Ulysses: My Favorite Writing App for Mac

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In this screencast tutorial I cover one of my favorite writing apps not only for the Mac but across platforms and that’s Ulysses.

Ulysses is a markdown text editor that is a one stop shop for all of your writing needs. It includes simple to use writing tools that include clickable mark down prompts, an organizational library to keep all of your writing in one place, live preview of your markdown, various writing styles and an export feature making it easy to get your text into whatever format you need from plain text to html to epub. Check out this screencast and you will see why it is one of my favorite writing tools!

As always thanks for watching. If you find this video helpful please like, favorite, share and subscribe to help get the word out to others who may benefit from this walkthrough.

As always thanks for your support!



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iStat Menus: My Favorite Mac Hardware Monitoring App

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In this screencast tutorial I cover another menubar application by Bjango Software called iStat Menus (https://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/). Keeping track of what is happening with your Mac’s hardware is an important part of maintaining your Mac. This application gives you quick visual access to all of the sensors and applications you might need to troubleshoot issues with your Mac.

This application includes the ability to Monitor your CPU & GPU, Monitor your Mac’s Memory, Monitor your Mac’s Drives, Monitor the Network access of your Mac, Monitor your Mac’s sensors, Monitor your Mac’s battery, & Other Menu customizations.

This really is a great application and one I use on a regular basis.

As always thanks for watching and for your support. If you like this video please like, favorite, or share it with others. Also please subscribe to keep up on my latest video tutorials.



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PopClip: One of My Favorite Menubar Apps

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In this screencast tutorial I cover another one of my favorite Mac Applications and that’s PopClip from Pilotmoon. PopClip is a menubar application that adds the pop up menus that show up in iOS applications and brings them to the Mac.

PopClip has a large library of exertions that can be added to the application to help you customize your menus with the extensions that fit you and your workflow best. PopClip has naturally shown up in a number of my screencasts and I have had people ask me about it all the time so I figured I’d do a screencast to show you what I am using.

As always thanks for all your support. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.

If you find these videos helpful please like, share and favorite them and as always please subscribe to see more of my content. You can also find me at www.toddolthoff.com or you can email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.



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BusyContacts: My Favorite Contacts App

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In this screencast tutorial I cover another one of my favorite Mac Apps and that’s BusyContacts by BusyMac Software. The contacts application that comes with a Mac is ok for what it does but it misses alot of customization for things that might be needed for a more robust contact management system. BusyContacts does a great job of adding features to your contacts that allows you to track your Contacts for things like appointments, social media and email or messages. Each of these things is visible with the contact so you can see where you have had contact with this person in the past and even what is happening now on Twitter.

As always thanks for the support. We hit over 20,000 subscribers yesterday and I am super excited to help you do more things with your Mac and iOS devices.

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

Thanks again and have a great week!



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Spark: My Favorite Mac Email Client

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In this screencast tutorial I cover another one of my favorite Mac Apps and that is Spark by Readdle Software. Spark is an application that started on iOS and made it’s way to the Mac. Spark has a nice interface and has a lot of features that make working with email simple and enjoyable (if that is even possible).

In this screencast I cover all of the features of Spark including setting up accounts, working with favorites and folders, adding signatures and swipe gestures to speed up your email processing, and a lot more.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and if you find this video helpful please like, favorite, share and subscribe to the channel so others can find it.

As always, thanks for all your support!



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Trickster: One of My Favorite Menubar Apps

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In this screencast tutorial I cover another one of my favorite menubar applications, Trickster by Apparent Software.

Trickster allows you to have quick access to your recently used documents, folders and applications and can also track certain folders and display items you define such as all pdf’s or jpeg’s. This increases productivity and saves time from searching to find specific files or folders you have been working on.

I hope you like this application as much as I do! As always thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe. I am looking to do a tutorial every Monday and Friday now to bring you best of technical Mac tutorials on things like macOS Server and then regular Mac and iOS applications. If you have any suggestions or your own favorite apps, be sure to leave a comment below.

If you find these videos helpful please subscribe and be sure to share these with your friends by liking, favoriting, or sharing.



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Bartender 2: One of My Favorite Menubar Apps

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In this screencast tutorial I cover one of my favorite Mac Menubar Applications by Surtees Studios called Bartender 2 (https://www.macbartender.com).

Bartender 2 is a unique menubar application that cleans up your menubar. It allows you to hide certain menubar applications until you need them. With a click or keyboard shortcut the Bartender menubar shows up and displays all your hidden menubar items giving your more room on your menubar which is especially needed for laptops or smaller screens the don’t allow as many menubar apps to be displayed. It also has a built in search for your menubar items and various ways to customize and organize your menubar applications.

I hope you like this application as much as I do! As always thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe. I am looking to do a tutorial every Monday and Friday now to bring you best of technical Mac tutorials on things like macOS Server and then regular Mac and iOS applications. If you have any suggestions or your own favorite apps, be sure to leave a comment below.

If you find these videos helpful please subscribe and be sure to share these with your friends by liking, favoriting, or sharing.

Thanks as always for all your support and for being an incredible Mac Community!



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Fantastical 2 Part 2: Preferences & Menubar App

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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

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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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Things Part 2: Workflows (My Favorite Task Management App

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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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Things Part 1: My Favorite Task Management App

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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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OS X Server: Dynamic DNS Set Up

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One of the questions I have received from many viewers is what to do with Dynamic DNS. When you host a server you really need a reliable public ip address if you are ever to access your server remotely. Typically you have a static ip address that never changes and you create records at your domain provider for your address (i.e. example.com) that point to the public ip of your server. That works great for servers when you have a static ip that never changes, but what happens when you have a dynamic ip?

For those who are home users who don't have a business tier, their public ip is leased to them for a period of time. Then when something happens like a reboot of the modem or a random update at their ISP, their public ip changes and then they are stuck unable to access their server until the are able to get home, figure out what the new public ip is and then make the change at their domain provider to get everything up and running again. This leads to being locked out of the server and causes problems.

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There are a few services that provide updaters that run and update your ip address on a regular basis so they can keep your domain updated with your most current ip. This works great but then there is the confusion on how to set this up at the server level. So to help those of you with dynamic ip address get started and still run OS X Server, I decided to put together this tutorial. In this screencast I cover two types of services. The first, Dyndns provides a domain name that they let you set up and then provide services to allow remote access. There is a charge for this service and then they don't let you choose your own domain ending without paying an additional fee for hosted services.

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The second service by Namecheap, allows you to use any registered domain to handle updating your DNS and this service is free. Namecheap states they do this because they feel you will like their service and move your domain to them. It is a great service that does an excellent job of keeping things up to date and the best part is it's free and you can use your own domain name.

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I also cover a couple of apps you can run on your Mac that keeps your ip up to date with these services with IPMonitor being one of the best and easiest to set up for any of the services. I hope you enjoy this screencast and I will look at doing more on Dynamic DNS with things like mail and web hosting which normally isn't available as cleanly as it is when you have a static ip.

If you need any help with your own set up feel free to email me. I do server consulting and would love to help!



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El Capitan Server Part 36: Xcode

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover a new service to OS X Server and that's the Xcode Server. I cover how to set up the service, get enrolled in the developer program, set up bots to test your code, and setting up and managing git repositories. Since I am not a coder I don't go into detail on each but just walk you through how to set it up and get it running.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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.



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El Capitan Server Part 35: NetInstall

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the NetInstall service in OS X Server. I cover how to create a disk image, how to customize the image to fit your needs, and how to set up and use the service once you have everything configured.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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.



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El Capitan Server Part 34: DHCP

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the DHCP service in OS X Server. I cover pros and cons of using OS X Server's DHCP service as compared to a router. I also cover how to set up an Airport Extreme Base Station to work with server's DHCP service, walk you through all of the settings in the DHCP service, and cover how to set up static IP reservations for the clients on your network.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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.



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El Capitan Server Part 33: Wiki

OS X Server
In this screencast tutorial I cover the wiki service built into OS X Server. I walk through the set up of your wiki webpage. Then I walk through the various screens and options found on the wiki website and give you an idea of how you might use this in your own server set up.

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 me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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



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El Capitan Server Part 32: FTP

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the FTP service in OS X Server. The FTP service is not as secure as using SFTP but it can still work to transfer non critical files if you need a quick set up. I cover how to set the service up, open the appropriate ports for remote access (20, 21), and how to access those shares using the terminal and an FTP client.

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 me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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



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El Capitan Server Part 31: Profile Manager Devices

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In this screencast tutorial I go over the Profile Manager Interface for managing devices and device groups. I cover each of the settings you can use to manage your devices and groups and walk through what each setting does. I also cover some basic strategies on when it is best to use groups to manage your settings instead of managing them on a per device basis.

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 me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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



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El Capitan Server Part 30: Profile Manager Users & Groups

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In this screencast tutorial I go over the Profile Manager Interface for managing users and groups. I cover each of the settings you can use to manage your users and groups and walk through what each setting does. I also cover some basic strategies on when it is best to use groups to manage your settings instead of managing them on a per user basis.

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 me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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



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El Capitan Server Part 29: Profile Manager Overview

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In this screencast tutorial I go over the Profile Manager Interface. I cover each of the tabs in the interface and explain what each section does. I then go through the restrictions and other settings you can use to fine tune your profiles and how they interact with your users and devices.

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 me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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



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El Capitan Server Part 28: Profile Manager iOS Enrollment

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your iOS 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 iOS Devices by the Profile Manager Service.

I cover how to install the certificates including the order of installation and what you can do with your iOS Device from the my devices portal.

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.

If you find these tutorials helpful please like, favorite and/or share them so others can find them.



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El Capitan Server Part 27: Profile Manager Mac Enrollment

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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.

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.

If you find these tutorials helpful please like, favorite and/or share them so others can find them.



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El Capitan Server Part 26: Profile Manager Set Up

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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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El Capitan Server Part 25: Websites

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In this screencast tutorial I cover the websites service built into OS X Server. I cover somethings to consider when looking at hosting your own website. I also cover using the built in server website and how to configure OS X Server to host your own website including DNS and the proper settings for your website.

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 me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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



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El Capitan Server Part 24: Mail

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Mail Service in OS X 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 OS X 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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El Capitan Server Part 23: Messages

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your own Messages service in OS X 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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El Capitan Server Part 22: Calendars

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Calendar Service in El Capitan 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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El Capitan Server Part 21: Contacts

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Contacts Service in El Capitan 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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El Capitan Server Part 20: Caching Server

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Caching Service in OS X 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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El Capitan Server Part 19: Software Update

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In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to set up the built in Software Update Service. Software Update has been Apple's way of issuing updates to Macs, especially prior to the Mac App Store. Built into OS X Server is a Software Update Service that allows you to cache updates so your users download them from your server instead of Apple which limits the bandwidth needed for each user to download their own update. In this screencast I show you how to set up the service and some tips on how to customize it to fit your environment.

As you are deciding how to implement updates you may also want to take a look at the screencast I will be doing next week on the Caching Service as there is overlap between these two services and you may find that the Caching Service may be a better fit in meeting your needs for storing updates on your server. I will cover the pros and cons of each in the next screencast.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.

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El Capitan Server Part 18: VPN

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Security is something many people are worried about lately. With exploits and hacks that have been created to steal our data, we all have to be concerned about protecting the typically ways that people can gain access to our computers. One way someone could hack your computer is through own wifi hotspots that are not secured. One way to protect yourself in coffee shops or airports where these hotspots are used is to use a VPN service to encrypt your communications back and forth on the internet.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it basically logs you into your home server and then encrypts you communications and routes them through your home network. This keeps hackers from being able to read what you are sending back and forth over the internet. Another benefit of using a VPN is the ability to connect to your home server remotely without the need of purchasing a host name. The beauty of using OS X Server instead of paying for a VPN service is that it only costs $19.99 with no other fees.

In the screencast I cover how to set up the VPN service in OS X Server. I also cover how to set up your devices to use the service.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.



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El Capitan Server Part 17: Time Machine

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One of the benefits of running OS X Server is setting up a centralized back up workflow that allows your users to back up their machines to one drive on your network. Since most users have a difficult time remembering to back up their machines by plugging in their external drives and running Time Machine, it is important to find a set-it-and-forget-it solution to back ups. Built into OS X Server is a Time Machine Service that allows your users to back up to a centralized drive on your server that you select and they can do so wirelessly. This allows Time Machine to run on each computer automatically as if you had a dedicated drive connected to their computer. So without doing a thing all of your back ups take place on a regular basis and each is placed in a backups folder on the drive you select for back ups. It really is a great solution and works like a Time Capsule without having to worry about drive space since you can replace an external drive easier than the drive in a Time Capsule.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the Time Machine Service. I also cover how to connect your users to the back up, set a limit on the size of each back up, and how to monitor your back ups to make sure they are working properly. As always, feel free to leave a comment here or on my
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Fixing OS X Webdav Connection Issue OS X Server 5

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Recently I've had a few people contact me with issues connecting to their Webdav shares on their iOS devices since upgrading to OS X Server 5. In doing some research and working with one of my listeners I was able to find a solution that seemed to work for him and might work for you as well. It involves updating a coupe of files and forcing authenticated binding for Webdav. You can see the details in this Apple Support Article: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202271 or just watch the screencast below.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel. If you find other fixes for issues you may be having with Server and would like to share them, please leave a comment here or email me.



