Categories
Miscellaneous

DirecTV Now review

  Review updated below I’ll cut to the chase. DirecTV Now is a train wreck. AT&T had every opportunity to make this a great service, but apparently felt that holiday sales were more important than satisfied customers. In essence, I paid to become a beta tester of the service. Not cool AT&T, not cool. I’ve…

Categories
Miscellaneous

Apple TV 4th generation review

  DirecTV Now is currently giving away an Apple TV (32 GB) when prepaying for three months of service. I took advantage of this offer. I’ve enjoyed the Apple TV 3 for a few years. While it’s not incredibly powerful and has relatively few channels, it has a fantastic user interface. It’s responsive and very simple…

Categories
macOS Server Security

Alternatives to Profile Manager for Macs

  Apple’s Profile Manager is an example of a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system. Despite the “mobile” designation, many MDM systems can manage desktop computers. The Profile Manager is no exception. It can be used to centrally configure and lock down Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs. While there are a huge number of MDM vendors for iOS devices,…

Categories
Networking

Apple Airport development team disbanded

  It came as a great surprise to me that Apple has reportedly disbanded its Airport engineering team. This is an unfortunate development, as the Airport and Time Capsule devices offered seamless interoperability with Macs and iOS devices. Configuration of Apple’s routers has always been a piece of cake using the Airport Utility. Anyone who has configured…

Categories
macOS Server

Portable home directories and mobile user accounts with Sierra

  Apple published two articles about the state of portable home directories in Sierra: a knowledge base article about mobile user accounts and an institutional preparation guide for iOS 10 and Sierra. The takeaway is that portable home directories are no longer supported on Sierra. This means that a network home and its accompanying local home will no…

Categories
iOS devices

iPhone swollen battery

  The Samsung Note 7 has been making headlines due to its exploding batteries. In fact, today Samsung officially stopped production of the model. While Apple hasn’t experienced such a spectacular PR nightmare, its batteries haven’t been immune to failure. Case in point: My iPhone 5S battery recently began to swell. I knew something was wrong when…

Categories
macOS Security

NIST SP 800-179: Securing Apple OS X 10.10 Systems

  I noticed that NIST recently published the Draft Special Publication 800-179: Guide to Securing Apple OS X 10.10 Systems for IT Professionals. I’m looking forward to reading it. The public comment period is June 23 through August 15th, 2016. The authors are careful to note that the recommendations only apply to 10.10, Yosemite. (System Integrity Protection,…

Categories
macOS Security

Ditching Adobe Flash on the Mac

  While I’ve kept Flash updated religiously over the years, last month I finally reached the point where the plugin was adversely impacting my Mac Pro’s performance. So I uninstalled Flash. This rectified the stutters and I eliminated one of the Mac’s most vulnerability-plagued pieces of software. Here’s a list of vulnerabilities that have been discovered in Flash…

Categories
Applications

Quicken for Mac 2016 Review

  Intuit recently added online bill pay to Quicken for the Mac. Finally! I bought Quicken for the Mac 2016 without hesitation, as I can now avoid the daily chore of running Quicken for Windows in a virtual machine. There are several detailed reviews of the Mac 2016 product on the web, so I’ll just give you…

Categories
Security

iCloud Keychain vs. 1Password

  There are several password manager products available for the Mac and iOS. In this post, I’ll focus on iCloud Keychain (free) and 1Password 5 ($49.99 for the Mac app). There are other popular options, such as LastPass and Dashlane, which store your passwords in the cloud. While it’s theoretically safe to store your data encrypted in the cloud,…