PowerShell Cookbook. 4th Edition

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PowerShell Cookbook: Your Complete Guide to Scripting the Ubiquitous Object-Based Shell. 4th Edition by Lee Holmes

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In late 2002, Slashdot posted a story about a “next-generation shell” rumored to be in development at Microsoft. As a longtime fan of the power unlocked by shells and their scripting languages, the post immediately captured my interest. Could this shell provide the command-line power and productivity I’d long loved on Unix systems?


Since I had just joined Microsoft six months earlier, I jumped at the chance to finally get to the bottom of a Slashdot-sourced “Microsoft Mystery.” The post talked about strong integration with the .NET Framework, so I posted a query to an internal C# mailing list. I got a response that the project was called “Monad,” which I then used to track down an internal prototype build.


Prototype was a generous term. In its early stages, the build was primarily a proof of concept. Want to clear the screen? No problem! Just lean on the Enter key until your previous commands and output scroll out of view! But even at these early stages, it was immediately clear that Monad marked a revolution in command-line shells. As with many things of this magnitude, its beauty was self-evident. Monad passed full-fidelity .NET objects between its commands. For even the most complex commands, Monad abolished the (until then, standard) need for fragile text-based parsing. Simple and powerful data manipulation tools supported this new model, creating a shell both powerful and easy to use.


I joined the Monad development team shortly after that to help do my part to bring this masterpiece of technology to the rest of the world. Since then, Monad has grown to become a real, tangible product—now called PowerShell.


So why write a book about it? And why this book?


Many users have picked up PowerShell for the sake of learning PowerShell. Any tangible benefits come by way of side effect. Others, though, might prefer to opportunistically learn a new technology as it solves their needs. How do you use PowerShell to navigate the filesystem? How can you manage files and folders? Retrieve a web page?


This book focuses squarely on helping you learn PowerShell through task-based solutions to your most pressing problems. Read a recipe, read a chapter, or read the entire book—regardless, you’re bound to learn something.


Who This Book Is For

This book helps you use PowerShell to get things done. It contains hundreds of solutions to specific, real-world problems. For systems management, you’ll find plenty of examples that show how to manage the filesystem, the Windows Registry, event logs, processes, and more. For enterprise administration, you’ll find two entire chapters devoted to Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Active Directory, and other enterprise-focused tasks.


Along the way, you’ll also learn an enormous amount about PowerShell: its features, its commands, and its scripting language—but most importantly, you’ll solve problems.


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