High Sierra Update Issues

MacLab has had a number of customers come to us after applying a High Sierra update and the computer would not boot up. These updates are set to download automatically in many cases, so simply restarting the computer causes the update to proceed. In the past, this was usually safe. Unfortunately there’s an issue with these updates that can cause them to fail, leaving the Mac in an unusable state. You might see a message such as “The path /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg appears to be missing or damaged.”

Even if this has not happened to you, you may want to open up the System Preferences, go to the App Store setting, and uncheck “Install MacOS Updates.” We recommend having MacLab run these updates for you under managed services or maintenance.

The iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is Apple’s most powerful computer to date. It features up to an 18 core processor, 128GB of RAM and a 4TB SSD. The computer has a “space gray” finish and prices start at $4999. The iMac Pro is geared toward a graphics, video, or audio pro. So far, the RAM is only available from Apple as this post is written although that will likely change soon. All the peripherals including keyboard, mouse, and optional trackpad are space gray to match the computer. We still have some reservations about the all-in-one design of the iMac vs the Mac Pro, however this does look like an excellent workstation. We eagerly look forward to the upcoming Mac Pro design Apple has promised (date unknown.)

iMac Pro

Apple Security Updates

Apple has released a round of important security updates for Mac OS El Capitan 10.11 through High Sierra 10.13. Note that no security update is available for Yosemite 10.10, so anyone running that older version of the OS should consider upgrading to at least El Capitan. These new security updates address a long list of issues from the highly publicized KRACK wireless vulnerability to a laundry list of other flaws, some specific to High Sierra. Customers with MacLab managed services will automatically be updated in the background.

Mobile Device Management

Mobile device management (MDM) provides quick and easy control and security for iPhones, iPads and even Macs, wirelessly through the Internet. This allows locking a lost iPad or iPhone, easy reference of inventory and device specifications and deployment of new configurations instantly. Furthermore, it’s possible to distribute software and have new iPhones shipped to your company pre-configured.

A common scenario is the need for security and a quick email, contacts and calendar install on iPhones. Once we establish an account on our end, you just visit a url, enter your name and password, then the iPhone is secured and configured. Your time invested: 5 minutes.

MacBook Pros, iMacs Leap Ahead

Apple just upgraded the MacBook Pro line. The previously released “Touch Bar” laptops had almost no change in computing power from the generation before, leaving few motives to purchase. This latest upgrade using the “Kaby Lake” chip boasts a twenty percent increase in performance. MacLab can now whole heartedly recommend these MacBook Pros. Break out the adapters and get ready for USB-C, the single connector of choice on these laptops because it’s here to stay.

The iMac still has plenty of ports for your cabling pleasure, thank goodness. This new iMac family even upgrades the Thunderbolt 2 port to Thunderbolt 3. Processing power has increased across the board and so has graphics performance. It’s a great time to buy an iMac.

WannaCry Ransomware and Macs

By now you’ve probably heard of the world-wide ransomware attack, “WannaCry.” It has brought down over 200,000 systems in 150 countries including major medical organizations by encrypting data and holding it for ransom. Lucky for Mac users this is a Windows-only attack. However, ransomware for the Mac is alive and well. Make sure your network and devices are protected and you have a recovery plan.

Implement a firewall with quality network protection, turn on Mac OS Firewall in the Security section of the System Preferences, use Malware/Antivirus protection (we recommend Bitdefender + MacLab’s Malware detection) and check that your backup allows you to revert all data to a time before an attack.

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