Sunday, 22 February 2009

UK Active Directory User Group - 6pm GMT Wednesday 11th March

This is the second meeting of the newly formed UK Active Directory User Group:

The second [ADUG] UK Active Directory User Group meeting will be on the evening of the 11th March at Microsoft's London (Victoria) Offices. The meeting will co-hosted with the Windows Server User Group.

The draft agenda is:
  • 18:00 for 18:25 Arrival and registration
  • 18:25-18:30 Welcome and introductions
  • 18:30-19:45 James O'Neill takes a quick tour through the new features in Windows Server 2008 R2 (just to whet your appetite).
  • 19:45-20:00 Refreshments
  • 20:00-21:15 Amish Lukka (also from Microsoft) will be presenting an insight into new Active Directory features in Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • 21:15-21:30 Wrap-up.
  • 21:20 Adjourn to a nearby public house where Mark Parris will be happy to share his experiences of the Microsoft Certified Masters: Windows Server 2008: Directory class that he attended last November.

If you are interested in attending - please send an email to with your name and see you there. The confirmed times will be in the confirmation email.

For those who can’t make it in person, we will set up a Live Meeting session (which will be recorded) and details will be made available closer to the event.

UK London VMware User Group Meeting, Tuesday 10th March 2009

These are great events if you are able to get to them (unfortunately no webcast for this one):

The Steering Committee are pleased to announce the next UK London VMware User
Group meeting, now kindly sponsored by Veeam Software, to be held
on Tuesday 10th March 2009. We hope to see you at the meeting, and
afterwards for a drink or two.

Our meeting will be held at the Thames Suite, London Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, 33 Queen Street, London EC4R 1AP, +44 (0)20 7248 4444. The nearest
tube station is Mansion House, location information is available here.

PLEASE NOTE: As well as the date changing from the previously-published one, the day
has also changed to Tuesday, and we're in a different part of the venue
from normal (out of the lift, turn right). Rest assured, the usual UG
staples of great content and me banging on about Powershell will be
present and correct.

Reception is from 1230 for a prompt 1pm start, to finish around 5pm. Our agenda
for is not final at the moment, but looks something like this:

12:30 – 13:00 Arrive & Refreshments
13:00 – 13:15 Welcome & News
13:20 – 14:05 Sponsor Presentation - TBA
14:10 – 14:55 Presentation on real world Site Recovery Manager experience
15:00 – 15:20 Refreshments Break
15:25 – 16:00 Committee-moderated, user-generated content and discussion (some good stuff being lined up here)
16:05 – 16:45 VMworld Cannes debrief
16:45 – 17:00 Close
17:00 – Pub

Please feel free to contribute to the 'UG content ideas' forum thread running here. We won't be able
to incorporate all of the ideas for this coming meeting, but will do our best
to include some of them.

To register your interest in attending, please reply with up to two named
attendees from your organisation to alaricdavies at yahoo dot com. If you do not receive a confirmation mail
from us, please don't just turn up since we will not be able to admit you to
the meeting. Content from the meetings will continue to be uploaded to,
NDA permitting.

Sincerely, and with regards,

The UKLVMUG Steering Committee

UK Powershell User Group Live Meeting - 7pm GMT on Thursday February 26th 2009

Don't forget 7pm GMT on Thursday February 26th sees Rolf Masuch presenting a Live Meeting to the UK PowerShell User group. Rolf runs the German PowerShell User Group.

Session abstract:

  • PowerShell as Active Directory Login Script
  • Loginscript, why?
  • The Script
  • Draft in the form editor
  • Start with PowerGUI Editor
  • The script skeleton
  • The script details
  • Get in running
  • Output of information
  • Formatting of the information
  • Putting the script on the server
  • The path on the domain controller
  • Setting the users login script
  • Running .ps1-files as login scripts
  • Running loginscripts visible
  • Possible errors

Live Meeting Details:

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Saturday, 21 February 2009

Slides from MMMUG presentation

As promised to those who attended the MMMUG on Wednesday night my slides from that evening are available on my SkyDrive.


Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Noble Array?

At last week's UK Powershell Usergroup Jonathan Noble was showing us some Powershell examples and at one point demonstrated something similar to the below.