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Talking PLEX on Mac Power Users

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I had the privilege of being on the Mac Power Users show this week to talk about one of my favorite Media Server Applications: PLEX. PLEX is a media player that allows you to share your media across all of your devices. What makes PLEX unique is that it will take just about any media you throw at it and it will find all of the metadata for that media and display it in a beautiful interface that is available across many different platforms including Macs, PC's, iOS, Android, Windows, Xbox, Playstation, televisions, etc. It really is a great way to have your media everywhere. Not only does it make all of this something that is easy to do, it also will transcode the media on the fly so it is available in the formate each device needs with very little buffering.

It was a lot of fun talking with my friends David Sparks (http://macsparky.com) and Katie Floyd (http://katiefloyd.com) about how PLEX works and some ways each of us uses PLEX. If you have never tuned into Mac Power Users I would highly recommend giving it a shot and listening in every week. David and Katie have a great way of talking tech in a practical way that also gives some great tips on ways to get the most out of your technology.

You can listen to the show on PLEX HERE.

You can subscribe to Mac Power Users HERE.

If you have any questions on PLEX feel free to leave a comment below. You can also view my series of tutorials on PLEX on my Youtube Channel. I am in the process of doing an update to the screencasts I did back in 2013.

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El Capitan Server Part 16: Connect to File Shares-iOS

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to your file shares on iOS devices. I cover the new iOS share feature in OS X 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 you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.



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El Capitan Server Part 15: Connect to File Shares-Mac

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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.

As always thanks for watching! If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.



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El Capitan Server Part 14: File Permissions

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One of the questions I have gotten a lot lately is how to deal with permissions and file shares. It can get confusing when trying to figure out how to set up customized folder and file access especially when you are nesting folders. OS X includes both the POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface for Unix) and ACL (Access Control Lists). POSIX has three basic permissions settings and ACL's have many options. Which one to use when and where is what can get confusing.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to work with file permissions in OS X 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 OS X 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.



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El Capitan Server Part 13: File Sharing

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the File Sharing Service on OS X 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. Then I cover the basics of POSIX and ACL’s and where to make those changes in OS X Server.

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.



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El Capitan Server Part 12: Bind Clients to the Server

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To get your network accounts to work on your server, you will need to bind your Macs that will need to take advantage of these accounts bound to your server. Binding a Mac to your server makes that Mac listed as a device that can then use the user data found in your Open Directory. It allows users to log into that Mac using their network accounts as they then become an option at the login screen.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to bind a Mac to your server. I walk through the settings you need to make sure are in place on your server to allow for an authenticated bind. Then I walk through the actual binding process and show what to put in each field to make the bind work.

As always thanks for watching! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.



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El Capitan Server Part 11: Users & Groups

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the users and groups accounts on your server. I cover the difference between local and local network users, how to set up a new user, and the various settings for users and groups such as global password policies and access to services.

As always thanks for watching! If you have any questions feel free to leave them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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El Capitan Server Part 10: Open Directory

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If you are running a server you will probably want to manage various user accounts to allow users on your network access to the services you are running on your server. You may also want to manage the various devices you have on your network to make setting them up more convenient. To do this, you will need to set up an Open Directory Master which is basically a database that holds all of your users, groups, and device data.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up an Open Directory for your OS X Server. I cover why you might want to set up an Open Directory, how to set up an OD for the first time, how to back up your OD, and the difference between network and local accounts.

As always thanks for watching. If you find this tutorial helpful please like, favorite, and share it so others can find it on the internet. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer it.



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El Capitan Server Part 9: SSL Certificates

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In this screencast tutorial I cover the Certificates Service built into OS X Server. I cover what SSL certificates do, the differences between self-signed & verified certificates, how to secure your services with SSL, the different types of certificates you can create in OS X Server, and how to purchase and set up a third party verified SSL certificate.

As always thanks for watching. If you find this tutorial helpful please like, favorite, and share it so others can find it on the internet. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer it.



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El Capitan Server Part 8: DNS

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the DNS service in OS X Server 5. I cover how DNS works, what each of the DNS records do, walk through two ways to set up your DNS, and cover how to test your DNS to make sure it is working properly.

As always thanks for all of your support! 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.



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El Capitan Server Part 7: Port Forwarding

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up port forwarding on OS X Server. I cover the basics of port forwarding and how it works on your network. I also cover how to set up and use port forwarding with the built in service with OS X Server and how to do it manually if you don’t have an Apple Router.

As always thanks for all of your support! 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.



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El Capitan Server Part 6: Network Configuration

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In this screencast tutorial I cover the basics of setting up some of your network settings to work with OS X Server. I cover router considerations, how to set up a static DHCP reservation for your server, & how to check to make sure that reservations shows up in the right DNS fields to allow your server to function properly on your network.

As always thanks for all of your support! 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.



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El Capitan Server Part 5: Install & Set Up

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In this screencast tutorial I do a walk through of the install and initial set up of your server. I show you what the install process looks like from downloading the app from the App Store to launching it for the first time. I then cover the initial set up of your host name, computer name, the reachability service, settings, storage, and access tabs. You should be all set with your initial install by walking through the steps I cover in this tutorial.

As always thanks for your support. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.



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Getting Started with iPhone Series

I wanted to share with you a project I have been working on over at Curious.com on Getting Started With Your iPhone. If you are new to the iPhone or just want to get up to date on the various features found on the iPhone this course might be of help to you or a family member. You can view the video by clicking the image below.

Getting Started with Your iPhone | Curious.com


Thanks again so much for watching! I am very thankful to be a part of an incredible community!

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El Capitan Server Part 4: Complete Server Uninstall

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to completely uninstall server in case you need to start over due to upgrade issues or just wanting to start over. I walk through all of the steps to wiping all of the server components from your Mac so you can start over. As always I recommend a back up just in case you delete something you shouldn’t by accident.


Thanks so much for all of your support. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.


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





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El Capitan Server Part 3: Clean Install OS X

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In this screencast I cover how to do a clean install of OS X El Capitan. I cover how to prepare a USB Installer, how to wipe your hard drive using the new disk utility and walk you through the clean install step by step.

As always thanks for watching. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below. If you find the video helpful please like, favorite and share it so others on the internet can find it. Thanks!





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El Capitan Server Part 2: Server Upgrade

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In this screencast tutorial I walk you through the upgrade to OS X Server version 5.0. This version is the first version that does not require you to have the latest Mac OS so you can use it with Yosemite or El Capitan. It is also the first upgrade that is free if you have previously purchased it.

If you already have your server up and running as you like it and your server is mission critical then I would either wait to upgrade to see what issues might come up or make sure you follow the steps in my Preparing for the Upgrade to Server 5.0 screencast.

As always thanks for watching and for all of your support! If you find this video helpful please like, favorite, and share it so others on the internet can find it.

If you have any questions or would like to inquire about having me consult on setting up your own server please feel free to leave a comment.



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El Capitan Server Part 1: Preparing to Upgrade

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In this screencast tutorial I cover the steps to take to prepare yourself for the OS X Server 5 upgrade. Apple has already released version 5 on the Mac App Store and has made this version to run on both 10.10 Yosemite and 10.11 El Capitan. So for the first time we have an OS X version independent server software.

In this screencast I cover your back up strategy including taking a look at time machine, a bootable clone using
Cronosync, archiving your Open Directory and using Bender to back up all of your server files.

As always thanks for watching! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below. Also if you find this screencast helpful, please like, favorite and share it so others on the internet will find it.

Thanks for all your encouragement and support!



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OS X El Capitan Beta Part 4: Maps & Notes

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In this screencast tutorial I continue my look at some of the changes in OS X El Capitan. I cover the changes to the Apple Maps Application and some major changes made to the Notes Application which makes it a more powerful tool for tracking not only your notes, but checklists, tasks, and even photos and documents. In all of this remember this is beta software which means what is covered here is subject to change with either features being added or taken away. Otherwise, enjoy a look at the futuresmiley_smile.

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.






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OS X El Capitan Beta Part 3: Safari & Mail

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Moving on in our look at OS X El Capitan Beta, I take a look at the updates made to Safari and Mail. Each of these applications have been given some refinements in the beta that remove some annoyances most of us have in using them. On the Safari side there is the ability to pin tabs that you use most and global volume mute among other things. For mail you can finally go out of a compose window in fullscreen and can even compose two emails at one time.

In this screencast I walk through all of the changes in the current beta to give you and idea of how they work. Because this is beta software these updates could change or more features may be added before the final release. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.





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OS X El Capitan Beta Part 2: New System Features

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In this screencast tutorial I walk through some of the system level changes included in the OS X 10.11 beta (remember this is a beta so changes can and will still happen). I cover the changes to mission control, split view, disk utility, spotlight and other small changes.

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.



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OS X El Capitan Beta Part 1: Dual Boot Installation

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to install the OS X El Capitan Beta side by side with your existing Mac set up. This has the advantage of speed and doesn’t delete your existing OS X set up as you will be running it in a dual boot format. I cover how to partition your drive, download the beta, and then walk through the installation process.

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.



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OS X Server Part 35: Mobile Accounts

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up mobile accounts with OS X Server. I cover how to use profile manager to set up the mobility payload with all of the necessary settings. I then walk you through how to set up the mobile accounts on a client machine.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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.



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OS X Server Part 34: Xcode

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In this screencast tutorial I cover a new service to OS X Server and that's the Xcode Server. I cover how to set up the service, get enrolled in the developer program, set your test macs to point to your server, set up bots to test your code, and setting up and managing git repositories. Since I am not a coder I don't go into detail on each but just walk you through how to set it up and get it running.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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.



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OS X Server Part 33: NetInstall

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the NetInstall service in OS X Server. I cover how to create a disk image, how to customize the image to fit your needs, and how to set up and use the service once you have everything configured.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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.



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OS X Server Part 32: DHCP

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the DHCP service in OS X Server. I cover pros and cons of using OS X Server's DHCP service as compared to a router. I also cover how to set up an Airport Extreme Base Station to work with server's DHCP service, walk you through all of the settings in the DHCP service, and cover how to set up static IP reservations for the clients on your network.

If you would like me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.

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.



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OS X Server Part 31: FTP

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the FTP service in OS X Server. The FTP service is not as secure as using SFTP but it can still work to transfer non critical files if you need a quick set up. I cover how to set the service up, open the appropriate ports (20, 21, and you may need to open 49152-65535 for remote access), and how to access those shares using the terminal and an FTP client.

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 me to consult with you in setting up your server I can do that remotely. Just email me at todd@toddolthoff.com.



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OS X Server Part 30: Wiki

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OS X Server has a built in wiki service that allows you to host your own wiki website. For many users the wiki website will be all they need for their own private website that can be used for collaboration. The website lets you add a blog or wiki, have a web calendar, and host and share documents that you can access over the web or through WebDAV on your iOS devices. Most aspects of the site are customizable so you can tweak it to make it your own.

In this screencast I walk through the wiki service and show how to set it up and some of the basic services available. I also walk through some of the customization options to show you the possibilities in making the wiki work for you. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment below and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 29: Websites

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One of the advantages of running your own server is the ability to host your own websites and there is a great website service built into OS X Server. Now before you go out and try to host our own site, there are some things to keep in mind. First, you need to consider downtime and how important it is that your website be up 24/7. Things can go wrong with your server and power outages can cause a delay in getting your server back up so you want to make sure you are ok with those possible issues. You also want to make sure that your ISP will allow you to host a website and that they are not blocking the ports needed for web hosting (ports 80 and 443). Finally, you will need a static IP so your site can always be reached at the same IP address as most providers give dynamic IP addresses that change over time. When that change happens your site is down until you fix it.

In this screencast I cover how to set up your own website. I cover the built in site and how the settings function. Then I walk you through how to set up your own custom site including the DNS you need to make it work. If you have any questions or want help setting up your own website feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 28: Profile Manager Devices

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Not only is Profile Manager great at managing users and groups, it also allows you to set up your devices to run the way you want them to. If you have ever had to manage multiple devices where the basic settings are the same for each one, then you know the pain of going to each device and setting them up one at a time. Sometimes you have to wait for the device to be ready before you set it up. It can take a lot of time and energy to make that happen but with Profile Manager you can do the set up once with a few clicks and then have those profiles pushed to all of you devices making the changes happen.

In this screencast I cover how to manage your devices through the Profile Manager web interface. I cover all of the settings unique to devices and what each of those settings will do on your Mac or iOS devices. I also cover how to set up device groups so you can manage groups of devices at one time instead of managing one device at a time. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 27: Profile Manager Users & Groups

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One of the advantages of using Profile Manager is it's ability to customize user settings and then push those settings to your individual's devices when they login. From one interface you can customize all the aspects of their experience from what apps they have access to, to what settings should be made in System Preferences, to the wall paper on their desktop and their dock settings. All of these things can be set through the web interface from any computer that can access the web.

