It’s been a while… In the meantime, we prepared ourselves and then—finally!—saw it: The Force Awakens.

And Max became Internet-famous: Der Flounder: Downloading installer packages from the Mac App Store with AppStoreExtract.

Since I’m still traveling, I’ll have to keep it short, but I did want to specifically mention Quiver, because it can import Evernote ENEX files, even those consisting of multiple notes. Yes, you’ll lose the OCR and some formatting, but at least you get to reuse your content in an open format. See also the MacStories review.

A few notes from the past two months:

So, next week then, in a different time zone, and in apparently very different weather, we’ll meet at Gloria on Thursday, 21 January 2015, from 18:45 for the [MacSysAdmin] Bier #49.



Always remember Ray:

I mean look at Gmail. What is it that makes a private company think they can run an email service more cheaply, more reliably, and more securely than Google? People say, “Yeah, but that means our mail is in the cloud. We need to know where our data is?” Really? Why. For security reasons? What do you think is more secure—Google’s servers and datacenters or your office? People say, “But Google doesn’t have an SLA!” Um, yeah, that’s because they’re Google. They don’t need an SLA. When Gmail is down it’s in the news, and they have about 100x more people than you have all scrambling to fix the problem. (And many of them are the people who wrote the email product!) When your email goes down, you have Ray, your Exchange-certified sysadmin who you’ve paged several times.

Not quite two centuries, but, still, “take a hint”.

The screen of the 13" MacBook Pro now ships without a keyboard, but with a lot more pixels:

As Gruber points out, the performance is impressive: “But at a fundamental level — CPU speed, GPU speed, quality of the display, quality of the sound output, and overall responsiveness of interface — the iPad Pro is a better computer than a MacBook or MacBook Air, and a worthy rival to the far more expensive MacBook Pros.” Cf. “On Apple’s Insurmountable Platform Advantage”.

In general, though, Apple’s become so open as to be almost chatty:

And there still are keyboards, don’t worry: Apple Magic Keyboard Review. Even if some aren’t shipping just yet…

On the plus side, there was the JNUC and the IBM session in particular got everybody’s panties in a twist about Apple’s Enterprise Connect. And those numbers went far and wide: Daring Fireball: Only 5 Percent of Mac Users at IBM Need Help Desk Support, Compared to 40 Percent of PC Users. And Fortune, and Business Insider and again, and Heise.

On the other side, No One [seems to be] Minding the Store—a great collection of quotes & articles by Michael Tsai on that insane clusterfuck. Paul Haddad: “Well that would explain the MAS problem.” Dan Loewenherz: “Every app downloaded from the Mac App Store stopped working because Apple let their root signing certificate expire.”—Didn’t we just collectively laugh at Google, mere months ago?

I’ve mentioned Evernote’s troubles last month already, but now there’s somewhat of an exodus:

Not sure I want to move from one closed silo to another (Notes.app?), but it seems prudent to start considering alternatives…

And then there was the movie: Mossberg: The Steve Jobs I knew isn’t in this movie. And “This isn’t The Steve Jobs Story”. And I leave it to all to figure out on their own why it’s called Steve Jobs

Politics, of one kind:

And of a different kind: “.@MacUpdate any particular reason you’re throwing away your good name by lying to folks that they’re downloading legit installers?”. Follow up: Has MacUpdate fallen to the adware plague?.

And a third: Helping my students overcome command-line bullshittery vs. On the Value of Command-Line “Bullshittery”.

Quite the opposite: Max has published his “AppStore Extractor Script” on GitHub. Thank you!

Various encounters:

Thank you, VMware! Workaround for changing Mac OS X VM display resolution in vSphere & Fusion. As William says, you gotta ask VMware support for it and reference PR 1385761.

If you see me standing in front of Gloria, screaming “Shibboleet” into my phone, here’s why. But come inside on Thursday, 19 November 2015 from 18:45 for the [MacSysAdmin] Bier #47.

Nämli, eMeneM.

PS: It’s been November for a while, so isn’t it time for 2016 dates, you ask? But, of course: CalendarTree, Google Calendar.


We were in Göteborg and it was fantastic and you should make a note in your calendar for 4–7 October 2016 (or 6–9 September 2016—I’ve seen both, mark both, and we’ll ask Tycho) and a note for December, when, during your yearly review, you’ll tell your boss to put it in the budget.

For those who had to stay home here’s the Documentation. Ask Balz or Birgit or Max or Michael or Jean-Claude or Sebastian for their highlights. Or any of the other 240 attendees.


