Saturday, June 30, 2012

Export an Excel table as an image

In a previous post "File hosting service" I  wanted to export a simple comparison table I created in Excel as an image to paste into my blog post.
I was surprised that there is no such option since it seems very handy.

Of course I tried google and found a simple idea, copy the table and paste it into a powerpoint presentation.
You can then right click the embeded excel and save it as an image.
Check out the simple tutorial here:

The first thing that got me thinking was why would Microsoft only support the save to image from powerpoint ? If by any chance Microsoft employes working on office read this, please add the save as image feature to the rest of the Office applications.

The second thing that came to mind was, why only powerpoint ?
I tried to paste it on my image viewer that was already open, irfanview and it worked.
(later check with Microsoft Paint and also worked)

Its a cool quick solution for anyone looking to save an excel table (or object) as an image.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Microsoft Powershell

Lately Windows PowerShell started getting a lot of interest from programmers at work.
I've been asked a few times what its for and is it useful.
I thought it would be a good opportunity to write a short introduction.

PowerShell is a task automation framework, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language built on top of, and integrated with the .NET Framework.
Basically  it means I get a Microsoft scripting environment which provides one interface to Windows technologies like WMI, COM and .NET.

A new version of PowerShell is available on Windows 8 and can be downloaded here
as part of the Windows Management Framework 3.0 RC, so be careful.

So what can one do with PowerShell ?
Here are a few examples:

Like your regular command prompt, you have most commands your used to however in PowerShell i can also use stronger scripting command.
below I use ipconfig and pipe it to another command like in Linux

C:\PS> ipconfig | select-string -pattern 255
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :

Windows PowerShell is actually a .NET Framework environment.
This means that you can use objects.
For example, when you get a service in Windows PowerShell, you are really getting an object that represents the service. When you view information about a service, you are viewing the properties of its service object. And, when you start a service, that is, when you change the Status property of the service to "started," you are using a method of the service object.  I can see the type of object by useing the get-member command
The following command sends the objects retrieved by a Get-Service command to Get-Member.
get-service | get-member 

Get-Member displays information about the service object, including the typename of the object and a list of its properties and methods.

   TypeName: System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController

Name            MemberType    Definition
----            ----------    ----------
Name            AliasProperty Name = ServiceName
RequiredService AliasProperty Name = ServiceDependedOn
Desposed        Event         System.EventHandler Disposed(System.Object,System.EventArgs)
Close           Method        System.Void Close()
Continue        Method        System.Void Continue()

Another cool feature is the whatif command.
I can issue a command, and ask what will happen if i run it.
PS D:\> Get-Process cmd | Stop-Process -WhatIf
What if: Performing operation "Stop-Process" on Target "cmd (12132)".

With PowerShell you can also write your own modules and commands.

If your a Microsoft programmer or and administrator, I recommend you start using Powershell if you havn't already and discover how simple and powerfull it can be.
A nice crash course can be viewed at the link below.

Windows PowerShell Crash Course | TechEd North America 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Live Free Webinar: 10 Things To Know When Starting With Excel VBA

I got an invite from to join a live webinar on coding in Excel.
The seminar is for beginners or those thinking of beginning programming VBA in Microsoft Excel.

The seminar is on Wednsday, June 20th, 2012 at 7:00 GMT
Registration is free at:

 The Webinar promo is the folowing:

Just starting to code in Excel? Want a leg up on avoiding the pitfalls of VBA? Join Excel Master and Microsoft MVP Zack Barresse on June 20th from 11 a.m.- 12 p.m. PDT as he shares 10 things you should know when starting out with VBA for Excel.  In this webinar, Zack will discuss:

• Variables and how to use them properly

• How to spot misspellings & use Visual Basic Editor to your advantage
• How to make the best use of your development environment
• How to speed up code execution
• How to structure your code logically
• Going from the macro recorder to writing awesome code

This webinar will save you countless hours of trial and error and help you avoid buggy and inefficient code.

Limited spots are available so register today!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Has everyone changed their LinkedIn password ?

LinkedIn was hacked and over 6 million password hashes got stolen.
If that wasn't bad enough, the hashes weren't salted and to make it all worse, the hashes are out on the net.

The story got out on June 6, 2012, when a user with alias "dwdm" asked for help from InsidePro forum members to crack over 6.4 million passwords from LinkedIn.
Copies of the list were duplicated to several file sharing sites and can be easily found.

Some of the hashes may have already been cracked by the original poster or by other hackers. I strongly recommend changing your passwords.

Keep updated from LinkedIn about the issue on their blog

You can check if your password was on the list on this site:
Be careful :-)

You can also download the full password list from dropbox: thanks to HackTalk.

A few lessons can be had:
  1. Nothing is secure on the net. Not even on sites like LinkedIn
  2. When designing a database that holds passwords, If your using standard encryption, at least add salt.
  3. If you stole a bunch of passwords and would like them to remain relevant, Don't ask for help cracking SHA-1 on the web !!!
If you want to crack the SHA list for yourself use
Post requests if you want me to post a tutorial.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Drupal free webinar for the .NET Programmer

A friend just sent me an invite for a free web seminar on Drupal.

The seminar is an hour long and will take place on Wednesday, June 06, 2012 01:00 PM EDT.
The goal of the seminar is to provide a general overview of the Drupal system and architecture for .NET developers interested in acquiring the Drupal development skill set. 

For those who haven't heard about Drupal, its a leading php open source content management platform.
Drupal can be downloaded here.


You can read more about the seminar and register for free at the following link: