Category Archives: Out-of-Band Post - Page 2

Building The New Battle Station

For the last 5 years, I’ve owned the same desktop computer that I do most of my work from at home. The computer was solid, a Dell XPS 630i. It still was performing like a champ with an occasional blue screen, I believed caused by the SLI video cards. I don’t have much time for video games so I figured there was no point in replacing it for the longest time.

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Before monitor replacement

After two random blue screens in the same evening I decided it was time to bite the bullet and replace the system. I had no interest in spending hours troubleshooting the issues when I knew I wanted a new computer anyway. Now was the time to decide if I was going to purchase a new system or build my own. I did quite a bit of research and I wanted to buy a fairly solid gaming rig that will last me at least another 5 years. Looking at the options out there and comparing the cost associated I decided to build my own machine.

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PowerShell Summit Round Up

I’ve been fairly distant from my blog for quite a few months… work has been very busy and preparing for the PowerShell Summit really took quite a bit of time. On top of all of that I was also traveling to Microsoft TechEd shortly after the PowerShell Summit.

The PowerShell Summit was an amazing event, probably the most well prepared conference I’ve attended. The venue was great, the evening events were very cool and the food was fantastic! I was lucky enough that my presentations were Monday morning, so I was able to relax and enjoy the remainder of the conference.

One fun thing that wasn’t well known is that the Sunday before the conference I did a quick run through my VM’s to validate my demos would work… I started walking through my SharePoint Demo and guess what… no go. Luckily I had all of the media on my local machine, after troubleshooting a bit I gave up and rebuilt the demo day before presenting it. Everything went smoothly the next day.

I was also lucky enough that Aaron Hoover sat in on my PowerCLI: How to Automate Your VMware Environment Reports session and recorded everything. The recording was done on a webcam, so you will see it have to refocus occasionally. I have the slides posted on the blog so you can follow along with those.


It was a great experience presenting at the PowerShell Summit and I hope present in coming years. Now the very exciting information at the Summit did not come from my session, but sessions from Jeffrey Snover and the PowerShell Product team.

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New Year New Changes

It’s been quite a bit of time since I’ve made a true blog post. Things have been very exciting in my life lately and I’ve been chugging along to keep up with it.

The first thing I’d like to talk about is the first thing that happened this year. Starting January 1st 2014 I became a Technical Team Lead at Apparatus. I oversee 5 technical resources while maintaining myself as a technical resource also. It is a new challenge and one I am very eager to execute on. This position has given me the ability not only to expand my technical knowledge across multiple technologies but also to gain experience in management. I am one of the first 7 people in this role at Apparatus and I get to be part of the formation of this new level of management and it is a fantastic opportunity for me to grow.

The next thing that happened this year is the first time I’ve taught a Microsoft Official Course (MOC) which was the 20410, Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012. It was a lot of work to prepare for this course; however it was well worth every minute of prep work as this was an extremely exciting course to teach. I had 12 people in attendance and I received lots of positive feedback on my teaching technique. The best part of that week was not the experience, or how much fun it was to present. It was the fact that one of the students in the course decided to sketch a picture of me while I was talking about IPv4 Sub-netting which I’ve included below.

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PowerShell Pranks – Making Work Fun with Creepy Voices!

In every IT office I have worked in pulling pranks co-workers has been a standard. They tend to be low tech; co-worker leaves computer unlocked you change their background, maybe change their Windows sound affects. They tend to be small and easy to revert.

Over the summer in our office we had an intern program and a specific intern who wasn’t very wise when it came to locking his computer. We got him probably 10-15 times with picture of David Hasselhoff in a thong. We also installed some fun Google Chrome add-ons that would change every image on the page to something else.

These got boring; which is very unusual when making someone have a sexy background. However because we became so board with it we decided to take it a step further. We thought, wouldn’t it be cool to automate this with PowerShell? So our initial idea was changing the background to a random image. Looking through the ways of doing that was semi-complicated and I was feeling lazy. So we ditched the idea and it was on the back burner for a long time.

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One evening I came home from work and stumbled upon this amazing post on the PowerShell Sub-Reddit “A fun script for Friday – make your friend’s computer start talking to him/her.” To sum it up, it’ll use Text to Speech to have the computer talk. In the example that was posted it used PowerShell Remoting. Using PowerShell Remoting for such a malicious intent may cross a line, depends on who the target is and how much you abuse it. In my case the computers were not domain joined and so I couldn’t use that as easily. So I decided to take my Friday night and make it quite a bit more “portable.”

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The road to become an MCT

I have had a goal over the last two years to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). I was already half way there by holding an MCITP certificate in Windows 7 and Server 2008; however I still had to finalize the last requirement of either obtaining my CompTIA CTT+ or attending a Train The Trainer course. Earlier this summer I had started the path to obtain my CTT+ by purchasing and began reading the book to prep me for the exam. About a month later the details for the MCT Summit along with the Train The Trainer course was posted. I spoke with my manager about the positives and negatives of the Train the Trainer path and we decided that was best.

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2013 MCT Summit Baby MCT’s with their trainers

Last month the on September 16th and 17th I spent my entire day in a room with 25 other people wanting to become MCT’s. A few weeks prior to this I had received a few emails with pre-course work that needed to be completed. Nothing too major just an evaluation asking what I was hoping to learn, a assessment quiz to gauge where I was with the CTT+, and a document I had to fill out, outlining what my presentation would be on.

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