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Friday July 31

06:30
My Page for Mac and iOS Conferences

Conferences for Apple Systems Administrators have been popping up all over the place. There are the ones that have been around forever, like MacIT and then there are new conferences that sprung up in the past year, such as ACES and MacDevOps. Some have reached maturity, such as MacTech and Penn State Mac Admins. Now, we have conferences in North America, Europe and Australia (so only 4 continents to go). So, I made a page listing them. And a Pinterest board. The page is available here. And that Pinterest board:
Follow Charles’s board Mac IT Conferences on Pinterest.
I also took the liberty of listing a couple of conferences that are platform agnostic, as I’ve been seeing Mac and iOS sessions pop up in them. Also, if I forgot any... | Read more »

Thursday July 30

08:00
Episode 056 on building products on top of SharePo...

In this episode, Jeremy Thake and Richard DiZerega talk to Doug Ware about his experience building products on top of SharePoint Online using our APIs called IQAppStudio.

http://officeblogspodcastswest.blob.core.windows.net/podcasts/EP56_DougWare.mp3
Download the podcast.
Weekly updates

Wednesday July 29

08:00
Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 are here!

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office Client Applications and Services team.
It’s a big day for Microsoft and we are excited to be part of it! Today, we’re pleased to announce the availability of the Office Mobile apps on Windows 10—bringing us one step closer to our vision of reinventing productivity. Customers can immediately download and install the apps from the new Windows Store in 190 countries.
The Office Mobile apps—Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote—are built from the ground up for touch, offer the familiar experience that Office customers expect, and deliver the capabilities people need for on-the-go productivity on Windows 10 tablets and small screen devices. Across each of the apps, customers will appreciate full fidelity viewing of their Office... | Read more »

08:00
Windows 10 updates for Office 365 admins

What capabilities in Windows 10 will benefit Office 365 admins? During the Microsoft Ignite conference in May, we invited Michael Niehaus—veteran Windows deployment and management expert—to present updates for managing Windows 10. Many of these updates accrue to and leverage the work people are doing to implement Office 365 and broader Microsoft Cloud services.
In this week’s Office Mechanics, we describe three areas where IT admins can benefit from Windows, Office and Azure Active Directory integration:

  • Joining Windows 10 to Azure Active Directory for single sign-on (SSO) to Office 365 and other services.
  • Using the Business Store portal in Windows Store to deliver Office apps.
  • Adding Windows 10 devices to Mobile Device Management for Office 365.

Joining Azure Active Directory
Most organizations using Office 365 with an on-premises Active Directory (AD) will synchronize their directory with Azure AD. We’ve covered the options... | Read more »

06:00
Removing Those Thousands Of Empty Directories In B...

Earlier, we looked at creating thousands of empty directories. Today, we’re going to get rid of them. But we need to get rid of only empty directories. To do so, we’ll use the find command:
find . -depth -type d -empty -exec rmdir {} \;
Now, we can put both into a script:
mkdir $(printf '%05d\n' {1..10000})
find . -depth -type d -empty -exec rmdir {} \;

| Read more »

Tuesday July 28

08:00
Adventist Health System boosts productivity with O...

Today’s Office 365 ProPlus post was written by Todd Frantz, senior technologist for Adventist Health System.
As a healthcare organization, we have a great responsibility to protect the personal data of our patients. This concern for patient privacy has often meant that we take a measured approach to technology adoption. We want to deliver the latest capabilities to our users so they can work however they want to, whether that means with increased mobility or easier collaboration, but we can never sacrifice security to get there.
Finding a comfort level
Because Microsoft understands our need for HIPAA compliance, we were able to help our management team feel at ease with moving to cloud-based tools. Microsoft provided us with a business associate agreement (BAA), which is needed for HIPAA compliance and also delivers security and compliance capabilities... | Read more »

08:00
Using OneNote and Windows tablets in a classroom f...

Today’s post was written by Alexis Parker, special education teacher at a K–5 school in Florida.
I am a special education teacher for kindergarten through 5th-grade students who are highly impacted with autism. While every person with autism has a variety of talents and challenges, many of the students in my classroom face similar challenges—specifically in the areas of behavior, communication and fine motor skills. Six of my students exhibit behavioral challenges when presented with tasks they don’t want to do. Seven are either non-verbal or have limited verbal skills. A few of my students are beginning to use alternative communication devices. Two of my students are able to reproduce letters of the alphabet, two can copy letters given an example, and three can trace letters.
Behavior, communication and fine motor deficits make it extremely difficult to evaluate what information a student has gained. In a typical classroom, you can assess a student’s... | Read more »

