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Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches Paperback – May 17 2011
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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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
The positives are the way each chapter builds on the prior (read in order) and the concept of a lesson each day works quite well. The labs also promote a learning style that makes you think about what to do and even give you tools to find out how to do them on your own. This is a big improvement over many of the other books I have where it is simple, repetitive usage of commands rather than in depth exploration. A huge plus for me was the copy of the book I got in PDF format as well as for my Kindle by purchasing the paper version. I can use it regardless of where I am working and don't have to drag my iPad or the actual book along with me.
The cons - you are expected to have a Windows 2008 Domain Controller to complete some of the labs. This is where the book misses getting all 5 stars from me. I have no DCs that are not in production and it is simply insane to think I would try out commands in a book on a production DC. The book suggests bringing up a VM - but I need another VM like I need a new hole in my head not to mention that my company policy prevents me from doing this. There would have been no issues sticking to commands for Win 7 based systems.
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