This article is about software, so you should probably skip it if you're not interested in open source development and why Southern supports OS software.
Many of you who are familiar with how things run at Southern know that we have supported Open Source and Free Software for many years. We had a small IT department, with several full-time staff, including John Loder himself, who worked at least two full-time jobs at Southern. Nowadays, we are much smaller with no one working IT full-time, but we do still write a lot of little tools and undertake major software development when there is an itch that needs to be scratched. I recently noticed that someone in Apple's help forums needed a tool that we have because no one has made anything better available to the public.
Without further ado, the first installment in this project is a set of OS X user and group administration scripts that allow you to pretty much completely control user creation and configuration. For example, we used them to populate individual users from LDAP and set UIDs and groups so that permissions would work across AFP and NFS shares.