Scripting/SysAdmin Meme

[cross-posted from]

I saw that Kirk Munro called me out on on Steven Muraski’s Scripting/SysAdmin meme . Here’s my contribution to the meme.

How old were you when you started using computers?

I probably didn’t start using computers until late in college (which was a very long time ago in computer time.

What was your first machine?

My first computer experiences were with a DEC PDP-11. The first computer I truly owned myself was a Dell Inspiron P200 laptop.

What was the first real script you wrote?

I think it was a DOS 3.3 batch file to backup some files.

What scripting languages have you used?

Batch, KixTart, VBScript, Perl, PowerShell. Do WordPerfect 5.1 macros count?

What was your first professional sysadmin gig?

I worked briefly as a legal assistant which included managing the few office computers and automating a ton of paperwork.

If you knew then what you know now, would have started in IT?

IT was a later career choice that I don’t regret. I’ve met some pretty cool people, traveled and helped people. I like being behind the scenes making things happen.

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new sysadmins, what would it be?

Never stop reading and learning. You must stay on top of the IT world if you want to keep your job and get ahead. When I had to do tech interviews, I always asked what technical magazines, journals or books they liked to read. It was very clear that the candidate who read nothing was the least likely to be deficient in other areas as well.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had scripting?

That’s a hard one. I’d have to say I get the biggest bang when I can write something that gets the most amount of work done with the least amount of code. That’s why I love PowerShell.

Who am I calling out?

Don Jones

Thomas Lee

Darren Mar-Elia

Mark Minasi

Online PowerShell Training

Time is running out to register for SAPIEN Technologies’ online PowerShell Fundamentals training. The first class starts June 17. The class is essentially self-study with materials supplied by SAPIEN including an e-book version of Windows PowerShell: TFM 2nd ed. I’ll meet online twice a week via Webex with students to review the material. Students will also have access to a private class discussion forum at

Registration closes June 13th so hurry now and check out

The course material has some pretty specific requirements to ensure a high quality experience so please verify system compatibility before registering.

Win a Kindle

Fellow PowerShell MPV (and former SAPIEN colleague) Don Jones is off to a new venture with Redmond Magazines’ Greg Shields. Their offering up a tasty incentive to get people involved with their new site. If you post a relevant comment to one of their blog entries you’ll be entered into a drawing for a free Amazon Kindle.

Don showed my his Kindle the last time we were together and I have to admit it is intriguing. Personally, if Amazon could add a sexy form factor ala Apple, I’d buy one in a heartbeat. Although honestly, I can barely get through books I check out of the library between work, kids, wife and everything else. But who’s going to pass up a free Kindle? Anyway, check out Don’s site and get involved.

Check out for all the details.

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More CLI One-Liners

In the past I’ve posted a collection of command one-liners that get a ton of work done with (relatively) minimal effort. Many of these have come from Wayne Martin. I’ve been behind in my blogging while book writing, but I wanted to make sure you checked out his latest list at:

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Practical PowerShell Scripts and Code

If you’ve been reading the Windows Administration in RealTime ejournal, I hope you’ve enjoyed my Practical PowerShell column. If not, you’re missing out. Each column solves a real-world and practical problem with PowerShell. I explain how the PowerShell code works and why. It’s not only a great way to learn PowerShell but you also get function code you can use immediately. The eJournal is still pretty new and we’re working out the publication kinks. For example, you may have been wondering where to get your hands on the code in my column. Future columns will have a link to a download file. But for the first couple of columns you can get the code samples here:

Volume 1 No. 1

Volume 1 No. 2

All downloads will be in zip files. Any script will be renamed as a text file so be sure to rename accordingly. If you need help with any of the code or other PowerShell problems, post them in the PowerShell forum at

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