For those of you who manage a lot of users, this set up really makes managing those users a breeze. This works well for those managing schools or the workplace where you have different settings for different users or groups of users. It also works well at home for managing kids and making changes once which then take place for all of your kids.

In this screencast I walk through each of the settings for users and groups in Profile Manager. I give you an overview of all of the settings you can make and give some ideas of when you might want to use those settings. If you have any questions or want help setting up your own server, leave a comment below and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 26: Profile Manager Overview

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Profile Manager is one of the more powerful features of OS X Server. It allows you to manage all of your users and devices through one web interface and then push those changes to those devices or users when they log into their machines. I have used this service to manage my own household and it has been a delight to use and has cut down my time moving from device to device since I only need to make those changes once.

In this screencast I walk through the web interface for Profile Manager. I cover all of the main sections and what each area covers. In future screencasts I will walk through each of the settings you can customize for users & groups and also for devices & device groups. If you have any questions or would like help in setting up your own server, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.



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OS X Server Part 25: Profile Manager iOS Enrollment

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With many more users getting iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads, managing all of those devices in your household can be a chore. Well with Profile Manager built into OS X Server you can manage all of your devices remotely from one web interface. Before you are able to manage those devices, you have to make sure they are enrolled in your Profile Manager service. This includes making sure you have Open Directory up and running and the Profile Manager Service set up and running. Then you install a trust certificate so your device knows to trust certificates coming from your server. Once this is done, you can enroll your device and it is ready to be managed through the Profile Manager interface.

In this screencast I will show you how to enroll your iOS devices including adding all of the certificates you need to manage your device remotely. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Server Part 24: Profile Manager Mac Enrollment

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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.

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.



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OS X Server Part 23: Profile Manager Set Up

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In this screencast I show you how to set up what might be one of the best services offered on OS X Server, Profile Manager. The idea that any user can manage multiple OS X and iOS devices through a web interface and push profiles to those devices that automatically set those machines up with your specific settings is a very powerful and useful package. I use this to manage the Macs and iOS devices in my household and it makes doing so easy.

In this screencast I show you how to set up Profile Manager so it is ready to use to create profiles to manage your devices and users. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below.



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OS X Server Part 22: Mail

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In this next screencast in my series on OS X Server I cover setting up the mail service. Email is something we have all come to take for granted. We expect it to be available and we expect it to work. OS X Server has a mail server implementation to help you host and control your own email. It is a good service as long as you keep a few things in mind. First, if you are running a home server I would recommend not using the mail service. In most home settings your ISP will most likely block port 25 which is needed to send email. This is done to block spammers from sending out junk mail which could cause the ISP issues from getting blocked by other mail servers. Second, if you don't have a static IP address you shouldn't run server because when your dynamic IP changes you will lose your email until you register that new IP with your domain provider.

If you don't have any of those issues you can give it a try but I would still caution you that running your own mail server can be difficult. I personally leave it to others to run but in case you want to do it, I put together this screencast to help you. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



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OS X Photos App Set Up

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With Apple's switch to the new Photos App from iPhoto and Aperture, there has been a lot written about the new app and how to use it. If you want an in-depth walk through and FAQ related to the new photos app take a look at this comprehensive overview from Serenity Caldwell over at iMore.

I decided it might help to do a walk through of the set up process to show you what it looks like to do the transfer from Aperture to the Photos App. I have found that seeing how it works can sometimes ease our own concerns about it so the screencast below is a walk through of the set up process. I will probably do other screencasts on the interface going forward so stay tuned. So far I have found the photos app to be helpful for your personal photos especially if you choose to use the iCloud Photo Library option. If you have a large library, be prepared to pay for more storage though. I hope you enjoy the video. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.



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OS X Server Part 21: Messages

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Built into OS X is a messages service that allows you to chat with other users through text and other instant messaging services. Just like what we covered with contacts and calendars, some users may see the need to have their own private messages server. This will keep all communications only on your server and your devices as opposed to anyone else server. You can also archive those messages if you want to use them later.

This is obviously more important to business or to home users who want to protect and monitor their kids communications and still give them access to a messaging service. Because you can limit who you users can connect to, you can see the benefit of hosting your own messaging server.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the messages service built into OS X Server. I also cover an issue with the current build of the messages service and how to fix it to hopefully get everything working the way you want.

f you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!



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OS X Yosemite Part 20: VPN

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Security is something many people are worried about lately. With exploits and hacks that have been created to steal our data, we all have to be concerned about protecting the typically ways that people can gain access to our computers. One way someone could hack your computer is through own wifi hotspots that are not secured. One way to protect yourself in coffee shops or airports where these hotspots are used is to use a VPN service to encrypt your communications back and forth on the internet.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it basically logs you into your home server and then encrypts you communications and routes them through your home network. This keeps hackers from being able to read what you are sending back and forth over the internet. Another benefit of using a VPN is the ability to connect to your home server remotely without the need of purchasing a host name. The beauty of using OS X Server instead of paying for a VPN service is that it only costs $19.99 with no other fees.

In the screencast I cover how to set up the VPN service in OS X Server. I also cover how to set up your devices to use the service.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!




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OS X Yosemite Server Part 18: Complete Server Uninstall

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There are times when you may need to start over with server. Beyond wiping the drive and starting over which does guarantee that your have cleaned out any possible problems, you could also consider a complete uninstall of OS X Server. Now if you have tried to do a standard uninstall by deleting the application an assuming it completely gets rid of every trace of server you have probably been disappointed when you reinstalled server and found some of your setting show up again. There are many files and preference lists that server leaves behind that make it difficult to know if you completely uninstalled the application.

In this screencast I cover how to do a complete uninstall of Server. I cover all of the hidden files you need to look for in order to make sure you haven't left anything behind.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 17: Calendars

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For most of us our calendars are handled through services that keep that information in sync like iCloud or Google. For most of us this works fine and we see no need to change how we handle our calendars. When some thing works, why change it? For others there might be a need to handle their own calendars. Maybe, they work in a business that needs to keep any record they have confidential to protect clients. Or maybe a home user wants their kids to get used to using calendars but they want to control the whole experience to keep their kids safe and so they don't clutter up there personal calendars. There are many reasons someone might want to host their own calendars.

OS X Server includes a calendar service that allows your host your own CalDAV server and even has the ability to push changes to all your devices, send invitations, and even set up locations and devices that people could reserve for any of there appointments. In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the calendar service in OS X Server. I go over each of the settings and show how they work on your client devices.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!




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OS X Yosemite Server Part 16: Caching Server

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Caching Service in Yosemite 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 have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel and I'll do my best to get back to you.

Thanks for watching!



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 15: Software Update

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In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to set up the built in Software Update Service. Software Update has been Apple's way of issuing updates to Macs, especially prior to the Mac App Store. Built into Mavericks Server is a Software Update Service that allows you to cache updates so your users download them from your server instead of Apple which limits the bandwidth needed for each user to download their own update. In this screencast I show you how to set up the service and some tips on how to customize it to fit your environment.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 14: Server Back Up

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One of the important aspects of running a server is being able to quickly recover should something go wrong with your server. That recovery process involves making sure your server is back up and you have wha you need to restore your server to operating condition.

There are many different options available to backing up your server. Every back up strategy should include, a back up of all of your server settings, an incremental back up, and a clone of your server. These back ups will give you options when it comes to restoring from some kind of failure.

In this screencast I cover how to back up your server. I go over each of the areas I mention above including the software and tools you can use to make those back ups. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 13: Time Machine

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One of the benefits of running OS X Server is setting up a centralized back up workflow that allows your users to back up their machines to one drive on your network. Since most users have a difficult time remembering to back up their machines by plugging in their external drives and running Time Machine, it is important to find a set-it-and-forget-it solution to back ups. Built into OS X Server is a Time Machine Service that allows your users to back up to a centralized drive on your server that you select and they can do so wirelessly. This allows Time Machine to run on each computer automatically as if you had a dedicated drive connected to their computer. So without doing a thing all of your back ups take place on a regular basis and each is placed in a backups folder on the drive you select for back ups. It really is a great solution and works like a Time Capsule without having to worry about drive space since you can replace an external drive easier than the drive in a Time Capsule.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the Time Machine Service. I also cover how to connect your users to the back up, set a limit on the size of each back up, and how to monitor your back ups to make sure they are working properly. As always, feel free to leave a comment here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 12: Connecting to Your File Shares

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Once you have your file sharing all set up you need to connect to those new file shares you set up. Apple has built in a few ways to connect to those files including AFP, SMB, and WebDAV built into Yosemite Server. Apple is in the process of moving everything over to SMB but still allows its own AFP protocol for now. It appears AFP may be going away in the future but it is still available in Yosemite. WebDAV is used mainly to connect to shares from iOS devices but could be used on your Mac as well.

In this screencast I cover how t connect to your AFP shares using a couple different methods. I also cover how to set up your shares to auto mount to your Mac at start up. As always, if you have any questions feel free to leaver them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 11: File Sharing

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File sharing is one of the basic things most users get a server to do. In this screencast I cover how to set up file sharing and all of the permission settings that you can apply to your files and folders. I also cover how to set up home folders on your server so your users can log into any computer on your network and have their own personal desktop show up on that computer as if it was their own computer.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 10: Bind Clients to Server

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Once you have your Open Directory set up and you have your users and groups set up and running, the next step is to get your devices registered on your open directory so your users can take advantage of the network accounts you have just set up. With network accounts, your users can log into any computer on your network with their network login and, as I will cover in a future screencast, they could even have their home folders show up if you have them stored on the server. In order for this to work, however, your computers need to be bound to the same Open Directory.

In this screencast, I cover how to bind your Mac clients to your server’s Open Directory. I walk through the steps needed to perform the bind and talk about the difference between authenticated and anonymous binding. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 9: Users & Groups

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Once you have your Open Directory set up you can now begin to set up and manage your users and groups within that directory. In Yosemite Server you can manage all of your users from the server interface and set up what services they have access to. You can set up these permissions for certain services either individually or by setting up groups. Using groups you would set up a group and then add your users to that group. Within the group interface you can add or delete services that all of the users in that group have access to.

In this screencast I cover how to set up your users, how to tell the difference between a network and local user and the advantages of each, and finally how to set up groups and manage your users in those groups. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 8: Open Directory

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If you are running a server you will probably want to manage various user accounts to allow users on your network access to the services you are running on your server. You may also want to manage the various devices you have on your network to make setting them up more convenient. To do this, you will need to set up an Open Directory Master which is basically a database that holds all of your users, groups, and device data.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up an Open Directory for your OS X Server. I cover why you might want to set up an Open Directory, how to set up an OD for the first time, how to back up your OD, and the difference between network and local accounts. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 7: SSL Certificates

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SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, Certificates are designed to set up secure encrypted communications between devices. SSL is used to keep everything from online bank transactions to other service communications with your server safe and secure. When browsing the web you can see this service at work when you log into a site and you see the lock icon in Safari or the web address starts with the https as opposed to non secure http.

SSL verifies that you are who you say your are or that the server you are trying to contact is the server you think it is so you don’t end up connecting to a spoofed site that then steals your information. There are two types of SSL Certificates in terms of verifying identity. There is a self signed certificate where the user is vouching for him/herself and a verified certificate where a third party is verifying the identity of the service you are looking to connect with. Obviously the verified SSL Certificate is more trusted than a self signed one. If you try to connect to a site that has signed it’s own certificate you will get a warning that that is the case while a verified certificate will go through without a warning since it is trusted. For your own website you really don’t need a verified SSL Certificate because you know who you are. If you are hosting a site that third parties will visit, you will want to have a purchased one.

In this screencast tutorial I cover the Certificates Service built into OS X Server. I cover what SSL certificates do, the differences between self-signed & verified certificates, how to secure your services with SSL, the different types of certificates you can create in OS X Server, and how to purchase and set up a third party verified SSL certificate. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 6: DNS

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DNS or Domain Name System, is the basic system used to translate IP addresses into names that are easier for us to remember. DNS is what deciphers that when a user types in example.com it should send the request to an IP address of 78.178.x.x. So DNS is a very important thing to have set up properly.

In OS X Server everything hinges on properly set up DNS. If you have a problem with your DNS then most of your services will not function properly and you will have all kinds of issues. If your DNS is not set up properly and you set up and Open Directory based on that DNS you will most likely have to start over with your Open Directory once you get your DNS set up properly, so you will want to make sure you have it working before you set up the rest of your server’s services.

In this screencast I cover how to set up the DNS service in OS X Server 4. I cover how DNS works, what each of the DNS records do, walk through two ways to set up your DNS, and cover how to test your DNS to make sure it is working properly. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 5: Host Name and Server Settings

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One of the most important things to making sure your server is functioning properly is to make sure your host name is set up properly. The host name identifies your server and is the basis for the DNS on your server. In this screencast I cover the three types of host names you can choose and which one to choose for each application. I also cover how to change your server name and use Apple’s new reachability service that does an external check of you settings and lets you know what services are accessible from outside your network.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 4: Port Forwarding

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If you ever plan on accessing your server remotely you will have to learn how to forward ports in order to get into your network to access the services your server offers. Ports are basically doors into your network. Each door has a number which is linked to the services that go in and out of that door. The walls around the door are either your router or a software firewall you have in place. Both function to keep unwanted traffic out and to be a gatekeeper to allow only wanted traffic into your network. This is what keeps our network secure.

When you forward a port you are creating the door for the service to go through as long as the user of that service knows he username and password needed to go through the door. This verification serves as the key to that door and let’s authorized users to have access to that service through that port. In OS X Server, if you have an Airport Extreme Base Station or AEBS, the server software itself handles opening and closing ports. If you have a third party router you will have to look up how your router handles port forwarding and you will need to set it up manually.

In this screencast I cover how to set up port forwarding using an AEBS with OS X Server. I cover the basics of port forwarding and how it works on your network. I also cover how to set up and use port forwarding with the built in service with OS X Server and how to do it manually if you don’t have an Apple Router. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 3: Network Configuration

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Part of running a server is making sure all of the network components are set up properly. This includes the router you choose to use. With an Airport Extreme Base Station or a Time Capsule, OS X Server will manage your router for you right inside the server application. This makes it simple to set up and manage your router as it relates to your server as opposed to using a third party router. Third party routers will work fine you just have to know how that router works and where to go to configure the settings you need to make it work.

Another thing you will need to do make sure your server is functioning properly is to set up a DHCP Reservation for your server. A DHCP Reservation is giving your server a permanent internal IP address so every time your server is online it will have the same IP address. This is needed because your other devices that will be connecting to your server will be looking to it for DNS and other services and if the IP address changes those devices will not be able to know what the new IP is for your server.

In this screencast I cover router considerations and how to do a basic set up of your network to make sure it is ready to work with OS X Server. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Server Part 2: Install & Set Up

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For those of you who are looking to get started with OS X Server, I put together an install and set up tutorial to show you what the process looks like. I cover each of the steps in the process and walk through the basic settings for the server like remote access and the new access tab which shows the services you have running, the ports those services use, and who has access to those services.

Overall the new update is a good one and Apple has done some things to polish up the server app. It does have a new look to match the changes made to the visual design found in Yosemite. It also has some little touches like the Access tab and the reachability service that make the process of determining how things are configured and if they can be reached outside your server much easier. So most of the changes are little touches here and there but you can see how Apple is slowly refining the Server app to make it more accessible.



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OS X Yosemite Part 4: Clean Install Walkthrough

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In most cases a straight upgrade is the best way to move to the latest version of OS X since you get the benefits of the upgrade and still get to keep all of your files and settings in place and functional. There are times, however, when a clean install if necessary. Maybe you notice your Mac is running slower than it used to. Or maybe you need to do a complete clean install of OS X Server and many times it is easier to go with a clean install than trying to track down all the files associated with Server.

In this screencast I walk your through how to do a clean install of OS X Yosemite. I cover how to do the install from a USB Boot Installer (this is something I covered in the previous screencast which you can view on my blog HERE) and show you screen by screen what the install looks like. One of the changes I noticed right away is the installer only runs once and then reboots right into the set up process saving time. In Mavericks the installer would run through the install screen twice and then go right into the set up and seemed to take more time to run than Yosemite does.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Part 3: Creating a USB Installer

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There are times when you need to do a clean install on your Mac or multiple Macs. The usually way of doing this would be to boot into the recovery partition, use Disk Utility to wipe your drive, and then install a fresh copy of OS X Yosemite.

While this process is convenient it can take some time as you still have to download the installer package as a part of the installation process. Depending on your bandwidth and how many machines you need to do a clean install of, it could add to the time it takes to get the job done.

With a bootable USB installer, you can download OS X once, create the installer and then use that USB drive to boot each of your machines into the OS X installer. OS X is only downloaded once to create the installer and you can take that USB drive with you from machine to machine. It really can make the installation process fast and convenient.

In this screencast, I cover two ways to create a USB Installer, one using
Diskmaker X and the other using the terminal process for ‘createinstallmedia.’ Both of these options create a bootable installer that you can use to do a clean install of OS X. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Part 2: Handoff on All Your Macs

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Continuity between Macs is one of the bigger features included in the upgrade to Yosemite. Having all of your Mac and iOS devices communicate with one another and share functions with another is a great features. Starting a paper on your Mac and then handing it off to your iOS device when you hit the road is very convenient and allows you to use the best device for various circumstances in your life and not have to figure out a way to get the document you are working on to the devices you have chosen to use. It is also convenient to do things like answer the phone on the device that happens to be closest to you in the moment. Overall, continuity and handoff are great additions to the Apple eco-system.

But like any new set of features there is a cutoff on what devices can use the features. Handoff needs bluetooth 4.0 to function so any device that doesn’t have that version of bluetooth is left out. Also, Apple chose to leave out some of it’s older Macs that do have bluetooth 4.0 like the mid 2011 Mac Mini that I use for my server. This is frustrating because my Mac Mini has everything it needs to make Handoff work. So I went on a search to see if I could work around that requirement and found a tool that enables continuity on older Macs, even those that don’t currently have bluetooth 4.0 but could add it with a card or USB device.

The Continuity Activation Tool was created by a group over on Github and you can read more about it
HERE. The tool basically changes Apple’s system check and changes the no to using continuity to a yes. It is a simple to use tool and very easy to run. Just download the zip and run the tool. On their Github page, they let you know what Macs it works on and what is needed to make it run on each Mac.

In this screencast I walk through using the tool to enable handoff. I also cover how to use handoff on your Mac and show how each function works. As always thanks for watching! If you have any questions feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosmite Server Part 1: Server Upgrade

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Well it has been another year and, for Apple, that means another upgrade to their OS and Server Application which means the new Server version 4 is out in the wild. Yosemite Server is more of a refinement than a major upgrade which includes all of the functionality we were used to in Server 3 with a few additional features like a new reachability service that does all the necessary checks to know if your server is accessible on the internet. There is also an access tab added to the server area that lets you view who is accessing what services on what ports and also allows you to set permissions for each of those services.

In this screencast I walk you through the upgrade and give you a basic tour of some of the more obvious changes to OS X Server. I will walk through each of the services like I normally do to help you to get your server configured the way you want it.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or on my
Youtube Channel.



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OS X Yosemite Part 1: Upgrade Step by Step

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With Apple’s release of 10.10, I thought I would do a walk through of the upgrade process as I know many of you like to see all of the steps in the process. Because most of the time the timer is not quite accurate and there are times when the upgrades can seem to hang for a while, I recorded the entire process in this screencast.

Overall, I found the upgrade process to go smoothly. I did experience that the time was off by about 20 minutes each time overall and the when it says less than a minute left it means more like 5 minutes or so. But using the new operating system has been smooth and I haven’t experienced any major bugs with this release like I did with Mavericks.

If you have any questions or issues feel free to share them below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Mavericks Server Part 39: Documents 5-Working with File Shares on iOS

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File sharing on OS X Server is one of the main reasons most people set up a server. Accessing those files from a Mac is easy to do and allows you to store your files on the server and have access to them where ever you are. But doing the same on iOS devices is not as simple due to the difference in how iOS handles it’s file structure. iOS uses a hidden file structure so you normally need to connect to your WebDAV share in the app you want to use to for those files like Pages or Numbers. There are times, however that you may want to look at all of your file shares in the way they are displayed in the finder so you can browse them as a whole instead of only by file type.

Documents 5 gives you the convenience and familiarity of the Finder on your iOS devices. Documents 5 will connect to your afp or smb file shares and display those files in the same folder hierarchy that you have set up on your server. From there you can open and share those files and folders with your other iOS apps. In this screencast I cover how to connect to your file shares and navigate them in Documents 5.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Mavericks Server Part 38: Airport Adminstration

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For those of you with an Airport Extreme Base Station (AEBS), OS X Server includes built in support to manage your AEBS making it more convenient to forward ports and control who can logon to your wireless network. One of the biggest issues we all face when running a server is the issue of opening ports. If you want to connect to any of the services on your server while you are away, you need to make sure you have opened ports in your router so you don’t get blocked from access. Routers function as physical firewalls keeping traffic from going in and out of your local network. To allow certain services to have access to the outside world you have to authorize that access by opening doors to the outside world. Those door are called ports. Typically you would have to go into your router software, look up the ports you need to forward for the services you want to use, manually enter those ports to be forwarded in your router’s software and then reboot your router for those changes to take place.

Using the service in OS X Server with an AEBS, Server automatically enters the ports you need for the services you entered. It will also open those ports without the need to restart your router so no one loses internet service and turning services on and off becomes seamless. It really is a great feature of OS X Server and is another reason to consider using an Apple router.

Not only does OS X Server control the opening and closing of ports, it also has a built in RADIUS service. RADIUS stands for Remote Authentication Dial In User Service. This basically means that instead of having your users log onto your wireless network with a general SSID and general password, they log in with their Network Accounts that you set up on your server. So the AEBS is using your Open Directory to determine whether someone is allowed to log onto your network or not. This adds an additional layer of security to your network and is especially useful in organizations where they have users coming and going and those users having the SSID and password necessitates constantly changing the password.

In this screencast I cover how to use the service built into OS X Server to manage your AEBS. I cover how to add new ports to the service for other applications that may need ports opened. I also cover how to set up and use the RADIUS service and talk about an application called
Admin Tool Radius that can help you manage multiple RADIUS Networks and manually set up RADIUS if you are not using OS X Server for that service.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.



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Moving From Aperture Part 3: Aperture vs Lightroom

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In moving from Aperture in Lightroom one of the first questions most people have is, where are all of the settings and things I am used to using in Aperture in Lightroom? Fortunately, Lightroom and Aperture are similar in many ways. There are some things that are different in how they might name certain things, but you will find that most of the same features exist in each application. I have found that the editing features in Lightroom are a little better in terms of features and results but I do light the way Aperture manages pictures. So depending on your style and what you are looking for in a photo management/editing package you will probably find some trade offs with going to another platform.

In this screencast I walk you through where things are in Lightroom for those of you coming from Aperture. I cover how each covers photo management, photo editing, and other features. Hopefully this screencast will help familiarize you with Lightroom so you can pick up where you left off.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Moving From Aperture Part 2: Import to Lightroom 5

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Once you have exported all of your photos you then need to import them into another photo management solution. One of the best on the market right now is Lightroom 5. Lightroom is Adobe’s photo management and editing solution that has been Apertures competition for years. The Lightroom community is a large one with many pro photographers using it in conjunction with Photoshop for handling the management and editing of their photos.

Adobe made waves lately with moving all of their applications to a monthly fee model instead of the traditional pay to own model of using their software. The logic is that they will be able to issue updates more frequently and it will be cheaper in the long run, especially for those who use Photoshop. One of the offerings Adobe has is a
photographers bundle where you get Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99 a month. When compared to the $149 price tag for Lightroom right now and the usual $79 upgrade price, with Photoshop thrown in, makes this a decent deal. Add in Lightroom Mobile and it seems like Adobe has put together a pretty good solution for photographers.

Lightroom 5 comes with a 30 day trial and will read the metadata that was exported through the Exporter for Aperture application which makes it easy to try out Lightroom to see if it is for you. In this tutorial I cover how to import your library into Lightroom 5. I also cover a few of the differences in how Aperture and Lightroom handle photo management. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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Moving From Aperture Part 1: Exporter for Aperture

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With Apple announcing that it will no longer be updating Aperture or iPhoto, there have been a ton of questions about what is next and what users should do with their existing Aperture and iPhoto libraries. Apple did announce an upcoming photos app but for some it would appear that the pro features may not be available in the first release so there is concern about what to do while we are waiting to find out.

The first option for many would be just to wait and see what happens. Apple has announced that it will update both Aperture and iPhoto to work with it’s upcoming OS release Yosemite so there really is no reason to panic just yet. You can still use Aperture and iPhoto as always and there will be some way to migrate over to the new photos app in early 2015. If everything is working well for you in either program then you can stay put and see what happens.

For others who may be more on the pro or semi-pro level there may be some anxiety about how well this migration will work for them. Apple has had a history with pro apps of cutting features to make the transition happening and then slowly adding features back in. If you rely on Aperture for your business or you do a lot of editing you may want to consider other options instead of waiting to see what Apple may do. If you have been on the fence anyway this may be the time to check out other options.

The difficulty in trying out new options is the problem of library conversions. It is usually a pain to convert an entire library away from one proprietary system to another only to wonder if you will be converting back some day. Eventually everyone will convert to a new system at some time in their lives as software comes and goes so knowing there is a solution to help you make this transition so you can get all of your work out of a system is important.

Exporter for Aperture is a great application for helping you get all of your work out of Aperture without taking a lot of time doing it. This application allows you to customize a few things in deciding how you want your library converted and then does all of the work of moving your photos out of your Aperture library with all of your metadata baked in. Not only will it preserve your metadata, it will also export any of the photos you have made adjustments to as either JPEG or TIFF with those adjustments baked into the photo. It will do all of this without touching your existing Aperture library so you can test other photo management systems and still have your Aperture library in tact. So the only thing you would lose in the process is the actual slider location for your adjustments. Everything else gets exported and ready to import into another application like Lightroom.

In this screencast I show you how to use
Exporter for Aperture step by step. I cover all of the settings and show you what it looks like to go through the export process. This really is an excellent application and well worth the $14.99 for all of the time and headache it saves you.

Leave a comment below or on my
Youtube Channel and let me know what you are doing with your Aperture or iPhoto libraries. If you have any questions along the way feel free to leave them in either place and I will do my best to get back to.




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Launchbar 6 vs. Alfred 2

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I have always had a weakness for launcher applications since I started using a Mac. I started out with Quicksilver and loved the big graphical interface and the way I could perform multiple actions quickly without ever having my hands leave the clipboard. When Quicksilver was not longer going to be developed (something that has changed a bit since then) I started using Launchbar. While Launchbar did not have the larger graphical interface I came to love with Quicksilver, it was very fast and I got used to using it for just about everything. I got to the point where I was lost on a Mac that did not have Launchbar installed! From there I moved to Alfred because it seemed to offer the best mix of a larger graphical interface and the power of customizing and adding actions to make me more productive. I have been happy with Alfred ever since and put it on all of my Macs.

Well just a couple of weeks ago the guys over at Objective Development decided to release an update to Launchbar and introduced Launchbar 6. From the looks of it I could see that it had gotten a make over and added the larger interface I had wanted and a few new changes and tweaks to the services it could perform. So being the launcher addict that I am, I had to take a look at it. I was happy with Alfred but I couldn’t leave enough alone and now I am trying to decide which one I like best. In my quest to decide which one to go with, I made a list of features and compared them side by side. In doing this I determined that they are both very similar and capable applications. They really do overlap in a lot of ways in terms of their features but they differ when it comes to how they chose to implement some of those features.

Now I am still confused on what to do and I am still playing with both to figure out which one I will land on long term. So I decided to do a screencast to show you what I found and in the hopes that maybe it will help you decide which one is for you, or at least let you see what has changed with Launchbar 6. Really they are both very similar, with a few nuances which really means you can't make a bad decision either way. Both can be customized to almost match each other's features so it really comes down to what you want built in and what you want to customize (I'm still trying to decide myself they are so close!).

I would love to know your thoughts and which launcher you landed on. Let me know what you think by leaving any questions or comments below or on my
Youtube Channel.




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iOS 7: Strategies for Improved Battery Life

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Once you have upgraded to iOS 7 you will see a lot of new icandy and features that make the new iOS experience pretty neat. The problem with all of those new functions is they can and do take up battery life and I experienced some battery drain when I first upgraded. Under my normal use the battery was wearing down quickly. So I went on a hunt to figure out what services and functions I could turn off to get my battery life back pretty close to where it was before.
In this screencast tutorial I cover some of the things I discovered that helped improve the battery life of my new iPhone 5s. I go over each and every setting that seems to effect battery life so you can fine tune your own battery experience. It is always a trade off between features and the function of your battery so you don't have to use everything I cover here but as you fine tune your own settings you should hopefully get your battery to where you want it to be.
As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel.

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Upgrading to iOS 7: A Step by Step Walk Through

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Upgrading to any new operating system can be intimidating especially if you are concerned not to mess things up. So with the new upgrade to iOS 7 I decided to do a step by step walk through for those who are thinking of upgrading but don't want to jump in without seeing what the process is like. So I decided to film my experience so others could see what I did in upgrading my iPhone.
It has been great to see the response to this video with a lot of different people picking it up including Allison Sheridan from the Nosilla Podcast which I listen to. I have had a few questions along the way with people wondering if it will mess up their jail break (yes it will) and wondering if they really need to back up (yes you should). If you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my Youtube Channel.

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Everpix Part 1: Mac Set Up & Web Interface

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In this screencast tutorial I cover a great photo service called Everpix. Everpix is a photo service that syncs all of your photos from wherever you have them to it’s service. It then organizes them and give you different views of your photos based on things like highlights and flashbacks. Everpix is one of the few services that will actually sync photos from applications like Aperture and iPhoto so you don’t have to worry about uploaded those photos you just imported because they are already available online ready for you to access and share with others. Everpix has both a web application and iOS application giving you quick access to your photos. Both of these applications work well in giving you great ways of viewing your photos.

In this screencast I walk you through the set up of Everpix. I also cover the web interface and walk you through the various options for viewing and sharing your photos. If you would like to try Everpix and would like an extra 6 months of photo viewing on the service you can use my link here (of course I get 6 months as wellHappy:
Everpix Invite.



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Managing Your iCloud Storage

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Apple started sending out emails letting former MobileMe users whom they had given an extra 25GB of storage as a thank you that the free upgrade is coming to an end September 30th. I don’t know about you but I hadn’t worried about my iCloud storage since it came out because 25GB was way more than I would ever use for iCloud. So when I got this email I thought, “no problem. I’ll just check it out and delete a couple of things.” What I didn’t realize, because I wasn’t managing it, my iCloud storage amount and ballooned to 18GB! How could that be?

What I discovered was I was backing up 3 iOS devices which was taking up the majority of data mainly because of photos an videos that were being backed up. These things were causing the spike in my usage and I had to take care of that or may backups would cease. If you are in the same boat, I would recommend the following:

  1. Turn off backup for your camera roll.
  2. Remove any large files you may have added to iCloud by looking at the Apps section of iTunes.
  3. Use a program like PhoneView to move your videos and other files to your Mac and back them up there.

In this screencast I walk you through how to do each of the things above. As always if you have any comments or questions leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel,



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Plex Media Server Part 3: Accessing Your Media Remotely

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One of the greatest things about Plex is that you can access your media from just about anywhere. Plex has a Mac app, a web interface, iOS and Android apps, support for Roku and other connected devices, it is even on some televisions! With all of these interfaces and the Plex Media Server Software running on your home computer it really allows you to have your media wherever you are!

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to access your media remotely. I take a look specifically at the
myPlex web interface and the iOS application. I also demonstrate how you can add media from around the web on the fly into your Plex interface so you can view it on your favorite media device. Plex really is an excellent media server and for a free application it really is incredible! If you want more features you should also consider the Plex Pass which is a paid subscription. For limited time they have a lifetime subscription which really looks like a steal with all the development they have been doing!

As always thanks for all your support! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Plex Media Server Part 2: Editing Metadata

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One of the great features of Plex is it’s ability to automatically match your media to online metadata and pull that information down to display with your media files. While Plex is accurate on this about 90% of the time, there are times when Plex gets it wrong, especially as it relates to your home movies and such. To help you clean this up and customize it a bit more, Plex has a built in media editor that lets you update and change the metadata it displays so you get each entry just the way you want it.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to edit the metadata for your media. I show examples of how
Plex could get it wrong and what you need to do to make the changes and make sure those changes stay and don’t get updated again in the future.

As always, thanks for your support! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Monitoring Your Server With iStat for iOS

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Monitoring your server remotely is something that anyone who has a server wants to do. There are several things you can monitor when it comes to a server. You have the software side which allows you to manage your services and access. l covered how to monitor this in the screencast I did on Server Admin Remote. One of the other things you will want to monitor is the state of your hardware. Knowing if your server is running right or too hot can give peace of mind when you are out on the road. I was on vacation and don’t run air conditioning when I am away. Being able to check the heat of my Mac Mini while I was away in the heat of summer brought peace of mind.

In this weeks screencast I cover how to monitor the physical state of your server using an iOS application called
iStat. iStat is a universal iPhone and iPad application that monitors everything from the heat sensors to the fan speed on your Mac. Check out this screencast to see how it works!

If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel.



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Plex Media Server Part 1: Installation & Set Up

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I get a lot of questions on my OS X Server Series about how to use a server to handle streaming media to various devices both in and outside the home. With all of us having media both in iTunes and outside of it, using the tools Apple has built into iTunes is not always the best solution. Sure you can use home sharing to get your local media that you have inside iTunes to all of your Apple devices like Macs, iOS devices, and AppleTV’s. But what if you have media that you haven’t put into iTunes? What if you have other devices that are not made by Apple like Roku players or Android Devices? What if you want to access your media outside your home network? That’s where Plex comes into play.

Plex is a media server with a lot of the features most people want in a home media server. Plex combines Movies, Television, Music, Photos and Web services into one easy to use and set up application. Plex automatically pulls the metadata for your media and does a great job presenting it inside the Plex interface. The Plex Media Manager is a web based application so you can access it anywhere you internet access. Combine that with their applications and services for so many different devices and Plex really is a great media server for your content.

In this weeks tutorial I cover how to install and get
Plex set up. Next week I’ll cover how to edit and tweak your Media. If you have any questions feel free to comment here or on my YouTube Channel.



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Online Back Up With Backblaze

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When it comes to making sure all your digital data is safe you need a good back up strategy. For most people, they think about back up after they already lost something they didn’t back up. The key is to put a strategy in place before losing any data so you never have regrets. Depending on how important your data is to you, you may border on paranoid when it comes to data lose. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to back up:

1. Hardware will fail at some point.
No matter how well you take care of your computer, hard drive and other electronics we all know that our hardware will fail at some point in the future. It is usually before we think it will happen so it surprises us, but we know it will take place. When it does fail, many times it fails beyond recovery, meaning all of you data could be lost forever.

2. A good backup strategy includes multiple copies
A good rule of thumb is, one copy is good, multiple copies is better. The more copies the more you minimize your risk of losing data.

3. Location of those back ups can be as important as how many backups you have.
You have to take into account the fact that having all your backups in one place means you have a single point of failure. If they are all at your home and get stolen or burned up or damaged by water or some other force of nature you have lost all of your data. If you have your data in multiple locations (at least one more besides your home) you still have your data even if you lose your local copy.

With this in mind, here is my strategy. First, I have a time machine back up of my data. This gives me an incremental back up just in case I accidentally delete something I want to get back. I can go back in time and get it with Time Machine. It also serves as one complete back up. Second, I use a
Drobo as an external drive for those backups so if one hard drive fails my data is still safe. Next, I use SuperDuper! to make a bootable clone of my main drive so if that one fails I can boot from this backup and keep working as if nothing happened until I get an internal drive replacement. Finally, I back up to Backblaze online to handle my offsite back up. For things I really don’t want to use like family photos, etc. I back those up to another external drive that I store in a safe place.

With that in mind, I did this tutorial on
Backblaze for offsite back up. Backblaze has been a great service that integrates well with the Mac and allows you to set it and forget it. It continually backs up in the background. Whatever strategy you use, be sure to keep all of these possibilities in mind (I’m sure I’ve forgotten some but at this point this is the extent of my own paranoia on the topic of backupHappy.

Feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel!



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Mountain Lion Server: Changing Local to Network User

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When setting up a server, there at times where you don’t want to start over creating a new network account for each user. You may have data associated with that local user and starting over would just create headaches.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to change a local account to a network account and move the users local files over to the server to allow network access from any computer on your network.

As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Remote Time Machine Backups

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With the increased awareness of the need for backups there are many options for people looking for ways to keep their data protected in case of a hard drive crash or other disaster. While many have a strategy for backing up their important files and folders while in their own network, few have looked at how those back ups should work when their portable Macs are outside that network. Time Machine, which comes built into every Mac, provides a good incremental back up solution for attached hard drives to back up to. With the OS X Server those back ups can be done wirelessly to your server. But what about when you leave the home or office?

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your portable Mac to enable remote Time Machine backups. This allows your backups to happen over the internet back to your server and allows you to create your very own cloud back up strategy. A couple of things to keep in mind with this approach. First, this is not the complete back up solution. You are protected from hardware failure but if your house burns down you lose your back up. So you will need to consider other offsite back up. Second, this is not foolproof. Because of things like bandwidth and internet interference you could cause your back up to get corrupted if you have major interruptions. So just because it is possible I would caution you in using Time Machine this way. Like anything else your mileage may vary so I want to make sure I put in that warning to start!

As always feel free to leave a comment or question here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Remote Network Account Access

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Connecting to your server using a network account is one of the benefits of using Mountain Lion Server. It lets you log into any computer on your network and have your own desktop and home folders show up on that Mac as if it was your own local machine. With Home Folders being stored on the server itself, it can become challenging for mobile users who are in and out of your network to connect to those folders.

To make this work you can use Mobile Accounts (which I covered in another screencast
HERE) which will keep those home folders in sync between your server and the local portable Mac as a solution. Or you can have your users log into their network accounts over the internet and still have access to them. There are pros and cons to each solution with the obvious one being network and server bandwidth which directly impacts speed.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your portable Mac to allow your users to connect to their network accounts over the internet. I also cover how to connect and log into their account through your
Open Directory remotely.

As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Changing Your Host Name

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One of the most important pieces of running OS X Server is making sure your DNS is correct. The hostname is at the center of your server’s DNS and you want to make sure the information you have is accurate. You can change your host name using the Server Application but there are somethings you need to keep in mind if you do choose to change it.

