macOS Sierra Server Part 23: Profile Manager Mac Enrollment

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your Mac devices to be managed by Profile Manager. By enrolling your devices you include them in your Open Directory and allow for remote management and installation of settings through profiles pushed to your Macs by the Profile Manager Service. In this screencast I cover how to install the certificates including the order of installation and what you can do with your Mac from the my devices portal. I'll also cover how the device shows up in the Profile Manager Web Portal so you can see how the server MDM service allows you to manage your Macs.

As always thanks for watching! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

If you would like personal help in setting up your server, feel free to contact me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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Fantastical 2 Part 2: Preferences & Menubar App

Fantastical 2
In this screencast tutorial I cover the second part in my look at Fantastical 2. In Part 1 I covered the interface, setting up calendars, managing your calendars, and adding events. In Part 2 I cover the preferences available to customize the application to the way you want it. I also cover how to print your calendars and how to use the Menubar App.

As always thanks for you support! I will be continuing the server seres as well but wanted to put together some new content for those of you who have mastered Server from previous screencasts.

If you find the screencast helpful please like, favorite, share and subscribe to my channel so others can find it on the internet.





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Fantastical 2 Part 1: Overview

Fantastical 2
In this screencast tutorial, I share another one of my favorite Mac Apps. This week I am looking at Calendar applications and my favorite by far is Fantastical 2 by Flexibits.

Fantastical 2 started out as an iOS app and then made it’s way over to the Mac. It uses natural language and then automatically parses it into a calendar event. It also has some great views of your calendar and some features that let you set up particular calendar sets for various environments. In part 1 I cover the overall interface, how to set up calendars and calendar sets, and how to add events to your calendars by using the keyboard and dictation. In part 2 I will cover some of the other preferences you can set and the menu bar application that comes built into Fantastical 2.

As always thanks for you support! I will be continuing the server seres as well but wanted to put together some new content for those of you who have mastered Server from previous screencasts.

If you find the screencast helpful please like, favorite, share and subscribe to my channel so others can find it on the internet.



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macOS Sierra Server Part 22: Profile Manager Set Up

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Profile Manager service. I walk through each of the steps and requirements for getting started with Profile Manager. In future screencasts I will walk you through the complete set up of all of the Profile Manager components.

As always thanks for watching. If you found this video helpful please like, favorite and share it with others.

If you have any questions feel free to leave them below.



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macOS Sierra Server Part 21: Mail

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Mail Service in macOS Server. I cover the various options for setting up email, how to set up email for a home user including things to consider before running a mail server, how to set up the appropriate records at your domain registrar, and each of the settings available in macOS Server’s mail service.

If you find this tutorial helpful please subscribe, like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!



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macOS Sierra Server Part 20: Messages

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your own Messages service in macOS Server. I cover how to configure the service to host your own private chat server. I also cover some fixes that you may need to do through the terminal to get the Messages Service working for you and then show you how to configure your client to make it work.

As always, thanks for watching! If you enjoyed the tutorial please like, favorite and share its others can find it.



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macOS Sierra Server Part 19: Calendars

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Calendar Service in macOS Server. I cover all of the settings, how to set up locations and resources, how to add events and invite users, and the difference between individual and shared calendars.

As always thanks for watching. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below.

If you found this screencast helpful, please like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. Thanks for all your supportHappy.



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macOS Sierra Server Part 18: Contacts

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Contacts Service in macOS Server. I cover how to set up and start the service, how to add the service to your clients, how to search your directory on the server, and how to have a shared contacts account for all your users.

As always thanks for your support. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to answer your questions.

If you find this tutorial helpful, please like, favorite or share this tutorials so others on the internet can find it. Thanks for all your supportHappy.



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MacOS Sierra Server Part 17: Caching Server

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Caching Service in macOS Sierra Server. The caching service allows you to cache any updates or downloads from the Mac, iOS, or iBook stores on your server and have users on your local network get their updates from your server instead of downloading another copy which saves time and bandwidth on your network. In this tutorial I cover each of the settings and demonstrate how it works.

If you find this tutorial helpful please like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!



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Things Part 2: Workflows (My Favorite Task Management App

things-for-mac-app-icon
In this screencast tutorial I continue my series on My Favorite Apps by looking at workflows associated with my favorite Task Management App: Things by Cultured Code (www.culturedcode.com).

I cover how to integrate things into the charing services and widgets on your Mac. I also show how to set up sync and use Things between your Mac and iOS devices including integrating Siri into your workflow.

As always thanks for you support! I will be continuing the server seres as well but wanted to put together some new content for those of you who have mastered Server from previous screencasts.

If you find the screencast helpful please like, favorite, share and subscribe to my channel so others can find it on the internet.



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MacOS Sierra Server Part 16: VPN

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the VPN Service in Sierra Server. I cover all of the settings needed to set up your own VPN including the difference between setting up a .private and registered domain VPN. I also cover how to set up a client to use the VPN service.

