Using PowerShell to Surf the Web

Posted Posted in Consulting, Development, General

Alan Renouf, Mr. VMware/PowerCLI has broken out of his comfort zone and posted about surfing the web using PowerShell.  This is something I could definitely see myself playing with.  In a previous life, I worked on automated web surfing/web site monitoring for a product called the Foglight Transaction Recorder (FTR). I found my blog tucked away near the bottom amongst the other blogs beginning with V… as this is a virtualization top list you can imagine there were a few beginning with V! Anyway, I thought there must be an easier way to allow people to vote for me than […]

Get WMI namespaces using PowerShell

Posted Posted in Development, Information Technology

PowerShell MVP Don Jones has a new blog post that tells you how to find WMI namespaces and classes.  If you read The Scripting Guy’s blog, you know that WMI is his get-out-of-jail free card. As you know, every computer in your environment can have slightly different WMI capabilities, depending upon what roles, software, and technologies are installed. Being able to quickly list the available namespaces is pretty useful – especially if you can do it remotely. In PowerShell, it’s not too hard: (read more and get scripts)

PowerShell – Creating email attachment

Posted Posted in Development

In the PowerWF world that introduced me to PowerShell, we had our own activity/cmdlet for sending emails.  It is very easy to build a report in PowerShell and then send the results using PowerWF’s email activity. That said, I thought this post was a pretty nice primer in using the PowerShell cmdlet to send an email.  Creating the email attachment was especially clever. I was working on a project to send a html attachment in a powershell script.  I have the HTML string so all I want to do is create an attachment from the string.  Here’s the code: … […]

Combining the QA and Documentation Roles

Posted Posted in Development

I’ve spent the last several days writing software documentation for a client.  In order to properly document the product, I’m having to touch almost every feature, and in the process verify that everything works as expected. It got me to wondering, why don’t more companies combine the role of technical writer and quality assurance.  I realize that there are many “tech writers” who don’t have the technical skills to run the product, but I wouldn’t want them writing my documentation anyway because they don’t really understand what they are writing about.  Far too many tech writers are focused solely on […]

PowerShell is key to the Future of Exchange Administration

Posted Posted in Development, Information Technology

Tony Redmond at WindowsITPro has a new post on the future on Exchange administration.  Not surprisingly, PowerShell is at the heart of his discussion. Microsoft is heading towards a world of automated management based on PowerShell in Windows Server 8 Exchange 2010 is close to where Microsoft wants to go because it already uses web-based consoles and Remote PowerShell The trend will continue, but will administrators heed the clarion call? (read more)

Formatting Numbers in PowerShell

Posted Posted in Development

Jeffery Hicks has a new post that could have saved me a little time the other day – How to Format Leading Zeros in PowerShell.  It turns out the solution is almost trival, if you know the trick. I’ve been working on a question in the forums at and the need arose to create a folder name with a 4 digit number. But the number needed to have enough leading zeros so that the number was always 4 digits. For example, Test_0005 or Test_0456. The solution is to use the -f Format operator. To use this operator on the […]

Don Jones Discusses PowerShell Parameters

Posted Posted in Development, Information Technology

Don Jones has a brief discussion on creating PowerShell Parameters.  PowerShell Parameters are used to pass inputs to your PowerShell scripts and functions. I’ve been helping more than a few folks unravel some grave misunderstandings. At first, I thought, “where in the world did they get this stuff,” and then I thought, “the Internet,” and it all made sense! When you’re trying to get a job done by piecing together things on the Internet, you run into several problems. First, not everyone on the Internet has actually got a clue. Second, sometimes they’re not clear why they did a certain […]

Creating an Excel Pivot Table Using PowerShell

Posted Posted in Development, Information Technology

Doug Finke has a new post about a PowerShell script he wrote to create an Excel Pivot Table. Out-ExcelPivotTable inspects the piped data, sets up the numeric properties as data fields and string properties as row fields (nested). Doug includes screenshot of the output, in case you are unfamiliar with Pivot Tables. The actual script he built can bedownloaded here. Sample Usage: Function New-Person ($dept, $name, [double]$salary, [int]$yearsEmployeed) { New-Object PSObject | Add-Member -PassThru Noteproperty Dept $dept | Add-Member -PassThru Noteproperty Name $name | Add-Member -PassThru Noteproperty Salary $salary | Add-Member -PassThru Noteproperty YearsEmployeed $yearsEmployeed } $( New-Person IT Doug […]