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”

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”

I Made My Own Script To Fill Out Tedious PDF Forms For Me

I often need to fill out a PDF form for requesting medical records.  I have typically done this using Preview since I can use it to digitally sign the form.  But requesting new records after every appointment started becoming tedious–even when doing it digitally.  I also did not want to wait for years and then request the records all at once (because it’s easier to handle large things like this via attrition rather than in bulk).  So I made a script that would fill out PDF forms for me using the information I specified. Continue reading “I Made My Own Script To Fill Out Tedious PDF Forms For Me”

How To Image A Computer With Windows 10 Using dism

If you want to image a lot of computers with a clean Windows 10 image, Microsoft  has lots of built-in tools to help do this, but it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed with their documentation.  To alleviate that headache, I will explain step-by-step how to:

  • create and use an Unattended.xml file that will:
    • skip the initial setup screens
    • create a local admin account
    • activate Windows with a product key
    • (optionally) configure other Window settings
  • capture a deployable Windows 10 .wim file using sysprep
  • deploy the image to multiple computers using the dism command line tool and WinPE
  • (optionally) add drivers to the .wim file

Continue reading “How To Image A Computer With Windows 10 Using dism”

Convert DOCX to PDF Natively With A Right-Click

Microsoft Office for OS X is usually very sluggish and slow.  This is one reason I don’t like working with DOCs or DOCXs in OS X.  Yes, you can easily view the document using QuickLook (pressing the Space bar while the file is highlighted), but if you actually want to open the file and manipulate it, you need to either buy Office, or get an open source alternative.

Download a pre-built workflow (or create your own by following the steps below).

Continue reading “Convert DOCX to PDF Natively With A Right-Click”

Prevent Ransomware By Automatically Finding The Checksum Of Downloaded Files

Apple has already shut down the ransomware found in the Transmission torrent client.  You can easily prevent this from happening to you in the future by adding a Hazel rule to your downloads folder, which will automatically determine the checksum, so you can compare it with the one the legitimate file has. Continue reading “Prevent Ransomware By Automatically Finding The Checksum Of Downloaded Files”