Be careful about the punctuation in VB.NET

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We need to pause for a moment and dig into the preceding example command, because this is a case where PowerShell s punctuation can get confusing, and that confusion can make you do the wrong thing when you start constructing these command lines on your own. There are two commands in that example that use curly braces: Invoke-Command and Where (which is an alias for Where-Object). Where is entirely nested within the outer set of braces. The outermost set of braces enclose everything that s being sent to the remote computers for execution:
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Get-EventLog Security -newest 200 | Where { $_.EventID -eq 1212 }
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It can be tough to follow that nesting of commands, especially in a book like this where the physical width of the page makes it necessary to display the command across several lines of text. Don t read any further until you re sure you can identify the exact command that s being sent to the remote computer, and that you understand what each matched set of curly braces is for.
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I should tell you that you won t see the -command parameter in the help for InvokeCommand but the command I just showed you will work fine. The -command parameter is an alias, or nickname, for the -scriptblock parameter that you will see listed in the help. I have an easier time remembering -command, so I tend to use it instead of -scriptblock, but they both work the same way. If you read the help for Invoke-Command carefully (see how I m continuing to push those help files ), you ll also notice a parameter that lets you specify a script file, rather than a command. That parameter lets you send an entire script from your local
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Remote control: one to one, and one to many
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computer to the remote computers meaning you can automate some pretty complex tasks and have each computer do its own share of the work. Make sure you can identify the -scriptblock parameter in the help for Invoke-Command, and that you can spot the parameter that would enable you to specify a file path and name instead of a script block.
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I want to circle back to the -computerName parameter for a bit. When I first used Invoke-Command, I typed a comma-separated list of computer names, just as I did in the previous example. But I work with a lot of computers, so I didn t want to have to type them all in every time. I keep text files for some of my common computer categories, like web servers and domain controllers. Each text file contains one computer name per line, and that s it no commas, no quotes, no nothing. PowerShell makes it easy for me to use those files:
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Invoke-Command -command { dir } -computerName (Get-Content webservers.txt)
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The parentheses here force PowerShell to execute Get-Content first pretty much the same way parentheses work in math. The results of Get-Command are then stuck into the -computerName parameter, which then works against each of the computers that are listed in the file. I also sometimes want to query computer names from Active Directory. This is a bit trickier. I can use the Get-ADComputer command (from the ActiveDirectory module in Windows Server 2008 R2) to retrieve computers, but I can t stick that command in parentheses like I did with Get-Content. Why not Because Get-Content produces simple strings of text, which -computerName is expecting. Get-ADComputer, on the other hand, produces entire computer objects, and the -computerName parameter won t know what to do with them. If I want to use Get-ADComputer, I need to find a way to get just the values from those computer objects Name properties. Here s how:
Invoke-Command -command { dir } -computerName ( Get-ADComputer -filter * -searchBase "ou=Sales,dc=company,dc=pri" | Select-Object -expand Name )
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