Author Archives: PowerShell.org Announcer

About PowerShell.org Announcer

This is the official account for PowerShell.org and sponsor announcements.

IRON SCRIPTER TOURNAMENT at PowerShell Summit North America 2014


I hope you’re getting excited about the Summit!

Monday night, don’t forget to bring your fully-charged laptop to the evening reception, where we’ll be having a one-hour (max) IRON SCRIPTER tournament, complete with an IRON TROPHY.

We will accept a maximum of about 50 entrants, although we encourage people to work in small teams. Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. You’ll be handed assignment sheets detailing the evening’s Theme Ingredient. You’ll have to prepare three courses: Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert. You’ll also receive a blank scorecard.
  2. There will be color commentary as people get started and as they work on their entries. We’ll have someone, probably with a microphone, looking over your shoulder. Be prepared.
  3. Once you complete ALL THREE COURSES, you’ll find one of our 5-6 judges and have them score you. You’ll receive 1-5 points in each of 4 categories: Taste, Presentation, Creativity, and Use of Theme Ingredient. You’ll then go find two other judges, for a maximum of three judges per entrant. Notice that we will have more judges on-hand that you will need to visit – we’re hoping that’ll expedite judging for everyone. However, there are no time bonuses – “first in” doesn’t get any better consideration than “last in,” except toward the end the judges may start to get cranky and belligerent.
  4. Judges are expected to be COMPLETELY BIASED. They may discriminate based on everything except your skin color and gender – meaning they’re going to be relying on their own preferences and personal tastes to determine your score. Judges are also likely to be drinking, which will hopefully make things even more fun.
  5. Your completed three-judge scorecard will be handed in to our able assistant(s), who will tally your final score. That’s simply adding up all the points you’ve been given – a maximum of 60 points, if we’re doing the math right.
  6. The person/team with the most points WINS. We fully expect a tie. But… after one hour of coding, we’re done. If you’re not finished by then, you’re out. Frankly, it should take you 30 minutes if you know your stuff.
  7. The tiebreaker, if needed, will be a SUDDEN DEATH VERBAL ASSIGNMENT. The first entrant with the (a) correct (b) nicely formatted (c) cool entry will win the IRON TROPHY.

There is no such thing as “cheating.” That is, if you can look it up, fine. If you can make it up, fine. “Whatever.”

There is to be no whining, no arguing with the judges, and much cheering. We are going to be laying out an incredible spread of food. We’re buying the first case and a half of wine, and a half barrel of local beer – after that runs out, it’ll be a cash bar. We have the room until 9pm, so we hope you’ll stick around, enjoy the show, and start making and renewing your PowerShell community connections.

Remember that the tournament will be only the first hour-ish of the evening – from there, it’s mix mingle, and have fun!

Capturing the Goodness! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


OMG THE SUMMIT IS ONLY A WEEK AWAY!!!

As you pack your gear, consider how you’ll be capturing the awesomeness that our speakers will be presenting.

If speakers want to share their session materials, they may – we’ll post (right here) anything we’re given. Most speakers will probably permit audio and/or video recordings (please ask first), which you’re welcome to make and, with the speaker’s permission, share. If that’s your plan, keep in mind that power outlets will be limited, so you might want to work with a device that can have an extra battery or something.

Notepaper works well, too, and you’ll need to bring your own.

And of course, if you have a tablet or something and want to take notes on that, go for it. Again, spare batteries are the order of the day, as you shouldn’t expect a power outlet to be handy.

Due to the expense and logistics, we are not making official recordings of any sessions. We know everyone wants them, it’s just an expense we couldn’t take on this time. But if the speaker is okay with it, we’re not stopping you from doing so. Maybe team up with other attendees and trade off recording duties? If you do record and share videos, let us know, and we’ll be happy to publicize the URL and get you some mad YouTube h1tz.

Get the Scoop! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


We’ve got almost 200 folks ready to converge on Bellevue in a couple of weeks, and we’ve prepared a final edition of the Attendee Guide that you should download and review. Bookmark the URL, as any late-breaking changes will be published there as well.

Take the time to actually READ the Attendee Guide, too. It’ll help you have good and accurate expectations for what’s ahead, and help avoid any last-minute disappointments. We’ve jammed a lot of information in there, but it’s all useful, and we’ve tried to keep it all as concise as possible.

See you in two weeks!

PowerShell Summit NA 2014 Attendee Information


The following information was provided to attendees via e-mail, and is being posted here as a backup.

We’re getting close!
We wanted to take a moment and make sure you have everything you need to succeed for the PowerShell Summit North America 2014. First, be sure you’re visiting http://powershellsummit.org for full event details. Things may change leading up to the event, and we’re not sending out emails every time.  Most specifically, make sure you’re checking http://powershell.org/wp/category/announcements/powershell-summit/, because any official announcements or changes will be posted there. Or, you know, live in ignorance. I hear it’s bliss <grin>.
We truly can’t wait to meet all of you – and we know you’re going to have a great time.
 
PAPERS, PLEASE!
Please print and bring your PowerShell Summit confirmation. If you can’t find it, please contact us for your confirmation number BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME. Also bring a government-issued photo ID to pick up your badge. Other useful documents can include your payment receipt (printed). We know some of you were paid for by someone else at your company, so it’s important we be able to make the connection to YOU when you show up.
 
GET THE GUIDE
Please take a moment to download the latest agenda and attendee guide from http://bit.ly/2014NASummit. And bookmark that, too – you’re going to want to be able to grab any last-minute changes directly. We’ll have printouts of the grid on-site, but an electronic copy is so much easier, right? We won’t have the ENTIRE Guide available in print form on-site. The Guide is being updated pretty regularly as we firm up plans (like our meal menus), so it won’t kill you to check back now and again as the Summit approaches. There have been a couple of last-minute session changes, so I’d grab the latest just before you leave for the Summit.
WHEN YOU ASSUME
Now would be an EXCELLENT time to develop some realistic and accurate expectations – and the best way to do that is by reading the Attendee Guide. For example, do you know how much on-site parking costs? It ain’t free, and it ain’t included. You can help avoid nasty surprises by reading the Guide. The Guide is also the best way to make sure you’re not missing any of the little surprises we’re cooking up. Let the Guide be your guide. Trust in the power of the Guide. And make sure you’ve downloaded the latest copy!
 
KNOW WHERE TO GO
The entire Summit is happening at The Meydenbauer Center (www.meydenbauer.com) in downtown Bellevue, WA. If you don’t know where that is, now would be a good time to consult your favorite mapping software. We’ll be on the 4th floor. Pay attention to the agenda grid (it’s in the Guide) regarding meal times and whatnot.
 
MAKE SURE YOU CAN EAT
If you have any dietary restrictions that you’ve not told me about directly, now’s your absolute last chance to do so. Send me an e-mail, and make sure you get a reply from me. If you don’t get the reply, then I didn’t hear from you. We’re preparing about 2-3% of our food for vegetarians; anything else isn’t going to exist if you don’t ask for it. The attendee guide will give you an idea of what we’re planning, menu-wise. If you’re not sure, ask me now. The attendee guide also lists meal and break times; if you need (for example) a continuous intravenous supply of coffee, we aren’t going to be able to accommodate that, and you should make appropriate arrangements for yourself. Extra coffee is $68/gallon from the events center. Yeah. We know. (There are soft drink machines on site, if you need one – bring cash for those.)
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR FLIGHT AND STUFF
If you’re connecting on your way to Seattle, make sure you bring a carry-on with a day’s worth of clothes in case your checked bags go to STL instead of SEA. Don’t put medication and important stuff in checked bags. You know the drill. Read up on the TSA’s latest nonsense in advance (www.tsa.gov) so you’re prepared. Assume the trip will not go well, and have plans in place to deal with it. We want you to make it in one piece. If anything happens, drop me an e-mail so we don’t worry about you. We will, otherwise. We’re like that. If you are connecting through SFO, please watch your flight carefully – they’re doing runway work that is resulting in delays and cancellations. Even if your aircraft is coming to pick you up via SFO, keep an eye on it.
TECH STUFF
Don’t expect a plethora of (or any) power outlets, and expect only minimal Internet connectivity in the building. Event centers charge a TON for those services (literally $1000 per 1MB of bandwidth), and we couldn’t afford much. Besides, you’ll be far too busy absorbing everything our amazing speakers are going to deliver. But, we wanted you to have a realistic expectation about this. Maybe leave the laptop back in the hotel room.
BRING SOME CASH
We will have “cash bars” in the evenings, so make sure you… you know… have some cash. They don’t take plastic. Drinks aren’t crazy outrageous ($8-$12 for the most part, which includes tip). But we’ve pretty much got all your meals covered (even a hot item per person for breakfast every morning), so your expense report shouldn’t be too bad.
 
