Browsing Category: "Associations"

TweeterTags – Organize the Chaos

Associations, Geek Stuff, General Interest February 7th, 2009

Twitter is an interesting ecosystem.  Tweets on every topic under the sun (and some that aren’t) are flying by at an ever increasing speed. 

Some people in various groups of interest have tried to reign in some of the chaos by coming up with lists of people interested in various topics (like my PowerShell Twitterers list).

The problem with these types of lists is that they require some work to maintain and can quickly become outdated.  Here’s where TweeterTags comes in to play. is a site that allows you to tag Twitter account with your areas of interest.  By tagging yourself, you make it easier to find other like-minded people and make it easier for others with the same interest to find you.

TweeterTags exposes a RESTful api, and Jeff Hicks quickly wrote a script (Get-TweeterTaggedUser) to take advantage of it.

Thanks to Jonathan Noble and his associates for this innovative site!

I’ve tagged myself, how about you?

New Forum Categories on PowerShellCommunity.Org

Associations, Scripting November 24th, 2008

PowerShell interest seems to be flooding all sorts of Microsoft product communities.  Now on, there are forums specifically for SharePoint and SQL Server.  Check them out! 

If you have PowerShell related questions, suggestions, or solutions, please stop in and post!

See you there!

Event Update – OLFU

Associations, Geek Stuff October 5th, 2008

Recorded: October 2, 2008

Your Host: Steve Murawski

Show Length: 07:05

This show is sponsored by Idera; Download free tools to help manage your Windows world at

I’m joined by Jesse Trucks, who is a Director of LOPSA,  who wanted to give us a little bit of information as to what will be happening at the Ohio Linux Fest University, which is training held the day before the Ohio Linux Fest. One thing that did not get mentioned, along with the cost of the courses, lunch is included. 🙂  


Listen Now:

Download Here

The Next Big Thing

Associations, Career, General Interest October 5th, 2008

I was called out by Jeff Hicks regarding his new meme on "The Next Big Thing" in IT.  His post dealt with the increase in virtualization as hardware becomes more powerful and that the network will become the bottleneck that drive speed is now.


I’d like to diverge a bit from what I think other’s ideas and responses will be and offer my opinion on what I think "The Next Big Thing" in our industry should be.


In large part, our industry is focused around technical advancements.  Whether it is software or hardware advances, we know that change is constant.  I’m not going to hazard a guess as to "The Next Big Thing" in regards to technology.  My contribution to this meme is my vision and hope for the IT Pro community at large. 


My view of "The Next Big Thing" is the development of the IT Pro community.  There are efforts to support user groups and local IT communities (examples: LOPSA and Culminis), but as Greg Shields noted in his column on The State of IT Conferences, that it appears that IT Conference attendance has dropped.  Other areas of IT have not noticed this decline (particular the development community – .NET Rocks Show on Building Technical User Communities).  In the development community, not only have free or low cost community events become more popular, but attendance at paid conferences  is also rising.


I hope to see the increase in a sense of community in the IT Pro world.  There are currently community efforts that focus on specific technologies (e.g. the PowerShell community), but I think IT Pros need to reach across technological divides and connect with other IT Pros.  There are many things that IT Pros do that transcend specific technologies: task automation, user support, documentation, training, project planning, and more.  Additionally, networking with IT Pros that work with different technologies will only improve one’s awareness and ability to respond to situations in their current and future work environments. 


As I see it, the development of the IT Pro community can lead to several key benefits:

  • An increase in professional development opportunities.  As local members of a community have opportunities to present on topics, they gain a better understanding of the topic and have a chance to improve their presentation skills, and the community gains from the experience of the presenter.
  • An opportunity to increase one’s professional network.  By interacting with other members in the local, national, and international community, one can develop contacts with people with expertise in areas other than one’s own area and provide resources to draw on in unfamiliar situations.
  • Increased legitimacy as a profession.  By belonging to a user group or professional organization, outside perception of IT Pros by management and executives will improve, as communities and professional organizations lend themselves to the development of standards of behavior and professionalism and can be self-policing of those standards.
  • Provides a low barrier to entry for new members of the profession.  User groups and professional communities provide people new to the profession with access to experienced members, who could become mentors or advisors, as well as providing insight into the job field greater than what one might see in their current role.

I’m sure there are additional benefits to user groups and professional communities, and I am interested in your thoughts.


What do you think is "The Next Big Thing"?

Coming Up Soon – Ohio Linux Fest/OLFU

Associations September 25th, 2008

LOPSA is partnering with the Ohio Linux Fest to present a day-long tutorial program called OLFU

OLFU is set for October 10th (Friday) and the Linux Fest is set for October 11th (Saturday).

If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area and are a Linux admin/enthusiast, you may want to check this out.

Press Release


Class Schedule

Interested in PowerShell?

Associations, Career, Scripting September 3rd, 2008

I’ll be providing an introduction to PowerShell at the September LOPSA-Madison meeting (September 11th, at 7:00 PM – room open at 6:30).  If you live in the Milwaukee/Madison, Wisconsin area, come on out.  The LOPSA-Madison chapter has a lot of smart people, interesting discussion, and good networking opportunities.

If you are not in the Southeastern Wisconsin, check out to see if there is a local chapter in your area.  Get Involved!

(There are some door prizes, provided by the sponsors of

Keith’s SysAdmin Meme

Associations, Career, Geek Stuff, General Interest, Scripting, Special Topics June 16th, 2008

OK, here it goes.

How old were you when you started using computers?

I was around 12 or 13 when I started playing with computers. I saw them in Popular Science and was fascinated with them. I then pestered my parents for my first PC for Christmas and my dad finally took me to K-Mart where I had to choose between the Texas Instruments TI/99-4A, the Timex Sinclair 1000, and either the Commodore Vic-20 or C-64.

What was your first machine?

My first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000. I remember my friend getting a Commodore and being jealous of the color graphics. My second and real springboard PC was a Radio Shack/Tandy TRS-80 Model 4 with 64 kb RAM and dual 5.25 floppy drives (360k each!) We had Tandy TRS-80 Model II and 3’s in my school district so I went with what I knew. My dad had IBM PC’s at work and showed me an ad for an IBM (Peanut, I think) and I decided to stick to the Radio Shack brand. I still have both of these units somewhere in my parents attic….along with all the other old stuff I’ve talked about on the show. My first x86 PC was a Bondwell B210 286 laptop with a 40 MB hard drive.

What was the first real script you wrote?

Hello World loop in Basic on the Timex Sinclair 1000……Isn’t that what everyone writes? I went on to write an inventory control system in BASIC for the company my dad worked for. I coded on the TRS-80 and then printed it out. A typist transcribed my code onto an IBM PC and then I came in to troubleshoot the problems. No reading floppies cross-platform in those days. There were subtle differences in the BASIC compilers back than for disk I/O and file handling. Sadly, this old geek can still remember that BASIC stood for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

What scripting languages have you used?

Basic (No, not visual), Pascal, COBOL, and Fortran. Pascal will always be my favorite. Top down design rocks. If you haven’t declared it….you can’t freakin’ call it. That’s probably why I’ve had so much trouble grasping the object-oriented languages. Later on into today, it’s been DOS batch file scripts, SQL, Kixtart, and the occasional dabble into PowerShell.

What was your first professional sysadmin gig?I took a part-time job in 1987 doing data entry for free magazine subscriptions (International Computer Network) while going to community college for Comp Sci. When they found I had a tech bent, they started using me to do after-hours system tasks on the two mainframes we had (Tandem System I and Tandem System II). Load tapes for backups, load printers for labels or other print jobs, etc. The one thing I remember is the wide carriage printers in the data center. Before each type of print job, I had to run a paper tape with a series of holes punched in it through a reader on the printer. This would set up the printer for the type of job to be printed.

If you knew then what you know now, would have started in IT?

Definitely. During my college years, after I gave up on programming as a major, I focused on being in the financial markets. After a couple of years, however, things changed and I took on MIS as a second major and veered back towards IT. Mostly the change was in the industry. I wasn’t cut out to be a programmer locked in a hermetically sealed mainframe room, but that was the only college curriculum at that time. Once MIS and broader IS/IT curriculums came around it fit me better.

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new sysadmins, what would it be?

Everybody knows something you don’t. Talking to them and asking them is the only way to find out what it is. In return, share everything you know. Nothing is more counterproductive than having knowledge and not sharing it.

If I could add a second item, it would be; Nobody knows everything. If you think you do, it is time to get out of this field. You need to enjoy constantly learning new things because this is an ever changing field.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had scripting?

I guess the scripts I am most proud of are the ones I did for Y2K at my old job. They had these old scripts using this Novell Netware add-on pack that allowed them to transfer files between a Novell NetWare server and a SCO Unix server. The Add-on pack was not Y2K compliant, so I replicated the scripts using FTP and DOS batch files. There are only one or two facilities still using these scripts, but thy are still there 10 years later.

Who am I calling out?

Paul Rj Muller at the Caffination Podcast

Justo Morales at the Pepe Show Podcast

Rick Savoia of the The Force Field Podcast

UPDATE: Paul and Rick have both responded. I’ll have to reach out to Justo and kick him in the asterisk. You can find Paul and Rick’s responses at the following links:

Paul’s Response

Rick’s Response

Scripting/Sysadmin Meme

Associations, Career, Geek Stuff, General Interest, Scripting June 10th, 2008

I’ve found a Software Development Meme (A meme  consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another) on a few blogs I’ve started reading (Larry Clarkin’s and Damon Payne’s), and I thought I would adapt it to the Sysadmin.

How old were you when you started using computers?

I was eight when I first started using computers.  My mom was a teacher for the local public school system and they were just getting computers.  She could bring one home over the summer and I started learning Basic on an Apple II.

What was your first machine?

The first machine we had in our family (other than the ones my mom could bring home) was an Apple II GS.  My first machine was a 486 IBM clone that cost me $2,000 (in 1993) (my summer work money – I was in high school).

What was the first real script you wrote?

The first “real” script I wrote was a Python script to enter addresses into a database system via ADO.

What scripting languages have you used?

I’ve used VBScript (marginally), PowerShell, and Python.

What was your first professional sysadmin gig?

My first professional sysadmin job is the one I currently have, with a local law enforcement agency.  I started officially as the IT Specialist here in April of 2006.

If you knew then what you know now, would have started in IT?

Definitely.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have finished college in the IT realm and started down this path sooner.  However, that might have changed how I’ve ended up, and I really like the position I have now and the opportunities in front of me.

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new sysadmins, what would it be?

Get involved.  I’ve learned more and met more great people getting involved in community.  By commenting on blogs, podcasting, spending time on IRC in the #powershell channel and participating in, I have learned so much and met generous, knowledgeable people.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had scripting?

The 2008 Winter Scripting Games were a blast, even though I got busy with work halfway through, I had a great time.  It was awesome watching the community provide their solutions and see people working on the challenges in the IRC channel and forums.

Who am I calling out?

Rich Niemeier

Keith Albright

Hal Rottenberg

Jonathan Walz

Shay Levy

Aleksandar Nikolic

Turn On Your Podlinez

Associations, Geek Stuff, Podcast October 25th, 2007

Check this out. Now you can listen to some of your favorite podcasts without an internet connection. Sure, it’ll cost you long distance or at least some minutes on your cell plan, but honestly….aren’t we worth it?

OK, OK so it’s probably not worth ditching your iPod, Gigabeat, or Archos, but it will do in a pinch.

You can now listen to the Couple Of Admins show using Podlinez by calling +1 (801) 349-3833.

Check out the other great podcasts you can listen to over the phone by visiting



Listen By Phone

We’re On!

Associations, Podcast September 14th, 2007

As you may have heard on Episode 16; It’s official. We are now a member of the TechPodcasts Network and the Blubrry network.

TechPodcast Network Blubrry Network

Please check them out and find other great shows there as well.

Thank you to both networks for supporting us.