In this screencast tutorial I walk you through how to change your Host name. I also cover the services you will need to update once that change is done to make sure you don’t have any of your services break in the process.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Hosted Mac Mini Server

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One of the great things about a Mac Mini is its cost, efficiency and size. Each of these things makes the Mini a great server and now you can host these kinds of servers not only at home but in a datacenter as well. Recently I started working with MacStadium on some tutorials on how to get your Mountain Lion Server up and running in a hosted environment. Through this process I have really come to see the advantages of hosting your Mac Mini inside a datacenter. There is just something about knowing someone else is looking out for your hardware and knowing for sure that your Mini is always on and reachable with the included static ip address.

The MacStadium team has been great and I really see the value in the products they have to offer. You can see more about MacStadium’s services at their website
www.macstadium.com. If you do happen to decide to host your server, I there are various tutorials up on their blog, some of which I have been contributing on how to get your Mountain Lion Server up and running in a hosted environment.

In this screencast tutorial I give an overview of having your Mac Mini Server in a hosted environment. I cover the differences between a home hosted versus data center hosted server, some of the costs and benefits of a hosted server, and some of the basics of logging in and working with a server in a hosted environment.

As always feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel!



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Mountain Lion Server: IceFloor Firewall

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Earlier I covered how to set up the built in PF Firewall using system preferences found on every mac. I covered the basics of getting the firewall set up and when you might want to consider using a firewall. But there are times when you want to engage more of the advanced features found in the PF Firewall build. You might want more control over the actual ports that the firewall allows access on and you may want to specifically block certain IP addresses and block those who are trying to gain access to your server.

In this screencast tutorial I cover some advanced firewall administration for the built in PF Firewall using a donation ware software program called IceFloor. I cover how this software may be helpful for home users, how to set the software up, what settings to put in place, and ways to customize and test your firewall.

As always feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel if you need any help or have any questions.



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Mountain Lion Server: SFTP

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Connecting to your files on a remote server to move them back and forth between your server and a remote computer is something that can be difficult if you are not familiar with the terminal. FTP is an option but it is not that secure as it sends your passwords in plain text. That is where SFTP is a benefit and a great way to move files around using a file manager client like Transmit or Forklift.

In this screencast I cover how to connect to your files and folders remotely using SFTP. SFTP is more secure that FTP and is a great way to navigate remote file systems. I talk about how to set up SFTP, how to connect to your shares both through the terminal and through an app called Forklift. I also cover some basic commands to move files from one server to another.

As always if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: SSH

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Being able to connect to your server remotely is one of the benefits of having a server. I have already covered some of the ways you can connect to your server remotely and in this screencast I cover how to connect to your server using SSH or Secure Shell. SSH allows you to connect to your server through the terminal allowing you to have full root access to your computer. Now SSH is used over port 22 which is often looked for by bots and hackers who look to try to guess your password to gain access to your server. For added security you may want to watch my tutorial on IceFloor to see how you can block known offenders and those who continually try to guess your password.

In this tutorial I show you how to access your server remotely and how to copy files back and forth using terminal. In the next screencast I will cover how to do this using the more easy to use SFTP through a file management program called Forklift.

As always feee free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: RADIUS Set Up

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Security on wireless networks can be a problem for those who are concerned with their one SSID getting out to those outside their network. While this may not be a big issue for home users, it can be a big one for those running a small business. Built into Mountain Lion Server is the RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service) Server which only allows those with user credentials on the server to access the wireless network. Instead of one SSID and password to access the network, users are asked for their user name and password that they use to log into the server. This creates added security and server level authentication for your wireless network.

As always, feel free to leave questions or comments below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Splashtop iOS Screensharing

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Continuing on in looking at iOS applications that allow you to access your server while you are on the go, I take a look this week at Splashtop. Splashtop is an iOS screen sharing application that allow you to access your server desktop on your iOS device and use it like you were right in front of your server. You simply install a little program on your server that communicates with the iOS application, install Splashtop on your iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad), login and you are set to access your server.

Some of the controls do take some getting used to but there is a handy guide to help explain how each of the services work. The latency is really good and it makes it a great tool for every server administrator to have. As always, if you have any questions feel free to leave them below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Server Admin Remote

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Being able to monitor your server remotely is something that every IT guy needs to ability to do. But if you have to login with a screen share just to check the status of your services it can be time consuming and cause even the best administrator to procrastinate. I found an iOS application that allows you to check on your services, stop and start services, check logs, and look at your resources. The app is called Server Admin Remote and you can get it from the iTunes Store.

In this screencast I cover how to download, set up and use the application on your iPhone. This really is a great little app and should come in handy for helping you check in on your server. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave one below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Firewall Set Up

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Protecting your server is important especially when you are making services available over the internet. If you are using a router, you in essence have a hardware firewall that protects you against those from the outside trying to get in. There are instances when you want to specifically track and monitor those trying to get into your server especially when SSH is enabled and the various bots in the world start running DDoS attacks on your server. That is where a software firewall is helpful.

In this weeks tutorial I cover how to set up the built in firewall on OS X Server. I cover the basic set up and various options found in the GUI built into system preferences. In a future screencast I will cover how to run the server with the command line and a third party GUI called
Icefloor.

As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Server 2.2.1 Update

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I have had a lot of questions lately about the changes Apple made to Server with the 2.2.1 Update. Some of the confusion is between previous tutorials I have done and the new changes that were made so I decided to make a tutorial to take into account a few of the changes that people were asking about. Apple’s Support Article covers the changes they made with this update found here:

Here are some of the main changes:

1. Caching Service: This allows you to cache any updates that have been downloaded from the Mac App Store so they don’t need to be re-downloaded. I covered this in detail in a previous screencast.

2. Centralized SSL Certificate Management: Apple took the SSL Certificate management out of the Server hardware area and moved it to it’s own service. I cover the changes in detail for those who had difficulty with the new interface.

3. Time Machine: Changes include seeing which computers are backed up, when they were backed up, and the size of the back up.

As always feel free to leave comments here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Mobile Accounts

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One of the advantages of Server is the ability to have your home folders on the server so you can log into any computer on your network and have your desktop and home folder set up available just as if you were on your local computer. But one of the problems of doing this is dealing with mobile computers. What happens when you take your laptop outside the network if your home folders are on the server?

To solve this problem, Server has the ability to set up mobile accounts where basically sets up a sync service that keeps your home folder in sync between the server and the client machine. Before a client leaves the network, the home folder syncs to the client machine. When the client comes back into the network, any changes the client has made get sync’ed back to the server to keep everything the same. This way the client can still log into any computer on your network and still take their laptop on the go.

As always, feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Work Group Manager Preferences

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In this screencast tutorial I cover the preference settings available in Work Group Manager and I compare them to the setting available in Profile Manager. Apple is definitely moving away from Work Group Manager towards having everyone use Profile Manager but has chosen to keep Work Group Manager around for those how still like to use this legacy software for managing their directory.

Work Group Manager can still be used to manage all of your users, groups, devices and device groups in a non web interface on your server. It still works well and gives you another option for setting up your server.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Bind Clients to the Server

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Your Open Directory allows you to connect your computers to that directory which gives you more management options. There were some comments lately about how to bind a computer to the server on my YouTube Channel so I thought I would do a tutorial to show how this gets set up. You want to bind your machine to your Domain Name and not to your .local name. Some had it where the .local was the only server option available on their network. This was caused by having the primary DNS be the router instead of the server. A simple change in the router set up fixed this for those I was talking to.

In this video tutorial I cover how to set that up properly. I also cover the process for binding your clients to the server and what it looks like in Work Group Manager.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Work Group Manager Overview

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The Server Application gives you plenty of functionality for you to set up and configure your server. But Apple still provides Work Group Manager as a way for you to set up and configure services on your server. It works with your Open Directory and includes some more detailed information to help you tweak your server.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to download and install Work Group Manager. I give a basic overview of the application and cover how to use it to work with users and groups on your server.

As always, thanks for watching. Feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel if you have a question.



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Mountain Lion Server: Remote Server Access

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One of the advantages of having a server is being able to access it remotely. I had some questions lately about how to do that so I decided to do a screencast on it to demonstrate how to make that happen.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to your server remotely. I demonstrate a couple of ways to do this and how to make sure you set it up properly without accidentally installing the server components on your non server device.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: NetInstall

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With the new digital distribution of Apple’s operating systems it makes it more difficult to reinstall on various computers if you need to do so. With Server you have the ability to set up various images that you can then use to do a clean install on your computers over the air on your own network. The advantages of doing this is the fact that you can customize your install and don’t have to worry about creating your own media to make the install happen.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up a disk image to be used for your NetInstall. I also cover some of the customization options to simplify the install process and then show how the process works.

As always feel free to leave a comment or question here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: DHCP

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DHCP or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, is what is used to assign IP addresses to the devices on your network. DHCP is usually set up through the router as there needs to be addresses given to your devices if they are to show on your network and connect to the internet. Server gives you the option to control DHCP through your server instead of through a router. There are advantages and disadvantages to either solution and I cover those in this tutorial. For most people the router will be the best option since a router is usually always on while there a times when a computer is shut down, thus shutting down your DHCP service. But for many in corporate environments controlling the DHCP from the server is important.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Connecting iOS to WebDAV

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One of the struggles most people with iOS devices have is getting the documents on their Macs onto their iOS device. Sure you could use Dropbox or some other cloud service. Or you could use iTunes to sync certain files and folders through certain apps you may have on your device. But sometimes you just want to have your files available right off your computer without having to go through another service.

In Mountain Lion Server you can specify certain folders to be available to your iOS device and then connect to those files through the WebDAV interface built into your iOS device. This makes all of your files portable and allows you to use them where you are at on the road (provided you have a public domain address or VPN).

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to those files and folders you designated for sharing with iOS devices. I cover how to do this in a couple of apps to give you an idea of how it works. As always, please feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Wiki Customization

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Mountain Lion Server’s Wiki allows you to customize elements of it to make it your own. You can edit each of the elements on the site beyond the basic navigation. You can add banners, videos, audio, and other elements to make the site look unique. In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to customize the wiki and go over each of the customization options. While these options don’t quite allow you to create your own site in any way you want, it does allow you to layer some things on top of the existing layout.

As always, thanks for checking out my tutorials. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Wiki Set Up

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One of the great advantages of using OS X Server is the built in website that comes with it. For those who just want to get their feet wet with having their own website to those who are running a small business and want a collaboration tool that all of their employees can use to communicate and share ideas, the built in website is a really nice option and has a decent amount of functionality and customization. Now if you are a person who has a vision for how you want your website to look and feel and you want the freedom to add pages and functionality on the fly, then you are still probably better off having our website hosted or hosting it on your server. While the customization on the built in site is nice, it really isn't built for a complete redesign and you have to work with the built in tools to make it work.

In this screencast tutorial I go over how to set up the Wiki Service which functions along side the Website Service to create the built in Wiki Website. I also give a basic tour of the site to give you an idea of what you can do with it. In the next screencast I will cover how to customize your site to make it your own.

As always if you have any questions, feel free to comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Web Server

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Website service. This service is not only used for hosting your own personal websites. It is also used as a part of making the Wiki Service work so it is a service that will be running whether you are hosting your own website or not. In the screencast I talk about things to consider when hosting your own website including:

1. Does your ISP block port 80?
If your ISP blocks port 80 then you will not be able to host your own website as that is the port that those outside your network will use to access your site. You may have to call your ISP to see if there is a way to open that port. In many cases they will want you to purchase their business internet service which is usually more costly but does come with a static IP address which helps with the next issue.

2. Do you have a static IP address?
If you are using a dynamic IP address, which most home users are, you are leasing an IP address that could change at any moment. Once this IP address changes all of your web services will go offline until you discover the change and update your domain registrar to point your domain name to the new IP address. This will cause your website to be down until you make the change. Now most ISP's don't change the IP that often. It usually happens when you reboot your modem, but the risk of it changing might be too big, especially if you are dependent on having your website up and running 24/7. For home users who are only doing this for family it is not as critical, but for the rest, you really need a static IP.

3. Are you ok with Downtime?
Running a web server that hosts critical websites means that uptime of your sites is up to you and your server. So if you have a power outage and your server goes down, so does your website. If you forget you are hosting a site and turn off your server, you lose your site. So you really need to weigh the costs before you decide to do your own hosting.

Hopefully that gives you some things to consider before hosting your site. In the tutorial I cover how to get your site going and even how to set up virtual hosting if you are looking at hosting various domains/websites on your one server. This includes a look at the DNS service so if you haven't covered that yet, you may want to view my tutorial
HERE.

Thanks for watching! If you have any comments or questions leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel!



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Mountain Lion Server: Profile Manager-Devices

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to manage all of your devices using Profile Manager in Mountain Lion Server. Managing many devices can be difficult especially if you have to update the settings on those devices one at a time. With Profile Manager you can set up profiles for each device or device group and those changes get pushed over the air to all of your devices. Once your devices are in Profile Manager (you can see my tutorial on how to do this HERE), you can choose to manage them either individually or put them into device groups and manage them that way. You can set up everything from passwords to what items are in the dock. There really is a great amount of customization available and the great thing about Profile Manager is you can access it from any web browser anywhere you are (as long as you have either a .private network and you VPN in, or a FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name).