HOLLER IF YOU NEED ANYTHING
A quick e-mail can bring quick (nearly instant) answers about your Summit questions. AskDon’t assume.
See you in a couple of weeks!

PowerShell Summit NA 2014 Registration CLOSED


Registration for the PowerShell Summit North America 2014 is now closed. Due to advance planning requirements at the venue, we will not be accepting any late registrations. We can continue to accept transfers or substitutions, but there will be a $25 administrative fee applied. All registrations are final and non-transferable at of April 20th, 2014.

Attendees: Please check your e-mail. An informational notice went out to you all on Sunday afternoon, and a follow-up went out today (April 14th). That same information will be available right here on PowerShell.org in the “PowerShell Summit” category – so please be sure to read everything.

The Attendee Guide is available also – please take a moment to download it and review the important information it contains.

ONE WEEK LEFT TO REGISTER: PowerShell Summit N.A. 2014 & Precon


This is a reminder that registration for PowerShell Summit North America, and the Sunday pre-con with Don Jones, will end on April 14th. After that, we will accept registrations on a space-available basis, with payment on-site by credit card or check only (must be a US card of check), with a $50 service fee applying.

So, you know, don’t wait any longer, if you’ve waited this long.

Scheduled Site Downtime


Due to Microsoft Azure maintenance, we are expecting PowerShell.org to be offline on April 11th from approximately 3:00pm Pacific time. The downtime should last between six and eight hours. During that time, the site may be intermittently or entirely unavailable. Thank you for your understanding.

UCS Power Scripting Contest – Unleash the Power of Cisco UCS


Cisco UCS servers (both managed by UCS Manager and standalone rackmount servers) can be managed with PowerShell scripts. Cisco is running a contest looking for the best PowerShell scripts that manage, automate, monitor, and perform tasks like inventory gathering about UCS Servers and other connected infrastucture, like hypervisors, applications, and operating systems. The Cisco UCS Power Scripting Contest is now open and will run until May 11th, 2014. A winner will be announced in the DevNET Zone at Cisco Live on May 20th at 5PM PT. Head over to the contest site for more details on how to win great prizes, our celebrity judging panel and support your fellow community members! For more information head to:

UCS Scripting: http://communities.cisco.com/ucsscripting
UCS Communities: http://communities.cisco.com/ucs
UCS Developed Integrations: http://communities.cisco.com/ucsintegrations

About UCS PowerTool

Cisco UCS PowerTool for UCS Manager is a PowerShell module that helps automate and manage configurations within UCS Manager including service profiles, policies, pools, equipment, and network and storage management. Cisco UCS PowerTool for IMC is a PowerShell module that helps automate and manage configurations within a standalone C-Series rackmount server including BIOS settings, boot order, firmware updates, and administrative settings such as LDAP, syslog, SNMP, etc. Cisco UCS PowerTool enables easy integration with existing IT management processes and tools. The PowerTool cmdlets manipulate on the Cisco UCS Manager’s Management Information Tree (MIT). These cmdlets allow you to create, modify, or delete actions on the Managed Objects (MOs) in the tree.

Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


Remember that Summit registration ENDS in just about 10 days. If you’re already registered, here’s some incredibly important information you need to know.

First, be sure you’re visiting http://powershellsummit.org for full event details. Things may change leading up to the event, and we’re not sending out emails every time.  Most specifically, make sure you’re checking http://powershell.org/wp/category/announcements/powershell-summit/, because any official announcements or changes will be posted there. Or, you know, live in ignorance. We hear it’s bliss <grin>.

