Los Angeles Mac Admins 

Meetup Schedule 

May 21st, 2020 - We have two great presentations lined up - Mike Szumlinski from Cantemo will be talking to us about iconik.io and Backblaze Cloud Storage & Backup and Justin Clark and Gene Servadei from Mondada will be popping in from Australia to talk to us about kinobi.io and patch management.  I'm very excited to hear both presentations.


April 29th, 2020 - We are hosting our second virtual meetup and happy hour with guest speakers from Microsoft Edge, as well as Jamf's very own, Bill Smith.  We also have Tom Bridges from the Mac Admins Podcast to tell us about Future Proof IT.


March 25th, 2020 - We are hosting our first virtual meetup and happy hour coming live from wherever you are.  We have a special guest speaker, Bradley Chapman from Chatanooga,TN, as well as demos from Yubico and Addigy.  Stay safe.


February 25th, 2020 - We are at Apple Beats HQ in Culver City, CA.  


January 23rd, 2020 - We are at Mattel HQ in El Segundo, CA.  Get there early to shop at the Mattel toy store.


November 21st, 2019 - We are at NBC Universal in Universal City, CA.  


September 26th, 2019 - We are at Jukin Media in Culver City, CA.


July 24th, 2019 - We are at Broadcom in Irvine, CA.


June 26th, 2019 - We are at VICE Media in Venice, CA.


May 29th, 2019 - We are at Open Drives in Culver City, CA.


March 28th, 2019 - We are at Jukin Media in Culver City, CA.


February 7th, 2019 - We are at LumaForge HQ in Burbank, CA.


July 30th, 2020 - Los Angeles Mac Admins Meetup

Our July meetup was a bit shorter than our previous meetups but we still managed to have a good time.  We did see the return of our wonderful trivia contest courtesy of Mike Lim from Jamf.   Unfortunately our second presenter, also from Jamf, Amanda Sandbeck wasn't able to be with us but is on the schedule for next month!  

We did have two very smart guys from Amaris with us to discuss their product OctoryBenjamin Richard Benjamin Richard and Guillermo Leal Llano joined us and took us through their product. 

The folks at Amaris have also extended this excellent opportunity to try their Pro version of Octory for free and receive a discount if purchased before 9/30/2020.  See below from Ben.

We would like to give away a few things for the folks:

 They can find the demo config as well as plenty other presets here: https://gitlab.com/amarisgroup/octory-config

The wiki is here: https://documents.octory.io/

And they can always reach out to us by email octory.contact@amaris.com or on slack #Octory and @Woody.

Also, from our new "Favorite Products" segment of our meetup:

The Rekonect Notebook

Better Touch Tool 

June 24th, 2020 - Los Angeles Mac Admins Meetup

Our June meetup was another huge success.  With WWDC behind us and some pretty wild announcements from the fruit company there was a lot of really great conversations to be had.  

Presentations for our June meetup include Josh Echols with Cisco Meraki to discuss their product line and the Meraki dashboard.  We have had the opportunity to become well versed in the platform and recommend it for anyone looking for a solid solution that is easy to manage with great support should you have any issues you aren't able to resolve internally.  The Meraki dashboard is a great tool for managing the entire network and all of the devices associated with it.  If you are a Managed Service Provider (MSP) you can manage multiple client dashboards with one login.  This has been a big help to us managing our clients.  Every once in a while Meraki offers free products for attending their webinars.  Keep a look out and you could get yourself an MX, MS or MR device.  Webinars can be found here.

We also had Derek Brown from PVT to give us a demo of Archiware P5 and their powerful Backup, Archive and Sync software.  We work closely with both groups and were very excited to have them with us to present to the group.  Archiware's software has a very large presence in Media and Entertainment where large data sets are common and backing them up can be a pain.  Archiware's tools help streamline this process.  We are setup as resellers and have integrated their products for dozens of clients over the years.  If anyone is looking for an extended trial, send an email to archiware@calsotechnologies.com.  Archiware is also offering a promotion for a free P5 Desktop LTO Edition (Single Drive), regularly $1680 through July 31st.

