Car Computing with an Android phone, Part 1 – The in-car install

In-car connectivity or “Driver Connect” systems, like Ford’s SYNC, are huge in today’s automotive industry; allowing you to make hands-free calls, reply to text messages and Emails using on your voice, get voice guided, turn-by-turn directions and much more. These features are wonderful if you happen to own a vehicle that includes them, but what if you don’t? If you have an Android based phone you can not only replicate most every feature of Ford’s SYNC system, but do a lot more.
Continue reading “Car Computing with an Android phone, Part 1 – The in-car install”

Use the Test-Connection cmdlet to determine when a DNS record has propagated

For some time now I’ve wanted some sort of service that would simply alert me via Email once a specific DNS record had propagated and was reachable by at least on host on the public internet. To my knowledge, such a service doesn’t exist. I was faced with a situation this morning where such a solution would have been extremely helpful. So, I decided to sit down and break out PowerGUI Script Editor to make my dream a reality! What emerged from 20 minutes of hackery was a 13 line script that works like this:
Continue reading “Use the Test-Connection cmdlet to determine when a DNS record has propagated”

Retrieve information about Mailboxes and Mailbox Databases with PowerShell

Recently, I was faced with a situation in which I wanted to remove a Mailbox Database that was running in production. The problem was that I wasn’t sure which mailboxes resided on the database. Moreover, a quick and efficient way of finding this information wasn’t apparent in the Exchange Management Console and I wasn’t about to sort through my entire Exchange organization to find this subset of users. The answer? The Exchange Management Shell.

Continue reading “Retrieve information about Mailboxes and Mailbox Databases with PowerShell”

Basics: Getting Started with Server Core

While working on the second part of the Systems Administration Tenets series, I realized that OS Deployment with Microsoft technologies is much deeper and nuanced than I remembered and I’ll require a little additional time to provide the levels of detail and i I feel necessary. So, the second part of the Systems Administration Tenets series will be bumped to next Monday (perhaps earlier if my schedule allows). To fill the gap, and make good on my promise of weekly posting, I’ll be posting a couple screencasts I recently stumbled upon while organizing my Windows Live Skydrive. In the Screencasts I discuss the Server Core installation option of Windows Server 2008, specifically:
Continue reading “Basics: Getting Started with Server Core”

Systems Administration Tenet 1: Automate, Automate, Automate!

Automation is defined as the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means. Processes IT Professionals might seek to automate include: User Provisioning, Windows Update Installation (on client machines, of course), Backup Jobs and OS Deployments. Why would you want to automate your systems and processes?
Continue reading “Systems Administration Tenet 1: Automate, Automate, Automate!”

Controlling System Power State with Windows PowerShell

What would you do in the event of a complete utility power failure? Would you remote desktop to each key workoad running in your environment and shut it down gracefully? This approach works very well when your infrastructure is relatively small, but eventually the number of servers in your environment will grow to the point that it’s simply no longer practical. This is where PowerShell’s capability of managing the power state of your machines either via WMI calls or through native Cmdlets really becomes valuable. Let’s take a look at how we would shut down or restart machines, both singly and in batch.
Continue reading “Controlling System Power State with Windows PowerShell”


Hello and welcome to my Blog! Together we will explore Microsoft enterprise focused products and technologies, IP Telephony (Unified Communications), Systems Administration/Automation, my personal projects and anything else I find interesting. One thing I want this Blog to be is a two-way communication channel by which you, my readers, may communicate with me. My creating and publishing content for mass consumption is all well and good, but I’m bound to make mistakes and welcome constructive criticism and correction from my readers. To the journey!