Blog Archives

PowerShell for Developers

PowerShell was written first and foremost for Windows system administrators, and the benefits to this community are clear. It’s not as clear what developers should make of PowerShell. Administrators can learn PowerShell as a shell first, and gradually transition from

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Giveaway: PowerShell in Depth

About a month ago I gave away a copy of Learn Windows PowerShell 3 in a Month of Lunches that Manning provided. Now I’m giving away a copy of PowerShell in Depth: An administrator’s guide by Don Jones, Richard Siddaway,

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Learn PowerShell as a shell first

When I was learning PowerShell, I thought of it as a scripting language that has a shell. But the right way to think of it may be the opposite, a shell that has a scripting language. Apparently others have followed

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Scripting and the last mile problem

From Bruce Payette’s book Windows PowerShell in Action: Why do we care about command-line management and automation? Because it helps to solve the Information Technology professional’s version of the last mile problem. The last mile problem is a classical problem

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Kibi, mebi, gibi

Computers like powers of 2, people like powers of 10, and the fact that 210 is approximately 103 makes it easy to convert between the two powers. A kilobyte is 1000 bytes like a kilogram is 1000 grams. But the

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Updating “PowerShell Day 1″ for PowerShell version 2.0

Last year I wrote a little 10-page booklet called PowerShell Day 1. It covers many of the things I wish I had known when I started using PowerShell. How do I configure PowerShell? How do I make PowerShell launch faster?

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PowerShell 2.0 for Windows XP etc.

PowerShell version 2.0 shipped with Windows 7 and with Windows Server 2008 R2, but it only recently became available for other versions of Windows. The release of PowerShell 2.0 has been more like a leak than a product launch. The

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Reviewing catch blocks

Here’s an interesting exercise. If you’re writing code in a language like C# or C++ that has catch statements, write a script to report all catch blocks. You might be surprised at what you find. Some questions to ask: Do

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Posted in Software development

Finding embarrassing and unhelpful error messages

Every time your software displays an error message, you risk losing credibility with your users. If the message is grammatically incorrect, your credibility definitely goes down a notch. And if the message is unhelpful, your credibility goes down at least

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PowerShell news

I found out some PowerShell news by listening to the PowerScripting podcast this morning. Here are a couple things I found interesting. See the podcast show notes for more news. First, a new version of the PowerShell Community Extensions came

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Adding fonts to the PowerShell and cmd.exe consoles

The default font options for the PowerShell console are limited: raster fonts and Lucida Console. Raster fonts are the default, though Lucida Console is an improvement. In my opinion, Consolas is even better, but it’s not on the list of

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Comparing the Unix and PowerShell pipelines

This is a blog post I’ve intended to write for some time now. I intended to come up with a great example, but I’ve decided to go ahead and publish it and let you come up with your own examples.

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PowerShell eBook update

I just posted a new version of PowerShell Day 1 that corrects a couple typos.

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PowerShell browser toolbar

Shay Levy created an amazing browser toolbar for PowerShell. The toolbar works with IE and Firefox. It updates itself using data that Shay maintains. It lets you do Google searches tailored to PowerShell sites, lists popular PowerShell blogs, and has

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Free PowerShell booklet: What I wish I’d known up front

I’ve written a small booklet, 10 pages, of things I wish someone had told me when I first started using Windows PowerShell. Download here: PowerShell Day 1

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