Burning Logs-No, Not /Users/you/Library/Logs

I have this DVD of a fireplace. It is simply a closeup of a few logs burning slowly. It is probably one of my favorite DVDs I own. I bet I have watched it more often then the “classics” I own; Citizen Kane, Casablanca and Star Trek II Wraith of Khan. Even if I had a real fireplace I think I’d still watch it because this fire never dies down. Hot embers never pop out and burn the rug. I am convinced this is the reason why TVs were made.

And it is that time of year that I take off for Adobe’s annual shut-down and throw that DVD on, have a glass of wine or winter beer and reflect on the year. And in doing so, I just keep getting an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. I am a thankful to so many people who have made this a great year. I want to start with our customers and especially the IT admins who bust their —you know whats— for their organizations. You NEVER get thanked enough, so I am going to say it twice: Thank you! Thank you! And as always we appreciate you for your support with our efforts and honest feedback here on this blog, in emails, and in person. We are are trying to make your lives just a little bit better for you and you deserve it!

Listen to that fire crackle in Dolby Surround! I also want to thank our deployment vendor partners! You all are golden! We share the same customers and vision and together we make it happen. Thank you! Looking forward to working with you in 2012 and expanding out into the management of Touch Apps for the tablets. I love me some uncharted territory!

Last but not least I have to thank the great people who I work with here at Adobe. I have to start with the AAMEE crew. You guys rock. Special shout outs to Sachin, Sourabh, Abhishek, Dany and Rahul. I am missing some folks, contributors of the past for sure. Tushar, Saransh and Sumita. So many people have helped out. I am forgetting others. I feel like the actor at the awards podium who forgets to thanks his wife. (Yep, someone just won an award but is sleeping on the couch tonight! ) I can’t not thank the dynamic duo of Aditya and Mansukh enough. They architect the direction of AAMEE and the other IT tools with me and never laugh (in my face at least) when I say I want to do______ by ________. And thanks to our new Program Manager Dheeraj! And of course Charat and GG. And then where would we be without the vision in the management of Nagendra and Barry? AAMEE wouldn’t even exist without those two. And there is Eric who has been such a great mentor that he now actually thinks I don’t need any more guidance and leaves me on my own to get in trouble. My awesome manager Carol who soooo doesn’t read this blog but I call her out publicly as awesome anyway, because it is true. Oh no, the music is playing. They are shooing me off the stage. Wait, what about Karl, our CS Systems Engineer who is rocking in his new role? What about Manju and all the great work she does on helping people with AUSST. Two hired beauties are escorting me off the stage now! What about the designers: Shivam and oh, Vikas. Wait I forgot my wife! My wife! I don’t want to sleep on the couch with the cat!

No really, thanks everyone! We’ve got some cool stuff coming down the pike for 2012. We’ll be showing our new command line tool that can be used to invoke the CS updater remotely at the MacIT section of Macworld/iWorld on Thursday, January 26th. Thanks John for making that happen! We’ll post more on that in early January. We’ve also got a great new version of AAMEE we are working on. Lots of good stuff. Looking forward to working with all of you who I thanked above and especially whoever I accidentally left out. Like my admin. Yikes. Sorry Karen.

May your log burn forever!

Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite | Adobe Systems

Keeping It Local- JAMF SF Regional User Conference

For those JAMF admins in the Bay Area I have a treat for you if you meet one of these criteria:

1) You didn’t attend the JAMF National User Conference last month

2) Attended the conference but had a session schedule conflict preventing you for seeing our talk

3) Attended our talk but fell asleep right when I said “Hello Minneapolis!”

You guessed it, I am bringing our talk from the National User Conference, lovingly called “Integrating Adobe’s IT Tools into Your Casper Suite Workflow” to the San Francisco JAMF User Conference next week. But don’t worry, I am not going to repeat the same presentation. I am going to make it local. So whereas I made an analogy around the CS installation process to the Saturn V rockets of the Apollo mission, I will replace the rocket metaphor with a Mission-style burrito. Specifically Papalote burritos. And if I make some random mention of beer in the talk (as I am apt to do) I will make sure that I don’t screw up and make mention of Minneapolis’ Surly Furious but instead will use Speakeasy’s Prohibition Ale as my beer stand-in of choice. See, totally different talk!

Actually, Karl Gibson, our awesome CS Enterprise Systems Engineer from Dublin, will not be in attendance. So sadly the talk will feature 85% less Irish accent action. I’ll try and fake an Irish accent during the Q&A. But I will keep that local too, making mention of the Irish Bank pub on Mark Lane which is one of my favorite pubs. Not sure how that will fit into the Q&A, but we’ll see.