Will digital books ever replace print?

In early August I visited Bret Victor’s Communications Design Group research laboratory in San Francisco. Against the far wall of the lab’s library stood a 10-foot wooden bookshelf. It was stuffed with manuals on the history of computers and programming and interfaces, novels and countless non-fiction books.

From behind me, Bret said: ‘Watch this,’ and pointed a small green laser at one of the books. The spine – the physical spine – lit up and above the bookshelf the book itself exploded onto an empty swath of wall. The entirety of its contents, laid out page by page by some hidden projector. The laser tracked by some hidden constellation of cameras. In his hand, Bret held an iPad, and as he pointed the laser at various projected pages they appeared on his device. As he slid from page to page on the iPad, the corresponding pages on the wall enlarged. It was a way to view both the macro and micro of a book – the overarching structure of the whole and the minutiae of the paragraph.

I want this.

And then El Capitan (or, apparently, El Capitán) was released, though it was hard to get in Göteborg. I’m also not sure how I feel about an OS X release without John Siracusa’s review

“You know who preferred the previous version? People that preferred the previous version last time.”

Also, Microsoft Office 2016 (which was unpacked and repackaged in Göteborg):

So then Evernote: “Evernote is finally working on Markdown support (coming to desktop betas first)”. If they survive that long, I guess: Evernote is in deep trouble.

Also encountered:

Said Tobias: ““Meetings are places where minutes are taken and hours are lost.” – love that quote!”. Which is why we don’t take minutes.

And then, on Thursday, 15 October 2015, we’ll be good citizens and we’ll put our signatures on this form, when we meet at 18:45 at Gloria, for the [MacSysAdmin] Bier #46.

Gäll, MnM.


So many dates:

Thank <favorite metaphysical entity> for calendars!

I was mostly away, so let me be brief:

On 17 September 2015, at 18:45, at Gloria, with updated iPhones and iPads and already excited for Göteborg, we’ll meet for the [MacSysAdmin] Bier #45.

Nöd? M&M.


Two more beers (right…), then we’re off to Göteborg and MacSysAdmin 2015, including the traditional Monday dinner at (doubly Michelin-starred) Magnus & Magnus and Max is dealing with the BORDSFÖRFRÅGAN.

At least some of the same people will also show up on 9 & 10 Feb 2016 in London at the Mac Admin & Developer Conference UK, including Göteborg Chief Tycho.—Let’s hope no Active Directories will go crazy…

Charles Edge is keeping lists:


Secure and less so:

Lessons in project management:



On 20 August 2015, at 18:45, at Gloria: The [MacSysAdmin] Bier #44.

PS: Pornographic obsession: Bicycle helmets.

Apollo 11

Just a short note…

While I was busy with other things, you’ve apparently let the world go crazy: Please be prepared to explain what you did to:

I just wanted to have a sip of wine or two and this is what I get back to… Ts.

On 16 July 2015, at 18:45, at Gloria, at the [MacSysAdmin] Bier #43, please.

The Answer! The Ultimate Question! Life! The Universe! Everything!

Everybody’s likely to pull their own highlights from the WWDC, but I hope—dare I predict?—John Gruber’s “The Talk Show: Live from WWDC 2015” will be all the way up there. I’ve mentioned how much I like Apple’s (new) openness—latest example: Stephen Fry met Jony Ive—but this is a whole new level: “I shit you not”, Phil Schiller. “Apple doesn’t do this,” said Marco. And Phil blushed.

Assorted quick notes from WWDC:

Here’s your chance to escape IRC (say, ##osx-server) and try out Slack: “Have you joined our #macadmins @SlackHQ team yet? Sign up now! http://t.co/0eOE4Bka4B”. This is the team. And you can sign up here.—Be prepared for lots of GIFs…

Really good reads:

The last one is gonna cost some time… and might actually be for your clients or bosses or generally inquisitive parties.


I can’t wait to meet again, on Thursday, 18 June 2015, at 18:45, at Gloria, for the [MacSysAdmin] Bier #42, because it’ll mean the worst of the “excitement” will be over…

Uff, MnM

PS: We’re still going to Göteborg, from 29 Sep to 2 Oct: MacSysAdmin 2015. Have you registered?


From 2015–09–29 to 2015–10–02 we are going to be in Göteborg:

MacSysAdmin 2015

You can register, book your flight, your hotel; or look at the program or the speakers, if you don’t trust our word. But you should try and come!