As always feel free to leave a comment or question here or on my
Youtube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Profile Manager-Users & Groups

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In this screencast tutorial I continue my look at Profile Manager and show you how to set up profiles for Users and Groups. Users and Groups are initially configured in the Server App so whatever you set up there will be what is showing in Profile Manager itself. The cool part of this service is the level of customization you can do to a profile and how easily it pushes those changes to a particular user the next time that user logs in.

I cover each of the settings in both the User and Groups screens. I also share my own strategy of using groups to manage users instead of having to update each individual user’s profile one at a time. In the next screencast I will cover how to set up device specific profiles which is another great way to manage the settings on your network.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to leave them here or on my
Youtube Channel. Thanks for watching!



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Mountain Lion Server: Profile Manager-Mac Enrollment

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Profile Manager is one of the best parts of Mountain Lion Server. It allows you to manage all of your Macs and iOS Devices from a your server either locally or remotely. It gives enterprise control over your devices that was previously only available to those running enterprise level servers.

If you haven’t had a chance to view my previous tutorial on setting up Profile Manager start with that tutorial first by clicking
HERE. In this screencast tutorial, I continue my look at Profile Manager and walk through how to set up your Macs to use the service. I cover how to install the needed certificates to allow your Macs to be managed and cover how they look once enrolled within Profile Manager.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or leave a comment on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Caching Service

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Now that Apple has two methods for pushing updates to client computers, Software Update and the Mac App Store, it makes it difficult to manage updates and the bandwidth for each and every client on your network. To help with this for Macs that use the Mac App Store, Apple has created the new Caching Service to allow the Server to save any updates that clients on your network download so future downloads will happen from your server instead of Apple’s Servers. The Caching Service only adds updates when someone accesses an update and downloads it.

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to configure the Caching Service and set your clients to use that service instead of the Mac App Store. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Back Up

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Back up is one of the things we usually think about after we needed a back up which causes us to leave all of our data. Running a Server is as much about making fast recovery possible as it is keeping your data safe. In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to use Time Machine in Mountain Lion Server to allow wireless back ups of all of your client machines to a centralized location. I also cover creating a bootable backup of your server using a program called SuperDuper! which will allow you to be back up and running in no time should you have a major hard drive failure. Finally, I cover how to back up your Open Directory so you can restore that data should you have problems with your server.

As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Mail

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The dream of hosting your own web server is something most of us who are interested in things like servers have toyed with. Being in control of what comes in and out and having our own customized email address is appealing. But anyone who has run and email server knows the headaches administrating email can be!

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your own Mail Server. I go over the pros and cons of hosting your own email. I talk about the basic requirements of hosting your own server at home and how to set up your clients to use the service. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: FTP

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FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a way to transfer files between two computers. FTP is used for uploading and downloading files from a server and offers an easy way to access certain folders and files.

In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to set up your own FTP share in Mountain Lion Server. I talk about how to log into your FTP share using Terminal and an FTP client.

As always if you have a question, feel free to leave a comment below or leave a comment on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: VPN

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VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is a protocol that allows you to set up a secure connection between two devices. This secure connection allows you to appear as if you are on your local network so you can access the services you have running on your server. One of the things a VPN on a Mac will not do, however, is run bonjour services which means all your other local computers will not show up in your finder side bar and you won’t have home sharing services in iTunes and iPhoto work remotely. There are some things you could do to make that work but it does take a lot hacking and is probably the subject of another article.

In the screencast tutorial below, I cover how to set up the VPN Service on Mountain Lion Server including how to set up the right range of addresses that won’t interfere with your regular DHCP range, which protocol to use (L2TP or PPTP), and ways in which you can export a profile to use to set up your client machines. I also cover setting up and connecting to your VPN Service remotely.

As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Messages

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Messages Service on Mountain Lion Server. Messages is Apple’s new and improved iChat Service which allows you to set up a private chat service that lets you communicate both in and outside your network. This service can be convenient especially now that Apple is using it for it’s own texting service over wifi.

In this tutorial I cover how to set up the Messages Service and connect all your clients to the service. I also cover how to use the service and get your buddy list set up and running. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to leave a comment below or on my
YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Contacts

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One of the benefits of having a server is the ability to host your own services like Calendars and Contacts. In Mountain Lion Server the Contacts Service allows you to set up your own contacts directory and push changes to all of your devices. In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Contacts Service including how to set up the services and get your clients set up to use the service. I also cover a couple of options for setting up your Contacts including individual accounts and a shared family Contact Book. If you have any questions in setting up the service, feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Calendar

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Calendar Service on Mountain Lion Server. Calendar allows you to manage a CalDav standard calendar for all of the users on your server. It allows you to set up locations and resources that you can make available for scheduling and sends invitations to those you invite to events that you schedule. I cover not only how to set this up on the server but also how to configure your clients to use the service as well and even include an optional way to have one calendar that all of your users have as their primary calendar for those families that only want to worry about one standard calendar for the whole household.

As always, feel free to email any questions or leave a comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Connect & Auto Mount AFP

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to any AFP shares you have set up both locally and remotely on your devices. I also cover how to set up certain files and folders to auto mount every time you log into your computer so they are mounted and ready to go when you need them instead of having to repeat the process of mounting your files and folders every time you log out or reboot.

If you have any comments or questions feel free to email or leave a comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: File Sharing

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the File Sharing Service on Mountain Lion Server. File sharing is one of the basic things everyone thinks about when setting up a server. The need to share the same files among multiple users and have them stored in a centralized location is what servers do best and Mountain Lion Server has an excellent and easy to set up file sharing service. The service includes the ability to set the permission levels of shared files and folders with either Read & Write (the user can both view and upload/change content), Read Only (the user can only view the content but not download or upload), Write Only (the user can only add content but not take any away), and no access which hides the file or folder from the user so he/she doesn’t even know it is there. The service all allows the ability for the shared file or folder to be shared as AFP (Apple File Protocol) or SMB (Windows File Sharing Protocol), shared with iOS devices over WebDav, or used to set up and store home folders on the server. I cover all of these topics in the tutorial below.

As always, if you have any comments or questions feel free to email, or comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Users & Groups

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up users & groups on Mountain Lion Server. I explain how to tell the difference between local and network accounts and what the advantages are of each. I also talk about how setting up groups can make easier for you to manage multiple users at one time and how you can create groups for family members that allow you to do things like make on change that effects all the kids instead of having to change each child manually.

As always if you have any questions, feel free to email or leave a comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Profile Manager Set Up

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up the Profile Manager service. Profile Manager is a powerful MDM (Mobile Device Management) application that puts the power of enterprise servers in the hands of home users. Profile Manager is a great way to manage all the devices in your household like Macs and iOS Devices from a web browser. The beauty of Profile Manager is you can manage these devices from any computer or device that has a web browser so you don’t need to be at your server to manager your devices.

In this tutorial I walk you through the steps of setting up the service which includes Apple’s Push Notification Certificate and SSL Certificates for secure connections between your server and your other devices. In future screencasts I will walk through each of the features available to manage and customize on your devices.

If you have any questions, feel free to email or comment on my YouTube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Open Directory

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up Open Directory on Mountain Lion Server. Open Directory Service sets up a Network Directory or LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) which allows the set up of network accounts. This allows you to set up various services on MLS that require network accounts such as Profile Manager and home folders stored on the server that allow users to log into them on any computer in the network.

There are two ways to set up Open Directory in MLS. In this tutorial I walk through how to set up the service itself. It can also be set up by starting up Profile Manager, which checks to see if an Open Directory Master exists and if it doesn’t, then it walks you through the process of setting one up.

Let me know how you enjoy the screencast and feel free to email or leave a comment on my YouTube Channel if you have any questions or comments.



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Mountain Lion Server: DNS

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up and check the DNS of your server. DNS stands for Domain Name System and it is responsible for connecting an IP address to a particular name. For instance, every website like www.toddolthoff.com had a domain name like 192.0.0.0.0. That number is difficult to remember so that is why we use things like toddolthoff.com. Your DNS controls all the naming not only on your server but also the computers on your network. So if your DNS is off, your server will not function and you will have trouble getting your services to work.

In this tutorial I cover how to set up your DNS and how to check to make sure your DNS is working properly. If you have any questions feel free to leave them here or reply on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: SSL Certificates

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In this screencast tutorial I cover SSL Certificates. SSL Certificates allow secure connections between computers keeping that communication safe from those who might want to get to that information. These secure connections are used by banks and other organizations that want to protect what is being transferred between their website and your computer. You can usually tell if a website is secure by the https in front of the web address (the “s” shows it is a secure connection).

In this tutorial I cover how to set up a self signed SSL Certificate for Mountain Lion Server to allow you to have secure connections with your server. This is required if you are going to use Profile Manager and is recommended for things like Calendar, Address Book, Mail, etc. I also cover how to integrate a third party verified SSL Certificate and how to get that certificate added to your server.

As always if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Port Forwarding

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In this screencast tutorial, I cover how to set up port forwarding on your router. If any of the services you set up on your server are to be access outside of your home or work network, you will need to open up a port to the internet for that service. Your router serves as a hardware firewall that keeps people out of your home network. It is a great security tool but it also will keep you out of your home network if you try to login outside of your network. The router can open up secure “ports” or holes that allow you to use certain aspects of your sever while you are outside your network. In this tutorial I look at how to do that with an Airport Extreme Base Station from Apple and show how the Server App is a great and easy way to make that work. The great thing is your router no longer has to reboot every time a port change is made! For those of you without an Airport Extreme, you will have to open your ports manually. Here is a link to known ports for the various services available on your Server: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1629. As always if you have any questions feel free to respond here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Network Configuration

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your network for Mountain Lion Server. Making sure you have your server with a permanent IP is important especially if you are using your server for DNS services. You also need to make a decision on how you will handle DHCP and whether your server or router will be giving out addresses to the devices on your network. In this tutorial I cover how to get these things set up so you are ready to enable the other services available on Mountain Lion Server. As always if you have questions or feedback, feel free to respond here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Install & Set Up

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to do a clean install of Mountain Lion Server starting from an install of Mountain Lion. I walk through the whole install process and what it looks like to get your server up and running. If you are new to server and are wanting to try it out on your system, this tutorial should help you get everything up and running. I will be doing a full range of tutorials on all the features and components of Mountain Lion Server so watch for updates here on my blog or on my Youtube Channel. I usually put a new tutorial out every Friday so if you subscribe to my channel you will get updated when new tutorials are posted. If you have any questions feel free to respond here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Mountain Lion Server: Upgrade From Lion Server

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to upgrade your server from Lion to Mountain Lion. I walk through the process of getting ready for the upgrade including making sure you keep a copy of your Mountain Lion install so you can use it later to create a USB bootable copy and to use it for Netinstall on your server. Having done the upgrade myself things seem to be pretty stable. There is a known issue with VPN and the interface with managing an Airport Extreme Router. If you get an error message related to your Airport Extreme and/or have problems with VPN, follow the directions on this Apple Support Article: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4353?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US, which basically has you delete your airport password from Keychain Assess and relaunch your Server App. If you have any questions on the upgrade process feel free to leave a comment here or on my Youtube Channel.



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Home Server with Lion Server: VPN Server

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VPN is something many people are interested in having for their own security while connecting to outside wired and wireless networks. With concern over security and wanting the ability to connect to your home network as if your computer was on that network locally, make a VPN Server something that is nice to have when you are on the road. Lion Server gives a simple way to set up your own personal VPN Server so you can have this connection and makes it fairly easy to set up.

In this screencast I cover which VPN protocol to choose, how to set an IP Range for your VPN Server, and how to install VPN manually on a client machine. I also show you how to connect to your VPN from a client computer and how to end your VPN session without having to use System Preferences. Enjoy!



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Home Server with Lion Server: iChat Server

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up your own personal iChat Server for your home server. We will cover how to set up and configure a jabber based chat server including server federation, limiting domains that can be chatted with, setting up the ichat server on clients, and how to enable auto buddy detection for the other clients on your network. Having your own personal iChat Server can be a great way to communicate and send things quickly to other members of your family. There are many other services out there but there is something about having a private and unified home messaging system. With Mountain Lion Server this will most likely change to include the iMessage application that Apple has been using for iPhones and other devices, which I will cover when the update comes out in July. But for now iChat is still a great way to communicate across all the computers in your home.



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Home Server with Lion Server: iCal Server

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In this screencast I walk through how to set up an iCal Server on your home server. I cover the basic set up of email notifications and resources, how to connect clients to your iCal calendar, how to add events to the calendar with resources, and the difference between individual and a shared family calendar and how to set them up. There are advantages and disadvantages to setting up your own calendar on server especially with iCloud and other calendaring services out there to handle the syncing of all of our calendars. But if you are looking for a way to have a great home calendar that everyone can be on that includes managing rooms and resources in your house, iCal Server is something you should check out!



