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MDS 4 Preview: Auto Advance in Big Sur

Auto Advance in Big Sur brings functionality to Deployment Enrollment and MDM that has been missing: Zero-touch setup. Prior to Auto Advance, a Mac that was enrolled in MDM and Deployment Enrollment had to click through the first few panes of the setup assistant before Remote Management took over. While this was fine for Macs…

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Using Signing Manager with Macs on AWS EC2

Signing Manager for macOS provides an ideal system for securing the code and package signing identities. Implement secure access to the identities with API keys, access controls, and auditing. Gain full control over iOS, macOS, watchOS, and iPadOS signing operations without disrupting the current workflow. Signing manager works great for developers, CI/CD servers, or for…

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MDS, Big Sur, and Apple Silicon Challenges

Apple simultaneously released new Mac hardware, a new OS (Big Sur), and transitioned to a new processor (Apple Silicon) on a single day. We have been tracking the changes with Big Sur builds and the Developer Transition Kit (DTK), but with the release of Big Sur and the new Macs, we are able to test…

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Curtain Mode

I had feature request for our Secure Remote Access solution to lock a Mac locally while doing a screen sharing session to it. Apple Remote Desktop has had this feature for a while, but only worked if you were running an Apple Remote Desktop when connecting to a remote Mac. I wanted a way to…

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Booting to macOS Recovery and Diagnostics Mode

All Macs now come with a Recovery partition to reinstall macOS and do some common maintenance. In order to restart into recovery, there are a number of keyboard combinations that must be held when the Mac is first started up. There are times when it is useful to select the mode ahead of time; also,…

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Mac Pro 2019

We got a Mac Pro (2019) for testing software compatibility with Winclone and MDS. Both softwares depend on Mac hardware, so validating those apps on any significant hardware changes is important. It is one of the reasons why we charge for software updates. My focus was booting Windows and migrating Windows 10 with Winclone, and…

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Identity Manager

Code Signing with Apple Tools Outside The Keychain We have been working on a project that solves the problem of code signing with Apple tools with a private key that is not located in the keychain of the Mac that is doing the signing. The private key can be kept on a centralized server accessible…

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Why We Charge for Upgrades

Twocanoes Software is a small software company that focuses on macOS software. We make software that does things that some people may not need but others need very much. We started selling software in 2012 and the landscape has changed pretty dramatically in the past 7 years. App Stores are now very common as well…

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Adding Notarization to Xcode Builds

macOS 10.14.5 will require notarization for macOS apps to run on a Mac. I had to modify our build scripts in Xcode to add in notarization. The hard part was that the notarization had to happen in the middle of the build process. Our prior process did this: Archive Build->Package->Add to DMG We use Packages…

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Math in the Shell

I recently had to update a script that ran in bash that was failing. It was due to the lack of “bc” on the system (the script runs in recovery mode on the Mac). I was using bc to do some math to calculate a percentage of a number like this: While this might be…

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MDS – The Fastest Way To Deploy Macs, Free!

I sent this letter out to our newsletter list today. Explains a bit what MDS is and why we did it. –tim Hello. This is Tim Perfitt from Twocanoes Software. We recently released MDS, formally known as Mac Deploy Stick. We shortened the name to MDS since it has already grown beyond just a USB flash…

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Showing the log and accessing other utilities from the macOS installer

The macOS installer has gone to a more sleek, black screen. However, sometimes it is helpful to see the installer log and get access to utilities. Check out the video above to see how to use the keyboard shortcut Command-Option-Control-w (⌘-⌥-⌃-w) to switch back to the standard macOS installer. Also, get access to a grayed…

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Adding a Command Line Tool Helper to a Mac App Store App

I recently was working on a Mac app to flash an Arduino using the open source project avrdude in my Mac app, and got it working as expected. I then looked at submitting the app to the Mac App Store. I had expected that the avrdude binary needed to be signed and placed in the…

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Boot Camp Changes on T2 Macs

While investigating support for Winclone for the amazing new T2 Macs (including the new 2018 MacBook Air and 2018 Mac Mini), I discovered that the way Boot Camp Assistant installs Windows has changed a bit. The Old Way (prior to T2 Macs) Boot Camp Assistant creates two FAT32 partitions from space on the Mac volume…

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Using larger Windows 10 ISOs with Boot Camp Assistant

NOTE: THIS UTILITY SHOULD NO LONGER BE NEEDED DUE TO APPLE UPDATING BOOT CAMP ASSISTANT TO USE EXFAT. WE HAVE LEFT THIS ARTICLE AND THE DOWNLOAD FOR HISTORICAL PURPOSES. IT IS NO LONGER SUPPORTED. In the last few months, people installing Windows on their Macs with Boot Camp Assistant have started seeing the message “An…

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Creating Privacy Preferences Policy Control profiles for macOS

A great dive by Rich Trouton into using MDM to manage the new privacy dialogs in macOS 10.14 Mojave: What this means is that you may be able to whitelist your most common interactions and prevent them from displaying dialogs.  Read all about it on Rich’s Der Flounder blog.