Community,Conferences,Open Source,PSU MacAdmins July 14, 2015 at 6:49 am

Things that were awesome at PSU MacAdmins Conference 2015

This year many attendees of the Penn State Mac Admins Conference likened the experience to summer camp. I described it as the feeling of gluttony, and as I’m a bit of an enthusiast, I’m still recovering from intellectual overload. 2015conflogo-circle-black It felt different than previous years – personally that may be because I had to do half as much work as I usualy do, since Ben Toms joined me on stage(and yet I still interrupted and talked twice as much as him, but ¯_(ツ)_/¯). One overall feeling was of a lot of folks you’ve seen for years were at once more familiar, and new faces stepping out from the shadows of Slack to make themselves seen and heard made it quite the event. Here’s some of the other things that I got exposed to, or otherwise made an impact on me over the span of the conference: logo-big Facebook sent developers from their osquery project, and it was very cool to sit next to Mr. Arpaia during Joe Chilcote’s session. In the osquery sessions Q&A Mike reprised some his recent Velocity talk, including name-dropping envdb as a way to distribute configs to clients, among other gems. I only filed 4 issues while I was there… my thanks to Teddy Reed for his saintly patience with me!

Victor(not Vincent) Vranchan hip’d me to Soundcloud’s Prometheus monitoring framework and dashboard, written in Go, and then hip’d the whole #psumac hashtag with his blogpost detailing (Elasticsearch+)logstash(+Kibana) for munki logs, which is exactly the type of short sprint task folks need to give adopting logging infrastructure a try. He also shared how proud he was that Tim Sutton had sent him a pull request on GitHub for his Imagr server, also written in Go. (Duh! Get hip, gramps!)

Yoann Gini finally reached the tipping point with his push for an open source MDM project, with Pepijn Bruienne putting out the call to Jesse Peterson and other folks in the community. Who knows, maybe by the time the new DEP capabilities ship we’ll be able to implement them without waiting on vendors!
Tom Burgin and Jeremy Baker made the whole conf worth it for me by showing me code Tom had already written without my being aware, which facilitates our need for new users to automatically be added to FileVault since we have shared-laptop scenarios in use. Tom even pointed out that root is allowed to remove users from the list, which makes it easy to keep the list clean without excessive jiggery-pokery. Yoann also had made an authorization plugin, which could enable folks to use FileVault with home folders on a separate drive, since it unlocks the disk and mounts the home folder at login.
Google’s ‘beyond corp‘ concept made me take another look at my servers and find other ways to secure them even though they’re currently behind a firewall, which reminded me of Hannes Juutilainen’s presentation from MacSysAdmin, where he detailed his organizations pf management.

And that’s just a sampling of all the geeky fun to be had, but out of everything I think I’m proudest of our BOF(Birds-of-a-feather informal metope), which helped at least two people get started on their own autopkg repos, as selfie-bombed by Shea (G) Craig: shea_craig_2015-Jul-09 See you next year, PSU!

About Allister Banks

Allister has had the honor of writing a book with Charles Edge (http://url.aru-b.com/packtbook), an article or two for MacTech Magazine, and speaking at conferences like MacAdmins Conference at Penn State. He lives in NYC, contributes to various open source projects, and speaks enough Japanese to order food.

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