Sunday, 15 February 2009
This is one of the books from Manning with the cool covers that I like. This book has been written by Bruce Payette one of the designers of PowerShell. Because of this the book offers in-depth information on many aspects of PowerShell.  The book is split into two sections. Part one focuses on the basics, it covers using PowerShell at the command line and writing and run your own scripts. I read the nine chapters in this section from start to finish and was please to find lots of working and easy to follow code examples which I could play with and easily refer back to as I wrote my own scripts. I found this section greatly enhanced my knowledge of PowerShell in a short space of time, I would put this down to a good balance between verbose text and script examples to experiment with and if you are like me and learn beat by doing this book will suit you. The second section covered more advanced topics such as:
  1. Processing text files and XML
  2. .NET and WinForms
  3. Windows objects: COM and WMI
  4. Security

These were also detailed chapters with good examples however to date I have gotten more use from chapters 10 and 11 this is no fault  with the book it’s more of a reflection on what I’ve been working with recently. Since taking the time to sit down with this book I have become very keen on PowerShell especially having seen and used the scripting tools available on Linux and UNIX.

I found the book well structured and importantly for me it contains lots of script examples. Previously I had tried to learn PowerShell simply from various web sites however lack of discipline kept getting in the way. With the book I was able to discipline myself better and managed to work through this book in just over one week. Now I’m able to write my own scripts and when I’ve needed to I’ve found it very easy to refer back to the book. The back cover says that this is a book for sysadmins and developers, I would agree with this and would recommend this book for people with previous scripting of programming experience if you don’t have these then a more basic beginners book may allow you to make more progress.

The books web site:

posted on Sunday, 15 February 2009 18:18:46 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Add Comment | Comments [0]
 Thursday, 12 February 2009
If you are writing any scripts for PowerShell I'd recommend looking at PowerGUI Script Editor. It's a free comunity project that has some really nice features you now expect when writting code such as intelli-sense, syntax highlighting and the ability to debug your script.

The overall aim of the project is to create a GUI for Windows PowerShell where you can manipulate objects in PowerShell by pointing and clicking. For example there is bundled functionality to list all process running on the current system invoke actions on these processes such as stopping the process. Personally I just use the script editor to edit my scripts and as I have customized my PowerShell as described in a previous post, it easy for me to then execute these scripts as I need.

posted on Thursday, 12 February 2009 14:26:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Add Comment | Comments [0]
 Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Like alot of people my maths was stronger than my english at High School, probably one of the reason I was attracted to computer programming in the first place. Even today one of my weaker points would be spelling. If you're like me fear not help is at hand from ComponentOne with IntelliSpell.

IntelliSpell is an addon for Visual Studio 2008 or 2005 that will spell check your comments, strings, HTML, XML resources and general text. There is a free community edition and a Professional edition at $79.99 which offers a few more features. You get a comparison of the two editions along with download and purchase links at:

Once you have installed IntelliSpell the spellchecker is avaliable from Visual Studio's tools menu as shown in the screenshot. With the Professional edition you get the ability to spell check an entier solution at once along with 'as-you-type spell-checking', but with the community edtion you spell check one file at time, still better than we had before. Any spelling mistakes will be shown in the task list.

The task list showing the spelling mistakes in the current document:

The IntelliSpell window that allows you to move from spelling mistake to spelling mistake and correct them as you go.

posted on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 15:12:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Add Comment | Comments [1]
 Monday, 09 February 2009
Most of you probably have heard of, or even used Camtasia, it's a wonderful product with many nice features. I really liked how the camera would automatically zoom in and out as I entered text in a web form. However no matter how nice Camtasia Studio is, it's well out of my price range for all the uasge I would make of it. However I've just found an alternative in the form on CamStudio.

It's a open source implementation of a screen recorder that includes some nice features such as defining an area of the screen which the camera should stay focused on. Most importantly to me is the ability to convert the AVI captured video to a SWF that can then be embedded in a web page. This is the tool I used for my previous post on Windows Mobile Internet Connection sharing.

posted on Monday, 09 February 2009 15:11:55 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Add Comment | Comments [0]
 Sunday, 08 February 2009
Developer, Developer, Developer (DDD) are free community events held across the and Ireland which highlight some interesting technologies in the field of .NET. Last year the event as in Galway this year it will be in Belfast on Saturday 4th April.

Having attended last years event I can recommend this as very worth while. You can get more details at the confrences web site. The event will be held at the Belfast Metropolitan College on Brunswick Street Building, Belfast.

posted on Sunday, 08 February 2009 09:52:37 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Add Comment | Comments [0]