Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Another Monad Script

In a blog entry on, you can see a basic MSH script to create a MSH Here shortcut menu within Windows Explorer. I've tarted the script up a bit, added some checking etc to look like this:

#This script writes registry keys needed to add an
#"Open MSH Here" option to the right click
#menu of any folder
#Author Thomas Lee
$key = ls HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\MSH -ea silentlycontinue
#check if key already exists. If so, stop.
if ( $key) {
Write-Host "Key exists, stopping"
# Create the key and populate it - the value is what will appear in the
# Right Click Menu

$new=New-Item HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\MSHShell
$set=Set-Item HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\MSHShell "MSH Here"
# Now create the command key and populate it
# First check that it does not exist.
# NB: this script has the location of MSH hard coded
# You may need to change this your site
$key = ls HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\MSH\command -ea silentlycontinue
if (! $key) {
$new=New-item HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\MSHSHell\command
$set=Set-item HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\MSHShell\command "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Command Shell\msh.exe -Noexit -Nologo -Command Set-Location '%L'"
# All done - write about it and quit.
Write-Host "MSH-Here Registry Key setup for use"

You can get the latest version of this script from my monad sample scripts page or directly.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Short-term Mail Addresses as Anti Spam measure

I've been over to who offer short term disposable and re-directable e-mail addresses. The idea is you use to create an email address at their site. Mail sent to this addres is then forewarded on to you. If you are posting in a newsgroup, for example, or signing up for a site whose privacy you are unclear about, you can just create a mail address and use it for a day or a week, or even a month at which point mail sent there just bounces and you do not see it. I've just created a one-month email address: and email to this address is forwarded to my primary email account. This address should last until end-Sept 2005 - when it expires mail sent to the address just bounces.

At first sight, this seems a good idea - not letting your main email address get clogged up with spam. Of course, you do have to trust not to sell your mail addresses to spammers or others!

Info on New Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 Keyboard Leaks

Just read about this new Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. I want one! I have two of the older white ergonomic keyboards, but they're old and battered, as well as being filthy! I hope they release them in the UK with the £ and € symbols soon!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Ebook: Windows XP Hacks at Tal Beta

Just saw this - an e-book of Windowx XP Hacks. Useful, although almost certainly a violation of copyright.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

MSN Messenger 8.0 Feature List

In the same week as Google launched their new chat client, news of is released about Microsoft's next update to MSN Messenger. I like MSN messenger - although I hate the ads and all the eye candy. And that's what is nice about Google Talk - no ads (well yet anyway), and no eye candy. Just a simple chat/talk interface. So while using Talk, we can look forward to what MS will bring us next year.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Jerry Garcia Stamp Petition

As many folks will know, I'm a Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia fan, with a home collection of their digital music that is huge and growing. I can remembrer where I was when I'd heard of Jerry's Death - it's hard to believe it was 10 years ago.

I recently came across the Jerry Garcia Stamp Petition which aims to get the US Postal Service to release a Jerry Garcia stamp. Please consider signing it!

Monad Team Launches Blog

The Monad team have launched the Monad Technology Blog. It's got some cool stuff about Monad from the team developing the product. I'm trying hard to ensure that samples from this blog are ported to my monad page and sample monad scripts pages.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google Talk Launches

Hot on the heals of an updated Google Desktop, Google have launched a beta of Google Talk. The download is tiny (900k) for what seems a nice little chat client. Unlike MSN, there's no eye-candy adverts etc, just a clean and simple, no frills interface to a straightforward chat client.


The BBC has a nice discussion of this service.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Download details: Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment Enterprise Edition

Microsoft has published an updated version of it's Business Desktop Deoloymet Soution Accelerator, which comes in two versions: Enterprise Edition and the Standard Edition.

Version 2.5 includes a number of improvements which include: support for unattended installations of x64 systems, the Computer Imaging System contains supports per-build action lists, updated documentation including support for ACT 4.0. Version 2.5 also addresses reliability and manageability of ZTI, including using MOM to monitor ZTI progress.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

SQL Server Geeks Tackle Soduko

My wife has become a soduko junkie - doing most days puzzles in The Times on-line. But I have to admit, the contributors to the SQLTeam.Com forums, in a thread titled So Duko bank holiday challenge have tryly taken the cake.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Monad Webcast

Microsoft has just put up an on-demand replay of the recent Monad webcast. The webcast can be found on the Microosft Technet site. The presentation is at the 300 level and is part one of two - part two is to be broadcast next week.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Finding Great Trainers is Hard!

Things must be going well in trainer-land. The firm I work for, QA, has been looking for some time to hire several top-notch technical trainers, but we've not been able to hire anyone! If you, or anyone you know, is a developer trainer, specialising in Java and/or .NET, and are looking for a new opportunity with a great company, then contact me at thomas.Lee{at}, and attach a CV.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Download the .NET FX 2.0 SDK - And Get MSH

Although you'd not know it from looking at the download page, MSH Beta 1 (June '05 drop) is now available publically - there's no need to go through the process of getting onto the formal beta program. If you just want to play with MSH, then download the SDK and start playing (and take a look at my sample scripts page to get some cool samples to play with while you learn the product).

The SDK can be downloaded one of two ways - either the full package or the web download. The full package (cleverly called setup.exe) is 317 MB, while the web download size will vary depending on what you intall. The web setup program itself is 977KB. Sadly, there appears to be no MSI package for this download, making it just that little bit harder to deploy via Group Policy. Having said that, the program does have a silent install mode, so you could script the installation, and do the install as part of a logon script, or have the user run the script from a web site or email link.

While fantastic thus far, MSH is still evolving. There are a number of features missing (e.g simple COM interop), some features are being changed, and bugs are being fixed. The next drop, which should occur around the time of the PDC in September, promises to bring a number of welcome improvements and changes. So if you are an admin, fed up with the traditional poor command line support, and you want to contribute to the product's development, then please join into the MSH beta programme and use the NNTP news group!