Apple Push Notifications for Fun and Profit

Robert Gardam, Griffith Univeristy

Track: iOS; Audience: Beginner

This presentation will explore the integration of Apple push notifications into a enterprise server monitoring system. I will give a quick overview of the importance of enterprise monitoring and how important a reliable notification system is. I then intend to explore how I used push notifications instead of SMS’s to send notifications from our monitoring system in a reliable and effective way by interfacing with a rails back end.
The major technical fields that are covered are:

  • Where to begin iOS Development
  • Apple push notification ins and outs
  • Rails integration with iOS
  • Fundamental monitoring system concepts

At the end of the presentation I will demonstrate the app that I’ve built.

Introduction to GCD and Blocks

Adam Debono, University of Wollongong

Track: Tools & Tech; Audience: Intermediate

This talk is about how to use Grand Central Dispatch and Blocks. I feel that this is a very important subject as parallelism is becoming much more useful with multi-core processors now creeping into iOS devices as well as being in desktop computers. GCD and blocks simplifies the process of parallelising programs to maximise efficiency.

Talk Outline:
1. Why use GCD & Async?

  • 1. unblock the main thread
  • 2. run background processes
  • 3. execute operations that don’t need to be run immediately

2. Intro to Blocks

  • 1. What is a block
  • 2. Where would you use blocks?
    • 1. Completion/Error handlers
    • 2. Concurrency (GCD)
    • 3. Use functions like variables.

3. Examples

  • 1. Create and use a block var
  • 2. blocks in function parameters (C and Obj-c)
  • 3. block types
  • 4. Global blocks

4. Blocks and Variables

5. Dispatch Blocks
3. Intro to GCD

  • 1. queues
    • 1. declaring
    • 2. get main/global queue
  • 2. Queueing tasks (async, sync, after, apply, once)
    • 1. dispatch_async/dispatch_sync
    • 2. suspend/resume queue
    • 3. recursive decomposition
  • 3. Looping/Multiple runs
    • 1. std. for loop with dispatch_async
    • 2. dispatch_apply
    • 3. fast enumeration/forin

4. Other

  • 1. dispatch_after
  • 2. dispatch_once -> singleton

5. lock functionality
6. groups

Plus lots of demos and examples.

Programming for Mobility

Judit Klein, Auckland University of Technology

Track: iOS; Audience: Beginner

We live in an age defined by mobility; the iPhone and iPad not only enables us to be more mobile, but also offers us new ways to engage with each other and the world around us. This talk looks at exploring what this means for creating apps when dealing with devices that are simultaneously context aware and independent. To be context aware means that the device knows where it is and how it is being held and moved. To be context independent means that the user is no longer tethered to any one physical location.

This talk will introduce how to integrate location awareness and working with the CoreLocation framework. Looking at the bigger picture, learn how to harness the potential of being context aware: go beyond simply knowing where the user is and use that information to enhance user experience.

However, it’s a scary world out there and there are some key things you have to take into account when dealing with a platform that is inherently mobile; to be context independent means providing the same user experience regardless of where they are. This talk addresses key considerations for when your app goes out into the real world and has to dynamically deal with changing environments.

Aimed at beginners, introduces some code but also look at the underlying functionality, bigger picture implications and overall best practices.

/dev/world/2012 – Call for Presenters

/dev/world/2012 is an annual conference hosted by the AUC, and aimed at developers who write for Mac OS X and iOS. In 2012 it will take the form of a 2-day conference featuring special talks, lecture presentations and social events to facilitate networking, along with a day of optional workshops. The event will cater for around 140 attendees.

The organising committee is seeking expressions of interest from the AUC and wider Apple developer community willing to present during the event.

