OS X El Capitan Beta Part 2: New System Features

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In this screencast tutorial I walk through some of the system level changes included in the OS X 10.11 beta (remember this is a beta so changes can and will still happen). I cover the changes to mission control, split view, disk utility, spotlight and other small changes.

If you find this tutorial helpful please subscribe, like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to get back to you.



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OS X El Capitan Beta Part 1: Dual Boot Installation

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to install the OS X El Capitan Beta side by side with your existing Mac set up. This has the advantage of speed and doesn’t delete your existing OS X set up as you will be running it in a dual boot format. I cover how to partition your drive, download the beta, and then walk through the installation process.

If you find this tutorial helpful please subscribe, like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 35: Mobile Accounts

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up mobile accounts with OS X Server. I cover how to use profile manager to set up the mobility payload with all of the necessary settings. I then walk you through how to set up the mobile accounts on a client machine.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

If you find this tutorial helpful please subscribe, like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 34: Xcode

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In this screencast tutorial I cover a new service to OS X Server and that's the Xcode Server. I cover how to set up the service, get enrolled in the developer program, set your test macs to point to your server, set up bots to test your code, and setting up and managing git repositories. Since I am not a coder I don't go into detail on each but just walk you through how to set it up and get it running.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

If you find this tutorial helpful please subscribe, like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 33: NetInstall

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the NetInstall service in OS X Server. I cover how to create a disk image, how to customize the image to fit your needs, and how to set up and use the service once you have everything configured.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

If you find this tutorial helpful please subscribe, like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 32: DHCP

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the DHCP service in OS X Server. I cover pros and cons of using OS X Server's DHCP service as compared to a router. I also cover how to set up an Airport Extreme Base Station to work with server's DHCP service, walk you through all of the settings in the DHCP service, and cover how to set up static IP reservations for the clients on your network.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

If you find this tutorial helpful please subscribe, like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 31: FTP

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the FTP service in OS X Server. The FTP service is not as secure as using SFTP but it can still work to transfer non critical files if you need a quick set up. I cover how to set the service up, open the appropriate ports (20, 21, and you may need to open 49152-65535 for remote access), and how to access those shares using the terminal and an FTP client.

As always thanks for watching! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.



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OS X Server Part 30: Wiki

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OS X Server has a built in wiki service that allows you to host your own wiki website. For many users the wiki website will be all they need for their own private website that can be used for collaboration. The website lets you add a blog or wiki, have a web calendar, and host and share documents that you can access over the web or through WebDAV on your iOS devices. Most aspects of the site are customizable so you can tweak it to make it your own.

In this screencast I walk through the wiki service and show how to set it up and some of the basic services available. I also walk through some of the customization options to show you the possibilities in making the wiki work for you. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment below and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 29: Websites

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One of the advantages of running your own server is the ability to host your own websites and there is a great website service built into OS X Server. Now before you go out and try to host our own site, there are some things to keep in mind. First, you need to consider downtime and how important it is that your website be up 24/7. Things can go wrong with your server and power outages can cause a delay in getting your server back up so you want to make sure you are ok with those possible issues. You also want to make sure that your ISP will allow you to host a website and that they are not blocking the ports needed for web hosting (ports 80 and 443). Finally, you will need a static IP so your site can always be reached at the same IP address as most providers give dynamic IP addresses that change over time. When that change happens your site is down until you fix it.

In this screencast I cover how to set up your own website. I cover the built in site and how the settings function. Then I walk you through how to set up your own custom site including the DNS you need to make it work. If you have any questions or want help setting up your own website feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 28: Profile Manager Devices

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Not only is Profile Manager great at managing users and groups, it also allows you to set up your devices to run the way you want them to. If you have ever had to manage multiple devices where the basic settings are the same for each one, then you know the pain of going to each device and setting them up one at a time. Sometimes you have to wait for the device to be ready before you set it up. It can take a lot of time and energy to make that happen but with Profile Manager you can do the set up once with a few clicks and then have those profiles pushed to all of you devices making the changes happen.

In this screencast I cover how to manage your devices through the Profile Manager web interface. I cover all of the settings unique to devices and what each of those settings will do on your Mac or iOS devices. I also cover how to set up device groups so you can manage groups of devices at one time instead of managing one device at a time. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 27: Profile Manager Users & Groups

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One of the advantages of using Profile Manager is it's ability to customize user settings and then push those settings to your individual's devices when they login. From one interface you can customize all the aspects of their experience from what apps they have access to, to what settings should be made in System Preferences, to the wall paper on their desktop and their dock settings. All of these things can be set through the web interface from any computer that can access the web.

For those of you who manage a lot of users, this set up really makes managing those users a breeze. This works well for those managing schools or the workplace where you have different settings for different users or groups of users. It also works well at home for managing kids and making changes once which then take place for all of your kids.

In this screencast I walk through each of the settings for users and groups in Profile Manager. I give you an overview of all of the settings you can make and give some ideas of when you might want to use those settings. If you have any questions or want help setting up your own server, leave a comment below and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 26: Profile Manager Overview

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Profile Manager is one of the more powerful features of OS X Server. It allows you to manage all of your users and devices through one web interface and then push those changes to those devices or users when they log into their machines. I have used this service to manage my own household and it has been a delight to use and has cut down my time moving from device to device since I only need to make those changes once.

In this screencast I walk through the web interface for Profile Manager. I cover all of the main sections and what each area covers. In future screencasts I will walk through each of the settings you can customize for users & groups and also for devices & device groups. If you have any questions or would like help in setting up your own server, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 25: Profile Manager iOS Enrollment

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With many more users getting iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads, managing all of those devices in your household can be a chore. Well with Profile Manager built into OS X Server you can manage all of your devices remotely from one web interface. Before you are able to manage those devices, you have to make sure they are enrolled in your Profile Manager service. This includes making sure you have Open Directory up and running and the Profile Manager Service set up and running. Then you install a trust certificate so your device knows to trust certificates coming from your server. Once this is done, you can enroll your device and it is ready to be managed through the Profile Manager interface.

In this screencast I will show you how to enroll your iOS devices including adding all of the certificates you need to manage your device remotely. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Server Part 24: Profile Manager Mac Enrollment

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your Mac devices to be managed by Profile Manager. By enrolling your devices you include them in your Open Directory and allow for remote management and installation of settings through profiles pushed to your Macs by the Profile Manager Service. In this screencast I cover how to install the certificates including the order of installation and what you can do with your Mac from the my devices portal.

As always thanks for watching! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 23: Profile Manager Set Up

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In this screencast I show you how to set up what might be one of the best services offered on OS X Server, Profile Manager. The idea that any user can manage multiple OS X and iOS devices through a web interface and push profiles to those devices that automatically set those machines up with your specific settings is a very powerful and useful package. I use this to manage the Macs and iOS devices in my household and it makes doing so easy.

In this screencast I show you how to set up Profile Manager so it is ready to use to create profiles to manage your devices and users. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below.



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OS X Server Part 22: Mail

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In this next screencast in my series on OS X Server I cover setting up the mail service. Email is something we have all come to take for granted. We expect it to be available and we expect it to work. OS X Server has a mail server implementation to help you host and control your own email. It is a good service as long as you keep a few things in mind. First, if you are running a home server I would recommend not using the mail service. In most home settings your ISP will most likely block port 25 which is needed to send email. This is done to block spammers from sending out junk mail which could cause the ISP issues from getting blocked by other mail servers. Second, if you don't have a static IP address you shouldn't run server because when your dynamic IP changes you will lose your email until you register that new IP with your domain provider.

If you don't have any of those issues you can give it a try but I would still caution you that running your own mail server can be difficult. I personally leave it to others to run but in case you want to do it, I put together this screencast to help you. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



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OS X Photos App Set Up

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With Apple's switch to the new Photos App from iPhoto and Aperture, there has been a lot written about the new app and how to use it. If you want an in-depth walk through and FAQ related to the new photos app take a look at this comprehensive overview from Serenity Caldwell over at iMore.

I decided it might help to do a walk through of the set up process to show you what it looks like to do the transfer from Aperture to the Photos App. I have found that seeing how it works can sometimes ease our own concerns about it so the screencast below is a walk through of the set up process. I will probably do other screencasts on the interface going forward so stay tuned. So far I have found the photos app to be helpful for your personal photos especially if you choose to use the iCloud Photo Library option. If you have a large library, be prepared to pay for more storage though. I hope you enjoy the video. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.



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OS X Server Part 21: Messages

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Built into OS X is a messages service that allows you to chat with other users through text and other instant messaging services. Just like what we covered with contacts and calendars, some users may see the need to have their own private messages server. This will keep all communications only on your server and your devices as opposed to anyone else server. You can also archive those messages if you want to use them later.

This is obviously more important to business or to home users who want to protect and monitor their kids communications and still give them access to a messaging service. Because you can limit who you users can connect to, you can see the benefit of hosting your own messaging server.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the messages service built into OS X Server. I also cover an issue with the current build of the messages service and how to fix it to hopefully get everything working the way you want.

f you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!



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OS X Yosemite Part 20: VPN

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Security is something many people are worried about lately. With exploits and hacks that have been created to steal our data, we all have to be concerned about protecting the typically ways that people can gain access to our computers. One way someone could hack your computer is through own wifi hotspots that are not secured. One way to protect yourself in coffee shops or airports where these hotspots are used is to use a VPN service to encrypt your communications back and forth on the internet.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it basically logs you into your home server and then encrypts you communications and routes them through your home network. This keeps hackers from being able to read what you are sending back and forth over the internet. Another benefit of using a VPN is the ability to connect to your home server remotely without the need of purchasing a host name. The beauty of using OS X Server instead of paying for a VPN service is that it only costs $19.99 with no other fees.

In the screencast I cover how to set up the VPN service in OS X Server. I also cover how to set up your devices to use the service.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!




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OS X Yosemite Part 19: Contacts

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For most of us our contacts are handled through services that keep that information in sync like iCloud or Google. For most of us this works fine and we see no need to change how we handle our contacts. When some thing works, why change it? For others there might be a need to handle their own contacts. Maybe, they work in a business that needs to keep any client contact records private. Or maybe a home user wants their kids to get used to using a contacts manager but they want to control the whole experience to keep their kids safe and so they don't clutter up their personal contacts list. There are many reasons someone might want to host their own contacts server.

OS X Server includes a contacts service that allows your host your own CardDAV server and even has the ability to push changes to all your devices and includes a directory contacts list. In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the contacts service in OS X Server. I go over each of the settings and show how they work on your client devices.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!




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OS X Yosemite Server Part 18: Complete Server Uninstall

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There are times when you may need to start over with server. Beyond wiping the drive and starting over which does guarantee that your have cleaned out any possible problems, you could also consider a complete uninstall of OS X Server. Now if you have tried to do a standard uninstall by deleting the application an assuming it completely gets rid of every trace of server you have probably been disappointed when you reinstalled server and found some of your setting show up again. There are many files and preference lists that server leaves behind that make it difficult to know if you completely uninstalled the application.

In this screencast I cover how to do a complete uninstall of Server. I cover all of the hidden files you need to look for in order to make sure you haven't left anything behind.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 17: Calendars

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For most of us our calendars are handled through services that keep that information in sync like iCloud or Google. For most of us this works fine and we see no need to change how we handle our calendars. When some thing works, why change it? For others there might be a need to handle their own calendars. Maybe, they work in a business that needs to keep any record they have confidential to protect clients. Or maybe a home user wants their kids to get used to using calendars but they want to control the whole experience to keep their kids safe and so they don't clutter up there personal calendars. There are many reasons someone might want to host their own calendars.

OS X Server includes a calendar service that allows your host your own CalDAV server and even has the ability to push changes to all your devices, send invitations, and even set up locations and devices that people could reserve for any of there appointments. In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the calendar service in OS X Server. I go over each of the settings and show how they work on your client devices.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!




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OS X Yosemite Server Part 16: Caching Server

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Caching Service in Yosemite Server. The caching service allows you to cache any updates or downloads from the Mac, iOS, or iBook stores on your server and have users on your local network get their updates from your server instead of downloading another copy which saves time and bandwidth on your network. In this tutorial I cover each of the settings and demonstrate how it works.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 15: Software Update

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In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to set up the built in Software Update Service. Software Update has been Apple's way of issuing updates to Macs, especially prior to the Mac App Store. Built into Mavericks Server is a Software Update Service that allows you to cache updates so your users download them from your server instead of Apple which limits the bandwidth needed for each user to download their own update. In this screencast I show you how to set up the service and some tips on how to customize it to fit your environment.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 14: Server Back Up

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One of the important aspects of running a server is being able to quickly recover should something go wrong with your server. That recovery process involves making sure your server is back up and you have wha you need to restore your server to operating condition.

There are many different options available to backing up your server. Every back up strategy should include, a back up of all of your server settings, an incremental back up, and a clone of your server. These back ups will give you options when it comes to restoring from some kind of failure.

In this screencast I cover how to back up your server. I go over each of the areas I mention above including the software and tools you can use to make those back ups. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 13: Time Machine

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One of the benefits of running OS X Server is setting up a centralized back up workflow that allows your users to back up their machines to one drive on your network. Since most users have a difficult time remembering to back up their machines by plugging in their external drives and running Time Machine, it is important to find a set-it-and-forget-it solution to back ups. Built into OS X Server is a Time Machine Service that allows your users to back up to a centralized drive on your server that you select and they can do so wirelessly. This allows Time Machine to run on each computer automatically as if you had a dedicated drive connected to their computer. So without doing a thing all of your back ups take place on a regular basis and each is placed in a backups folder on the drive you select for back ups. It really is a great solution and works like a Time Capsule without having to worry about drive space since you can replace an external drive easier than the drive in a Time Capsule.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the Time Machine Service. I also cover how to connect your users to the back up, set a limit on the size of each back up, and how to monitor your back ups to make sure they are working properly. As always, feel free to leave a comment here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 12: Connecting to Your File Shares

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Once you have your file sharing all set up you need to connect to those new file shares you set up. Apple has built in a few ways to connect to those files including AFP, SMB, and WebDAV built into Yosemite Server. Apple is in the process of moving everything over to SMB but still allows its own AFP protocol for now. It appears AFP may be going away in the future but it is still available in Yosemite. WebDAV is used mainly to connect to shares from iOS devices but could be used on your Mac as well.

In this screencast I cover how t connect to your AFP shares using a couple different methods. I also cover how to set up your shares to auto mount to your Mac at start up. As always, if you have any questions feel free to leaver them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 11: File Sharing

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File sharing is one of the basic things most users get a server to do. In this screencast I cover how to set up file sharing and all of the permission settings that you can apply to your files and folders. I also cover how to set up home folders on your server so your users can log into any computer on your network and have their own personal desktop show up on that computer as if it was their own computer.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 10: Bind Clients to Server

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Once you have your Open Directory set up and you have your users and groups set up and running, the next step is to get your devices registered on your open directory so your users can take advantage of the network accounts you have just set up. With network accounts, your users can log into any computer on your network with their network login and, as I will cover in a future screencast, they could even have their home folders show up if you have them stored on the server. In order for this to work, however, your computers need to be bound to the same Open Directory.

In this screencast, I cover how to bind your Mac clients to your server’s Open Directory. I walk through the steps needed to perform the bind and talk about the difference between authenticated and anonymous binding. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 9: Users & Groups

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Once you have your Open Directory set up you can now begin to set up and manage your users and groups within that directory. In Yosemite Server you can manage all of your users from the server interface and set up what services they have access to. You can set up these permissions for certain services either individually or by setting up groups. Using groups you would set up a group and then add your users to that group. Within the group interface you can add or delete services that all of the users in that group have access to.

In this screencast I cover how to set up your users, how to tell the difference between a network and local user and the advantages of each, and finally how to set up groups and manage your users in those groups. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 8: Open Directory

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If you are running a server you will probably want to manage various user accounts to allow users on your network access to the services you are running on your server. You may also want to manage the various devices you have on your network to make setting them up more convenient. To do this, you will need to set up an Open Directory Master which is basically a database that holds all of your users, groups, and device data.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up an Open Directory for your OS X Server. I cover why you might want to set up an Open Directory, how to set up an OD for the first time, how to back up your OD, and the difference between network and local accounts. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 7: SSL Certificates

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SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, Certificates are designed to set up secure encrypted communications between devices. SSL is used to keep everything from online bank transactions to other service communications with your server safe and secure. When browsing the web you can see this service at work when you log into a site and you see the lock icon in Safari or the web address starts with the https as opposed to non secure http.

SSL verifies that you are who you say your are or that the server you are trying to contact is the server you think it is so you don’t end up connecting to a spoofed site that then steals your information. There are two types of SSL Certificates in terms of verifying identity. There is a self signed certificate where the user is vouching for him/herself and a verified certificate where a third party is verifying the identity of the service you are looking to connect with. Obviously the verified SSL Certificate is more trusted than a self signed one. If you try to connect to a site that has signed it’s own certificate you will get a warning that that is the case while a verified certificate will go through without a warning since it is trusted. For your own website you really don’t need a verified SSL Certificate because you know who you are. If you are hosting a site that third parties will visit, you will want to have a purchased one.

In this screencast tutorial I cover the Certificates Service built into OS X Server. I cover what SSL certificates do, the differences between self-signed & verified certificates, how to secure your services with SSL, the different types of certificates you can create in OS X Server, and how to purchase and set up a third party verified SSL certificate. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 6: DNS

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DNS or Domain Name System, is the basic system used to translate IP addresses into names that are easier for us to remember. DNS is what deciphers that when a user types in example.com it should send the request to an IP address of 78.178.x.x. So DNS is a very important thing to have set up properly.

In OS X Server everything hinges on properly set up DNS. If you have a problem with your DNS then most of your services will not function properly and you will have all kinds of issues. If your DNS is not set up properly and you set up and Open Directory based on that DNS you will most likely have to start over with your Open Directory once you get your DNS set up properly, so you will want to make sure you have it working before you set up the rest of your server’s services.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the DNS service in OS X Server 4. I cover how DNS works, what each of the DNS records do, walk through two ways to set up your DNS, and cover how to test your DNS to make sure it is working properly. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 5: Host Name and Server Settings

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One of the most important things to making sure your server is functioning properly is to make sure your host name is set up properly. The host name identifies your server and is the basis for the DNS on your server. In this screencast I cover the three types of host names you can choose and which one to choose for each application. I also cover how to change your server name and use Apple’s new reachability service that does an external check of you settings and lets you know what services are accessible from outside your network.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 4: Port Forwarding

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If you ever plan on accessing your server remotely you will have to learn how to forward ports in order to get into your network to access the services your server offers. Ports are basically doors into your network. Each door has a number which is linked to the services that go in and out of that door. The walls around the door are either your router or a software firewall you have in place. Both function to keep unwanted traffic out and to be a gatekeeper to allow only wanted traffic into your network. This is what keeps our network secure.

When you forward a port you are creating the door for the service to go through as long as the user of that service knows he username and password needed to go through the door. This verification serves as the key to that door and let’s authorized users to have access to that service through that port. In OS X Server, if you have an Airport Extreme Base Station or AEBS, the server software itself handles opening and closing ports. If you have a third party router you will have to look up how your router handles port forwarding and you will need to set it up manually.

In this screencast I cover how to set up port forwarding using an AEBS with OS X Server. I cover the basics of port forwarding and how it works on your network. I also cover how to set up and use port forwarding with the built in service with OS X Server and how to do it manually if you don’t have an Apple Router. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 3: Network Configuration

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Part of running a server is making sure all of the network components are set up properly. This includes the router you choose to use. With an Airport Extreme Base Station or a Time Capsule, OS X Server will manage your router for you right inside the server application. This makes it simple to set up and manage your router as it relates to your server as opposed to using a third party router. Third party routers will work fine you just have to know how that router works and where to go to configure the settings you need to make it work.

Another thing you will need to do make sure your server is functioning properly is to set up a DHCP Reservation for your server. A DHCP Reservation is giving your server a permanent internal IP address so every time your server is online it will have the same IP address. This is needed because your other devices that will be connecting to your server will be looking to it for DNS and other services and if the IP address changes those devices will not be able to know what the new IP is for your server.

In this screencast I cover router considerations and how to do a basic set up of your network to make sure it is ready to work with OS X Server. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 2: Install & Set Up

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For those of you who are looking to get started with OS X Server, I put together an install and set up tutorial to show you what the process looks like. I cover each of the steps in the process and walk through the basic settings for the server like remote access and the new access tab which shows the services you have running, the ports those services use, and who has access to those services.

Overall the new update is a good one and Apple has done some things to polish up the server app. It does have a new look to match the changes made to the visual design found in Yosemite. It also has some little touches like the Access tab and the reachability service that make the process of determining how things are configured and if they can be reached outside your server much easier. So most of the changes are little touches here and there but you can see how Apple is slowly refining the Server app to make it more accessible.



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OS X Yosemite Part 4: Clean Install Walkthrough

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In most cases a straight upgrade is the best way to move to the latest version of OS X since you get the benefits of the upgrade and still get to keep all of your files and settings in place and functional. There are times, however, when a clean install if necessary. Maybe you notice your Mac is running slower than it used to. Or maybe you need to do a complete clean install of OS X Server and many times it is easier to go with a clean install than trying to track down all the files associated with Server.

In this screencast I walk your through how to do a clean install of OS X Yosemite. I cover how to do the install from a USB Boot Installer (this is something I covered in the previous screencast which you can view on my blog HERE) and show you screen by screen what the install looks like. One of the changes I noticed right away is the installer only runs once and then reboots right into the set up process saving time. In Mavericks the installer would run through the install screen twice and then go right into the set up and seemed to take more time to run than Yosemite does.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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OS X Yosemite Part 3: Creating a USB Installer

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There are times when you need to do a clean install on your Mac or multiple Macs. The usually way of doing this would be to boot into the recovery partition, use Disk Utility to wipe your drive, and then install a fresh copy of OS X Yosemite.

While this process is convenient it can take some time as you still have to download the installer package as a part of the installation process. Depending on your bandwidth and how many machines you need to do a clean install of, it could add to the time it takes to get the job done.

With a bootable USB installer, you can download OS X once, create the installer and then use that USB drive to boot each of your machines into the OS X installer. OS X is only downloaded once to create the installer and you can take that USB drive with you from machine to machine. It really can make the installation process fast and convenient.

In this screencast, I cover two ways to create a USB Installer, one using
Diskmaker X and the other using the terminal process for ‘createinstallmedia.’ Both of these options create a bootable installer that you can use to do a clean install of OS X. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Part 2: Handoff on All Your Macs

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Continuity between Macs is one of the bigger features included in the upgrade to Yosemite. Having all of your Mac and iOS devices communicate with one another and share functions with another is a great features. Starting a paper on your Mac and then handing it off to your iOS device when you hit the road is very convenient and allows you to use the best device for various circumstances in your life and not have to figure out a way to get the document you are working on to the devices you have chosen to use. It is also convenient to do things like answer the phone on the device that happens to be closest to you in the moment. Overall, continuity and handoff are great additions to the Apple eco-system.

But like any new set of features there is a cutoff on what devices can use the features. Handoff needs bluetooth 4.0 to function so any device that doesn’t have that version of bluetooth is left out. Also, Apple chose to leave out some of it’s older Macs that do have bluetooth 4.0 like the mid 2011 Mac Mini that I use for my server. This is frustrating because my Mac Mini has everything it needs to make Handoff work. So I went on a search to see if I could work around that requirement and found a tool that enables continuity on older Macs, even those that don’t currently have bluetooth 4.0 but could add it with a card or USB device.

The Continuity Activation Tool was created by a group over on Github and you can read more about it
HERE. The tool basically changes Apple’s system check and changes the no to using continuity to a yes. It is a simple to use tool and very easy to run. Just download the zip and run the tool. On their Github page, they let you know what Macs it works on and what is needed to make it run on each Mac.

In this screencast I walk through using the tool to enable handoff. I also cover how to use handoff on your Mac and show how each function works. As always thanks for watching! If you have any questions feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosmite Server Part 1: Server Upgrade

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Well it has been another year and, for Apple, that means another upgrade to their OS and Server Application which means the new Server version 4 is out in the wild. Yosemite Server is more of a refinement than a major upgrade which includes all of the functionality we were used to in Server 3 with a few additional features like a new reachability service that does all the necessary checks to know if your server is accessible on the internet. There is also an access tab added to the server area that lets you view who is accessing what services on what ports and also allows you to set permissions for each of those services.

In this screencast I walk you through the upgrade and give you a basic tour of some of the more obvious changes to OS X Server. I will walk through each of the services like I normally do to help you to get your server configured the way you want it.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Part 1: Upgrade Step by Step

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With Apple’s release of 10.10, I thought I would do a walk through of the upgrade process as I know many of you like to see all of the steps in the process. Because most of the time the timer is not quite accurate and there are times when the upgrades can seem to hang for a while, I recorded the entire process in this screencast.

Overall, I found the upgrade process to go smoothly. I did experience that the time was off by about 20 minutes each time overall and the when it says less than a minute left it means more like 5 minutes or so. But using the new operating system has been smooth and I haven’t experienced any major bugs with this release like I did with Mavericks.

If you have any questions or issues feel free to share them below or on my
Youtube Channel.





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iOS 8 Tips & Set Up: Health Kit

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One of the new features of iOS 8 is Apple’s Health Kit which takes data from all of your health apps and displays them in one place. This makes it a convenient location for you to store the information you collect from various health apps and lets you use the applications you prefer for the various health data you want to track without having to find one app that does it all well. I love this feature as I have found some apps that do certain things well and other things not so well. I was always either having to look in multiple locations for my health data or had to sacrifice some features to use an app that had most of the things I was looking for in one place. Now I can use multiple apps and have all of the data from each displayed in one place for my own tracking and for my doctor.
One app I have been trying out lately on the health side is Motion X 24/7. This application tracks your sleep patterns, steps, pulse, and other medical data. What I like about the app is that it can track your sleep patterns without the need for a separate bracelet. Just leave the phone on the bed next to you or on your pillow and it gives a detailed analysis of your sleep patterns including recording moments when it hears noise to see if you are snoring. This app integrates nicely with Health Kit as you will see in the tutorial below.

In this screencast tutorial I walk through the new Health Kit feature that is built into iOS 8. I walk through how to set up a Medical ID for emergency situations, how to enter your health data, how to give other health applications access to health kit so they can share your health data, how to track that data on a personalized dashboard, and how to export your data so your doctor can review it.

As always thanks for all of your support! If you find this tutorial helpful please subscribe, like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.



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iOS 8 Tips & Set Up: 1Password & Sharing Service

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One of the features most users have asked for on iOS is the ability for apps to share content with one another. There are plenty of instance where one app has something I would want in another app and all iOS offered was a simple sharing service that really only allowed me to open a file in an application. It is one of the reasons I haven’t really been able to use my iPad as a primary computing device.

Well with iOS 8 Apple introduced a new sharing service that allows developers to add services to the sharing menus so they can communicate across applications. One of the applications that really needed this ability was 1Password. 1Password is an application that stores all of your passwords and other confidential information in a secure file that can only be unlocked with your one password that you set up. 1Password solves the problem of remembering all of your passwords or using the same password everywhere so you can remember it which is very insecure, by allow you to only have to remember the one password it takes to open your password vault and then automatically filling in your passwords for you. It is one of the applications I install first on all of my Macs and now with the new updates to iOS 8 will be the first one I install on iOS devices as well.

1Password has an extension that allows you to click a button, type in your one password and it will pre fill all of your login information for you for whatever site you are on. Prior to iOS 8, you had to access 1Password and used its built in web browser to get the same functionality you got on your Mac with Safari. It was a work around and a pain in that you could be in Safari on your iPad and then go to a site with a password and then have to go to one password and use it’s browser to log in (or you could copy the password from 1Password and then go back to Safari and paste it in). This made it difficult to use all of the power and convenience of 1Password on iOS. Now with the new sharing feature, you can use Safari in iOS and click the share button, 1Password, and then type your 1Password and have it fill in your login information for you. Just like it works on the Mac! Also, if you have Touch ID you don’t even have to use your password as you can use your finger print to login!

In this screencast I walk you through how to set up and use 1Password on iOS 8, I also cover some of the built in features of the sharing service and show how that might work with other applications. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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iOS 8 Tips & Set Up: Family Sharing

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One of the difficulties encountered with using iOS devices in a family is the issue of having everyone have their own iCloud accounts but then being able to share all of your purchases made on the App Store. For years I did a work around where my kids had their own iCloud accounts for their back ups and used a separate Apple ID for purchases so we could share our apps and consolidate them in one place. My wife and I wanted to share calendars and contacts so we shared an iCloud account to make that possible. Now with Continuity in iOS 8 that makes that set up inconvenient because every time her phone rings it rings on all of my devices and vice versa. In this scenario, Family Sharing finally makes it easy for us to use our Apple devices as a family.
Family Sharing allows you to link up to 5 iCloud accounts together in what is called a Family. This family allows each user to have his/her own iCloud accounts but links them together into a family where they have a shared family calendar, a shared family photo share, shared iTunes account to allow for shared apps, and certain restrictions that allows the primary account holder to approve an iTunes purchase and allows for the set up of accounts for children under the age of 13.

In this screencast I cover how to set up family sharing. I also cover all of the settings and walk you through all of the options and each step along the way in setting up your own personal family share. Be aware that you can only set up two family shares a year so if you make a mistake and delete a family, you can only add one more. If you added someone by mistake it is better to delete that person and keep the family share instead of deleting the family completely. Also be aware that children under the age of 13 that are added cannot be deleted and only transferred to another family share.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Upgrading to iOS 8: A Step by Step Walkthrough

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Today is iOS 8 release day and I put together a walk through to help you see the entire process so you know what to expect every step along the way. For those of you that are looking at upgrading right away there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, you want to make sure you know your devices is eligible for the upgrade. The chart below gives a picture of which devices are eligible for the update.

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Once you know your device is eligible, you will want to make sure you have a back up of your iOS device just in case something goes wrong with the update. You can either create a back up over the air and storing it on iCloud or by connecting your device to iTunes and storing the back up on your Mac or PC. I cover how to do this in the tutorial below.

Once you have your backup all set, you can start the update by going to Settings-General-Software Update. It may take a while to download the update and you need to make sure you have at least 5.7 GB of space on your device. If you do not, I cover how to make space for the update in the screencast below.

I found the update to take a couple of hours because I did it on launch day. You will probably be able to do so in much less time. Once you have updated your device you won’t notice much of a change on the surface but there are many innovations and improvements that will make iOS 8 a joy to work with. I’ll probably do a future screencast that goes over some of these changes.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here or on my
Youtube Channel and I’ll do my best to get back to you.



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Mavericks Server Part 40: Accessing Your Server Remotely

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One of the things most administrators need is access to their servers when they are not physically onsite. Things happen that can cause you to need to make changes to the server settings or to troubleshoot an issue that may come up. Built into OS X Server are various ways you can connect to your server remotely.

