Wednesday, February 15, 2006

IT Forum Redelivered - MSH Talk

Last Thursday, I was at Microsoft UK, and delivered two talks as part of their IT Forum Redelivered event. The idea was to take the best talks from last year's IT Forum and redeliver them to a UK audience who might not have made it to Barcelona. My first talk was about Monad, with the second was about Vista (with a tiny bit on O12). Mark Wilson was kind enough to pretty nearly transcribe my entire talk in a (long) blog artice on his blog site. Thanks for saving me a bunch of work! A few small points on Mark's excellent post

Mark notes the registry setting to change the default security model. What he omits is the poor first time user experience if you don't set this registry value entry. The default for this value entry (Restricted) means that the first time you run MSH, you are confronted by a bunch of somewhat obscure and unhelpful error messages the first time you run MSH. I understand fully the need for this registry value entry - but to my mind Monad's setup should take provide some way to fix this in a less user hostile way. I'm hoping the product team will resolve this issue before RTM, or perhaps there's a simple way to create a MSI Transform to 'fix' this.

Mark's blog post metions the get-wmiobject cmdlet. He agrees with me that the full name is a pain to type out in the shell. Ahh grasshopper - you just use the ailas gwo - and if you want to ailas it further, you of course can do that easily.

Mark talks about pipes and the pipeline. Just one small issue, in case I wasn't clear on the day. In Unix/Linux, what tends to pass along the pipeline is text as Mark notes. But that's not a design decision or a restriction - I'd hate any Unix/Linux fan to throw rocks at either of us. So while binary data can of course flow across the pipeline, what tends to happen with administrative scripting it that it's just text passed.

Finally Mark talks about security measures around Monad. A futher securty measure is that Monad is not installed by default, nor is it on the product CD. MS is deliberately putting up as many security barriers to stop you running scripts. And while this is a right royal pain in the posterior for experiened IT Pros - I think it's probably the right answer these days.

I really enjoyed giving the talk, and the Vista talk that he's not written about (yet)! To be there cost me a day of my time plus the couple of hundred pounds needed to be get there and deliver talks with credible working demos - but it was still a lot of fun.

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