PAPERS, PLEASE!
Please print and bring your PowerShell Summit confirmation. If you can’t find it, please contact summit at powershell.org for your confirmation number BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME. Also bring a government-issued photo ID to pick up your badge. Other useful documents can include your payment receipt (printed). We know some of you were paid for by someone else at your company, so it’s important we be able to make the connection to YOU when you show up.

GET THE GUIDE
Please take a moment to download the latest agenda and attendee guide from http://bit.ly/2014NASummit. And bookmark that, too – you’re going to want to be able to grab any last-minute changes directly. We’ll have printouts on-site, but an electronic copy is so much easier, right? The Guide is being updated pretty regularly as we firm up plans (like our meal menus), so it won’t kill you to check back now and again as the Summit approaches.

KNOW WHERE TO GO
The entire Summit is happening at The Meydenbauer Center (www.meydenbauer.com) in downtown Bellevue, WA. If you don’t know where that is, now would be a good time to consult your favorite mapping software. We’ll be on the 4th floor. Pay attention to the agenda grid (it’s in the Guide) regarding meal times and whatnot.

MAKE SURE YOU CAN EAT
If you have any dietary restrictions that you’ve not told me about directly, now’s your absolute last chance to do so. Send me an e-mail, and make sure you get a reply from me. If you don’t get the reply, then I didn’t hear from you. We’re preparing about 2-3% of our food for vegetarians; anything else isn’t going to exist if you don’t ask for it. The attendee guide will give you an idea of what we’re planning, menu-wise. If you’re not sure, ask me now. The attendee guide also lists meal and break times; if you need (for example) a continuous intravenous supply of coffee, we aren’t going to be able to accommodate that, and you should make appropriate arrangements for yourself. Extra coffee is $68/gallon from the events center. Yeah. We know.

DOUBLE CHECK YOUR FLIGHT AND STUFF
If you’re connecting, make sure you bring a carry-on with a day’s worth of clothes in case your bags go to STL instead of SEA. Don’t put medication and important stuff in checked bags. You know the drill. Read up on the TSA’s latest nonsense in advance (www.tsa.gov) so you’re prepared. Assume the trip will not go well, and have plans in place to deal with it. We want you to make it in one piece. If anything happens, drop us an e-mail or tweet so we don’t worry about you. We will, otherwise. We’re like that.

TECH STUFF
Don’t expect a plethora of (or any) power outlets, and expect only minimal Internet connectivity in the building. Event centers charge a TON for those services (literally $1000 per 1GB of bandwidth per day), and we couldn’t afford much. Besides, you’ll be far too busy absorbing everything our amazing speakers are going to deliver. But, we wanted you to have a realistic expectation about this.

BRING SOME CASH
We do have “cash bars” in the evenings, so make sure you… you know… have some cash. They don’t take plastic. Drinks aren’t crazy outrageous ($8-$12 for the most part, which includes tip). But we’ve pretty much got all your meals covered (even a hot item per person for breakfast every morning), so your expense report shouldn’t be too bad.

Evening Events! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


We’ve got THREE awesome events lined up for the Summit.

SUNDAY EVENING, we’re all going to hang out at Blue Martini, a bar at the Brevern building, right next door to the Meydenbauer Center where the Summit is being held. This is a pay-your-own way mingling, and a chance to connect with folks before all the fun begins Monday morning. If you’re attending the Sunday pre-con, it’s also a chance to decompress and re-tox. Details in the Attendee Guide.

MONDAY EVENING, we’re holding an hour-ish-long IRON SCRIPTER tournament. It’ll be fun, a chance to flex your PowerShell muscles, and an opportunity to be a little clever. We’ll present a three-course challenge, with scoring for Creativity, Use of Theme Ingredient, Presentation, and Flavor (functionality). The first case of wine and half-barrel of beer are on us, as is a lavish assortment of local cuisine. A cash bar will be available for follow-up drinks.

TUESDAY EVENING, we’re going directly from the afternoon’s Product Team Lightning Demos and into a Product Team Mix ‘n’ Mingle, where you’ll get to have follow-up Q&A with the team members you just met at the demos. Again, we’re buying the first round and a big spread o’ food, and a cash bar will take us into the evening.

Then, on Wednesday, everyone leaves. Sad face.