In this screencast I cover how to connect to your server using screen sharing, the server application, and other options. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 39: Documents 5-Working with File Shares on iOS

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File sharing on OS X Server is one of the main reasons most people set up a server. Accessing those files from a Mac is easy to do and allows you to store your files on the server and have access to them where ever you are. But doing the same on iOS devices is not as simple due to the difference in how iOS handles it’s file structure. iOS uses a hidden file structure so you normally need to connect to your WebDAV share in the app you want to use to for those files like Pages or Numbers. There are times, however that you may want to look at all of your file shares in the way they are displayed in the finder so you can browse them as a whole instead of only by file type.

Documents 5 gives you the convenience and familiarity of the Finder on your iOS devices. Documents 5 will connect to your afp or smb file shares and display those files in the same folder hierarchy that you have set up on your server. From there you can open and share those files and folders with your other iOS apps. In this screencast I cover how to connect to your file shares and navigate them in Documents 5.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 38: Airport Adminstration

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For those of you with an Airport Extreme Base Station (AEBS), OS X Server includes built in support to manage your AEBS making it more convenient to forward ports and control who can logon to your wireless network. One of the biggest issues we all face when running a server is the issue of opening ports. If you want to connect to any of the services on your server while you are away, you need to make sure you have opened ports in your router so you don’t get blocked from access. Routers function as physical firewalls keeping traffic from going in and out of your local network. To allow certain services to have access to the outside world you have to authorize that access by opening doors to the outside world. Those door are called ports. Typically you would have to go into your router software, look up the ports you need to forward for the services you want to use, manually enter those ports to be forwarded in your router’s software and then reboot your router for those changes to take place.

Using the service in OS X Server with an AEBS, Server automatically enters the ports you need for the services you entered. It will also open those ports without the need to restart your router so no one loses internet service and turning services on and off becomes seamless. It really is a great feature of OS X Server and is another reason to consider using an Apple router.

Not only does OS X Server control the opening and closing of ports, it also has a built in RADIUS service. RADIUS stands for Remote Authentication Dial In User Service. This basically means that instead of having your users log onto your wireless network with a general SSID and general password, they log in with their Network Accounts that you set up on your server. So the AEBS is using your Open Directory to determine whether someone is allowed to log onto your network or not. This adds an additional layer of security to your network and is especially useful in organizations where they have users coming and going and those users having the SSID and password necessitates constantly changing the password.

In this screencast I cover how to use the service built into OS X Server to manage your AEBS. I cover how to add new ports to the service for other applications that may need ports opened. I also cover how to set up and use the RADIUS service and talk about an application called
Admin Tool Radius that can help you manage multiple RADIUS Networks and manually set up RADIUS if you are not using OS X Server for that service.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.





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Moving From Aperture Part 3: Aperture vs Lightroom

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In moving from Aperture in Lightroom one of the first questions most people have is, where are all of the settings and things I am used to using in Aperture in Lightroom? Fortunately, Lightroom and Aperture are similar in many ways. There are some things that are different in how they might name certain things, but you will find that most of the same features exist in each application. I have found that the editing features in Lightroom are a little better in terms of features and results but I do light the way Aperture manages pictures. So depending on your style and what you are looking for in a photo management/editing package you will probably find some trade offs with going to another platform.

In this screencast I walk you through where things are in Lightroom for those of you coming from Aperture. I cover how each covers photo management, photo editing, and other features. Hopefully this screencast will help familiarize you with Lightroom so you can pick up where you left off.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.





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Moving From Aperture Part 2: Import to Lightroom 5

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Once you have exported all of your photos you then need to import them into another photo management solution. One of the best on the market right now is Lightroom 5. Lightroom is Adobe’s photo management and editing solution that has been Apertures competition for years. The Lightroom community is a large one with many pro photographers using it in conjunction with Photoshop for handling the management and editing of their photos.

Adobe made waves lately with moving all of their applications to a monthly fee model instead of the traditional pay to own model of using their software. The logic is that they will be able to issue updates more frequently and it will be cheaper in the long run, especially for those who use Photoshop. One of the offerings Adobe has is a
photographers bundle where you get Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99 a month. When compared to the $149 price tag for Lightroom right now and the usual $79 upgrade price, with Photoshop thrown in, makes this a decent deal. Add in Lightroom Mobile and it seems like Adobe has put together a pretty good solution for photographers.

Lightroom 5 comes with a 30 day trial and will read the metadata that was exported through the Exporter for Aperture application which makes it easy to try out Lightroom to see if it is for you. In this tutorial I cover how to import your library into Lightroom 5. I also cover a few of the differences in how Aperture and Lightroom handle photo management. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.





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Moving From Aperture Part 1: Exporter for Aperture

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With Apple announcing that it will no longer be updating Aperture or iPhoto, there have been a ton of questions about what is next and what users should do with their existing Aperture and iPhoto libraries. Apple did announce an upcoming photos app but for some it would appear that the pro features may not be available in the first release so there is concern about what to do while we are waiting to find out.

The first option for many would be just to wait and see what happens. Apple has announced that it will update both Aperture and iPhoto to work with it’s upcoming OS release Yosemite so there really is no reason to panic just yet. You can still use Aperture and iPhoto as always and there will be some way to migrate over to the new photos app in early 2015. If everything is working well for you in either program then you can stay put and see what happens.

For others who may be more on the pro or semi-pro level there may be some anxiety about how well this migration will work for them. Apple has had a history with pro apps of cutting features to make the transition happening and then slowly adding features back in. If you rely on Aperture for your business or you do a lot of editing you may want to consider other options instead of waiting to see what Apple may do. If you have been on the fence anyway this may be the time to check out other options.

The difficulty in trying out new options is the problem of library conversions. It is usually a pain to convert an entire library away from one proprietary system to another only to wonder if you will be converting back some day. Eventually everyone will convert to a new system at some time in their lives as software comes and goes so knowing there is a solution to help you make this transition so you can get all of your work out of a system is important.

Exporter for Aperture is a great application for helping you get all of your work out of Aperture without taking a lot of time doing it. This application allows you to customize a few things in deciding how you want your library converted and then does all of the work of moving your photos out of your Aperture library with all of your metadata baked in. Not only will it preserve your metadata, it will also export any of the photos you have made adjustments to as either JPEG or TIFF with those adjustments baked into the photo. It will do all of this without touching your existing Aperture library so you can test other photo management systems and still have your Aperture library in tact. So the only thing you would lose in the process is the actual slider location for your adjustments. Everything else gets exported and ready to import into another application like Lightroom.

In this screencast I show you how to use
Exporter for Aperture step by step. I cover all of the settings and show you what it looks like to go through the export process. This really is an excellent application and well worth the $14.99 for all of the time and headache it saves you.

Leave a comment below or on my
Youtube Channel and let me know what you are doing with your Aperture or iPhoto libraries. If you have any questions along the way feel free to leave them in either place and I will do my best to get back to.




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Mavericks Server Part 37: Server Security Part 2: Icefloor 2

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In this second part on server security, I cover an excellent software firewall called IceFloor. Now I have covered IceFloor previously in my Mountain Lion Server series but IceFloor has been updated to 2.0 since then and it has been redesigned to make the process much smoother and easier to set up.

A software firewall is critical to those who have front facing servers which means their servers do not sit behind any physical hardware firewall. In essence most front facing servers have all of their ports open to the whole world so you need a software firewall to close the ports you don’ want open to secure your server. IceFloor is a front end to the built in PF firewall found on OS X Server. If you are not someone who likes to work through the Terminal, IceFloor has you covered. It’s graphical interface gives you access to all of the features found in the PF Firewall and gives you a visual way to customize and configure the firewall to fit your needs. It even has a built in wizard that will walk you through the process of setting up your firewall making it easy to configure.

In this screencast I cover installation and set up, how to open the ports you need to make your services work, and walk through all of the options included in IceFloor. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Mavericks Server Part 36: Server Security Part 1

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Once you get your server up and running, it is important that you give some thought to how to make sure your server is secure. With the advantages of running a server come the necessity to make sure it is well protected. If you are using a router of some kind you have a built in hardware firewall that will block anything but the ports you choose to open for certain services. For those of you not behind a router, you have to use software firewalls to achieve the same results. Either way you want to make sure you are monitoring your server for security.

In this screencast I cover some of the basics of server security. I cover some of the security features built into OS X Server. I cover the difference between a server behind a router and front facing, how ports work, the built in firewall, Little Snitch as security for in and out connections, when to use a full software firewall, and the basic log files inside the Server App.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Mavericks Server Part 35: Mobile Accounts

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Hosting your users home folders on the server can be a great way to allow them to log into any computer on your local network and have their personal desktop show up. It also gives you a good way to manage and back up each of your users data and makes the whole management process easier.

But what happens when a user has a laptop that he/she takes outside the network on a regular basis? When this happens you really can’t host their home folders on the server because they will need access to them on the outside. Yes, they could use a VPN connection to log into their network account and have access to their desktop, but the process is slow and, depending on the bandwidth, could be almost impossible (If you are considering or would like to try to access your home folders remotely without mobile accounts, see my screencast on how to do that hereHappy.

To make this particular situation work, OS X Server includes the Mobile Accounts feature. Mobile accounts is a service that keeps a user’s Mac in sync with the home folders found on the server. So when the user comes into the network their computer syncs with the server. This means any work done outside your network will now be on your server making sure you never lose any data. This also means your user can still log into any computer on your network and still have access to the work he/she did while offsite.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the Mobile Accounts Service. I go over how to enable the server on OS X Server and how to get it set up on your client machines. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 34: Xcode Server

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The Xcode Server is a new addition to OS X Server and adds the ability to manage your coding process through OS X Server. The Xcode Server has the ability to manage your code and the development process with your own git repository and bots to check your code.
While I am not a coder myself, I was able to walk through the process of setting up the Xcode Server and the various features built into the service. So in this screencast I cover the basics to show you how to get started with the Xcode Server. For those of you who do code, you’ll have to let me know how well it works and if it is a valuable part of your work flow. Also, if I missed anything or got anything wrong, let me know so I can pass it on to others.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Launchbar 6 vs. Alfred 2

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I have always had a weakness for launcher applications since I started using a Mac. I started out with Quicksilver and loved the big graphical interface and the way I could perform multiple actions quickly without ever having my hands leave the clipboard. When Quicksilver was not longer going to be developed (something that has changed a bit since then) I started using Launchbar. While Launchbar did not have the larger graphical interface I came to love with Quicksilver, it was very fast and I got used to using it for just about everything. I got to the point where I was lost on a Mac that did not have Launchbar installed! From there I moved to Alfred because it seemed to offer the best mix of a larger graphical interface and the power of customizing and adding actions to make me more productive. I have been happy with Alfred ever since and put it on all of my Macs.

Well just a couple of weeks ago the guys over at Objective Development decided to release an update to Launchbar and introduced Launchbar 6. From the looks of it I could see that it had gotten a make over and added the larger interface I had wanted and a few new changes and tweaks to the services it could perform. So being the launcher addict that I am, I had to take a look at it. I was happy with Alfred but I couldn’t leave enough alone and now I am trying to decide which one I like best. In my quest to decide which one to go with, I made a list of features and compared them side by side. In doing this I determined that they are both very similar and capable applications. They really do overlap in a lot of ways in terms of their features but they differ when it comes to how they chose to implement some of those features.

Now I am still confused on what to do and I am still playing with both to figure out which one I will land on long term. So I decided to do a screencast to show you what I found and in the hopes that maybe it will help you decide which one is for you, or at least let you see what has changed with Launchbar 6. Really they are both very similar, with a few nuances which really means you can't make a bad decision either way. Both can be customized to almost match each other's features so it really comes down to what you want built in and what you want to customize (I'm still trying to decide myself they are so close!).

I would love to know your thoughts and which launcher you landed on. Let me know what you think by leaving any questions or comments below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Mavericks Server Part 33: NetInstall

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One of the services built into OS X Server is the NetInstall Service. The NetInstall Service does a number of things to help your clients install or connect to services to help them boot their Macs. Built into the NetInstall Service is a NetBoot, NetInstall and NetRestore service. The NetBoot service creates a bootable disk image that sits on the server that allows your clients to boot their local Macs from that image and run the OS from the server instead of their local machines. The NetInstall service creates a complete OS install image hosted on the server that users can use to install the OS on their local devices. It works like a centralized recovery partition and even lets you customize what is installed and how it is installed. Finally, the NetRestore service restores a volume over the network from the server from a restore image hosted on the server. All of these services appear from the boot screen by holding down the Option Key when you reboot which make these services very easy to access.

In this screencast I focus on how to set up the NetInstall service in OS X Server. I cover how to create a disk image, how to customize the image to fit your needs, and how to set up and use the service once you have everything configured. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Mavericks Server Part 32: DHCP Server

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DHCP or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is the method most routers and servers use to assign IP addresses to devices on their networks. DHCP is how your computers and devices are connected to your network and how your router or server determines who is connected. OS X Server has a built in DHCP service that you can use to handle and assign those IP addresses to your client machines if you either don’t have a router that is doing that already or you prefer to have the server handle the IP addressing.

In this screencast, I cover how to set up the DHCP service in OS X Server. I cover pros and cons of using OS X Server's DHCP service as compared to a router. I also cover how to set up an Airport Extreme Base Station to work with server's DHCP service, walk you through all of the settings in the DHCP service, and cover how to set up static IP reservations for the clients on your network. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Mavericks Server Part 31: FTP Server

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One of the more familiar technologies associated with running a server is having FTP access to upload files to the server. FTP or File Transfer Protocol, has been used for years by web designers who work on websites and need to upload their changes to the server hosting the site. FTP is not the most secure way of transferring files but it certainly is the easiest way to do so.

Built into OS X Server is an FTP service that let’s you specify a folder you want to use for your uploads. The service does not allow you to specify multiple folders or to set up nested folders inside that one folder with different sets of permissions for each so if you need that kind of detail, you will have to use another method as server’s FTP service is very limited.

In this screencast, I cover how to set up the FTP Service in OS X Server. I cover how to choose an FTP folder (OS X Server only allows one), how to set the permissions for who has access, what ports to open, and how to connect to your FTP share using Terminal and an FTP Client (Forklift in this case). If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Mavericks Server Part 30: Wiki Customization

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In the first part of our look at OS X Server’s built in Wiki server I covered the basics of host to set up the wiki and access it from your Mac and iOS devices. In that screencast I alluded to the fact that you could customize the wiki to suit your needs. In this screencast I cover how to customize the built in Wiki in OS X Server. I cover how to add media to your wiki, how to set up a wiki and blog, how to add documents to your wiki site to view and share and all of the options available to customize the wiki site to make it your own. As you will see in the screencast you can do a lot of things to make the wiki feel more like your own website. It is however limited in what you can do to customize it. So if you are looking for a custom design, you will have to built your own site.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Mavericks Server Part 29: Wiki Server Set Up

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Built into OS X Server is a Wiki Website that you can use to create our own wiki’s, share files, manage your profile and even set up your own blog. For many users the Wiki may be the only website they need if the basic services fit what they are looking for. You can even customize the wiki to make it fit your own style and what you are trying to accomplish. Many schools and organizations run the Wiki Website as their own intranet site giving students and employees the opportunity to work with a website but only inside the school or companies network instead of out on the world wide web. It is also set up to host files that can be assessable from a Mac through the browser or through an iOS device through the WebDav protocol.

In this screencast I cover how to set up OS X Server's built in Wiki Server. I cover how to set the permissions for the service and make sure your wiki content is accessible from an iOS Device. I also cover all of the features of the server including how to set up wiki's for your various work groups. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 28: Website Server

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One of the ideas behind hosting your own server is to be able to host your own websites and avoid hosting fees. OS X Server does have a built in Web Server that will allow you to host not just one site but multiple sites with virtual domains if you choose to set it up that way.

In this screencast I cover how to configure and set up the Website Server to host your website. I cover how to set up the website service on OS X Server. I cover the built in website and it's services, what each of the settings does, how to create your own website including how to set up DNS, add your website files, and test your new website. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 27: Mail Server

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One of the reasons for hosting a server may be to control your own email. Email is something all of us use and can be a source of frustration if your email server and client are not working right. The biggest question is whether you should host your own mail server. If you are considering hosting your own mail server here are a few things to consider. First, you have to determine whether your ISP allows email hosting on your own server. Many ISP’s block port 25 and either discourage hosting your own email all together, or they require you relay your email through their server first. Second, you have to consider uptime. If your home server goes down so does your email. If email is critical to you, you may want to avoid hosting email. Next, you will need a static IP address to make this work which usually costs more at your local ISP than a standard account which usually has a dynamic IP that changes from time to time. Finally, there is the headache that comes with dealing with spam and other issues that come up with hosting an email service. So if you consider all of these things and still want to host your own email server, this screencast should get you up and running.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the Mail Server in OS X Server. I cover the configuration process including setting up DNS on your server and at your domain provider. I also cover all of the settings to make sure your Mail Server is configured correctly. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 26:Caching Server

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Downloading updates is something that all of us do to keep our Macs and iOS devices up to date. Add in a bunch of devices under one roof and you end up using a lot of bandwidth to update the same software on all of those devices because you end up redownloading each update on each device. The Caching service in OS X Server takes care of that issue by keeping (or caching) a copy of the file you download the first time and then sending anyone else who needs that same update to the copy you just made on the server. That way you only download the update once thus saving your bandwidth and saving the time spent waiting for the update to download.

The Caching service cache’s downloads and updates from the Mac and iOS stores. It not only keeps a copy of system updates but any application or iBook you download. To have your client devices point to your server for the updates and downloads is zero configuration. The devices automatically check for a cached download and the same network and if they find that update they use the one on the server instead of downloading a new copy. Of course you need lots of space if you are storing copies of your downloads so you will need a decent sized hard drive and you can limit the size the Caching service can use to store those updates.

In this screencast I walk you through the Caching service. I help you get it up and running and show how it works and how to track the type and size of updates you have on your server.If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mac Power Users: OS X Server

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I had the privilege of talking with David Sparks and Katie Floyd from Mac Power Users this past week. We had a great time talking about all of the benefits of using OS X Server in the home or small business environment. If you have never listened to the show you might want to check it out this week. I am a long time listener so it was a blast to spend some time on the show talking about Server. You can subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast application or directly at www.macpowerusers.com.

If you have any questions about anything we talked about on the show, feel free to send me an email, leave a comment, or connect with me on twitter using
@tolthoff.
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Mavericks Server Part 25: Software Update

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Keeping your Mac’s up to date is an important part of maintaining your Apple Computers. Built into OS X is the Software Update Service that checks for new updates and then let’s you know when an update is available for OS X and other Apple Software. Users then typically download the update from Apple’s Servers and then run the update. Depending on how many computers you have on your network and the size of the update, each user would download a unique copy of the same update which could put a strain on your network bandwidth.

To help you better manage your network and make it more efficient, OS X Server has a built in Software Update Server that let’s you download the updates once and then have your users look to your server for their updates instead of all going to Apple’s Servers. It also allows you to control which updates your users have available to them. This comes in handy when an update breaks something else and you want to block your users from using that update. Because they are coming to your server for the update, you control what updates they see and can use.

In this screencast, I walk you through how to set up and manage Software Update on OS X Server. I also cover how to set up your users to point them towards your server for updates. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Macworld/iWorld 2014 Recap

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I know this post is late, I just haven’t had a chance to post yet, but I had an incredible time at Macworld/iWorld 2014! For those of you who may have never had the chance to go to Macworld/iWorld it is different from any tech conference you may have gone to. The great part about Macworld/iWorld is the people and networking that happens at the event. Sure there are plenty of really great workshops. There are also a lot of great products on display from a bunch of Mac Vendors.There are also a lot of application developers at the event showing off the latest in Mac/iOS software. All of this is great in and of itself would make Macworld/iWorld a great event. But when you add to that the opportunity to meet some incredible people who are passionate about the Apple ecosystem, you have an awesome event that I look forward to attending again next year.

This year I had the chance to have breakfast with the community people who work with
Don McAllister on ScreenCastsOnline. Don is one of the nicest guys I have ever met and he is brilliant at content development and screencast tutorials. Everything I do with screencasts I learned from Don and I am humbled to be a part of ScreenCastsOnline and I continue to learn new things that make me a better screen caster. If you haven’t had a chance to check out ScreenCastsOnline, I highly recommend you do so as Don is the best in the business and the group of people who work with him on the ScreenCastsOnline Magazine are an incredible group of people and experts in the podcast/publishing/video community.

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I also had the privilege of going to the Nosillacastaways Party hosted by Steve & Allison Sheridan from the Nosillacast and podfeet.com. It was an awesome party where I was able to meet a number of people including Chuck Joiner from MacVoices. Chuck is a great guy and I look forward to connecting with him more in the future. I also got to talk with the Nosillacastaways who couldn’t be there via a Google Plus Hang Out. You gotta love the fact that people were able to telecommute to a Mac event! Steve and Allison are incredible hosts and I really appreciated the fact that they put that event on every year. I look forward to next year!

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The workshops were great and I picked up a lot of tips and ideas this year. I sat in on David Sparks & Katie Floyd from Mac Power Users workshop on Power User Workflows. I have already picked up two Mail App plugins, SendLater and CargoLifter from ChungwaSoft! I also enjoyed a productivity workshop from Brett Terpstra. Brett has done some incredible things for the Mac Community through developing scripts and applications and it was great to hear his perspective on productivity. There were also some panels we attended including one on meeting the podcasters with my friends Katie, David, Don, Allison, Steve, & Chuck (who I met for the first time this year)!

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On the show floor I met a doctor who developed a magnetic ring that lets you easily secure your iPad to your hand without worrying about dropping it called Bakbone. Hearing his story of how he developed this for the medical field and it just took off as other people wanted to use it as well. It was cool to see he was as surprised at how well it was working as anyone else. He was a really great guy and the product is great in its simplicity. You can check it out here: http://www.thebakbone.com.

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We also got to talk to some developers who have put some cools software together. I got to see the Backblaze guys who run my favorite online backup that I use for all my Macs. I ran into a developer named Debbie Quetsch who walked me through an incredible chore application for iOS called Chore-inator. It won a Macworld best of show and is an application I wish I had when the boys were younger! Another application I am looking forward to is BusyMac’s new contacts application called BusyContacts. I got to see a walk through by BusyMac co-founder John Chaffee and it looks like a great application that solves a lot of issues I have with managing contacts. There are plenty of other products and applications that I saw that were incredible! The show room floor really is a great place to check out new stuff for your Mac or iOS devices!

Overall, Macworld/iWorld is a great event and I look forward to attending and connecting with everyone again next year!

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Mavericks Server Part 24: Profile Manager Device Management

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In the previous screencast I covered the options and benefits to managing users and groups of users through Profile Manager. But there are times when you want to manage the devices your users are doing their work on and have certain settings and/or features set up in advance instead of relying on your users to set those things up. It could be energy saver settings all the way to where those devices look for software updates. Not only does Profile Manager allow you to manage users and groups of users through its interface, you can also add devices and device groups to the list of things you manage and use Profile Manager to push those changes to your devices.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to manage your Mac and iOS devices using Profile Manager. I cover the information Profile Manager provides on each of your enrolled devices. Then I talk about strategies for managing your devices and go over the various settings you can push to your devices using profiles.

If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel and I’ll do my best to get back to you.



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Mavericks Server Part 23: Profile Manager Users & Groups

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One of the benefits of using Profile Manager is the ability to manage users and groups from one simple web interface. Profile Manager allows you to make changes once through the web interface and then have those changes pushed to all of your users and groups instead of having to go to each user individually to make the changes on each of that users devices. If you manage a large group of users, it is really convenient to set up a group that includes all of the users you want to manage, set up a profile that you want to effect all of those users, and then have that profile pushed to all the devices those users might use. It can be a huge time saver!

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to manage your users and groups using Profile Manager. I cover some strategies for when to use groups and when to use users in setting up your profiles. Then I walk you through each of the payloads that are available to customize and push to your users and groups.

If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel and I’ll do my best to get back to you.




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Mavericks Server Part 22: Profile Manager Restrictions & Settings

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One of the newer features in Profile Manager is a set of restrictions on who can enroll devices, how they enroll those devices, and what actions they can perform using the my devices web portal. This is a great addition to Profile Manager as in past versions it was an all or nothing set up which meant that users had much more control than some IT Professionals liked over certain features. This is a step in the right direction and should help more IT departments to better manage their users and devices.

In this screencast I go over each of the restriction settings. I also cover the basic settings found in each of the tabs in the Profile Manager Web Interface including how to access information on each of your users and devices.

If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel and I’ll do my best to get back to you.



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Mavericks Server Part 21: Profile Manager iOS Enrollment

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Connecting your iOS devices to Profile Manager can really speed up the process of managing and setting up your mobile devises and makes server a really powerful Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. Instead of having to go device to device every time you want to make a change to one of your services or settings on your devices, you can simply make changes on the web interface and have those changes automatically pushed to all of your iOS devices. Whether you are a home user trying to manage a few devices for your family or an IT professional managing a business, you will want to use Profile Manager to help you set up and manage your devices.

In this screencast I cover how to enroll your iOS devices into Profile Manager so you can manage them and push changes. I cover how to install the profiles you will need to enroll your iOS devices including the proper order you will need to install them. I also cover how to install the basic configuration profile that adds services you have previously set up like calendar, contacts, and VPN to your iOS devices.

If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel and I’ll do my best to get back to you.



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Mavericks Server Part 20: Profile Manager Mac Enrollment

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One of the benefits of Profile Manager is being able to manage your client Mac devices. In order to manage all of these devices they need to first be enrolled in Profile Manager. The process of enrollment involves installing a series of certificates that allow you access to the Mac to push your profiles and changes.

In this screencast I cover how to enroll a Mac in the Profile Manager Service. I cover where to go to get the profile you need to install. I also cover the order in which to install those profiles and how to know your Mac’s have been successfully enrolled.

If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel and I’ll do my best to get back to you.



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Mavericks Server Part 19: Profile Manager Set Up

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One of the biggest advantages of having a server is being able to manage all of your clients and devices in one place. Built into server is a user interface for adding user accounts and you can bind your client machines to your server to add the to your open directory to allow access to those networks accounts. But OS X Server also includes a built in Mobile Device Management service (MDM) called Profile Manager.

Profile Manager is designed to help you manage the settings and services your users and devices can have access to. It allows you to set up your services and permissions once and then push those changes to all of your users and devices. It really does make managing your clients a much easier process and allows you to do so remotely without having to be in front of each machine.

In this screencast I cover how to set up Profile Manager on OS X Server. I walk you through each of the settings included with the service and walk you through the set up process.

If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel and I’ll do my best to get back to you.



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Mavericks Server Part 18: Server Back Up

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With all the hard work put into getting your server configured it would be devastating to have a hard drive failure and lose all of your work. Also, if you server is mission critical and any downtime is costly, having a solution to get you back up and running as quickly as possible is something very important to think through and consider. That is why a good back up strategy for your server is so important.

Backing up your server is different than the Time Machine Service built into OS X Server. The built in Time Machine Service inside OS X Server is designed to back up client machines not the server itself. You have Time Machine on the server that you can use to back your server up to a connected drive. So Time Machine is available just not through the server app. But a Time Machine back up is not going to get you up and running in a hurry so you will need other strategies to make sure you have options. In this screencast I cover a Server back up strategy that includes, incremental back ups to Time Machine, a bootable clone of your server so you can recover quickly, and strategies for backing up your Open Directory and services.

If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel and I’ll do my best to get back to you.



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Mavericks Server Part 17: Time Machine

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One of the benefits of running OS X Server is setting up a centralized back up workflow that allows your users to back up their machines to one drive on your network. Since most users have a difficult time remembering to back up their machines by plugging in their external drives and running Time Machine, it is important to find a set-it-and-forget-it solution to back ups. Built into OS X Server is a Time Machine Server that allows your users to back up to a centralized drive on your server that you select and they can do so wirelessly. This allows Time Machine to run on each computer automatically as if you had a dedicated drive connected to their computer. So without doing a thing all of your back ups take place on a regular basis and each is placed in a backups folder on the drive you select for back ups. It really is a great solution and works like a Time Capsule without having to worry about drive space since you can replace an external drive easier than the drive in a Time Capsule.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the Time Machine Service. I also cover how to connect your users to the back up, set a limit on the size of each back up, and how to monitor your back ups to make sure they are working properly. As always, feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 16: VPN

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With all of the concerns over security today, it is important to make sure you data is protected. One of the places that could potentially put you at risk is unsecured public wireless networks in places like coffee shops or airports. Setting up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a great way to secure your connections to these public networks. In an unsecured environment, someone could “sniff” the packets of information that are being sent from and to your computer over these unsecured networks, making you vulnerable to being “hacked.” A VPN connection basically encrypts all communications from and to your computer over the internet. It does this by routing all your communications over a secure channel through your home computer. So for VPN to work you would need to make sure your server is up and running when you try to connect.

In this screencast I cover the VPN service built into OS X Server. I go over how to set up your VPN service, set your router to allow those connections, and cover how to set up your client machines to use VPN.

If you have any questions along the way feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 15: Messages

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Text messaging is a popular way to communicate. We text with our phones all the time. We also, like to messing one another on our computers and use this communications method to keep in touch in a quick and efficient way. Sometimes we are concerned with the level of privacy our chat messages have and would prefer to have private messaging system as opposed to going through a third party like Apple or AOL.

Built into Maverick Server is a private messaging system called Messages. This service allows you to set up your own iMessage Server so you can have private chats with other clients on your server and the messages you create are stored on your server not in the cloud. This is great for highly confidential communications or for those who just want to make sure they know who is being communicated with for safety reason such as monitoring your kids use of iMessages.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the Messages Service. I cover all of the various settings and how to set up the client machine to use your Messages Service. I also cover how to auto set buddy lists using groups so all of your chat buddies automatically show up in your buddies list without having to add them manually.

As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 14: Contacts

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Hosting your own contacts server can be a good way to manage your own contacts and keep that information off the cloud. If this is a concern of yours or you just want to manage your own iCloud-like solution, OS X Server has a built in contacts service that manages your contacts using CardDAV which will sync with all of your Mac and iOS devices.

In this screencast I cover how to set the service up. I also cover how to set up your client machines to work with your OS X Server Contacts Service. In addition I cover how to set up a joint contacts account that all of your users can use for their contacts service so everyone can share a joint contacts list. This can come in handy for couples or family that want to share their contacts in one centralized list.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 13: Calendar

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For some people having any information in the cloud is something they don’t want to do. Maybe you are in an industry where you need to protect your data and you don’t want to run any risk with the data you are transmitting back and forth whether that be calendar or contacts. You would like to use iCloud or Google but that leaves to much up to chance so you really would like to to set up your own iCloud service. Built into OS X Server is a calendar, contacts, and messaging service that you control that will keep your information off of anyone else’s cloud. In this screencast we will look at the calendaring service provided in OS X Server that works with standard CardDAV protocols.

As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel. Thanks for all your support!



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Mavericks Server Part 12: Connect & Automount AFP

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Once you have your file sharing all set up you need to connect to those new file shares you set up. Apple has built in a few ways to connect to those files including AFP, SMB 2, and WebDAV built into Mavericks Server. Apple is in the process of moving everything over to SMB 2 but still allows its own AFP protocol for now. It appears AFP may be going away in the future but it is still available in Mavericks. WebDAV is used mainly to connect to shares from iOS devices but could be used on your Mac as well.

In this screencast I cover how t connect to your AFP shares using a couple different methods. I also cover how to set up your shares to auto mount to your Mac at start up. As always, if you have any questions feel free to leaver them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 11: File Sharing & Home Folders

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File sharing is one of the basic things most users get a server to do. In this screencast I cover how to set up file sharing and all of the permission settings that you can apply to your files and folders. I also cover how to set up home folders on your server so your users can log into any computer on your network and have their own personal desktop show up on that computer as if it was their own computer.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 10: Bind Clients to Server

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Once you have your Open Directory set up and you have your users and groups set up and running, the next step is to get your devices registered on your open directory so your users can take advantage of the network accounts you have just set up. With network accounts, your users can log into any computer on your network with their network login and, as I will cover in a future screencast, they could even have their home folders show up if you have them stored on the server. In order for this to work, however, your computers need to be bound to the same Open Directory.

In this screencast, I cover how to bind your Mac clients to your server’s Open Directory. I walk through the steps needed to perform the bind and talk about the difference between authenticated and anonymous binding. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 9: Users & Groups

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Once you have your Open Directory set up you can now begin to set up and manage your users and groups within that directory. In Mavericks Server you can manage all of your users from the server interface and set up what services they have access to. You can set up these permissions for certain services either individually or by setting up groups. Using groups you would set up a group and then add your users to that group. Within the group interface you can add or delete services that all of the users in that group have access to.

In this screencast I cover how to set up your users, how to tell the difference between a network and local user and the advantages of each, and finally how to set up groups and manage your users in those groups. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 8: Open Directory

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One of the advantages of running a server is the ability to set up network accounts to allow you to manage users and groups from one location. The management of these network accounts is done through a directory which stores all of the information about your users and devices. On a Mac it is called Open Directory while on a PC It is called Active Directory. In this screencast I cover how to set up an Open Directory in Mavericks Server and walk you through the various settings to help you get your own Open Directory set up.

As always if you have any comments or questions leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.


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Mavericks Server Part 7: SSL Certificates

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Creating a secure connection between your server and the outside world is something everyone running a server should give some thought to. It is important to know that your data is safe and to secure yourself against those who may want to steal it. SSL encryption is a means to create a secure line of communication between your server and any of your devices that you may be using to connect to your server. This encrypted line validates the user and the server and protects your communications from others who may want to listen in on that line or steal the data as it passes over the air.

In this screencast I cover how to set up SSL Certificates in Mavericks Server. I talk about how to use a self signed certificate which is not validated by any outside source. I also cover how to set up a third party certificate and the process of purchasing, requesting, and installing this certificate so it works with your server.

As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 6: DNS

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DNS or Domain Name System is one of the central services that makes a server function. Without proper DNS set up nothing will work properly with OS X Server. DNS is basically the system that take our language of works and converts or translates those works into our computer systems language of numbers. So an IP address like 10.0.1.1 points to a machine with an address of www.example.com. So DNS is the system that manages that translation and makes sure all requests go to the right server so you get the results you were looking for.
In this screencast I cover how to set up DNS in OS X Server. I cover how to start over in setting up your records. I also cover all of the records and what they mean and what services they are used for. I also talk about how to set up your DNS information on your domain name registrars site so everything gets to where it needs to be.

As always, feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 5: Port Forwarding

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If you have a router and want to use a Server to access services outside your network you are going to need to learn how to forward ports in order to gain access to those services remotely. Routers function as physical firewalls on your network. They are designed to keep certain traffic out, allow certain connections to get outside your network, and to route all of the traffic to the appropriate location. A port is like opening a door through your router for a particular service. Each service has a door it likes to use and is assigned to use. So if you want to use a particular service like web for instance, you would open the door that most websites use which is port 80. If you lock port 80 and don’t allow it to open then you have no access to the web service.
If you are concerned about security and want to make sure there are locks on the door, you could set up an encrypted connection using SSL (secure socket layer) certificates which we will cover in a future screen cast. This service changes the door to port 443 for web service and secures the connection between the two machines. It also validates identity and works like a key to the door.

In this screencast I cover how to set up port forwarding using an AEBS and letting the Server App handle the set up. The beauty of using OS X Server with an AEBS is the port management is built into the app and the ports are opened and closed without requiring a reboot.

As always, feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 4: Network Configuration

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One of the more important things you need to do in order to set up a functional server is to make sure your network is properly configured so your Server can do the things it was meant to do. Part of that network configuration is making sure your Server has a set IP address so you can set all of the computers on your network to get their DNS needs met through your Server so there are no conflicts. Depending on what type of system you are running will determine how you set up your network.

In this screencast I show you how to set up a network using an Airport Extreme Base Station (AEBS) where I am allowing the AEBS to handle the DHCP or addressing of all the devices on my network and it also handles the NAT or port forwarding duties as well. In this set up you make sure your AEBS is giving your server a reserved IP address and is pointing to your Server for internal DNS. In other set ups you may have your Server handling DHCP duties as well or if you have a front facing server you might not even have a router so you will be locking down your server with a software firewall that can also be configured to handle NAT if you choose to set it up that way. That set up is beyond the scope of this screencast but I may do one in the future to show how it works.

As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 3: Basic DNS & Server Set Up

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Once your server has been installed you are left with a .local server that provides basic file sharing. If you want to use most of the other services you will need to change you host name and decide what type of server you want to create and set up some basic DNS to make that happen. Inside the Server App is a wizard that walks you through the process of choosing a host name that will allow your server to do what you want it to. It also presents you with the option of setting up DNS for you or leaving that up to you to do manually. For most home users, having server set it up for you is probably the easiest way to get your server up and rolling. I will cover more advanced DNS in a future screencast and you can always change your DNS set up later.

In this screencast I also cover some of the basic server settings found in the server tab. These settings help you set up how you want to access your server remotely and I cover each of hose settings and what they do.

If you have any comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 2: Install & Set Up

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For those of you new to OS X Server or those who stared with a clean install I walk you through the process of installing Mavericks Server for the first time. The overall process is pretty simple and does have some changes from the install process in both Lion and Mountain Lion Server. Instead of walking you through the process of setting up your server’s DNS, the Mavericks install just creates a simple .local server with file sharing turned on. It then let’s you decide how you want to set up your host name and DNS. I will cover the basic DNS set up and one on more advanced DNS in a future screencast but wanted to make you aware of the change in case you are used to previous installs.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mac OS X Mavericks: Clean Install Walkthrough

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There are times when you may want to consider a fresh install of your operating system. If you are having slow downs with your system or have upgraded and never done a clean install or download a lot of software that has left stuff behind, you might want to consider a clean install. In this screencast I cover how to create a bootable Mavericks USB thumb drive using a utility called Diskmaker X. I then walk through the process of booting from that drive, wiping your hard drive and run through the install process. Before you get started you will want to make a bootable back up of your boot drive using SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner. This will allow you to roll back to your current set up in case something goes wrong with your install.

Overall the install process is pretty smooth but does take some time. One tip, when you hist less than a minute remaining you are looking at waiting more than a minute and in some cases could be 20 minutes or more so don’t stop the install if it seems to get stuck. Give it some time and should finish the install.

If you have any comments or questions leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 1: Upgrade from Mountain Lion Server

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Now that Apple has released Mavericks and it’s update to OS X Server, it is time to consider upgrading to the new Mavericks Server. Before you upgrade I want to make you aware of several issues that people have been experiencing with the upgrade. First, VPN does not work in the upgrade. Just about everyone I have talked to has experienced what I did when I upgraded and that was that VPN stopped working. At this point there is no work around so if you are dependent on VPN you do not want to upgrade until the next point release from Apple and even then wait to see what other’s experiences are. Second, a lot of people are having issues with Open Directory with issues with connections and various crashes. I didn’t have that issue but there are enough people talking about it that I wouldn’t risk it again until the next point release and you hear other’s experiences.

With that in mind, I cover how to upgrade to Mavericks Server and walk through the entire process. The upgrade is pretty simple and goes rather smoothly with the exception of the issues mentioned above.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Upgrading to Mavericks (10.9): A Step by Step Walkthrough

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Well Apple’s new operating system Mavericks is here. I decided to upgrade right away and record the process for everyone who would like to see how the process works and have someone else experiment on their system instead of putting their own system at risk with a new upgrade.

So I put Mavericks through its paces and I have to say the upgrade when as smooth as it could have gone with a couple of issues. One is not to believe the timer when it says you have less than a minute remaining. I found both times I saw that status it actually took from 30 to 40 minutes to complete. So that being the case, make sure you don’t stop the process thinking it is hanging just be patient and it will eventually finish the upgrade. Second, you will have to give permission to the apps that use keychain or contacts because of the changes Apple made in those areas. So expect to have to answer a bunch of pop ups once the process if complete.

Below is the screencast showing my upgrade process step by step. If you have any questions or want to leave a comment you can do so here or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Mac OS X Mavericks: Prepare Your Mac for the Upgrade to 10.9

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With the release of Apple’s newest operating system right around the corner, it is a good time to start preparing for the upgrade and getting your Mac ready. There are several things you can do to prepare for the upgrade including:
1. Making sure your Mac qualifies for the update.
2. Checking your applications to make sure they are Mavericks compatible (go to www.roaringapps.com).
3. Check your hard drive and permissions using Disk Utility.
4. Make a bootable clone using SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner.

In this screencast I walk you through the steps to prepare for the upgrade. I walk through what to do to prepare so you will be ready when the upgrade comes out. As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Launch Center Pro 2.0: Action Based Productivity for iOS 7

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Productivity on iOS devices is something many apps attempt to improve. An iOS device is different from a Mac where multitasking is as easy as opening multiple windows and working with keyboard shortcuts. In iOS where you need to drill into items inside apps, there are multiple taps to get something done. That is where Launch Center Pro comes in.

Launch Center Pro is a productivity app that looks to limit the number of actions you need to take to get something done. Need to send a text out to a group of people but don’t want to put in the addresses to go through the steps? No problem! Tap once into Launch Center Pro and click on the action to send a text. You are taken right to an empty text field with all of the names of your group already addressed in the “to” line. Want to upload a photo to Dropbox, copy the link and send it in an email? No problem. with one tap all of those functions happen.

Launch Center Pro 2.0 really is an incredible app for iOS7 to improve your productivity. I have many people ask me to compare this app to Drafts which allows you to take action on snippets of text in a similar way. To me the difference is this, I use Drafts when I have text that needs to be acted on and Launch Center Pro for all other actions that take multiple taps to complete.

In this screencast I cover how to use Launch Center Pro 2.0 and walk you through many of its features. As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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iPhone 5s Fingerprint ID: A Step by Step Walkthrough

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With the release of the new iPhone 5s Apple introduced their finger print scanner allowing you to access your phone more quickly and with added security. One of the things Apple noted was that a high percentage of people were not using a passcode to protect their phones. The hassle of having to put the code in every time you needed to get into your phone was greater than the fear that important information might be lost so people just didn’t do it. People have a lot of things on their phones that are personal and important to protect so Apple decided to unveil fingerprint ID as a way to increase the security on their iPhones. I was fortunate enough to get a phone on launch day and have been playing with the new service and I have to say it is pretty incredible. I can’t imagine using my phone without fingerprint ID ever again. The ease of use of using it has been dead simple and reliable. So reliable that I actually set a long password on my phone instead of the 4 digit default.

In this screencast I walk through the process of setting Fingerprint ID up and how it works. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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iOS 7: Strategies for Improved Battery Life

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Once you have upgraded to iOS 7 you will see a lot of new icandy and features that make the new iOS experience pretty neat. The problem with all of those new functions is they can and do take up battery life and I experienced some battery drain when I first upgraded. Under my normal use the battery was wearing down quickly. So I went on a hunt to figure out what services and functions I could turn off to get my battery life back pretty close to where it was before.
In this screencast tutorial I cover some of the things I discovered that helped improve the battery life of my new iPhone 5s. I go over each and every setting that seems to effect battery life so you can fine tune your own battery experience. It is always a trade off between features and the function of your battery so you don't have to use everything I cover here but as you fine tune your own settings you should hopefully get your battery to where you want it to be.
As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.


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Upgrading to iOS 7: A Step by Step Walk Through

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Upgrading to any new operating system can be intimidating especially if you are concerned not to mess things up. So with the new upgrade to iOS 7 I decided to do a step by step walk through for those who are thinking of upgrading but don't want to jump in without seeing what the process is like. So I decided to film my experience so others could see what I did in upgrading my iPhone.
It has been great to see the response to this video with a lot of different people picking it up including Allison Sheridan from the Nosilla Podcast which I listen to. I have had a few questions along the way with people wondering if it will mess up their jail break (yes it will) and wondering if they really need to back up (yes you should). If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.


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Reflector: Mirroring Your iOS Device on Your Mac

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I have been asked alot lately about how I mirror my iOS devices to my Mac for the screencasts I do. So based on viewer requests I decided to do a screencast on the application I use called Reflector.
Reflector allows you to mirror your iOS devices to your Mac using Airplay. Not only does Reflector do a great job of mirroring your iOS screen to your Mac, it also puts the device bezel around your screen and even lets you choose the color (white or black). This really works great for demonstrations because it allows the user to see the actual device instead of just looking at the screen and wondering what they are looking at until their eyes adjust.
Reflector also has the added feature of allowing you to mirror multiple devices at once. So if you are trying to demonstrate the interaction of one device to the other, you can show both devices on your screen and operate them independently at the same time and still capture both screens. This can really come in handy depending on what you are trying to demonstrate.
So in this screencast I demonstrate how Reflector works so you can get an idea of how I do my screencasts. Of course I record these screencasts with
Screenflow, the best screen capture and editing software I have ever used. Someday I'll do some screencasts on how I do my screencasts which will feature Screenflow.
Feel Free to leave any comments or questions below or on my
Youtube Channel.


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Everpix Part 1: Mac Set Up & Web Interface

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In this screencast tutorial I cover a great photo service called Everpix. Everpix is a photo service that syncs all of your photos from wherever you have them to it’s service. It then organizes them and give you different views of your photos based on things like highlights and flashbacks. Everpix is one of the few services that will actually sync photos from applications like Aperture and iPhoto so you don’t have to worry about uploaded those photos you just imported because they are already available online ready for you to access and share with others. Everpix has both a web application and iOS application giving you quick access to your photos. Both of these applications work well in giving you great ways of viewing your photos.

In this screencast I walk you through the set up of Everpix. I also cover the web interface and walk you through the various options for viewing and sharing your photos. If you would like to try Everpix and would like an extra 6 months of photo viewing on the service you can use my link here (of course I get 6 months as wellHappy:
Everpix Invite.



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Managing Your iCloud Storage

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Apple started sending out emails letting former MobileMe users whom they had given an extra 25GB of storage as a thank you that the free upgrade is coming to an end September 30th. I don’t know about you but I hadn’t worried about my iCloud storage since it came out because 25GB was way more than I would ever use for iCloud. So when I got this email I thought, “no problem. I’ll just check it out and delete a couple of things.” What I didn’t realize, because I wasn’t managing it, my iCloud storage amount and ballooned to 18GB! How could that be?