Finally, we had the pleasure of our very own (he has dual citizenship between L.A. and San Diego) Eric Boyd with us to discuss WWDC and open up the conversation to discuss announcements, his favorite sessions and all other things relating to WWDC.  Eric is a seasoned vet when it comes to WWDC and it was great to hear his take on the first ever virtual (and free!) World Wide Developer Conference.

All in all, another great meetup.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again this month.  Details coming soon!

May 21st, 2020 - Los Angeles Mac Admins Meetup

We hosted our Los Angeles Mac Admins May virtual meetup and happy hour last night and proved once again how great the Mac Admin community in Los Angeles is right now and even beyond.  Now that we are virtual, we continue to have more and more folks joining from all over the country.  It's always refreshing to see and hear colleagues and friends that we aren't able to get together with in person at the moment and that we are used to working with sometimes every single day.  As always, there were great conversations, excellent demos and presentations, spectacular Zoom backgrounds and an exciting and suspenseful trivia game, provided by Mike Lim from Jamf and the awesome site Kahoot.   The winner of the trivia contest was Justin Clark, one of our presenters for the evening.  Check Kahoot out if you haven't... it's not just trivia for us, it's a great educational resource for the kids as well!

As far as beverages go, I enjoyed a Limited Edition DIPA from Mikeller, called Tiny Scissors.  It was delicious.  I've always enjoyed their art.  

For the meetup, Tom Bridge was gracious enough to come back on despite his three day marathon of a summit he co-hosted.  I'm sure he was and is exhausted.  He let us in on the Futureproof IT summit, how it went and what to expect next.  Check out their site for more information and updates - Futureproof IT.  Tom did mention that the possibility of a follow up is a real thing and that is very exciting!  

I was able to attend the first two days of the summit almost in its' entirety (albeit while doing the standard morning things around the house before the actual PST workday started).  I was very impressed with the way everything went.  The organizers setup a Futureproof IT Slack account with individual slack channels for each panelist so that Q&A could extend beyond the actual presentation allotment which was a fantastic idea.  There were also other Slack channels for a range of things and during the early beginning of the first day I watched people join and greet each other from all parts of the globe.  Tom mentioned 13 countries joined! All together Futureproof IT raised over $5000 for Heart to Heart International to support their humanitarian work distributing urgently needed equipment and medication for COVID-19 around the world.  It's incredible to see just how far this community really spreads.  For those of us that signed up and participated, the money went to a great cause.  Thanks for contributing.  And of coure, thank you Heart to Heart for what you do!

I have had the privilege of knowing and working with our first presenters from last night for a while now, two guys, who typically focus their endeavors on the Media and Entertainment space.  They were with us to discuss their respective products and how they work together.  We are very excited about both for our customers at CALSO.  

James Fleishmann, the Partner Program Manager for M&E from Backblaze joined us from his home in Sacramento to talk about the company and their B2 Cloud Storage.  B2 is S3 compatible cloud storage at a fraction of the cost of what I've seen other companies charging.  Backblaze has the same high availability as its' competitors but always readily available to you as a customer.  No cold storage.  Backblaze recently reached an incredible milestone for the company, storing an Exabyte of customer data this year on March 23rd.  You can sign up for a B2 account and get your first 10Gb free!  We use Backblaze internally for several different purposes.  Most recently, I've been working to setup Backblaze with a CDN to distribute packages and scripts for MDMs.  Pretty cool stuff.  I'll have a doc up soon with my discovery and process.  James's slide deck can be found here.

Mike Szumlinski the Chief Commercial Officer at iconik.io joined us from his home in Michigan and took us through a very comprehensive and creative RoboCop inspired demo of the hybrid cloud asset management software as a service, iconik.  This product has been key in taking creative organizations and their large data sets to the cloud in order to continue to do the work they have despite the COVID restrictions and stay-at-home orders.  iconik offers an direct integration into Adobe Premiere, allowing the iconik panel to function directly in the Adobe application.  This is a great time saver for editors, never having to leave the Adobe Premiere interface to interact with iconik.  Also, because of where we are in the world with the current state of the pandemic, iconik allows collaborators to stay in touch, focused on a project and still meet deadlines.  Send an email to iconik@calsotechnologies.com and we will get you a referral code from iconik good for a $300 credit on your account.