Power and Internet! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


We want to make sure Summit attendees have an excellent experience, and we believe part of that is having good expectations about what the event will offer.

We’re NOT in a Microsoft-owned office building this year, so there are two important things – well, three – that cost a LOT of money: Internet and power. The third is coffee.

We will have a shared 5Mbps WiFi network, which means you may experience slow connections. Don’t show up expecting to remote desktop into your computers back home. PowerShell Remoting, maybe, since it’s so low-bandwidth, but RDP may struggle. Skype may struggle. Etc. That bandwidth unfortunately costs us thousands of dollars per day, so its all we could do. BTW, that was a tongue-in-cheek dig at RDP.

We will also not be running power hither and yon, and you may not drape your power cord across walkways. So plan to put the laptop away. Maybe take notes on that fancy Surface or iPad, with their all-day battery life?

Coffee we will have, hopefully in abundance. Tea, too. But if you’re a gallon-a-day drinker, try to spread it out over the day! We’ll have cold soft drinks in limited supply during the afternoon break and lunch, and the Center does have vending machines. Bring some cash. They charge us about $4.25 for a can of soda, so again, we had to budget.

We’re also thinking we’re all in the wrong business, and that we should open a convention center. Seriously, coffee is almost $70/gallon. And that’s in Seattle, where the stuff comes out of the faucets, practically.

These costs, incidentally, are not out of line for a convention center – if anything, they’re pretty reasonable. Comparatively. Which is why major conferences cost so much to attend.

Food! Getting Ready for PowerShell Summit North America 2014


As you get ready to attend PowerShell Summit North America 2014, start looking forward to the amazing meals and evening events that we have planned!

Yeah, the amazing technical content, too. But, food!

The Attendee Guide outlines our three days of breakfasts and lunches (four days if you’re attending the pre-con session), as well as our two big evening events. We’re laying on quite the spread, so that our IRON SCRIPTER contest is FUN, and that our Product Team Mix ‘n’ Mingle is INFORMATIVE. And fun. We’ve also got morning and afternoon snack breaks scheduled to keep you refreshed and recharged.

If you have any dietary requirements, be sure to contact us ASAP to let us know. Make sure you get a reply, because otherwise we didn’t get your message.

PowerShell Summit 2014 NA Attendees: Key Dates


We wanted to quickly emphasize some key days for the upcoming Summit.

  • March 12, 2014 is the last day to reserve a room in our block at the Coast Hotel. That’s where we’ll be hosting early badge pick-up on Sunday afternoon.
  • April 12, 2014 will be the last day to register for the Summit. After that, registrations will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and payment will only be accepted at the door via credit card. There will be a $50 processing fee for those registrations, IF we are able to accept them.
  • April 12 is also the last day you can register for the Concentrated Tech pre-con on Sunday.
  • We’ve provided an updated Summit Attendee Guide (as of March 4, 2014) that includes catering menus, a schedule grid, and other critical information. All attendees should download and review the guide. Download it again before you head to Bellevue, so that you have the latest information.

Please take the time to download and read through the Attendee Guide. It’s full of important information that will help you have the best Summit experience possible. I’ll also remind you to review the Summit Terms and Conditions, which spell out important expectations like the availability of power, Internet, and other services.

We look forward to seeing you in April!

Winter Scripting Games 2014 – Clarifications on Rules and Clarifications


As a note, because we’ve had a couple of requests, there are two things to remember about The Scripting Games.

Clarifications on Event Wording

Event authors, judges, and other officials are prohibited from providing further explanations or clarifications on the event scenarios. You’ll have to go on what’s in the document. if it isn’t clear, then they probably don’t care about it in terms of judging. Try to document – in your comment-based help – what you did and why, and cross your fingers.

The reason for this is that not everyone is reading these posts or the Scripting Games forum. Therefore, any response would not be seen by all competitors and would therefore un-level the playing field.

We’re a lot more interested in seeing you code creatively, consistently, and in accordance with best practices. So don’t sweat the little details.