What I discovered was I was backing up 3 iOS devices which was taking up the majority of data mainly because of photos an videos that were being backed up. These things were causing the spike in my usage and I had to take care of that or may backups would cease. If you are in the same boat, I would recommend the following:

  1. Turn off backup for your camera roll.
  2. Remove any large files you may have added to iCloud by looking at the Apps section of iTunes.
  3. Use a program like PhoneView to move your videos and other files to your Mac and back them up there.

In this screencast I walk you through how to do each of the things above. As always if you have any comments or questions leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel,



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Plex Media Server Part 3: Accessing Your Media Remotely

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One of the greatest things about Plex is that you can access your media from just about anywhere. Plex has a Mac app, a web interface, iOS and Android apps, support for Roku and other connected devices, it is even on some televisions! With all of these interfaces and the Plex Media Server Software running on your home computer it really allows you to have your media wherever you are!

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to access your media remotely. I take a look specifically at the
myPlex web interface and the iOS application. I also demonstrate how you can add media from around the web on the fly into your Plex interface so you can view it on your favorite media device. Plex really is an excellent media server and for a free application it really is incredible! If you want more features you should also consider the Plex Pass which is a paid subscription. For limited time they have a lifetime subscription which really looks like a steal with all the development they have been doing!

As always thanks for all your support! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Plex Media Server Part 2: Editing Metadata

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One of the great features of Plex is it’s ability to automatically match your media to online metadata and pull that information down to display with your media files. While Plex is accurate on this about 90% of the time, there are times when Plex gets it wrong, especially as it relates to your home movies and such. To help you clean this up and customize it a bit more, Plex has a built in media editor that lets you update and change the metadata it displays so you get each entry just the way you want it.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to edit the metadata for your media. I show examples of how
Plex could get it wrong and what you need to do to make the changes and make sure those changes stay and don’t get updated again in the future.

As always, thanks for your support! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Plex Media Server Part 1: Installation & Set Up

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I get a lot of questions on my OS X Server Series about how to use a server to handle streaming media to various devices both in and outside the home. With all of us having media both in iTunes and outside of it, using the tools Apple has built into iTunes is not always the best solution. Sure you can use home sharing to get your local media that you have inside iTunes to all of your Apple devices like Macs, iOS devices, and AppleTV’s. But what if you have media that you haven’t put into iTunes? What if you have other devices that are not made by Apple like Roku players or Android Devices? What if you want to access your media outside your home network? That’s where Plex comes into play.

Plex is a media server with a lot of the features most people want in a home media server. Plex combines Movies, Television, Music, Photos and Web services into one easy to use and set up application. Plex automatically pulls the metadata for your media and does a great job presenting it inside the Plex interface. The Plex Media Manager is a web based application so you can access it anywhere you internet access. Combine that with their applications and services for so many different devices and Plex really is a great media server for your content.

In this weeks tutorial I cover how to install and get
Plex set up. Next week I’ll cover how to edit and tweak your Media. If you have any questions feel free to comment here or on my YouTube Channel.




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Monitoring Your Server With iStat for iOS

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Monitoring your server remotely is something that anyone who has a server wants to do. There are several things you can monitor when it comes to a server. You have the software side which allows you to manage your services and access. l covered how to monitor this in the screencast I did on Server Admin Remote. One of the other things you will want to monitor is the state of your hardware. Knowing if your server is running right or too hot can give peace of mind when you are out on the road. I was on vacation and don’t run air conditioning when I am away. Being able to check the heat of my Mac Mini while I was away in the heat of summer brought peace of mind.

In this weeks screencast I cover how to monitor the physical state of your server using an iOS application called
iStat. iStat is a universal iPhone and iPad application that monitors everything from the heat sensors to the fan speed on your Mac. Check out this screencast to see how it works!

If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel.



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Online Back Up With Backblaze

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When it comes to making sure all your digital data is safe you need a good back up strategy. For most people, they think about back up after they already lost something they didn’t back up. The key is to put a strategy in place before losing any data so you never have regrets. Depending on how important your data is to you, you may border on paranoid when it comes to data lose. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to back up:

1. Hardware will fail at some point.
No matter how well you take care of your computer, hard drive and other electronics we all know that our hardware will fail at some point in the future. It is usually before we think it will happen so it surprises us, but we know it will take place. When it does fail, many times it fails beyond recovery, meaning all of you data could be lost forever.

2. A good backup strategy includes multiple copies
A good rule of thumb is, one copy is good, multiple copies is better. The more copies the more you minimize your risk of losing data.

3. Location of those back ups can be as important as how many backups you have.
You have to take into account the fact that having all your backups in one place means you have a single point of failure. If they are all at your home and get stolen or burned up or damaged by water or some other force of nature you have lost all of your data. If you have your data in multiple locations (at least one more besides your home) you still have your data even if you lose your local copy.

With this in mind, here is my strategy. First, I have a time machine back up of my data. This gives me an incremental back up just in case I accidentally delete something I want to get back. I can go back in time and get it with Time Machine. It also serves as one complete back up. Second, I use a
Drobo as an external drive for those backups so if one hard drive fails my data is still safe. Next, I use SuperDuper! to make a bootable clone of my main drive so if that one fails I can boot from this backup and keep working as if nothing happened until I get an internal drive replacement. Finally, I back up to Backblaze online to handle my offsite back up. For things I really don’t want to use like family photos, etc. I back those up to another external drive that I store in a safe place.

With that in mind, I did this tutorial on
Backblaze for offsite back up. Backblaze has been a great service that integrates well with the Mac and allows you to set it and forget it. It continually backs up in the background. Whatever strategy you use, be sure to keep all of these possibilities in mind (I’m sure I’ve forgotten some but at this point this is the extent of my own paranoia on the topic of backupHappy.

Feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel!



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Mountain Lion Server: Changing Local to Network User

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When setting up a server, there at times where you don’t want to start over creating a new network account for each user. You may have data associated with that local user and starting over would just create headaches.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to change a local account to a network account and move the users local files over to the server to allow network access from any computer on your network.

As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Remote Time Machine Backups

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With the increased awareness of the need for backups there are many options for people looking for ways to keep their data protected in case of a hard drive crash or other disaster. While many have a strategy for backing up their important files and folders while in their own network, few have looked at how those back ups should work when their portable Macs are outside that network. Time Machine, which comes built into every Mac, provides a good incremental back up solution for attached hard drives to back up to. With the OS X Server those back ups can be done wirelessly to your server. But what about when you leave the home or office?

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your portable Mac to enable remote Time Machine backups. This allows your backups to happen over the internet back to your server and allows you to create your very own cloud back up strategy. A couple of things to keep in mind with this approach. First, this is not the complete back up solution. You are protected from hardware failure but if your house burns down you lose your back up. So you will need to consider other offsite back up. Second, this is not foolproof. Because of things like bandwidth and internet interference you could cause your back up to get corrupted if you have major interruptions. So just because it is possible I would caution you in using Time Machine this way. Like anything else your mileage may vary so I want to make sure I put in that warning to start!

As always feel free to leave a comment or question here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Remote Network Account Access

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Connecting to your server using a network account is one of the benefits of using Mountain Lion Server. It lets you log into any computer on your network and have your own desktop and home folders show up on that Mac as if it was your own local machine. With Home Folders being stored on the server itself, it can become challenging for mobile users who are in and out of your network to connect to those folders.

To make this work you can use Mobile Accounts (which I covered in another screencast
HERE) which will keep those home folders in sync between your server and the local portable Mac as a solution. Or you can have your users log into their network accounts over the internet and still have access to them. There are pros and cons to each solution with the obvious one being network and server bandwidth which directly impacts speed.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your portable Mac to allow your users to connect to their network accounts over the internet. I also cover how to connect and log into their account through your
Open Directory remotely.

As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Changing Your Host Name

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One of the most important pieces of running OS X Server is making sure your DNS is correct. The hostname is at the center of your server’s DNS and you want to make sure the information you have is accurate. You can change your host name using the Server Application but there are somethings you need to keep in mind if you do choose to change it.

In this screencast tutorial I walk you through how to change your Host name. I also cover the services you will need to update once that change is done to make sure you don’t have any of your services break in the process.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Little Snitch Part 3: Profiles

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One of the great features added to version 3 of Little Snitch is the ability to set up profiles for different networks you may connect to on a regular basis. I have a different sense of what I need security wise when I am outside my network than when I am outside it. With a laptop it is easy to forget that coffee shops and other shared wifi networks are places where your computer is more vulnerable to attack and getting hacked. Granted it is not a huge threat, but any geeky computer person knows what is possible and it is that paranoia that drives us to caution when it comes to connecting in the outside world.

Little Snitch 3 provides a profile feature that allows you to have different sets of rules for different networks. So when I am at home there are one set of rules for home. When I am at a coffee shop, there is another set of rules and Little Snitch 3 keeps track of where I am and automatically switches to the rules I have defined for that spot. It really is a great feature because it does have a set it and forget it set up.

In this screencast I cover profiles and how to set those up in Little Snitch 3. As you will see, this really is a great feature set and one you will use a lot with your mobile Macs!



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Little Snitch Part 2: Rules

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Continuing my look at Little Snitch 3, I cover in depth how to work with rules that you set up in the application. Little Snitch not only allows you to set rules based on applications and system processes on a connection by connection basis, it also monitors those rules and shows where you might have contradictions or redundant rules that could be deleted. This helps you maintain a simple rule set that makes it easier to manage.

Little Snitch also gives you suggestions of rules you might want to implement and sets up temporary rules for you to look at and decide if you want to keep or discard them. It really is a great way to keep tabs on your entire network and set up a rule set that you are comfortable with.

One thing I always have to let people know about Little Snitch is the pop ups that warn you of connections can seem overwhelming at first. With every connection asking for your permission to accept or deny you really get a good sense for how many programs are trying to connect. But with all of those connections at first you can feel like the program is getting in your way. If you stick with it and go through all the pop ups and make decisions on what you want to allow and what you want to deny, over time these will become fewer and fewer and you will have the protection and limits to access that you wanted with very little hassle. So stick with it as this really is an incredibly useful tool!



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Little Snitch Part 1: Network Monitor

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With all of the recent news and concerns over what the government can and can’t see of your personal information, more and more people are looking for ways to monitor what goes out from their computers onto the internet. With security being an issue as well, it would be great to be able to monitor on a moment by moment basis who is trying access our computers.

Little Snitch provides a great solution to this problem. With it’s network filtering, it lets you see on a connection by connection basis who is trying to get into your computer from the outside and who is trying collect data from your computer from the inside. This network filtering puts you in control of each of these connections and even lets you set up rules for different locations or networks that you might connect to with your mobile Macs.

In this screencast, I give an overview of Little Snitch 3 focusing mainly on the network filter. I cover the basics of the application and all the features present in the network filter including how to get a reading of your current network and how to take snapshots in time to review later.

If you have a server, Little Snitch 3 is a great tool to help you keep tabs on your server and gives you a moment by moment opportunity to block those who may be trying to access your server.




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Mountain Lion Server: Hosted Mac Mini Server

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One of the great things about a Mac Mini is its cost, efficiency and size. Each of these things makes the Mini a great server and now you can host these kinds of servers not only at home but in a datacenter as well. Recently I started working with MacStadium on some tutorials on how to get your Mountain Lion Server up and running in a hosted environment. Through this process I have really come to see the advantages of hosting your Mac Mini inside a datacenter. There is just something about knowing someone else is looking out for your hardware and knowing for sure that your Mini is always on and reachable with the included static ip address.

The MacStadium team has been great and I really see the value in the products they have to offer. You can see more about MacStadium’s services at their website
www.macstadium.com. If you do happen to decide to host your server, I there are various tutorials up on their blog, some of which I have been contributing on how to get your Mountain Lion Server up and running in a hosted environment.

In this screencast tutorial I give an overview of having your Mac Mini Server in a hosted environment. I cover the differences between a home hosted versus data center hosted server, some of the costs and benefits of a hosted server, and some of the basics of logging in and working with a server in a hosted environment.

As always feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel!



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Mountain Lion Server: IceFloor Firewall

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Earlier I covered how to set up the built in PF Firewall using system preferences found on every mac. I covered the basics of getting the firewall set up and when you might want to consider using a firewall. But there are times when you want to engage more of the advanced features found in the PF Firewall build. You might want more control over the actual ports that the firewall allows access on and you may want to specifically block certain IP addresses and block those who are trying to gain access to your server.

In this screencast tutorial I cover some advanced firewall administration for the built in PF Firewall using a donation ware software program called IceFloor. I cover how this software may be helpful for home users, how to set the software up, what settings to put in place, and ways to customize and test your firewall.

As always feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel if you need any help or have any questions.



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Mountain Lion Server: SFTP

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Connecting to your files on a remote server to move them back and forth between your server and a remote computer is something that can be difficult if you are not familiar with the terminal. FTP is an option but it is not that secure as it sends your passwords in plain text. That is where SFTP is a benefit and a great way to move files around using a file manager client like Transmit or Forklift.

In this screencast I cover how to connect to your files and folders remotely using SFTP. SFTP is more secure that FTP and is a great way to navigate remote file systems. I talk about how to set up SFTP, how to connect to your shares both through the terminal and through an app called Forklift. I also cover some basic commands to move files from one server to another.

As always if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: SSH

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Being able to connect to your server remotely is one of the benefits of having a server. I have already covered some of the ways you can connect to your server remotely and in this screencast I cover how to connect to your server using SSH or Secure Shell. SSH allows you to connect to your server through the terminal allowing you to have full root access to your computer. Now SSH is used over port 22 which is often looked for by bots and hackers who look to try to guess your password to gain access to your server. For added security you may want to watch my tutorial on IceFloor to see how you can block known offenders and those who continually try to guess your password.

In this tutorial I show you how to access your server remotely and how to copy files back and forth using terminal. In the next screencast I will cover how to do this using the more easy to use SFTP through a file management program called Forklift.

As always feee free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: RADIUS Set Up

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Security on wireless networks can be a problem for those who are concerned with their one SSID getting out to those outside their network. While this may not be a big issue for home users, it can be a big one for those running a small business. Built into Mountain Lion Server is the RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service) Server which only allows those with user credentials on the server to access the wireless network. Instead of one SSID and password to access the network, users are asked for their user name and password that they use to log into the server. This creates added security and server level authentication for your wireless network.

As always, feel free to leave questions or comments below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Splashtop iOS Screensharing

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Continuing on in looking at iOS applications that allow you to access your server while you are on the go, I take a look this week at Splashtop. Splashtop is an iOS screen sharing application that allow you to access your server desktop on your iOS device and use it like you were right in front of your server. You simply install a little program on your server that communicates with the iOS application, install Splashtop on your iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad), login and you are set to access your server.

Some of the controls do take some getting used to but there is a handy guide to help explain how each of the services work. The latency is really good and it makes it a great tool for every server administrator to have. As always, if you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Server Admin Remote

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Being able to monitor your server remotely is something that every IT guy needs to ability to do. But if you have to login with a screen share just to check the status of your services it can be time consuming and cause even the best administrator to procrastinate. I found an iOS application that allows you to check on your services, stop and start services, check logs, and look at your resources. The app is called Server Admin Remote and you can get it from the iTunes Store.

In this screencast I cover how to download, set up and use the application on your iPhone. This really is a great little app and should come in handy for helping you check in on your server. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave one below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Firewall Set Up

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Protecting your server is important especially when you are making services available over the internet. If you are using a router, you in essence have a hardware firewall that protects you against those from the outside trying to get in. There are instances when you want to specifically track and monitor those trying to get into your server especially when SSH is enabled and the various bots in the world start running DDoS attacks on your server. That is where a software firewall is helpful.

In this weeks tutorial I cover how to set up the built in firewall on OS X Server. I cover the basic set up and various options found in the GUI built into system preferences. In a future screencast I will cover how to run the server with the command line and a third party GUI called
Icefloor.

