Archive for April, 2013

Casper Focus Now Available

Monday, April 29th, 2013

For a long time I’ve been saying that the #1 challenge with regard to using iOS is content distribution. Others have mirrored that by saying that the device is a content aggregator, etc. The challenge is keeping everyone on the same page, with the same content and distributing administration of all of that to those who need it.

Well, our friends at JAMF software are, as usual, right in the middle of resolving the more challenging issues of the day with regard to iOS and OS X. In this case they’ve released a new tool called Casper Focus that enables rudimentary administrative tasks by teachers.

casper-focus-annotated-UI-no-bleed_1.jpg

 

Now, I don’t want anyone to take the word rudimentary to be a bad thing. You see, accessing and remotely controlling devices can be a big challenge. The learning curve can be steep. By only giving delegated administrators a few options that learning curve can be drastically reduced. Lock, enable, distribute data. These are the very basic tasks teachers need.

Overall, this is yet another great addition to the Casper family of products and 318 is excited to work with our customers to integrate Casper Focus into the environments for our customers where appropriate. Call your Professional Services Manager today for more information!

10 Windows 8 Keyboard Combinations

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Some helpful tips (in the form of keyboard combinations) on getting wizardly fast with navigating around Windows 8:

  • Windows key: Brings up the Start menu. On a touch screen keyboard you can then swipe through the charms in the Start menu.
  • Windows-x: Brings up a menu with many of the systems administration tools you’ll need in Windows 8, including Disk Management, a command prompt, device manager, etc.
  • Windows-r: Brings up a Run dialog
  • Windows-c: Bring up the sidebar that allows you to search, access devices or tap/click on Settings to bring up a Shut-Down menu.
  • Windows-l: Lock the screen
  • Windows-k: Bring up Devices
  • Windows-h: Bring up Sharing
  • Windows-f: Bring up Files in the Start Menu search
  • Windows-i: Bring up Settings (Control panel, personalization, desktop, Power menu, network selection for Wi-Fi, etc)
  • Windows-Q: Brings up the apps screen so you can select a program to open
  • And for your extra credit, most of the alt keys still work, but I find I now use Alt-F4 more than I used to, which closes a window

Xsan & Media Composer

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

There’s a product out there called SANFusion that can allow Media Composer to read disk images on Xsan as though each were a separate workspace in AvidFS. This allows environments to leverage existing pools of storage sitting on Xsan as though they were sitting on an Isis or a Terablock. Check it out at SANFusion:

SAN Fusion is an easy and cost-effective solution that allows you to use Avid Media Composer with your existing Xsan infrastructure.

By using an existing Xsan volume as a backing-store for SAN Fusion’s virtualized workspaces, editors can experience authentic Unity-style bin sharing and locking from within Media Composer 5.5.3 or later. Unlike other solutions that purport to make Avid work with Xsan, SAN Fusion is a client-side application with no additional server or minimum number of seats to buy.

SAN Fusion clients mount and unmount workspaces on demand through our intuitive GUI to provide Media Composer a real-time translation layer between it and Apple’s Xsan filesystem. The end result is the best of both worlds: Avid’s first class bin and media sharing combined with Apple’s storage-agnostic low (or no) cost cluster filesystem.

The $1,500 price tag shouldn’t scare you off. Just compare the cost of a Promise X30 to the same amount of storage from Avid and you’ll get the idea why. And if you need any help with such things, give us a shout at sales@318.com.

Installing OpenXenManager on Ubuntu

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

OpenXenManager is a nice graphical environment for managing the Xen virtualization environment. You still need to use QEMU or virt-install/virt-manager to manager domains themselves, but OpenXenManager takes some of the guessing games out of things. Having said that, xm is still the way to go for the most part.

Before you install OpenXenManager, you’ll need svn, which isn’t baked into a default Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10 installation. We’ll just use apt-get to build subversion and some python frameworks required for openxenmanager:

sudo apt-get install subversion
sudo apt-get install python-glade2 python-gtk-vnc

Next, grab openxenmanager using subversion:

svn co https://openxenmanager.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/openxenmanager openxenmanager

Hop into your openxenmanager trunk and fire it up:

cd openxenmanager/trunk
./openxenmanager

Now you have a GUI for managing domU. Good luck!

How TED’s introduction to Google Glass Really Happened

Friday, April 12th, 2013


Starts with a replay of the Google Glass commercial, but then an uncomfortable founder of an internet company rambles uncomfortably. 13:12 in he jokes about recording from the stage without people knowing. Strange times we live in.

BCC Mail In OS X Server

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

OS X Server has the ability to bcc mail that flows through it. This can be a good way to keep a copy of mail for the purposes of things like legal requirements. To enable this feature, once upon a time you could use the GUI in OS X Server. These days, the feature is still there but is now accessed through the command line as the always_bcc_enabled option within serveradmin’s mail settings. To enable this option, use the following command:

sudo serveradmin settings mail:postfix:always_bcc_enabled = yes

Once enabled, you will also need to supply an actual address to bcc mail to, which is done using always_bcc as follows:

sudo serveradmin settings mail:postfix:always_bcc = "backup@318.com

Next, you’ll want to

sudo serveradmin stop mail
sudo serveradmin start mail

Finally, if there are any issues, putting the postfix logging facility into debug mode can help you triangulate, done using the following command (and restarting the mail service again):

sudo serveradmin settings mail:postfix:log_level = "debug"