If you find this tutorial helpful, please like, favorite and share it so others can find it on the internet.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to help you. Thanks for all your comments and support!



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MacOS Sierra Server Part 15: Time Machine

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Time Machine Service built into macOS Server. The service built into Server is to back up the client machines you have on your network to a central location. I cover how to set the service up and how to connect your clients to the server’s back up drive. I also cover how to monitor your client back ups using the server app.

As always thanks for watching! If find these tutorials helpful please like, favorite, and share them so others on the internet can find them.



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MacOS Sierra Server Part 14: Connect to File Shares-iOS

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to your file shares on iOS devices. I cover the new iOS share feature in macOS Server and how to set it up. I also cover how to connect to the new iOS sharing feature and how to connect using the old WebDAV standard.

As always thanks for watching! If find these tutorials helpful please like, favorite, and share them so others on the internet can find them.




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MacOS Sierra Server Part 13: Connect to File Shares-Mac

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to the file shares we set up in the previous screencast. I cover how to connect on a remote machine, how to add that share to your login items so it auto mounts each time you reboot, and how to monitor and disconnect those who are mounted to the shares on your server.

Sorry for the delay in getting a show out last week. I had my licensing exams this past week which I had to study for and got behind (I did pass though so yay for that!).

As always thanks for watching! If find these tutorials helpful please like, favorite, and share them so others on the internet can find them.



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MacOS Sierra Server Part 12: File Sharing Permissions

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to work with file permissions in macOS Server. I walk through defining POSIX and ACL permissions and how they work. I then go through each of the permissions available to set in the macOS Server interface and some basic best practices for setting up your permissions.

As always thanks for watching. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to answer them.

If you found this screencast helpful, please like, favorite, and share it so others on the internet can find it. Thanks for all your supportHappy.



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Things Part 1: My Favorite Task Management App

things-for-mac-app-icon
In this screencast tutorial I start a series on the Apple Apps I like the best and use on a regular basis. You guys asked for it so I’m going to make it happen!

Today I start with my favorite Task Management Application called Things by Cultured Code. Things is a simple and elegant task management solution that fits my workflow. It has just enough organization and features but not too many to get me caught up spending too much time setting up my task management system instead of actually getting things done. I will cover things in a multiple part series to show you how to use the app and see how it plays out in a real workflow.

As always thanks for you support! I will be continuing the server seres as well but wanted to put together some new content for those of you who have mastered Server from previous screencasts.

If you find the screencast helpful please like, favorite, share and subscribe to my channel so others can find it on the internet.



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MacOS Sierra Server Part 11: File Sharing

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the File Sharing Service on macOS Server. I cover how file sharing works, how to specify how you want to share your files, and who has permission to do what with those files and folders. I also cover how to set up home folders on the server so users can sign into any computer on your network and have their own home folders and desktop show.

As always thanks for watching. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below and I'll do my best to answer them.

If you found this screencast helpful, please like, favorite, and share it so others on the internet can find it. Thanks for all your supportHappy.



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Eero Mesh Wireless Review

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Eero: https://eero.com
I live in a home with three boys who are all tech savvy like their dad. They love to play online games and stream video at the same time. This takes a big toll on my network and I was having some major issues with slower speeds down by my television which has an Xbox One, AppleTV, Roku, Yamaha Receiver and Panasonic TV connected to an old AirPort Extreme Base Station what was extending my wireless network. Having read about mesh networks and after hearing that Apple was most likely no longer developing their router business, I decided to go on a search for a mesh system that would take care of all of my issues.

I read reviews about the various systems and had narrowed my search down to the Orbi by Netgear which was getting some great reviews for speed and throughput, and the Eero which was highly recommended by Dave Hamilton from the Mac Observer and by David Sparks and Katie Floyd over at the Mac Power Users Podcast. After much research and looking at the options, I decided to go with the Eero due to it's frequent updates, great customer service (which I called before I bought) and it's great configuration app (though it does have an issue which I hope will be resolved in the next update). I was able to get the Eero three pack for $100 off and had some Best Buy gift cards which brought the price down for me. It is the more expensive option at retail so keep that in mind as you research the various solutions.

Unboxing
The Eero's packaging is on par with something you would get from Apple. The nice slide out box with foam padding to protect the top of the Eero's along with the customized cut outs for each Eero that include a cover telling you more about the Eero and a premium looking power cable with an Ethernet cable thrown in really make a great first impression. The whole package screams premium device and does raise your expectations from the start.

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Installation and Set Up
Installation of the Eero's was a snap. You install the application on your iPhone or other device, create a login, verify your login with a code that is texted to you and then follow the onscreen directions to setting up your Eero network. The recommendation is that each Eero is either in line of site or that you limit the obstructions between Eeros to create the best coverage for your network. In my home my modem is on the second floor next to my computer desk on one side of my home. I put an Eero there, plugging in the modem to the Eero. I added a Netgear switch as, one of the disadvantages of the Eeros is that they each only have two ethernet ports. With the switch connected I could add all of my devices on desk but it does add an additional item to have on my desk.

