Episode 300: Just Us
It’s just us again, and that means we’re talking about everything going on right now. Layoffs, new hardware, Ventura and Deferrals, and then Passkeys, Hardware Tokens and Apple IDs, and more.
- Tom Bridge, Principal Product Manager, JumpCloud – @tbridge777
- Charles Edge, CTO, Bootstrappers.mn – @cedge318
- Marcus Ransom, Senior Sales Engineer, Jamf – @marcusransom
- What explains recent tech layoffs, and why should we be worried? | Stanford News
- MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch – Tech Specs – Apple
- Mac mini – Technical Specifications – Apple
- HomePod – Apple
- Kensington Locking Kit for Mac Studio – Apple
Click here to read the transcript
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Hello and welcome to the Mac Admins Podcast. I’m your host, Tom Bridge, and it’s great to be back with you, Charles and Marcus. How are you today?
Tom Bridge (00:01:00):
Hello and welcome to the Mac Admins podcast. I’m your host Tom Bridge, and it’s not Sunday. This is a different day of the week . Um, you know, we’re here on the middle of the week, or giving James way less time to edit that. So, uh, apologies, James, who’s listening to this right now, cursing our very names. You know, we’re thrilled to be with you guys at a little bit of a different time this week. You know, talking a little bit about everything that’s been going on. So, you know, I think that, you know, first I want to kind of check in with everybody cuz I feel like, uh, you know, here at, at JumpCloud we, we had a bit of a, you know, a restructure, uh, last week and had to say goodbye to a hundred of our colleagues. And, you know, we’ve been seeing layoffs, uh, throughout the tech sector and the tech industry. How are you guys doing? What’s the market tell you right now in terms of, you know, how do you feel about the tech market generally speaking? Charles,
Charles Edge (00:01:48):
That is a very interesting question. I would say starting at organizations like Y Combinator, we started hearing new guidance, uh, from investors, which, you know, previous guidance was kind of grow at all costs. Your value as an organization is a multiple, let’s call it twenty three, twenty five, thirty times your revenue. And so investing heavily into hypergrowth made a lot more sense. And as economic downturns come, there are safer investments like bonds, things, uh, interest based investments that have very little risk, but have pseudos similar types of rewards, perceived maybe not in reality, I, I have no idea, but blended across a lot of investments. It, it nets out to be somewhat similar. And so that put the breaks on a lot of hyper-growth type things. And companies are being given the guidance by investors especially. What are you guys? Series e, series j I think
Tom Bridge (00:03:01):
Charles Edge (00:03:02):
At this point. Yeah. Um, so especially organizations that are, that are past that series C spot. But even I’m seeing this guidance given to series A type companies, you know, where you’re talking about less than 5 million in revenue. Um, and, and so as you’re getting this guidance of get profitable in the tech sector, especially software, what is our biggest cost? You know, it’s, it’s those headcounts, regrettably, and I I find a lot of organizations, when you see a whole slew of sellers being cut, um, you know, go to market teams, that’s often the lower, um, earning sellers in terms of quotas. Um, and then, you know, the, the sellers who meet their quota or exceed their quota ever, you know, the, they’re fairly safe. But yeah, it’s really regrettable to see. And I, I would say there’s kind of a magic number out there, right? Like most organizations are given guidance of cut five, six, 7%, and you see a lot cut somewhere between 10 and 13 because reporting changes for various, um, that, that triggers different types of, of reporting requirements back to whomever hr, um, deems needs to be reported to. So
Tom Bridge (00:04:29):
Yeah, the WARN act in the United States is the one that I always think about. You know, it’s the it, if you’re gonna have a mass action like that, you’ve got a warrant. You’ve, you’ve gotta give a warning in the, in the various state jurisdictions. Yeah. Um, you know, for those kind
Charles Edge (00:04:42):
Of things. And, you know, in the US it’s not uncommon, especially in right to work states, which really means right to fire. Yeah. Anytime. It’s not uncommon to see people who get two weeks severance. I, I think most big tech shops do something of to the effect of two months, three months mm-hmm. , because you don’t want to get known as that company who booted people. But I’ve seen people deported based on some of these layoffs where like, you know, they bought a house in Silicon Valley or something, and then all of a sudden a layoff comes and they don’t have a job and they don’t have another job lined up and they get a get out of the country letter, which is pretty rude. But also, you know, it’s the law I guess still
Tom Bridge (00:05:29):
Means, I mean, there have been, you know, there are some, uh, if you are in that situation here in the United States, now, there are more programs for folks with those kind of situations where there is now 12 months of forbearance, uh, where, and that’s actually in part due to Covid. Um, and so, you know, please do talk to immigration attorneys, um, before, you know, you just leave the country cuz there are all sorts of opportunities now, um, to, you know, remain. Um, which I think is a good thing.
Charles Edge (00:05:59):
Yeah. You know, I, I do think it’s, it’s hard to say that this will turn around fairly quickly and, uh, you know, you never know, right? But I, from, from what I’m seeing, revenues have not slowed in a lot of organizations. And it’s, it’s hard to say, like, and, and this is according to the, the size of customer that you’re selling into. You know, if, if you’re selling into 30 person companies and they just had to cut five people, then your revenues will naturally kind of trimmed back. But there is a lot of really positive guidance in the financial sector, and part of, part of me hopes that this is short term and it’s just bolstering profits and will bounce out of it somewhat quickly because there’s definitely a knock on effect.
Tom Bridge (00:06:54):
Yeah, I really hope so. You know,
Charles Edge (00:06:55):
Tom Bridge (00:06:56):
I mean, part of me thinks that we’re getting the recession that we’ve predicted, you know, like that, that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy in a lot of ways. If we end up in a recession, it’s because we’ve been saying for six to nine months, oh, we’re acting like it’s a recession already, despite the data to the contrary,
Charles Edge (00:07:13):
Marcus Ransom (00:07:14):
Look, I was just about to say that for, for me, someone, you know, so I’ve, I’ve been, I think been made redundant four times now, three of those in the design industry where that was kind of part of the course just due to people who should never be managing companies, managing companies, and then higher education
Charles Edge (00:07:33):
Marcus Ransom (00:07:34):
Exactly. , um, you know, where, you know, higher education as anyone who’s worked in higher education. It’s just this constant cycle of restructuring, which was more about redesigning and strategy rather than financial crisis. And, you know, in, in all of those scenarios, it was businesses in isolation deciding to make change. And, and this scenario, which is sort of more akin to previous recessions we’ve seen where there’s lots of businesses going through this at the same time, it can be really quite terrifying for the people impacted, because it’s not just the case of, or our, our organization has made a structural change. And there are this many people who might be in similar roles who are out there going for all of the open opportunities at the moment. There are lots and lots and lots of people and not so many people hiring because a lot of organizations who maybe aren’t at the letting people go stage, um, are probably, you know, rightfully so going well, we might, might have a hiring freeze or, you know, be really considering what sort of salaries we’re offering and, and those sorts of things.
So the human impact of that, you know, we, we can look at all of the, you know, the financial and strategic analysis of why and how and everything like that. And they’re all really valid things to think. But at the end of the day, you know, I remember in one of my redundancies being told Marcus, you know, just, we want you to understand that it’s not you personally that’s being made redundant. It’s your position that’s being made redundant. And my response was, well, unfortunately, I personally am employed in that position. So it’s kind of the same thing, isn’t it? Um, yeah. And these are, these are people who, as, as you were saying with, with visas, have lives and family and responsibility and anxiety and fear, and
Charles Edge (00:09:26):
The anxiety part is huge for me. Like, I, I cannot imagine being at one of the big tech firms who’s saying, we’re gonna cut 12% of our workforce Yeah. And be show up to work every day sweating like, am I about to lose this cu not kush, um, this excellent opportunity Yeah. That I’ve been, you know, um, that I
Marcus Ransom (00:09:52):
Worked hard to get. And, and then it becomes like hunger games where mm-hmm. all of a sudden your colleagues are now competition for, you know, how do you, you know, it’s like, you know, you don’t need to outrun the line, you just need to outrun the other person. Yeah. And whether consciously or subconsciously that starts, um, happening to teams where all of a sudden the people that you’re working together with to try and achieve results, um, all of a sudden, you know, that whole dynamic changes. Um Oh,
Tom Bridge (00:10:25):
Absolutely. You know, I think that there’s some really interesting stories from, uh, Stanford professor who studied a lot of large organizations, and I’m talking really here, you know, the Fortune 100 s of the world, and talking about how layoffs didn’t save them anything over the period of time that they did it as a, as a defensive mechanism that didn’t actually pay off in terms of cost. Because layoffs thought by themselves have costs. You pay severance, you pay benefits, you pay all of these things. And if you’re gonna rehire a bunch of those same positions in 12 to 18 months, you’re better off keeping the people you have in their
Charles Edge (00:10:59):
Positions because it’s gonna cost you 25 points of a salary to hire them back quickly. Yeah. If you have to go fast and correct. Yeah. And, and the other side of that, the world desperately needs more innovation faster right now. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s the pace of innovation that allows the economic curves to rise at the, at the rate that they’ve risen over the past 30 years. And when we entrench in this way, then what ends up happening is that innovation comes out of companies like in the sixties, Hewlett Packard and new firms are born that are gonna compete and destroy those existing firms who are slowing down and maybe need to be destroyed. So whatever there, but yeah, I, my heart goes out to the individuals who are impacted in these types of scenarios, whether it’s 2008, I I remember we started three 18 just before the 2001. And, you know, I I’m sure that these years somewhat correlate to your, um, to your pink slips. Marcus. I know
Marcus Ransom (00:12:10):
very much so. Yeah.
