Scott Hanselman

How to connect to a Wireless WIFI Network from the Command line in Windows 7

July 27, '11 Comments [13] Posted in Tools
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For the humorless amongst you who didn't find these Updated for 2011 - McDonald's WiFi Guide with updates for Mac OS X Lion and Windows 7 to be HIGH-LARIOUS, the question was asked, "well, sir, how do you connect to a Wireless WIFI Network from the Command line in Windows 7?"

The answer, is, ahem, thusly:

C:\>netsh wlan connect name=HANSELMAN-N
Connection request was completed successfully.

Cool.

More Details

What happened there? Well, the command line is netsh wlan and the full one is

netsh wlan connect ssid=YOURSSID name=PROFILENAME

What's a profile? It's the only thing required. You can see them with:

C:\>netsh wlan show profile

Profiles on interface Wireless Network Connection:
.
..snip..
User profiles
-------------
    All User Profile     : Clear Spot b0e
    All User Profile     : HANSELMAN-N
    All User Profile     : Quiznos

These are the same ones that you see in the wireless networks dialog...

Manage Wireless Networks

You can set these up and refer to them by name from the command line, or a batch file, etc. Nice to do for the places you are regularly.

If you have multiple wireless cards (What's wrong with you!?) then you have to be more specific:

netsh wlan connect ssid=YOURSSID name=PROFILENAME interface="WIRELESS NETWORK CONNECTION"

And of course, you can

netsh wlan disconnect

And include the interface optionally, for multiple interfaces. Additionally, interesting things can be seen with

netsh wlan dump

This is nice because you can

netsh wlan dump > myconfig.txt

on one machine and then later on another machine

netsh exec myconfig.txt

All this command line love will work in most versions of Windows, actually, not just 7 AFAIK. There's lots of more detail and docs on managing Wireless Profiles on the Web.

Enjoy!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Request for Comments: Issues with .NET and Microsoft Product Versioning

July 27, '11 Comments [248] Posted in Microsoft | Musings
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Oy.NOTE: I have had this blog post sitting in my drafts for a few months now. I've gotten close to posting it, held back, then gotten close to posting again. Today I noticed that Microsoft published a patch/update to Entity Framework 4.1 (Code First), a product I personally love and support, and they've called it EF 4.1 Update 1. Then I decide to post this. This is not intended as a rant or a complaint, although there is frustration on my part. What I want to know from you, is DO YOU CARE. If you do, then I can make sure your voice is heard. If you don't care, that's cool too.

I really care about how products are versioned and I'm sure you to do, Dear Reader. Naming Things is Step 0 when it comes to understanding Things. I want to talk to you about some things I've noticed around .NET versioning, and see what your thoughts are so that I might share them with TPTB (The Powers That Be).

I noticed recently that Microsoft released something called ".NET 4.0 Platform Update 1." This is an update to the .NET Framework 4 to include new features and functionality around Workflow and Azure. This post isn't specific to this update, but ALL the updates lately, from the .NET Framework, the Entity Framework, SQL Server, and a dozen more.

This was concerning to me for a few reasons. First, Platform Update "1" implies a future Platform Update "N+1." Second, when something that is a platform called 4.0 is updated, you'd expect it to be called 4.1 or maybe 4.0.1. 

I've met with that team, and encouraged them to stick with Semantic Versioning and call these updates .NET 4.0.2, etc. I think they hear me, we shall see.The .NET Framework Team agrees and they've said that will be following Major.Minor.Revision now so the next small release will be 4.0.2! However I may be perceived as Chicken Little as I haven't personally collected broad community opinion.

If you get the Premium version of Visual Studio, you've got a higher SKU than the Professional version. However, if you choose between Premium and Profession versions of Windows 7, get Professional. It's higher.

I recently noticed other products coming out with "Cumulative Update to SP1" and recently "EF 4.1 Update 1" and similar things, not to mention SQL Server. I really think this is confusing to customers. It certainly is to me. I'd like to know if you agree.

