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Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches Paperback – May 17 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 425 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (May 17 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617290211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617290213
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #461,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Don Jones is a PowerShell MVP, writes the PowerShell column for Microsoft TechNet Magazine, and blogs about PowerShell for WindowsITPro.com. A top-rated speaker and trainer, Don developed PowerShell courseware for Microsoft and other companies, and has taught PowerShell to more than 20,000 IT pros.

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Amazon.com: 23 reviews
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
The book for starting PowerShell May 15 2011
By R. Siddaway - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Don Jones is a well-known PowerShell MVP, trainer, author and blogger. This is his latest book on PowerShell. It sets out to teach a complete new comer to PowerShell how to use the language and commands to get stuff done. That is an important point - the book is about learning PowerShell so that you can use it to automate your administrative tasks.
The book is not an abstract look at PowerShell as a language but treats it as a tool you want to learn. It assumes you will be reading the chapters in order (which I would strongly recommend) and that you will be performing the exercises and running the code examples. Please make sure you do as it's the only way you will get the maximum benefit from the book.
As I have stated in other reviews I have three main criteria for judging a book:
* Is it technically accurate?
* Does deliver the material it claims to deliver?
* Is worth the cost of purchase and the time I spend reading it?
The first one is easy to deal with. Yes it is technically accurate. Don is an expert on the subject of PowerShell and more importantly for a book of this sort he is an expert on how to teach it. The book has been reviewed by a number of PowerShell experts and I performed the final technical review. It's as accurate as it can be!
The book has the following chapters:
1. Before you begin
2. Running commands
3. Using the help system
4. The pipeline: connecting commands
5. Adding commands
6. Objects: just data by another name
7. The pipeline, deeper
8. Formatting--and why it's done on the right
9. Filtering and comparisons
10. Remote control: one to one, and one to many
11. Tackling Windows Management Instrumentation
12. Multitasking with background jobs
13. Working with bunches of objects, one at a time
14. Security alert!
15. Variables: a place to store your stuff
16. Input and output
17. You call this scripting?
18. Sessions: remote control, with less work
19. From command to script to function
20. Adding logic and loops
21. Creating your own "cmdlets" and modules
22. Trapping and handling errors
23. Debugging techniques
24. Additional random tips, tricks, and techniques
25. Final exam: tackling an administrative task from scratch
26. Beyond the operating system: taking PowerShell further
27. Never the end
28. PowerShell cheat sheet
Each chapter is designed to be read, and the exercises performed, in an approximately one hour lunch break. They are short, concise and very much to the point. Don has a very easy writing style that stops the topics being dry. The humour comes through in places to liven things up.
This is a book about doing. If we look at chapter 17 for instance - this is where scripting is introduced as the previous chapters show what you can do with PowerShell just from the command line. The chapter has 7 solid examples plus a lab. There are two callouts urging you to try the code and a list of ideas to try at the end of the chapter. All of this in 12 pages!
As well as the basics of the PowerShell language the book covers what might be considered more advanced topics such as remoting and PowerShell jobs.
In a nutshell this book teaches you how to use PowerShell. If you work through the chapters and labs you can't fail to learn how to use PowerShell. Will it make you an overnight expert? No it won't but it will provide a very solid foundation for you to progress and discover more about PowerShell yourself.
Don is a teacher and that comes through the way the book is written and constructed. In terms of my last two questions:
* Does it deliver the material it claims - YES. There were a couple of points in the book that made me think about me assumptions about PowerShell.
* Is it worth the money to buy and the time to read - YES.
On the back cover there's a quote of mine "The book I wish I'd had when I started PowerShell". That sums it up for me. It's an excellent introduction to PowerShell itself and achieves exactly what it states it will do.
If you are new to PowerShell, or want to get started with it I can't recommend this book strongly enough. Buy it. Read it. Use it.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great Textbook for Teaching a PowerShell Class June 7 2011
By J. Hofferle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What I really like about the book are the lab exercises at the end of each chapter. This reminds me of the O'Reilly "Learning Perl" book, and makes it a suitable textbook for teaching a PowerShell course. I recently had to perform the role of instructor at an internal IT Workshop and instead of spending the time writing and testing my own lab exercises, I could use what has already been designed by a professional trainer. Be sure to check out the additional resources at morelunches.com, where the author provides a classroom trainer kit as companion content for the book. The lab manual included with the kit has a "guided experience" with step-by-step instructions for completing the labs, or a "challenging experience" where only the objective is given without the instructions. This really helps when there is a wide range of skill levels in a single class. He also has a complete video series available that covers all the topics in this book.

This is currently the book I recommend for people new to PowerShell, because it starts slowly and builds on what is learned in previous chapters. If someone has a programming background or is already very experienced with scripting, they may prefer the in-depth Windows Powershell in Action, Second Edition.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good book but... Oct. 9 2011
By Frank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a good book for learning like I wanted to. The issue is that there is no website(404 error) to see what the answers are nor is there a forum where Don Jones answers question like it is stated in the book. So when you get stuck somewhere in the book, like I am, you are on your own which defeats much of what is stated in the opening chapter. So if you can find another book, I would suggest that one instead as I am looking for another one now.


I posted on there asking about the book and one of the MVPs there contacted Don Jones and they are in the middle of updating the site so that is why it is down now. I'll give 5 stars when the site is up. Again it is a very good book to learn powershell if you are just getting into it. There are other resources on the web to find the answers that you need.


The site is up and has all the content as promised. One thing I will say is that he drills the help files into your head until you are sick of it but he is 100% correct. Now that I can understand what the help file says instead of the usual MS cryptic speak, it is so much easier. All the examples and labs work together to the point were i feel confident in just writing a script and troubleshooting it myself instead of googleing(don't know if that is a word yet) for an hour.

This is a beginners book but it gets you the foundation to go were you need to go with Powershell.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Definitely The Best Place to Start Learning Powershell Sept. 9 2011
By E. Kore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book is very well written and tackles powershell from the very beginning. I learned a lot and as has already been said, the exercises add so much more value to the book. You will definitely be on your way to mastering powershell with this book as a jumping point.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Best Beginner Powershell Book Aug. 18 2011
By J. Dykstra - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have taught hundreds of people how to use PowerShell over the last several years and wish I would have had this book to do it. Overall, I recommend four main books for learning PowerShell as a system administrator and this one is the first on my list. For many, it might be the only book they want or need. As always Don Jones shows that he does not just know the topic but knows from experience how to teach it for those new to PowerShell. He does not assume any previous scripting background and uses a nice logical progression to teach PowerShell without adding topics that you simply do not need to know at the moment which can cause confusion and overly complicate learning. This makes for a less overwhelming learning experience and ultimately, I believe, to better retention of the content. Many chapters includes a "common points of confusion" section where Don's experience teaching this content really shows as he always has great explanations for where people often get tripped up with the topic. At around 300 pages there is no fluff here, but just a solid book with short focused chapters to learn the fundamentals of PowerShell.

Lastly, do not forget to download the free lab manual which also includes an 11 page reminder of syntax along with the labs which is a great quick reference when you are learning or just need a quick refresher.