Happy 4th Birthday PowerGUI®!

Today is PowerGUI’s 4th birthday, and what would a birthday be without cake?  The awesome graphic artists that provide me with all of our fun desktop wallpaper for PowerGUI have done it again with a new desktop wallpaper image to celebrate PowerGUI’s birthday.  You can download it from the downloads page on PowerGUI.org, or you can click on this picture to download a high-resolution version directly:


It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years already since PowerGUI was first made available for download on March 28, 2007.  What an amazing 4 years it has been too! What started out as a free extensible Administrative Console based on Windows PowerShell has grown into an award winning product that also includes a free extensible Script Editor with tons of useful features like Intellisense, syntax highlighting, script snippets, script signing, and many, many more.  There’s even a Pro version called PowerGUI® Pro that adds Version Control, Easy Remote Script Execution, and a component called MobileShell that allows you to perform systems management from your handheld device!

It’s been great fun having a direct hand in helping make this happen, but this product would not be what it is today without the support that we have received from the community!  Your feedback and support through our PowerGUI.org community site, on Twitter, on FaceBook, and blogs and articles around the web has been fantastic and it’s something that I appreciate every single day!  Thank you for helping this product to continue to grow!

I hope you enjoy celebrating PowerGUI’s birthday with us this week with the fantastic wallpaper, and look forward to continuing to watch this product grow for many years to come!


Kirk out.

Adam Driscoll talks about PowerShell and PowerGUI® on .NET Rocks!

Recently Adam Driscoll of PowerGUI VSX fame was a guest on the .NET Rocks! podcast show, chatting with Carl and Richard about his TFS plugin for Android, PowerShell, PowerGUI, and PowerGUI VSX.  Today that show was made available for download, so head on over to the .NET Rocks! page listen to Adam, Carl and Richard in Episode 647 of .NET Rocks!


Kirk out.

PowerGUI® Spring 2011 Desktop Wallpaper

Spring is here already, and even though it doesn’t seem like it’s Spring everywhere just yet (it has been snowing most of the day here in Ottawa), with the change in seasons comes a change in desktop wallpaper.  The Spring 2011 wallpaper for PowerGUI Pro and PowerGUI is now available:

PowerGUI Spring 2011 Wallpaper Thumbnail

To download this wallpaper, simply visit the PowerGUI downloads page and scroll down to see all of the sizes and varieties that are available.  We have Fall wallpaper there as well for our friends in the southern hemisphere.  As always, all of our wallpaper images are stored in the Wallpaper folder on PowerGUI.org, so if you want to use one from a previous year or a different season or holiday, take a look around…there are currently 27 different varieties to choose from.


Kirk out.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with PowerGUI®!

Our creative design team has just provided me with another fun desktop wallpaper to share with you, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.  If shamrocks and gold are your thing this time of year, download the St. Patrick’s Day PowerGUI wallpaper from PowerGUI.org and show your pride!

As usual, it comes in two different flavors: one with the freeware train and one with the PowerGUI Pro train.  Each screenshot has 8 different resolutions available, so pick whichever one suits you best.  I already have the PowerGUI Pro version installed on my laptop.


Kirk out.

P.S. I can’t help but wonder what the little PowerGUI train had to drink that made gold bubbles come out of his smokestack. Smile

PowerShell Deep Dive Conference: April 17-19, 2011 in Las Vegas

In case you haven’t heard already, there is a huge opportunity coming up to learn a lot more about PowerShell very quickly and interact directly with dozens of PowerShell experts face to face at the same time.  Next month marks the first ever PowerShell-specific conference, the PowerShell Deep Dive.  This conference will be held in the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 17-19, 2011, and it will be an amazing experience for anyone interested in learning more about PowerShell.  The Deep Dive sessions will all be presented on April 18 and 19, following the welcome reception on the night of April 17.

Don’t be too intimidated by the name “Deep Dive” though.  The sessions will be a deep dive into PowerShell, that’s true, but there is a half-day 300-level Windows PowerShell Pre-Deep Dive Crash Course with Don Jones on April 17, 2011 that can help bring you up to speed if you’re close but not quite there yet.

Also, if you act now by emailing TEC2011@quest.com and sign up before the end of March, your Deep Dive conference fee will only cost you $850 US.  For the depth of knowledge covered and the calibre of the presentations and the attendees who will be attending, this conference is going to be worth every penny.

Speaking of attendees, you really should check out who’s already confirmed they will be attending this event.  Here’s a list of only a few of the speakers and attendees who have signed up so far:

    What’s incredible is that this list is only showing some of the amazing talent that will be at this event.  I would have recommended it as a must-attend event even with only a small fraction of the superstars I have listed above attending, but with this line-up, plus many, many more PowerShell superstars, this is going to be one truly memorable experience.
    I’ll be attending as well of course (I wouldn’t miss it!), and while there I will be presenting a full session on “Managing Hyper-V with PowerShell” and a Deep Dive talk on “Defining domain specific vocabularies using Windows PowerShell” as well.

Have I sold you on the idea yet?  If you want to learn more, head on over to the PowerShell Deep Dive page and read more about the event, or if you’ve already decided send an email to TEC2011@quest.com today to make sure you can take advantage of the $850 US pricing before the end of March!

Hope to see you in Vegas!

Kirk out.

PowerGUI® Script Editor Essentials 2.0

Last week I had an absolutely incredible week at the 2011 MVP Summit.  It was without a doubt the best business trip I have ever taken, bar none.  What makes a conference great for me is not the sessions (although the sessions were awesome).  For me it’s all about the attendees.  Being able to interact every day for an entire week with PowerShell MVPs and Microsoft PowerShell team members was truly an incredible experience, something that you just don’t get day to day when you’re in the office dealing with so many distractions.

While at the Summit I was meeting with some PowerShell MVPs, chatting about PowerGUI and PowerGUI Pro, and getting feedback on the two products (and taking a lot of notes!).  Claus Nielsen, a fellow PowerShell MVP from Denmark was sharing some of his ideas with me and one feature he requested was scroll buttons for our tabbed document interface to allow you to scroll the view to other tabs.  This is useful when you have many tabs open and you want to reorganize them or just scroll through the ones you have open.

I get a lot of requests from the online community as well, some of which come via twitter.  These don’t necessarily come from MVPs, although the one I’m about to use as an example does.  Brian H. Madsen (@csharpzealot) tweeted about having issues when running PowerGUI and not realizing he was in the 32-bit version of the console on a 64-bit machine.  Since you can run PowerGUI in 32-bit or 64-bit, elevated or not, it can be very useful to know how you opened it when you are working with the product.

Other feedback comes in the form of direct email.  One of our internal support reps was trying to figure out how to tell what encoding was used when saving a ps1 file because he was working with another product that didn’t seem to support that encoding.

A lot of this feedback turns into enhancement requests for the core product, but there are also many ideas that turn into features I can quickly implement in an Add-on.  All of the ideas I just mentioned in this post fall into the latter case, and between early mornings in my hotel room in Bellevue last week and a little time yesterday afternoon, I have finished implementing these (and more) in version 2.0 of the PowerGUI Script Editor Essentials Add-on.  This Add-on is definitely one of my favorites, right up there with the Blue Console Add-on and the Script Signing Add-on.  It comes with an indispensible feature set and whenever I install PowerGUI on a new system I immediately notice that it is missing and have to install it right away.

PowerGUI Script Editor Essentials 2.0 includes the following enhancements:

  • You can now view and change the current file encoding by using the File | Encoding submenu.  The menu items in this submenu will automatically save the current file and the checked item indicates the current encoding for the current file.
  • You can now use scroll buttons to view all of the tabs that you have open.  These scroll buttons are enabled by default, but you can always hide them or bring them back by using the View | Tab Scroll Buttons menu item.
  • You can now see more useful status information in the status bar.  This includes:
    • the current file encoding for saved files;
    • the current process architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for 64-bit machines; and
    • the current elevation status if you are running PowerGUI in an elevated process.
      Here’s a screenshot showing you what the Script Editor looks like in an elevated process on a 64-bit system once you have this Add-on loaded:


I also fixed an issue preventing the shortcuts in this Add-on from working on some non-English operating systems, and I added icons that were missing for the Increase Indent and Decrease Indent menu items so that they show up as regular buttons if you add them to your toolbar.

These features are in addition to the features that came in the first version of this Add-on, which include support for :

  • enabling Word Wrap in your documents;
  • showing Whitespace in your documents;
  • using Virtual Whitespace when editing documents;
  • Zoom in and Zoom out while working with a document;
  • opening multiple files at once from the File | Open dialog; and
  • filtering for *.ps1xml, *.psc1, *.xml and *.txt files in the File | Open dialog.
    If you’d like to try this Add-on, follow these three steps:

1. Open the PowerGUI Script Editor and select Tools | Find Add-ons Online… in the menu.

2. In the dialog that appears, enter “Script Editor Essentials” into the text box and click on the Search button.

3. Once the Script Editor Essentials Add-on shows up in the results, click on the Add-on to select it and then click on the Install button to install the Add-on. This will download, unblock, install and load the Add-on in your Script Editor, and you’ll have these features in your favorite Script Editor in no time!

If you’re not connected to the web, you can also install this manually by following the steps outlined on the Script Editor Essentials Add-on page on PowerGUI.org.

    Now that this update is released, what else do you think qualifies as a Script Editor Essential feature?  As you can see, community feedback drives what we do, so please share your ideas!  We are listening.

Kirk out.

Create your own color theme for the embedded console in PowerGUI®

I really like the native PowerShell console look and feel.  Something about the blue theme applied to the native console puts me in a comfort zone, and it just works for me.  For a long time I have wanted to have the exact same color theme to be applied to the embedded PowerShell console in PowerGUI, and with the release of PowerGUI 2.4 I can finally create that theme.

Here’s what the themed console looks like in PowerGUI now that we have full color support:


If you would like the same experience in your embedded console, all you need to do is install the Blue Console Add-on in PowerGUI by following these three steps:

1. Open the PowerGUI Script Editor and select Tools | Find Add-ons Online… in the menu.

2. In the dialog that appears, enter “Blue Console” into the text box and click on the Search button.

3. Once the Blue Console Add-on shows up in the results, click on the Add-on to select it and then click on the Install button to install the Add-on.  This will download, unblock, install and load the Add-on in your Script Editor, and you’ll have a native blue theme applied in no time!

If you’re not connected to the web, you can also install this manually by following the steps outlined on the Blue Console Add-on page on PowerGUI.org.

Now that the PowerGUI Script Editor SDK supports any color in the embedded console, you can even create your own themes.  The Add-on is just a PowerShell module and you can look at how it sets the colors internally to see how you could create your own theme.  If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even build a theme-chooser Add-on something like the Script Colors Add-on by Denniver Reining and allow people to import/export color themes so that they can share them with one another.  I think an Add-on like that would be fantastic for the Script Editor, and I can already think of a half dozen features I’d like to see in it.  If you’re going to create an Add-on, be sure to install the Authoring Toolkit Add-on that I blogged about yesterday so that you’re working with all of the tools available to make it easier for you.


Kirk out.