06:00
Using Inputs in Bash Scripts

You can easily accept user provided input in bash by using the read command in bash for Linux and OS X. Here, we’ll echo out a choice to a user in a script, read the output into a variable called yn and then echo out the response:
echo "Please enter y or n: "
read yn
echo "You chose wrong: $yn"
Here, we used echo to simply write out what was chosen in the input. But we could also take this a little further and leverage a case statement to then run an action based on the choice selected:
read -p "Should the file extension change warning be disabled (y/n)? " yn
case ${yn:0:1} in
y|Y )
defaults write com.apple.finder FXEnableExtensionChangeWarning -bool false
echo "The warning has been disabled"
;;
* )
defaults write com.apple.finder FXEnableExtensionChangeWarning -bool true
echo "The warning has been enabled"
;;
esac
The options when scripting are pretty much infinite and chances are, if... | Read more »

Monday July 27

12:00
Apple Web Server notifications

This article provides credit to people who have reported potential security issues in Apple's web servers.

| Read more »
09:00
OS X El Capitan 10.11 beta 5 Now Available

OS X El Capitan 10.11 beta 5 Now Available

| Read more »
09:00
OS X El Capitan 10.11 beta 5 Now Available

OS X El Capitan 10.11 beta 5 Now Available

| Read more »
06:00
Disable Autocorrect In OS X Automated Workflows

I mess computers up a lot. And that means I have to reload operating systems a lot. I’ve also been having terrible issues caused by autocorrect. So… Let’s disable it. By sending the NSAutomaticSpellingCorrectionEnabled key as a false boolean into NSGlobalDomain:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticSpellingCorrectionEnabled -bool false

| Read more »

Sunday July 26

06:00
Grab Your WAN IP In Scripts

Sometimes when I’m writing a script, I need something to phone home to something in the script. For example, this can tell another daemon where to ssh into when I invoke it remotely. So, let’s say I want to grab my WAN address in a script. I can use curl with a number of 3rd party sites (sites that often change. But, one that we can use here is ipecho.net. Here, we’ll look at their plain output page here:
curl ipecho.net/plain
This can then get output into a variable or file for processing in other parts of a script. For example, the output here is basically the same thing but the command is in backticks, as you might put it in when scripting:
echo `curl ipecho.net/plain`

| Read more »

Saturday July 25

06:00
Some Command Line java Debugging Options

There’s an excellent tool that can be used to grab a heap dump from a Java process. It’s called jmap. To do so, run the jmap command, followed by a format and a file path as the format and file operators. Also, provide the PID, as follows:
jmap -dump:format=b,file=~/memdump.hprof 80446
Once dumped, you can view the dump file in the Memory Analyzer Tool (MAP) and find objects that use use too much memory and/or have memory leaks, as part of your troubleshooting. You can also replace the pid with a name of an executable or a core. Run the map tool along with a -h option for a help summary.
A sister tool is jps, which can be used to just list running processes by pid and then path. To run, assuming the same pid as earlier:
jps 80446
You can also run a java debugger daemon using jsadebugd, which attaches a process as a debug server. Then stack, map and info can attach via RMI. Finally, not everyone has access to every path on a file system. So jinfo can be... | Read more »

Friday July 24

08:00
Office 365 news roundup

We had a great time at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) last week, where more than 14,000 people gathered to celebrate our Partners’ vital work and to share information that will help them continue to serve our customers and grow their businesses. Office 365 was a huge part of WPC, and we gave our Partners a first look at some innovations we are unleashing to help organizations transform how they work. We also announced a significant expansion of the Cloud Solution Provider program to include Azure and CRM Online as well as Office 365, and we are making the program available to all eligible Partners in 131 countries.
Mobile and cloud technology were big topics at WPC, which is unsurprising when you consider how much they... | Read more »

07:00
Caffeinate Your Commands

The caffeinate command is pretty cool. It keeps your computer from going to sleep. It can run in a couple of different ways. There’s a timer that prevents sleep for a little while. You can also run another command from within caffeinate that keeps the system awake until the other command is finished. Here, we’ll scp a file called source file to a host called servername and keep the system from going to sleep until the process is finished:
caffeinate -s scp sourcefile me:servername/targetfile
Here, we’ll just use the boring command to tell the computer not to go to sleep for an hour:
caffeinate -t 3600 &

| Read more »
06:00
Steve Jobs, The Movie

Thursday July 23

08:00
Announcing the Superheroes in the Classroom blog s...

