AMA: DSC, DevOps… is This Right?

Stephen asks:

When I worked for a huge leading IT company, I was often tasked with writing “quick n dirty” scripts to collect data reports. These problem areas would be fixed with either new scripts or GPOs. Along side this, some of these reports lead into compliance reports for external auditing.

Now I have a bit of time on my hands, I’d like to make a master dev ops tool. The problem with what I did before, we would end up with several reports in CSV format floating about / edited / not deleted on various file stores / emails etc.

I’ve heard a little about DSC and wonder what are your thoughts about when you should / shouldn’t use DSC?

I want to develop a tool which scrapes / presents the data into a database / with a front web interface. I’ll have the web tool, scrape AD for server objects and add it into a database. From here, I want to contact these servers and then collect further information eg, what Drives / space there are. What local groups and accounts exist. What password policies are in place. What event logging settings are etc. What GPOs are applied etc and what AV is in place. As well as many other useful bits of data. I’d like to store these findings in the database, so I can run queries against to produce web based results — this then can be used by the rest of the team … eg, which servers don’t have AV installed, which servers aren’t password compliant etc.

So before I start converting my scripts into advanced functions or DSC … what would you consider?

I hope you’ll ask a question, too!

Read More

AMA: Not a Question (but it’s why I get outta bed in the mornings)

As part of my Ask My Anything project, Subodh wrote in with this non-question that I needed to share:

Thank you for your writing. I’m part of a 2 person IT dept for a small energy company, I do presentations and training at work. This is easy for me to prepare and present. I know the material, the audience and the software/hardware involved.

I learned Powershell in a month of lunches and from your presentations online. That has helped in my career, however your writing about teaching and being the master or going away has had more of a lasting impact on my family. I think this will be something that will help more people than anything I ever do at my job with Powershell.

“Teaching does not always feel rewarding. It doesn’t need to be. It is a repayment of something that was done for you. It is not a good thing that you do; it is an obligation that you have.” This is the quote that got me thinking about what I can do to help others in our situation.

I volunteered to present a talk (in between 100-150 people) on travelling with kids who have serious medical issues. This will be at the end of April and will have nothing to do with my core competency in technology. I do have a son with a serious medical issue and have a lot of experience with travel etc. I was fortunate enough to learn from a great nurse who has since passed away, and now I feel that it is my duty to pass that knowledge on from a parents perspective. If it only helps ease the burden a little bit for someone, I have fulfilled my obligation and it will keep me going.

Please keep writing, you never know the huge impact you are making even outside the tech world.

Read More

Smart Home: Alexa vs. Siri

Although I guess technically it’s Amazon vs HomeKit or something. Anyway, I’ve recently been “dual-homing” most of my condo’s smart devices so I could control them in either Alexa or Siri. If you’ve not taken the plunge on one or the other, I thought I’d share the main difference between them.

Read More

Instructional Design for Mortals

My latest book, Instructional Design for Mortals, is now available on Amazon. Previously available on Leanpub, it’s now exclusive to Amazon in order to make it available to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited. There are paperback and Kindle versions available. If you previously purchased it on Leanpub, you can still download the final version in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI from them.

Read More

Your Disneyland Holiday

Let’s take a break from all things tech, career, and life-related, and check out these fantastic scans from a Summer 1957 “Disneyland Holiday” magazine a friend recently gave me.

Read More

Let’s Finish the Game

This past Monday, I asked you to collect the news headlines – just the headlines – that you spent time reading/listening to/watching this week. On Wednesday, I asked you to continue, but to also add some kind of mark indicating whether each headline made you happy or sad, or whether you agreed or disagreed, or something like that. By now, you should have a list of those right in front of you. Ready to wrap up the game?

Read More

AMA: Do You Worry About Your Career?

Nadine writes:

I’ve been an Exchange administrator for over a decade, but my company’s now moving to Office 365. I have two colleagues who help me manage Exchange and we’ve been told they’re only keeping one of us. How do I pick something new to focus on? How do you handle it when a technology you’ve managed for ever basically goes away and you’ve got nothing?

I hope you’ll ask a question, too! Visit here for info.

Read More

Are You Playing the Game?

This past Monday, I asked you to make a note of the news headlines you “consumed” so far this week. If you’ve not done so, there’s still time – continue collecting the news headlines that you read until Friday this week. If you’re viewing or listening to news instead of reading, that’s fine – just note the topic in a way that’ll make it memorable to you. And encourage friends and colleagues to join in! But there’s a bit more to do in order to make this fun:

Read More

Shall We Play a Game?

I’m writing this on a Monday. I’ll come back Wednesday with the next step, and then Friday with the final bit. So, for Monday and Tuesday (adjusted for your local time zone), do this:

Read More