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  • Use JSON to Create Objects

    JSON is describing objects, similar to XML--but a lot easier. JSON allows for nested object properties, so you can retrieve information from various sources and consolidate them into one custom object. Have a look. This creates an inventory item containing...
  • Getting Variable Value in Parent Scope

    If you define variables in a function, then these variables live in function scope. To find out what the value of the variable is in the parent scope, use Get-Variable with the parameter -Scope: $a = 1 function test { $a = 2 $parentVariable = Get-Variable...
  • Updating Windows Defender Signatures

    Windows 8.1 comes with a ton of new cmdlets. One of them can automatically download and install the latest antivirus signatures for Windows Defender: Get-MpComputerStatus returns information about the state of your signatures. These cmdlets are not part...
  • Automation via Keystroke and Mouse Click

    Occasionally, the only way of automating processes is to send keystrokes or mouse clicks to UI elements. A good and free PowerShell extension is called "WASP" and is available here: http://wasp.codeplex.com/ Once you install the module (do not...
  • Showing WPF Info Message

    WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) is a technology that enables you to create windows and dialogs. The advantage of WPF is that the window design can be separated from program code. Here is a sample that displays a catchy message. The message is defined...
  • Sending Email via Outlook

    Of course you can send emails directly via SMTP server using Send-MailMessage. But if you want to prefill an email form in your default MAPI client, this is not very much harder either: $subject = ' Sending via MAPI client ' $body = ' My Message...
  • Finding Default MAPI Client

    Your MAPI client is the email client that by default is used with URLs like "mailto:". To find out if there is a MAPI client, and if so, which one it is, here is a function that retrieves this information from the Windows Registry. function...
  • Getting Arguments from Command Line

    In a previous tip we illustrated how you can extract the command from a command line and strip all arguments. Today, you get a function that does both. It returns a custom object that splits a command line into the actual command and its argument(s):...
  • Getting Executable from Command Line

    Sometimes it becomes necessary to extract the command name from a command line. Here is a function that can do this: And this is the code: function Remove-Argument { param ( $CommandLine ) $divider = ' ' if ( $CommandLine . StartsWith ( '...
  • Open MsgBox with Random Sound

    You may have seen script code that opens a MsgBox dialog box. Today, you get a piece of code that opens a MsgBox and plays a random sound, adding extra attention and fun. The sound stops when the user responds to the MsgBox: # find random WAV file in...
  • Automatically Downloading Pictures via Google Picture Search

    In a previous tip you learned how you can use Invoke-WebRequest to get image links from Google Image Search. Invoke-WebRequest can do better, though. It can take the image URLs and automatically download the pictures. Here is how: $SearchItem = '...
  • Getting Picture URLs from Google Picture Search

    Invoke-WebRequest is your friend whenever you want to download information from the Internet. You could, for example, send a search request to Google and have PowerShell examine the results. Google knows about this, too, so when you send a search query...
  • Finding Registered Event Sources

    Each Windows log file has a list of registered event sources. To find out which event sources are registered to which event log, you can directly query the Windows Registry. This will dump all registered sources for the "System" event log: ...
  • IntelliSense Trick to Show Variables

    In the PowerShell ISE editor, when you enter a dollar sign, an IntelliSense menu opens and displays all variables that are currently defined. When you now add more characters, you will not only see variables that start with these characters, but also...
  • Writing Events to Own Event Logs

    Often, there is a need to log information when a script runs. Instead of writing log information to a text file that you would have to maintain and manage yourself, you can use the built-in Windows logging system with all of its benefits, too. To do this...
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