Scripting Games Week 4

Scripting Games

Again if you’re participating in the games this year you’ve already won!  If you’re not and you’re reading this post what are you doing!  I’ve watched authors step there game up over the past month, and I can tell you from personal experience the games will make you better at your real job.  It’s like sharpening an axe, an axe made of super juice that can automate the world 🙂
Well that's clever!
I came across this script this morning.

$prop = Write-Output Name,Title,Department,LastLogonDate,PasswordLastSet,LockedOut,Enabled
Get-ADUser -Filter * -Properties $prop |
    Get-Random -Count 20 | Select-Object $prop |
        ConvertTo-Html -Title "Active Directory Audit" -PostContent "<hr>$(Get-Date)" | Out-File C:\adresult.html

Well formatted, simple concise, all around a very clean approach to the problem.  However the use of write-output threw me for a second.  I actually had to run it to see what was happening there, for a second I thought maybe there was yet another way to create a custom object in PowerShell.  Alas no, our intrepid author has simply deduced a way to avoid having to put quotes around the text.  Consider the following Prop1, and Prop2 are identical, but it’s one less character using write-output.

$prop1 = Write-Output Name,Title,Department,LastLogonDate,PasswordLastSet,LockedOut,Enabled
$prop2 = 'Name','Title','Department','LastLogonDate','PasswordLastSet','LockedOut','Enabled'

I’m not saying we should start using write-output instead of quotation if for nothing other than syntax highlighting it’s incorrect. However, this one time it’s forgiven, and I’m tipping my hat to you sir, well done.
Don’t put spaces or dashes in your property names.
I’ve seen this on and off throughout the games and I’ll admit this one isn’t a slam dunk, but that said don’t do it. You’re writing a script, camel case is the established standard for spaces. Yes the spaces do make it slightly easier to read, but at the cost of eliminate the reuse of the code.
Oh the Humanity.
Seriously read the damn help already. I could just fill this post with examples of simple mistakes that could have been avoided. Using the wrong cmdlet is one thing but take the following.

Get-Process | Sort-Object {Get-Random} | select -First 5

What’s wrong with that picture? Well nothing except it’s horribly inefficient since the Get-Random cmdlet has a count parameter!

Get-Process | Get-Random -Count 5

To the author You know who you are, everyone else read the help people!
Light week this week, but I will say I am super excited about next weeks offerings it’s a problem that tickles my kind of fancy, and I hope you all have as much fun solving it as I did.

One Response to " Scripting Games Week 4 "

  1. Aleksandar says:

    Eliminating quotes is nice, but you can also remove commas:
    $props = Write-Output Name Title Department LastLogonDate PasswordLastSet LockedOut Enabled
    I like using Write-Output’s alias–echo:
    echo server1 server2 server3 | ForEach-Object { … }
    More details: