2011 X World Sessions

Click a session title to see more details about that talk and the speaker, and to access the media download links.

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Mobile Podcast Producer
Paul Cowan, University of Waikato & William McGrath, University of Auckland

This feature presentation covers use-cases on Podcast Producer on OS X Server and its XML workflow based programability, demonstrating how to provide atypical solutions to common IT problems, and enhance the accessibility of PCP from a mobile context. We will briefly describing the internal structure of a podcast workflow to illustrate the potential power available to podcast workflows via XGrid, then assemble a customized podcast workflow from various components and do a live demonstration of sending a bundle of Word Docs containing class notes, PDF’s containing powerpoint slides and videos of lectures to the PCP machine. The server will quickly return submitted content as a University of Waikato branded ePub hosted in Podcast Library, which would be demonstrated on an iPad. Podcast Producer will have converted the Word docs, PDF’s and videos into a single ePub which can then be hosted via iTunes or placed into iTunesU.

Click here for more information about Paul Cowan

The second part presents a project to simplify Podcast Producer library administration and access using a HTTP server interface. We will demonstrate how an iOS device can leverage this interface to upload podcasts created with their built in capabilities, such as camera, GPS, and other additional metadata, expanding on the currently limited metadata available in Podcast Producer today. The resulting media also can be moderated by a marketing/copyright team for compliance within a web interface, and sorted into categories for exposure in iTunes feeds, and this will demonstrated in the presentation.

Click here to access the slides used for this presentation



Using Red Hat Server & Puppet for OS X Deployment
Christian Unger, University of Queensland

  • What is an SOE and why is it important to server maintenance
  • How to build a Linux repository server
  • How to build a kickstart environment
  • Introduction to Puppet:
    • how to configure a Puppet master
    • how to use Puppet to complete and maintain your SOE
    • writing flexible Puppet modules
    • how to get the most out of different OS platforms
    • what Puppet can and can not do
  51.6 MB

Munki Software Deployment
Jon Rhoades, University of Melbourne

Munki works by having a client on each Mac which checks the deployment server for a corresponding manifest of Software.  The client then downloads the assigned packages and installs, updates, or removes them as required.  Interestingly it can also fire off an Apple Software update, allowing a non admin users to initiate Apple updates. This workshop will demonstrate how munki works including, installation, creation of packages, manifests and its integration with Apple Software Updates, both with live demos & videos of the longer/trickier sections.

  5.8 MB

Virtual Machines in Mac Teaching Labs
Daniel Conway, University of Newcastle

The School of Design, Communication and IT at the University of Newcastle has for a number of years being running virtual machine platforms on both Parallels and VMWare Fusion.

This year after 3 years of running both platforms during a pilot the School decided on running only Fusion for a number of reasons. As with all Institutions dollars talk and VMWARE’s education licensing is by far and away much more flexible that Parallels. We also found that in our environment, and therefore most HiEd environments, that Fusion was better able to meet that configuration needs of both academics in teaching and students in learning.

This session will run through:

  • Benefits for running virtual machines
    • Able to teach any software, on any platform. Allowing flexibility to enter students learning whether Design, Communication or IT.
  • Our configuration and deployment of Fusion VM’s to labs
    • How to create fusion clones to allow students admin access to VM’s and complete portability of their customised/personalised VM.
    • Packaging of VM’s for remote desktop/Deploy Studio deployment
  • Benefits of this configuration over others
    • How this portability overcomes licensing concerns raised in other methods.
    • Rapid and remote, deployment of virtual machines via above methods.
  6.6 MB

OS X Imaging, Software and Policy Deployment with Linux Services
Doug Brown, Redlands College

For those who have a UNIX background, this session will be of particular interest as it covers adapting your existing DHCP, TFTP, HTTP, and FTP servers to support NetInstall of OS X and centralised management of OS X client software and policies using your existing Linux service infrastructure.

  349.6 KB

Managing and Hardening Snow Leopard: Policies for Use in Education
Doug Brown, Redlands College

Managing client computers in large organisations can be daunting, particularly in education where students are constantly testing the boundaries. This seminar covers some of the more elaborate techniques I have developed to mitigate the threat presented by end users who attempt to elevate their access and circumvent out-of-the-box Snow Leopard settings.

Software and Policies include:

  • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Changing the default home folder mode
  • Preventing non-administrative users from executing binaries on foreign file systems such as USB sticks
  • Packaging certificate based wireless settings
  • Preventing access to Utilities/System Preferences
  • Changing the default umask
  • LDAP authentication with eDirectory and other non-standard LDAP mappings
  • Final Cut and Logic Studio Distribution
  • Taming Pro Tools
  417.6 KB

Using the Corona SDK for App Development
Jayant C Varma, James Cook University

App development is considered a tedious or difficult task by many as it involves learning Objective-C that a lot of people shy away from. Apple opened up the use of other frameworks to develop for the iOS platform, and one such platform is CoronaSDK. This involves using a simple script like language called Lua and developing apps with Lua is very easy and quick, so for System Admins or IT departments that want to deploy apps quickly and not spend much time in development or are having issues with procuring talent, can now manage this in-house with CoronaSDK.

The workshop goes through the functionality of what CoronaSDK can do and then make a quick app with some functionality, add some text, some graphics, a map and some other elements in the simulator.

  4.5 MB

Building an SOE/MOE
Adam Reed, Australian National University

This hands on session will cover numerous aspect of building and maintaining a SOE/MOE including understanding OS X, software packaging, basic scripting and the command line. In addition you will see and use various tools that make managing a SOE easier. Finally you will gain some practical ideas that you can utilise in your environment. This session is a repeat from 2010.

