macOS: Know the difference between launch agents and daemons, and use them to automate processes

Mac admins can leverage system processes called daemons to automate the execution of tasks, like scripts, used in the management of computers running macOS.

System administrators will tell you any process or task that needs to be run on the systems they manage is usually performed in some form of automated manner. Whether it’s scripted, enforced through policies, or handled via third-party management server, it is far simpler to execute and report back data on properly configured automated tasks than it is to leave it to the happenstance of performing these tasks across the entire fleet with little to no confirmation that it was completed correctly.

SEE: Cheat sheet: Apple macOS Catalina (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

A benefit of automating tasks beyond the obvious is that automated tasks run exactly as designed and intended. Meaning, if a script is written to check for system updates upon restart, then it will check system updates every time the device is restarted. It won’t cancel the process because now is not the opportune moment or because it simply needs to log in and print a document quickly, for example.

Specific tasks or data executed the same way each time. This allows for a system

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2020 Volkswagen Golf review: Supremely practical, somewhat sleepy

The Golf’s styling is a little drowsy, but this car’s looks should age well.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

It’s not going to win any accolades for groundbreaking design, and nobody will confuse it with some souped-up sports car, but what the Volkswagen Golf lacks in emotional appeal, it more than makes up for in other areas. This machine is simple and honest, a real salt-of-the-earth hatchback that’s not only versatile but unexpectedly satisfying.


  • Slick-shifting manual transmission
  • Incredible real-world efficiency
  • Potent midrange torque
  • Versatile cargo hold

Don’t Like

  • Odd rev-hang at higher rpm
  • Engine can feel flatfooted
  • Lacks some driver aids

The Golf has been around since the mid-1970s, which means VW has had decades to perfect its build. Hatchback versions of the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla are strong competition for this VW, but the folks in Wolfsburg have done their homework. The Golf has more backseat legroom and passenger volume than either the Mazda3 or Corolla, its exterior design is almost certain to age better than the Civic’s, and it’s got significantly more torque than that Elantra GT.

Making things easy, the 2020 Golf is available in just one trim level. Standard equipment is

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Track your mailed stimulus check using your computer or phone. Here’s how to do it

With Informed Delivery, you can see when your stimulus check has been mailed.

Angela Lang/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Are you constantly asking yourself, “Is my stimulus check in the mail?” A free service from the US Postal Service may be able to give you an answer. It’s called Informed Delivery, and it can automatically send you a digital image of your physical envelopes, including the one containing your check from the IRS. Although the USPS can’t tell you why your stimulus payment hasn’t arrived, it can help you watch for a delivery date. 

Informed Delivery doesn’t work just for stimulus checks. It’s a preexisting tool that documents all your mail, which of course, includes your money from the government. There are some limitations, so you might want to start by tracking your payment using the IRS online portal first. This should give you a rough estimate of when your stimulus money will arrive. After that, Informed Delivery verifies that the check has in fact been processed by the USPS and is on its way. You can cancel anytime.

One more word before you begin. The

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