Summary: Read the top ten Scripting Wife blog posts from 2011 to obtain a strong foundation in essential Windows PowerShell skills.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. The top ten Scripting Wife blogs from 2011 might be indicative of the things that Windows PowerShell scripters are interested in learning. They may also simply tell how many times the blog was retweeted.

NOTE: Tonight I will be speaking at the first meeting of the Madison PowerShell Users Group via live meeting. If you are local to Madison Wis. please join the group in person or remotely through this link.

The Scripting Wife blogs chronicle the experience of a non-IT professional, who is, never-the-less, computer literate, as she learns Windows PowerShell from the ground up. Having had no experience in previous scripting languages, the adventures of the Scripting Wife as she wrestles with basic Windows PowerShell concepts has proven to be useful to thousands of people who desire to learn Windows PowerShell. The blogs should be read in the order in which they were written; in that way, you will be able to follow along with the Scripting Wife as she learns to use Windows PowerShell.

At any rate, here are the top ten Scripting Wife blogs from 2011...

The number one Scripting Wife blog post is the one where she uses Windows PowerShell to shut down computers. This blog covers using the Stop-Computer cmdlet to shut down all the computers on the network in response to power outages. This was a very useful technique due to the massive spring thunderstorms we received and the corresponding power outages. For whatever reason, knowing how to shut down computers is useful.

The number two Scripting Wife blog post talks about using Windows PowerShell to automatically update the Sysinternals tools. This was a really cool blog, and the technique for updating installed software applies to more than just the Sysinternals tools. Everyone needs the ability to update software, and knowing how to do it via Windows PowerShell is icing on the cake.

The number three Scripting Wife blog post uses Windows PowerShell to get lines from a file. The Scripting Wife uses text files as a free form database, and she often needs to be able to obtain specific information from those files. This is a fascinating blog, and it illustrates a very valid technique for working with text files. Check it out, you will be glad you did.

The number four Scripting Wife blog post discusses the rather annoying problem of blocked files that come from the Internet. In Scripting Wife Learns About Unblocking Files in PowerShell, the Scripting Wife runs into a problem using the PowerShell Community Extensions module she downloaded from CodePlex. The problem was that she had not unblocked the ZIP file that she downloaded; and therefore, every file in the package needed to be unblocked before the module would work properly. From the email I received, and from comments on the blog post, the Scripting Wife was not alone in facing this problem.

The number five Scripting Wife blog post chronicles her prep work for the 2011 Scripting Games as she works on learning how to format output in Windows PowerShell. It is not too long after firing up Windows PowerShell that one needs to know how to format output from within code. The nice thing about Windows PowerShell is that it makes it very easy to create tables, lists, or other types of output. This blog covers a core skill for working with Windows PowerShell.

The number six Scripting Wife blog post is another 2011 Scripting Games prep article, this time she learns how to use the Out-GridView Windows PowerShell cmdlet. The Out-GridView cmdlet makes it easy to perform ad hoc analysis of data. It supports multiple filters, and it allows you to reorganize the data on-the-fly. This is a great tool for any network admin, and the Scripting Wife shows how easy it is to use this tool.

The number seven Scripting Wife blog post finds her still working on getting ready for the 2011 Scripting Games. This time, she is learning how to create files automatically via Windows PowerShell. Everyone has to know how to work with files. Come see how the Scripting Wife does it.

The number eight Scripting Wife blog post covers a bread-and-butter topic of matching strings via a simple regular expression pattern. When the Scripting Wife saw that she needed to work with regular expressions, she was all in a tizzy. But it was not that bad; in fact, it was rather easy. Now she will tell you, “A regular expression around our house is ‘Can it Script Monkey.’” But I am not certain that really applies.

The number nine Scripting Wife blog post discusses adding a cool function to a Windows PowerShell profile. It was written on the day the Scripting Wife signed us up to attend the Bouchercon Mystery Writers conference…and therefore, I appeared wearing a trench coat and fedora.

The number ten Scripting Wife blog post contains more information about Windows PowerShell profiles, with another picture of me in a trench coat and hat. Maybe the trench coat is what made these blogs so popular…then again, maybe not. But just in case, here is a picture with me in my trench coat and fedora.

Join me tomorrow when I will talk about the top ten questions from the Scripting Guys forum. You will like it…trust me. See you then.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at scripter@microsoft.com, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.

Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy