business, humor, Technology

2001 vs 2021 (aka 2020 CU1)


IT planning Meeting: / Project = Document Management

Teams present: IT Architect, PM, InfoSec, Network, Storage, Accounts, Licensing, Customer stakeholders, Customer stakeholder stakeholders, Stakeholders for other stakeholders, Vendor reps handing out business cards and shaking hands, all packed in one conference room.

Preliminary: Storage and Network teams are blaming InfoSec for system issues. InfoSec is blaming Licensing for holding up a PO. Licensing blames the CFO. PM asks them to keep it down.

Vendor: “(blah blah blah blah blah blah) some pointing and hand gestures learned from a sales book.

IT PM:Thank you for the introduction, Bob.”

Vendor: “Uhhh, it’s Doug, actually.”

IT PM: (turns to stakeholders) “So, what features do you need from Electronic Document Management?

Customer: “What does it do?

IT Architect: (talks for 30 minutes, reads directly from PowerPoint slides, attendees coughing, staring at Blackberry phones, texting jokes about TV sitcom episode from previous night, sounds of thumbs clicking on physical keypad, spoons clanking against coffee cups) … “Any questions?

Customer: “We need all of it.

General IT takeaway: (old-timers: dread. younger folks: excitement)


IT Planning Meeting / Project = Cloud Security

Teams present: Cloud Architect, PM, InfoSec, Cloud Networking, Cloud Identity, Licensing, Customer stakeholders, Customer stakeholder stakeholders, Stakeholders for other stakeholders, Vendor reps, everyone on a Teams call.

Preliminary: Azure/AWS/GCS and M365 teams are blaming InfoSec for system issues. InfoSec is blaming Licensing for holding up a PO. PM asks them to keep it down.

Vendor: “(blah blah blah blah blah blah) some more PowerPoint slides and a QR code.

IT PM: “Thanks for introduction, Juan.”

Vendor: “Uhhh, it’s Carlos, actually.”

IT PM: (turns to stakeholders) “So, what features do you need from Cloud Security?

Customer: “What does it do?

Cloud Architect: (talks for 30 minutes, reads directly from PowerPoint slides, attendees not on mute add background sounds of cats, dogs, birds, car horns, kitchen pots and pans, messaging about Netflix/Hulu/YouTube/Amazon/HBO show from previous day, crumpling fast food bags, spoons clanking against coffee cups) someone keeps taking a heavy drag on their vape in front of the mic … “Any questions?

Customer: “We need all of it.

General IT takeaway: (old-timers: dread. younger folks: excitement)

business, humor, Projects

How to Use Your Consultants

If you work for a company, or maybe you own a company, or maybe you just know of a company, and you hire or work with consultants for various things, there are some common things to pay attention to which are often overlooked. Let’s get started!

Let’s say that your boss asks you, “Hey, Jim. Don’t we have some vouchers sitting around?

You answer, “We sure do, Bob, and my name is Dave.

That’s great, Jim! Maybe we can use those to get a fancy consultant in here to whip us into shape!

Yes ma’am, I’ll get right on it!

You dig around and find the vouchers, and then call your trusty vendor representative, who was already eagerly awaiting your phone call. He/she tells you about their “partner program”.

You swallow hard, and ask, “Tell me about this ‘partner’ thing?

It’s a fantastic program we offer to only our highest-valued premium super-awesome platinum-level customers, just like you! It’s a program with partners.

That sounds awesome! How do we use it?!

It’s easy Dan.”

It’s Dave.”

Right, sorry about that, Doug. Anyhow, it’s where we offer you a list of partner consulting firms, and you choose one to help you solve a technical challenge, or adopt a new challenge, right from the comfort of your conference room.”

You slam the phone down, jump around and squeal like a baby pig, then calm down and make some calls. You ask all your drunk high school buddies for recommendations, and they all agree that they don’t know what a consultant is. So you pick one from the vendor list, and arrange a conference call to discuss your ideas.

Soon after, you’re on your way to pursuing a new project. Now it’s time to plan how to misuse their services to greatest benefit of someone else, not you. Here’s how you do it…

Don’t have a clear list of objectives

That’s right. Clear objectives are for the movies. Real people don’t have them.

Figure out what the consultant should do when he/she arrives. They don’t mind waiting around for vague direction. And whatever issues you’re facing each day, you can leverage the consultant to help with those, while they’re waiting for the actual project to begin. You hired them to help onboard O365 and Intune accounts, but why not ask them to help with your printer issues? It’s your money, so burn it up however you want.

Also, all that mumbo-jumbo the vendor mentioned about “valid uses” for using your vouchers is just talk. They don’t care if you want to use them for completely unrelated products and services. Microsoft vouchers? No problem, they’ll be fine for working on that VMware problem.**

Don’t assign one person to each role

Leave every decision to a committee. It works great. After all: If one person can make a great decision, then 8 people can make an even greater decision! It’s like traffic: Just add more lanes and the traffic jams go away.

When the consultant asks for a user account to be created in Active Directory, it should involve as many people as possible. One for each object attribute if possible. And when it comes to PXE, oh boy, that should involve at least one person from every protocol-related aspect of your business.

For example, to create the guest account for the consultant, you might need the following:

  • Someone from the Networking team (because PXE needs a network)
  • A Facilities person or two (because networks have wires and stuff, and they use closets sometimes)
  • Someone for DNS (since your imaging process will probably need name resolution somewhere)
  • Someone else for DHCP (of course)
  • An Active Directory team:
    • Someone to focus on the naming convention
    • Someone to focus on group memberships
    • Someone to focus on the initial password
    • Someone to create the account incorrectly the first time
    • Someone to fix the incorrect account, but also remove it from requested groups
    • Someone to add the fixed account back to the missing groups
  • Someone from IT Security (because they have to be at every meeting anyway, so why not?)
  • Someone from HR to make sure the consultant isn’t offensive or insensitive.
  • A Telecom person (make sure the conference room is working for the remote folks)
  • Someone from Accounting (because something will cost something),
  • At least one Project Manager for each group above (got to keep those toddlers in line, after all)
  • And, someone from the cafeteria (you’re going to need coffee during all those meetings).

After a dozen or so meetings, you should have a clearer picture of how many weeks it will take to get the first account created, and a few more weeks to get the correct permissions assigned to it. If you start now, you might get 3 accounts created before the next fiscal budget runs out.

As a general rule: A meeting isn’t considered appropriately-staffed unless there are at least 12 people in the room. So, to be safe – double that.

Don’t be in a hurry

You’re important. You have a lot going on. Printers jamming. Passwords expiring. Facebook is slow. Jimmy spilled another beer into his keyboard. And the cleaning crew unplugged your router again. When that pesky consultant asks for some information, make sure to take your sweet time getting them an answer. Giving them a quick answer only cheapens your value in their eyes. Taking your time earns their respect.

A typical best practice rule is at least 24 hours per question. If they ask three (3) questions, that should take at least 72 hours. And if you only work 1 shift per day, that should be 72 business hours, or roughly 31 days.

And if the consultant reminds you about some so-called “expiration date” on those vouchers, be sure to remind them how important your business is. The vendor will obviously jump through every hoop to extend your deadline, because you’re waaaaay more important than any of their other customers. As if they have any other customers. Ha ha ha!

Be Flexible

One of the worst things you can do when bringing a consultant onto a project is lock things down too much. It’s important to keep your options open. Even something like picking one system or product to focus on can be risky.

Remember: Contracts are just rules. And rules are made to be broken.

For example, let’s say you signed a contract to get a consultant to help you with migrating to Office 365 and Exchange Online. There’s nothing stopping you from shifting direction at the first meeting. Some good examples might be:

  • “We can’t get these 5-year old laptops to image with Windows 10 using our old Ghost setup and DVD disks”
  • “Skype keeps crashing on the CFO’s computer, at his condo.”
  • “The CEO’s 6 year old daughter says she knows more about Office 365 than you.”