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Home Server with Lion Server: Address Book Server

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In this screencast I cover how to set up your own personal Address Book Server using Lion Server. I talk about how to get the service started, how to add contacts to your new address book, and how to connect your client computers and users to your server so they can access and edit their contacts on your server. I also talk about the pros and cons of having one centralized address book for your whole family versus each person having their own address book and only having some contacts on a centralized address book. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below and feel free to share this on your social networks with the links at the bottom of this post.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Connect & Auto Mount AFP

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In this screencast tutorial I cover how to connect to the AFP shares we set up in the last tutorial. I show you how to connect both locally and remotely while on the road and also take a look at how to set up your AFP shares to auto mount so every time you start up your computer or login your favorite shares will automatically mount on your computer and be read for you to use. This comes in handy in a home server setting where a couple wants to share files that they both work on but don’t want to keep separate copies on both of their computers. This way they can be working not he originals and keep them in one place on the server. It also helps for the kids who can easily lose files or delete them by accident. This way they are located on the server and can be given permissions that don’t allow the kids to edit the files. Let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to share this video with your social networksHappy.



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Home Server with Lion Server: File Sharing & Home Folders

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In this screencast I cover how set up file sharing with Lion Server. One of the advantages of having a home server is the ability to share files with other people on your network and being able to access those files remotely from your server. In this tutorial I show you how to set up your users so they have permission to use the AFP file sharing protocol on your server so they can connect to those share points both locally and while they are on the road. I also cover one of the best features of Lion Server (especially for those with kids) and that is home folders. Home folders allow you to store a user’s home directory and all of their settings centrally on your server. The advantage of this is the fact that your kids can now log in to any computer on your network and have access to their stuff. No more arguing over who gets to use what computer! Let me know what you think in the comments below and be sure to share this video with anyone who might need it through your social networks.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Users & Groups

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One of the main reasons to have a server is to manage all of your devices and the users in your network. For home users this usually means your family and all the devices in your household. When setting up users in your household who will access the services you have available on your server you need to determine who needs what type of access and what services each person is allowed to access. So at home, you may want to limit the access your kids have to certain services like email, calendar, and maybe even some web services. You may want to give your spouse the ability to administer the server just in case you are not around to do it. Lion Server gives you the ability to set that up.

When managing multiple users it can be time consuming if you have to make changes on a per account basis, so Lion Server has the ability to set up groups that allow you to make changes to the group that filters down to all the users in that group. That way you can set up groups for your kids or other groups that allows you to make those changes once that will affect everyone in that group.

In this screencast, I cover setting up users and groups in Lion Server. I cover how to determine the difference between a local and directory account, how to add new users and set the right permissions for services, and how to use groups to make changes once that affect all the users in the group. Building on this in Part 7, we will cover how to set up home accounts on the server.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Profile Manager Set Up

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One of the best things about having a server is being able to manage the devices you have in your network from a centralized location. IT professionals have had the ability to do this for years but now with Lion Server, home users can now do the same thing with Profile Manager. Profile Manager allows you to manage all of your Apple computer, laptops, and iOS devices. Using profiles you can push changes to all devices at once, remotely wipe or reset devices, change passwords, and allow or restrict certain things.

In this tutorial, I cover how to set up Profile Manager. In the set up, Lion Server makes sure you have an Open Directory set up and your SSL Certificate in place (required for running Profile Manager). Open Directory allows you to manage global accounts and allows remote access as opposed to a local network directory which only allows local accounts. I am doing this tutorial early because Profile Manager sets up al the services required to run it without having to start each service separately. In a future screencast I will cover the web interface that is used to manage your devices and groups.



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Home Server with Lion Server: SSL Certificates

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If you are looking at accessing your server from a remote location or are going to have devices that access it from the internet, you will need to have an SSL Certificate set up. An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate is an encrypted connection from a remote computer to another computer. This encrypted line keeps people from “listening in” on your connection and allows your server an extra layer of validation.

In most cases you want an SSL Certificate from a trusted third party registrar who vouches for the identity of your server. You would want this type of certificate if you were hosting a business or a server that a lot of people from the outside world would be accessing. Since we are talking about a home server, the only people accessing your server are people in your household so you really don’t need to buy a certificate you can generate one within the Server.app which is called a self-signed certificate. This certificate still keeps your information secure and works just like a purchased certificate. The difference is that you will get a message when logging in the first time saying that the certificate is not validated by a third party and to make sure you know who generated the certificate. Once you check allow you won’t have to answer that question again and everything works behind the scenes.

In this screencast, I show you how to set up one of these certificates and get it installed on your server.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Port Forwarding

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In order to give your server and its services access to the internet, you need to make sure your router opens up access or “ports” to the internet so you can access those services over the internet. Opening this access is called “Port Forwarding” because it tells your router to forward certain traffic that comes in on a certain port to the proper service on your server. So your router serves as the gate keeper for all traffic in and out of your server as your router serves as a physical firewall keeping out traffic you don’t want to access your server. Thus, your router with port forwarding enabled allows you to access your server remotely over the internet while keeping others trying to access our server out unless they have been given access by you.

If your router happens to be an Airport Extreme Base Station, you can have Server App manage your router for you, making sure all the necessary ports are open and allow access to the services you have configured. If you don’t have an Airport Extreme or would like to do your own port forwarding, you can do this in the software that came with your router. It will usually be referred to as NAT (Network Address Translation) and will have a section for you to add ports that you want to open up. For Lion Server, you can see a list of ports it uses for certain services HERE. Below is a tutorial I put together that explains port forwarding and how to do it both in the Airport Utility that comes with the Airport Extreme Base Station and through the Server App in Lion Server.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Network Set Up

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To make sure your server will function properly you need to make sure you have the DNS of the server set up properly. You need your host name set up and configured, which means determining whether your server is local only or will be accessed on the internet and, if internet accessible, making sure your domain name points to the right external internet address of your router/server. To make sure that your server is accessible from both the internet and internally at the same address all the time, we need to make sure the server is assigned a static, or permanent, IP address. In most network settings there is what is called a DHCP server which distributes addresses to computers that come on and off the local network. The DHCP server works with a bank of addresses and makes sure no computers have the same addresses so everything runs smoothly. In most cases your router is the device that is distributing these addresses. Once a computer goes off the network that address could be used for another machine that is just coming on, so there is no guarantee that your server will get the same address every time your network goes down and comes back up, or your router reboots, or you reboot your server. This is where a static IP for your server solves this problem.

In this tutorial I walk you through the steps to assigning a static IP assigned to your server using an Airport Extreme Base Station. I also cover how to update the network settings on your server to make sure it is reading the right information. This is the second part of my home server tutorials and I’ll be following up with one on port mapping in the coming week.



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MoneyWell 2.0: Event Based Budgeting

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Budgeting is on one of those things most of us like to think we do but spend little time actually implementing it. If we do put a budget together we look at it after the fact and realize that we didn’t stick to it. For those serious about making budgeting a reality might use an envelope system of budgeting where their check is cashed and cash put in envelopes that represent their budget categories. Once the envelope is empty, you don’t spend any money in that category until the next check comes in. It is a physical way of keeping you from spending money you don’t have. The problem with that system in today’s world is the fact that everything is digital and it is difficult to keep on top of all of it. That is where MoneyWell 2.0 comes in. With MoneyWell’s event based budgeting system, built into the money management program, is the ability to set up buckets (the equivalent to envelopes) for each budget category and set up the amount each bucket has available to spend. From there you can monitor your money, just like you could with envelopes.

In this tutorial I cover the changes from version 1.7 of MoneyWell to it’s 2.0 version. I also cover the basics of using this software to set up a budget using an event based system which makes it far more flexible than the old version and saves a lot of time manually calculating what goes into each bucket category. I like the new system and think you will as well.



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Money Management with MoneyWell 2.0

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Managing finances can be a difficult thing with today’s complexities. Finding just the right computer software to help you with the task can be intimidating because there are so many titles out there. Most of the software out there really doesn’t help you manage your money. Instead it just becomes a fancy reminder of how badly you have managed your money and tells you where your money went instead of where it should go. In my search for good financial software, I came across a great software package called MoneyWell.

MoneyWell is not just a digital ledger for your finances, though it does that very well. It is also an envelope system at the same time. MoneyWell uses the analogy of buckets that you fill with money instead of envelopes. You set a budget based on your spending for different categories and MoneyWell lets you know how well you are doing against that budgeted amount. So you can actually see where your money is going instead of lamenting after the money is already gone. I have used this software for a few years now and I have really grown to love it.

Recently the developer of MoneyWell, Kevin Hoctor, put out a new update which changed the interface quite a bit. It really made it nicer to look at and updated it to the new Lion/iOS look and feel. Many people got upset and felt it was completely different and there was some uproar over at the Mac App Store about it. In and effort to show how the program is similar to old one and some of the things that have changed, I did this screencast. Hopefully it will help people to decide whether to upgrade or not. Personally, I like the new interface and some of the changes that were made. There are some things I would like to get back, but over all it has been a good upgrade for me.



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Home Server with Lion Server: Set Up & Installation

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As we get more and more sophisticated as home computer users and have more and more devices we have to manage as a result, the idea of a home server is becoming more and more attractive. Apple has recently made their industry grade server software very accessible for the home user with Lion Server. Deemed as “the server for everyone,” they have lowered the price from $400 to a $49 add on to your existing Lion Client install. They have also simplified the Server App interface and made set up relatively easy with assistants that do most of the work for you.

Still with all of the improvements, this is still a server package and as a result has some complexity to it over what you may be used to with your current client software. To help you through the process of setting up and installing a home server, I am doing a series of screencasts on Lion Server to walk you through the process. This tutorial includes thinking through hardware, setting up a domain name if you want to access your server from outside your home, initial installation, and setting up your host name. All of this is done from the perspective of adding Server to your existing lion install not a new computer set up.



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Slink: Remote Computer Management

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One of the things I am constantly having to do is fix my relatives computers. I am the resident computer guy so they all naturally come to me for help. Now I don’t mind helping and I actually enjoy it in some ways, but it can be extremely frustrating when you can’t actually see the screen of those you are trying to help. Because my relatives are spread out all over the country, I am not able to sit with them to help them resolve their computer issues. If you have ever tried to help someone on the phone and walk them through what to click to fix the problem, you know how frustrating that can be. Well I’ve found a program that has helped me to support my family that is cheap and works extremely well and it’s a program called Slink.

Slink is a remote computer management program that is simple to use. You install the main management component on your computer. Then you install a small preference pane program on each of the computers you want to manage. You only pay for the management component which is currently $19.99 US in the Mac App Store. Once this is all set up, you add your relatives computers to your computer list and connect to those computers with a unique code that each has. Once you have those computers added, you only have to click the computer you want to connect with from a menubar drop down, plug in their password, and you are all set. The cool thing is it sets your computer up as if you are on the local network of the computer you are trying to help. That way you can share the screen and connect to any of the bonjour services that your relative may have running on their computer, including iTunes home sharing and iPhoto sharing.

It really is a neat package. I did a screen cast walkthrough on it which you can view below. The developer Olof is a really great guy and offers excellent support. If you are the IT department for your family you will find this tool indispensable!

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iTunes Match Part 4-Troubleshooting

In this screencast I go over some things you can try to get some of your uploaded files to match. Since Apple doesn't tell us what they use, we can only guess at some of the things that might make a match happen. Based on some research on what some have reported as working for them, I show how to change metadata and song length in an attempt to move a song from uploaded to matched. I have had limited success with this, but since I have had a few songs work, I thought I would share this just in case you have a few songs you really want to try to get matched. If you have any other suggestions of things to try or something that has worked for you, leave a comment in below and if I can get it to work I'll try to do another screencast on it.

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iTunes Match Part 3-Upgrading Your Music

In this screencast I cover how to upgrade your music to iTunes Plus 256kbps. We also cover a way to determine which songs in your library need to be upgraded and I walk you through how to get all of your iTunes Match music on other computers for streaming or downloading.

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iTunes Match Part 2-Understanding Your Match Results

Here is another screencast I did on iTunes Match. In this screencast I cover how to see your match results and determine what was matched, uploaded, or ineligible. We also talk about how to begin to troubleshoot some of the issues in iTunes Match. In a future screencast we will cover how to upgrade your songs and some techniques for getting some of your unmatched songs to match. Enjoy!

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Making the Move to iCloud

Apple recently revamped their MobileMe service and moved it to iCloud which is a way to keep all of your information in sync between your devices and also available in the cloud. This is a major update and involves a few steps to get everything moved over so I thought I would do a screencast to record my process of moving my MobileMe account over to iCloud for those who are visual and want to see what will happen step by step before they take the leap. In the video I reference a few sites that Apple has put up to help walk people through the process so I am putting the links below for those who just want the facts and don’t need to see the walk through. This is my first podcast so there are probably some things in the production that are not quite right such as the number of times I say “um”.

How to Set Up iCloud: http://www.apple.com/icloud/setup/

MobileMe Move Site
: http://mobileme.com/move

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