Archive for the 'Fun' Category

Just Script It!

Here’s Sean’s newest crazy PowerShell video in which he managed to feature your’s truly doing moonwalk (or trying to ;))

As you can see from the video – Microsoft MVP Summits are a lot of fun with amazingly smart and crazy people around.

No more one off IT management. Just Script It!


Highway to PowerShell – MVP Summit / Sean’s Birthday version

March 1 is the birthday of the most energized PowerShell MVP –Β Sean Kearney – and what a better way to celebrate that than have a bunch of excited PowerShell MVP sign his one and only “Highway to PowerShell”! πŸ™‚

Happy Birthday Sean!

PowerShell Goes into Space

[This story was posted on April 1st and should be treated accordingly] On April 5, 2010 shuttle Discovery will take off with more than just 4,521,749 pounds (2,051,031 kg) of equipment and 7 crew members. In what specialists describe as technological breakthrough, NASA is equipping this mission with a new remote management technology – Windows PowerShell.

“We can now offer standard reliable remote control over our space fleet at a fraction of a cost,” automation director Kevin Danom is telling us as we sit at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “This opens up huge opportunities for NASA considering the current economic climate and budget constraints.”

Powers… what?

What now is a huge success acknowledged by everyone at NASA did not look that way in the beginning.

“We are always looking for the ways to automate our systems. Space shuttles are just way too complex to operate them manually, however, a technology with the word ‘Windows’ in it did not sound right to the older generation of NASA engineers. It took time, effort, many hours of intensive testing, and full code review with Microsoft engineers to win the skeptics over.”

Kevin finds it now hard to believe that just a few years ago NASA would be spending millions of dollars annually on maintaining its own command-line and scripting environment. A single command used to cost north of $50,000 to produce, and text-based input/output paradigm forced NASA to maintain a full department of regular expression specialists helping bind the commands together.

“The first time I did ‘Get-SolarPanel | Unfold-SolarPanel‘ in front of our engineers no one could believe this single one-liner could fix all solar panels on the space station. And when they realized that all the pipelining and object-oriented approach was just a part of the platform which we could get for free, they would not let me go until I answered all the possible questions they could think of.”

Not so easy

Little did Kevin know during that first demo about the bumpy road between that day and the day of the first PowerShell-controlled space-craft launch.

“PowerShell 1.0 was just not there yet. It was a great first step but a lot of small things were missing.”

The first demo NASA gave to the International Space Station Committee was a disaster. Foreign-language characters would not show up on the screen due to lack of support of what computer scientists call ‘Unicode’ in the native PowerShell console.

“We almost lost Japanese financing for our space programs that year, and had to urgently call Jeffrey Snover to get an early build of version 2.0 with this issue fixed.”

Another big issue was lack of ‘remoting’ and multi-device management in PowerShell 1.0. Using 1.0 would mean that we would have to have someone to literally log on to each device and operate it separately, or get huge performance hits with WMI timeouts.

Mission 2.0

NASA’s input then helped make PowerShell 2.0 a great success. Unicode support is all over the platform, remoting is there, and Jeffrey Snover got promoted to Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft.

“Not everything went well. For example, we had a few satellites out there which had CTP 3 [military codename for earlier version of the PowerShell platform] on them, and we effectively lost control over the equipment when we upgraded our control center to PowerShell 2.0 release version. And it took time for us to explain to Microsoft why we could not join our space fleet to an Active Directory domain to enable remoting.”

But now all the worries are in the past. The latest satellite launches proved that PowerShell 2.0 was good enough for NASA, and in just a few days the first manned mission with PowerShell aboard will go into space.

It’s everywhere

Now almost any device that can have PowerShell installed on it – gets PowerShell. The rest are controlled remotely with specifically developed cmdlets.

Does it work across the space? It sure does!

“We first tried using WinRM – but the protocol seemed a bit flaky across our channels. Luckily PowerGUI MobileShell solved the issue. All it requires is a browser and HTTPS connection and we already had it anyway to let the astronauts access their Facebook and Twitter accounts. It also let the non-PC-fan part of NASA use PowerShell from their Macs, Linux terminals, and iPhones.”