December 8
Madrone Studio
Main Level Studio
3:15-4:15 PM
Integrating Adobe’s IT Tools into Your Casper Suite Workflow

To sign up or more info:

http://jamfsoftware.com/events/user-conferences/regional-user-conference-san-francisco-2011-12-08

See you there!

Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite | Adobe Systems

Special Adobe Discount For Mobile Device Management Event

IT admins have been patiently waiting around for more work to be thrown on their plates for sometime. “Please, if only I had another device/platform I could support on top of more current work!” is their cry. In case you have your Sarcasm Meter™ turned off or are new to reading my posts, let me assure you this is my attempt at humor. But honestly, from the conversations I’ve had with IT staff lately, this is right on the verge of not being funny. So much is being thrown at IT staff right now and the explosion of tablet usage in corporate and school environments is posing some significant challenges. Some organizations are trying to manage them to the same degree as their desktop/laptops but it seems like a lot of folks are doing the wait and see game. Similar to what we saw when Macs started finding their way into corporate environments, there were many who said “Maybe they’ll just go away.” Well they didn’t. And iPads and Android tablets aren’t either.

So now that I painted that glum picture for you, let me make it worse… and then a little better. To make things worse for you, Adobe is making some awesome touch apps for tablets that your users will most likely want installed the moment you start your coffee break. Seriously, this is some cool stuff. Apps like Adobe Collage and Adobe Photoshop Touch are likely to become standard tools within your design groups you support. I am not giving you a marketing pitch here, more like a head’s up. Some of our touch apps debuted on Android but the full set of the iOS ones are coming down the pike. In case you thought this was new territory, we already have like a dozen iOS apps in the App Store.

Now I said that I could make it better for you. It is a small gesture, but a heartfelt one nonetheless. Our friends at MacTech are putting on their first MacTech InDepth: Mobile Device Management event next week in San Francisco on December 7. We are sponsoring the event and we have a special link below that will save you $200 off the on-site registration fee. This will be a great opportunity for anyone with an existing Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategy to be exposed to solutions and strategies from experts in the field. And if your organization’s MDM strategy has been “let’s wait and see” then this is certainly the time to get your feet wet and see what is out there and how your peers are starting to manage these devices (i.e. what they are doing for security, monitoring, and managing apps.)

Your discounted link (saves $200 off the on-site registration price of $495 — just $295 and includes lunch)

http://www.mactech.com/indepth/specialreg?rid=Adobe

I’ll be there as an attendee. I am not speaking or running a table or anything like that. But if you see a bearded guy with glasses wearing a black and white AAMEE shirt, please introduce yourself. Dang, now I must remember to wash that shirt, pack it, wear it that day, not shave, nor wear contacts.

Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite | Adobe Systems

Representin’ At The JAMF National User Conference


That’s right, we’ll be all over that JAMF National User Conference this week! We are not just crashing this party, we are actually a sponsor so we might have to pay for something if we break it. You’ll be able to catch myself and Karl Gibson, our Enterprise Systems Engineer, at one of three events: a BOAF, a talk, and a lively lab/feedback session. Let me give you a head’s up: they’ll be some Adobe prizes given away at all three!

Here’s the breakdown:

Tuesday Nov 8th- 6pm
Managing Creative Suite Birds Of A Feather
Zelo, located at 831 Nicollet Mall
http://www.zelomn.com/

Wednesday Nov 9th- 2:15pm
Integrating Adobe’s IT Tools into Your Casper Suite Workflow
Dowling Studio -Level 9

Wednesday Nov 9th-3:45pm
Lab Time and Feedback Session with Adobe
Cargill Classroom -Level 8

Session Schedule
http://jamfsoftware.com/events/user-conferences/national-user-conference-2011/sessions

See you at Minneapolis!

See You At Educause 2011

Education is near and dear to us and Adobe. It is near and dear to me personally, in fact I once managed computer labs for the Arts Institute of Seattle. So I know first hand some of the challenges of meeting the demands of students and faculty. To learn more about what is going on in the world of education today I am headed off to the education in technology event, Educause 2011, in Philadelphia later this month.

After running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with the theme from Rocky on my iPod, I’ll be ready to take on the world and give some AAMEE demos at the Adobe booth. Adobe’s booth is #601 and here’s the schedule for my sessions:

Wednesday Oct 19
2:30-3:30 pm
IT Deployment Tools For Adobe Desktop Suites

Thursday Oct 20
12:30pm-1:30pm
IT Deployment Tools For Adobe Desktop Suites
(Same session, but this time with more feeling and animated arm movement.)

