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Staying notified about Apple developer software releases

August 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Keeping up on Apple developer betas and other developer software releases is a necessary part of many Mac admins’ regular routine. It’s especially important during the period between WWDC in June and the annual OS release in the fall. Fortunately, Apple provides a way to help tracking developer releases easier by publishing a notification to the following address:

https://developer.apple.com/news/releases/

Screen Shot 2018 08 08 at 2 41 29 PM

This publicly-accessible notification doesn’t discuss what’s included in the newly-released software and you will still need an Apple Developer Connection account in order to get the details. For many Mac admins though, having an easy and quick way to track if the latest developer beta has been released is valuable information in itself.

To make it even more convenient, Apple also offers a RSS feed for the Developer Releases page:

https://developer.apple.com/news/releases/rss/releases.rss

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You can add this feed into your RSS reader and it’ll keep you up to date. If you use Slack, another approach is to use Slack’s ability to post content from an RSS feed to a Slack channel. For more details, please see below the jump:

Read more…

Categories: Mac administration, Slack

Joining Apple’s AppleSeed testing program

July 12, 2018 Leave a comment

In addition to Apple’s Developer Connection program for developers, Apple also has a program called AppleSeed for IT, which is geared towards working with enterprise customers to help them test new Apple software.

During recent conversations about AppleSeed for IT, I was told that it was better for AppleSeed members to submit bug reports and feature requests through AppleSeed’s Feedback Assistant. This would be in place of sending those bug reports and feature requests through Apple’s regular bug reporting at bugreport.apple.com.

Why? Two reasons:

  1. Bug reports and feature requests sent through AppleSeed’s Feedback Assistant are routed to a dedicated queue for IT.
  2. There’s a smaller absolute number of items being sent through AppleSeed’s Feedback Assistant, which means that there’s less communication volume for Apple to sort through to get to your issue.

How to join AppleSeed for IT

There’s no cost to join AppleSeed for IT and you will not be asked to pay for anything, but you do need to be invited by Apple. This takes the form of an invitation code that you must provide when registering for AppleSeed.

If your company, school or institution has purchased an AppleCare Preferred, AppleCare Alliance and AppleCare Enterprise support plan, you should be given an opportunity to enroll into AppleSeed. If you haven’t been asked already, contact the Apple rep for your support plan and request an invitation.

What if your shop hasn’t purchased an AppleCare support plan? You are still able to request an invitation. To do so, use the following procedure:

  1. Log into the MacAdmins Slack. If you’re not familiar with the MacAdmins Slack, please see this post by my colleague Armin Briegel.
  2. Go to the #appleseed channel.
  3. Politely ask how you can get an invitation to join AppleSeed.

Note:

One thing that’s important to know is that discussions about AppleSeed-provided software should not take place in the #appleseed channel. The reason is that AppleSeed software is covered by Apple’s NDA for AppleSeed, where participants in the program agree not to publicly discuss the software or their experiences with it.

 

Categories: AppleSeed, Slack

Sending Jamf Pro notifications to Slack

June 14, 2018 Leave a comment

One of the features offered by Jamf Pro is the ability to send notifications of various events to specified email addresses. Any Jamf Pro user account can be set up to receive these emails, so they’re a convenient way to be notified about events affecting your Jamf Pro service.

These notifications include the following:

  • An instance of the Jamf Pro web application in a clustered environment fails
  • An updated patch reporting software title is available
  • Computer is enrolled using PreStage
  • Database backup fails
  • Database backup succeeds
  • Error occurs during imaging
  • Error occurs when policy runs
  • Jamf Pro account is locked out because of excessive failed log in attempts
  • Jamf Pro fails to add file to JDS instance or cloud distribution point
  • License limit is exceeded
  • One or more Memcached Endpoint(s) are not reachable
  • Restricted software violation occurs
  • Smart computer group membership changes
  • Smart mobile device group membership changes
  • Smart user group membership changes
  • SSL certificate verification is disabled
  • Tomcat is started or stopped
  • VPP token is approaching expiration date

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That said, I get enough emails on a daily basis that I’d prefer to have these notifications go to a channel in Slack. That way, my whole team can be notified about issues and there’s a searchable log of when events occurred.

There are solutions for sending notifications directly to Slack, but I wanted to avoid using middleware in favor of using the built-in notifications in Jamf Pro. Fortunately, there’s a way to do that using tools available from Slack. For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: Jamf Pro, Slack

Downloading individual Slack emoji using Safari

March 24, 2017 5 comments

Thanks to participating in multiple Slack instances, I’ve been in the position more than once where I’ve wanted specific emoji available in one Slack to also be available in another Slack instance. While Slack themselves provide a stock set of emoji for all Slack instances, custom emoji can help you express yourself better. For example, one of my favorites on the MacAdmins Slack instance is :headdesk:, represented by this animated emoji.

Headdesk

While there are solutions to moving emoji en masse, I usually just want to selectively download emojis as I see them. Fortunately, there’s a relatively straightforward way to do that using Safari. For more details, see below the jump.

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Categories: macOS, Slack
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