Apple iWatch 3 Cellular in the UK

Apple iWatch 3 Cellular in the UK

TLDR:- So this post is all about time of writing and the fact EE have exclusive rights to the Apple Watch 3 at present. Don’t buy it unless you are on EE and no PAYG doesn’t work either.

So a few weeks ago I found myself researching fitness based devices (something I didn’t expect myself to be doing) as my wife has found a passion for running and oddly I seem to enjoy it too. Especially if I can keep up! I am currently training with Zombies Run and it also has an encouraging 5K app. Just a shame it doesn’t seem to work stand alone yet on the iWatch like Strava does otherwise I would be set.

So this takes me onto the series 3 purchase. After many hours debating with the wife and reading reviews about the Garmin she purchased now being on the way we decided to send it back and I agreed to pay the difference as I would only be tech support anyway. This was mainly for the following reasons

  • She has an iPhone and seemed to sync easier
  • Many people said Strava worked out the box without the phone
  • We could add her phone to it so she could call or at least iMessage if she was in trouble
  • ApplePay… Just easier to pay for things near us and also no more looking for the Oyster card if we ever decided to go to London!
  • I could get this from a well know retailer with accidental damage just in case anything happens on a run
  • I can message her with my Series 1 watch


So just before I committed to the purchases I decided to call EE as the well known UK retailer stated on their website you could just buy a £5 add-on and use the watch separately. I was fine with this as again safety and it just working was paramount. At this point I thought awesome and committed to the purchase as it also showed it was free for 6 months and I was told it was a 30 day SIM contract anyway.

The devices arrived promptly despite nearly all being out of stock, so we charged it up and started the setup process which has drastically improved since my series 1 purchase. Then we got the the screen where it all fell down… BT ironically run on the EE network so I thought we may find some form of issue anyway and we got this dreaded screen, no way of being able to sign up separately

So a frantic phone call to EE and query into why I can’t activate this as they said I could add this on manually. It would appear someone somewhere had mis translated all the marketing and you have to have an EE connection only and can’t take it out separately just for the watch. The irony here is we were not to fussed about the calling as long as iMessage or FaceTime Audio worked but hey! I was provided several offers to join EE on the phone but I thought well a quick call to my current provider won’t hurt as they are on the same network and may support it soon enough.

Wrong… despite getting the most helpful agent ever he made several calls on my behalf and then informed me after talking to technical that there wasn’t any view to support this on BT in the near future and is quite a way off. I took this as at least a year away as I still haven’t seen WiFi calling but to be fair happy in my time with them I got tethering and overall seemed to work well. He was kind enough to provide me my PAC code and class it as a technical issue without any charges so thumbs up there.

Before calling EE back with my tail between my legs I thought I would check a pay as you go SIM after turning most of the house up to find it.  Again as you can see don’t bother its not supported.

So yes now a wait for a few days until our new EE sims arrive and I can try this out. I’ll then write another review on how they hold up for day to day use (tech vs runner). I know the calling and data work well as I have seen this working I was just hoping EE would have allowed this to be independent to their contracts. For example if customers didn’t want the full calling or didn’t mind another number but I suppose thats Apple who’s simple ecosystem has constraints despite how effective it is in other areas.

Thoughts about Imaging

My transferable thoughts about imaging which have can combined from Mac and the MS world. It’s all about the thin and scripting. I like many were using Full disk golden clones, every time a new update came out or a new department was made this equaled a headache. I also found issues with incremental updates and adhoc builds.

At one of my employers we were Mac heavy using the above methods and rapidly increasing. I then put a plan into action but how did I get from 1hr+ with manual work to 27 minutes with a cup of tea config? Easy when I look back at it but it did take some work. I did some testing with Deploystudio & Munki and soon learnt this allowed for incremental updates and workflows to live client and deploying clients. With a massive brucie bonus of manageable  departmental builds.

How did VMware help me here. Simple I put everything on my MacBook Pro Lab from the magic triangle for joining Mac’s to the domain and Mac servers to catalogue the apps and deploy them to clients.

