A Mac sysadmin, documenting useful code, ideas, & guides.

Hack The Mac 2015

I almost missed Hack the Mac this year but luckily Twitter let me know once it had already started. Since I showed up late, I missed the first project overview and needed to go back to the video on demand to review what was said. While I was watching I thought it might be useful for others if I compiled a short overview with video links. All three projects were already brought to my attention before the event but here is my take away after watching the event:

Slack rsync

With a little push from @groob, I have created a simple python script that runs a rsync command and sends a summary of the run to Slack. Slack was not created to be a storage vault for server logs however it does great for short sms style messages. If you are using a log collection service like logstash you could extend on this script to include the link to your uploaded log or if an error occurs you could automatically create a helpdesk ticket for you to investigate the issue.

iPhone 6S tips

Many users are upgrading phones in light of the new iPhone Upgrade Program or because they need to have the latest and greatest. With a bigger screen comes the issue of how do I use this phone? It’s literally too big for my hand! For that I recommend the following links. I’m also including the reachability link because it seems many iPhone 6/plus users don’t know about this feature. I can’t imagine using one of these phones without the reachability function.

Updated for Logic 10.2.0 - September 18th, 2015 This script has been updated to support Logic Pro 10.2.0. This release included many additional audio libraries for the added Alchemy Plugin. The updated script from Hannes will now download audio content to a “__Downloaded Items” directory and create hard links to Apple’s categories. Today I needed to import 60 packages (37 GB) of audio content for Logic Pro X into my Munki repo.

Imagr in production

Intro Many have written about Imagr but few have made the claim of dropping their old imaging solution completely. I made the claim in May after extensively testing Imagr with virtual machines however the real test was this week with 90 brand new Macs. That’s right the good ol’ unboxing, labeling, tagging, and prepping. It is the end of the school year and the Audio Video Department was pretty much done with gear, so I made a time lapse of the entire process.

Intro This is part one in a four part series on using Puppet on OS X. However to understand my move to Puppet I wanted to share my thoughts on Configuration Management (CM) in general. For the last five months, I have been seriously questioning my deployment/management process. Even with Munki’s native support for configuration profiles in v2.2.4, it has always seemed like I was creating extra work for myself.

Intro Automator is unique in its ability of creating “automation” via the usage of a graphical tasked based workflow. Most other tools that I use for automation are command line driven. So what can you do that’s so amazing? Create applications. No really Automator has the ability to create a .app. Create services. The ability to directly apply changes inside of applications. It is easy! No advanced computer skills are needed, however scripting languages are a great addition.

Intro The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) has some articles that are quite outdated regarding using their Oracle database server. On top of that no information is given to users that have Macintosh computers. If you happen to be taking an Information System class like Database Management Systems (INSY 3304) then good luck when it comes to remotely connecting to the Oracle server. To make-up for the lack of documentation I am creating the following guide.

AD Account Change

Intro Changing user account logons in a deployed environment can cause some issues. Doing so with OS X clients that are bound to Active Directory can cause even more issues. Below is how I overcame some of the pitfalls of the built-in OS X Active Directory plugin. This article expands on the basic project Readme instructions located here. Note: The above picture is for reference purposes only. All data has been modified.

I have written about shrinking the virtual disk of an OS X Virtual Machine here but recently I needed to shrink a Linux virtual machine. The process is almost identical across all of VMware’s products you just have to find the vmware-vdiskmanager tool. The process In most operating systems removing the files from the disk merely alters file tables so the operating system sees the space as free on the disk.