Every year, Microsoft welcomes some of the world’s most innovative educators and students from around the world at its annual E2 Summit to share best practices on how to use technology to enhance student learning. At this year’s summit, the Office Mix team got to meet Kelli Etheredge, director of Teaching and Learning Resources at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama. Kelli shared the story of how St. Paul’s students used Office Mix to teach each other about human body systems in their 4th–grade science class.
The next thing she knew, the Office Mix team was interviewing the students and their teachers over Skype for Business to hear firsthand how they learned about Office Mix, how they created mixes for the first time, and more importantly, how it impacted—and improved—the students’ desire to... | Read more »

08:00
Episode 055 on how Sunrise uses the Calendar API w...

In this episode, Jeremy Thake and Richard DiZerega talk to Pierre-Élie Fauche about how the Sunrise team swapped out their old approach to fetch calendar information locally from the phones to use the Office 365 APIs instead.

http://officeblogspodcastswest.blob.core.windows.net/podcasts/EP55_sunrise.mp3
Download the podcast.
Weekly updates

06:00
Using My Mac As An Alarm Clock

The at command can be used to schedule jobs to be run at certain times. I have a hard time getting up in the morning. Here, we’re going to echo a command that we want to be run at a certain time. In this case, we’re going to open a song to make into our alarm clock:
echo 'open ~/Desktop/bangbang.m4v 2>/dev/null' | at 07:00 tomorrow
The job will then output. You can see jobs waiting to be run, along with when they’ll be run using the at command with the -l option:
at -l
In this case, the job is 2. You can then remove a job using the atrm command:
atrm job 2

| Read more »

Wednesday July 22

10:15
Your top 10 questions about Office 2016 for Mac an...

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office Client Applications and Services team.
The response to last week’s release of Office 2016 for Mac has been amazing—thank you to all our customers! The post was one of the most read and shared Office Blog posts this year, receiving hundreds of great comments and questions. We thought it would be helpful to share the top questions and answers with you.
1. Where do I get Office 2016 for Mac?
Office 2016 for Mac is currently only available for Office 365 subscription customers. It will be available via one-time purchase in late September. In the meantime, here are the instructions on how you can get Office 2016 for Mac today:

  • Office 365 subscribers—On your Mac, browse to your account page (office.com/myaccount), sign in and follow the installation instructions. If you have Office... | Read more »
09:35
Your top questions about Office for Android phone...

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office Client Applications and Services team.
On June 24, we launched Office for Android phone, and the response has been amazing. In the last three weeks, there have been millions of downloads across Google Play, Samsung Galaxy and local app stores in China. We are also excited to see customers rate the apps so favorably, now at 4+ ratings on the Google Play store. Thanks to you all for using the Office apps.
We very much appreciate your feedback (the positive and the critical!) and have been reading all of your comments posted to the launch blog, within the App Stores, and submitted directly via the product. While we’ve been answering these questions across the various forums, we thought it would be helpful to consolidate, share and answer the top questions here on the Office Blog.... | Read more »

09:00
Azure Rights Management support comes to Office fo...

Shobhit Sahay is a technical product manager on the Office 365 team.
Earlier this year, we announced we are deeply committed to bringing encryption technologies on all platforms. At the core of encryption technologies is Azure Rights Management, which provides an easy way to protect data by assigning a policy to the data readily available in Office 2013, Office 2010 and Office for Mac. We are excited to announce that the same policy-driven protection is now available in Office for iPad and on iPhone devices. With this functionality, you are now able to view the rights protected Office documents natively on your iPad and iPhone devices.
Let’s look at this functionality in greater detail:
While using Office documents on iPad and iPhone, you can... | Read more »

08:00
Bringing cloud technology on-premises in Exchange...

Many performance improvements and architecture changes in the upcoming release of Exchange Server 2016—which is now available as a Preview to download—are based on our experience running Exchange Online at extreme scale. Our software development process allows us to incorporate things we’ve learned in the cloud in the product releases that we deliver to on-premises customers.
We explain some of these under-the-hood improvements on this week’s Office Mechanics. Exchange engineering team veteran Greg Taylor provides insights into what IT admins can expect in Exchange Server 2016. He explains that the team focused on three key areas to enhance the newest member of the Exchange family:

  • Simplification: both in server architecture and migration from Exchanger Server 2013 and 2010.
  • Reliability: key learnings from running Exchange Online... | Read more »
06:00
Disable File Extension Change Warning Dialog

By default in OS X, when you change an extension for a file, you get a warning. This is somewhat annoying to me, as I do this pretty frequently and have never almost accidentally done so. So to disable, send a FXEnable ExtensionChangeWarning key into com.apple.finder as false:
defaults write com.apple.finder FXEnableExtensionChangeWarning -bool false
To then undo, simply run with a true key:
defaults write com.apple.finder FXEnableExtensionChangeWarning -bool true

| Read more »
 
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