Once the cables were all plugged in, I plugged the modem and the Eero back in and let them boot up. As soon as the devices were booted up, the app located the Eero and started the network set up. It was a breeze to set up my new network and the wizard made it something that my dad could do with little fuss or risk of getting stuck.

Once the network was set up the app asked if I had other Eeros to set up. I plugged the next Eero in downstairs in my front room right below my first Eero. The Eero system uses the location of your device that has the app to automatically locate the second and third Eeros. Once the second Eero booted up the app found it and started configuring it. Once done I was greeted by a screen that said, "Boom! Your Eero is set up." I then went and located the third Eero by myth television where I was having the issues. I went through the same process and got the same result. The app does a good job of helping you know if you are locating the Eero in a place that is optimized for your home. In a set up I did for my dad, we were told a couple of times that our location was not optimal and we were able to move the Eeros to get them to the right spot for them to connect. Having that kind of analysis and help without having to experiment yourself really is a nice feature of the system set up.

I did a video walk through of this set up process if you want to see what each step looked like on my iPhone as I did it. You can view the video below:



Testing My New Eero Network
Once I had everything set up I went to the spot where I was having the most issues and did a speed test. Before my speeds would be half the speeds I would get at my Mac Mini connected directly to the router by ethernet. With the Eeros I was getting just about full speed, I say just about because ethernet still is the fasted speed you can get compared to wireless. I was excited. I noticed that the app would track which Eero I was connected to which was great to see how my devices would automatically switch to the strongest signal which would be the closest Eero.

My speeds were not any faster than before but they were fast in every spot in my home which is what I was after. Another benefit has been almost no drop off's or lags like I experienced with my previous set up. One of the biggest evidence of the change Eero had made came from my boys who do online gaming. They all stated they could tell the difference and they were excited about not having to worry about the bandwidth while playing their online games.

One of the advantages of getting a system like this is the blanketing of your network speeds across your home without having to worry about who is online when. This certainly has been my experience so far and I will continue to test but so far I am impressed.

Managing Your Network with the Eero App
The Eero application is where you do all the work to manage your network. At a glance you get a built in speed test that can be re-run at anytime just by dragging down on the home screen. It also shows each of your Eeros with the status of each. You are also greeted with the number of devices you have on your network and can drill into that list and see how each device is connected, the local IP address, MAC address and a space where you can give each device a nickname to make it easier to identify your network devices.

On the side is a menu that allows for setting up a guest network with a slider and a button that allows you to share the SSID and password with your guests via text or email making it easier to get people on your network without having to repeat your login credentials for each device your family wants to connect.

There is also a Profiles area that allows you to set up different profiles for the devices you want to manage on your network. This comes in handy if you have kids like I do and you can't seem to get them off their devices to get them to dinner or to leave for school. With profiles, I set one up for the kids for instance and add each of their devices to the profile. I then had the ability to turn off network access for all of those devices or set time limits for when access is allowed. This can be done on a device by device basis as well, but it is nice to have a group where you can shut everything down for them at once while still keeping your own access working.

Finally there is an advanced area where you can do most of the things you would need to do for things like running a macOS Server. There is a space for DHCP reservations (which I promptly set up for my server). These reservations are limited to one local range so the 10.0.1.3 that I use in my server tutorials won't work and needs to be changed. There is also a place to set up custom DNS which I also did for my server as the primary DNS entry and OpenDNS for the second one which adds the filtering I use across my network. For port forwarding you do this on a per device basis so I used my server and forwarded the necessary ports needed for my various server services. There is also built in Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) which you can enable or disable as well which allows devices like game consoles to automatically configure the access they need.

Overall most of the settings I am used to using on a frequent basis are present in the Eero app. I do miss the integration of my Apple Router with the macOS Server app where ports are opened automatically. Radius is also not available as it is with the AirPort Extreme Base Station but I wasn't using that myself anyway.

In using the app I stumbled across the fact that I could remotely change ports or configure my server without having to be on my local network. Now that was an advantage on one hand especially where I forgot to forward a needed port while on the road and was able to just open it. On the other hand, this does pose a security issue in that losing your device could potentially lead to someone having control of your network but they would have to have your password to get in. I hope that Eero does implement Touch ID on the app itself instead of just relying on the main login for protection.

To give you an idea of how to each setting looks and work I did another video walk through. You can view that video below:



Conclusion
So far I would say the Eero system has lived up to the hype for me. I was so impressed with my own experience and the simplicity of set up and managing the network that I installed one in my dad's home the follow week while we were visiting as he was having terrible wifi issues. As I experienced in my own home, Eero took care of his issues and he was getting more than double the speeds he had previously in his trouble spots in his home.

So is Eero for you? Or should look into another system? That all depends on your situation and the issues you may be experiencing with your own network set up. If you like to tweak every setting and have more control over your network and router then Eero is not for you. They are rolling out features but so far there are still features missing from other modern routers. If you don't fit that category however, I would seriously consider giving Eero a try!


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