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Microsoft Windows PowerShell: TFM Paperback – January 1, 2007

3.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Don Jones, is an IT speaker, author, and consultant with more than a dozen years of experience working with the Microsoft Windows platform. Don's a three-time winner of the Microsoft "MVP" award, the founder of ScriptingAnswers.com(tm), and the author of nearly 30 IT books and publications, including Managing Windows with VBScript and WMI, Advanced VBScript for Windows Administrators, and Microsoft PowerShell" TFM (tm). Don's a columnist and contributing editor for REDMOND Magazine, where he writes the monthly "Mr. Roboto" column on Windows automation, along with feature articles. Don's easygoing style makes him a top speaker at conferences like Techmentor and WinConnections, and his books, self-paced training courseware, and training videos have helped thousands of Windows administrators become more efficient through Windows scripting and automation. Jeffery Hicks, is the president and principal consultant of JDH Information Technology Solutions. He is also a Senior Network Engineer for Visory Group, a Microsoft Gold Partner serving Central and Upstate New York. He has been in the IT industry for over 15 years, doing everything from help desk support to project management. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (Windows NT/2000/2003), Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft Certified System Administrator (Windows 2003).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: SAPIEN Press; 1st edition (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977659720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977659722
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A horrible, horrible book.

I'm rushed for time right now, but I wanted to write at least a short review to warn people away from this turkey. I'm returning my copy for a refund, and will get Bruce Payette's book instead.

This book was clearly rushed to print. Material (including at least one mutliple-page section) is repeated; clearly they haven't finished editing the thing. Tables are sloppily formatted, making it difficult to read. Again, they haven't finished the editing process.

The book can't make up its mind what its target audience is. They use the term WMI without defining it (sure, sysadmins will probably know it, and they do define it many pages later), but then they don't define the term "variable" until roughly page 100.

The book is poorly laid out. It certainly doesn't do what I consider a reasonable job of progressing clearly from point A to point B in trying to define the language. I'm left with the feeling that it's jumping all over the place, trying to combine conveying the lanugage, while providing good example. Suffice it to say, it fails.

I also found their description of the pipeline (arguably the heart of Powershell) to be superficial.

The examples. Don't get me started. If you're looking for a practical guide to what sysadmins need, then look somewhere else. The examples aren't particularly sophisticated, nor do they particularly point out subtle but useful points in the language. Also, they make rookie mistakes. In general you should never use the same values in an example, in case there's some confusion. But no. For example, in describing hash tables, they use strings both for the key and for the value. But this leads to a bug. One of their examples is wrong.
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Format: Paperback
Overall, I'm glad to have read this book. It isn't without it's problems, however, so let me get those out of the way first:

- The typesetting is poor. This definitely seems like a low-budget self-published book. Poor layout -- look for the proliferation of "example:" being followed by nearly a half page of whitespace. There are no chapter indications on the page headers, making it harder to find chapters without tediously looking for the page number on the Table of Contents.

- The binding seems like it might give out on me. So far it has held up, but I have the feeling that pages are going to start breaking out and flying off.

- Editing? What editing? One chapter stops short only to be tagged on at the end of a following chapter. There's other signs of self-editing mishaps, typos, etc.

- 149 pages of documentation which is no more useful than PowerShell's own help files. Or if you want gui documentation, PowerShell Analyzer has contextual help or you can use Sapien's PowerShell Help gui.

- Retails for $49.99. That's pretty steep for the quantity of material and the production quality. Other PowerShell books may retail for near that price-point, but Amazon is able to offer a discount to their customers.

- Finally, Mr. Jones likes to plug PrimalScript whenever possible. He mentions it from time to time in the book and in the webcasts he does for Microsoft. It's a fine product, though not my choice. (I prefer jEdit, gvim or emacs whenever possible; Karl Prosser's PowerShell Analyzer is great when working at depth specifically with PowerShell.)

But what about the content?

I found TFM to be very accessible.
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Comment 13 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I'll agree with the previous reviewer on a couple of points:
1. They general layout of the book kind of hit me as odd when I first opened up the book.
2. The verboseness used to list out the packaged cmdlets doesn't seem like a good use for a book of this level.

I do have a lot of respect for Don and Jeff, and they provide a lot of support to the community.

I am just too busy right now to read from front to back, but have skimmed through some sections, and do like it. The book's binding was a bit stiff, but is starting to soften up a bit.

The formatting might need time for me to get a bit used to, but overall, I still give the book a 4/5, and look forward to other SAPIEN books in the TFM series.

This book is not a really a beginner scripting book, and I can fully understand that the authors didn't explain what WMI is, if at all.

I'm happy with my purchase, and am looking forward to learning more from it.

A true beginner should maybe go with the "Absolute Beginner" book out on PowerShell.
[...]
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Format: Paperback
If you are not an expert in scripting languages get this book immediately and in a week you will know 100 times more than today about PowerShell. If you are a scripting geek, then go directly to "PowerShell in Action".

Metaphorically speaking this book is cooked by a very good cook who was in a hurry. But the food is basically good and will give you a lot of energy.

And don't get too emotional, too 'religious' about it like a lot of people do! It is about your profession and fun - nothinng else!
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