Did Microsoft Ship “Preview” Code in Windows 10?

With the recent release of Windows 10, and with the recent publication of a WMF5 roadmap, some sharp-eyed readers are asking some hard questions. If we’re getting a “supported production preview” of WMF5 in August 2015 – what exactly the heck is in Windows 10? Preview code?

In a word, yes. But that doesn’t mean what you think it does, and it’s certainly not the first time Microsoft has done this.

Read More

The Most Inspiring PowerShell Story Ever

I recently received a wonderful, humbling e-mail from a fellow who’s given me permission to share his story. I hope, after reading this, that you’ll do your best to pass it on – even to your non-technical friends. It has a wonderful ending, but it’s a really important cautionary tale. Share this with your co-workers, your user group, your Tweeple, and even your Facebook friends. It’s a technology story, but the moral is much more broadly applicable.

Read More

DSC Camp: Come and Get It (Registration Open!)

Here it is, the DSC Camp Brochure: DSCCamp-Brochure – that’s got all the details, save for one caveat about the early bird pricing, which is below.

In it, you’ll find the registration URL. We’ve got fewer than 16  spaces available (some early bird folks got dibs), and the price goes up after March 1st 2015 OR after we sell through the “Early Bird” inventory. Note that the brochure only mentions the March 1st date; if you go to the payment URL and it’s the higher price, then we sold through the less-expensive slots.

Questions? Drop a comment below and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

Want to know more? Keep reading after the break.

Read More

Stand By: “DSC Camp” Registration Opens February 1st 2015

Watch this space, because on February 1st I’ll be opening registration for “DSC Camp,” a special and extremely exclusive event that’ll take place at and near my home in Las Vegas, NV. Limited to just 16 participants, you’ll interact deeply with three of the industry’s top independent experts in PowerShell’s DSC technology. You’ll learn how to build out YOUR DSC infrastructure (yours, not some generic model – we’ll get specific), build custom resources, troubleshoot, and a ton more. It’ll a jam-packed weekend (Fri-Sat-Sun) that includes classroom learning, information brainstorming and design workshops, and a ton more.

Pricing will start at $1200 until March 1st, and $1500 thereafter. It’ll run August 21-23. Your pricing includes pretty much all your meals, two nights’ hotel, and ground transportation between the hotel and our learning venues. It’s going to be fun, yes, but it’s going to be work, and a ton of brain activity.

A full brochure and the reg link will appear on Feb 1 on DonJones.com. Payment will be via PayPal only, unless you contact me directly to make special arrangements otherwise. First-come, first-served. And we did have an early bird list, so fewer than 16 spaces remain already.

To attend, “DSC” shouldn’t be a brand-new thing to you. You should be pretty solid in PowerShell and able to build advanced functions, and you should have at least played with DSC and be well-read on the subject. If you’re just crazy-clever, you can probably do well if you read “The DSC Book” as homework prior to attending.

Keep your eyes open. This is happening.

PowerShell DSC Camp… Coming in 2015

Yeah, I know it’s a ways, ways off, but these things take planning and prep, and I have to plan my life 12-18 months out. So…

The idea is to have a “DSC Camp.” It won’t be a literal camp, you’ll fly out to Vegas and stay in an off-Strip hotel right near my house. I’m thinking July 2015, right now – it fits with my schedule as it’s shaping up, and it’s not a bad time to be in Vegas. Yeah, it’s hot. I have a great swimming pool with lots of shade :).

You’ll get there, say, Thursday sometime (dates/days not yet decided). Thursday evening, we’ll have a little get-together at my house (we’ll get a shuttle bus or something to do the transit, so you won’t need a car).

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning we’ll do 4-5 hour classroom sessions at the hotel. Bring your own laptop, because we’ll be digging DEEP into DSC. Everything from composite configuration creation to custom resource design and authoring, including diagnostics, pull server planning, and even management tooling considerations. Everything.

We’ll adjourn midafternoon before the brains all fill up and die, but class won’t be over. Friday and Saturday, for example, we might head back to the house and enjoy the pool, where we can talk more informally about DSC strategy, digest some of the finer points, and enjoy a cooling beverage or three.

In the evenings, we’ll hit a local legendary restaurant, have pizza at the house (along with billiards or something), and hang. We might hit someplace fun, like the nearby Linq project on the Strip, or the local brewpub across the street.

You’ll take off Sunday afternoon or evening, unless you want to stay longer and enjoy some “me” time.

The idea is to combine some serious classroom learning with more informal discussion, group decision-making, and some fun.

This won’t be the cheapest weekend in the universe. I need to sort out costs and whatnot, but $1500-$2000 might be where it all settles out. That’ll include a lot of your meals, though, so you’ll just have to cover an off-Strip business-class hotel and your airfare, for the most part. All told, you might be looking at $3000-$3500, I’m guessing, for the entire trip.

And it’ll be limited to just 20 people. Oh, we’ll try and have some special celebrity guests, too, but you’ll be part of a very small, very select group. If it works out, we might make this an annual event and might even move it to other locations from time to time.

Anyway… it’s all kind of in “blue sky” thinking-about stage right now, so I’d love your comments, feedback, and ideas. We wouldn’t start selling this until the first half of 2015, so we’ve got some time to refine the concept.

So, whatcha think?

The One PowerShell Book I Hope You’ll Buy

I hope you’ll consider buying PowerShell Deep Dives. Here’s why:

First, it’s got almost 30 chapters written by community enthusiasts and MVPs. This is content you won’t find elsewhere, and it’s super-interesting stuff. You can really ratchet your PowerShell skills up several notches.

Second, you get a free book when you buy the print book.

Third, and most importantly, everyone who contributed has agreed to forgo royalties, instead donating all the royalties to SAVE THE CHILDREN. So by buying this book, you’re literally helping to make kid’s lives a little better. A lot of work went into this book by a lot of people, and we’re all really appreciative of the support!

Fourth, IT’S A FREAKING AWESOME BOOK. And you can make a hobby out of collecting autographs from each author.

Fifth, that’s all. Go get it!

Want to Bring Me in for a PowerShell Class?

I’ve had a few folks, over the years, bemoan the fact that I’m not holding a class in their area. Fact is, public classes involve a lot of financial risk, and I’m simply not a skilled marketer. That makes it really hard for me to run public classes anywhere – let alone in some of the more far-flung locations I’ve been asked to visit.

But I’d still love to do classes – and I think I might have an idea for making everyone happy.

First, figure out a venue near you, or near a large population enter near you. “Venue” can simply be a hotel meeting space that holds 15-20 people. We can do a “bring your own laptop” class, and don’t need to rent a classroom that has computers.

Second, get in touch with me. We’ll work out dates, estimate travel expenses, and come up with a rate for you. Know that I tend to book 6-8 months out, so you do need to be planning ahead. I am not available “in a couple of weeks.” I never am. Plan for a 5-day class – I can provide you with a detailed outline.

Third, now that you have a place in mind and a total class cost, start an IndieGoGo campaign. I’ll run classes of up to 20 students (we can do more, if we discuss it in advance). I’ll help you figure out a minimum contribution, and we can set up tiers with some nice spiffs (pay a bit extra, get a full set of signed books in addition to class, that kind of thing). BTW, for US domestic classes, I find that 7 students at $2500/ea is about break-even; internationally, it’s closer to 12 people at that rate depending on the country. We can work out a reasonable rate, too – in some countries, training centers charge the equivalent of $5,000/student for my week-long class, because that works out to a customary fee in that country. Point being, it’s a “do-able” number of people in most cases.

Then you and I market the class together. The nice thing is, if the class fills to a minimum level, we run it. If it doesn’t, everyone gets their money back, and we don’t run it. No financial risk for anyone. You’ll have to work hard on getting folks to sign up for the class (I can provide some ideas), and together we’ll try to make it happen.

