Sessions and General Schedule
The Conference begins at 10am on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017; Registration opens at 8am. There will be 3 days of solid sessions with lunch and breaks provided. Dinner and evening activities will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, November 15th and 16th, and there’s Pre-Conference Workshops available the day prior (Tue, November 14th). The conference sessions will wrap up on Friday by 5pm.
Sessions are held back-to-back, maximizing content and packing in all that we can. And, there will be an assortment of vendor QuickTalks™, vendor forums, labs and birds of a feather discussions. No worries, however, there’s plenty of breaks and networking time as well.
Speaker bios are listed on the speakers page.
Pre-Conference activities take place on Tuesday, November 14th. For more information, see the workshops page.
More to come…
While this is already an incredible line up of topics and speakers, there’s even more to come. Interested in presenting? Use the “call for speakers” application form.
Note: All times are approximate. All sessions, speakers and descriptions are subject to change at any time without notice.
These are just some of the sessions coming your way during the main part of the conference.
Codesigning Flaws in macOS
by Thomas Reed
Think code signing protects apps against tampering in macOS? Think again. Due to the way code signing works on macOS, it doesn’t provide nearly as much protection as most people assume it does.
Against the Current: Lessons in Growth & Ambiguity
by Meg Ciliberti
What happens when the team you support virtually doubles within a year? Most of us would prefer to be keeping our heads above water, when the reality is your team is barely staying afloat. In this session, Meg will share how IT grows at Shopify, as it scales at a rapid pace. **Water wings not provided**
The Apple of your EFI - An updated analysis of the state of Apple's EFI Security Support
by Pepijn Bruienne and Rich Smith, Duo Labs
Duo Labs conducted an extensive data analysis on the state of Apple’s EFI security from two main perspectives. The first was analyzing all EFI update released by Apple since OS X 10.10.0 through macOS 10.12.6 to fully characterize the security support provided across different Mac models and OS versions, this also provided a baseline for the expected state Mac systems should be in. The second was an analysis across over 73,000 real-world Mac systems to compare the actual state of their EFI security against the expected state. Our findings cover a range of anomalies and security issues with the security support provided by Apple for their EFI firmware, more worryingly our analysis shows significant deviations in the real-world state of EFI firmware in Macs compared to the expected state which causes us to suspect a more systemic issue causing the failure of new EFI firmware that is supposed to be automatically installed alongside an OS update. In addition to the data analysis discussed above our research also aims to shine a light on to the mechanisms used to update Apple EFI itself and we discuss how the Apple’s EFI updater tools operate and the controls they have in place. These insights come from the the binary analysis of the tools themselves and we believe has not been discussed in detail up until now. Alongside our findings in the form of a technical paper we are also releasing a tools and API’s to enable admins and end users to have far greater visibility to the state of the the EFI firmware on their Apple systems and to understand the security implications that it may contain.
Essentials for Log Management
by Jason Miller
All of your devices generate logs. Those logs contain valuable information about the health of your fleet. Managing the flow of all this information can be a challenge, though. How can you capture this information? How can you sort through it? Can you look up information manually? Can you automatically generate reports and alerts from all of this information? We’ll talk about all of this and more.
Introducing Upvote, a social-voting server for Santa
by Matt Doyle
Santa, the open source binary white/blacklisting security project from Google has seen interest and adoption in the Mac community. One missing piece has been a centralized policy server. We have something to announce: an open source, central policy server for Santa. There are some surprises to how this server allows users to manage themselves, so, attend this session and find out!
NoMAD and the Future of Directory Services
by Joel Rennich
Find out where NoMAD is going and how it can free you from the burden of having a directory service at all! Joel Rennich, the creator of NoMAD, will discuss methods for creating and manipulating local accounts via MDM without AD or other directory service required. Allow your IT staff to become admin users without having any account for that user. Also learn about leveraging authentication mechanisms beyond the Kerberos and LDAP and how you can add two-factor authentication into your workflow.
Simian at GitHub: The Co-Evolution of Culture and IT
by Lillian Ho
Welcome to the jungle! The company is seven years old, and just made its first IT hire six months ago. You’re getting ready to scale from 200 to 700 employees and beyond. How will you adapt to your habitat and choose the right toolset for your environment? This talk will explore the forces of natural selection in startup culture and finding the right fit to survive — and thrive.
