It’s no joke…

§ April 1, 2011 09:56 by beefarino |

imageI received confirmation from Microsoft today that I’m the newest PowerShell MVP!

I sincerely appreciate this recognition, and hope I meet the expectations of the community over the coming year.  I already have several PowerShell talks and projects on the near horizon…

First, I’ll be rescheduling my talk for the Charleston ALT.NET group that I had to cancel due to illness.  Look for an update on this in the next week or so.

In June I’ll be giving a StudioShell talk at CodeStock.  This is shaping up to be a demo-driven talk, so expect to leave with lots of practical knowledge and ideas.  With any luck I’ll be giving similar talks at DEVLink and MADExpo later this summer.  I’m also slated to talk to the Atlanta PowerShell UG in July, where I’d like to discuss using PowerShell to add agility and flexibility to your .NET applications.

In a few weeks I will be releasing MoSh, a MongoDB PowerShell provider that maps MongoDB servers, databases, and collections as PowerShell drives.  I’m having tons of fun with this one, and it’s proving to be a useful and intuitive way of caching and filtering data objects between PowerShell sessions.

As long as we’re talking about databases, I’m collaborating with Brady Gaster on a “Domain Console.”  The idea is seductive: a PowerShell module that mounts your NHibernate repositories as drives, allowing you to perform CRUD and native filtering operations using common PowerShell syntax.  We’re still early on this one, but the work Brady’s done thus far is making us both giggle with joy! 

And of course I’m continuing to work on StudioShell – I appreciate everyone’s continued involvement and issue submissions.

Again, thank you for the support, and I look forward to serving the PowerShell community for the next year!

My Get-Things-Done Strategy

§ March 16, 2011 05:42 by beefarino |

Of all the changes I’ve made for self-employment, building up a system for getting and staying organized has had the most impact.  I’m a student of psychology, and I’m well aware of my mental limits for holding information.  I’m also a natural scatterbrain so … oh look a bird...  Anyway, the quicker I can get something out of my head and into a safe place, the more likely it is to get done.  So I’ve globbed several systems into my get-things-done process.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a tickler file I suggest you watch this short video.  The system is genius, and rather than go into the details I’ll just say that this has saved my hide more times than I care to admit.

Another huge part of my get-things-done routine has been to use a personal wiki as a way to empty my brain and keep track of what I do during the day.  My wiki of choice is tiddlywiki because it requires no server and is highly customizable, and I use Dropbox as a way to share/backup the wiki as I roam the universe.  The pomodoro time management technique keeps me on task during the day, and I’ve integrated a pomodoro timer and task tracker into my wiki’s journal feature:


Finally, I tend to carry a hipster PDA on a lanyard around my neck when I’m away from the keyboard.  Anything that I need to remember, that I think is interesting, or that I’m afraid I may forget gets jotted down on a card.  When I’m back at my desk I process the cards.  If the card indicates something date sensitive, I just drop it into the appropriate of the 43 folders; if the card is a project idea, it goes into the wiki.

Not terribly technical or fancy, but it works like a champ and, most importantly, it’s easy to do and doesn’t get in my way.

StudioShell 1.0.1

§ March 11, 2011 09:32 by beefarino |

imageA maintenance release of StudioShell is now available on codeplex.

This release contains several fixes to the initial release of StudioShell:

  • Tab completion and history walking have been hardened in the console.
  • Solution Folders are now recognized as containers in the console.
  • Solution Modules are now unloaded automatically if the “AutoManageSolutionProfiles" setting is enabled.
  • The PowerShell AllUsersCurrentHost is no longer loaded.  The “LoadPowerShellProfiles" setting now only applies to your Current User profile script located at ~\documents\windowspowershell\profile.ps1.
  • Data panes (visualizations) now reliably appear in VS2010. 
  • The default console window now consumes all available client area of the tool window at startup.
  • Project item properties are now available in the path hierarchy.  For example, the path dte:/solution/projects/MyProject/Program.cs/properties will contain all the item properties for the Program.cs file, such as the Build Action, full path, etc.
  • The locals and arguments nodes under the stack frame tree now add missing quotes to strings when you attempt to set an expression value.  In the 1.0 release, you could set expression values
  • The default PowerShell module path is now added to the process environment when StudioShell is started.

Have fun, and as always please note any issues or feature requests using the Issue Tracker.  

StudioShell at Charleston Alt.Net

§ March 7, 2011 05:34 by beefarino |

imageI’ll be giving a 75 minute talk on StudioShell at the March 2011 meeting of Charleston ALT.NET in Charleston, SC. 

The plan is to give about 10 minutes of overview material and an hour of demos and code walkthroughs.

Planned demos include:

  • custom code factories;
  • deeply integrating external tools into the IDE;
  • event-driven scripting;
  • leveraging existing PowerShell features and modules;
  • profile scripts and solution modules;

If you’re in the Charleston or surrounding areas, please come out, support your local user group, and learn how StudioShell brings the awesome when you need it most!

For event details, please see the Charleston ALT.NET event page.