Just remember to stay flexible and adapt to whatever you feel is important each day. After all, you don’t know how many more you’ll get.


I hope you found this article informative and educational. Doing your part to keep consultants on their toes is the best way to insure you get the most out of the shares you own in their company.

** Disclaimer: Nothing said above makes any sense whatsoever and should be completely ignored.

humor, Uncategorized

Random thoughts


A short list of things I’ve learned in my fifty-five years on this planet, which has been sitting in my drafts bin for 2 years.

  1. Not everyone who wanders is lost.
  2. Assuming everyone who wanders is lost could mean that you’re lost.
  3. If you hate Coke, it does not automatically mean you love Pepsi.
  4. Newer is not automatically better.
  5. If there’s a salesperson involved, it’s because it needed selling.
  6. Work is never really eliminated.  It’s just moved around.
  7. You can’t truly appreciate something until you’ve worked for it.
  8. The more legs a creature has, the more love it has.  Except when it gets past 8 legs, then it’s scarry.
  9. Most people complain most often about things they know the least about.
  10. The best programming language hasn’t been invented yet.
  11. Every generation wants the next to think that they had all the fun.
  12. Every generation thinks they had to work harder than the next.
  13. If it doesn’t cut expenses, or increase revenue, it’s probably junk.
  14. Fixing bugs is not refactoring.
  15. Chances are good that a reboot will fix it.

humor, Personal, Scripting, Technology

$HoHoHo = ($HoList | Do-HoHos -Days 12) version 1812.18.01


UPDATE: 2018.12.18 (1812.18.01) = Thanks to Jim Bezdan (@jimbezdan) for adding the speech synthesizer coolness!  I also fixed the counter in the internal loop.  Now it sounds like HAL 9000 but without getting your pod locked out of the mother ship. 😀

I’m feeling festive today.  And stupid.  But they’re not mutually exclusive, and neither am I, and so can you!   Let’s have some fun…

Paste all of this sticky mess into a file and save it with a .ps1 extension.  Then put on your Bing Crosby MP3 list and run it.

Download from GitHub:

The function…

function Write-ProperCounter {
    param (
      [int] $Number
    if ($Number -gt 3) {
        return $([string]$Number+'th')
    else {
        switch ($Number) {
            1 { return '1st'; break; }
            2 { return '2nd'; break; }
            3 { return '3rd'; break; }

The bag-o-gifts…

$gifts = (
    'a partridge in a Pear tree',
    'Turtle doves, and',
    'French hens',
    'Colly birds',
    'gold rings',
    'geese a-laying',
    'swans a-swimming',
    'maids a-milking',
    'ladies dancing',
    'lords a-leaping',
    'pipers piping',
    'drummers drumming'
# the sleigh ride...
Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Speech
$Speak = New-Object System.Speech.Synthesis.SpeechSynthesizer

for ($i = 0; $i -lt $gifts.Count; $i++) {
    Write-Host "On the $(Write-ProperCounter $($i + 1)) day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:"
    $speak.speak(“On the $(Write-ProperCounter $($i + 1)) day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,”)
    $mygifts = [string[]]$gifts[0..$i]
    $x = $i + 1
    foreach ($gift in $mygifts) {
        if ($x -eq 1) {
            $thisGift = $gift
        else {
            $thisGift = "$x $gift"
        Write-Host "...$thisGift"


humor, Personal

My Holiday Wishlist and Resolution Bundle

  1. My oldest daughter will have a healthy baby this coming May
  2. No more “Semi-Annual”, “Monthly”, “Broad”, channel weirdness. Just “Ring0”, “Ring1”, etc.
  3. The ConfigMgr console gets real drag-and-drop support
  4. An international conference agrees to broker all acronyms.  No more dual-meanings
  5. Azure adds a normal UX-efficient desktop style UI, instead of the stupid tablet-style “blade” UI
  6. Azure Automation Runbooks testing allows viewing the last test output WHILE in the runbook editor (without cheating)
  7. A 14 inch HP/Dell/Lenovo/Acer laptop with Core i7, 16 gb memory, NVME boot storage and room for an SSD for under $500
  8. Azure Automation Runbooks testing process displays real-time output
  9. Ubuntu bundles WMI-compliant CIM into the standard distribution, with an API exposed to PowerShell Core
  10. My dog would stop farting in my office while I’m on business calls
  11. Intune would add equal inventory granularity with ConfigMgr to leverage inventory data for reports, policies, targeting, etc.
  12. ConfigMgr would update the little tragically-underfed homeless query editor
  13. People would stop carding me when I order an adult beverage even though I look like Moses’ beardless brother
  14. Microsoft would release a new Windows client that blocks ANY installs except .MSI or .MSIX – period. No exceptions ever.
  15. Roku would add a TV volume control to their phone app (I don’t care if it’s technically feasible, I want it)
  16. Notepad++ would include a snippets library feature as f-ing awesome as TextPad has always had (sorry, but the add-ins all suck)
  17. My son would stop leaving his underwear on the bathroom floor when taking a shower
  18. The number of blogs/podcasts/videos showing how to install and configure things would balance out with the blogs/podcasts/videos showing how to use the cool features (the balance still favors installation complexity, which is unfortunate, unless you’re a consultant, cough cough)
  19. Someone would actually read up to item 19
  20. Get a monthly PowerShell users group off the ground here, finally
  21. Santa adds to my shot-glass collection.  I still need about a dozen more US cities
  22. Santa brings us a better harness for turd brain (aka “snuggle turd”, aka “stinky brain”, aka “Dory”, aka my 100lbs chocolate lab from Mars)
  23. Santa shoves a whole Roland TDK30 kit down our broken chimney
  24. Start going to bed earlier
  25. Write another book (it’s been awhile)
  26. Increase my studying efforts / attend more user groups and conferences
  27. Stop rambling on long blog lists about silly stuff like holiday wishlists
  28. Build more projects in my garage
  29. 29 is a weird number to run out of wishlist ideas.  I should add things like ending cancer and world hunger, stopping all wars, making all politicians honest and hard-working, making everyone nice on social media, and Virginia getting a professional sports franchise (any sport will do).  Eh.
humor, Personal, Society, Technology

Cranky AFaaS

I’m starting to use this “aaS” suffix more and more in casual conversation now.  I’m not just stooping to bag my dog’s fecal dispersions, I’m providing Feces-aas or FaaS.  I’m not talking shit around the coffee pot anymore, I’m providing BSaaS.  That’s right, I claim it as the first official use of “Bull-Shit-as-a-Service”, even though technically, the act itself was perfected by the US government a hundred years ago.  Nobody can touch them now.


So, this week has immersed me in a series of, shall I say, annoyances.  The kind that spin my brain platter around to that classic tune: “Stupid AF but we’ve gotten so used to it that it seems normal now”.

Like this…


and this…


…and that’s only the beginning.

Then I heard a clerk at the grocery store talking to a customer ahead of me.  It went a little like this…

Clerk: “No maam, once you write the check out for the actual amount, I can’t give you cash back, unless you write another check.”

Maam: “This shit is bullshit!

Clerk: “Well, I suppose that it has to be some kind of shit. But that’s all I can do.

Now, technically he was absolutely correct.  But I don’t think is manager was amused, but he obviously agreed with this employee, and dammit, my beer was getting warm on that slimy conveyor belt waiting for her to move on.

Then I found out that “SCCM” has been hijacked, like all good initialisms/acronyms, by some glue-sniffing, child-abducting gang calling themselves “Society of Critical Care Medicine“.  The nerve of those people thinking their silly medical skills somehow matter more in this dangerous world than deploying patches to machines over shitty WAN/VPN/Wi-Fi links at 3am.

For the love of caffeine, can we get someone to form an official group to manage all these acronyms which now have multiple meanings?


Then I walking my dog, Dory, who at 100lbs, actually walks me, but that’s beside the point, and one of my neighbors stops me on the street…

Her: “OMG.  Did you see the rabid fox running around here?!  It chased me into the house with my two little dogs dragging behind me!”

Me: “Ummm…”

Her: “So, I called the police, they said I had to call Animal Control, who said unless I could keep my eyes directly on it, they can’t come out to do anything.  And I said…” (this is where I started to glaze over and pictured my dog getting mauled by some rabid animal and me trying to fend it off with a roll of poopoo bags in a plastic container…) “and so I just wanted to let you know.  Be careful!”

She went inside, I kept walking (getting walked by) my dog, and then saw the rabid fox limping around like it had finished off a case of beer or something, about 100 yards to my right.  I called our action-packed police department…

311: “Police non-emergency.  What’s the problem you wish to report”

Me: “We have a rabid fox running around our neighborhood.”

311: “I’ll patch you through to Animal Control.  If you get put on hold too long, their direct number is (insert “1-800-IDGAF”).  Please hold…”

20 minutes, no answer.  Repeated recording about how important my call is.

Hang up.  Call back.  10 minutes on hold.  Another call, 5 minutes.  Never mind.  At this point, I’m hoping it bites the first city employee that drives through the area, but I don’t really mean that, it just sounds snarky.

So I tweet our tax-paid folks with my complaint…


It’s now 4:51 PM ET on a Friday, which means those folks left work about 5 days ago.

Anyhow.  I’m staying away from work this weekend, but I will be doing something.  Maybe cleaning up my Github tragedy, or rebuilding my lab catastrophe, or staring at my belly button and thinking “I was once connected by a cable!”

Seriously, taking the wife and two of our kids to see Bohemian Rhapsody tonight.  I hope it’s good.


The Cutting Edge: Moving Office Restrooms to the Cloud

After a decade of cloud transformation taking hold in larger organizations around the world, small and medium-sized businesses have also begun to pursue a cloud-based strategy.  Many business leaders are now looking for other areas to apply cloud technology.  The latest area of interest just happens to be business restrooms.

Just imagine the cost savings of not having to maintain toilets, urinals, sinks, cleaners, soap, tissue, hand towels, running water, ventilation, and event the custodial staff in every office!  Let someone else manage those things in the cloud, and we can reduce our lease costs, utilities costs, and improve employee productivity at the same time!” – Mai Ballzak, Chief Morale Officer at Ben, Dover and Smooch, LLP

Indeed, the potential cost savings are enormous, with more than material implications, it has potential for impacting staffing costs as well.

Not only can we reduce custodial and maintenance staffing costs, but we’re actively implementing a new program to train our employees to not use restrooms as much.  Maybe never! This keeps them at their assigned posts and improves productivity.  The results have been incredible!” – Ima Gassius, COO at Sphinct-R

Ima also mentioned related programs, like their latest “Fiber is for networks, not for digestion” campaign.  The goal being to reduce the need to leave assigned posts for non-productive restroom visits.  “Aside from a few messes, we’re seeing much higher productivity numbers from our human subjects, uh, I mean, employees, no wait, we’re supposed to call them ‘associates’ now.  Yeah.

Technologists are also getting on board with the idea.

We’ve been doing cloud since before there even was a cloud.  At first, I thought it was crazy.  Then I remembered how we’ve been trying to establish a cloud-agnostic approach to moving our shit around.  This IS literally moving our shit around, and without all the usual crap.” – Mike Hunt, Senior Analysis Analyst at the Allied American Analysis Analysts Analysis Agency of America, or AAAAAAA.

(psssst.  yes, this is satire.  please do not take any of this seriously. And remember: kids, don’t do drugs)


Things that make me nervous

  1. Cops following me for a long time
  2. Doctor says “I think we need to do more tests”
  3. Dentist (looks at x-ray and just shakes head)
  4. Someone pointing a gun at my face
  5. Only one open restroom and it’s out of toilet tissue on taco lunch day
  6. Driving in Boston around the holidays
  7. A spider walking on my face
  8. A TSA person who stares at me without blinking while meticulously stretching latex gloves
  9. Something running around inside the refrigerator
  10. Seeing “Jason Sandys has replied to your post”
humor, interviews, Personal, Technology

Dr. Skatterbrainz Answers Reader Mail

Warning: The following text may contain adult-ish offensive language which may cause unwanted side effects.  Read at your own risk.

“I was just wondering what you think about going into IT consulting for someone who’s never done it before, but who’s been working in IT direct for about ten years?” – Brad

It’s not for everyone, but some really enjoy it.  It also depends on whether you’re working from home/remote or on-site mostly.  If you’re used to being in a room full of people and a bustling office environment, then switch to being alone all the time, even with online communication tools, it’s sometimes lonely.  If you have pets or someone at home to talk to it helps, otherwise you should get outside frequently and mix with other people.  Coffee shop, park, etc.  It also requires you to impose your own control over scheduling, sleep, eating, exercise, etc.

If you prefer keeping hands-on with things after you build them, it might be tough letting go of each project and moving on to the next.  If you like having a steady office environment, that too may be a tough adjustment.  If you don’t like traveling a lot, or meeting strangers and getting used to strange places, accents, rules, customs, and so on, it may be a tough adjustment.

Other things to consider are how well you adjust to working alone, or with different teams from one day/week/month to the next, as opposed to being with the same group of people for months/years.

I would suggest that if you’re really curious/interested in consulting to give it a try.  You will be exposed to more variety and more ideas than you typically get with a steady office role.  But, no matter how it turns out, it will still be more experience, and more experience is good no matter what (as long as it doesn’t kill you or leave you brain-damaged). And you may get to rack up lots of flyer miles and hotel rewards points.

“Why do CIOs so often turn down requests from their own IT staff to improve tools and processes?” – Jim

Because most technical people suck at communicating things in terms of money.  Remember that old book “Women are from Venus. Men are from Mars”?.  CxO’s like numbers and charts.  The more colors and spiffiness (I made that term up) the better.  The situations where I’ve seen (or done by myself) a proposal laid out in terms of what it will provide in terms of the following, it got a positive result:

  • Cost savings
  • New revenue (not always welcome, unless it’s in a core competency)
  • Added capability (e.g. competitive advantage)

Any idea you have to improve things needs to be distilled down to what “improve” really means.  Improves what?  How?  For whom?  Keep walking that question back until it comes to a dollar figure.  And one other aspect I find that helps is to focus more on the repeat financial benefit, rather than a one-time benefit.  A simple one-time cost-savings doesn’t usually get them excited enough to set down the Martini and whip out the credit card, but a pay-off that keeps getting better every quarter/year is hard to ignore.  In the end, if you have to fluff the numbers to make it work, you need to ask yourself if you really have the best idea.  If it really makes sense you shouldn’t need to oversell it, but make sure you present it in the language the suit-clad folks really love to hear.

“Some of my siblings and cousins have a condescending view of the IT profession.  They’re all lawyers and marketing people, but somehow think IT is like dishwashing.  What’s the best thing I can do for that?” – Charles

Hi Charles.  I can completely sympathize.  I have a few of those people in my family as well.  You can either hold a grudge, or let it go. I prefer to let it go.  Time is your most valuable asset.  Don’t waste it.  The time you would spend on debating them could be better used on learning new skills or finding more projects to grow your experience.  Changing someone’s mind about things is almost impossible without proper firearms and pharmaceuticals.

“I’ve seen you pick on Microsoft Access a few times.  What do you hate about it?” – Chris

I don’t hate Access itself.  It’s a great product, especially for small scale needs.  But it’s not built for large-scale, shared use, and it couples the application (forms, reports, logic) with the data (tables, views, etc.) which doesn’t scale or lend itself to flexible maintenance.  It’s also very dependent on the version of Office installed, so upgrading the rest of Office then becomes hostage to it.

The other issue is that shared-use problems often lead to proliferation of multiple, standalone copies throughout the enterprise.  Maintaining consistency and centralized reporting becomes increasingly difficult.