As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Server 2.2.1 Update

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I have had a lot of questions lately about the changes Apple made to Server with the 2.2.1 Update. Some of the confusion is between previous tutorials I have done and the new changes that were made so I decided to make a tutorial to take into account a few of the changes that people were asking about. Apple’s Support Article covers the changes they made with this update found here:

Here are some of the main changes:

1. Caching Service: This allows you to cache any updates that have been downloaded from the Mac App Store so they don’t need to be re-downloaded. I covered this in detail in a previous screencast.

2. Centralized SSL Certificate Management: Apple took the SSL Certificate management out of the Server hardware area and moved it to it’s own service. I cover the changes in detail for those who had difficulty with the new interface.

3. Time Machine: Changes include seeing which computers are backed up, when they were backed up, and the size of the back up.

As always feel free to leave comments here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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NEW! All Video Tutorials in One Place

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I have had a lot of feedback lately asking me to put all of my tutorials on my website in an easy to view format. Some of you don’t like using the YouTube interface and would prefer to come to the website instead to view the tutorials in one place. So to make it easier, I have added a section to my website on Technology which includes all the tutorials sorted by topic. It is a start and I still have things I want to do make it better but I think it will make it easier for you to view them in order instead of using the playlist feature on my YouTube Channel.

I also included a donate button for those who want to buy me a cup of coffee (Starbucks is one of my regular hang outs) for the work on the tutorials. Please don’t think you have to donate to use the tutorials, I am just doing this for those who wanted to do something but didn’t have a way to do it.

If you get a chance to check the tutorials section out, give me some feedback on what you think and how I could improve it. You can email me or leave a comment here.

I love doing these tutorials and helping others with things I have learned. I also love to hear how they help others so drop me a line if you get a chance.

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Mountain Lion Server: Mobile Accounts

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One of the advantages of Server is the ability to have your home folders on the server so you can log into any computer on your network and have your desktop and home folder set up available just as if you were on your local computer. But one of the problems of doing this is dealing with mobile computers. What happens when you take your laptop outside the network if your home folders are on the server?

To solve this problem, Server has the ability to set up mobile accounts where basically sets up a sync service that keeps your home folder in sync between the server and the client machine. Before a client leaves the network, the home folder syncs to the client machine. When the client comes back into the network, any changes the client has made get sync’ed back to the server to keep everything the same. This way the client can still log into any computer on your network and still take their laptop on the go.

As always, feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Work Group Manager Preferences

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In this screencast tutorial I cover the preference settings available in Work Group Manager and I compare them to the setting available in Profile Manager. Apple is definitely moving away from Work Group Manager towards having everyone use Profile Manager but has chosen to keep Work Group Manager around for those how still like to use this legacy software for managing their directory.

Work Group Manager can still be used to manage all of your users, groups, devices and device groups in a non web interface on your server. It still works well and gives you another option for setting up your server.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Bind Clients to the Server

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Your Open Directory allows you to connect your computers to that directory which gives you more management options. There were some comments lately about how to bind a computer to the server on my YouTube Channel so I thought I would do a tutorial to show how this gets set up. You want to bind your machine to your Domain Name and not to your .local name. Some had it where the .local was the only server option available on their network. This was caused by having the primary DNS be the router instead of the server. A simple change in the router set up fixed this for those I was talking to.

In this video tutorial I cover how to set that up properly. I also cover the process for binding your clients to the server and what it looks like in Work Group Manager.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Work Group Manager Overview

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The Server Application gives you plenty of functionality for you to set up and configure your server. But Apple still provides Work Group Manager as a way for you to set up and configure services on your server. It works with your Open Directory and includes some more detailed information to help you tweak your server.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to download and install Work Group Manager. I give a basic overview of the application and cover how to use it to work with users and groups on your server.

As always, thanks for watching. Feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel if you have a question.



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Mountain Lion Server: Remote Server Access

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One of the advantages of having a server is being able to access it remotely. I had some questions lately about how to do that so I decided to do a screencast on it to demonstrate how to make that happen.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to your server remotely. I demonstrate a couple of ways to do this and how to make sure you set it up properly without accidentally installing the server components on your non server device.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: NetInstall

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With the new digital distribution of Apple’s operating systems it makes it more difficult to reinstall on various computers if you need to do so. With Server you have the ability to set up various images that you can then use to do a clean install on your computers over the air on your own network. The advantages of doing this is the fact that you can customize your install and don’t have to worry about creating your own media to make the install happen.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up a disk image to be used for your NetInstall. I also cover some of the customization options to simplify the install process and then show how the process works.

As always feel free to leave a comment or question here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!




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Mountain Lion Server: DHCP

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DHCP or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, is what is used to assign IP addresses to the devices on your network. DHCP is usually set up through the router as there needs to be addresses given to your devices if they are to show on your network and connect to the internet. Server gives you the option to control DHCP through your server instead of through a router. There are advantages and disadvantages to either solution and I cover those in this tutorial. For most people the router will be the best option since a router is usually always on while there a times when a computer is shut down, thus shutting down your DHCP service. But for many in corporate environments controlling the DHCP from the server is important.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!




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Mountain Lion Server: Connecting iOS to WebDAV

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One of the struggles most people with iOS devices have is getting the documents on their Macs onto their iOS device. Sure you could use Dropbox or some other cloud service. Or you could use iTunes to sync certain files and folders through certain apps you may have on your device. But sometimes you just want to have your files available right off your computer without having to go through another service.

In Mountain Lion Server you can specify certain folders to be available to your iOS device and then connect to those files through the WebDAV interface built into your iOS device. This makes all of your files portable and allows you to use them where you are at on the road (provided you have a public domain address or VPN).

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to those files and folders you designated for sharing with iOS devices. I cover how to do this in a couple of apps to give you an idea of how it works. As always, please feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Wiki Customization

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Mountain Lion Server’s Wiki allows you to customize elements of it to make it your own. You can edit each of the elements on the site beyond the basic navigation. You can add banners, videos, audio, and other elements to make the site look unique. In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to customize the wiki and go over each of the customization options. While these options don’t quite allow you to create your own site in any way you want, it does allow you to layer some things on top of the existing layout.

As always, thanks for checking out my tutorials. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel.



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MacWorld/iWorld

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This week is MacWorld, a week where ifans of all sorts converge on one spot to geek out talking about and learning about all things Apple. This event has been going on for quite some time but I have never attended. There were plenty of times I thought about it but for one reason or another my schedule would not cooperate so I never made it. Well this year I am finally making the trek up to San Francisco to see what it's all about. I'll get to go with my dad who is a big Mac guy as well and really is the one who got me started on Mac stuff (I still remember when he got and Apple II and then eventually the first Mac). I really excited to see what it's all about.

While I'm there I'll have the opportunity to meet
Don Mcallister who is making the trip from the UK. I have watched Don's screencasts from ScreenCastsOnline for many years and if you haven't heard of him or checked out ScreenCastsOnline and you own a Mac you really should check it out. You can get the screencasts as standalone tutorials or subscribe to the ScreenCastsOnline Monthly Magazine and view them in a magazine format with articles by leading Mac experts. I have had the privilege of collaborating with him lately with screencast content and it has been awesome working with and learning from Don. We are finally going to connect face to face.

I am also looking forward to attending the
Omnifocus 2 unveiling party happening on Thursday night which will be presented by David Sparks, Merlin Mann, and Ken Case from the OmniGroup. It will be a lot of fun to check out the updates and be able to get early access to the private beta. I'll have to let you know how it looks! On Friday night I look forward to going to the Nosilla Castaways party on Friday night to meet Allison and some of the other podcasters I have heard but haven't met yet. Of course we'll also attend some of the workshops and roam the show floor. It should be a great trip!

I'll try to put updates on my twitter feed so if you are not following my on Twitter by sure to follow me @tolthoff. I'll also try to follow up with a blog post sometime next week.

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Mountain Lion Server: Wiki Set Up

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One of the great advantages of using OS X Server is the built in website that comes with it. For those who just want to get their feet wet with having their own website to those who are running a small business and want a collaboration tool that all of their employees can use to communicate and share ideas, the built in website is a really nice option and has a decent amount of functionality and customization. Now if you are a person who has a vision for how you want your website to look and feel and you want the freedom to add pages and functionality on the fly, then you are still probably better off having our website hosted or hosting it on your server. While the customization on the built in site is nice, it really isn't built for a complete redesign and you have to work with the built in tools to make it work.

In this screencast tutorial I go over how to set up the Wiki Service which functions along side the Website Service to create the built in Wiki Website. I also give a basic tour of the site to give you an idea of what you can do with it. In the next screencast I will cover how to customize your site to make it your own.

As always if you have any questions, feel free to comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Web Server

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Website service. This service is not only used for hosting your own personal websites. It is also used as a part of making the Wiki Service work so it is a service that will be running whether you are hosting your own website or not. In the screencast I talk about things to consider when hosting your own website including:

1. Does your ISP block port 80?
If your ISP blocks port 80 then you will not be able to host your own website as that is the port that those outside your network will use to access your site. You may have to call your ISP to see if there is a way to open that port. In many cases they will want you to purchase their business internet service which is usually more costly but does come with a static IP address which helps with the next issue.

2. Do you have a static IP address?
If you are using a dynamic IP address, which most home users are, you are leasing an IP address that could change at any moment. Once this IP address changes all of your web services will go offline until you discover the change and update your domain registrar to point your domain name to the new IP address. This will cause your website to be down until you make the change. Now most ISP's don't change the IP that often. It usually happens when you reboot your modem, but the risk of it changing might be too big, especially if you are dependent on having your website up and running 24/7. For home users who are only doing this for family it is not as critical, but for the rest, you really need a static IP.

3. Are you ok with Downtime?
Running a web server that hosts critical websites means that uptime of your sites is up to you and your server. So if you have a power outage and your server goes down, so does your website. If you forget you are hosting a site and turn off your server, you lose your site. So you really need to weigh the costs before you decide to do your own hosting.

Hopefully that gives you some things to consider before hosting your site. In the tutorial I cover how to get your site going and even how to set up virtual hosting if you are looking at hosting various domains/websites on your one server. This includes a look at the DNS service so if you haven't covered that yet, you may want to view my tutorial
HERE.

Thanks for watching! If you have any comments or questions leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel!



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Mountain Lion Server: Profile Manager-Devices

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to manage all of your devices using Profile Manager in Mountain Lion Server. Managing many devices can be difficult especially if you have to update the settings on those devices one at a time. With Profile Manager you can set up profiles for each device or device group and those changes get pushed over the air to all of your devices. Once your devices are in Profile Manager (you can see my tutorial on how to do this HERE), you can choose to manage them either individually or put them into device groups and manage them that way. You can set up everything from passwords to what items are in the dock. There really is a great amount of customization available and the great thing about Profile Manager is you can access it from any web browser anywhere you are (as long as you have either a .private network and you VPN in, or a FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name).

As always feel free to leave a comment or question here or on my
Youtube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Profile Manager-Users & Groups

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In this screencast tutorial I continue my look at Profile Manager and show you how to set up profiles for Users and Groups. Users and Groups are initially configured in the Server App so whatever you set up there will be what is showing in Profile Manager itself. The cool part of this service is the level of customization you can do to a profile and how easily it pushes those changes to a particular user the next time that user logs in.

I cover each of the settings in both the User and Groups screens. I also share my own strategy of using groups to manage users instead of having to update each individual user’s profile one at a time. In the next screencast I will cover how to set up device specific profiles which is another great way to manage the settings on your network.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Profile Manager-iOS Enrollment

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to enroll iOS devices in Profile Manager. I just got a piece of software called Reflector which allows me to mirror my iOS devices on my Mac. This has allowed me to capture these devices using my screencast software called Screenflow. This should be great for future screencasts as I will now be able to show you how to do the set up on your iOS devices and even include some iOS only tutorials in the future.

In this particular screencast I go over how to get your iOS device enrolled in Profile Manager so you can manage that device and push profile changes to it over the air. As I demonstrated in the previous screencast, you need to first install the trust profile if you are using a self signed SSL Certificate before you do any other installations. Forgetting this step will cause Profile Manager not to work and you will waste hours of tweaking for no benefit. After that profile is installed you can then install your other settings and make changes in Profile Manager itself that will be pushed to all your devices.

As always if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment here or on my
Youtube Channel. Thanks for watchingHappy.



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Mountain Lion Server: Profile Manager-Mac Enrollment

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Profile Manager is one of the best parts of Mountain Lion Server. It allows you to manage all of your Macs and iOS Devices from a your server either locally or remotely. It gives enterprise control over your devices that was previously only available to those running enterprise level servers.

If you haven’t had a chance to view my previous tutorial on setting up Profile Manager start with that tutorial first by clicking
HERE. In this screencast tutorial, I continue my look at Profile Manager and walk through how to set up your Macs to use the service. I cover how to install the needed certificates to allow your Macs to be managed and cover how they look once enrolled within Profile Manager.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or leave a comment on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Caching Service

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Now that Apple has two methods for pushing updates to client computers, Software Update and the Mac App Store, it makes it difficult to manage updates and the bandwidth for each and every client on your network. To help with this for Macs that use the Mac App Store, Apple has created the new Caching Service to allow the Server to save any updates that clients on your network download so future downloads will happen from your server instead of Apple’s Servers. The Caching Service only adds updates when someone accesses an update and downloads it.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to configure the Caching Service and set your clients to use that service instead of the Mac App Store. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Software Update

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Software Update is Apple’s method of pushing updates to their software to Macs. The problem with Software Update is the time it takes to download each of those updates individually for each machine and the bandwidth it takes for each of those individual downloads.

In Mountain Lion Server Apple has included a local Software Update Service that allows you to download all of Apples’ updates to your server and then point your clients to your server to download those updates. In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Software Update Service and how to point your client computers to use your Server instead of Apple’s Servers to get their updates.

If you have any questions along the way, feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Back Up

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Back up is one of the things we usually think about after we needed a back up which causes us to leave all of our data. Running a Server is as much about making fast recovery possible as it is keeping your data safe. In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to use Time Machine in Mountain Lion Server to allow wireless back ups of all of your client machines to a centralized location. I also cover creating a bootable backup of your server using a program called SuperDuper! which will allow you to be back up and running in no time should you have a major hard drive failure. Finally, I cover how to back up your Open Directory so you can restore that data should you have problems with your server.

As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Mail

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The dream of hosting your own web server is something most of us who are interested in things like servers have toyed with. Being in control of what comes in and out and having our own customized email address is appealing. But anyone who has run and email server knows the headaches administrating email can be!

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your own Mail Server. I go over the pros and cons of hosting your own email. I talk about the basic requirements of hosting your own server at home and how to set up your clients to use the service. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel.




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Mountain Lion Server: FTP

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FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a way to transfer files between two computers. FTP is used for uploading and downloading files from a server and offers an easy way to access certain folders and files.

In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to set up your own FTP share in Mountain Lion Server. I talk about how to log into your FTP share using Terminal and an FTP client.

As always if you have a question, feel free to leave a comment below or leave a comment on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: VPN

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VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is a protocol that allows you to set up a secure connection between two devices. This secure connection allows you to appear as if you are on your local network so you can access the services you have running on your server. One of the things a VPN on a Mac will not do, however, is run bonjour services which means all your other local computers will not show up in your finder side bar and you won’t have home sharing services in iTunes and iPhoto work remotely. There are some things you could do to make that work but it does take a lot hacking and is probably the subject of another article.

In the screencast tutorial below, I cover how to set up the VPN Service on Mountain Lion Server including how to set up the right range of addresses that won’t interfere with your regular DHCP range, which protocol to use (L2TP or PPTP), and ways in which you can export a profile to use to set up your client machines. I also cover setting up and connecting to your VPN Service remotely.

As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel.




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Mountain Lion Server: Messages

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Messages Service on Mountain Lion Server. Messages is Apple’s new and improved iChat Service which allows you to set up a private chat service that lets you communicate both in and outside your network. This service can be convenient especially now that Apple is using it for it’s own texting service over wifi.

In this tutorial I cover how to set up the Messages Service and connect all your clients to the service. I also cover how to use the service and get your buddy list set up and running. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Contacts

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One of the benefits of having a server is the ability to host your own services like Calendars and Contacts. In Mountain Lion Server the Contacts Service allows you to set up your own contacts directory and push changes to all of your devices. In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Contacts Service including how to set up the services and get your clients set up to use the service. I also cover a couple of options for setting up your Contacts including individual accounts and a shared family Contact Book. If you have any questions in setting up the service, feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Calendar

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Calendar Service on Mountain Lion Server. Calendar allows you to manage a CalDav standard calendar for all of the users on your server. It allows you to set up locations and resources that you can make available for scheduling and sends invitations to those you invite to events that you schedule. I cover not only how to set this up on the server but also how to configure your clients to use the service as well and even include an optional way to have one calendar that all of your users have as their primary calendar for those families that only want to worry about one standard calendar for the whole household.

As always, feel free to email any questions or leave a comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Connect & Auto Mount AFP

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to any AFP shares you have set up both locally and remotely on your devices. I also cover how to set up certain files and folders to auto mount every time you log into your computer so they are mounted and ready to go when you need them instead of having to repeat the process of mounting your files and folders every time you log out or reboot.

If you have any comments or questions feel free to email or leave a comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: File Sharing

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the File Sharing Service on Mountain Lion Server. File sharing is one of the basic things everyone thinks about when setting up a server. The need to share the same files among multiple users and have them stored in a centralized location is what servers do best and Mountain Lion Server has an excellent and easy to set up file sharing service. The service includes the ability to set the permission levels of shared files and folders with either Read & Write (the user can both view and upload/change content), Read Only (the user can only view the content but not download or upload), Write Only (the user can only add content but not take any away), and no access which hides the file or folder from the user so he/she doesn’t even know it is there. The service all allows the ability for the shared file or folder to be shared as AFP (Apple File Protocol) or SMB (Windows File Sharing Protocol), shared with iOS devices over WebDav, or used to set up and store home folders on the server. I cover all of these topics in the tutorial below.

As always, if you have any comments or questions feel free to email, or comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Users & Groups

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up users & groups on Mountain Lion Server. I explain how to tell the difference between local and network accounts and what the advantages are of each. I also talk about how setting up groups can make easier for you to manage multiple users at one time and how you can create groups for family members that allow you to do things like make on change that effects all the kids instead of having to change each child manually.

As always if you have any questions, feel free to email or leave a comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Profile Manager Set Up

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Profile Manager service. Profile Manager is a powerful MDM (Mobile Device Management) application that puts the power of enterprise servers in the hands of home users. Profile Manager is a great way to manage all the devices in your household like Macs and iOS Devices from a web browser. The beauty of Profile Manager is you can manage these devices from any computer or device that has a web browser so you don’t need to be at your server to manager your devices.

In this tutorial I walk you through the steps of setting up the service which includes Apple’s Push Notification Certificate and SSL Certificates for secure connections between your server and your other devices. In future screencasts I will walk through each of the features available to manage and customize on your devices.

If you have any questions, feel free to email or comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Open Directory

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up Open Directory on Mountain Lion Server. Open Directory Service sets up a Network Directory or LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) which allows the set up of network accounts. This allows you to set up various services on MLS that require network accounts such as Profile Manager and home folders stored on the server that allow users to log into them on any computer in the network.

There are two ways to set up Open Directory in MLS. In this tutorial I walk through how to set up the service itself. It can also be set up by starting up Profile Manager, which checks to see if an Open Directory Master exists and if it doesn’t, then it walks you through the process of setting one up.

Let me know how you enjoy the screencast and feel free to email or leave a comment on my YouTube Channel if you have any questions or comments.



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Mountain Lion Server: DNS

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up and check the DNS of your server. DNS stands for Domain Name System and it is responsible for connecting an IP address to a particular name. For instance, every website like www.toddolthoff.com had a domain name like 192.0.0.0.0. That number is difficult to remember so that is why we use things like toddolthoff.com. Your DNS controls all the naming not only on your server but also the computers on your network. So if your DNS is off, your server will not function and you will have trouble getting your services to work.

In this tutorial I cover how to set up your DNS and how to check to make sure your DNS is working properly. If you have any questions feel free to leave them here or reply on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: SSL Certificates

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In this screencast tutorial I cover SSL Certificates. SSL Certificates allow secure connections between computers keeping that communication safe from those who might want to get to that information. These secure connections are used by banks and other organizations that want to protect what is being transferred between their website and your computer. You can usually tell if a website is secure by the https in front of the web address (the “s” shows it is a secure connection).

In this tutorial I cover how to set up a self signed SSL Certificate for Mountain Lion Server to allow you to have secure connections with your server. This is required if you are going to use Profile Manager and is recommended for things like Calendar, Address Book, Mail, etc. I also cover how to integrate a third party verified SSL Certificate and how to get that certificate added to your server.

As always if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Port Forwarding

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In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to set up port forwarding on your router. If any of the services you set up on your server are to be access outside of your home or work network, you will need to open up a port to the internet for that service. Your router serves as a hardware firewall that keeps people out of your home network. It is a great security tool but it also will keep you out of your home network if you try to login outside of your network. The router can open up secure “ports” or holes that allow you to use certain aspects of your sever while you are outside your network. In this tutorial I look at how to do that with an Airport Extreme Base Station from Apple and show how the Server App is a great and easy way to make that work. The great thing is your router no longer has to reboot every time a port change is made! For those of you without an Airport Extreme, you will have to open your ports manually. Here is a link to known ports for the various services available on your Server: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1629. As always if you have any questions feel free to respond here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Network Configuration

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your network for Mountain Lion Server. Making sure you have your server with a permanent IP is important especially if you are using your server for DNS services. You also need to make a decision on how you will handle DHCP and whether your server or router will be giving out addresses to the devices on your network. In this tutorial I cover how to get these things set up so you are ready to enable the other services available on Mountain Lion Server. As always if you have questions or feedback, feel free to respond here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Install & Set Up

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to do a clean install of Mountain Lion Server starting from an install of Mountain Lion. I walk through the whole install process and what it looks like to get your server up and running. If you are new to server and are wanting to try it out on your system, this tutorial should help you get everything up and running. I will be doing a full range of tutorials on all the features and components of Mountain Lion Server so watch for updates here on my blog or on my Youtube Channel. I usually put a new tutorial out every Friday so if you subscribe to my channel you will get updated when new tutorials are posted. If you have any questions feel free to respond here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Upgrade From Lion Server

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to upgrade your server from Lion to Mountain Lion. I walk through the process of getting ready for the upgrade including making sure you keep a copy of your Mountain Lion install so you can use it later to create a USB bootable copy and to use it for Netinstall on your server. Having done the upgrade myself things seem to be pretty stable. There is a known issue with VPN and the interface with managing an Airport Extreme Router. If you get an error message related to your Airport Extreme and/or have problems with VPN, follow the directions on this Apple Support Article: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4353?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US, which basically has you delete your airport password from Keychain Assess and relaunch your Server App. If you have any questions on the upgrade process feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Guest Spot on ScreenCastsOnline

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This week I had the privilege of having one of my screencasts on MoneyWell shown on my favorite Mac tutorial site ScreenCastsOnline. Don McAllister who is the Host and Founder of the weekly screencasts was really one of the people who inspired me to do screencasts as a great way to educate people on how to use Apple Software. I started with my own YouTube Channel and started with screencasts for my family and friends and found others were interested in viewing the screencasts as well, especially the ones I have recently been doing on Lion Server. You can see my other screencasts at my YouTube Channel below or here on my site by clicking HERE.

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If you haven’t checked out ScreenCastsOnline and you are an Apple Computer user I highly recommend checking Don’s tutorials out as they are very well done and a great way to learn new ways to use your Mac. Click the screenshot below to check out my guest spot and to get a feel for the great service Don has to offer. Thanks for using my screencast Don and making it look even better to boot!

ScreenCastsOnline Guest Spot

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Home Server with Lion Server: VPN Server

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VPN is something many people are interested in having for their own security while connecting to outside wired and wireless networks. With concern over security and wanting the ability to connect to your home network as if your computer was on that network locally, make a VPN Server something that is nice to have when you are on the road. Lion Server gives a simple way to set up your own personal VPN Server so you can have this connection and makes it fairly easy to set up.

In this screencast I cover which VPN protocol to choose, how to set an IP Range for your VPN Server, and how to install VPN manually on a client machine. I also show you how to connect to your VPN from a client computer and how to end your VPN session without having to use System Preferences. Enjoy!



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Home Server with Lion Server: iChat Server

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your own personal iChat Server for your home server. We will cover how to set up and configure a jabber based chat server including server federation, limiting domains that can be chatted with, setting up the ichat server on clients, and how to enable auto buddy detection for the other clients on your network. Having your own personal iChat Server can be a great way to communicate and send things quickly to other members of your family. There are many other services out there but there is something about having a private and unified home messaging system. With Mountain Lion Server this will most likely change to include the iMessage application that Apple has been using for iPhones and other devices, which I will cover when the update comes out in July. But for now iChat is still a great way to communicate across all the computers in your home.




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Home Server with Lion Server: iCal Server

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In this screencast I walk through how to set up an iCal Server on your home server. I cover the basic set up of email notifications and resources, how to connect clients to your iCal calendar, how to add events to the calendar with resources, and the difference between individual and a shared family calendar and how to set them up. There are advantages and disadvantages to setting up your own calendar on server especially with iCloud and other calendaring services out there to handle the syncing of all of our calendars. But if you are looking for a way to have a great home calendar that everyone can be on that includes managing rooms and resources in your house, iCal Server is something you should check out!



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Home Server with Lion Server: Address Book Server

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In this screencast I cover how to set up your own personal Address Book Server using Lion Server. I talk about how to get the service started, how to add contacts to your new address book, and how to connect your client computers and users to your server so they can access and edit their contacts on your server. I also talk about the pros and cons of having one centralized address book for your whole family versus each person having their own address book and only having some contacts on a centralized address book. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below and feel free to share this on your social networks with the links at the bottom of this post.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Connect & Auto Mount AFP

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to the AFP shares we set up in the last tutorial. I show you how to connect both locally and remotely while on the road and also take a look at how to set up your AFP shares to auto mount so every time you start up your computer or login your favorite shares will automatically mount on your computer and be read for you to use. This comes in handy in a home server setting where a couple wants to share files that they both work on but don’t want to keep separate copies on both of their computers. This way they can be working not he originals and keep them in one place on the server. It also helps for the kids who can easily lose files or delete them by accident. This way they are located on the server and can be given permissions that don’t allow the kids to edit the files. Let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to share this video with your social networksHappy.



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Home Server with Lion Server: File Sharing & Home Folders

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In this screencast I cover how set up file sharing with Lion Server. One of the advantages of having a home server is the ability to share files with other people on your network and being able to access those files remotely from your server. In this tutorial I show you how to set up your users so they have permission to use the AFP file sharing protocol on your server so they can connect to those share points both locally and while they are on the road. I also cover one of the best features of Lion Server (especially for those with kids) and that is home folders. Home folders allow you to store a user’s home directory and all of their settings centrally on your server. The advantage of this is the fact that your kids can now log in to any computer on your network and have access to their stuff. No more arguing over who gets to use what computer! Let me know what you think in the comments below and be sure to share this video with anyone who might need it through your social networks.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Users & Groups

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One of the main reasons to have a server is to manage all of your devices and the users in your network. For home users this usually means your family and all the devices in your household. When setting up users in your household who will access the services you have available on your server you need to determine who needs what type of access and what services each person is allowed to access. So at home, you may want to limit the access your kids have to certain services like email, calendar, and maybe even some web services. You may want to give your spouse the ability to administer the server just in case you are not around to do it. Lion Server gives you the ability to set that up.

When managing multiple users it can be time consuming if you have to make changes on a per account basis, so Lion Server has the ability to set up groups that allow you to make changes to the group that filters down to all the users in that group. That way you can set up groups for your kids or other groups that allows you to make those changes once that will affect everyone in that group.

In this screencast, I cover setting up users and groups in Lion Server. I cover how to determine the difference between a local and directory account, how to add new users and set the right permissions for services, and how to use groups to make changes once that affect all the users in the group. Building on this in Part 7, we will cover how to set up home accounts on the server.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Profile Manager Set Up

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One of the best things about having a server is being able to manage the devices you have in your network from a centralized location. IT professionals have had the ability to do this for years but now with Lion Server, home users can now do the same thing with Profile Manager. Profile Manager allows you to manage all of your Apple computer, laptops, and iOS devices. Using profiles you can push changes to all devices at once, remotely wipe or reset devices, change passwords, and allow or restrict certain things.

In this tutorial, I cover how to set up Profile Manager. In the set up, Lion Server makes sure you have an Open Directory set up and your SSL Certificate in place (required for running Profile Manager). Open Directory allows you to manage global accounts and allows remote access as opposed to a local network directory which only allows local accounts. I am doing this tutorial early because Profile Manager sets up al the services required to run it without having to start each service separately. In a future screencast I will cover the web interface that is used to manage your devices and groups.



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Home Server with Lion Server: SSL Certificates

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If you are looking at accessing your server from a remote location or are going to have devices that access it from the internet, you will need to have an SSL Certificate set up. An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate is an encrypted connection from a remote computer to another computer. This encrypted line keeps people from “listening in” on your connection and allows your server an extra layer of validation.

In most cases you want an SSL Certificate from a trusted third party registrar who vouches for the identity of your server. You would want this type of certificate if you were hosting a business or a server that a lot of people from the outside world would be accessing. Since we are talking about a home server, the only people accessing your server are people in your household so you really don’t need to buy a certificate you can generate one within the Server.app which is called a self-signed certificate. This certificate still keeps your information secure and works just like a purchased certificate. The difference is that you will get a message when logging in the first time saying that the certificate is not validated by a third party and to make sure you know who generated the certificate. Once you check allow you won’t have to answer that question again and everything works behind the scenes.

In this screencast, I show you how to set up one of these certificates and get it installed on your server.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Port Forwarding

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In order to give your server and its services access to the internet, you need to make sure your router opens up access or “ports” to the internet so you can access those services over the internet. Opening this access is called “Port Forwarding” because it tells your router to forward certain traffic that comes in on a certain port to the proper service on your server. So your router serves as the gate keeper for all traffic in and out of your server as your router serves as a physical firewall keeping out traffic you don’t want to access your server. Thus, your router with port forwarding enabled allows you to access your server remotely over the internet while keeping others trying to access our server out unless they have been given access by you.

If your router happens to be an Airport Extreme Base Station, you can have Server App manage your router for you, making sure all the necessary ports are open and allow access to the services you have configured. If you don’t have an Airport Extreme or would like to do your own port forwarding, you can do this in the software that came with your router. It will usually be referred to as NAT (Network Address Translation) and will have a section for you to add ports that you want to open up. For Lion Server, you can see a list of ports it uses for certain services HERE. Below is a tutorial I put together that explains port forwarding and how to do it both in the Airport Utility that comes with the Airport Extreme Base Station and through the Server App in Lion Server.