In my personal opinion, Microsoft has typically done a (poor) job with naming things - I think that's a fair statement with some exceptions like things like Lync, Kinect, Xbox and NuGet. Sometimes there's engineering reasons for versioning, but mostly it's a combination of marketing, lack of coordination between groups in a large company and a lack of community/customer outrage or just apathy. I think when folks work at a large company for many years it's easy to become complacent and stop fighting what is perceived as "small things."

Versioning and naming isn't set in stone. There isn't a technical reason that I know of to call something a Rollup Update Pack. Only willpower and organizational agreement is needed. If it's important to you, and your voice is heard, it'll become important to the people who make these decisions. Personally, I am a big fan of Semantic Versioning both in concept and in practice and I'd like to see its practical common sense take root at Microsoft.

Here's how the .NET Framework has been versioned so far. You are all familiar with it, probably because you've had to explain it to your boss at some point.

Version Runtime (CLR) Framework
1.0 First Release First Release
1.1 New Small Changes
2.0 New Lots of Changes
3.0 Same as 2.0 WinFX libraries
3.5 Same as 2.0, but new C# 3 Compiler Some Changes
3.5 SP1 Same as 2.0, with C# 3 Whole Lot of Changes
4 New Lots of Changes
4.0 PU1 Same as 4 Workflow and Azure Changes

We can't change the past, but we can influence the future. I would have probably made framework changes Point Releases (.1,.5, etc) and new CLRs or compilers should be Major Releases.

I suspect that product naming folks think that words are easier to understand than numbers, but I think they sell us short. Semantic Versioning would be easier to explain, deal with and sell. I think we need to stop with the Update, Refresh, Rollup, Pack stuff and just change numbers.

Going further, with the release of this new "EF 4.1 Update 1," what should they have called it? I would have said 4.1.5 or 4.2. Probably 4.2 if there were minor new features, and 4.1.5 if it's just patches.

Photo via Creative Commons: Original Photo at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/422442291/

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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How to write or burn a CD (CD-R) that includes CD-Text with ImgBurn

July 27, '11 Comments [14] Posted in Tools
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CD with CD-Text in my carOne of the greatest, coolest, but sadly least known and least often used tech things about CDs is "CD-Text." What is it? From Wikipedia:

CD-Text is an extension of the Red Book Compact Disc specifications standard for audio CDs. It allows for storage of additional information (e.g. album name, song name, and artist) on a standards-compliant audio CD.

Phrased differently, you'll be able to see the track details on your car CD player! This has been out for 14 years and I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually SEEN a CD in my car have text associated with it.

This evening I was putting together a Mix CD for my brother-in-law's upcoming wedding. I put together a lovely compilation from a list of songs they gave me, and even managed to fit in 79 minutes and 48 seconds. This is extra awesome because a CD holds 80 minutes. I bought the MP3s legally, and then burned them. When I went into the car to test the CD, I saw only DISC ---, TRACK ---, ARTIST ---.

I said to my self, "Self, this is weak sauce." I put all this work into the CD but I get hyphens instead of love? So I started doing some research and trying different tools.

I found ImgBurn (download link) to be the burner that gave me the most control while still maintaining an easy interface.

Start up ImgBurn, and from the Tools Menu select, "Create CUE File." What's a CUE file? It's a track that specifies exactly how to lay out the tracks on a CD before you burn them. The CUE includes not only the MP3s you want to burn, but also the gaps between songs, song length, the song text, etc.

You can make them in Notepad if you are really showoff Linux User who just has to do everything in Vim someone who likes to do things manually. Here's an example snippet of my CUE file, just so you know what one looks like.

TITLE "Vusi and Philile's Wedding CD"
PERFORMER "Various Arists"
FILE "Brenda Fassie - Wedding Day.mp3" MP3
REM FILE-DECODED-SIZE 04:04:33
TRACK 01 AUDIO
TITLE "Wedding Day"
PERFORMER "Brenda Fassie"
INDEX 01 00:00:00
FILE "04 Giving Myself.mp3" MP3
REM FILE-DECODED-SIZE 04:14:56
TRACK 02 AUDIO
TITLE "Giving Myself"
PERFORMER "Jennifer Hudson"
INDEX 01 00:00:00
....etc.... But insi

ImgBurn has a nice CUE File Creator/Editor. Tip: Be sure to set the "Default CD-Text" for the disc and the track to pull from the MP3s ID3 Tags. This is just the default. You can change this for each song later. Click each song and, if need be, change the CD-TEXT to Custom and put in whatever you like. Perhaps rather than song titles, put in messages to your sweetie?

Create CUE File for CD-Text in ImgBurn

When you click OK, you can save your .cue file for later use. Later, in Write Mode in ImgBurn, click the Folder button up there by "Source" and select your .cue file. All your MP3s will automatically be loaded up and queued for write.

ImgBurn Main Screen with my CUE file ready to burn 

Now, when I burn my CD, I see this on my car's dashboard, which gives me GREAT satisfaction, as it should you, Dear Reader.

 CD with CD-Text in my car

Doesn't this just make you want to burn some CDs with CD-Text and go see where they work? It did me. Enjoy.

NOTE: iTunes includes some CD-Text support, but it doesn't always work. Apparently there are two ways to burn CD-Text and iTunes doesn't seem to do the more compatible one. I like a little more control and that's why I prefer ImgBurn.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Updated for 2011 - McDonald's WiFi Guide with updates for Mac OS X Lion and Windows 7

July 26, '11 Comments [41] Posted in Musings
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There was a picture going around on Twitter today of the McDonald's FREE WiFi Connection instructions, looks like they are from Australia, copyright 2008.

354952917

Of course, this isn't the latest and greatest guide to connect to WiFi at McDonald's, so I've included an updated guide here for your reference.

Updated McDonald's WiFi Instructions

The high quality PDF is available as well for printing or distributing at McDonald's. But who would do such a thing

Enjoy. ;)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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A Social Media Brand Primer: Managing your (personal) brand with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

July 25, '11 Comments [1] Posted in Blogging
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IMG_1339 I was speaking with a friend recently who manages social media for a large company you've heard of who is really just making a hard push into online social media. I put together a list of questions, opinions and thoughts on the subject of managing one's personal brand with Social Media.

While I consider myself primarily to be a teacher, writer and speaker, I realize that I've used Social Media to amplify my words. First, intuitively, and in recent years, recently with some direction and planning. I don't personally apply these analytics to myself as I'm just a "personal brand," but I would recommend that legitimately famous people and companies be more measured. Here's some of the things one needs to think about when deciding to go online in full force. I've spoken on these topics at a number of large blogging conferences (as a side gig) and I'm always interested in discussing the possibility of speaking at your event.

Your thoughts, suggestions, areas I've missed and corrections are always appreciated, Dear Reader.

