WW 678: No Code Left Behind

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What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!


Pretty sure Paul was right, Exchange 2013 is when they flipped the table in terms of “shell-first.” I even remember the UI pushing Powershell to the point of being nearly condescending; whenever you’d use the Exchange admin wizards, the final screen would basically say “alright, here’s what I’m actually doing with all those next-boxes you just clicked… you could totally run this command without me… just sayin” and show you the Powershell lines it generated. It worked though! I started taking those generated lines and tucking them away for future use, and before I knew it I had a nice library of commands and rarely opened the UI.


Yes, we still have 2010 for on-prem (upgrade planned for this year) and we also have Exchange Online, which is PowerShell driven.

It is a real pain, when you can just click an option in 2010, but for Exchange Online, you need to open up a shell, connect to the Exchange instance, then search the internet for the commands and syntax you want to achieve the same as clicking one button on the old version.

It is very powerful and, if you need to change multiple settings for multiple users, it can save time, but changing a single setting for a single user, it can be a real pain.

I tend to write scripts for some things, but for one-offs, it is a pain. Last week, we had the problem that Exchange Online had falsely identified our US users as being in Germany and Teams was giving them all a German voicemail message. I ended up researching for about 30 minutes, after giving up looking at the users settings in the browser, to get a script strung together that would take a username as a parameter and then make all the changes in AzureAD and Exchange Online to change the language settings - even though the language settings in the UI were shown correctly… And all that for 4 or 5 users.

I love PowerShell, but sometimes it is a long-drawn-out overkill for accomplishing simple tasks.


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I think that perhaps there are better ways to critique Paul’s position than by making this a left vs. right issue.


You can actually build iPhone and iPad apps without a Mac. There’s a few cloud build solutions. This is the one my company uses.

You run the app locally as a webpage and ionic builds and submits the app to Apple. I’ve built several native iOS apps in the past, and still prefer native, but these types of frameworks have come quite a long way in the past few years. In my mostly Windows mixed OS team, this solution just made more sense.


That’s very cool @eveenendaal - I’ll check it out.

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It would be nice if Microsoft updated it’s applications to be more streamlined across the board. It is the iTunes of Operating Systems.

TWIT Windows Weekly Episode 678 (and everything too)

INTRODUCTION // I really appreciate the deep history and broad scope of understanding of many of the Twit hosts. Paul gives me more laughs in my life than most professional comedians. Skip past the BIO if you are time-limited.

BIO // I came to TWIT in the first place because of SpinRite and Steve. My background is programmer and IT special projects. My age is 50 in 2020. My daughter graduated from grade 12 TODAY (June 26)! Currently working on putting an Excel add-in into the Microsoft store (DatePickr), am the inventor of a branded concept that combines SQL, RAD, Paper Forms, and ZeroTraining (DataPaper). As part of that I’m currently re-envisioning the Microsoft Office Access file type as a hyper-document that receives encryption, peer-pear and peer-server auto-replication, JIT messaging, online/offline, hybrid SQL/NoSQL, and table-row-field access-control keys all via an add-in. I have an iOS app in the works that is a cross between the classic ‘game of life’, cellular automaton, and the famous lava-lamp wall at Cloud Flare so in the the future a person can visually generate their own entropic keys, I believe in the future you will not be able to trust ANY second party to do it for you (unnamed). I am also the inventor of a spoken-safe base(31) ASCII notation that includes encryption and compression which will manifest at first as a URL shortening service (dp31). I’ve invented a new language I call (Array) that flips the paradigm of most languages especially OOP where the object is divided up by data types and pointers to functions, puts the function name instead of parameters between the parens in the editor and puts the data outside in free text here is Hello World with HTML as a target {index.html} \\ <div> \\ Hello World! \\ <br> \\ </div> // too easy? need funding to make this happen and am VERY eager to be able to code in this some day with EXE targets for Linux, MacOS, and Windows, iOS, Android — as it is ridiculously easy to code and yet is oddly similar to assembly (not obvious in the above example so contact me for that).

OPINION // I’ve listened to Leo, Paul, Steve and various other TWIT hosts as well as many talks at conferences and peers on projects. Listened, listened, and listened. I’m not hearing what my mind is screaming from anywhere at least as a complete statement. which is why I’m writing this. First I will define a few terms all IMO – In My Opinion – so results may vary. I think history will side with me though…

MICROSOFT // I agree MS is all about Office. Office though makes documents. So you could say ‘Microsoft is all about documents’. Which is interesting, because so are people. Odd for a documents company though they can’t figure out printing, or how to keep unauthorized people from looking at your documents.

APPLE // by hiding documents from people, you get them more excited about using your devices. But not all people, so you now provide a “Files” app, and there was always iTunes — you can go there to see the videos you shot today on Filmic Pro. iOS is remarkably good at allowing apps to send documents to each other. And driverless printing! unbelievable how good it is at printing. I will put two words here for later reference: secure enclave.

GOOGLE // other than putting e-mail spam into a folder is there anything they do that isn’t evil?

CLOUD / SERVER / CLIENT / IOT // Every computing device on the Internet is a peer to every other device on the Internet. These terms are like an attempt to re-brand fingers and toes as a “10-bit calculator”. They are, but mostly they aren’t.

LAN / WAN / VPN / Ethernet / TCP / UDP / IPV6 // different aspects of doing the same thing: connecting peers together on the network

VIRTUALIZATION // Using one piece of hardware to host many instances of software. Wait a sec, isn’t that literally what a computer does?

WEB SERVER // software that responds to a couple of requests from another computer essentially (1) give me a copy of this (2) save a copy of that

C / C++ / Java / Swift / Dart / Etc // Attempts to hide the sophisticated developer from assembly code. Ends up getting used to do important stuff like things that need extreme speed or security once compiled back into assembly.

HTML / PDF / EPS // languages for rendering documents. Some capability to fetch a document from another computer, and to send data to another computer

JAVASCRIPT // poorly named, poorly executed, work of sheer genius. Can modify HTML documents at run time, and also modify its own code at runtime.

FULL STACK // insane mess of HTML, JavaScript, SQL, NoSQL, Run-on-Demand server code, client-side interpretation, extremely limited access to hardware and operating system features at the client, yet devastating access to things like clipboard contents and disk folders. Massive libraries of third-party code, much of it downloaded again each time it is called. Data is vulnerable in the browser at the client, vulnerable to code-injection through included libraries and browser plug-ins, and vulnerable at the server through false credentials, weak encryption, or unblocked default access features. On top of that complexity there are super-sets of JavaScript, other languages that compile to JavaScript, deprecated features, new features, sandboxes. Competing browsers render differently and respect deprecations and new features differently. Because of this coders have to include logic to adjust for all the cases. So that’s not actually cross-platform is it? Because of the desire to deliver everything this way now, new ways are being dreamed up daily to get more performance out of the full stack which is running at the server on an OS and in the browser at the client on top of the OS. Both the client and server side are likely or possible to be running that OS or browser or both in a virtual machine. One teeny tiny little thing goes wrong in that stack and you are vulnerable to exfiltration of anything the stack has or has access to. As the stack is usually distributed all over the planet, the access points into it become legion. (1) this can’t be fixed (2) it shouldn’t be fixed. As Paul is to Microsoft abandoning legacy, so should we all be to FULL STACK.

PROGRAMMERS / CODERS // If you read the typical job ads for coders you can notice that someone is writing the requirements for the recruiter. Ok. But in a company the code base is not the language it’s written in. It is a new language derived from commercial programming languages, personality of previous coders, history of the organization, business practices and policy of the organization, politics of the organization, etc. “I’m just here to code” no you aren’t. If that were true a computer would do it, or a cheaper coder in another country. You are there to render using code the aspirations of the organization that they are able to communicate to you using a spoken and written non-computer language! And what on earth does spending your day making Docker scripts have to do with that?

BROWSER // there is no magical goodness or compelling reason to deliver all the world’s software via a web browser. There are excuses. And if the intent is to put everything into the FULL STACK and render it on the browser, why hang on to the operating system at all? Just boot the computer to a browser.