Rebuttal to the Judges

Judges are not going to respond to requests like, “why did you judge our entry in such-and-such a way?” Judges’ scores are final, and cannot be changed. As in all competitions, everywhere, always, judges sometimes make a mistake or two. It happens. It’s also possible that a judge didn’t like the way in which you did something, and that’s why you lost a point or something. Regardless, we’re extremely appreciative of the judges’ time, and we’re not going to ask them to get in online arguments with people.

On the other hand, you’re more than welcome to solicit peer feedback on your entry. If the world agrees that the judge done you wrong, then you’ll regain your sacred honor and feel better. Or, perhaps peer feedback will grant you some new perspective.

Announcing our 2014 PowerShell Heroes


In 2013, we opened nominations for the first-ever PowerShell Heroes recognitions. The idea was to offer a kudos to folks who have been working hard in the PowerShell community, but who haven’t received other formal recognition (like Microsoft’s MVP Award).

We got a lot of nominations for Jon Walz, host of the PowerScripting Podcast, who fortunately got a much-belated MVP Award from Microsoft in late 2013. Congrats, Jon! But that still leaves plenty of folks who haven’t been recognized. And so based in your nominations, the board of PowerShell.org, Inc. gave serious consideration and is proud to recognize the following people for their outstanding contributions to the PowerShell community. Board consideration came down not only to the number of nominations a person received, but also your stories about how they’ve helped you grow and improve your PowerShell skills. The Board spent time researching each nomination’s narrative and each nominee’s work, trying to hunt down the very top of our community’s unrecognized contributors.

The 2014 PowerShell Heroes

  • Teresa Wilson, the “Scripting Wife.” Teresa Wilson puts an incredible amount of organizational effort into the community, including acting as Treasurer or PowerShell.org, organizing the PowerScripting Podcast schedule, volunteering at the PowerShell Summit, and more. She’s participated in The Scripting Games and blogged about her learning process. She helps local user groups form up and keep in touch, and helps run at least two by keeping their schedules published. @ScriptingWife on Twitter.
  • Dave Wyatt has become a major contributor to the forums here on PowerShell.org, typically beating our own Board “to the punch” when it comes to quickly answering questions. He’s taken on curation of Secrets of PowerShell Remoting, expanding that free book’s content and keeping it updated in a timely fashion. He’s working on a free ebook on PowerShell error handling, too, and has posted numerous lengthy and detailed blog posts about some of PowerShell’s trickiest areas.
  • Mark Schill created and runs the Atlanta PowerShell user group, and runs PowerShellGroup.org, a site where user groups and their members can keep track of meeting schedules, group contact information, and more. He’s organized several PowerShell Saturday events, and co-authored Windows PowerShell 2.0 Bible. He’s been a guest columnist for the Hey Scripting Guy! column on TechNet, and has helped as a judge with The Scripting Games. @PowerSchill on Twitter.
  • Francois-Xavier Cat has released multiple community guides and tools related to PowerShell, including LazyWinAdmin and AD Group Change Monitor. He’s also released several how-to’s on PowerShell GUI authoring which have proven invaluable to the community. @LazyWinAdm on Twitter. Note that Francois-Xavier was concurrently awarded his first MVP on January 1st, 2014; because the PowerShell Hero decision had already been made we’re continuing to recognize him for his work in 2013 and before.
  • Martin Pugh posts extensively about PowerShell in the Spiceworks forums, providing hundreds of the best answers and most helpful posts (as designated by the question asker). He contributes to the Spiceworks PowerShell script library, and many of his scripts and forum responses are repurposed into educational blog posts. @Martin9700 on Twitter.

You’ll notice that not all of these folks’ contributions have been here on PowerShell.org; that was never a criterion. That said, some of them may not realize they’ve been recognized in this fashion, so if you’re acquainted with them, please let them know, and offer them your thanks for their hard work.

Understand that this is just a recognition; there are no benefits, it doesn’t “expire,” and you unfortunately won’t get a plaque in the mail. We definitely want to work up some tangible recognition, but we first have to get some budget behind that, so it’s still pending. And if anyone would like to volunteer to create a graphical “badge” these folks can use on their websites, please let us know!

In late 2014, we’ll open nominations again. This time, our 2014 Heroes will be involved in making the final selections.

Congratulations to our 2014 PowerShell Heroes!!