There are lots of other great sessions at the Adobe booth so stop by and say hello.

Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite | Adobe Systems

Top Ten Awesomeness of AAMEE 2.1

I’ve wanted to do a top ten list on this blog for sometime. I am sucker for those top ten articles on the internet. You know the ones “Top Ten Best Places For Real Estate In Places You Would Never Move To,” “Top Ten Worst Places For Real Estate Including Where You Live,” or “Top Ten Best Android Apps Released Between 8-10 AM This Morning.” And then you click on them and then the site annoyingly makes you click through ten separate pages so you can see ten ads. By the time you get to the 8th one you have lost interest and feel your carpal tunnel kicking in.

This is not that type of top ten. Nope. Just a list of ten awesome things about the free IT packaging tool Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAMEE) 2.1. Once you get to the 8th item on this list you’ll say “I can’t stand it, I have to have it now” and you’ll stop reading and click on the download links. But wait, how can a dot release that has TEN awesome things in it? That is a lot of stuff for a dot release. Right? Well the AAMEE team is pretty much obsessed with packing in as much goodness as they can. We’ve been focused on saving IT admins time and I think this release has a lot to offer on that front.

So without further ado I bring you…
Top Ten Awesomeness of AAMEE 2.1:

1) Existing packages can be updated!
We now have a new workflow that allows you to update packages that are created with AAMEE 2.1 so that they are always up to date. If you create a package in October, you can go back and refresh the updates in that package in December. Awesome.

2) AAMEE now supports more than just the Creative Suite!
Sweet, more suites. AAMEE 2.1 fully supports Technical Communication Suite 3.5 and has limited support for eLearning Suite 2.5 and Acrobat X Suite. Awesome.

3) No more merging of DVD images!
Some folks download the Creative Suite from the Adobe Licensing Website (LWS) as one single large image. Others get it other ways including from resellers and have to take the physical discs and then create images of them and then go through a convoluted and time consuming process of merging them. Merge no more my friends as we now support multiple disc inputs, both physical or iso/dmg. Awesome.

4) Preferences!
Those who have never used AAMEE or have created lots of packages with AAMEE may not think that preferences as a category are not worthy of my gratuitous and carefree use of exclamation marks, but trust me. Prior to 2.1 there were no saved preferences. Now AAMEE automatically remembers your preferences for things including the package name, save to location, Installer location and best yet all the options you select on the Configure Package screen are now all saved after you quit and reopen AAMEE. A big time saver if you have to create multiple packages in a row. Awesome.

5) Never quit AAMEE again!
Another time saver for sure. Now after you are finished building a package you will see a New Package button that takes you back to the start of the workflow process. It is kind of an infinitive loop. Why would you need this? Well let’s say you had to break down the Master Collection into 14 separate application packages. Before, you would have to open AAMEE 14 times. Combined with the fact that we now have preferences this dreadfully laborious task would be, well, still dreadfully laborious. But overall, quicker. Awesome.

6) Support for Apple Mac OS 10.7 Lion!
You can now happily use AAMEE 2.1 to create packages on your 10.7 system knowing it has been tested and vetted by the AAMEE crew. Awesome.*
*See the Known Issues with Adobe products on Mac OS 10.7 Lion doc for the latest on compatibly with the products and 10.7.

7) Support for Apple Remote Desktop 3.5!
Want to create packages with AAMEE 2.1 and then push them out to systems using ARD 3.5? Of course you do. And you can sleep well at night knowing it is supported. Awesome.

8 ) Filter updates by name!
We’ve added a Search by Product option in the Updates section of AAMEE 2.1. There are a ton of updates and sifting through them can be a little daunting. Now in the Updates screen simply type in the Product name and get instant results of what updates are available for that product. Awesome.

9) AAMEE 2.1 is thinking about its demise!
“Ever since the XP-38 came out, they just aren’t in demand.” Wether its landspeeders or packaging tools eventually things become obsolete. As exciting and shiny as AAMEE 2.1 is today, we have to come to grips that one day there will be an AAMEE 2.2 or an AAMEE 3.0. And AAMEE 2.1 has come to terms with this and starting with this version it will do a search at launch to see if a new version is available and announce its own redundancy. Awesome.