Tom Bridge (00:12:11):
By, I was gonna say I absolutely, we started teary in 2006, right ahead of the 2008 spot. The reason that we made it, as long as we, I mean, we’re still active, but like the reason that, you know, we took off and were able to expand was because of the 2008 contraction. Yeah. There are, you know, organizations. Yeah. I mean, consulting is a place that will benefit from this. MSPs tend to benefit from places doing outsourcing. Yeah, yeah. Um,
Charles Edge (00:12:35):
In really good economic climate, MSPs, their valuations drop to, oh yeah. Potentially 1.4, 1.3, I’ve seen, um, X revenue and during really bad economic downturns, they can be as high as 2.5 x revenue, um, compared to a software company that can hit 25 or 30 x revenue. That’s not all that great. But, you know, um, it is interesting watching, like some of those firms are valued more today than they were before any economic issues. Meanwhile, if China were to say, we’re not gonna invade Taiwan and Russia were to get the hell out Yeah. of Ukraine, then all of this would pretty much be fixed and go away. Yeah. You know? Correct. So, I mean, I understand investor concerns about global crises, you know, whether it’s, I, I mean, if we look at what happened with Covid, like the market quote unquote dipped, but then everybody who invested when it was down at that low ended up making boatloads of money. They’ve lost half of what they made in the, in the recent year. But, you know, it’s just like the only thing to fear is fear and self type stuff. , you know, I mean, historically, if there’s enough food to feed everybody, economies continue to rise. You know, so
Marcus Ransom (00:14:10):
I wouldn’t want to be a financial analyst or, or someone being involved in, you know, short, medium, or long-term strategic planning for a business at the moment because
Charles Edge (00:14:20):
Yeah, I, I kind of said it the confluence of both of those in my day job . So I wouldn’t want to be either or both, either .
Tom Bridge (00:14:30):
But that said, Charles, slip me some good advice here, .
Charles Edge (00:14:34):
Yeah. I got none. I got none. I mean, yeah. The, the
Marcus Ransom (00:14:39):
Other, the other thing that’s really interesting in inverted commas to see is the way organizations are handling this. So all of the comments coming out of Google Alphabet, for example, about, you know, people just not being able to get into their office the next morning or, or
Charles Edge (00:14:59):
File expense reports on confirm. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mm-hmm. . Yeah. You read those articles and you’re like, I get it. Also compliance. So I get the other side of it, but Ouch.
Marcus Ransom (00:15:12):
Yeah. But, uh, you know, then, then the other side of it, organizations, you know, there’s, there’s one that just started popping up today that, uh, you know, using the same all hands announcement to talk about number of people being removed and also really congratulate people on promotions and talk about how proud they are. And I think there’s sort of, I don’t know if there’s a level of empathy that chat G P t isn’t able to interpret correctly when it’s writing
Charles Edge (00:15:40):
Of chat G p
Marcus Ransom (00:15:41):
T Yeah. But people that, that really reminded me of one of, um, this was a round of layoffs in a design company where I was fortunate enough to stay. Um, but everyone who stayed was sort of going, okay, well, are we just the next round and the day after the layoffs and everybody’s salary is getting reduced by 20%, we then got the, and here’s how my barramundi fishing trip to the top end is going from the c e o
Charles Edge (00:16:07):
. Oh, that is. So, oh,
Marcus Ransom (00:16:10):
We, we really, oh man. Really appreciated seeing those photos mm-hmm. , we’re so happy for him. We were so happy for him.
Charles Edge (00:16:19):
. Yeah. Now is, now is not the time to be extra as a executive who has, uh, s one filing Yeah. Requirements with the S e C or whatever the version of the S e C is in whatever country you are in as a listener. , you know, not to be overly American about this, but, um, but, you know, to, to be extracting money from an organization right this second is just a very bad look. I, I think. Yeah. Um,
Marcus Ransom (00:16:54):
And then that, that’s something, you know, we, we, we love to, um, we love to beat up Apple a lot on this podcast, despite the life choices we’ve, we’ve made. But seeing, seeing, you know, Tim Cook, just say, Hey, like, why is it I’m only gonna accept 40? I’m, I’m gonna cut my salary by 49 million. Um, which, you know, that seems reasonable, um, especially considering what’s left in the salary that’s, you know, enough to, you know,
Charles Edge (00:17:23):
Buy a small, a
Marcus Ransom (00:17:24):
Few packets of ramen and, and keep going. But, um, you
Charles Edge (00:17:26):
Know, like, I think you’ll be okay.
Marcus Ransom (00:17:28):
Yeah. But optics is a very important thing here. And you know, that, that, that was a really interesting approach. And I, you know, I don’t think there’s a good way to do any of this when you’re impacting people’s lives. And when you are talking about steering a ship in an entirely different direction to get around something, there’s always gonna be people who are gonna be hurt, hurt and people who are gonna disagree. And it’s hard.
Charles Edge (00:17:57):
Meanwhile, Tim Cook is sitting there at one of the safest bets on the market, potentially, you know? Oh,
Tom Bridge (00:18:03):
No question. So, I mean, I also will point out that, you know, it, you know, if you look at the way that Apple has hired over the years, they haven’t expanded their ranks substantially. They’ve hired where they need to hire, um, they haven’t gone out on some, you know, immense talent search. They’ll hire the right person for the right role at the right time, but they are not laying people off in droves the way that the Googles and the Amazons and the Microsofts. Yeah. And, you know, the Netflixes and the fan and the Metas are,
Charles Edge (00:18:30):
Well, I mean, if you go back to when did they go public? 81 80 mm-hmm. 70, not se not in the seventies, it was in the eighties. But yeah, they’ve been public for a long time. You know, they’ve suffered some pretty interesting CEOs and I, you know, Steve Jobs a absolutely a creative genius once in a generation tycoon esque figure. But Tim Cook is arguably the best c e o you know, in the world right now. I, I would argue, I mean, and not just because it’s the largest company or the most valuable company in the world, but because I mean, what you just mentioned, like, oh, I’m gonna take a pay cut. I’m not asking you guys to, I’m doing it, you know? Yep. I mean, um, Steve Jobs may have made a dollar, but he made plenty in stock options in exchange for that dollar. So, of which
Marcus Ransom (00:19:25):
Probably must he never got around to spending either, which is , you know,
Charles Edge (00:19:29):
Regrettable for him. Yeah. Um, yeah. So, you know, moving on. Cause I, I wouldn’t want anyone to take anything worse saying as financial advice cuz just throwing this out there, even though it’s my day job, I don’t know crap about anything. Anyone who’s read any of my code knowns, I don’t know anything about coding . And you can assume that any write-ups that I do on financial analysis is very similar. So , you know, in fact, sometimes I pace the wrong thing and the wrong thing. And , you’ve got, you’ve got people trying to read my financial analysis as code. So, whoops,
Marcus Ransom (00:20:08):
I just bought the wrong company .
Charles Edge (00:20:10):
Tom Bridge (00:20:11):
man. Imagine G P t asking g p t for financial advice, man. And, uh, , I gotta say
Charles Edge (00:20:19):
I’m not down with the chat g p t just yet.
Tom Bridge (00:20:23):
. Yeah. It’s hard saying hard. Same. I have real problems with that one. I, um, there was a really funny one the other day where, you know, somebody asked, uh, chat g p t like, you know, what, what was the best way to make Mac os Ventura do this task and chat G P T? He’s like, whoa, whoa, whoa, bro, that operating system doesn’t exist. because it was all trained in 20 and 20, 21 before that, but before all of those things exist. So yeah, there’s some great, really great ones out there on the, which
Charles Edge (00:20:55):
Is understandable. Yeah. Um, are you sure, having said that, there are some pretty cool stuff. It’s just a, yeah. Like a slim perhaps a, a somewhat slam use case. Um, so, but talk about,
Marcus Ransom (00:21:10):
There’s also, there’s also, just, just going back on that one, there’s also, I’ve sort of looked at it from two directions. There’s the technical, okay. Um, you, if you can feed it reasonable import, um, and then carefully read through what it’s given you, it might be a good way of structuring things. Um, but I saw another, another point of view of looking at that is, you know, from technical writing where you can get a sort of a, and I’m interested to get your input on this one, Charles, as, as someone who you know is, is, um, you know, done a lot of technical writing, people saying they’ll feed an input and get it to really thrash out the content and everything like that. But hearing people say, well, sometimes that’s how the art of technical writing, I know the art of putting together a conference presentation is often about trying to understand something you know nothing about. And if we’re outsourcing that sort of working through and structuring information, are we actually then becoming dumber by, by missing out
Charles Edge (00:22:09):
On? Oh, for sure. That odd of
Marcus Ransom (00:22:11):
Putting things together.
Charles Edge (00:22:12):
Oh, I, I don’t want to go off on a rant here because poor listeners, when I started writing paragraphs were five sentences, maybe six today, paragraphs are three sentences. When I started writing, especially in the technical side of things, you wrote at a maybe 10th grade level, now you’re supposed to write at a sixth grade level. In fact, some of the tools out there actually grade your writing to, to tell you what grade level and you want to be below six, you know, or or year six I guess in Australia or, you know, whatever. Yeah. But to me, um, I, I want things to be approachable to more and more people. So from that perspective, I dig it, but also there’s a dilution of the output that is, if, if I say my target audience is advanced, then it’s okay in my mind to have 11th grade writing.
Yeah. You know, year 11 writing, if I say my target audience is basic or entry level, then yeah, I want to bring it down because I want the content to being more approachable so that the technical concepts can be more easily digested, you know? Um, but the way that publishers and especially web publishers have digested that and internalized it as such that, well, it’s the lowest common denominator. All content now must be below sixth grade level, you know, and chat G p T esque type things can do that, but that’s the max out place. Yeah. You know, um, and, and anything above and beyond that is, uh, unapproachable at, at from a machine learning perspective today. I, you know, maybe, maybe not forever, but, um, but yeah, there’s, there’s no depth, you know? Yeah. I can, I can have chat. G P T and I, I experimented with some of this, having it write some basic articles. And if you notice there haven’t been that many articles on encrypted, because I’m experimenting with chat B G P T and being like, I’m not publishing that. That’s garbage , because all it’s doing is analyzing like a rich trouten post on something similar, dumbing it down and preparing it to be published, you know, . And I’m like, ah, i’s just gonna read Rich’s article way better , you know, .
So yeah, I, I think for a chat support type thing that, that to me, you know, you want that to be super approachable, super basic. You want anyone to be able to read it. But I, I’m not really into that as until it stop
Marcus Ransom (00:25:12):
Stops telling you that you can solve your login problems on your MacBook care by sticking it in the microwave for 10 minutes on high, because it’s, um,
Charles Edge (00:25:20):
I mean, that’ll solve a lot of problems. Yeah.
Tom Bridge (00:25:23):
Charles Edge (00:25:23):
A lot of problems. You gotta a problem with your in lawnmower that’ll solve that too. . Yeah. If you invent it in the microwave ,
Tom Bridge (00:25:30):
You’ll definitely know what the solution is to that problem. When you work
Charles Edge (00:25:33):
Done your lawnmower,
Marcus Ransom (00:25:34):
When, what starts, when it starts analyzing or not being able to tell the difference with, you know, I’m, I’m thinking of Dana s SIMer and Nano Raptors amazing, um, images of surprise and unknown max, which are just terrifyingly awful in the best possible way. mm-hmm. , um, when AI doesn’t realize it’s being played and you can feed it, you know, jokes and all of a sudden those, you know, it, it’s, it’s like the way conspiracy theories and false information in Wikipedia starts manifesting its way through. It’s like that’s, you know, where’s the fact checking team, um, for the fake news for chat G p T?
Charles Edge (00:26:16):
So take some of these Reddit stock type people, you know, you can tell some of the hedging positions being placed based on reversing the machine learning algorithm used to place the hedge. Um, whether it’s puts or calls, like, you know, you can see some of these things and you can kind of reverse engineer exactly where that target piece is. And if you’re smart enough to do that without the insider information of a hedge fund analyst who leaks it, um, then you can try to defeat it, whether it’s a GameStop or an AMC type stock, you know, and, and some of these things you’re like, there is inherent danger in overly simplified machine learning models. A and that to me is super scary. E especially when it comes to information and security. Like yeah. When I see a vendor release a quote unquote new, um, machine learning model to do some kind of malware analysis or something like that, I’m like, wow, the false sense of security you get and the telemetry I get as an attacker into what you’re doing based on that model, which a lot of times I can just pull outta your app is frightening, you know?
So anyways, it’s like the random XKCD of just hitting someone with a wrench is there is a digital wrench that you can hit machine learning with to have the same kind of kind of approach. Right. And, and, you know, you could just say, you, you can, what are, what are some of the other examples that I used and something I was writing recently, um, supply chain, right? Like I, in Excel, it’s very easy to, to guess what the next field is. If I know six months worth of buying patterns for someone, it’s very easy to guess that next one. Um, and you can use logarithmic and, and various check boxes and whatever, but that’s not even quote unquote machine learning, but it’s tried and true for 30 years, you know? Um, but if you can guess that, and you can guess what someone is about to order, and you can go and order those parts before they can order them and then sell it to them, for more money, , like, some of this stuff is just like
Tom Bridge (00:28:39):
Charles Edge (00:28:40):
Yeah. But anyways, when people used to just go and till a field for, for their, for work , that was, I don’t, no, I don’t What was that like? I don’t know. I’m, I’m not built for that either. . Um, so Tom, do you wanna tell us about new, who wants to tell us about new Apple hardware? Because, well,
Tom Bridge (00:29:01):
I, I’ll, I’ll dive on that grenade. So it was funny, I was, I was dropping off, you know, Charlie at school and I, I, I, I happened to check my Twitter account while I was sitting at a stoplight and I was like, oh, new Apple stuff hit today. I wasn’t expecting That’s a weird month
Charles Edge (00:29:15):
For that to happen,
Tom Bridge (00:29:16):
. Well, I mean, traditionally it’s not, right? Like, I mean, if we think about, you know, Mac and Mac World Expo in San Francisco in January, apple would come out with a whole bunch of new stuff. So, I mean, it’s not the only time of year that we see things later in the spring or, or even all the way into the fall or even into November and December like we have in the last couple of years. But, uh, you know, they were brand new MacBook Pros and brand new Mac Minis, uh, as part of the announcement the other day. And then of course the day after that we got new home pods, which nobody was
Charles Edge (00:29:48):
Tom Bridge (00:29:49):
Nobody. Um, yeah.
Charles Edge (00:29:50):
And there are even available in Australia. Here
Marcus Ransom (00:29:52):
Tom Bridge (00:29:54):
Which is awesome. First I wanna talk about the Mac Mini, cuz I love the Mac Mini. The Mac Mini is probably my favorite Mac. I’m probably the only person who feels that way. No. And the
Charles Edge (00:30:03):
Intro price is still $600, right? 5 99.
Tom Bridge (00:30:07):
Oh wait, they lowered it, it used to be 6 99. It was, it’s now 5 99. Um, and you get an M two chip in there, eight core cpu, 10 core gpu, um, with, you know, eight gigs of memory, uh, 256 gigs of S S D, um, configurer. Those values are configurable up to 24 gigs of RAM or two up to two terabytes of stores of solid state. You can support two displays off of these devices on the, uh, on the low end. We’ll talk about the high end in a minute. Um, and you get, you know, multiple Thunderbolt four ports and on H D M I out on those devices, this is a nice, nice bump. And with this process gone are the Intel MAC Minis Yeah. They are no longer for sale. Where should
Charles Edge (00:30:51):
They have been for the last year or two? I mean, let’s agreed. And
Tom Bridge (00:30:55):
Yet here we are. Yeah. You know, for an extra 200 bucks, you get another, um, five to 256 gigs of SSDs, you’re up to half a terra. Um, but no more additional memory for the, for the jump from, uh, 5 99 to 7 99. Apple also now has an M two PRO chip. The M two PRO chip, um, is very much like the M one Pro as compared to the M one. Um, you’re gonna get a lot more, uh, options for CPU cores and there are multiple options, uh, that are configurable here, um, for the, you know, for the M two pro. Um, you know, if you look at the selection page, I think that you get the opportunity to go up to, what was it, 12 cores? 19, uh, 12 cores of cpu, 19 cores of gpu, uh, for an extra 300 bucks. Not
Charles Edge (00:31:41):
So what, 32 of memory? Yeah.
Tom Bridge (00:31:44):
Yeah. 32 gigs of memory and up to eight terabytes of, of flash storage on that box. Um, 10 gig ethernet, uh, gets to be an option for another a hundred bucks, which means if you max out the Mac Mini with an M two Pro and all of the high end tier options, you get up to $4,500.
Charles Edge (00:32:01):
Tom Bridge (00:32:02):
Us. Which is, that’s wild.
Charles Edge (00:32:04):
Tom Bridge (00:32:05):
That is a beefy boy. When you talk about,
Charles Edge (00:32:08):
You know, it’s still less than what a monthly net would be for running your workflows in AWS . Exactly. So, correct.
Tom Bridge (00:32:16):
Still cheaper than getting your own dedicated mini at aws. So
Marcus Ransom (00:32:20):
For, you know, if, depending on what your birth rates are, like sometimes just going down to the Apple store and grabbing a couple of these, um, and then ing that you did that last month as well, and Oh, hang on. That’s what’s in the bottom of that cupboard there. But
Charles Edge (00:32:35):
Yeah, if your auto package server is costing more than X, then
Marcus Ransom (00:32:43):
Sometimes, sometimes in large organizations, it’s easier that way. And the security team feels better about it being in a w s than being under the sink in the salary or wherever
Charles Edge (00:32:57):
Of a . Yeah, I, I can definitely dig. Oh, well two more information security engineers salaries would be x . So let’s just use AWS and punt this. Yeah. You know, I i hundred percent that, but yeah.
Tom Bridge (00:33:10):
Oh yeah. So we get a new AC mini out of the deal. The, the top line, the M two, uh, version of the MAC Mini can support a third display so you don’t just get two, oh, I thought it was four three. Uh, it, it says, uh, up to three displays, two displays with up to 6K resolution at 60 hertz over Thunderbolt and one display with up to 4K resolution. Oh, at 60 hertz over H D M I.
Charles Edge (00:33:34):
Yeah, I’m getting old four 4K whatever, . Yep.
Tom Bridge (00:33:38):
So, you know, plenty
Charles Edge (00:33:40):
Of displays htmi though, right?
Tom Bridge (00:33:42):
Uh, you one of those over H Yeah, one 4K at H D M I and then two up to six K displays over Thunderball. I
Marcus Ransom (00:33:48):
Think the, you know, the benefit, we’ve still got the, we’ve still got the studios and other machines where if you need more than that, then this is not the machine for you. But it’s, it’s got a lot more flexibility now to, you know,
Charles Edge (00:34:02):
So, Tom, do you wanna tell me a little about wifi six E? Yeah. And why? So look, I would care that it, it has that, because the mini has that.
Tom Bridge (00:34:14):
Uh, so that’s a, that’s another nice piece of this is that Apple’s starting to roll out wifi six E or six extended. Um, if we think about WiFi’s generations eight, wifi five was 8 0 2 11 n um, you know, came out, you know, almost 10 years ago now, maybe a little more than that. Come to think of it. Um, wifi six is 8 0 2 11 ac, but which operates in the five gigahertz spectrum alone. Um, wifi six E takes advantage of some new channels that have come, uh, into the unregulated space in most of the listening market for the Mc Men’s podcast. Um, and it’s in the six gigahertz range, and it opens up wider channels and more of them, um, and gives Apple devices a foothold into these six e environments. Now, of course, you’re gonna ask me, Tom, what about wifi seven? And I’m gonna tell you not yet, Satan, not yet . Um, and, and that’s really what it comes down to. Um, you know, six E is just starting to make it into the mainstream at this point. It’s still, it’s been so hard due to the pandemic to get any kind of quantity on enterprise level wifi access.
Charles Edge (00:35:25):
I saw some unify. Yeah, I saw some unify access points, but I don’t consider them enterprise necessarily. I don’t know. I might be wrong about
Tom Bridge (00:35:33):
That, but No, I feel like they’re prosumer. Yeah. I feel like that’s a good place to think about it. But like the Ciscos of the world, the Mirais, the, you know, Fort Nets and all of those other, you know, large scale or, or Arubas, uh, extreme, all of those folks, it’s been still hard to get good, uh, wifi equipment. I was talking to somebody the other day who was like, yeah, I ordered these 60 aps two years ago and they just showed up today. Um, and it was hard to, he was like, I don’t even know where they all go anymore. Cuz that was two years ago when the pandemic was in the middle of it. We were in the middle of the pandemic and now
Marcus Ransom (00:36:08):
We have 12% less staff.
Tom Bridge (00:36:10):
I mean, that’s the other part of it. Well, I mean, the other piece of that is, is really, really fascinating to look at, you know, six E as a, as a way of, um, you know, giving us more room to stretch our wings a little bit with the wifi. It’s gonna give us the ability to go up to 300 or in 160 megahertz channels, um, in the six gigahertz spectrum. Now six gigahertz because it is a smaller wavelength than the five gigahertz wavelengths that we’ve been working with can go less, even though they’re up towards the top less distance and costs more power. So, um, you know, a lot of these come with two and a half gig uplink ports. Fun fact, you’re probably not gonna max out a gig port on most of your aps under most constituent situations. So a two and a half gig port is, I don’t know, future proof to the extreme 2.4 gigs, right? Well, uh, no, no, they’re 2.50, I thought it was 2.4. Uh, it’s, so the, the ethernet ports are one, 2.5, five or 10 gig. Um, and so that’s how they’ve, you know, kind of divided up those things. It’s, it,
Marcus Ransom (00:37:16):
It’s a bit like, it’s a bit like the 10 gig ports on the minis that we mentioned before. And I remember when they first came out on, I think, was it, was it the iMac Pro? Um mm-hmm. . I remember, uh, an executive in a company I was doing work for at the time was like, oh, I have to get one of these. It’s like, well, really you need two because you actually need something else that can run a 10 gig to be able to receive the files you are sending or to send you something that big. And, and this is the interesting thing I’ve seen with wifi six. Um, and, and the, the, you know, looking at seven, uh, uh, as well, it’s like, it’s nice to have and it’s nice to play around with, but realistically, Tom, how many, how many people are really pushing this technology and getting the benefits from it compared to liking sports cars? Which is a good thing to, you know, if you’re into it, it’s great to have,
Tom Bridge (00:38:12):
I mean, the places that are really pushing this kind of data are stadiums. Yeah. And you know, stadiums with robust wifi deployments and even them, they’re not terribly likely to get a lot of uptake from the people there because their cell phones are all powered by 5G wireless networks in a lot of cases. And they’re well set up for those wifi net or those wireless networks as well. So, you know, I mean, I, I think here in DC about Nationals Park, um, which for a long time was a terrible place to take your cell phone. Um, but they had to open up, you know, customer facing wifi at the park because the cell service just couldn’t handle 40,000 people in, uh, descending on the stadium. Not that there were 40,000 people coming into Nats Park at the time, cuz the Nats were not good. Kind of like, they’re not good right now.
Um, but you know, the, uh, the, the circumstance there was that they needed to provide something, but I mean, at the time, APS could handle maybe two to 300 devices at a time before crapping the bed. And so you got a, uh, you’ve got a lot of, you know, really, I don’t know, the trade-offs are always hard. And I feel like the marketing folks are earning their big bucks in the wifi industry by, you know, touting, oh, you need six E with a 2.5 gigahertz port or 2.5, uh, you know, gigabit per second port. Um, and no, you don’t.
Charles Edge (00:39:36):
Meanwhile, most of the clients are still running in and
Tom Bridge (00:39:40):
. Yeah. And they’re not able to take advantage of that six, those six channels. I think that we’re gonna see a c change over the next two to three years, um, as six E you know, expands into different markets. But, you know, the other thing that we’ve seen is that, where that helpful is in, you know, large office buildings where pe guess what, people aren’t coming back to you as much. The downtown in DC has been really struggling. Um, you know, a lot of the businesses that are down there at the retail level are really hurting right now. I, so I went down to Navy Yard to get my haircut today and I was like, oh, I’m gonna get a cup of coffee from Phil’s and it’s gonna be so good. And I get down there and Phil’s last day, the, the Phil’s coffee in DC they’re all closing right now because the retail market can’t support it. And they feel like they can do better operations on the West Coast.
Charles Edge (00:40:29):
That’s sad. But your haircut looks good. I
Tom Bridge (00:40:32):
Mean, I, I I was very happy to see Maverick today to get a haircut and um, it is nice you can see more of the gray than I would like . Um, you know, that’s part of that 12% that we’ve been talking about. Um, but, you know, maybe I’m 12% better today. So we’ll see how that goes
Charles Edge (00:40:48):
Now. So one thing I do think is interesting about the many is trade-ins. So you can trade in an iPhone Pro Max and spend 13, iPhone 13 pro Max and spend an extra $29 to get a mini.
Tom Bridge (00:41:09):
Charles Edge (00:41:10):
. Um, you can get three up to $340 off an old if you trade in an old many. I I think it starts at something like 40 or $50 and then goes up to 340. So I can only imagine what’s what. But you know, I, Apple’s trade-in program to me has shifted a little bit. If you have the ability to take one of these out of production and if it’s like your auto package server, you, you kind of can’t, you know, . But if you can take one of these out of production and then take it into trade in to get the next one, you know, you can, um, soften the blow of that or, or let’s say increase that 5 99 box up to a six or 7 99 box and get more oomph for, for what
Tom Bridge (00:42:02):
You trade. Oh, for sure. You know, although I did particularly enjoy the person who tried to trade in a $50,000 back pro and was offered less than a thousand dollars off of Apple’s trade-in insight off for that. And I was like, something is not correct here.
Charles Edge (00:42:17):
, but also I can only imagine what smelting that material back down would knit you. ,
Tom Bridge (00:42:25):
Charles Edge (00:42:26):
Cause it’s all soldered on, right? Like mm-hmm. , you know, I don’t, I mean ultimately yeah, I I I I like to get the latest machine every release, but the cheapest version. That’s, that’s how I roll with my MacBooks and I, I feel okay trading that out for the next one. And I, I always have two cuz I’m a dev machine and my, my daily driver, you know, but, um, you know, I, I don’t need, I I don’t cut 6K video , you know, . Yeah. So, right.
Tom Bridge (00:43:03):
Like, I mean I, I’m very happy on a baseline mm-hmm. , you know, a 14 inch MacBook Pro and I, I can’t imagine needing a 16, I can’t imagine needing anything with that much storage anymore. And you know, I maybe that’s just cuz I’m just a fancy meeting going guy now, uh, as opposed to like doing real work. Um, but you know, I think that in a lot of ways that, cause
Charles Edge (00:43:27):
You’re a manager now, right? So meetings,
Tom Bridge (00:43:29):
I, yes. Yeah. I got, I, so the, uh,
Charles Edge (00:43:32):
Nine to five meetings.
Tom Bridge (00:43:34):
Yeah. I, I, I got, I got the invites last night. Like the, the avalanche started as they added me to the, um, uh, to the, uh, to, to some of the product, like the, uh, reporting meetings. So where we report out to, to the board and whatnot. I got 19 meeting invites in the space of five minutes. My phone was going benn. I’m,
Marcus Ransom (00:43:54):
I’m sorry if you lost Tom.
Tom Bridge (00:43:57):
Well, you know, it was good knowing you all. Um, I, when I get outta of the meeting the next time I’ll, I’ll be sure to say hi. Um, but ,
Marcus Ransom (00:44:04):
Do you have to wear a tie? That’s where I Is it that, is it that kind of
Tom Bridge (00:44:07):
Role? No, no. I did not wear a tie at my own wedding. Laughing You . I I mean that I did not wear a tie to my own wedding. There’s no way in hell I’m putting one on for work.
Marcus Ransom (00:44:16):
Remember we used to say that to the deputy director at one of the places where I worked. He’d got his MBA and he’d, he’d evolved from being a Noel engineer, uh, gone from heavy metal shirts to wearing a tie and everyone used to always say, say, when he’d say something using m b speak. It was like, you wearing a tie, aren’t you? And , we
Charles Edge (00:44:37):
Usually were. So when I, when I was a novella engineer, we were wearing Beck t-shirts. So never, I’m not gonna go down that rabbit hole. I, I would say though, looking at Apple’s Tradein page, I find it ironic that I can buy a Samsung Galaxy S 22 for about half of what the trade-in value is on Apple’s website .
Marcus Ransom (00:45:00):
So I’m, I’m wondering if it’s maybe time a to my, my Cain my Cain mini to finally get upgraded. Um, so it’s, it’s the only thing it’s doing now. Every other service it was doing has been migrated into SAS services or
Charles Edge (00:45:14):
It’s an intelligent or
Marcus Ransom (00:45:16):
Yes, it is an intel. It is, absolutely. I would be an Intel. Yeah. Um, MAC mini server, mid 2010, um, . Oh,
Charles Edge (00:45:25):
. Yeah. They’ll probably give you a $40 trade-in. I would recommend buying a Samsung Galaxy as 22 for a hundred dollars. I actually actually reckon,
Marcus Ransom (00:45:35):
I actually reckon my original Apple watch I’ve got sitting in the cupboard behind me is probably gonna do a better job than this. You know, it has got two terabyte SSDs in it and all sorts of other stuff. Cuz you could in those days, and it’s got loads of ram, well, loads of Ram eight gig of ram, which was loads of RAM in those days. But you know what, it’s working just fine at that. Yeah.
Charles Edge (00:45:58):
Leave it at that point. It’s worth $40 as a trade-in. Leave it. I
Marcus Ransom (00:46:02):
Don’t even think they’d give me $40. I think it’d just like, I bet null,
Charles Edge (00:46:06):
I bet they’d give you $40 because it’s so old that they use it as a museum. It’s
Marcus Ransom (00:46:13):
Probably slowing down the entire casing network and CDNs having something that ancient grabbing.
Charles Edge (00:46:18):
I have at least data, I have at least four, 2005, 2006 minis, I think in the basement. Yeah. So, you know, they, they work. It’s
Marcus Ransom (00:46:28):
Working just for, you know, can I, can I get 13 years out of the next one that I buy though? That’s what I, I
Charles Edge (00:46:34):
Buy. Oh, no. Yeah. Absolutely not with those. I, I mean the beauty of the tpm, uh, or the, uh, secure enclave is that now the, the planned not planned. The accidental, the the innovation obsolescence Yeah. Is now more of a thing, you know,
Marcus Ransom (00:46:54):
So, but I I, I think I got my money’s worth out of this as well. I think I Oh yeah,
Charles Edge (00:47:00):
Yeah. 12 years of in production.
Marcus Ransom (00:47:03):
, and actually I think I bought this when I was leaving Apple retail, so I got it on epp, so it was probably like close to half price or something like that as well. So. Nice. Yeah. Yeah.
Charles Edge (00:47:13):
Marcus Ransom (00:47:14):
Tru well and truly depreciated by now
Charles Edge (00:47:17):
At least two of mine in the basement were bought using like ACN coupons. Yes. Which I’m sure you’ve got some of those machines, Tom, you know, man.
Tom Bridge (00:47:24):
Uh, I was gonna say, I definitely had a few machines that were paid for off of ACN coupons. Were those were good. And then you, if you talk to any member of the Apple Consultants network who’s been in the program more than, I don’t know, six, eight years, they will still tell you that they want the ECNs to bring the coupons back. Yep.
Charles Edge (00:47:41):
. Yeah. Bad chance. Oh,
Tom Bridge (00:47:44):
Fat. Well, a fat chance for sure.
Speaker 1 (00:47:47):
This episode of the Macon’s podcast is brought to you by Collide. You know the old saying when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The traditional approach to device security is that hammer a blunt instrument that can’t solve nuanced problems even after installing clunky agents that uses hate IT. Teams still have to deal with mountains of support tickets over the same old issues, and they have no way to address things like unencrypted, s SSH keys, OS updates, or pretty much anything going on with the Linux device. Collide is an endpoint security solution that’s more like a Swiss Army knife. It gives it teams a single dashboard for all devices, Mac, windows, and even Linux. You can query your entire fleet to check for common compliance issues or write your own custom checks. Plus, instead of installing intrusive software that creates more work for it, collides lightweight agent shows end users how to fix issues themselves. You can achieve endpoint compliance by adding a new tool to your toolbox. Visit collide.com/mac admins podcast to find out how. That’s K O L I D e.com/mac admins podcast. Thanks to collide for sponsoring this episode of the Macha Mins podcast.
Charles Edge (00:49:14):
So there’s a Mac Mini Pro, we talked about that. M two Mac, uh, 14 inch and 16 inch MacBook Pros. Who wants to talk about that?
Tom Bridge (00:49:22):
Yes. Yeah, I’ll, we’ll I’ll dive right in there too cuz there are some really awesome options here. Again, this is a step up from last year’s M one Pro M one max, uh, and there are pro and max options for this year’s M two version of those things. We start with a 10 core C P U a 16 core gpu, 16 gigs of memory and half a terabyte of s SD storage at $2,000. Um, and then we go upwards from there. Um, it sports a new display technology this year. We get a liquid, uh, retina XDR display on the laptop, which is great. Those displays are supposed to be spectacular. Um, so I’m really ex uh, looking forward to seeing one of those in person at some point. Um, you can step up in terms of processor options on each of those. Uh, 14 low end, 14 mac a 14 inch MacBook Pro by going to a 19, or excuse me, a 12 Core 19 core or a 12 core 30 core or a 12 core 38 core, uh, you know, opportunities.
All of those have 16 core engines. Um, those add 300 or 500 or $700 to the price. You can start with a, uh, you know, on the pro systems 32 gigs remains. The Mac, uh, remains the max amount of memory. If you move up to an N two max, you can, you can go up to 64 or 96 gigs of unified memory. Now, those 96 me, the gigs of memory are gonna cost you a pretty penny. It’s $1,200 for that particular upgrade. Apple, once again, um, you know, remains a very expensive upgrade platform. And so for example, the most expensive, um, you know, 14 inch MacBook Pro runs for the cool, cool price of $6,300 , um, which is a pretty pretty penny, um, for a very fancy machine. Again, up to eight terabytes of storage.
Charles Edge (00:51:22):
Yeah, yeah. Now, not that it’s comparable, but you can get a 96 gig memory upgrade kit for like $300. Yeah. You know, but again, it’s not comparable. It’s not solder man.
Marcus Ransom (00:51:36):
It’s like Exactly.
Tom Bridge (00:51:37):
It’s not on die. Yeah.
Marcus Ransom (00:51:38):
And this is, this is something, you know, talking to organizations about hardware specs, it’s like, oh, sixteens absolutely not enough. Because, you know, we had the Intel MacBook Pros with blah blah blah, and that wasn’t enough. It’s like the, these numbers don’t match. Um, you know, this is, this is discussions I’ve had with people about trying to use sort of power metrics and analyzing machines to look at usage and utilization to then try and decide what hardware they need to buy next. And it’s like, okay, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting to have a look at that and make calculations, but it’s, I don’t know, it’s a bit like financial analysis and, and predictions in the share market is what your utilization is gonna be like on three, four year old technology is gonna be very different to, you almost need to get one of the new machines and then analyze how things are working on the new machine to decide whether that’s too much or not enough and, and where you wanna spend your money on it. Um, because, you know, comparing apples with apples,
Charles Edge (00:52:39):
Yeah. So DIM is very different than on the wafers. You know, , like that’s,
Tom Bridge (00:52:45):
Charles Edge (00:52:46):
Tom Bridge (00:52:47):
Mean, you think about the memory bandwidth that we’re talking about here, you know, on the MAC mini, uh, on those M two PRO systems, you’ve got 200 gigabytes per second of memory bandwidth that’s available to you here. Um, when you look at the options for, you know, the 16 or the 14 inch, you know, on the six, on the M two max chip that goes up to 400 gigabytes per second of memory bandwidth. That’s just ludicrous Broad-based. Yeah. Inter, uh, ram to processor connectivity.
Charles Edge (00:53:18):
The, so DM I think is less than 20 to put that in perspective. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, that’s insanity. Um,
Tom Bridge (00:53:27):
I, I do think it’s interesting. So the 16 inch version of this that you can max all the way out is $100 more. So it, that is something that I find deeply fascinating is that the enclosure doesn’t matter really. It is a trivial, a change to go between the 1400 or 14 and the 16th
Charles Edge (00:53:46):
Now. So you, you spend all this money on a machine and what kinda lock, remember every machine used to have a locking mechanism? Yeah. What, what’s the
Tom Bridge (00:53:57):
Locking, the Kensington locking?
Marcus Ransom (00:53:58):
Yeah. The standard way of stopping people stealing your stuff. Um, I think, you know, I remember when, when they started disappearing from laptops, that was a real challenge, um mm-hmm. . But then at the same time, uh, I remember, you know, working in education, the worst thing ever was a lab of laptops with snakes of Kensington locks everywhere. Um, just from a purely physical and aesthetic point of view. But the first, first desktop to lose the lock was the trashcan Mac Pro. And I, I remember when I was working at a university, we had to get custom manufactured, our own enclosures to put them in because nothing existed. And then shortly afterwards, something got released. So when the Mac Studio came out, they had a security slot on the underneath, which was a little bit, um, confusing. How’s this gonna work? Mm-hmm. . And, you know, this week we’ve seen how, so Kensington have released these, um, nifty little locks that are being sold through the, um, through the Apple store.
And I know anybody that’s wanting to use Mac Studios in, uh, any kind of public or semi-public, um, situation, um, is gonna love that these things exist. And it’s not always about theft either. Sometimes it’s just about somebody who’s not you deciding that maybe they wanna move this over into this other office so they can use it when in fact you are planning to go in and use it and, you know, just stopping people from moving stuff or deciding to unplug it or whatever. So, um, yeah, it’s, it’s great to see these finally arrive and offer a lot more security for, you know, what are really expensive pieces of hardware that can fit really, really easily into a backpack. I remember being told, oh, just put cameras up in the labs and it’s like, great, we can see the person in the hoodie. Um, wearing sunglasses, stole four Mac Pros into one backpack . Um,
Tom Bridge (00:56:00):
Marcus Ransom (00:56:00):
Great. Um, you know, we can see them going down the stairs and everything like that and out into the street and Yep. They’re gone. So, um, yeah. Um, you know, because yeah, the MAC studios for lab machines, um, awesome piece of hardware. What I haven’t seen is if the new, um, Mac Minis actually have this same slot on the bottom of them, it looks like they’re still very different hardware specs, so I’m guessing not. Um, but, you know, can you say anything else question? Yeah, that’s
Tom Bridge (00:56:29):
A great question. Question. I, I was just looking at that and I was gonna see if there was any kind of Kensington, I don’t see any sign of a Kensington lock slot or a security lock slot
Marcus Ransom (00:56:39):
Given the, given the size of the minis. There’s, there’s plenty of, um, e existing commercial, you know, enclosures and entrapments for those things to secure those. But the studio was just kind of a little bit too big to wanna put in one of those. So yeah, it’s great. Great to see that out there.
Tom Bridge (00:56:56):
Charles Edge (00:56:59):
So what operating system are you gonna run on this? I mean, well,
Tom Bridge (00:57:03):
I, because you can’t, as far as I defer
Charles Edge (00:57:04):
Your Ventura anymore, right.
Tom Bridge (00:57:07):
, I mean, that’s, that’s exactly right. You know, as we record this, we are three days into the, uh, three days after the conclusion of the 90 day period during which, uh, Mako s Ventura could be blocked, uh, from the prying eyes and grubby hands of our, uh, colleagues out in the field. Um, and so, you know, there’s definitely been some challenges out there, um, getting, you know, understanding the current state of play in terms of what will be visible to the device after a 90 day delay.
Marcus Ransom (00:57:37):
And when you click on certain things, whether you’re actually, whether the user is gonna receive what you had assumed or had expected the them to get. So, you know, one of the things we’re seeing, and it’s interesting seeing, you know, apple putting a lot of work into addressing this in the beaters, um, and the, the point releases coming up is users that had a deferral pro, a deferral profile in there, um, and were allowed to update Mac Os 12.6 0.1, um, assuming that they would get and by the documentation, and we’d been led to believe, and I think pretty much Apple expected as well, that they’d get 12 point, 6.2, 12.6 0.3. But no, in fact, unfortunately they were getting 13, so there were some unintentional upgrades happening. Um,
Tom Bridge (00:58:29):
Yeah, we saw those as well, where in a, you know, where an MDM command would be delivered out to the device saying, Hey, we’d like you to update from 12 6 1 to 12 6 2, and you end up with 13.1 and you wonder what it’s close. What, yeah, I was gonna say totally close. Just, just right next to each other, except for that whole major upgrade thing. Yeah. Um,
Charles Edge (00:58:48):
So I, I guess that’s an interesting point. Are people still not upgrading?
Tom Bridge (00:58:54):
Charles Edge (00:58:55):
I mean, obviously that will always be the case, right? Yeah, because there, there’s not enough, there’s never enough time for testing according to how big your testing rubric becomes.
Marcus Ransom (00:59:05):
And sometimes it’s not about testing as well. You can, you can have, you know, a client platform team that is doing all the testing, but if in their testing it shows that a certain piece of infrastructure, um, has its own teams pat schedule, um, and yeah, there may well be a venture, a compatible version of it before sometimes incredibly valid operational reasons. Um, like maybe it’s a very busy time of the year. And so they have rules that over this period here, we do not touch the following systems. And so they have real world requirements that they’re like, well, we can’t have people upgrade to this because something’s not gonna work. Or, you know, there’s only one person on a team or a part-time person on a team, and they very much want to do the testing, but they’ve been given a whole bunch of other stuff to do on their workload. So I don’t know. I’m seeing, I’m seeing a lot of organizations who previously would hold back discovering that you do a bit of testing. Yep, it’s okay, let users do it. Um, and it working really well. But the people who are not in that situation are now having a really tough time. Um mm-hmm. trying to deal with the very complex Venn diagram of, of this to work out how to do it.
Charles Edge (01:00:27):
So we’re recording this on January 25th, and I don’t know when it’ll come out, you know, as soon as James gets to it, you know, probably . Um, but, um, what’s he stop cursing at us. Yeah. But, but you know, Ventura went GA on October 24th, so, correct. November, December, January. So we’re, we’re one quarter in Now, I remember, because I’m old, I say that a lot, sorry, . Um, but I remember when Vista came out and I, I had customers who were three years into Vista deployment because xp they loved so much. Yeah. You know, and, um, three months, you know, it’s, as you said, it’s 90 days. Uh, so here we are, but, um, but 90 days can easily become three years if you don’t have a deadline. That’s before we started. That’s right. Recording. Marcus and I were talking about deadlines because, you know, there’s, there’s, uh, it’s finals week at, at my house, um, for the kids. And, you know, first year of high school finals, it’s, uh, causing a lot of anxiety and . Um, but you know, if you’ve got a 90 day deadline, then you’re gonna get it done ish, maybe. And if you don’t have a 90 day deadline, then it can become three years very easily. The
Marcus Ransom (01:02:04):
The other way of looking at it is, back in the days of Vista, the security landscape was also very, very different. Um, whereas now the, the best defense is to patch everything, um,
Charles Edge (01:02:21):
Marcus Ransom (01:02:22):
Immediately. So really the soso should be saying 90 days is our fallback position.
Charles Edge (01:02:32):
I’m hearing the opposite from most si CISOs. I know, by the way. Yeah. Throwing that out there, I’m, I’m hearing, oh, we need to test, we need to do all this stuff, uh, you know, the
Marcus Ransom (01:02:41):
Theoretically we’ve had since June last year to
Charles Edge (01:02:44):
Test Well, that’s if you’re in the developer. Exactly. You know.
Marcus Ransom (01:02:48):
Exactly. But, um, seeing, especially seeing the number of security, um, announcements coming alongside these updates, um, you know, I I really feel like an, an apple’s documentation now where they state that there is no guarantee of older versions of the OS getting all CVS patched for architectural reasons that they aren’t gonna do the same level of, um, yeah. Remediation and, and refactoring in order to patch all of that. So,
Charles Edge (01:03:25):
And at some point, yeah. How far back should they have to go? Yeah. I
Marcus Ransom (01:03:29):
Mean, and we get this lovely new hardware. So look, you know, it’s, you know, it, it’s very easy to say that everybody should update immediately because, you know, it’s not always that way. Um, higher ed labs is a huge one where you don’t want to change that software because even a really simple change may impact on functionality.
Charles Edge (01:03:52):
Deep freeze . Exactly. Oh,
Marcus Ransom (01:03:56):
Don’t say that.
Charles Edge (01:03:57):
Marcus Ransom (01:03:58):
Sorry, James. That’s nail sponsor anytime soon. Awful. Don’t
Charles Edge (01:04:02):
Use that. It’ll bring deep freeze and font suitcase all at once. Yeah. Oh, no,
Tom Bridge (01:04:07):
Charles Edge (01:04:08):
No. And the fiery, yeah.
Marcus Ransom (01:04:10):
But I can al I can also see the challenge where if you give people in certain circumstances the ability to say, actually we’re gonna keep it this way for a year, um, that will then be used by people who maybe shouldn’t be doing that. And, you know, then can, those machines can then potentially end up in the news, which, um, is not good for anyone, um, if something bad happens to them. Um, but definitely anecdotally, um, I’ve only heard of a very few like absolute, um, you know, deployment blockers, I think, I think is what we’re all asked to call ’em now by Apple, where it’s like, okay, there is literally no way we can, we can do this. Um, a lot of ’em are probably more philosophical or logistical reasons to do things, which are valid reasons in particular organizations. But what are, what are you focusing? Are you seeing Tom, with your, your customer base? Are you seeing more people embracing it? I,
Tom Bridge (01:05:12):
I’m grateful to see widespread adoption of, you know, macros Ventura. And I will say that, you know, as we look at the sta the, you know, the data that, that we collect around the systems that are using us, uh, for that, I am happy to say, you know, as we look at this, you know, today, January 25th, you know, if I look at the versions of makos that are supported by our, you know, that are out there in the field across all of our agents, you know, I, if we look at it, I mean, it is no longer a case where we are at a, um, majority Monterey. We are now majority Ventura after 90 days, 93 days as we cover this today. Um, I think that’s spectacular. Um, you know, I th I still think that there are still too many systems on 12.6 or 12.6 0.1 or 12.6 0.2.
Um, but I certainly think, and you know, the conversations that we have with customers all the time we tell people is Apple really wants you on the latest version of the operating system. And honestly, if you’re not able to get there, they’re gonna start pushing your people there this year. And, you know, as 13.1 comes at to its 90 day window, which is, you know, here in February, so late February, um, standard users, that is gonna be a place where standard users can do the job because it, that will be an over the air update as we look at the options that the customers have. If you have vendors that are not supporting the latest version of Mac os, what is wrong with them?
Charles Edge (01:06:46):
Well, I, I struggle with this because I went to a CIO or a CTO Brunson recently, and as the Apple nerd, they were like, oh, you’ve written books on Apple, we’re gonna hit you. And I would say, cancel. So your out of the Yeah, right. , but I would say nine out of the 10 questions were around this weird software update thing, and I’m like, you just, it, it’s like when Apple released system extensions and pressured the entire antivirus industry into bending Yeah. To their will and walking away from their texts within, what, a year and a half or two mm-hmm. and I, I don’t think disrupting that many roadmaps happens very often. Yeah. Aside from Apple, you know, , um, imposing their will on something, and in this case, they are controlling the narrative, they’re imposing their will and it benefits them because they have less old code Yeah.
To maintain. And it benefits the consumer because let’s not forget that the consumer deployment of Apple devices is the largest enterprise in the world, you know? Um, so, and if some large enterprises or mid-range to large enterprises have issues with it, I’m actually finding most of the truly big enterprises don’t have an issue with it. It’s the mid-range enterprise. Yep. And Yep. I, I feel for that contingent of MAC admins where it’s like, oh, you’ve got three people to manage 700 devices, which by the way includes wifi and antivirus mm-hmm. , and, you know, all these domain expertise.
Marcus Ransom (01:08:36):
And the real challenge having been in that scenario before is when you don’t get a seat at the table. Like, I remember, you know, not being invited to the change approval board where somebody is deciding to renew wifi certs and nobody bothered to ask the Apple team what that was gonna look like for us. And now, you know, absolutely wasn’t a problem. We could do it, but the fact that we found out about it the day they were changed, not two months before, like everybody else ,
Charles Edge (01:09:05):
Some things were better done proactively. Like Yeah, exactly.
Marcus Ransom (01:09:08):
tested, for example. Oh, hadn’t you guys tested it as like, we didn’t even know about this. But yeah, not, not getting a seat at the table is a, is a, is a real challenge. The, the, the other thing I’m seeing less and less of in organizations now is the long tail of operating systems. Like, oh, sorry, we’ve still got those three label printed machines running Sierra, blah, blah, blah. Like, so many of those are going away. Like, you know, Thomas, you were saying, you, you’re talking about Monterey machines, not Mavericks machines. , you know, most.
Tom Bridge (01:09:43):
Yeah. Oh, exactly. Yeah. And you know, as we, you know, we, as we review those kind of things as we check in, you know, periodically, I mean, I know that we still have some, not many 10 to 13 machines, even though we’ve discontinued support for them. Um, and they’re still checking in. They’ve, you know, no, they don’t get upgrades anymore. There’s no agent version that gets an upgrade for them. Sorry. Um, but you know, we’re, we will support N minus two for now. Um, I, I think that that is probably the most that we will support. But, you know, uh, if you look at Jump cloud’s patch, uh, policies, you know, we’re, we’re quick to show you, hey, it has been 187 days as of today since Macco has Catalina received its last software update. And that’s not an operating system you should have in your fleet anymore.
Marcus Ransom (01:10:30):
Hmm. Even even Microsoft Office, I’m just ch checking here. Um, big Sir, I think is the earliest that’s supported in, in office now. So, you know, like that’s a, yep. That’s a pretty core tool for most, most organizations. Um, and, you know, seeing organizations as largest Microsoft just saying, you know, we we’re gonna focus on, on latest versions, more recent versions, even even open source tools in, in the Swift Dialogue channel, there’s been discussions about how far back support should go for tools like this. Because you can offer, you know, there are new versions of SWIFT that come out that offer, you know, all sorts of more elegant or more configurable ways of doing things or nicer ways of doing things. But then you’re stuck into, you know, do we release legacy versions or do we just say that this version here is the last one that supports this, this version of Mac os. And I feel some of that is getting easier where there’s a much smaller group of people. It sucks to be those people who,
Charles Edge (01:11:34):
Yeah, I, I would say when I first started at Champ, I would’ve said six years back was the target. Like, this is our minimum OS in Xcode that we’re setting. And now I’m like, well, it’s gonna take us a few months to get this thing out, or it’s gonna take us a year to, and I, I’m not a champ anymore, , you know, but it, it however long it takes us to get this thing out. But I, I’m not really worried about backwards compatibility for any tool I’m working on right now beyond a year. So to, to your point, like, you know, that that has definitely shifted quite dramatically for, for me, like
Marcus Ransom (01:12:16):
10 point 43, um mm-hmm. , the latest release, um, 10 point 14 has moved from minimum supported to untested compatibility. Um, so it’s not, not gonna work, but you know, you really are on, on your own. Um, if, if you’re running that, there’s no guarantees that these things are gonna work. And for, for software companies dealing with the complexities and the, the number of variables with, you know, we discussed with software updates and software upgrades, um, the resources require, you know, Microsoft’s huge warehouses of people dealing with extended XP support. Um, yeah.
Charles Edge (01:12:54):
I, I would say in Xcode at this point, I am m only, I, I don’t care about Intel anymore. To, to the point about your poor, uh, Mac Mini at home, Marcus Yes. And what to do with it, , you know, like
Marcus Ransom (01:13:10):
If you need to run an old version of Xcode on it, Charles, like it’d help you out. Yeah.
Charles Edge (01:13:14):
Yeah. Um, but I, I, a, a while ago, I started assuming that there was a secure enclave. Yeah. But now I assume M one, M two, m M two pro, what, what have you. But I, I now assume that, and, um, in Xcode, if I choose to go previous to that, there’s just a whole bunch of extra work I typically have to do. Um, and I don’t want to do it because I’m a lazy developer. , I’m not a good developer. I’m just a lazy developer, you know, which is
Marcus Ransom (01:13:51):
A horrible, also, the, the brain, the brain space required to remember all of the sharp edges for mm-hmm.
Compiling or coding for the specifics, all of the not so easily documented or, you know, the muscle memory. Um, it’s a, it’s a lot more effort and it’s a lot more to expect of people. It’s a lot more to expect of, you know, building a device management workflow that can offer the same, you know, the similar sort of onboarding or day-to-day experience for five different versions of the operating system. And to make sure all of your documentation is gonna be relevant regardless of which version things is wrong, when people, you know, in, you know, in the times of mass layoffs, when people are trying to do more with less, um, less can be fewer versions of the operating system to, to have to span with what you’re trying to do.
Charles Edge (01:14:48):
Well, especially if you have less people Yeah. And some of those machines coming back that can be repurposed in underway. Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I su I, I definitely remember in oh one and oh eight, um, some of those machines that came back in some of those scenarios Yeah. Were repurposed in that, in that way. Yeah. And it’s like entire generations of computers disappeared. Yeah. Very quickly. Oh, one being os 10, you know? Yeah. Um, and, and watching that occur where, um, oh God, goodness. Was it lion? No, that would be oh eight. Um, anyways, I, I, I remember Lion was kind of, or Tiger was the first truly mass deployable, you know, os 10 mm-hmm. , uh, operating system, especially after DS config ad was working properly, and could be scripted. Well, and, you know, an, an entire generation of computers, the quadras, the Yeah. You know, some of the lag lager, lc two s or whatever just disappeared overnight. Yeah. You know,
Tom Bridge (01:16:01):
Here at the Mac Admins podcast, we wanna say a special thank you to all of our Patreon backers. The following people are to be recognized for their incredible generosity. S Stak. Thank you. Adam Sby. Thank you. Nate Walk. Thank you, Michaels. Thank you, Rick Goodie. Thank you. Mike Boylan. You know it. Thank you. Uh, Melvin Vive. Thank you. Bill Steitz. Thank you. Anus Storyville, thank you. Jeffrey Compton, M Marsh, Stu McDonald, Hamlin Cruin, Adam Berg. Thank you. AJ Petre. Thank you. James. Tracy, Tim Pert of two Canoes. Thank you. Nate Sinal, will O’Neill Sebash, the folks at Command Control Power, Steven Weinstein, Chet Swarth out, Daniel McLaughlin, Justin Holt, bill Smith, and Weldon. Dod, thank you all so much and remember that you can back us if you just saw head out, out to patreon.com/mac ADM podcast. Thanks everybody.
Charles Edge (01:16:56):
So I, I think we had also wanted to talk about pass keys. We can make this a 32nd answer. Bonus question. Ask a round table super quick. Have you guys used a passkey to log in to a portal yet, or a website yet?
Tom Bridge (01:17:14):
Not by itself.
Charles Edge (01:17:16):
Right. So also manage chapel and pass keys. We, we need to do a deeper dive now that tech mm-hmm. is out and there’s no, uh, reason I thought you,
Tom Bridge (01:17:29):
I thought you couldn’t do managed Apple IDs and pass keys together.
Marcus Ransom (01:17:33):
No. Yeah. You can’t.
Charles Edge (01:17:34):
You pass key chain require iCloud key chain to, to Marcus’s point, which require, which is obviated by maids, right? Correct. So, yeah, I, I feel like we need to do a whole deep dive on, like, if you go to, I, I would say listeners go to Best buy.com , and they have passkey support, try to Oh, no way. Yeah. Try to log into the website and the first thing it says is, Hey, you don’t have a passkey. Why don’t you create an account using your email address and password, and then once you’re logged in, you can create a passkey for future use.
Marcus Ransom (01:18:14):
I’m gonna do that for science
Charles Edge (01:18:16):
Now once, well, you and I might do that for science. Yes. But let’s take anyone else that lives in my house, , they’re going to do it. And once it’s in keychain, once the username and passwords in keychain, they’re never going to bother to click on that. They’re
Marcus Ransom (01:18:31):
Gonna, they’re gonna do it and they’re gonna
Charles Edge (01:18:33):
Love it, is what they’re gonna do. No, no. They’ve . I I tru and this, this to me, like I, you know, analyzing the web authentic documentation. I’m, I’m sitting here like there’s not a great onboarding experience Yeah. For net new accounts or ameliorating some of my existing accounts mm-hmm. with this technology. And that’s true with websites and with some of the apps that kind of have a, oh, we have a website and an app and you can use the passkey for both or whatever. Um, but like getting the ability to use them, as long as you’re not using a managed Apple, ID like
Marcus Ransom (01:19:17):
Maybe we’ll see enable managed iCloud key chain, like we’ve got managed Apple IDs, um, that
Charles Edge (01:19:24):
Yeah. In two or three years. Yeah. Maybe. I don’t know. But it’s,
Marcus Ransom (01:19:27):
It seems to me like the future of this, once it’s more widespread, is something that organizations would very much be saying, all right, we want you to use these. Yeah.
Charles Edge (01:19:36):
But the inability to use iCloud keychain with managed Apple IDs. Yeah. Does that mean then that the passwordless future is not for enterprises, or that it’s only for the IDPs and really that I, I don’t know, passwordless is really mm-hmm. tokens. Yeah, jwt. That’s right.
Tom Bridge (01:20:00):
Whatever. They’re jots behind the scene
Charles Edge (01:20:02):
And that’s still a password. Seriously.
Marcus Ransom (01:20:06):
, it’s just not one. You remember something remembers
Charles Edge (01:20:10):
Employee, we put the username in the JW T with the with thing.
Tom Bridge (01:20:14):
Well, it’s also created, but it’s signed with a local key. I mean, it’s a password, but it’s not.
Charles Edge (01:20:21):
And by signing it with a local key, you still have a, what, six digit pin code on your iPhone or a potentially eight character password on your iPhone to unlock that key chain to get it to, to bypass the, um, the biometric options to get to that secure enclave, the ECC key from the secure enclave. So I don’t know, to me, this whole passwordless thing, I’m really struggling with whether or not it’s just marketing speaking . There’s actually like, not a, because there’s still a password. Like when you create a pass key for every single app I’ve tested so far, you create a username and a password and then you create a pass key, but the username and password are still sitting in key chain. Mm-hmm. , what did we do other than make the entire atomic operation less secure by giving you two different vectors for attack as opposed to one
Marcus Ransom (01:21:20):
Is one of them in the secure enclave where,
Charles Edge (01:21:24):
Well, nothing goes into secure enclave. The only thing that’s in the secure enclave is the ECC key to decrypt the object in keychain. So, or
Tom Bridge (01:21:32):
To sign a jot as you do or
Charles Edge (01:21:35):
To sign. Sure. Yeah. Which is the foundation of web othen, I guess, you know. Right. But ultimately, by having two different ways to attack the problem, it’s still less secure because you’ve still got the username and password that you created your Best Buy account or insert 15 other apps I’ve tested in this regard in your key chain. Right. Anyways,
Marcus Ransom (01:22:03):
I’m sure, I’m sure Ricky Mandela can explain it all to us in ways that will make it all make sense. Look, I, I’m, I’m very much fascinated by where this is going to go. I think the old ways of doing things of reams of post-it notes everywhere on my parents’ desk is terrifying. And this
Charles Edge (01:22:26):
And will continue.
Marcus Ransom (01:22:27):
Charles Edge (01:22:28):
Marcus Ransom (01:22:29):
Charles Edge (01:22:29):
This is not, I I, I tried to plot it out mathematically and I was like, this is six years to crossing the Chasm technology. Yeah, gotcha. In my mind.
Tom Bridge (01:22:41):
Oh, a hundred percent. But I will say that as vendors consider contin consider adopting this technology, I, and I’ll just come out and say it, if you adopt this technology, I consider that to be such a security upgrade that I will trade whatever I am doing to do that instead. Well, what
Charles Edge (01:22:59):
If I’m suppressing my credentials? Or what if I’m suppressing, uh, privacy information about who I am or what I’m doing through various Apple privacy options? Right. Like, I’m not sharing my email address with you. I’m not sharing my search identifier here. Like ultimately you’re a U D I D, but you’re not gonna remember your U D I D cuz it’s 33.
Tom Bridge (01:23:28):
I don’t need to, cuz it’s all stored in the, it’s all stored in my iCloud key chain and it’s all tied in
Charles Edge (01:23:34):
Tom Bridge (01:23:35):
. Well, not on a, it’d,
Marcus Ransom (01:23:36):
I mean, something that Correct happened to that iCloud key chain, Tom.
Tom Bridge (01:23:40):
Well that is a, i I agree. It would be a shame. I will say that I have had a very gr I’ve had an above average experience for Apple Services with iCloud keychain being robust Oh yeah. Being failure proof in a lot of cases.
Charles Edge (01:23:55):
Yeah. With the exception of the fact that it’s just an encrypted SQL light database that I could copy to a Lennox box and Oh, sorry.
Tom Bridge (01:24:04):
Marcus Ransom (01:24:06):
Don’t do that. Charles
Charles Edge (01:24:07):
Don’t, let’s, let’s bypass all the controls and just move it off device .
Marcus Ransom (01:24:12):
I’m just gonna fax it to you, Charles
Charles Edge (01:24:15):
Tom Bridge (01:24:16):
. Well, you know, uh, as, as the last thing we talk about today, I wanna say, can you believe it’s been 300 episodes?
Charles Edge (01:24:26):
Oh my goodness. Is this 300?
Tom Bridge (01:24:28):
This is 300. The Triple barrel.
Charles Edge (01:24:31):
How is that? Triple Century 300 is just a continuous Sorry James for an hour. all of the outtakes of Sorry, James. Sorry, James. Sorry James. Sorry. James .
Tom Bridge (01:24:45):
Um, and before I
Marcus Ransom (01:24:46):
Got, before that, there were a couple of, I I’m sure there was some, sorry, Aaron, sorry, dials in there before we got to James as well. So mm-hmm. , you know, we were making mistakes right from the beginning, weren’t we?
Tom Bridge (01:24:59):
? Oh yes. And as we come up on, I think this is, I think we started what, 2016? Yeah. So, you know, we’re coming up on, uh, coming up on what will be seven years of the Mac Men’s Podcast
Charles Edge (01:25:12):
And Macd Duck
Tom Bridge (01:25:13):
26 and Macd Duck.
Charles Edge (01:25:14):
Tom Bridge (01:25:14):
So that’s right.
Charles Edge (01:25:16):
I guess we should go back there and do something there.
Tom Bridge (01:25:20):
Sounds like a good plan to me. . Um, thanks everybody for joining us this week. Thanks much to our amazing sponsors, um, you know, Kanji and Collide and Data Jar. Um, and you know, thanks everybody. We’ll see you next time. Thanks to everybody who’s backing us on Patreon and making this a great place to hang out and, uh, chat about Good Max stuff.
Charles Edge (01:25:43):
Thanks for 800
Marcus Ransom (01:25:44):
And thanks for continuing to listen after 300 episodes of this garbage .
Tom Bridge (01:25:49):
Oh man. Can you imagine? Oh, I feel sorry for all the people that are like starting at episode one and working their way up to this . But um, can you imagine if you’ve done that recently, please send me an email. Tomo mac admins.org.
Marcus Ransom (01:26:04):
Oh, are we gonna be like the Grateful Dead? Where are gonna be? Mac admin PO Podcast bootleggers, like hanging out in parking
Tom Bridge (01:26:10):
Lot. Oh, wouldn’t that be rad?
Marcus Ransom (01:26:12):
You know, I saw the Grateful Penn State Mac admins . I hope not. They should get a life if they’re doing that. .
Tom Bridge (01:26:24):
Marcus Ransom (01:26:25):
Everybody. We’ll see you next time. See you later. See you next time.
The Mac Admins Podcast is a production of Mac Admins Podcast LLC. Our producer is Tom Bridge. Our sound editor and mixing engineer is James Smith. Our theme music was produced by Adam Codega the first time he opened GarageBand. Sponsorship for the Mac Admins Podcast is provided by the MacAdmins.org Slack, where you can join thousands of Mac admins in a free Slack instance. Visit macadmins.org. And also by Technolutionary LLC: technically, we can help. For more information about this podcast and other broadcasts like it, please visit podcast.macadmins.org. Since we’ve converted this podcast to APFS, the funny metadata joke is at the end.
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