Friday Fun: I Can Run that Command in 3 Letters

Large Blog ImageIf you have been using PowerShell for any length of time, I’m sure you are familiar with aliases. An alias is an alternative name to a PowerShell cmdlet. They are intended to serve as transition aids (like dir and ls) and as a means to keep interactive typing to a minimum. Although with tab completion, if you can get in the habit, perhaps this isn’t as big a deal. However, there are a number of aliases you might want consider creating if, like me, you spend a lot of time at a PowerShell prompt.

I still use Notepad, often as a temporary buffer. I’m too lazy to type “notepad” at a prompt. So I have this:

I use Set-Alias instead of New-Alias so that if I am trying to define something that already exists I won’t get any errors. You can also make your aliases Read-Only so you don’t accidently change them.

Another one that I’ve started using is an alternative to Select for Select-Object.

The Name and Value parameters are positional. Like you, I use a number of Office products.

Here’s one that might escape my younger readers.

I have a separate script file that defines all of my aliases which is dot-sourced in my profile script. I use a few Sysinternals utilities and while I could modify %PATH% it is just as easy to create a few aliases.

My other shortcuts are helper (cheater?) functions like these where the name is more like an alias.

As you can see, I’m using PowerShell aliases for more than cmdlets. What kind of shortcuts and aliases have you come up with?

Chicago – My Kind of Town

I grew up in Northwest Indiana so naturally Chicago played a big role. I love Chicago and if I had to pick a major city to live, this would be it. So I’m very excited to be heading there for Ignite. I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends and meet some new ones. So in between all of the awesome sessions, I hope you’ll look for me at my few scheduled “public” appearances. All times are CENTRAL.

I will be making an official appearance at the Pluralsight booth (#350) from 11:00 to 12:00. I’ll be happy to answer a few questions, sign things or whatever. In the evening I’ll be at the PowerShell Happy Hour and then on to the Petri Meet-n-Greet.

I will be at the Scripting Guys booth in the Expo Hall from 10:00AM to 10:30AM. Although I will likely be hanging around a bit longer. At least until 11:30 when I will be part of a panel discussion on PowerShell to be held in the Lounge B theater in the Expo Hall.

And I’ll wrap up my trip by joining the festivities with the Pluralsight party.

Otherwise, I’ll be wandering around chatting with people and trying to squeeze in a few sessions. Hope to see you in the Windy City.

PowerShell for Newbies

As you might imagine I get a lot of questions about how to get started with PowerShell, especially what books and material they can get their hands on. While I earn living creating books, training videos and offering live training, I’m aware that many people are on a budget so if you are looking for a free resource, allow me to direct you to an ebook/white paper I wrote for Veeam last year titled PowerShell for Newbies: Getting Started with PowerShell 4.0.

This is a 30 page crash course on everything I think you need to get started with PowerShell. There’s no way you can learn PowerShell in 30 pages, but this should get you started on the right path. I’d love for you to get a copy and let me know what you think. Head over here to grab your copy. You will need to register to download the paper. When you are finished come back here and take a look at my Books and Training page for your next steps.


Advice, solutions, tips and more for the lonely Windows administrator with too much to do and not enough time.