CHROMEOS / CROMEBOOK // Look a bootable browser machine. Not cheaper. Not more versatile. Oh but loooooong battery life. Boom “Apple Silicon”

THE PROJECT // you are contracted to provide a sales-quoting tool for a company that sells proprietary high-margin critical industry equipment here are the general specs: (1) must work when there is no Internet (2) must allow the salesperson to quote and custom design a solution in the field using a cost+ complex margin formula (3) must be installed on a portable device (4) in the event the salesperson goes rogue and jumps to the competition with this device the IT people there can’t be able to extract the catalogue of products and services from the device or the cost prices of them (5) in the event the salesperson goes rogue but comes back onto the Internet with a trojan installed that Trojan can’t have access to new server data even though the device does. Name the operating system + hardware tech out there that would enable delivery of this solution right now that isn’t iOS?

SUMMATION // the only viable (read: secure) current platform that can deliver today for the user and the organization is iOS on iPad. And it also does modern gaming. Old school web browsing. Comes with excellent camera’s. Has a mature accessory catalogue. Long battery life. Light weight. Apple offers very low cost automated offsite backup service. You can put much of Microsoft Office on it right now. If Microsoft would port Access to iOS, provide a function for performing calculations in the Secure (hardware) Enclave, I could deliver that project in hours. Probably do it right now in Swift too.

CONCLUSION // why aren’t even large corporations rolling their own OS-VM-PLATFORM-DOCUMENT solutions? “Oh the robots are going to take our jobs”. Much of the world’s source code is readily available. The computers themselves are over-powered for developers and users and cost very little compared to historical numbers. Where’s all the great code and coders we should of had by now? Are they drowning in FULL STACK going to conferences hoping this this year’s strong-typing script will “fix” JS? instead of writing the amazing solutions waiting to be realized? The world — and especially the government and business world — runs on documents. We are WAAAAAY overcomplicating this download/render/upload thing. Dorsai!

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I agree that it’s sometimes faster to do things in the Web UI, however, the services have been pretty much PowerShell-driven since the very beginning, and the Web UI gives you only a small subset of options and features. And only with PowerShell you get an instant response to your inputs. So yeah, it’s a trade.

This has actually been a trend with MS products for almost a decade now. Take Windows Server for example. Not to mention the Core edition. I personally like it as I’ve missed the control I normally have with CLI, but you’re obviously right that it comes with a price.


Why do Paul & Mary Jo hate Apple so much? It’s ok to like something else better or maybe Apple is not their favorite. But to hate Apple so strongly. I just don’t get that.

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Some imagined slight sometime in the past??? MJ has specifically stated before that she wouldn’t ever use an Apple product because she: “Can’t stand Mac users”

Oh well…

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It’s a little more nuanced than that. On the End-of-Year TWIT episode where she appears, she expressed that there’s an … attitude (my word for it as I can’t remember hers) that Apple users typically have (#NotAllAppleUsers of course) that rubs her the wrong way. She also feels that Apple gets a pass for doing things that other companies would be excoriated for, and that companies like Microsoft have been criticized for in the past.

This is my recollection and interpretation of her position. If I’ve misrepresented you @MaryJo, my apologies. For the record - I tend to share @thurrott and @MaryJo opinion, but I can also recognize - like Paul - the incredible feat that Apple has achieved.


My best friend of 30+ years switched to Macs about 15 years ago and is one of those users who have that “holier than thou” attitude. His office still makes him use Windows, which means I am now his support person because that part of his brain has atrophied now that he doesn’t use it. To each their own, of course, but I will never be an Apple fanboi, but I can still recognize that it has certain benefits for certain users. We just avoid discussing the topic and keep the peace.

I’ve never noticed that they hate Apple - in fact, on his site, Paul has been berating Microsoft for falling so far behind Apple in getting the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 finished. After over 5 years, it still isn’t complete and Apple release a fait accompli.

Yes, Apple get criticised often in the press for bad quality updates, yet it is usually forgotten in a couple of weeks and the next time it happens, it is seen as a one-off. Microsoft on the other hand does the same thing, yet gets blamed for poor quality releases all the time and the reputation sticks.

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Exactly right. That’s a perfect summary of my feelings about Apple. And so many press love everything they do without question that it just exacerbates things.

Each to her/his own opinion. :slight_smile:


Finally got around to this episode today. I’m a bit behind on my podcasts. I love that the show didn’t talk much about Microsoft directly, but mostly how Microsoft related to the given topic. The thing that shocked me the most was Mary Jo doing a story related Microsoft and gaming.

Well…Paul specifically stated that he “…hates that company soooo much!!”

and MaryJo specifically stated that she will “never use an Apple product because she can’t stand Mac users”