10) ExceptionInfo.txt file now includes commands!
Okay, so maybe I front loaded this list a bit and now the end of the list is looking rather thin. There maybe there is some truth to that. But if you are a Mac admin and having to deploy items from the Exceptions folder you probably don’t want to have to go to a website just to get the command line text for deployment, right? Why not put it in the doc that is in the Exceptions folder? We did. See? Even this last one falls under the category of: Awesome.

So there you go, ten solid reasons to click on the links below and start using AAMEE 2.1. We also have a new Read Me that includes more on these new features and a list of known issues. And we are continually updating and revising the CS5/CS5.5 Enterprise Deployment Guide that explains how to use AAMEE, APTEE, AUSST and more.

Adobe Application Manager, Enterprise Edition 2.1 (Windows)
http://download.macromedia.com/pub/developer/creativesuite/AAMEE/win/ApplicationManagerEnterprise_2_1_all.exe

Adobe Application Manager, Enterprise Edition 2.1 (Mac)
http://download.macromedia.com/pub/developer/creativesuite/AAMEE/mac/ApplicationManagerEnterprise_2_1_all.dmg

Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite | Adobe Systems

AAMEE 2.1 Preview At Seattle Enterprise Macintosh Administrators Group Meeting

AAMEE 2.1 will have a sneak preview at the Seattle Enterprise Macintosh Administrators Group meeting on Wed 9/21/11. Any organization with a five word long name is cool by me. They go by SEMAG for short, which I just noticed is GAMES backwards. The Seattle Adobe office in lovely Fremont is actually hosting this SEMAG event which is organized by our friends at Apple.

And if getting to be first on their block to see AAMEE 2.1 in action wasn’t enough, I’ll be giving away a few prizes. Why? Because I love prizes. And pizza. Did I mention the pizza? No I forgot that. Pizza, prizes, packaging. Seriously, what more could you want out of a Wednesday?

If you are in the area and would like to attend (sorry for the short notice!) send me an email and I’ll provide you with the details. My address is the first letter of my first name, no space, my last name and then of course at adobe.com.

Cheers,

Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite

Updated JAMF Casper Tech Paper & JAMF Conference

Not sure how, but I failed to announce the recent release of JAMF’s newly updated tech paper “Simplifying Adobe CS5 and CS5.5 Administration with the Casper Suite” document. This has been updated for CS 5.5 and AAMEE 2.x.:

http://jamfsoftware.com/solutions/adobe-creative-suite/

Speaking of JAMF, they are holding their National User Conference this November in Minneapolis. Spoiler Alert: I’m totally going to be there. I’ll be the one with the AAMEE shirt on. And if you see me the next day, I’ll be the one with a slightly less clean AAMEE shirt on. (I’m packing light.)

I’ve never been to Minneapolis and I am excited. Home to some cool tech places, like my friends at Code 42 and (of course) JAMF. But also home to some of my all time musical faves: The Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Prince. One of my favorite design shops, Aesthetic Apparatus, is there. Plus Minneapolis has a neighborhood called Dinkytown. How awesome is that? Hope to see some of you there!

http://www.jamfsoftware.com/events/user-conferences/national-user-conference-2011/

Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite | Adobe Systems

Lion Tamers

Collection of National Media Museum
The cat is out of the bag! Mac OS X 10.7 aka Lion is roaming the streets and you brave Mac IT admins have been deemed Lion Tamers by the public at large. Or at least by me. I’ve managed a few OS compatibility assessments in my past and it is no easy task to gather up all the necessary info from the software publishers that are used in your environment, run/coordinate testing, etc. You are seeking the cold hard facts while a percentage of your users are barging down the door to upgrade due to justifiable work reasoning such as “shininess” and “Ars said I should.” Actually they said “Don’t just run out and upgrade your system as soon as you finish this review.” But who reads the second paragraph of the Recommendations section anyway?

And for that matter, who reads the second paragraph of my blog entries? We have two relevant pages for you and we will be keeping them up to date if new things are discovered, fixed, etc.

Creative Suite FAQ: Mac OS X Lion (v10.7) Compatibility
http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/faq.html#lion-os

Known Issues with Adobe products on Mac OS 10.7 Lion
http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/905/cpsid_90508.html

Also worth noting that if you are creating an image for Lion that the Flash Player plug-in is not installed for Safari.

And last but not least, what about your own Mac? I know what you are asking: 1) Does Spotify work on Lion? and 2) Can I create packages using Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition 2.0 (also known “on the streets” as AAMEE) using Lion? I don’t have the answer for the first one and seems rather off-topic but I can report that we have done testing both of the AAMEE application and of AAMEE-produced packages on Lion and everything has checked out fine. If you experience something different please feel to use the comments to let us know. So feel free to let AAMEE hang out in the blurred space scene of Launchpad and click on it at will.

Stay cool. Literally.

Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite | Adobe Systems

AAMEE 2.0 and AUSST 2.0 Live!

The 2.0 version of Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (or AAMEE so that I do not get carpal tunnel from typing the full name) is available directly for downloading for the Adobe DevNet site. http://www.adobe.com/devnet/creativesuite/enterprisedeployment.html In addition to this release the 2.0 version of the Adobe Update Server Setup Tool (AUSST) is now available for download as well. More about AUSST in a bit.

AAMEE 2.0

The team has been hard at work to create a new version of AAMEE that supports the new CS 5.5 release but also supports CS 5.0 media and 5.0 updates. The two big new features of AAMEE are: 1) in-app updates and 2) support for Acrobat X with CS 5.5 media.

I am really excited about the in-app updating, so excited that I already blogged about it, basically stealing my own thunder as it were. But seriously, it was a pain to leave AAMEE and go then go to the CS Updates blog and download the updates and then manually add them. Right? Right. And how on earth could you possibly know if all those updates were interrelated to the applications you were deploying? Do you a PHD in Adobe Updateology? Me neither, and I work here. This is why the team delivered the ability in this new version to have AAMEE query Adobe’s external update server for you. You pick the applications you are creating the package for on the Updates screen and then it shows you the updates related to that update. Then you can download them from within AAMEE and build your core application package with the latest updates or if you are creating just an update package of CS applications it is up to date. What if you are creating more than one package? AAMEE caches the updates so they can be repurposed.

Also on the topic of updates, if you have been deploying the video products you will want to check out the section of the Deployment Guide called “Difference between Product Update Names for DVD and Electronic Software Distribution—Combination Package” to explain why you might be seeing updates labeled Trial even if you did not download a trial CS installer or even if your software was serialized. This involves esoteric things such as licensed content, templates, ESDs, and other things you might know if you had that PHD in Adobe Updateology or if you were Todd Kopriva.

A great aspect of working with the CS 5.5 media is that it comes with Acrobat Pro X on the same disc or disc image. And AAMEE 2.0 supports it. Progress! Before I get carried away with my exclamation marks I should sober myself with visualizing the long series of asterisk marks this topic deserves as there are indeed a decent amount of caveats with deploying and updating Acrobat Pro X as part of CS 5.5. Please check out the “Deploying Adobe Acrobat” section of the Deployment Guide and ESPECIALLY the “Handling Feature Lockdown on Mac OS after Applying Updates” subsection if you are deploying Acrobat X out to Macs as part of an AAMEE package. I know it isn’t pretty. What is not in the doc, specific to Acrobat Pro X, is that on the Mac you also need to mac sure you are deploying the package out to the right OS. For instance, if you are using a North American English CS 5.5 serial you will run into trouble deploying this out to a Mac that has their OS language set to Swedish. That is a bit of an edge case, but if you run into this let us know and we’ll have some workarounds.

AUSST 2.0

AUSST allows you setup a local update server to house your Adobe CS updates on your own server. If your users are admins you can save a lot of bandwidth from having them pull the updates locally instead of from Adobe’s servers. I pronounce AUSST similar to “cost” sans the “c” of course, or like saying the city of Austin without the “in” part. Trust me, saying the full names or even the five letters of these five name IT tools in full gets old real fast.

Now that we got the pronunciation out of the way, let’s talk about what’s new with AUSST 2.0. Primarily and most importantly it provides support for the forthcoming CS 5.5 updates. So if you are an organization using the current version of AUSST and are about to migrate to 5.5 or will have a mixed environment of 5.0 and 5.5 users you will want to upgrade right away. For clarification, if you are running an update server setup with AUSST 2.0 it will support both 5.0 and 5.5 updates.

Along with the release we have a completely new documentation for AUSST. We heard your feedback loud and clear about the documentation and have effectively rebooted the documentation. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new documentation as a lot of time was spent on re-visioning it. We want to continually improve these docs so that getting started with an update server is straightforward.

What does AUSST 2.0 not do? Well the biggie that is not yet implemented is the ability to send out command line requests to the AUSST server to push out updates to end users. We are looking into this and other feature requests for a future version of AUSST.

Note: AUSST 2.0 is part of the AAMEE 2.0 install. The location for the various operating systems is on Page 15 of the Deployment Guide. It is also available as a separate download on the Adobe DevNet site

Please keep in touch. We read every single comment. Even the spam comments.

Jody Rodgers | Senior Product Manager | Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite