conference

Late this afternoon I returned to State College, Pa., for my second Penn State MacAdmins Conference running through Friday of this week. In just a few minutes I was running into friends from last year and chatting like we were picking up on conversations from yesterday. The Mac Admin community is spread far and wide but at the same time it’s very close.

I remarked last year how this was a very human tech conference and attendees who heard me say that seemed to know exactly what I meant and they agreed. It feels like a family reunion.

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Rendering a tiny little underline more perfectly

What’s wrong with this sentence? Depending on your browser, maybe nothing at all.

Take a closer look.

Underlining was born on a typewriter. To underline text required typing the text first and then returning to the beginning of the word or line to overtype a series of underline characters. It was tedious work and the result was definitely function over form.

The ugly practice of underlining text carried over to the web and was adopted as the early moniker for identifying hyperlinks. Of all the typographic advancements such as typefaces, styling (bold, italic, etc.), font sizes and colors, underlining

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