Don't Forget the New Admin
by Kelly Guimont
This session is for admins both new and old in the industry. People new to the Mac admin community often struggle to find resources, assistance, and best practices. People that are deeply ingrained in the community can often forget what it’s like to be new. Let’s come together and share all the knowledge!
Advanced Mac Troubleshooting: Launch Daemons and Agents
by John Kirn
Further strengthen your Mac support skills by delving deeper into how third-party launch daemons/agents work and how to reverse engineer what they do. Advanced topics that John Kirn will cover include: 1) Overview- Understand how launchd loads launch daemons and agents, what each are used for, and where they come from. 2) Create- Instructions for building a simple launch daemon and agent, illustrating how the different property list keys work (Label, ProgramArguments, KeepAlive, Sockets…). 3) Dissection- Learn how to read the property list keys for any launch daemons/agents to determine exactly what each does. 4) Modify- How to manipulate launch daemons/agents using the Finder, command line, and Lingon X. 5) Troubleshoot- Methods for determining if a third-party launch agent/daemon is causing a Mac problem, and what these problems look like. 6)The good, the bad, and the ugly- John will share a list of third-party launch agents/daemons that he’s collected over the years, broken down into the categories of: Necessary, potentially troublesome, and highly suspect.
Packaging, Python, and Pumpkins
by Greg Neagle
OK … there may not actually be anything about pumpkins in this session … but Python and packaging do factor in. Packaging on the Mac can often be repetitive and toilsome. Let’s work toward automating that task using some Python.
by Scott Neal
Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary app for iPad that makes learning Swift interactive and fun. It requires no coding knowledge. Come learn about this innovative way to learn more about Swift.
AppleScriptObj-C 2: 2 ASOCs Are Better Than 1
by JP Wade
AppleScript continues to be a first-class language on macOS. Combine it with the power of Apple’s Cocoa frameworks and you have an exceptionally powerful automation tool at your disposal. Come learn about this built-in language that can help you achieve tasks that seem impossible otherwise.
Some Crazy, Mad, Craziness
by Michael Lynn
Hi, I’m Michael Lynn, and you may know me from such talks as “Python and CTypes”, “Reverse Engineering the OS”, and “Mac-narök”. I’m usually talking about some something that’s kind of deep-down in the bowles of the OS. This time will be no different! Let’s explore the inner workings of the OS.
Business: Making the Most of Your Opportunities
by Brian Best
Brian Best is a serial entrepreneur, and has figured out how to make the most of his support business through technology, marketing and process. Come learn the recipe for the secret sauce behind what his successful tech businesses.
by Sal Soghoian
When it comes to automation on Apple technologies, much of the industry would consider Sal its the father. What has Sal come up with since leaving Apple — and how can you benefit from this Automation surprise!
The iPad for Mac Curmudgeons
by Joe Kissell
There are lots of people now using an iPad as their primary, or even only computer, saying that anyone who still thinks they need a Mac to get their work done is stuck in the past. There’s another group of people who are Mac Forever, and think they could never replace their Mac with an iPad. Both groups are kind of right in their own way, and people are entitled to like what they like. What I want to do is look objectively at the tasks people think they can’t do with an iPad that they actually can, as well as the tasks that still genuinely require a Mac (or PC) and why — and ponder what it would take to bridge that gap. So it would include some history, a lot of workflow/automation/tips/tricks stuff, and also a dispassionate look at how and why the platforms differ and what might happen to decrease those differences in the future.
by Charles Edge
MDM is now clearly a part of the way we manage Macs. What can an MDM do, and what are the limitations? Can it replace all of your other management tools? (Is that a good thing to do?) This session will cover what an MDM is, and isn’t, and options for best using this technology.
Cyber Security is dead. Long live Cyber Resilience!
by Chad Calease
The promise (illusion) of 100% Cyber Security is gone. While we continue to support the concepts of defense and prevention, Cyber Resilience goes beyond those measures to elevate your team’s awareness and emphasize strategic response for when incidents occur. Because they will occur. Making sure you’re prepared when they do is what Cyber Resilience is all about.
Talking Security with Your Clients
by Ben Levy and Phil Goodman
In this session, Los Angeles consultants Ben Levy and Phil Goodman will discuss the issues of security for a client, and the types of things you should be discussing with a client when talking about security. The end goal is to be able to deliver a presentation on security that is intended not for techs, but instead to be able talk security with your clients. This collaborative session will go over the presentation, and the group will participate in expanding and evolving the message to sharpen the concepts and their explanation. At the conclusion of the session additions and changes will be incorporated and then the entire presentation and notes will be made available to session attendees to take home, further enhance, adapt or evolve as desired and then delivered to your own clients.
