December 15, 2015

Techno Bits vol. 53: 2015 Finale

It didn't feel like winter at all in Washington this weekend. It was 70 degrees on Saturday and Sunday, and I was in shirt sleeves at Zoo Lights on Saturday night. It was pretty marvelous, frankly, to get some of my home state's weather instead of the place I have adopted as home.

I've talked at length about the importance of community in this newsletter. If you take one thing away from this year, I hope that thing is that we are all better together. The strength of the Mac Admins community is in its many members, their willingness to share, and their desire to work together to make a better platform.

There are a couple of things that have come to pass in the recent weeks that have reminded me of that, and one thing that's about to happen. On Thursday, the Minneapolis Mac Admins Meetup will host Microsoft's Paul Bowden to talk about the changes to the Office 2016 Installers. If you've spent any time in Slack lately, you'll recognize the name, Bowden's been working with members of the community to strengthen the installers for Office 2016.

The effort is, as far as I can tell, unprecedented. 

And welcome.

How many years have we complained to Adobe about Creative Suite and Creative Cloud's miserable management experience only to go unheeded? And now Microsoft - who has a checkered past for large installs - is working with the community to make the install of their applications not just better, but up to our standards.

There is some news that as admins you need to be aware of, though: Starting in Early 2016, you will need a proper serialization of Office 2016. The new details are summed up by Ben Toms thusly:


With Office 2016, Microsoft are moving to a device based serialisation method. Which means that deploying the plist /Library/Preferences/ will no longer work.

That means any of you still using monolithic imaging are in trouble. Sorry guys, but it's been time for a while. 

But it also means if you're just dumping the licensing plist into place, you're in a bit of trouble as well. Be ready! But that's what Thursday's for.

Lastly, if you're not yet convinced that we're all in this together, this is a good place to start.

Be good to each other. Happy Holidays, Happy New Year. See you in 2016.

postscript: since I finished writing this, John Gruber from Daring Fireball released an episode of The Talk Show with Craig Federighi of Apple, and then John Siracusa, and it's worth your time.

Links to Read
JAMF says iOS adoption in education is up [The Journal, JAMF]
Programmatically Extract WiFi Keys from a Keychain [Krypted]
Walt Mossberg Talking About The Gimmickry of Laptops [Control Walt Delete, Audio]
Google Should Not Build Hardware Like the Pixel C [The Verge]
Working with Airwatch's REST API [Mac Mule]