mac

bs_labs: Re-engine, Not Re-imagine

Apple will announce a Developer Transition Kit at WWDC, which will be available this summer. The DTK will use an A12Z (the current iPad Pro SoC), inside a Mac mini chassis. Or, I think less likely, an Apple TV chassis with added I/O.

I don’t think it will be a laptop: that would require full power management to be implemented, would be more expensive, and would result in battery life figures for semi-prototype hardware being reported all over the press. That’s really not how Apple rolls.
— Read on bslabs.net/2020/06/12/reengine-not-reimagine/

Yep. I agree with this all the way.

Feeling Good About the iPad

Neil Cybart, writing on his site Beyond Avalon a few months ago.

Apple unveiled the iPad on January 27th, 2010. To mark the tenth anniversary of the unveiling, a few publications had articles recapping the iPad’s first decade. Some of the reactions were complicated, to put it gently.
— Read on www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2020/2/27/dont-feel-bad-for-the-ipad

I’m not one of those people who feels that the iPad was a failure – or that it failed to live up to its potential.

In fact, how anyone can describe a platform that sells 45 million units each year, 20 million of which are to new iPad users, as anything less than a rousing success is somewhat baffling to me.

From what I can tell, there are a few common themes:

  1. The iPad wasn’t/isn’t the revolutionary device that the Mac and the iPhone were.
  2. The iPad hasn’t spawned the app ecosystem it needed to be revolutionary.
  3. The iPad suffers from software that isn’t good enough.

There’s a lot to unpack there and a previous draft of this post racked up 2600+ words which I then realized was me rambling. There’s a more cohesive MacStories-like article somewhere in the depths here, but I feel like I want to address this general sense of disappointment about the iPad with a rebuttal.

More Adobe Vulns

Adobe patches Acrobat Reader security flaw that could allow root access on Mac https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/05/14/adobe-patches-acrobat-reader-security-flaw-that-could-allow-root-access-on-mac

This friggin app keeps popping up in my weekly patch meetings.

Installer Stub Woes

I’m prepping a custom installer for Nessus since it requires some unlinking/relinking to the cloud-based service. I grabbed the installer off their site. It was a DMG with a .pkg inside it. NBD, right?

Wrong.

The installer is just a 34kb stub. It references an invisible .pkg sitting at the root level of the DMG.

Seriously? Why? It only took me a few minutes to figure out but seriously, why?

And then there’s the actual process of installing this on a computer that had it previously installed. You have to unlink and re-link the binary from the service. Which, again, not much of a pain, but I still have to ask: WHY?

And don’t even get me started on the issue around wrong hostnames.

From Jamf to Chef, Part 2 – The Sea Change (and figuring out a few basics)

What I want,” Darren said, “is for everything, all configuration data, to be text files.”

To get the full effect of that sentence, you have to imagine it being said with a British accent, in a voice so low it often feels like he’s letting you in on a secret, and with pauses at least three seconds long in place of each of the commas.

From Jamf to Chef, Part 1

I’ve spent the last five years honing my skills as a Jamf admin. I started at eBay, working for one of the best bosses I’ve ever had (ohai Alex Dale). Since then, I’ve gotten my CCA and CCE and have had the pleasure of working for a number of companies where I’ve either implemented or improved on the Jamf framework, imaging workflow, and a whole lot more.

I’m currently working at GoPro as the Senior Client Engineer for the Mac fleet and I’m spearheading our conversion from  Jamf to Chef. It is easily the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, not least because it is nothing like Jamf, but because you actually have to undergo a mindset change.

Deploying Filebeat on macOS

Got a few questions about the way I’ve deployed Filebeat to transport OSQuery logs over the past few days, so I thought I’d do a quick writeup about it.

There are a few components to this.

  • Filebeat executable (the Darwin version)
  • filebeat.yml (config file to tell Filebeat where to deliver the logs to)
  • Certificates (for TLS transport, placed in your location of choice)
  • com.elastic.filebeat.plist (Launchd task to daemonize Filebeat)