And finally, two gentlemen all the way from Melbourne, Australia,  joined us to talk about Mondada and their product kinobi.ioJustin Clark and Gene Servadei took us through a great demo of their patch management product and how it works with Jamf Pro to keep software updated with clean, tested and functional packages delivered directly to their clients.  With over 10 years experience creating and delivering packages, their available library should cover any needs your organization has.  And if not, they will make it for you.  Ideally, the Jamf integration will be better and package upload will happen automatically once the Jamf Pro Server is able to allow uploads directly to distribution points via the Jamf API or some other non-manual method.  Click here to upvote the feature request on Jamf Nation.  

A note from the guys at Mondada:

As our way of saying thanks for hosting us, we’re giving people a 20% discount on their first year of an annual Kinobi subscription, with the discount code LAMACADMINS.  The code is valid through until the end of June, so there’s plenty of time to fit in a free 30-day trial!  Sign up at kinobi.io, or reach out to us via our Contact Us form about Kinobi Pro, which enhances Kinobi by providing installation packages for each software title version.

Lastly, I just want to say for those of you that stayed on later and continued the conversation... it felt much like our regular in person meetups where we just talk.  And thanks for giving my daughter the opportunity to sing to us on the way out.  Can't wait to see everyone again next time.

Thanks again to everyone that joined and presented.  

April 29th, 2020 - Los Angeles Mac Admins Meetup

We hosted our second virtual Los Angeles Mac Admins meetup and happy hour last night and had a great turnout.  42 people joined at the height of the call.  We have such a great Mac Admin community in Los Angeles right now and I am always excited to see how many people turn out each time with the same faces coming back and of course all the new ones.  It is such a great way to take a break from both the work week and our always on home lives, to gather (at least six feet apart) and talk about things we are passionate about, listen to presentations on exciting technologies and workflows, and to raise a beverage to each other for being able to go through this together once a month.

As far as beverages go, I paid homage to my time in Chicago with two different beers from Half Acre.  I had a Crocus, quite possibly one of the best DIPA's I've ever had, and also from Half Acre, a Bodem IPA.  Always fun to watch the chat window to see what everyone is having.

For the meetup, we were very fortunate to have Tom Bridge on to tell us about his new endeavor, Futureproof IT.  I saw this first on LinkedIn and signed up immediately.  On their site they are described as "A first of its kind virtual summit, bringing together global tech leadership to address the operational, security, and financial impact of COVID-19."  The event will be held May 18 - 20 and will be three half day sessions with some really amazing speakers and presentations.  Tickets are only $25/individual and I strongly encourage you to sign up, even if you can't make it.  All proceeds go to Heart to Heart International to support their humanitarian work distributing urgently needed equipment and medication for COVID-19 around the world.  I know a lot of people don't have an extra $25 right now but for those of us that do, contribute what you can.

Microsoft joined us as well, with a great demo and presentation of Microsoft Edge, by Gray Houston and Aditya Mohindra and some Q&A with Sean Lyndersay.  Gray was kind enough to put together a very complete recap that can be found here.

And finally, where would we all be without Bill Smith from Jamf?  Bill was kind enough to join us from his home in Minneapolis to discuss Manifests in Jamf.  He took us through an excellent presentation and demo.  I think I heard at least half a dozen times during the presentation, someone unmute themselves and say "This is awesome".  So Bill, from all of us, thank you.  He has shared his slide deck of the presentation.  The presentation can be found here.

Thanks again to everyone that joined and presented.  

March 25th, 2020 - Los Angeles Mac Admins Meetup

We hosted our first ever virtual Los Angeles Mac Admins meetup last night.  We made the decision to take our meetups remote as we started to realize the serious impact the COVID-19 outbreak was going to have on the country and our industry.  Then with Governor Newsom's announcement of the state wide stay-at-home order which restricts public gatherings, we had no choice. 

I think all of us as IT administrators can say that we had to brace ourselves for the impact that this was going to have on our day-to-day operations.  The meetup was a great opportunity for all of us to see each others faces as well as listen to other people discuss their similar situations, all while drinking a tasty beverage.  I enjoyed a Blind Pig IPA from Russian River Brewery.  Delicious.

I had the opportunity the week before our meetup to sit in on a remote presentation given by Bradley Chambers on behalf of 9to5 Mac, called "Remote Work and Distance Learning Webinar".  I had just gone through a week of moving every single one of our clients to a remote / work-from-home scenario.  This involved setting up VPN accounts, remoting in and adjusting settings on end users modems and having call after call to discuss how to secure client data at the same time not restricting how users work (as much as possible).  Editors took workstations home, users started to use their personally owned-devices, and one employee from one of our clients didn't even have a computer at home to work on!  She got a Mac mini from the office.  In his presentation, Bradley focused on the things we might be forgetting to think about, like breathing.  The presentation reminded me that I wasn't alone and that in one way or another, we are all in this together.  I invited him to share his presentation with our group and he accepted. He also provided his slide deck from the 9to5 Mac webinar he did These can be downloaded here.  Bradley's contact info is below:

Bradley Chambers / Twitter: @bradleychambers

Next, we had the privilege of having two awesome members of the Yubico team present.  Fadi Jarar and Will Coleman joined us and took us through their wonderful multi-protocol hardware authenticator, the YubiKey and it's many features and use cases.  I hadn't had the opportunity to see anything from Yubico, except what is on their website so it was really nice hearing it from the source, and from one of the industry leaders.  We have a few of the Yubikeys now for internal testing and are working on a some workflow docs that will be found under the Yubico section of our blog.  Their slide deck is available here.  If you have any follow up questions or just want to say thanks, both Fadi and Will's contact info are below.  

Fadi Jarrar / Federal Sales Director | Yubico / Email: fadi.jarrar@yubico.com / Phone: (949) 973-7561

Will Coleman / Senior Solutions Engineer | Yubico / Email: will.coleman@yubico.com / Phone: (415) 539-5521

Their slide deck can be found here.

And finally, Addigy.  Addigy provides "Apple Device Management and End User Productivity in One IT Platform." We had some discussion about Addigy during our last in person Mac Admin Meetup which was held at Apple's Beats Headquarters in Culver City, CA.  One of our attendees was an Addigy client and had many great things to say about this experiences with the product and their support.  It's a well known fact that many of the Addigy employees worked for Jamf in the past, so there had to be some good stuff in there.  I started to look into it myself to align CALSO with them as integrators and in doing so, thought it would be nice to have them show us for themselves.  Adam Segar and John Sutcliffe joined us and went through their slide deck and demonstration, followed by some really solid Q&A.  I see Addigy's product improving regularly and am excited to be able to offer it to our clients.  If you have any follow up questions or just want to say thanks, both Adam and John's contact info are below:

Adam Segar / VP, Channel Sale / Email: adam@addigy.com / Phone: (612) 387-0972

John Sutcliffe / Head of Product / Email: john@addigy.com / Phone: (715) 271.3462

February 25th, 2020 - Los Angeles Mac Admins Meetup at Apple Beats HQ

Our Mac Admin community met at Beats HQ to have our regular Mac Admins Meetup for the month of February.  Thanks to Nicholas Kjaer for getting us access to the amazing conference room and also for the handy and colorful little note books!  We also had delicious pizza delivered courtesy of Jamf from Lenzini's Pizza.   

With nothing on the agenda, we took the time to discuss amongst ourselves a variety of topics.  We discussed security, including Jamf Protect and Apple's  App Security Overview doc as well as the newly shipping MacPro.  Always makes for good conversation when you start talking about security with this group.  

I was also pleasantly surprised to have one of our attendees talk about his experiences using Addigy for MDM.  We discussed pros and cons, comparisons to Jamf as well as possibly having someone from Addigy present at one of our meetups for a live demo.

The Beats HQ location was a pretty good one.  As with all things Apple, the place was pristine and beautiful to look at.  Looking forward to our next meetup!