CSI Windows News
PowerShell Is Available for Linux, MacOS and is Open Source! Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, August 19, 2016 7:26am

If you're a PowerShell enthusiast you've been hearing a couple things for a long time.  The first is Linux admin envy for something on Windows - yes the veritable PowerShell got the attention of many a Linux afficiando.  The other thing is hearing Microsoft saying "Someday PowerShell will be on Linux."

 
Embryonic DevOps in 1999 and Chocolatey Training For You Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 7:23am

I started teaching DevOps around the year 1999.  All together now: "Darwin, are you insane? The term, 'DevOps', is a lot newer than that!"  That's absolutely true, but a concept always exists long before it is recognized and labelled...

In 1999 I was a newly hired Principal Consultant and I clearly remember getting a call from my manager.  He was at a Microsoft partner event that demonstrated Microsoft's soon-to-be released technologies.  One of hottest demos for Windows 2000 showcased the life-saving capabilities of a new software deployment automation technology that was code named "Darwin"  It tickled him that it was named after the newest member of his team and he was calling to have a chuckle about it with me.  That technology became Windows Installer or MSI.

 
Automating Around The Dreaded "Removed" Windows Features... Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, March 4, 2016 1:00am

Working at a client site a while back I came across a problem when attempting to install .NET 3.5 on Server 2012 R2.  Microsoft decided to remove install source for this component from a default Windows build from ISO.  Technically the feature should be pulled from Microsoft Updates if you ask for it - but there are certain conditions under which it generates an error instead.  The classic answer you'll find posted a thousands times on the web is that you have to provide a pointer to the 275 MB ..\sources\sxs folder from the installation media.  Not a problem if you only build servers in one environment, but it is a unnecessary logistical nightmare if you support the need to build them on workstation hypervisors (VMWare, Hyper-V, VirtualBox) or in multiple isolated cloud environments or tenants.  Guess what - you don't actually have to do it - here's the fix...

 

 
Getting Chocolatey Package Management Provider Working on Windows 10 Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Sunday, February 28, 2016 1:00am

Have you had some frustrating experiences trying to use the new Chocolatey Package Management provider on Windows 10?  Me too!  But I have some tips to help you get it working as well as possible.

 
Fastest Way To Get Your Hands on the New Win32-OpenSSH Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, February 18, 2016 10:37pm

If you're like me, you grow tired of having to install a seperate terminal utility on Windows to use ssh to connect to the vast array of devices and services that use it as a primary communications mechanism.  Why can't it just be done from the command line like every other OS?  That's changing...

 
Should I Upgrade "This Machine" to Windows 10? Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Monday, February 8, 2016 8:52am

So I get the question about the free upgrade to Windows 10 a lot.  I am going to share with you the criteria I use for my own machines in hopes it might help you make your decision.  If you think my criteria is a little overdone, just credit one year of hard experience to each point in the evaluation process ;)

 

 
Automation: Disabling Windows 10 Upgrade Through Windows Update Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Sunday, February 7, 2016 9:45am

Recently Microsoft has changed the Windows 10 Upgraded in Windows Update to a "Recommended Update".  This dramatically expands the possibilities of some bad upgrade experiences for corporate users who do not realize the possible consequences of upgrading.  Here's a little automation to help you with that...

 
EPIC: hack.summit() Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, January 15, 2016 10:48am

PluralSight's virtual hack.summit() looks like it's going to be pretty epic! Presentations by creators of various technologies and languages and a $150,000 hackathon. Worth a look:https://hacksummit.org/

hack.summit()
 
Championing PowerShell: Create Experts At Your Company Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Tuesday, November 24, 2015 8:14am

I need PowerShell, you need PowerShell, we all need PowerShell...but getting the time to invest in learning the technology can be a challenge!  We all have a lot of pressure to be productive with our regular work tasks. When this pressure is combined with existing proficiency in another scripting language, it can be a recipe for not moving forward.

Let's discuss how becoming an advocate for PowerShell in your company helps create the room for yourself and others to learn this critical IT skill. The information we'll discuss is sourced from my own experiments while advocating PowerShell adoption within an IT group of about 250.

 
Microsoft's New World / Old World Development Schizophrenia - A Case in Point Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, October 10, 2015 9:06am

For one of my clients I created a PowerShell automation framework that could work stand alone (great for testing) or under SCCM - with no coding changes to switch.  I was excited to wire up it's error reporting system to SCCM custom status MIFs.  Somehow in the age of the API the SCCM development team decided to drop this very helpful feature - but only from "Applications" because the are so much "better"...

 
Graphical JSON Editor - Great for Azure Resource Manager Templates Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 7:16pm

JSON is the native data format for data exchange with the REST APIs.  In theory humans would never have to see the data format - so it's very detailed and nested syntax would not create any problems.  Ahhh, but it's to tempting to not use it as a human authored specification file and the latest thing to use it as a hand coded input format is the new Azure automation known as Azure Resource Manager (ARM).  I was on a quest to find a *Free* JSON editor that let me *edit* not just *view* the JSON data in a tree view.  That quest ended when I found...

 
Poodles Through Burning Hoops: Plan for PowerShell 5 on Win 7 and 2008 R2 (And PSH 5 Prod Preview) Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, September 5, 2015 3:24pm
The PowerShell Production Preview was released on August 31st and the version number is 5.0.10514.6 !
Back in May I published the article "Getting PowerShell 5 Running on Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2"  It turns out there are a lot of poodles to get through the burning hoops to get a Windows 7 SP1 or Server 2008 R2 machine updated from PowerShell 2 or 3 to PowerShell 5.   "...from PowerShell 2.0..." !?! - like who in their right mind is on PowerShell 2.0 ?
 
DevOps Skillset: "Borderline Developer" Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, August 20, 2015 9:27am

When I create cover letters and resumes, it is always a challenge to convey that although I don't code in a compiled language like C#, I understand and enjoy applying serious structured coding and testing techniques to the PowerShell code I write.

I believe this is not a small distinction when looking for DevOps professionals.  Many of us from the Infrastructure side of the house cut our teeth on coding by hacking together useful scripts in languages whose capabilities were Neanderthal.  A good portion of time was spent working around the limitations of the language, rather than being empowered by it's capabilities.

 
Learning About Systems by Stepping On the Cat's Tail Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, August 15, 2015 5:59pm

When I was a toddler my dad caught me repeatedly stepping on the cat's tail.  Rather than react to my childishness with a reprimand, he simply asked "What are you doing?"  I proceeded to explain to him what is now commonly called a "four square" matrix.  

 
Avoid The Panic: Company Start Menu Folder Changed and I have Hundreds Of Packages to Update Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 6:49pm

I was teaching a great team of Packaging Automation Engineers our course "Windows Application Internals for Packaging, Virtualization, Automation and Troubleshooting" and their company had recently gone through a re-branding which included a company name change.  They were looking at a lot of work to comply with the request to change the start menu folder their company uses from the old company name to the new one.  Hundreds of packages to rebuild and reinstall ?  There has to be a better way!  There is...

 

 
Getting PowerShell 5 April Preview (5.0.10105) Running Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 (some assembly required) Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, April 30, 2015 9:48pm

I am very excited that the PowerShell team has just delivered the April Preview that allows version 5 to run on Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 (PowerShell Version 5.0.10105).  For this preview version there are a few foibles to getting it running on Windows 7.  The PowerShell team hopes to sort these out, but in the mean time I have put together a quick config that steps you though everything with one command line.

 

 
Oneliner: Enumerate Local Drives, but NOT App-V 4 Virtual Drive Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, April 23, 2015 8:37am

I had a need to list all local drives and went for the old fall back win32_logicaldisk, but I noticed it listed the App-V 4.6 virtual drive when scanning for type "3".

 
UPDATED: Getting VMWare Networking on Hyper-V for Windows 8 via the Fewest Possible Steps Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, April 10, 2015 10:41am

Wow - sometimes you don't know how easy you've got it until you step off the cliff!  That cliff for me was attempting to replace VMware Workstation with Windows 8 Hyper-V.  Hey Microsoft, you really should do something about this since I see it cited ad nauseam as a primary reason many IT Pros retreat from their attempt to adopt Win 8 Hyper-V and go back to VMware.  But in the meantime, I have some steps to make this as easy as possible.

 

 
Oneline of Code to Setup WMF 5, PowerShell 5 and the DSCResourcekit Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, March 28, 2015 1:27pm

It's true that you can download and install the WMF / PowerShell 5 preview, install it and then with PowerShell-Get, install whatever DSCResourcekit modules you want - or use a command to install them all.  But that takes too long for my ADD - especially when I need a multi-machine setup to try out the walk throughs in either of the excellent Microsoft Virtual Academy classes Getting Started With PowerShell Desired State Configuration DSC or Advanced PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) and Custom Resources!

 
Simple Settings / Data Storage and Retrieval In the Registry Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, February 5, 2015 9:16pm

Many times I've wanted a simple settings store for storing state data or settings for a script.  I thought there must be a built-in way to store and retrieve a hashtable in the registry - that would be leanest and most natural way to do it!  I was wrong... er, actually, now I am right - because like a good PowerSheller I went off and built it  :)

 
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