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Backing up macOS management policies from Jamf Pro

December 21, 2018 1 comment

When working with computer management policies on Jamf Pro, especially more complex policies, I prefer to download then and back them up to GitHub or a similar internal source control tool. The reasons I do this are the following:

  1. I have an off-server backup for the policies
  2. I can track changes to the groups
  3. If needed, I can make a change to a policy and upload via the API instead of having to edit in the web console.

Up until recently, I didn’t have a good process for handling this but after some work, I was able to build a script which does the following:

  1. If any policies were previously downloaded, back up existing downloaded policies into a .zip file
  2. Download the policy information as XML
  3. Properly format the downloaded XML
  4. Identify the display name of the policy.
  5. Identify the category of the policy.
  6. Save the downloaded XML as Policy Name Here.xml to a specified download directory, based on the category that the policy is in.

The reason the script archives previously downloaded policies are the following:

  1. In case something goes wrong with the download, I still have the previously archived copy.
  2. The script can clear out the existing download directory and have only the latest version of the policy stored inside.

For more details, please see below the jump.

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized

Enabling the “Remove items from the Trash after 30 days” setting on macOS Sierra

October 30, 2016 2 comments

A new feature in macOS Sierra is the ability to put items in the Trash and have those items automatically be deleted after 30 days. This option can be set in the Finder preferences using the process shown below:

1. Open the Finder preferences

Screen Shot 2016 10 29 at 9 03 20 PM

2. Select the Advanced options

Screen Shot 2016 10 29 at 9 03 29 PM

Screen Shot 2016 10 29 at 9 03 34 PM

3. Check the Remove items from the Trash after 30 days checkbox.

RemoveTrashAfter30Days

 

It’s also possible to enable or disable this setting from the command line. To enable the Remove items from the Trash after 30 days setting, the following defaults command can run by the logged-in user:

defaults write com.apple.finder FXRemoveOldTrashItems -bool true

Screen Shot 2016 10 29 at 9 04 44 PM

To disable it, the following defaults command can be run by the logged-in user:

defaults write com.apple.finder FXRemoveOldTrashItems -bool false

Screen Shot 2016 10 29 at 9 21 04 PM

For those who want to enable the Remove items from the Trash after 30 days setting using management profiles, I’ve created a .mobileconfig file and posted it here on Github:

https://github.com/rtrouton/profiles/tree/master/RemoveTrashAfter30Days

Categories: Uncategorized

Suppressing Siri pop-up windows on macOS Sierra

September 20, 2016 9 comments

Starting in 10.7.2, Apple set the iCloud sign-in to pop up on the first login.

LWScreenShot 2016 09 20 at 10 38 00 AM

In 10.10, Apple added a new Diagnostics & Usage window that pops up at first login after the iCloud sign-in.

LWScreenShot 2016 09 20 at 7 35 05 AM

In 10.12, Apple added another new pop-up window for Siri.

LWScreenShot 2016 09 20 at 10 39 04 AM

 

To stop the Siri pop-up window from appearing for your home folder, run the command shown below:

defaults write com.apple.SetupAssistant DidSeeSiriSetup -bool TRUE

Since you normally will be able to run this command only after you’ve seen the Siri pop-up window, I’ve updated my script for suppressing the iCloud and Diagnostic pop-up windows to now also suppress the Siri pop-up window. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized

Installation error reporting now available in First Boot Package Install

August 23, 2014 2 comments

Following up on a pull request by Matthew Kweskin, I’ve updated First Boot Package Install so that it now reports whether an installation has succeeded or failed. This error reporting is in addition to the error logging recorded by OS X’s installer tool to /var/log/install.log.

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 11.13.23 AM

For those interested, here are the changes to First Boot Package Install‘s firstbootpackageinstall.sh script.

I’ve updated the First Boot Package Install GitHub repo with the new First Boot Package Install installer package, along with updating the posted firstbootpackageinstall.sh script and the Iceberg project files with the changes.

Two models for on-demand download of TV shows: The iTunes Music Store vs. CBS on Demand

February 4, 2006 Leave a comment

CBS is now offering Survivor episodes for download via their website in an obvious move to capitalize for themselves the success of the iTunes Music Store's (ITMS) offerings of downloadable TV shows. They're even using the same price point, $1.99. 
 
The main difference? The ITMS will sell you the show, while CBS will rent it to you. Same money, ostensibly same product (generally speaking) but the iTunes Music Store will outright sell it to you while CBS is renting to you for a period of up to, but not in excess of, the time period specified in the terms and conditions of the individual download. In the case of Survivor, that's 24 hours from the time of the rental. Get busy and don't get a chance to watch it until the next day? You may have wasted your two bucks. It also can't be transferred to another device. It almost seems redundant to say it's also Windows-only, because it relies on Windows Media Player's DRM protection in order to work. 
 
The ITMS, in contrast, also uses DRM to make sure that you can only play your videos on Apple's video iPod and in iTunes, and to restrict the number of machines you can have the video stored on and still have it play. You also can't (as far as I know) burn your iTunes videos to optical media, the way you can with your music. Past those restrictions, you own your video once you've bought it and can copy it to other machines (up to five). It doesn't expire, and it works on both Macs and Windows (thanks to iTunes being available on both platforms.) 
 
Which is better? I'm sure that the CBS model made CBS very happy, as it allows CBS to strictly control its own content. However, I believe that in the long run, the consumer's choice will be the ITMS model (or another model that's even freer in allowing choices for the end-user.) For myself, I'd love to have an even more free range of choices on how I can handle the video content I'd download from the ITMS, but given the choice between only those two models, I'll take Apple's way over CBS. 
 
(Cross-posted at TAB.) 

Categories: Uncategorized

This year's coolest geeky gift.

January 28, 2006 Leave a comment

The winner of this year's “What's the coolest geeky gift that Rich gets for his birthday” goes to my darling Lauren. She got me something that I've wanted for as long as I've known about it, a Fossil PDA watch. Fossil first announced this a few years ago, then seemingly withdrew it, then announced again as a MSN-powered wireless news portal watch. My hopes for a Palm PDA on my wrist seemed dashed forever, until this year when I heard rumors that Fossil was releasing it again. This always fell for me into the category of “Dang, I'd *love* to have that, but I can't justify buying it to myself when I've got other uses for the money.” Seriously, I do this a lot. (On the other hand, if my Treo 650 ever fell and broke, I'd be buying a new one that very same day.) 
 
So you can imagine my delight when La's gift, which she gave to me early, turned out to be the very thing that I've wanted for so long. 
 
 
 
This is essentially a Palm PDA with 8 megs of memory that sits on your wrist. It has everything you'd expect a comparable Palm to have, including IR beaming and receiving. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The coolest feature of the whole thing was the fact that they managed to shoehorn a stylus into the watch, rather than trying to do everything with buttons. 
 
 
 
 
 
It does have a rather short battery life when constantly used as a PDA, I've found, but it can both sync and charge via USB.  
 
 
 
Consequently, when I know that I'm going to be working on my laptop or near my desktop computer at work for a while, I'll pop open the cover over the USB port on my watch and plug in. I'll admit, it does look a little like I've got a weird cyborg IV line from my laptop to my wrist, but it's pretty comfortable. (The looks from some people in the first meeting I did this in were pretty interesting in their own right. My project manager told me later that, before she figured out what was going on, she kept expecting me to be electrocuted.) 
 
Technical Specifications 
 
Operating System: Palm OS 4.1 
CPU: Motorola Dragonball Super VZ 66MHz 
Memory: 8 MB (RAM), 4 MB (Flash) (approximately 7.7MB RAM available) 
Display: 160 x 160 pixels, 16 level grayscale, EL backlight, Touch Screen 
Built-in Applications: Address Book, Date Book, To Do List, Memo Pad, Calculator, Time 
Third-Party Application Support: Will run most Palm OS applications 
Interface: USB 
Infrared Port: IRDA (v1.2a) (communicates with all Palm OS devices) 
Battery Life: Approximately 3-4 days (Based on an average use of 30 minutes per day, with no backlight or IR. The battery life varies depending on the temperature and conditions of use.) 
Power Requirements: AC power Adaptor (100V – 240V), DC output (6V), Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (internal) 
Warranty: 90 day factory warranty 
 
What's in the Box 
Wrist PDA watch, HotSync Pod, USB cable, AC adapter, extra stylus, installation CD, wristband link removal tool, Getting Started guide 

Categories: Uncategorized

Apparently, when you turn 30, the gifts are really cool.

January 28, 2006 Leave a comment

I'm heading into the final days of being able say “Yeah, I'm in my twenties.” Not that that seems to stop some people from continuing to say that for a couple more decades, but I've decided for myself that I'm going to go into my thirties with as much grace as possible, especially since I'd like to live to a ripe old age and whimpering about entering the next seventy percent of it (I hope!) strikes me as whiny. Besides, for my 30th, I'm gotten some really cool gifts. 
 
My wonderful sister, reaching back into our childhood to our favorite books when we were in high school, bought me a number of books by the poet and author Richard Willard Armour. He wrote a number of satirical books, including The Classics Reclassified, It All Started With Europa, It All Would Have Startled Columbus, and It All Started With Hippocrates, among others. Most of his works are out of print at this point, but Mess managed to track down and send me all of the books listed above, making me very happy indeed. She also sent me a copy of a book that I'd loved and misplaced years ago (I suspect Mom packed it off to the thrift shop as a donation years ago), You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger by Roger Hall, a book which chronicles “a hilarious account of what really happened in the O.S.S – at least to Roger Hall.” 
 
My darling La got me a wonderful gift as well (and also gave it to me early,) but that deserves its own entry, such is its wonderfulness, so I'll be posting a separate entry on that shortly.  

Categories: Uncategorized
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