Monday, June 30, 2008

Live Writerfox for FireFox V3

In a recent blog article, I noted that the Live Writer "Blog This" add-on did not work with FireFox 3. This is the add-on from the Live Writer team that put a little icon up in the tool bar.

Over on the Coding Day blog, I see this post:   FireFox Addon (Extension) for Windows Live Writer - Live Writerfox. I looked at it and saw it was dated from 2006. But reading the comments, I see Can has updated his add-on to work with FF3. It's not the same as the one I wanted, but it works great and I've used it already - like to write this blog entry.

Neat – and thanks!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

MSDN Wiki - 1100 edits later

I've been contributing to the MSDN Wiki for a bit over a year. After an edit tonight, I see I've hit 1100 updates thus far, far in advance of the number 2 contributor!

The purpose of the Wiki is to enable the community to add content. This can be in the form of code samples, deeper explanations, or external references. I do see a bit of graffiti from time to time but thankfully the admins on the site are pretty quick to remove any vandalism (or 'non-content' as I call it).

My adventure with the Wiki started one Sunday afternoon a bit over a year ago. I was looking at a C# code sample on the MSDN site and was trying to convert it into PowerShell. Since PowerShell was built on .NET, it was supposed to be easy to just dig in and use the framework. But I just didn't get it - I was missing something. If I recall, I was trying to play around with the XML functions in PowerShell and just could not work out what was going on!

I posted a query in the most excellent PowerShell MS newsgroup and in under an hour, Keith Hill posted a reply that knocked the fog from my eyes and suddenly I was able to access a .NET Class. So I posted the sample, then a few more. It was a fun day. Then I posted some more and then more - my aim was to put the "PowerShell" tag at number 1 in the tag cloud.

Since then, I've posted just short of 300 samples showing how you can use PowerShell to access various parts of the .NET framework. Whilst working on the Microsoft PowerShell course, I delved into COM and WMI too!

I've also been updating my (and a few other) posts with better tagging. I've not been successful, yet, in the goal of getting PowerShell to be the number 1 tag: 695 posts are tagged as 'contentbug' with only 276 tagged as PowerShell so far.I probably need to check some of my posts to ensure they're tagged correctly.

I've found this most rewarding - I know a lot more about how to use PowerShell to access the core system functions, as well as knowing more about how those functions work. As a trainer, this have been invaluable in prepping up to teach PowerShell. It's also a wonderful reference for others to build on, as I've started to see.

A great challenge to trainers wanting to learn to teach PowerShell well - add a few samples yourself. Work with the examples from the course. Then find an undocumented class/method/member, etc. and develop some new samples. Carry on for a bit and who knows, your name may be in the top contributors list.

Jerome’s Place - Pining for the Fjords :-(

Some time ago, I posted about a wonderful Grateful Dead related Bit-Torrent site, known as Jerome’s Place (before that known as the TMNSP site). It had a tremendous amount of Dead and Jerry material including Jerry’s full catalogue for 74-82!! As a member, I was given a few invites to hand out. I asked folks to email me and I’d get them hooked up. It was a test – if you’re smart enough to work out my email, then maybe you should be let in! Of course, as expected, I got no emails and a lot of comments in the blog. I had intended to send out the invites to the first few who send me email (I needed the email address to hook you up – but none of the requests actually included an email I could use). I got another request this week, which I published, but sadly I can’t help there  either (not including your email means I can’t sign you up).

But despite these glitches, I still can’t help – Jerome’s place is gone. Like many of these sites, it came, served and has gone away again. No idea where it went or why – but the site is no more. Such a shame as I had a great ratio there, but much more importantly, there was a great family there that had a tremendous amount of music. I think I have pretty much everything from mid 60’s till late 77, and a goodly selection thereafter (including all of Jerry from 74-82). Such a shame.

RIP Jerome’s Place.

Live Writer “Blog This” Add-in for FireFox Not Working on FireFox 3

I love Microsoft’s Live Writer blogging tool and have used it pretty consistently since it was first release. There have been some issues (mainly caused by Blogger doing odd things), but these generally been fixed quickly. I’ve just upgraded to FireFox version 3 only to discover that the Blog This addin no longer works.

Please Microsoft Live Writer team – please please please fix this?

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Out of Office' Automatic E-mail Replies

I was about to set my OOF greeting Outlook, when a colleague sent me a link to Some of the Best 'Out of Office' Automatic email Replies. I’d love to use the last one, but I’m not sure if other folks would get it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Portable PowerShell – The Community Adds Value (again)

One thing, amongst many, that continually amazes me is the passion and power of the PowerShell community. Each time I see a cool trick or a cool new tool, I say to myself – this could just not get any better. Then it does.

As yet another example of this, take a look at Karl Prosser’s post: Portable PowerShell - v1 and v2 side by side - even on Server Core. WOW – side by side, portable and on Server Core – Oh My! This is almost better than Sushi at Tuna House (not quite, but close!).

Now in this post Karl does not tell you do it, nor does he offer a download. But if he can do it, it’s doable and sooner or later his secrets will become public. The truth is out there!

So PLEASE Microsoft, let us distribute PowerShell as Karl suggests. Talk to the lawyers and get a re-distributable. The ability to run PowerShell V2 on Server Core is just plain awesome.

And thanks Karl for showing the limits of the community (as in there are none!!!!!!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

TechSmith Launches Snagit 9.0

Those great folks at TechSmith have launched a neat new version of Snagit, their excellent screen capture package. Snagit 9 was released today at TechEd US, and features a bunch of neat and useful new features including the ability to combine images and storing all the previously captured images. I have already installed this version on my laptop and will install it on my desktop at home as soon as I get back.

Snagit was a great product, now it’s even better. I wonder if Snagit will marry me? You can download a trial version from their web site. The full cost is $49.95. And for more details on the release, see Betsy Webber’s blog.

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Get Sysinternals tools from

Now this is pretty cool – Microsoft’s put up a single page with all the Sysinternals tools for you to download. The page features all the tools, which avoids the need to go to the Sysinternals index page, finding the individual tool then downloading it, etc.

This is now on my shortcut list!

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Monday, June 09, 2008

How to order a beer in 26 languages

An important skill – being able to order a beer in many languages. I’ve just found a neat little PDF called Beer_please.pdf .


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VoIP Security Web Seminar

Global Knowledge has published an online VoIP Security Web Seminar. This webcast is delivered by Stuart McLeod, a brilliant instructor. Stuart’s got a load of experience in this field – he was part of the GK team that developed Microsoft’s Voice Ignite material. This webcast, as the name suggests, examines security issues that come with VOIP

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Number of Microsoft Certified Professionals Worldwide

Microsoft Learning publishes a very interesting web page that displays the number of MCPs in the world. You can find this at: Perusing it recently, I was amazed to discover a new certification: an MCITP in”United States History Major”.

Fortunately, Trika revealed all in her post: Turns out to be a bit of rather unprofessional bit of sophomoric humour. I guess it must be nice to have the time to play with web sites, but if MSL folks have spare time, perhaps focusing on quality might be a better approach.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Windows Live Writer Technical Preview Available for Download

Those nice folks from the Live Writer team have released a technical preview (i.e. a beta) which you can now download. This new build has a bunch of new features, as described on the Writer Zone blog.

I'm downloading this now!

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