Essentially you create an empty array, but then somewhat surprisingly (well to me anyway) you can select some elements even though they don't exist! You are then able to add to the array using the names you have selected.

$MYInfo = "" | select-Object Name, CPUUsage,Owner, ProcessID
$MYInfo.Name = $
$MYInfo.ProcessID = $proc.IdProcess
$MYInfo.CPUUsage = [Math]::Round($proc_perct, 0)
$MYInfo.Owner = $process.GetOwner().user
$myCol += $MYInfo

My friend and colleague Alan Renouf had given me the above example a week or so previously to use in a script. I was puzzled to how it worked since I hadn't seen it used in any of the Powershell books I have read or other sources I use and neither had he, so when I saw Jonathan using it I was curious to find out more.

Jonathan explains in more detail how this works on his blog in a posting he made last year.

OK, it doesn't really matter if it wasn't him who come up with the original idea, but heh that's how I'm going to remember it. :-)

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Geek Rhyming Slang

This started (for me anyway) when my wife told people I was away at Geek Week, i.e. Teched EMEA and I had for a long time described my (or lack of as others might say) own fashion style as Geek Chic. Anyway after the legends of the IT Crowd used my Geek Chic phrase (OK, I'm claiming it) multiple times during one of their recent shows I decided to try and find some more and here's the results. Special thanks to @Jaykul, @Poshoholic and @ebgreen for the contributions.

Translations added for any non-Geek Speak(ers)

Geek Week - an IT conference like Teched, VMworld

Geek Chic - fashion style (or lack of, can be either) displayed by an IT pro

Geek Speak - jargon filled conversation

Geek Freak - a person who (pretends to be?) hot for geeks

Geek Bleak - how geeks normally decorate

Geek Cheek - when IT thinks management can't touch them

Geek Antique - a TRS-80, Amiga, or C-64

Geek Boutique - Fry's, Best Buy, Future Shop

Geek Physique - Wii Sports/Fitness

Geek Tweak - a bug fix

Geek Shriek - the sound of a wedgie

Geek Clique - a huddle of geeks

Geek Peak'd - completing a IT project

Geek Mystique - this aura surrounds you when you do "exactly what I did" for a coworker, but it works for you on the first try

Geek Critique - ripping each other apart bassed on minutiae and technycalities and misspellings

Geek Oblique - our version of subtle -- when you have to explain the joke, in case people don't know what oblique means

Geek Technique - This is how we (over) do it

I'm on a Geek Streak........

Monday, 2 February 2009

Upcoming for the UK Powershell User Group

Coming up in February are two events for the UK Powershell User Group.

1) Following the Technet Event Managing Windows Servers with Powershell V2 on Feb 10th at Microsoft London there will be a Powershell UserGroup meeting.

My good friend Jonathan Noble will be travelling down all the way from the North of England to present for us about using Powershell to automate tasks in the large University environment he works in - well worth turning up for. Let Richard Siddaway know if you wish to attend.

Sometime between the afternoon Technet Event and the evening User Group I shall be interviewing Jonathan for the Get-Scripting Podcast.

2) February 26th Rolf Mausch, who runs the German Powershell User Group, will be presenting a live webcast for us about using Powershell in login scripts - an interesting topic since not a lot of people are doing that yet from what I have seen. Early details here.

Windows 2003 Password Policy - Complexity Requirements Message

Doing a lot of investigation into password policies available in Windows Server 2003 and 2008 at the minute, plus some of the third-party solutions available around this area.

One of the reasons I've never myself recommend using the 'Complexity On' feature in Windows Server is the sheer difficulty in trying to explain to users that you need to use characters from at least three of the following four groups:

  • Uppercase
  • Lowercase
  • Digits
  • Special Characters

They typically switch off as soon as you get to the least three.... part of the above sentence and to be honest I don't really blame them.

Even if you do head down this solution (good luck to you!) the message a user gets back when they fail to change their password successfully is fairly generic and does not even mention the fact that complexity is in use.

However, today I was made aware of a hotfix for Windows 2003 (and associated clients) where the user will now see mention of complexity requirements in the message they receive back. Since I've never heard or seen anyone else using this before I thought it was worth mentioning since it might make your deployment a bit smoother.

I've yet to test this out myself, but I guess you gotta trust the KB article ;-)