How to conduct a successful new client on-boarding (and keep them for the long haul)
by Max Buxton and Derek Braunschweiger
Clients say many things. Your job is to figure out what someone’s needs are even if they are saying something completely different. This is especially a challenge when bringing a new client on board. It all starts with a client interview, where you ask the right questions, and you use the right method to not only get the information you need, but enable your client to feel that they’ve been heard. Once you’ve completed the interview, how do you translate that into a needs assessment and a procurement list? What projects should be attacked first? Which can wait? And, how does this differ for new vs. existing clients? This session is co-presented with Max Buxton, and stands on its own, or compliments the “Proposal Presentations” session that follows.
Proposal Presentations: What to say, What not to say, and making the customer happy
by Max Buxton and Derek Braunschweiger
You’ve done the work of interviewing your client, and establishing what their needs are. The next step is that you need to get the procurement list approved so that you can move forward. This means that you not only need to explain your approach, often in non-technical terms, but that you also need to “make the case” to the client as to why this is the right solution. This session is co-presented with Derek Braunschweiger, and stands on its own, or compliments the earlier “How to conduct a successful new client on-boarding” session.
Command Line is your Toolbox
by Leon Lincoln
Many find the command line daunting, when in reality it can be a lot more familiar when you realize that nearly every GUI utility is using the command line behind the scenes. What are the essentials you need to know about using the command line as a toolbox? How do you look at a system to see what it really has on it? What is the OS doing? Once you master these, you can use the information in so many different ways. This session stands on its own, or compliments the “Command Line for Troubleshooting” session that follows.
Command Line for Troubleshooting
by Leon Lincoln
Now that you have an understanding of command essentials and know what your system is all about, how do you use the command line to troubleshoot a system that is misbehaving? What tools and utilities are built into each system? How do you use the command line to troubleshoot SMB? Learn the tricks and tidbits that the masters use at the command line to figure these issues out. This session stands on its own, or compliments the earlier “Command Line is your Toolbox” session.
Unleash the Power: MacPorts and HomeBrew
by Avery Chipka
You have mastered the art of being a Mac users with the graphic tools provided to you, it’s time to dive under the hood and master the power of Unix sitting under the hood. This hands-on session will help you understand how to use MacPorts and HomeBrew which will add a whole new set of tools to your arsenal of administration resources.
Docker on macOS
by Dave Elliott
A lot of people have heard of Docker. Some people are aware you can use “Docker for Mac” as a development platform for containerized apps. That’s all great, but don’t stop there. My session is geared to start thinking about Docker usage for every day tasks, not just “DevOps” containers. I plan to cover some Docker basics. Show an install of Docker for Mac, and then the fun stuff. Need your custom LAMP stack at a moments notice? Need a linux based tool only sometimes and don’t wanna mess with a VM? Yeah. You can do that! (This is a non-FileWave preso. I may mention some of the things we’ve done, but the goal is to share knowledge, not promote)
Putting in Place Great Ticketing Systems
by Mary Conahan
If you had an opportunity to build from the ground up a Service Desk Implementation, what would it look like? What do you want to solve? What would make it productive across the organization. This session is useful for both those starting from scratch, or modifying an existing system, or even purchasing one off the shelf. And, it will give you an idea of the structure and resources that you will need to consider when putting a ticketing system in place, and give you confidence that you are covering your bases.
Dive into APFS
by Matt Schnittker
APFS: the biggest architectural change to Mac OS since Apple moved to Intel processors over 10 years ago. With this talk, youâ•˙ll get an overview of some of the features of APFS and how they differ from HFS Extendedâ•‰the file system we’ve been using since 1998. We’ll go over some use cases for APFS and look at how it can solve specific problems for laptop and desktop users. Lastly, we’ll look at what is going on “under the hood” with an APFS volume. This talk will give you the information you need to create more robust APFS volumes on the storage hardware you are using.
Staying Relevant as a Manager
by Matt Schnittker
As a manager, it can be hard to keep up and stay relevant. Matt will talk about what he’s learned, and the tricks to making it all happen.
by Adam and Tonya Engst, TidBITS
Test your Apple knowledge against your peers in the TidBITS TechUp, the interactive game show. Created by Adam and Tonya Engst of TidBITS, the TechUp features a wide range of questions about Apple products and services across the company’s history. Everyone can participate. Will you make it to the final round?