The circle of command line administration

Isn’t it funny how things in life seem to go round in circles over sometimes? Whilst reading and talking to people recently about Microsoft Windows Server 2012 the one thing that is always mentioned is “you need to know powershell”. It seems that Microsoft are now really making a big push now to get people to use it.

I’ve been working in the IT industry since 2000 and messing with PC’s since about 1992 when I had my first IBM PS/2 Model 55 SX machine which ran PC-DOS so at that time command line was prevalent, needless to say my knowledge of DOS commands is pretty good. As time moved on and Microsoft introduced various versions of Windows the point and click became very much the trend and command lines were limited to some other operating systems and mainframe systems. In fact in my first employment I worked with IBM AS/400 systems (now iSeries) which was command line based using IBM’s Control Language, to my knowledge these systems are still used by that company albeit several versions higher. I’ve always tried to stick to Microsoft and windows related products (with a few deviations) so am now very familiar with the interfaces used and can pretty much forget about commands such as md, dir and find. There’s always been a level of banter between us Microsoft types and those *nix and networking types who believe we can’t operate their systems but they can ours. Well it seems times are changing, I wonder what these people make of Windows Server 2012 and in particular the server core versions? Don’t get me wrong there is still a GUI interface but Windows Server 2012 seems to have put the power back into powershell.

So, I now find myself 20 years on having to properly learn powershell as I did DOS. The whole industry is a million times different but still some things go round in circles. We’re very much in a thin client world again now, I wonder when we’ll go back to thick client machines and forget about the command line again?

If you want to get up to speed with powershell in Microsoft Windows Server 2012 then here’s some to get you started:

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