Customer Reviews: Microsoft Windows PowerShell 2.0 Programming for the Absolute Beginner, 2nd Edition
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on January 26, 2010
"For the Absolute Beginner", the title of the book says it all. Whether or not you are a Programming Guru with years of VBScript or Perl experience or dancing around the idea of this thing called scripting and wondering will you ever get a chance to be able to harness the power of these tools to simplify you life as a systems administrator then stop wondering and take a peek at this book. Go ahead and "Click to LOOK INSIDE". It's simple, well organized; even the games you develop with PowerShell are moderately silly-Simple yet interesting enough to get the point about the subject. It builds your knowledge step by tiny step. If this book does not get you started on Scripting and specifically PowerShell Scripting then possibly nothing ever will.
If you are a seasoned Scripting Guru, this is a quick and easy read and a jump to the new tool called PowerShell. I'm saying this as I recently attended a PowerShell Enthusiast Group, and only a few people showed up, and practically none had gone beyond installing PowerShell and staring at the Icon. This book cracks the "Shell" so to speak and you will start looking at other more advanced books and online information on the subject.

The Book is basically the same as the previous edition with a few new Sections on "Working with Graphical Windows PowerShell", "Creating Your Own Script Cmdlets", "Eventing", and "Uninstalling Power Shell 1" etc., about 50 pages extra over v1.0 Book.

I've recommended this book to my colleagues who have not had the chance to work with any scripting tool previously and those who are knowledgeable.

Simply, this is an introduction to PowerShell for the Absolute Beginner, and it delivers on that clearly.

Update: May 2010, I have attended Microsoft Course 6434A - Automating Windows Server 2008 Administration with Windows PowerShell, and the course is a SHOCKER !!!. You learn more from this Book than from the Course and its Useless Handbook. This book does not cover Advanced Topics, but the basics are wonderful.
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VINE VOICEon June 5, 2009
My coworker told my boss he had to read this book. He did,then told me I had to read this book. Now I'm telling you--read this book. It's great. Powershell is one of the best things to come out of Microsoft in a while, giving Windows admins the kind of power enjoyed by Unix admins (I admit an irrational joy at getting a Windows directory listing by typing "ls"). DOS and many Unix commands are supported, and it's all .Net in the back.

This book breaks it all down, and you learn by putting games together. It's fast, fun, and gets you working with this new tool in a hurry.
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on August 17, 2015
I think this book would be good for kids or people who have never done any programming or scripting, but it doesn't really cut it for me.

My background: I messed around with Visual Basic 2.0 back in the late 90's and I've been writing batch files since the early 90's. I've messed around with a little BASIC on Commodore too. I can do a lot with batch files but I was getting to the point in my job where I needed to take my scripting to the next level. I'm a systems admin / engineer so I needed to be able to automate tasks and run reports.Enter Powershell.

The way this book is structured, it uses simple text based games to introduce the reader to various Powershell concepts, like working with variables, prompting for user input, etc. I might still go through it when I have time but it spends too much time going over really basic scripting concepts when I'd rather something I can just dive into and learn Powershell. I learned more about Powershell scripting from Google searches than I did after spending several hours with this book.

I can't really rate it because, for me, it would get maybe 2 stars, but for someone who's never scripted before and who has the time to go through different exercises and examples creating simple games to learn the basics of Powershell, it would probably be pretty useful for them. Maybe 4 stars. So I'll go ahead and give it 3 because I appreciate what the author is trying to do here, and it's on me that I picked this one up as my first Powershell book despite having a sneaky feeling it might be too rudimentary for me.

I'm reading through Mastering Windows Powershell Scripting and already, just on the first chapter, I can tell it's going to be more useful for my needs.
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on March 11, 2013
I actually like the book, and will use it a lot over the years. The only complaint I have is that when presenting some "screen views" as examples, the font used is rather small, which makes reading it while trying to input on a computer, difficult. Of course, it's out of date since Powershell 3.0 has been available, but my needs don't exceed Powershell 2.0, so the book meets my needs. It IS a book for a beginner though, so more advanced users would probably want a book for 3.0, and probably written for more advanced users.
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on April 20, 2011
Ok, yes the commands and syntactical errors exist. For me that was part of what helped me learn. Not being able to cut and paste and have everything work was a bonus in my mind. I did the research, figured out the errors, and completed the labs. The methods taught were solid and effective, enabling me to find the issues on my own. I think books that included syntax errors and other issues into their labs (but informed the reader of it beforehand) would be more effective as an educational tool.
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on November 28, 2012
Its not often I can say I enjoyed reading a book. This one seemed to go at a perfect pace. The "lets build a game" section at the end of each chapter is perfect to review what was covered previously. This book helped be get a firm grasp of basic powershell. Highly recommended.
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on July 29, 2010
If you don't know much about PowerShell, this is a great place to start. It's very basic and easy to follow. I am about a third of the way done with it and I know much more than I did before I started. I don't have a "programmers" brain and it's hard for me to follow some of the syntax, but the author makes it simple and much easier to follow than other programming books. If you are new to programming altogether, this book makes sense as well. The way the author has you build simple games is useful because you end up using most of the elements of PowerShell the deeper you get in the book and they all build on what you have already done.

Not sure what happened with the reviewer who was a not able to find the web downloads. I found them without issue. I recommend this book if you are new. If you have experience with PowerShell...skip it. It's much to basic for you. The books cover says "For Absolute Beginners". If this isn't you, don't buy it. You will not like it. Otherwise, for programming noobs like me, it's great!
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on May 19, 2014
I've had several programming courses and I like the approach the author takes using games to highlight the skills he is teaching. Well written and easy to follow. This really is a good book for someone new to PowerShell but understands basic programming.
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on November 16, 2011
This book is good if you do not have a programmers or scripting experience. The book starts you out with the basics and by the end you will have a good idea where to go from there. The title says it all.
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on December 27, 2011
I've hearing a lot about powershell and wanted to learn more about it. Most other books are great in the explanation of the basics and theory behind using powershell. This book actually has you writing scripts right away! Easy to follow instructions and a companion website are a plus. Although all the scripts had you creating games, I found ways in which some portions of each script could be applied.
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