Sure there are paid tools like JAMF Casper Suite but again you may not be big enough to justify this due to your Mac estate and its another thing to learn. The best part about Munki and Deploystudio is they are free apart from some of your time to get your first image right. There are also plenty of documents out there to get you started or drop me a tweet and I will do my best to help!

To help get you started head of to a great set of guys Amsys. This guide is for V1 but really best to start at the beginning with this stuff . Who needs a massive training course!

You don’t get this with an AD plugin! Also remember your time this is a major justification for a shiny new Mac server. It probably less than you building all these mac by hand each time☺





Portable Lab



MacBook Pro – The uber portable lab in my humble view ☺ You can learn things like nested ESXi and in my previous roles I have had a whole environment test lab on an unsung hero: VMware Fusion.

Need business justification well how about this is an ideal training tool towards your certifications for VMWare, Hyper-V and Mac!

You are now probably in an uproar about argh thats only got 512GB SSD, That my friend is where Linked clone disks come in. They just save so much space and snapshots making it so easy to recover from scripting errors.  When I was building my imaging system I could cut down deployments to seconds rather than minutes.

If you did this for Windows I looked at the spec of a similar laptop in January. I searched out a  i7 512gb SSD 16gb ram and thin + Workstation but then its all Hackintosh + Cost of OS & EULA hell from Apple.  The best I could find from a major vendor was a HP Z Book £3400 vs £2100 for laptop and then cost of Fusion and copies of os included to deploy.

The only other I could fine was coming in at circa £1300 but not as big SSD or screen, I believe this was an Asus Zenbook which I know some people stay clear of but I see no issue with it.

Also if you want to save a pretty penny of two go check out VMUG Advantage with this you even get access to Vcenter as part of the EvalExperience for 365 days! If you want to refer LonVMUG or SWVMUG that would be great 🙂

Its all about the RAIS

RAIS… Don’t you mean RAID…. Nope! No I do not. It means redundant array of inexpensive servers.

This all started with the Xserve journey prior to Apple killing it off. Many people who implemented this either put in a Mac Pro or even a Mini as hardware backup to the main Xserve. V2 of the RAIS Theory was the released of a Mac Pro with a Mac Mini leaching off it to eventually V3 being two Mac Minis.

All of these had a common issue apart from the Xserve which was a lack of KVM, Remote Management and AC power switching. This usually added lots of money or it needed to be housed onsite and not in a data centre. Manual leg work was required if the thing didn’t power back on if it for once did completely hang. But How has VMware filled this gap and fixed the weaknesses in RAIS

Well my view for this in a real world usage it is win-win solution for managing Apple devices and remote office deployments. Basically get yourself a few nice spec Mac Minis, add some shared storage, A VMware licenses for your what you need. This then equals a great remote office solution, mac management, MDM, deployment much better than an AD plugin

A bit of a bad joke but its all about the right tool for the job. In some cases its like putting VMware in rather than Hyper-V! Unless you are an SMB or a MS House stick with the known brand! (VMware in this instance). So now you think this is costly, well be surprised its around £4500 for a synology with SSD / 3TB storage, Mac Mini + SSD + VMWare Essentials vs £4600 for a similar spec tower Dell*. With the solution you at least get resiliency to a bigger scale and power savings overall.

How can can save even more. Well thats simple buy 2nd user Xserve or Mac pro of both on the VMware HCL and you can spend even less than then £4500 with Xeon processors to boot!


*Specified around Jan 2015

Mac OSX Similarities

I briefly spoke about the similarities between Mac and the Windows world at VMUG back in January so I thought I would just highlight over these and a few resources you could use.

Active Directory vs Open Directory


AD directory

Group Policy vs MCX/Profile Manager

gp Untitled




Actually so what are the differences – it’s all just terminology. You can really start to gain control by using the magic triangle linking AD and OD together to provide single sign on and settings. Active Directory is then used for authentication and Open Directory for settings like Group Policy.

So what else would I get with a Mac on my network? Well there is also NetBoot which is WDS and VPN server being routing and remote access

So you want to learn more… head over to and you can even get a certificate for $65! Something nice to add to your CV for around 4 hours of your life