Continue reading “/dev/world/2012 – Call for Presenters”

Understanding Profile Manager

Arek Dreyer, Dreyer Network ConsultingPart of XW12

Profile Manager makes it easy to configure your user’s Mac OS X Lion computers and iOS devices so they’re set up to use your company or school resources and so they have the settings your organization requires. This workshop will cover what you need to know about Profile Manager including:

  • Components of Profile Manager
  • Understanding user and device groups
  • Understanding configuration profiles
  • Distributing configuration profiles
  • Managing a Mac lab
  • Remotely locking or wiping a lost device

plus how to integrate Profile Manager with Active Directory and other third-party LDAP services.

Contact Arek Dreyer

Xcode Workshops

We are pleased to offer 4 workshops in late July, early August on Xcode. The workshops will be delivered in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

Xcode is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that contains an amazing range of software development tools for developing OS X and iOS applications. Most users may not realise how much Xcode has on offer so this workshop aims to provide an in-depth overview of the tools enabling the best apps to be built.

Attendees will be given an introduction to the Xcode tools and then explore the various tools in depth during the two days to become an Xcode master.

More information about the Xcode Workshops.

Munki Magic

Sam Dunster, University of WollongongPart of XW12

Munki is a set of tools that, used together with a webserver-based repository of packages and package metadata, can be used by OS X administrators to manage software installs (and in many cases removals) on OS X client machines.

Munki can install software packaged in the Apple package format, and also supports Adobe CS3/CS4/CS5/CS6 Enterprise Deployment “packages”, and drag-and-drop disk images as installer sources.

Additionally, Munki can be configured to install Apple Software Updates, either from Apple’s server, or yours.

Munki is currently in use at organizations all over the world, managing software for thousands of Macs.

Relevant Links
Munki Project & Wiki –
Munki User Group –
Part 1 of the Munki Tutorials at MacTech –

  7.4 MB

Effective Data Management

Aaron Tan, University of MelbournePart of XW12

Managing your data effectively enhances your project. Inadequate data management can also lead to catastrophes like the loss of data or the violation of people’s privacy. This talk will focus on digital asset management systems that are currently used by educational and research institutions, libraries and museums. I will also cover software resources available to create good general models of data management planning for any project.

This will cover backup strategies, content management, cloud computing and collaboration tools. This is likely to be of particular interest to system administrators, developers, researchers/research administrators who are charged with data management for a research project or an institution.

Contact Aaron Tan

Rsync & Carbon Copy Cloner

Ashley Aitken, Curtin UniversityPart of XW12

Rsync is a very powerful and very flexible tool (and associated Rsnapshot) for backup and sync-ing on Macs (and other operating systems). Integrated with the fantastic Carbon Copy Cloner tool (CCC) (free for use in education institutions) it makes a powerful combination.

This technology and tools are not a replacement for Time Machine but fills a complementary need.  Setting up these technologies can also be sometimes confusing and complicated (e.g. setting up the keys to allow no-password ssh).  This presentation is relevant to beginner and intermediate level administrators who haven’t really explored the potential of the rsync technology.

  1.4 MB

Web-based iOS Configuration Management

Tim Bell, Trinity College, University of MelbournePart of XW12

As Trinity College’s use of iPads has grown from a small pilot study, to a medium sized cohort of students, and now a forecast 600 students and 100 staff this year, we have steadily improved how we manage the configuration of those iPads.  The presentation will briefly recap the evolution of iPad configuration management at Trinity, and look at existing solutions that are available.  However, the majority of the presentation will cover our Django-based web application.  It allows IT staff to prepare a configuration profile using iPhone Configuration Utility and upload it to the web app; students then authenticate to the web app with their LDAP credentials, and download a profile directly on their iPad over wireless, customised with their own account settings for email, wireless authentication, etc.  The presentation will include how to set up the Open Source web app for use in your own institution, as well as a quick demonstration of the app.

The technical fields the presentation will cover are the structure of an iOS configuration profile, Django and its use on a Linux or Mac OS X server, and the configuration installation process on iOS.  The intended audience is IT administrators with responsibility for iOS device configuration management for staff or students.

  7.4 MB