Common points of confusion in Visual Basic .NET

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Common points of confusion
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Whenever it seems appropriate, I ll wrap up each chapter with a brief section that covers some of the common mistakes I see when I teach classes. The idea is to help you see what most often confuses other administrators like yourself, and to avoid those problems or at least to be able to find a solution for them as you start working with the shell.
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Typing cmdlet names
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First up is the typing of cmdlet names. It s always Verb-Noun, like Get-Content. All of these are things I see newcomers try, but they won t work:
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Get Content GetContent Get=Content Get_Content
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Typing parameters
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Parameters are also consistently written. A parameter that takes no value, such as -recurse, just gets a dash before its name. There need to be spaces separating the cmdlet name from its parameters, and the parameters from each other. These are all correct:
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Dir -rec (the shortened parameter name is fine) New-PSDrive -name DEMO -psprovider FileSystem -root \\Server\Share
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But these examples are all incorrect:
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Dir-rec (no space between alias and parameter) New-PSDrive -nameDEMO (no space between parameter name and value) New-PSDrive -name DEMO-psprovider FileSystem (no space between the first
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parameter s value and the second parameter s name) PowerShell isn t normally picky about upper- and lowercase, meaning that dir and DIR are the same, as are -RECURSE and -recurse and -Recurse. But the shell sure is picky about those spaces and dashes!
Because this is the book s first lab, I ll take a moment and describe how these are supposed to work. For each lab, I ll give you a few tasks that you can try and complete on your own. Sometimes I ll provide a hint or two to get you going in the right direction. From there, you re on your own. I absolutely guarantee that everything you need to know to complete every lab is either in that same chapter or was covered in a previous chapter (and the previously
Running commands
covered info is the stuff I m most likely going to give you a hint for). I m not saying the answer is going to be right out in plain sight: most often, a chapter will have taught you how to discover something on your own, and you ll have to go through that discovery process to find the answer. It might seem frustrating, but forcing yourself to do it will absolutely make you more successful with PowerShell in the long run. I promise. Keep in mind that you can find sample answers at MoreLunches.com. My answers might not exactly match yours, and that will become increasingly true as we move on to more complex material. In fact, you ll often find that PowerShell offers a halfdozen ways to accomplish almost anything. I ll show you the way I use the most, but if you come up with something different, you re not wrong! Any way that gets the job done is correct. Using just what you learned in this chapter, complete the following tasks in Windows PowerShell:
2 3 4
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Create a text file that contains the names of the files and folders in C:\Windows (don t worry about including subdirectories that would take too long). Name the text file MyDir.txt. Display the contents of that text file. Rename the file from MyDir.txt to WindowsDir.txt. Create a new folder named LabOutput you can either do this in your Documents folder, or in the root of your C: drive. Copy WindowsDir.txt into the LabOutput folder. Delete the original copy of WindowsDir.txt not the copy that you just made in LabOutput. Display a list of running processes. Redirect a list of running processes into a file named Procs.txt. Move Procs.txt into the LabOutput folder if it isn t in there already. Display the contents of Procs.txt so that only one page displays at a time (remember the trick with | more).
Hopefully these tasks seem straightforward for you. If so excellent! You were leveraging your existing command-line skills to make PowerShell perform a few practical tasks for you. If you re new to the command-line world, these tasks are a good introduction to what you ll be doing in the rest of this book. I m not going to hit you with any Ideas for on your own in this chapter. Because we re just beginning, I ll be happy with the tasks you ve already completed. If you didn t get a chance to try all of the Try it Now examples in this chapter, go back and do so now if you have time, and make sure that you re able to accomplish all ten of the preceding lab tasks.
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