What’s next?

The success of PowerShell at NASA has been tremendous, and the cost-cutting has already allowed to revive the Moon and Mars mission plans which got almost put on hold in 2009. On April 5, Discovery will bring PowerShell 2.0 to the International Space Station marking the next step in the space mission technology.

You can learn more about the April, 5 STS-131 Discovery mission at NASA website or by following NASA on Twitter at @nasa.

[April 1, 2010]

A PowerShell present for Valentine’s Day

This desktop wallpaper is probably the geekiest present you can give to your significant other this weekend. Just pick the desktop resolution and make him/her feel special:

For greater effect also try adding something along these lines to the PowerShell profile:
(New-Object -com SAPI.SpVoice).Speak( "Be my Valentine!", 1 )

Happy Valentine’s Day! πŸ™‚

Spring Wallpaper

For all PowerShell and PowerGUI lovers – time to change your desktop wallpaper for the Spring Edition! πŸ™‚


Andrei Tsarkov got us a new Spring wallpaper but for fun I have made the one from last year available as well – we’ll check the download counts at the end of the season and I’ll let you know which one is more popular. πŸ˜‰

Both Spring 2008 and Spring 2009 wallpapers can be downloaded from downloads page. Enjoy!

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Xmas PowerGUI Wallpaper

Xmas New Year PowerGUI Wallpaper ThumbnailThe holiday season is coming so we thought it was the right time to get Christmas/New Year PowerGUI desktop wallpaper out.

So if you are already counting days, go to the PowerGUI downloads page, scroll down and you will find the wallpaper in all major screen resolutions we could think of. Something to put you in the Christmas mood right away. πŸ™‚

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Fall 2008 PowerGUI Wallpaper

Calendar is saying that October is here – about right time to change the Windows wallpaper to something more seasonal. πŸ˜‰

Go to the PowerGUI downloads page, scroll down and you will find yourself a nice Autumn/Fall edition of the PowerGUI wallpaper to put on your Windows desktop. Something to make your office days a little bit brighter! πŸ™‚

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Summer PowerGUI Wallpaper

PowerGUI seasonal summer wallpaper for your desktop.

PowerGUI seasonal summer wallpaper for your desktop.

Continuing the good old tradition of seasonal wallpapers Andrey Tsarkov has just sent me this really nice one for the Summer 2008.

Enjoy your vacation if you still have one or bring a piece of it to your desktop!

The wallpaper is available in all the standard desktop sizes at the PowerGUI downloads page.

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PowerShell Hamlet

Picking up the challenge which James set with his PowerShell Macbeth, I decided to do Hamlet. I have actually had a non-PowerShell computerized Hamlet implementation some time ago, but for James, here comes the PowerShell one:

PS C:\> Add-PSSnapin Shakespeare.Hamlet

Do you want to follow instructions from this untrusted publisher?
File Revenge.ps1xml is published by CN="The Ghost", L=Elsinore, C=DK and is not trusted on your system. Only run scripts from trusted publishers.
[V] Never trust [D] Do not trust [R] Listen once [A] Always listen [?] Help (default is "D"): R

PS C:\> Get-Characters | Start-Revenge
Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Continuing the revenge requires performing operation "Get killed" on Target "Polonius".
[Y] Yes [A] Yes to All [N] No [L] No to All [S] Suspend [?] Help (default is "Y"): Y

Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Continuing the revenge requires performing operation "Get killed" on Target "Gertrude".
[Y] Yes [A] Yes to All [N] No [L] No to All [S] Suspend [?] Help (default is "Y"): A

And so on. πŸ™‚

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Spring PowerGUI Wallpaper

PowerGUI PowerShell Spring WallpaperAndrey did it again – he has just created a beautiful Spring wallpaper for all of us PowerGUI fans.

I think it also answers Richard’s request for a computerized version of “I wondered lonely as a cloud” (yeah, I know these are not daffodils, but what a jocund company they are!)

You can get a version of the wallpaper for any screen resolution on the PowerGUI downloads page. Have fun!

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Β© 2007-2014 Dmitry Sotnikov

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