Fully Automated: DeployStudio Dual Boot

I was recently tasked with deploying dual-boot Macs to all new staff.  Naturally, I wanted this to be as automated as possible so it was repeatable and consistent.  I already knew how to use an answer file to fully-automate the Windows side of the deployment.  And I also knew how to fully automate the Mac side of things.

I did need to learn how to make Windows 10 into a deployable .pkg, which was the final piece needed to automate the entire dual-boot deployment process. Continue reading “Fully Automated: DeployStudio Dual Boot”

How To Make An Automagic Windows 10 Boot Camp Install .pkg

I spent a long time trying to automate a dual-boot deployment of macOS and Windows 10.  The reason being is that it’s very useful to only buy a single piece of hardware (Apple) and have it run Windows and macOS (and maybe Linux, too).  But getting two completely different operating systems to deploy to a single piece of hardware in an automated fashion is a challenge.

This post describes how I went about creating a sysprep’d Windows image in a .pkg format, so it could be easily run on a Mac or deployed through something like JAMF. Continue reading “How To Make An Automagic Windows 10 Boot Camp Install .pkg”

Run PJL Commands From A Shell Script

I love learning obscure and under-utilized things in the tech world; PJL commands fit that bill.  You can use PJL commands to get and set printer preferences.  This includes getting the page count, setting the serial number, and changing the LCD display message.

I was recently tasked with evaluating our printer usage to determine if we could save money by removing low-usage printers.  Like many companies, the majority of our printers were HPs, and we were on a tight budget, so something like Papercut was out of the question.  I also wasn’t about to go around to each printer and print out the usage report, nor did I want to enter the Web interface of every printer to manually get this information. Continue reading “Run PJL Commands From A Shell Script”

Using Dropbox For An Easy Restore Of All Your Computer’s Settings

Just to be clear, Dropbox isn’t backup software; it’s a syncing service.  If you delete a file and that change is synced, and your file no longer exists.

I really love the things you can do with Dropbox.  And since I’m stingy, I wanted to use Dropbox for backing up–and more importantly–restoring my computer.

One thing I always hated about getting a new computer was losing all of the customizations and settings that accrued over time.

Before this little trick,

I would spend an entire day re-configuring my computer to get it back to the way it was.

Continue reading “Using Dropbox For An Easy Restore Of All Your Computer’s Settings”

Roll-your-own Anonymizing Email Server

This post isn’t about a specific security breach, but rather a post to educate you on how to better protect your online identity.  The term “anonymize” is used loosely for lack of a better word.

TL;DR

  • Create a unique email address that forwards to your real email for every site you sign up for.
  • Create a unique password for each site you sign up for
  • Don’t reveal your real email address again
  • Make hacker’s work more difficult

Continue reading “Roll-your-own Anonymizing Email Server”

Merge PDFs Natively With A Right-Click In OS X

UPDATE: If you installed this script today (2016-08-15), you may need to update it.  I added a line in the script that should prevent duplicate pages from being appended.

There are plenty of apps that help you merge PDFs into a single file, but if you want something faster with a “native” feel, you can set up an OS X service to quickly merge selected PDFs simply by right-clicking them. Continue reading “Merge PDFs Natively With A Right-Click In OS X”

Batch Download All Of GarageBand’s Loops, Jingles, And Sound Effects

GarageBand has a lot of cool loops and sound effects.  If you are a systems administrator, you might be tasked with deploying these sounds and loops so you don’t need to download it onto each computer when GarageBand opens up.  Or maybe you just want to have these effects for your own personal movies or songs. Continue reading “Batch Download All Of GarageBand’s Loops, Jingles, And Sound Effects”