There was a lot of hoopla about Facebook’s Instant Articles. Gruber has thoughts. There is (justified) doom. But it’s not new. We’ve been using ad blockers and feed readers even before Facebook and we’ve been using Instapaper for a while now, too. Publishers and newspapers in particular should be scared, but they should’ve been scared a long, long time ago. The world is mobile and this is not new.

What is new, though, is the second Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser and I had just as much fun watching it, repeatedly, as Matthew McConaughey.

My father has it, I have it, my sister has it.
You have that power, too.

It’s almost as if they’re talking about root. Which you really shouldn’t have. Or ice cream?

Netneutrality kills (“NETZNEUTRALITÄT TÖTET”). That guy is really good, by the way; via his site, I also found this gem: We Love Surveillance.—And I’m sure Swisscom agrees.—You’ll excuse me if I don’t even get started on the salted oranges.

Also remember: “Whenever someone tells me ”coding is the new literacy“ because ”computers are everywhere today“, I ask them how fuel injection works.”. We can, of course, simply ask Christian, for instance on Thursday, 21 May 2015, at 18:45, at Gloria, at the [MacSysAdmin] Bier #41.

Ebe, eMeneM, eh.

Ali Baba

No, nothing on “Enhanced SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1” & Type-C—although I’d like to remind all the port complainers of all the times they tried to explain which plug goes into which socket over the phone—and nothing on the Apple Watch—even though 40 lies between 38 and 42. Go find a newspaper and pay them for their rant.

Since “serious” journalism, as the Tages-Anzeiger argues, can’t properly explain privacy issues on the Internet, maybe we need one of the 266 to become the Swiss Snowden and explain what happens to Swiss Dick Pics if the secret service’s fantasies become reality.

Or since nobody else will: Millennials say keeping up with the news is important to them — but good luck getting them to pay for it (via @moorehn):

“I don’t think you should pay for news,” Eric, a 22-year-old Chicagoan, said. “That’s something everybody should be informed in. Like, you’re going to charge me for information that’s going on around the world?” And then there’s 19-year-old Sam from San Francisco: “I really wouldn’t pay for any type of news because as a citizen it’s my right to know the news.”



[Deep breath.]

[I admit there is a certain, somewhat twisted logic in your government sifting through the Internet, on your dime, and your kiddies demanding news as a governement service… Also see: A Teenager’s View on Social Media.]

Leaving the paper economy, Slack is making ever wider rounds… Another longish article in the New York Times and as part of a wider view on messaging in the Economist, which also mentions Cisco Spark and IBM Verse; you must be doing something right if those guys are copying you…

I’ve always kinda liked Apple—and even been called “fanboi” on occasion—but I really like the new Apple, with more stories about their staff—recently Tim Cook or Jony Ive—and them even speaking up and out. Yes, Steve was Steve, but Tim seems to be becoming Tim just fine…

[PS: That other company seems to be trying something new as well: “Opening Windows”.—And kudos to the Economist on that title.]

Ok, final note on paper for today: Das Wiesbadener Urteil zum Scannen. Read the comments!

Speaking of old tech: I just sent this to Swisscard about their stupid cardservice app (pasting disabled): Agile Blog: An open letter to banks.


While we wait for Tycho and before I return to Rome—yes, again—let’s have a beer. On Thursday, 16 Apr 2015. At 18:45. At, you guessed it, Gloria.



Remember this? Because of that, I read his first book, And Then I Thought I was a Fish. Which was interesting enough to make me pay attention when his second book came out, Observations of a Straight White Male with No Interesting Fetishes. But which also brought me back to his website and, in particular, the intriguing “Or Something” section, of which every single article ended up in my Instapaper queue. And so today’s notes had to be culled from my bookmarks

More things to read, available towards the end of the month: Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader. See also Daring Fireball. Though my hopes are low that it’ll prevent “cool” “journalists” from quoting the trashy Isaacson when it fits their narrative.

If we’re honest, we’re in this business because we like our toys, the newer, the better, so, between all the port-related moaning, that new MacBook, OMG, OMG, OMG.

In other news, there’s a new watch, the “Pebble Time” (and “Pebble Time Steel”), and they’re breaking all kinds of records over at Kickstarter. Oh, and apparently one from Apple, too. Though no records. Yet?

Since I’m putting this together on the roof of the Beldes Hotel, in the warm sun, let me be brief(er):

Almost like our little get-together: Clay Shirky on Love, Internet Style (via Jeff Atwood on Twitter). Next on Thursday, 19 March 2015, at 18:45, at Gloria. After I get back from Rome…

Ecco, emme e emme