  7.2 MB

Problem Solving and Troubleshooting Methodologies
Daniel Rodwell, Australian National University

This workshop will cover how to take a issue that has been deemed “unfixable” and identify a resolution using structured methodologies.

The same techniques can be applied in System Administration, and resolving issues with these techniques can be faster and more assured than guesswork. We will cover some of the more common approaches such as Split-Half and Signal Flow Methods, as well as tips on how to dig yourself out of a situation where there appears to be no answer.

Similarly for Problem Solving, some problems appears to be so large and complex, that is hard to know where to begin. For problem solving, we will cover some Top-Down/Bottom-Up approaches, and how you can use analysis and synthesis to find a solution.

While most System Administrators have at some point had to perform troubleshooting, it’s often unstructured, time consuming and can be very frustrating.

  596.3 KB

iPads at Adelaide University
Mike Seyfang, University of Adelaide

In September 2010 the Science Faculty at the University of Adelaide announced they would be replacing “traditional textbooks and other teaching materials in first year with online study tools. As part of the move, all students enrolled in the first year of an undergraduate Science program at the University for 2011 will receive a free Apple iPad..”

Mike Seyfang was heavily involved in the design and implementation of how the roll out worked and how the Faculty moved inot the digital age. Mike will cover what was learned from the whole process, its ongoing benefits (and issues) and what comes next.

Click here for more information about Mike’s talk

Grant Baxter, University of Otago

In 2005 the Assessi assessment prototype was presented at the “Evolution of the Species” AUC general conference in Hobart. Since then, the project has evolved and expanded into a piece of server based software that is used extensively within the Department of Design Studies at the University of Otago. Assessi is an advanced student assessment and management tool that allows teachers and students to create shared understandings of assessment and marking criteria. From being a small, unproven prototype, it has become a core piece of software that all staff have become dependent on.

The software itself is Apache/PHP/MySQL based and relies heavily on various other OSX Server technologies and Safari to act as the primary HTML front end. Since its initial deployment it has had several additional parts attached, such as Digital Submission and Archival, and print quota management and notification (based on Tea4CUPS, PHP, and Growl). The software itself has evolved well beyond the initial design brief and is now poised to be taken to the “next level” and be transformed into a professional piece of software.

This presentation will focus on a description of the software itself, development process and issues, issues of user “buy-in” and resistance to “new technology” (especially around such a sensitive issue as assessment), and a discussion of how a piece of software that staff were initially suspicious of has become a core piece of departmental technology.

For the future, iPad development looms as a logical platform, but there is also the attractive option of a Web App (SAAS) that can target multiple platforms simultaneously.

For more information:

Trinity College iPad Pilot
Trent Anderson, Trinity College, University of Melbourne

The presentation will cover:

  • How the idea came about
  • Deployment and management of iPads
  • How the students found the iPads
  • How the staff found the iPads
  • Results from surveys
  • Effect on the IT department and IT infrastructure including wireless networks
  • Integration with existing systems
  • Where to from here

Click here for more information about the pilot

Collaborative Learning Spaces at ANU
Matthew Tilney, Australian National University

A traditional computing lab will have a number of desktop computers sitting upon desks with each student using just one machine for their work. The teaching activities taught in these spaces generally focus towards individual work performed on the single computer of their choice. The Ethel Tory Centre incorporates a new idea that teaching can be a collaborative group process. Starting with language teaching, which was already taught using a collaborative method, the next step was to create a teaching space where the technology enhanced the environment. The practical implementation of this was through the use of Apple MacBook Pro’s on mobile desks which could be used in a number of configurations. One of these configurations utilised TV screens mounted to walls displaying Mac Minis controlled through collaborative software. The presentation will focus on the design and support considerations required for managing the machines. Covering items such as security, network, power management or the machines and the use of the collaborative software to remote control the minis.

Using FileMaker Go
Alistair Campbell, Edith Cowan University

These applications improve the the assessment process for both students and staff, and could enhance student engagement in the learning process. They removed the administrative and busy work involved in marking, no more adding up or creating lists of marks) and improves usability of student information (student information can be imported or exported directly from/to csv or excel documents); student photos can be added, emails can be sent directly from these applications, can be used to record notes on students etc. All this on the iPad is possible now using FileMaker GO.

  2.8 MB

Working with Sun Identity Management and Open Directory
Pascal Grosvenor & Jen Walbank, University of Technology, Sydney

The MOE system is now up and running at UTS. It’s a system that better integrates the macs (regardless of whether they’re staff or student computers) into UTS’ enterprise systems and infrastructure. Another way of describing it would be a standardised, managed operating environment (MOE) for Macs. The presentation will cover the what’s happened with the project since X World 2010 as well a recent developments.

  6.6 MB

Animation renderfarm at DAB
Pascal Grosvenor, University of Technology, Sydney

The animation renderfarm utilises Mac Pros and Xserves, Promise VTrak RAID, Autodesk Maya, and Rush render queue software. We are currently designing and setting up an all new renderfarm at DAB. This presentation will cover the history of the renderfarm over the last 2-3 years, new developments/ comments on the new design and how we plan to proceed.

  6.9 MB

Managing iOS Devices
Andrew Wellington, Australian National University

With the increasing numbers of iOS devices in use methods for managing those devices are becoming more important. This session will provide an overview of methods, software and techniques that can be used to manage iOS from small to large numbers of devices.

  2.5 MB