Then when IT wants (or needs) to roll out a new version of Office, it turns into “Now hold on a minute!  That’ll break our precious Access DB ‘application’!”   The longer the Access app remains in production, the more intrinsic it becomes to business operations, making it more sensitive to disruption.  And the longer is remains in production, the more likely staff will have quit/retired/died/joined a cult, whatever, and now nobody is left who knows how to maintain or modify the code.

This often leads to the following discussion playbook scenarios, complete with the eye-rolling, mumbling, and drooling package…

Version 1

IT: “You guys in Finance need to upgrade this Access thing of yours so it works with 2016!”

Finance guys: “The guy who wrote it left months/years ago and we don’t have anyone who can update it”

IT: “Not our problem. Make it happen.”

Finance guys: “Then fuck you.”

Version 2

IT: “You guys in Finance need to upgrade this Access thing of yours so it works with 2016!”

Finance guys: “Okay, but since this is YOUR requirement, then IT should pay for all that work.”

IT: “No!”

Finance guys: “Then fuck you.”

Version 3

IT: “You guys in Finance need to upgrade this Access thing of yours so it works with 2016!”

Finance guys: “Okay, but we don’t have anyone who can do it due to schedules and other work.  Can IT do it for us?”

IT: “No!”

Finance guys: “Then fuck you.”

Version 4

IT: “You guys in Finance need to…”

Finance guys: “Just fuck you.”

Then we break for lunch, listen to IT complain about how <insert department name here> are a bunch of a-holes to work with.  We come back to the office, fighting off the carb-coma sleep monster, and repeat the same discussions again.  Someone will suggest the usual workarounds…

  • “Let’s install the Access runtime for 2007 or 2010 along with Access 2016!”
    • “Adding more complexity to our environment is not the answer.”
  • “Move it to Citrix or RDS!”
    • Citrix/RDS guy: “No!  I need funding to buy more hardware.”
  • “Let’s App-V or ThinApp it!”
    • “Carl – Do YOU know how to sequence that?”
      • “Ummm no.  But I hear it’s really cool.”
    • “You thought Justin Bieber was cool.”
      • “What’s wrong with Justin?!”
    • (continues on until some smacks the table to break it up)
  • “Let’s rent an unmarked van and kidnap that old guy that wrote this!”
    • “I have $53 on me.  Can we rent one that cheap?”
      • “I have duct tape, maybe a gift card too, hold on…”

In the end, the most expensive, least efficient and most painful “solution” will be chosen and everyone will be unhappy.  After a few months they will have left for other jobs and a new staff will be looking at it, wash rinse and repeat.  Or, in some cases, they hire someone to rewrite the app using modern tools that support shared use, are easy to maintain and even move to the cloud.

“I’d like to use Chocolatey at my company, but management won’t allow it and won’t pay for the business version.  Can I still leverage pieces of it somehow?” – Larry

There are several things you can “leverage” without using the public repository, or buying the business license features.

  • Set up an internal repository.  If there’s no objection to internal sourcing of packages.
  • Crack open Chocolatey packages for the silent installation and configuration syntax to use elsewhere.  Scripts, SCCM, etc.
  • Apply for a new job elsewhere.

Option 1 – Setting up an internal repo…

  1. Read this –
  2. Test, test, and test some more
  3. Pilot deployment
  4. Production domination and ultimate anihilation

Option 2 – Cracking open a warm one…

  1. Locate the desired package (e.g. Microsoft Teams desktop app)
  2. Click on the “Package source” link along the left (opens the Github repo)
  3. Inspect the .nuspec file for some general details
  4. Inspect the xxxinstall.ps1 file for the code and tasty stuff
  5. Copy / adapt when you can into whatever else you’re using


  • If you intend to “keep up” with the latest releases of a given package, you may need to repeat the above steps, or monitor the vendor source location(s) to react as they post new versions.
  • If you want to expand on this, you can post your own packages with internal modification requirements (icacls, registry hacks, etc.) as needed, or adapt them into your own deployment scripts or task sequences.


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