“words—
lonely written words—are all you’ve got”

—Virginia Shea

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

—Me

Watching good administrators go bad

Uncle BenTraining is one of my favorite responsibilities as a consultant with 318. This past summer I’ve trained a few dozen new and experienced Mac administrators as part of their Casper JumpStarts but while most are very good at their jobs, practically all of them have briefly succumbed to the dark side during their training.

Movie wisdom

I use a lot of movie references in my JumpStarts because my captive audience usually gets the associations I’m making to the lessons. Practically every time I demonstrate one specific feature of Casper, I have to quote Uncle Ben from Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Already, I’ve referenced two movies to set up this story. This should tell you I’m speaking to an administrator’s human struggle to offset evil with good. I’ve had to fight this evil side of myself. For those of you who are not part of the IT world, please understand administrators are only human too.

If you’re a Casper administrator, stop and think about the one feature that probably turned you evil too… for just a moment.

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PSU MacAdmins posts conference videos for 2014

Today, all those folks who couldn’t attend this year’s PSU MacAdmins Conference get to attend virtually! And all those folks who did get to attend now get to attend every session. The fine folks at Penn State University have posted links to most videos from the conference with a few yet to come in their Resources area.

The 40+ videos are posted to YouTube and are free to everyone. They total more than 50 hours of training, education and insight from folks who like to share knowledge. That’s a work week’s worth of content plus some overtime!

Below is the

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Honk if you agree

I Love Hypercard

Threw this together based on a conversation with a former boss…

Posting my PSU MacAdmins Conference presentation

Update (July 13): Forgot to include a link to download the plists for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. These are the same files I used in my demonstration.

From the home office in Saint Paul, Minnesota, I’m posting my PSU MacAdmins Conference slides here for folks reviewing after my presentation in State College, PA, and for folks who weren’t able to attend this year.

Below are links to both a PDF version as well as the original PowerPoint version, which includes my notes and talking points. Even if you don’t use PowerPoint, Keynote or an Office 2011 trial should

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Attending my first PSU MacAdmins Conference

Of Science and Chickens

Super excited to be flying out to Penn State tomorrow and attending my first PSU MacAdmins Conference! It’s only five years old but has become one of the five major conferences for Mac administrators in the world as well as the only major east coast conference for those who support OS X and iOS.

I get to present this year and expand on a session I did for the JAMF Nation User Conference back in 2012. That session was about the humble plist. What I didn’t get to cover then was how to use Managed Preferences (MCX) and Configuration Profiles

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Playing with my potty while on the iPhone

Happy little turd

In the beginning was the “Have a nice day” guy. He was put on buttons, coffee mugs, bumper stickers and T-shirts.

Then one day, someone didn’t have a nice day. And he was put on even more buttons, coffee mugs, bumper stickers and T-shirts.

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Even more rubber chickens and purple boxes

Original Wam!Net rubber chicken

Strange, happy coincidence—I met the person responsible for the rubber chickens in the purple Wam!Net boxes!

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Rubber chickens and purple boxes

Chicken and me

Rubber chickens have their place in technology.

During my first gig as an administrator in the mid 1990s, we brought in Wam!Net, a Minneapolis-based company, to link our office to dozens of remote printing facilities across the U.S. This was before Internet connectivity and FTP were common-place technologies in business.

With as $12,000 annual contract, Wam!Net installed a big purple box with a whopping 400 MB/hour pipe in our office. Today, that’s like the mojo wire of the 1970s that could transmit a page of text over the telephone in only 18 minutes.

The purple box was nothing more than

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All hands on deck

Last night I witnessed a really cool phenomenon unfold among my co-workers. A simple email message to all 318 Staff regarding one of our clients said:

4 users with BBerry email problems 3 users reporting remote access problems SDM is working to get these assigned and resolved.

“SDM” is short for “Service Desk Managers” who schedule technicians to respond to customer issues. Clearly, SDM was saying we had an issue suddenly impacting several customers.

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Posting my MacIT 2014 presentations

Troubleshooting Email - slide 1

From the home office in Saint Paul, Minnesota, I’m posting my MacIT 2014 slides here for folks reviewing after my presentations in San Francisco and for folks who weren’t able to attend this year. I realize slides alone don’t give the full context of the sessions but I do try to write them to be somewhat self-explanatory. Feel free to post questions and I’ll try to answer here.

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