Thursday, June 30, 2011

How do you know when a product hits mainstream?

I’ve long held the view that an product is ‘mainstream’ when other vendors release products and proclaim “Our product Y completely replaces product X”. Some times the vendor’s statement is accurate and sometimes it’s marketing puff. But no mater which way you view product Y, there’s some grudging recognition that product X is not bad.

The product in question today is Fast Track Scripting Host. Don Jones recently re-reviewed FastTrack Scripting Host in an artile for Windows IT Pro here. This article was a re-review of the product – he previously reviewed the product last year.

Having had a quick look at it, I agree with Don that while there are certainly some advantages to this product, it may not truly be the answer to all an IT Pros’s prayers. But take a look at it – what do YOU think?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Managing Cisco UC with PowerShell

In another endorsement of PowerShell, Cisco has announced earlier this month a version of the Unified Computing System Manager PowerShell toolkit. While the tool kit is still in beta, it’s an interesting announcement on two fronts.

First, if Cisco takes on PowerShell, that must say something about the cross-platform value in PowerShell as well as speaking to PowerShell’s potential to manage pretty much anything in your environment. That in itself is pretty cool news.

But second,it shows how versatile PowerShell can be. It’s taken 8 some odd years to get where we are now, but where we are now is that PowerShell provides a great extensibility platform. The UCS toolkit is based on using Cisco’s UCSM XML API for the communication between the UCSM instance and your windows system. The UCSM toolkit is then delivered as a small module you can import into your PowerShell session and away you go.

It’s cool to note that Cisco appears to have done their PowerShell support ‘right’. They’ve included help files, they are complying with the verb-noun naming, and the toolkit is built to work properly in the pipeline. Nice job Cisco!

You can read more about the toolkit at http://developer.cisco.com/web/unifiedcomputing/pshell-download. You can download the toolkit itself from http://tinyurl.com/43ms33q although you need to have rights to login to Cisco’s site.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Managing Virtual Box with PowerShell

Like Jeff Hicks, I rely on virtualisation for my work, and I too use Oracle’s Virtual Box. As Jeff mentions in a recent blog article, it’s light weight, has a pretty low footprint and works. In the office and classroom, I often use Hyper-V, but I have Virtual Box on my Windows 7 laptop and use it for demos, for writing and for the occasional short PowerShell chalk/talk class.

Now I discover that Virtual Box has a COM interface to enable management, and Jeff’s written a module to enable you to use it. You can get this module from Jeff’s blog site. I’ve downloaded it and will be putting it onto my Win7 laptop very, very shortly!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Book’s Done–Time For Fresh Air!

For the past 6 months or so, I’ve been engaged in writing a book, PowerShell Bible, for Wileys. I’m one of a team of authors – fellow writers include Karl Mitschke, Mark Schill, and Tome Tanasovski.  All known folks in the PowerShell community. The book should be out in the autumn and I’ll be sure to post more nearer the time!

Now that my writing is over – we ‘just’ have author and tech review to do! – I can turn my thoughts back to my two blogs and add a few more scripts and other entries.

It’s time to descend into the cellar and choose something good to drink tonight to celebrate!

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Asynchronous Event Handling in PowerShell

Thanks to MOW for a pointer to A Hey Scripting Guy blog entry by super-star Bruce Payette. This article comes from part of his recently updated PowerShell In Action (2nd Edition).

In windows, events tend to happen asynchronously – rather than synchronously. An event typically occurs in some other process or some other part of WIndows aside from the PowerShell console you are using to handle the event. This takes a different approach to writing PowerShell code as Bruce explains.

This section of his book should convince you to buy the book (unless like me you already own it). Go and buy it. And to save 35% use Promotional Code payette22035 when you check out at www.manning.com.

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Friday, June 03, 2011

Spell Checking Strings in PowerShell scripts

Let’s face it – spelling misteaks suck. Whether in a blog post or in a PowerShell script. Doug Finke has written a nice article on this subject that shows  how to spell your strings in your scripts. He even includes a script to do it! You can Download the PowerShell script  HERE.

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