Small Biz Mac, This blog focuses on using Mac as the foundation of a small business--the operating platform, the market, and more. This blog will discuss both the challenges of operating a business on Mac hardware and software, and the impact of the broader Mac market on business.

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Kevin Walzer and Lori Jareo, publishers, software developers, Mac/iPhone users, and small business owners.

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Tue, 18 Nov 2014

Power user and Yosemite Server

Here's an excellent overview of the capabilities of Yosemite Server, which we just ran across today. This would have been helpful when we were reconfiguring the server this past weekend after hard drive failure. This is the latest in a long line of superb reviews of OS X systems by Ars Technica. A lot of good stuff here.

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Thu, 06 Nov 2014

Yosemite Server

This blog has been pretty quiet recently, without much discussion of Yosemite Server. The best thing I can say is that the upgrade was seamless, and in this regard, no news is good news.

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Thu, 10 Jul 2014

Is the Mac really invading the enterprise sector?

An interesting article at Tech Tell highlights the degree to which Macs are making inroads at large businesses, or "the enterprise." The article notes that Windows remains the predominant computing system in large businesses, but Macs and other Apple products--especially the iPad--are grabbing market share. This is a result of the iPad's overwhelming lead in the tablet space, to the point where the iPad is the de-facto industry standard for tablets, and also because of the trend toward "bring your own device" in the business world. And this development is also providing some coattails for the Mac to ride.

Apple had almost no presence in large businesses outside creative fields a decade ago; it's gratifying to see this changing.

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Sat, 19 Apr 2014

Three local backup solutions for Mac Server

Here is a useful guide to three methods of data backup for OS X Server: Time Machine, Mozy, and CrashPlan. One option the article doesn't mention is old-fashioned rsync, run via a cron job, to an external drive, combined with offsite storage and rotation. That method works reasonably well for us, but if you have a more complex setup, one of these others might be of interest.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2014

Mailmerge in Perl

One nice feature of Mac OS X Server--and OS X itself--is its inclusion of the Perl programming language and its various libraries that can be accessed through CPAN, a central clearinghouse for Perl extension modules. We make use of Perl for several things, including website support, support of mobile apps, and customer communications.

In our discussion of customer communications, we mentioned a Perl-based tool for one-off communication to a list of e-mail addresses, mailmerge. Our previous experience with the mailmerge tool was that it was great for simple e-mail communication but didn't support rich/HTML text. After doing some further research, we found that it is indeed possible to send HTML e-mails with just some slight modification of the mailmerge code.

What this means is that for the cost of learning a computer language, we can save the significant cost associated with sending e-mails through Constant Contact and Mad Mimi. We have control, and flexibility. These are substantial advantages that the Mac server platform offers.

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