Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Improve Your Windows 10 Deployment with Powershell and Configuration Manager

My favorite part of my IT work is finding a way to automate, speed-up, and take away busy work. We end up purchasing about 50 new workstations each year. A few years ago we invested in a product that was supposed to speed up our workstation image deployments. It made it easy to build an image, but unfortunately deploying that image still meant a lot of walking around to PCs, backing up settings, and then loading those settings back in. It made the actual task of deploying the new PCs take months. That's why when it came to our latest PC purchase, I was excited to try out System Center Configuration Manager with MDT. I was also looking forward to the many improvements Windows 10. And last but not least: using PowerShell to automate as much of the build process as possible. I won't talk too much about the basics of using SCCM to deploy Windows 10 because that is well-documented, but I will talk about the ways that I used Powershell to save a little time on the way, customize the computer naming and start menu, and add default file associations. It took me a while to wrap my head around the many ways to achieve those goals and figure out the right path.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The WriteClearly Google Docs add-on is now available to the public

The WriteClearly team at Urban Insight has finished work on the public version of the Google Docs add-on. WriteClearly is a plain language tool. It helps lawyers write documents that most people can understand. I worked on a draft version of this at the TIG Hackathon this past January. Check it out and start using it in your own documents here!