March 2023 – MacAdmins Meeting

March 2023 – MacAdmins Meeting

Match 15th, 2023 – University of Utah, MacAdmins Meeting


The University of Utah, MacAdmins Meeting is held monthly virtually on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 11 AM Mountain Time. Presentations cover Apple technology and integration in a heterogeneous university enterprise environment. This month’s meeting will be held on Wed, March 15th, 2023 at 11 AM MT and we will provide live broadcasts and archives that will be made available 2-3 days after the meeting.


DFU Blaster and Automaton 2 – Timothy Perfitt, Twocannoes Software

Learn more about 2 new projects from Twocanoes Software, DFU Blaster, and Automaton 2.

DFU Blaster makes putting an Apple Silicon Mac into DFU mode easy.  DFU stands for Device Firmware Update. DFU mode is a state that can be put a Mac device into that allows it to communicate with software on a computer to update or restore the device’s firmware, operating system, or other low-level software. Putting a Mac into DFU mode is different than putting it into Recovery Mode or Safe Mode. In DFU mode, the device is completely powered off and its firmware is waiting for instructions from the Mac. This mode is typically used for more advanced troubleshooting or when the device is not responding to normal restore or update methods.

Automaton 2 enables GUI automaton for setting up and deploying Macs (and anything else that uses a keyboard). The updated Automaton, Automaton 2, adds 3 buttons, 5 LEDS, and a macOS application to create custom GUI scripting workflows easily. We will talk about how DFU Blaster and Automaton 2 work and how they can be used together to make setting up and deploying Macs a breeze!  

About Timothy Perfitt

Timothy Perfitt is the Founder and President of Twocanoes Software located in Naperville, IL. Tim started Twocanoes Software after a decade of working at Apple, Inc, in engineering. He is the creator of Winclone, Boot Runner, MDS, Smart Card Utility, and many more successful products focused on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. His most recent open-source project, XCreds, provides a powerful and secure way to authenticate to cloud providers from the Mac.

Tim is focused on macOS and iOS authentication, including certificate-based authentication, smart cards, remote access, and code signing. Tim has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree from California State University. Tim enjoys renovating his grandfathers’ Model A and going to the dog park with his two labs.

  • Video – To view the archived presentation video, click here.


Outset Swift Port – Bart Reardon, CSIRO

Outset is a utility application that automatically processes scripts and packages during the boot sequence, user logins, or on demand. Outset operates by executing scripts at specific times during the device’s startup and login processes, making it easier to automate tasks that would typically require manual intervention. Outset scripts can be used to perform a wide range of tasks, including installing software updates, configuring network settings, setting up user accounts, etc. One of the advantages of using Outset for MacAdmins is that it can help reduce the amount of time and effort required to manage a large number of Mac devices, making it an ideal solution for IT departments or organizations with many Apple devices. 

The swift port of Outset is a direct feature-for-feature (almost) replacement for the python version of Outset by Joseph Chilcote.

Bart will go over the reasons for porting Outset to Swift, why I think Outset is still relevant in 2023, and the motivations for moving the project to the MacAdmins Open Source community GitHub.

About Bart Reardon

Bart has worked for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for over 20 years and is based in Canberra, Australia. He currently works for CSIRO’s desktop infrastructure team and leads development for the Mac and Linux Desktop SOEs and manages 1500 workstations using JAMF, Munki, puppet, and other open source tools as well as has provided contributions to Munki, macOSLAPS and Nudge, and is currently developing swiftDialog.

  • Video – To view the archived presentation video, click here.
  • Slides – To view the archived presentation slides, click here.


SimpleMDM Overview – Zach Fegan & Eric McCann, SimpleMDM

On February 24th, 2021, PDQ, a provider of system management tools, announced that they had acquired SimpleMDM, a cloud-based Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution for Apple devices. The acquisition was made to expand PDQ’s offerings and provide its customers with a comprehensive solution for managing both desktop and mobile devices.

SimpleMDM is a cloud-based Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that allows organizations to manage and secure their Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs. SimpleMDM provides a centralized platform for IT administrators to deploy, configure, and monitor devices, as well as enforce security policies and maintain compliance. With SimpleMDM, administrators can remotely manage device settings and configurations, install and update apps, monitor device health and activity, and track device location. The platform supports a wide range of device management capabilities, including device enrollment, device restrictions, application management, security and compliance policies, and remote management tools.

We will be demonstrating the software from within the SimpleMDM web console so attendees will be able to see the product in action.

The presentation will include various features including:

  • Automated Device Deployment
  • Security Policy Implementation
  • General device actions (wipe, restart, clear passcode)
  • Configuration profiles

About Zach Fegan

Zach began his IT journey by working as a help desk grunt in 2014. After moving his way up from Help Desk Lead to End User Engineer, he made a jump and joined PDQ’s Solutions team as a Sales Engineer. Now, Zach is responsible for introducing new customers to all of the features and benefits of both PDQ and SimpleMDM. In this role, he has found a passion for helping other IT professionals find ways to make either job simpler, and overall improve the quality of their work. When not talking about our products you can find him spending time with his family, reading books about history, or admiring his lawn with his hands on his hips while rocking some New Balances.

About Eric McCann

Eric is one of the longest-tenured members of the SimpleMDM team and has taken on many roles, including lead technical support engineer, sales engineer, technical writer, and now product manager. His hobbies include hanging out with his dog and doom scrolling Zillow and sobbing.

  • Video – To view the archived presentation video, click here.


Open Discussion

Questions, comments, problems, and fixes.



Due to the coronavirus (aka Covid-19) crisis, this meeting will not be meeting in person but will currently be done virtually using Zoom video communications architecture.

With Zoom we will implement the following security best practices:
  • Require a Password to Join This meeting will require a password to join the meeting. Information will be emailed via a campus internal list, but if you are external and want to attend the meeting, please use the contact us form to receive details. Else, the archive of the meeting will be available 2-3 days after the live meeting.

    • Waiting Room When joining the meeting you will be placed in the Waiting Room by default and the hosts will give you access to the live meeting.

  • Miscellaneous We will also implement other settings and safeguards to secure the meeting.

Archived Presentation(s)

  • Archives of the presentations will be available on this web page.
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