Last week, MacEnterprise mailing list subscriber Eric Thomas Gadsby posted the following question:
Where I work the PC’s we use have a little visual basic app the give abbreviated system information along with the asset tag number (not the serial but something generated my the inventory people) when opened. Has anybody written or found such an app for Mac OS X? Ideas? Thanks!
I knew I could quickly create such an app for him using AppleScript Objective C (ASOC), so after a few back-and-forth emails to the list, I had all the information I needed and got right to work on it. After a handful of hours spread over two days, I had the app ready and shared it with the list. I present it to you here:
Assetter, version 1.2 build 2
Here’s a quick run-down of its features:
- On first launch, Assetter prompts you for the computer’s asset tag if it has not yet been set.
- The asset tag is stored in the computer’s NVRAM so the information is not lost when the disk is replaced or re-imaged.
- Assetter displays the following information:
- serial number
- asset tag
- size and number of drives
- ip address and hardware address of network interfaces
- The data displayed can be exported to a text file on the desktop with the push of a button.
I considered this app fairly trivial to develop, but that perspective only comes because I already have a non-trivial ASOC app under my belt — ADPassMon. As I thought about the experience of creating Assetter, I realized that it is the perfect vehicle for creating a tutorial aimed at Mac admins who have yet to write their first app. I think everyone should be able to create their own little utilities. What better place to start than with Assetter, which is, essentially, nothing more than a GUI wrapper around a handful of shell scripts.
Consider this post a promise to the Mac admin community. I’m starting to work on the tutorial now, which I may split up into a series of posts, depending on how I want to ultimately present it. In any case, look for it here soon.