In Memoriam: Charles Edge

Pepijn, James, Tom, Charles, and Emily at JNUC 2017 – not pictured, Marcus

Friends, it’s with an utterly broken heart that I share that Charles Edge passed away on Friday night unexpectedly.

We are working with his family and friends to share more, but for now I would ask for your patience as we learn more.

This is a body blow to the Mac Admins community, and to our show. Charles was one of the best people that I’ve ever known, and a part of our lives every week with his humor, his charm, his incredible knowledge, and his curiosity.

We’ll have more to say in the coming days, but I know there are some great Charles stories, and if people wanted to share them here, I would be appreciative. Please share in the comments, or reach out at, and we’ll be updating this post through the weeks to come.

We were walking into the pub at the speakers’ hotel in London for the first MacAD.UK, and he said it out of the clear blue sky, “Hey, we should do a podcast! About Mac Stuff!” In his typical Charles fashion, you could hear the exclamation marks in his voice. He was excited, often, and that was the sign of a good adventure to come. 

We’d known each other over the Mac Admins Slack for a while, and from email lists and conferences before that, but we’d never worked together. Charles just drove right in, though, and before we knew it, we had a whole bunch of people working together for the first time. Marcus, Adam, Emily, Pepijn, and I were the first round of the Podcast.

Thank You for Everything, Charles — Tom Bridge

 Charles was one of the most alive people I knew. He wrote countless books (including a couple editions of Apple Device Management with me as co-author), either ran or appeared in multiple podcasts, had a full time job, contributed multiple open source tools and despite all of that always seemed to have time to talk.

Losing a Giant — Rich Trouton

The amount of information in Charles’s head was astonishing, and when I was reading his drafts, I got the impression he was brain-dumping the entire thing, no research necessary. I’m sure that wasn’t entirely true, but Charles was a delight to work with, was highly responsive to queries, and was always appreciative of good editing. To share his content sooner and as one of our experiments in publishing, we streamed his entire book, chapter by chapter, for TidBITS members (see “‘Take Control of OS X Server’ Streaming in TidBITS,” 12 May 2014).

Charles was very much a Tigger, in the Winnie-the-Pooh sense, and tirelessly bounced from project to project. Toward the end of writing Take Control of OS X Server, he moved from being the Chief Technology Officer of the national Apple consultancy 318 to managing the development of Jamf Now at Jamf Software, where he stayed for several years before switching to more R&D-based roles. 

Take Control Author Charles Edge Dies — Adam Engst

Today, I learned that Charles has passed. As I read the tributes in blog posts and Slack I realize that he was always curious. That curiosity made him interested in my esoteric finding. He persisted, and we recorded the episode. I’m glad we did, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Here’s to Charles Edge — Fraser Hess

Charles was one of the OGs in the Mac Admins world. He was friendly, funny, and always ready to help you if you asked. He shared so much of his knowledge on his website, on Slack, and in the books that he wrote.

Seeing the outpouring of support over his loss is a testament to who he was. The world is certainly a less happy place without him. Please put his family and friends in your thoughts tonight.

Cheers, Charles Edge — John Mahlman IV

Back in 2006 our Mac community was blossoming and put on one of our first events in San Francisco during WWDC. The first Intel Mac Pro had just been announced. The week had an overload of session prep and deck re-writing, many late nights spent in Dave’s and it was also the first Apple event that Charles attended.  In the most Charles way possible, he came and announced himself and shared his plans of authoring an Apple Mac Admin book – which was met with a hint of scepticism at the time as all of Charles’ experience he shared with us was in Windows. None of us knew his method and how deep into a topic he could get in such a short period of time. We learnt very quickly that Charles was a whirlwind that it was impossible not to get wrapped into.

As is the way in this community it’s hard to not find yourself intertwined with so many others in so many different parts of the world. I would not have thought that Charles and I would be working together just 9 years later. I’ll miss our conversations that traversed practically every topic possible, and will also miss seeing how many concurrent rabbit holes Charles could find himself down. He had a rampant interest in practically everything, and loved sharing what he’d learnt.

Charles will be missed by those both near and far to him. He absolutely can never be forgotten.

Andrina Kelly

Charles generously and enthusiastically gave his support to many organisations and events around the world – in particular, those that coalesced around the Apple ecosystem – and we were thrilled to be able to host him at our own events.

We offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends. He enriched so many lives and we will miss him dearly.

Vale, Charles Edge — Australian University Consortium

Charles was a cornerstone for many Apple enthusiasts. His acclaimed book series, “Take Control of OS X Server,” provided users with clear and comprehensive guidance on managing their server environments. He was also known for his ongoing work on a historical chronicle of computing, showcasing his passion for technology’s evolution.

Beyond his publications, Charles was admired for his genuine kindness and willingness to share his expertise. He leaves behind a legacy of not only valuable resources, but also a spirit of helpfulness that enriched the Apple community.

In Memory of Charles Edge: A Conversation Revisited — Command Control Power

He was generous with knowledge, help, and advice, but most of all, with attention. At conferences and meetings, he would often be in a group, not only talking, but also listening and sharing. He loved geeking out, a fact that was demonstrated weekly on the Mac Admins Podcast.

I got invited to the podcast a few times, and even though I always suspected he know far more about… well… anything, he let me talk about my perspective and experience, neither taking the spotlight, nor hiding his enthusiasm, but sharing. It was infectious.

His enthusiasm went so much further than Mac Admin related topics. In my last conversation with him, just a few weeks ago, we talked about managed Apple IDs, Swift, Dungeons and Dragons and 3D printing. A “normal” chat with Charles… It saddens me deeply it was the last.

Goodbye, Charles Edge — Armin Briegel

17 Replies to “In Memoriam: Charles Edge”

  1. Bart Reardon

    I never got to meet Charles in person. I was chatting to him on slack recently about his upcoming Swift book. He was excited about it (as his was with many things) and I was honoured he thought of me to share a draft copy with. Reading it told me I am but a student and still have much to learn. His ability to communicate complex concepts in an understandable way is a rare skill and the MacAdmins community, and world as a whole, is poorer now that Charles is not in it to continue that legacy.

    You had a massive impact on me mate. That will not be lost. ❤️

    • Michael Hendry

      I worked with Charles for a few years at 318 prior to him moving on to JAMF. He hired me as a service desk manager and I worked with him daily, it was an absolute pleasure.

      After we both moved on from there we didn’t keep in touch much, a phone call or two. But, I was always happy to see he was doing well and proud to have worked with him.

      He was funny, was a permanently juvenile sense of humor that always made him seem permanently young in comparison with his knowledge and accomplishments. The kind of friend you could run into after 10 years and not feel like a day had gone by.

      Sorry that we won’t have the opportunity for that to happen, and extremely sorry for the loss to his friends and family. He’ll be dearly missed.

  2. Naomi Pearce

    Charles Edge wrung every last bit out of life. He was approachable and charming, with terrific manners and yet an irreverence, and gleam in his eye, that always made me feel proud of my fellow American when we were overseas. Great balance.

    He put himself out there and had adventures. He was a do-er. He made sure that Jamf was a sponsor of the “CMD-D: Masters of Automation” conference. When was moved due to the pandemic, my first thought was being bummed at not getting to hang out with Charles. He treated everyone well. He was smart. He was generous. Someone mentioned he would always help out if you asked. Yup. His was a life well lived. The loss is entirely ours. Missing him will run deep.

  3. Søren Theilgaard

    I have met Charles yearly since he participated in MacSysAdmin in Gothenburg. I had also had conversations with him about solutions, he was always interested in helping.

    I always admired how knowledgeable he was and how he seems to just built new stuff all the time. The latest password manager where he got a patent is just one, and that was at the same time as a book project…

    If a man should be measured on the amount of people he has helped, Charles has really outperformed most, but not only that, he was also simply and genuinely nice and pleasant to talk to and be around. What a guy!

    My thought goes to his two children as well as his family.

    RIP Charles!

  4. Alex Narvey

    What an extraordinary fellow!

    I had the opportunity to chat with him one evening at While I was busy trying not to fall asleep from jet lag he had woken up early, gone for a multi-mile run, presented at the conference, chain smoked his way through the after party, and had consumed 3x the beer I had, and was still going strong.

    He talked about how hard it is to absorb information at a conference until you have completed your own presentation. I was surprised to learn that when he heard about the Canadian Museum of Human Rights opening in Winnipeg he drove the 8 hours up from Minneapolis to check it out.

    He seemed more alive than anyone I have ever met and it was impossible to come away from an interaction with him without being energized about the Mac Admin world and life in general.

    Thank you Charles.
    Thank you Tom Bridge and the other Mac Admin Podcasters
    I will be thinking of you all.

  5. Schoun

    Charles was in incredibly talented person. To call him an engineer is a disservice to his speaking ability. To call him a speaker is a disservice to his amazing capability as an engineer. To call him an author is a disservice to his ability to teach. And to call him a teacher is a disservice to his ability to lead.

    Charles was every one of those things, rolled up in a soaking-wet 120 lb frame with a smile that was as genuine as his words.

    I think I first met Charles in 2000 at Macworld in San Francisco. It was the year before I worked with Paul Kent to take over as the MacIT Conference Chair. Charles had expressed interest in speaking at a session or two. After discussing it over a drink or three at Dave’s on Third Street, Charles was in. During my tenure (2001-2007) Charles delivered at least one session each Macworld and quickly gathered a devoted following.

    When Paul wanted to create a smaller event limited to around 250 people, I asked Charles to participate there too and Mac Networkers Retreat was born. The first one also had a small vendor section, where this unbeknownst-to-us person had partnered up with a colleague to develop this software they called Casper. Chip Pearson quickly saw the power of the Mac community and Jamf Nation is a direct result of that and team Chip-Charles was born.

    During that time Charles landed at 318 in Santa Monica, and we had a friendly competition on writing books. When I had to stop at 7, Charles—to all of our benefit—kept writing.

    I forget which WWDC it was, but the WWDR folks at Apple had lunchtime IT talks. They weren’t prepared for the crowd that wanted to hear Charles speak. The room quickly filled to capacity and we had people in the hall replaying information out to each other. (We fared better than Joel Rennich and Josh Wisenbaker, who ended up literally speaking out in the hallway)

    When Michael Bartosh died in the summer of 2006, I delivered the Keynote on his behalf at a brand new conference called MacSysAdmin in Sweden. Charles gladly came along and his reputation preceded him. The conference sold out its very first year.

    Charles continued on in the public eye and helped lead thousands of IT administrators to the various Apple platforms that grew out of macOS.

    I will miss him as a colleague. I will miss him as a friend. And I will miss him as a fan.

  6. Zack McCauley

    I only ever physically met Charles in passing at MDOYVR a few years ago. Even then, his kind smile and willingness to share knowledge was infectious. Charles helped me out on Macadmins slack a number of times and really showed the depth of his knowledge too. He really bolstered the community and helped push MacAdmins to what is now.

    The world is a little less bright without him.

  7. Scott

    I am absolutely gutted to hear this news. Charles was one of the most enthusiastic and voracious learners I ever met, supremely motivated and a delightful human. I have so many fond memories of Charles at our APS Provider / ACN Camps where he was always sharing his vast knowledge with the group and keeping the mood light.

  8. Dennis Wurster

    Charles embodied two things that the world needs more of: kindness and curiosity. We are all so much worse-off without him, I want to believe that he has paid-it-forward to everyone he interacted with, and that we will do the same. Thanks for showing us how it’s done, Charles. Safe home.

  9. Joe Saponare

    What a profound loss to the Apple Consulting community. I met Charles and spoke with him a few times and only wish I had gotten to know him better. One of my earliest memories of Charles was about 10 yeas ago after an Apple conference, learning that he was a fellow “burner” i.e. someone who had attended Burning Man. At that time it was a personal detail that I didn’t share very freely in my “professional” networks, so I found it encouraging that Charles did. He was fully himself and open on all channels. Another time while walking through the city after an event with a few colleagues including Charles, he randomly did a cartwheel in the street. Charles was fun-loving yet serious, and silly yet smart and professional. He was caring and kind, a creative force. Condolences to his family and the lucky friends who got to know him.

  10. Dan

    I clearly remember my first meeting with Charles at Jamf’s Minneapolis office in September 2015. Steve and I were on a tour of Jamf’s “Twin Cities”. Charles at the time was transitioning off of Bushel to the IBM partnership but he shared with me an intriguing technical project he had undertaken. I was fascinated by his idea and the way he went about building it. I recall learning so much from that conversation, and it was excited to see Charles’s impact in the community increasing via his relatively new role at Jamf. My thoughts are with his family. He will be missed.

  11. Sal Soghoian

    Many of our most “real” conversations were between the two of us, and usually about the “art of presenting.” Charles knew well the effort it takes to make something appear easy. We were both of the MacSysAdmin clan, and sometimes our conference paths would continue to cross mutiple times a year. I never got tired of seeing Charles present, because each time would be creativly infused with the people and the moment. He was supremely “aware’ while comforatbly seeming not to pay attention. And it was at Charles behest that I spoke at JNUC in 2018. He made me feel like family. He was a clever supportive man and an endearing prescence that lives on through the lives he touched. Thank you Charles! — SAL

  12. Tom Elerowski

    Ohh man… where to begin?? I worked with Charles for a few years at 318. Charles taught me everything I grew to know about Xsan and more.
    He not only took the time to ensure that I got the fundamentals, but he made sure that I could effectively back my way out of pretty much any hole that could have been dug by failing hardware or software.
    Charles was more than the sum of his parts, and the entire community of people that he worked with over the decades will surely miss him… I know I do! My condolences to his family.
    A sudden loss hits hard.
    Rest in peace, my friend.

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