So if you’d like to have me out for the best damn PowerShell class of your life, get in touch. Let’s try and make it happen.


My New Tattoo: The Story


On February 11th, this is going in a band around my left calf (at least partially – not sure if it’ll be 2 appointments). Thought I’d geek out and share.

The first logo is a Jeep grill. This is actually partially done already; I have the grill and headlights from 15 or so years back. I’ll have those refreshed, and the outline added. Jeeps have been huge in my life – I’ve owned 3 Wranglers and a Cherokee since 1996, and they’ve been with me through some of the best and worst times. Having a Jeep around became a comfort, like a safety blanket, which is why this grill was the first tat I ever got.

Next up is Mickey. Disney’s been a big part of my life, and Disney Parks remain my go-to place to shut off and relax. I’ve had some of my best times there with my family, and they’re times I’ll remember forever.

Number three is the logo from my first real computer, a Commodore 64. I learned to program heavy-duty on that thing, helped run a BBS, and did my first writing for my local Commodore Users’ Group magazine. The C64 definitely put me on the path that led to my career.

In the middle of the back of my calf will be the F-14 Tomcat logo. It’s really a cool logo – like the aircraft, it has twin tails, and a gun. Why “Tom” cat? Naval Vice Admiral Thomas F. Connolly was influential in getting Congress to kill the failing F-111A project and instead fund a new fighter. The new fighter would be carrier-compatible, meaning it would launch by means of a steam-powered catapult. Such aircraft were often called “cats,” so the F-14 became known as “Tom’s Cat.” Tomcat (Manufacturer Grumman also liked using feline names for jets). As described on the “About” page of this site, my first job out of high school was aircraft mechanic apprentice for the Department of the Navy, and the F-14 was the first jet I worked on.

After that is PowerShell’s logo, which should be well-known to most folks reading this. PowerShell has been incredibly important to parts of my career, and has certainly made me something of a brand name. It’s also introduced me to some of the most wonderful and passionate people inside and outside of Microsoft – I just needed to acknowledge it, and them, in this tat.

Last but not least is Starfleet’s logo – the classic one, since that’s when I was a Trekkie. Through the end of high school and throughout my apprenticeship, I was a member of Starfleet: The International Star Trek Fan Club. Yeah, we were nerds. But we had heart: we’d wear our costumes to things like the local Children’s Hospital to cheer up the kids, we’d play Lazer Tag with the kids at the local Boy’s Club, and we helped run Star Trek conferences up and down the East coast. I learned a lot about management that way, and got to meet (and work with) some incredible folks – including Denise Crosby (ask me about her underwear sometime), Jimmy Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, John DeLancy, Michael Dorn, and so many more. I made a lot of great friends. I also really learned to write – and write fast – as part of Starfleet. I wrote most of the early 1990s-era manuals for “Starfleet Marine Corps,” most of which mixed a fictional future-history with real technology education.

Anyway, thought you’d enjoy the brief stopover in geekville ;). I’ll post some pictures of the in-progress and finished product in my Twitter feed, @concentrateddon.

Public PowerShell Classes Now Being Scheduled

I’m finally going to try holding some public PowerShell classes in the US! I’m nailing down a few possible cities, but I’ve put together a larger list of future candidate cities.

Sign up to be notified, and I’ll let you know if I schedule a class near you. This mailing list won’t be used for ANY other purpose, I promise. I do suggest using a personal email address – I’ve found that a lot of corporate mail servers and service providers block these messages, even before they hit your junk mail folder, so you’ll never see them.

Note that right now, this city list is all that’s on the table. For a variety of business and legal reasons, I’m not currently considering public classes outside the US. However, you’re more than welcome to have your local training center contact me if they’d like to host a class.

And please, tell a friend – the more serious interest I have in a given location, the more likely it is (obviously) I’ll show up and run a class. Most classes will either be 3 or 5 days, depending on what else I have scheduled at the time.