  • What does success look like? Don't just pull numbers out of thin air. Compare the stats of existing sites and decide what reasonable metrics are for your pages/projects/campaigns. Too often folks come up with large sounding numbers like "2000 likes on FB," then get 3000 and call the campaign a radical success. How much did it cost to hit those 3000 people? 30k? If so, why didn't you send them all $10 and ask them to Like you? Always figure out what your $ dollars per action come down to and determine what is a reasonable value for you.
  • Who are you IRL (In Real Life) and who are you online? How are these people/brands different? If your brand is not hip offline, how can you change that perception online? If you decide to be something online you (or your brand) is not, can you sustain it? Will your online brand change offline perceptions?
  • What is authenticity to your audience? The word "authentic" is overused, but there's still value in discussion of it. It's different from each audience! What does 'keeping it real' mean to programmer blogs? Hair blogs? Political blogs? If your audience smells chicanery on your part, they will destroy you (i.e. When keeping it real goes wrong).
  • How does your X audience differ from your Y audience? Do your FB people like coupons? Perhaps your Twitter people like exclusives? Maybe your Google+ folks like pictures. Don't just throw something out there and hope it works. Write down (that means track) what you're doing on each network with each idea, and track the results. Audience * Campaign * Social Network = Lots of combinatorics. Figure out your formula, then stick with it. Going with your gut (or your social media expert's gut) is just sloppy.
  • Is a Social Media expert a real thing? Or are they just people who speak more declaratively (or louder) than others? Can a 22 year old be a Social Media Expert? Can a 50 year old? Turns out that Social Media, no matter how you spin it, is still spin. When it comes to brands and brand managements it's a combination of classic PR and marketing, along with some new tools. Have the rules changed? Human behavior governs the system, the tools only magnify and accelerator the results. Is your social media expert telling you how the tools work and showing your what buttons to click, or are they talking about the larger picture? How do these tools make your brand or campaign operate at internet speed, governed by human behavior (as we understand it?)
  • How can Internet Speed work for and against, you? It's all then magnified by the speed of the internet. Results come faster, both good and bad. When you do something wrong, the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory will come into play and the trolls will descend upon you. Know that they are there and be ready to defend against them with truth and candor and, if necessary, capitulation and deference. Snowballs roll downhill fast on the internet. Don't get behind it. 
  • Is your brand defined? Do you have an established identity before social media? Often brands in trouble or brands just getting starting out tried to solve two problems at once. One, what's our social media plan? And two, who are we? You have to crawl before you run, and you ought to know what you stand for before you tweet. Takeyah Young talks about "standing in your values." Decide what you are, what you value and what you have to say. Social Media won't let you figure that out, it will only magnify it. Know who you are before you jump in.
  • Don't give Bile a Permalink. When you put something on the Internet, it's there forever, even if you delete it. Someone downloaded it, screenshotted it, Google cached it, someone took a picture of the screen. Regardless, it's there. If you are a d*ck online, then you've give that meanness a permanent link. A "permalink." Not only were you mean, but you've given your audience a way not only to link to it, but also to amplify and spread it.
    • Remember what happened to Kenneth Cole (the American Shoe Designer) on Twitter? I propose kindness, thoughtfulness, deference and appreciation for your audience, regardless of if you are a person online or if you are a person behind or speaking for a brand. While the rest of the Internet is mean (especially YouTube commenters!) I propose we double-down with kindness.
  • Be consistent in your voice - Your brand (or yourself) should feel similar in tone everywhere. If you're a sweetheart on your blog and a complainer on Twitter you are putting out an inconsistent face, especially for your audience that might follow you in both places. This gets back to defining what you want to express, and who you want to be (hopefully this is close to who you actually are!) online.
  • Know why you are 'followed" and be OK with it -  If your goal is to express yourself, then express yourself and be done with it. However, if your goal is to amplify some message, be aware of why your followers follow you in the first place. Are you a font of information? Is that how they found you and do they expect more? Are you a bringer of coupons or useful links? Perhaps, as mentioned before, different social networks have different expectations. Remember, only put more work into things you want more of. If you want more of the same kind of follower, keep giving them what they expect.
  • Separate the Personal and Professional. Or don't, but Decide. Where does your professional brand stop and your personal one start? Do you give our your phone number to the world like Scoble? Or do you blog and tweet under a pseudonym? Are you an open book or a mystery? Be conscious about the decisions you make and be aware of their pros and cons. If you blog under a nom de plume, is it at least unique (i.e. does it have Google Juice?) and findable? Do you want it to be? If you are blogging or using Social Media to beef up your resume, how do they relate to each other?
  • Know your Tools - While I've said that there shouldn't be an overemphasis on the tools, not knowing how The System works can almost be as damaging to your brand as being a jerk. It looks unprofessional. 
    • Recently I came upon a Facebook Profile for a reasonably famous company. They had reached the limit of 5000 friends and their page was turned into a giant billboard that said "we've reached the limit, please go to Profile #2, called Giant Company #2." You can imagine what I found on Profile #2. Yes, a link to Profile #3. This company (or its genius social media consultant) didn't know the difference between Facebook Pages and Profiles, nor had they found the Facebook Page Migration Tool. I wanted to "Like" this company, but when arriving to their site, I instead received a Task. I didn't come here for a new "To-do," I came here to connect with you! Make it easy, or you won't make it at all. 
    • I interacted with a famous actress on Twitter recently who would only reply with direct messages. That means, I would @reply to her and she would "DM" me back. I asked her why and she said, "I don't like to litter my page with replies." While it's nice that she has an opinion, this actually made her page look like a purely one-way conversation. Not only that, but our conversation was stilted at best as I moved between replies and direct messages. Bless her for trying, but she wasn't using the tools effectively.

Hope this helps!

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.