Adding an BASE64 Icon to a WPF GUI

Nice and simple one today. I’m going to show you how to add an icon to a WPF GUI in PowerShell using BASE64 data.

I won’t be putting my BASE64 data into this post since its a MASSIVELY long string of characters but it should look something like this ” iVBORw0KG…”

First, we need to create a new variable to hold the data and then use the bitmapimage object to convert the data into a usable icon. You can see this below:

[string]$script:base64=@"
iVBORw0KGgo...
"@

$script:bitmap = New-Object System.Windows.Media.Imaging.BitMapImage
$bitmap.BeginInit()
$bitmap.StreamSource = [System.IO.MemoryStream][System.Convert]::FromBase64String($base64)
$bitmap.EndInit()
$bitmap.Freeze()

After this we can simply assign the new icon to the form using the code below:

$window.Icon = $bitmap

Enjoy!

Responsive PowerShell WPF Form Introduction #2

Following on from my last post, I’m going to show you how to update a textbox using a button on the same form. I will be adding the following code starting on line 38:

#BUTTON LOGIC
$syncHash.Button.Add_Click({

    $syncHash.Window.Dispatcher.Invoke(
        [action]{
            $syncHash.TextBox.AppendText("This is a test")
        }
    )
})

This is fairly basic in what it does. It just adds “This is a test” to the textbox. Say if I want the button to run a task and then update the textbox with the results, but the results took a long time to come, the form would freeze. This is because whatever command you run in the same runspace as the GUI, takes controls and stops the GUI being responsive.

So, what I’m going to do is ping google 5 times, get the average from all of those and then update the textbox without the GUI becoming unresponsive. To do this, I’m going to create a new runspace and add the code I want to run. You can see this below:

#BUTTON LOGIC
$syncHash.Button.Add_Click({
    #ASSIGNING HOST VARIABLE
    $syncHash.host = $Host
    #CREATING NEW RUNSPACE
    $pingrunspace = [runspacefactory]::CreateRunspace()
    $pingrunspace.ApartmentState = "STA"
    $pingrunspace.ThreadOptions = "ReuseThread"
    $pingrunspace.Open()
    #PUTTING THE SYNCHASH VARIABLE INSIDE THE NEW RUNSPACE
    $pingrunspace.SessionStateProxy.SetVariable("syncHash",$syncHash)

    #THIS IS THE CODE THAT WILL BE EXECUTED IN THE NEW RUNSPACE
    $code = {

        #CONNECTION TO GOOGLE AND CALCULATING AVERAGE IN NEW RUNSPACE
        $connection = Test-Connection -ComputerName google.co.uk -Count 5
        $average = [math]::Round(($connection.responsetime | Measure-Object -Average).Average)
        #UPDATING THE TEXTBOX WITH CONNECTION AVERAGE IN NEW RUNSPACE
        $syncHash.Window.Dispatcher.Invoke(
            [action]{
                $syncHash.TextBox.AppendText($average)
            }
        )

    }
        
    #ADDING AND RUNNING THE CODE IN THE NEW RUNSPACE
    $PSInstance = ::Create().AddScript($code)
    $PSinstance.Runspace = $pingrunspace
    $job = $PSinstance.BeginInvoke()
    
})

This will run the code in a separate runspace to the GUI and allow you to interact with it whilst the commands complete in the background.

Just in case you want the entire this, this is what the whole file looks like 🙂

#CREATE HASHTABLE AND RUNSPACE FOR GUI
$syncHash = [hashtable]::Synchronized(@{})
$newRunspace =[runspacefactory]::CreateRunspace()
$newRunspace.ApartmentState = "STA"
$newRunspace.ThreadOptions = "ReuseThread"         
$newRunspace.Open()
$newRunspace.SessionStateProxy.SetVariable("syncHash",$syncHash)      
#BUILD GUI AND ADD TO RUNSPACE CODE
$psCmd = [PowerShell]::Create().AddScript({   
    $xaml = @"
    <Window
    xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
    Name="Window" Height="400" Width="600">
    <Grid>
        <Grid.RowDefinitions>
            <RowDefinition Height="Auto" />
            <RowDefinition Height="Auto" />
        </Grid.RowDefinitions>
        <Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
            <ColumnDefinition Width="Auto" />
        </Grid.ColumnDefinitions>

        <Button Name="Button" Content="Press" Height="200" Width="580" Grid.Row="0" Grid.Column="0" />
        <TextBox Name="Textbox" Height="200" Width="580" Grid.Row="1" Grid.Column="0" />
    </Grid>
</Window>
"@
  
    #INTERPRET AND LOAD THE GUI
    $reader=(New-Object System.Xml.XmlNodeReader $xaml)
    $syncHash.Window=[Windows.Markup.XamlReader]::Load( $reader )

    #EXTRACT THE CONTROLS FROM THE GUI
    $syncHash.TextBox = $syncHash.window.FindName("Textbox")
    $syncHash.Button = $syncHash.Window.FindName("Button")

    #BUTTON LOGIC
    $syncHash.Button.Add_Click({

        $syncHash.host = $Host
        $pingrunspace = [runspacefactory]::CreateRunspace()
        $pingrunspace.ApartmentState = "STA"
        $pingrunspace.ThreadOptions = "ReuseThread"
        $pingrunspace.Open()
        $pingrunspace.SessionStateProxy.SetVariable("syncHash",$syncHash)

        $code = {

            $connection = Test-Connection -ComputerName google.co.uk -Count 5
            $average = [math]::Round(($connection.responsetime | Measure-Object -Average).Average)
            $syncHash.Window.Dispatcher.Invoke(
                [action]{
                    $syncHash.TextBox.AppendText($average)
                }
            )

        }

        $PSInstance = ::Create().AddScript($code)
        $PSinstance.Runspace = $pingrunspace
        $job = $PSinstance.BeginInvoke()
    })


    #FINALISE AND CLOSE GUI RUNSPACE UPON EXITING
    $syncHash.Window.ShowDialog() | Out-Null
    $syncHash.Error = $Error
    $Runspace.Close()
    $Runspace.Dispose()
    
})
#LOAD RUNSPACE WITH GUI IN
$psCmd.Runspace = $newRunspace
$data = $psCmd.BeginInvoke()

Enjoy!

Responsive PowerShell WPF Form Introduction #1

Hooooly jebus chwist! This took a LONG time for me to get my head around and an even longer time to implement and get working (still breaking it every minute!). I used this website and this website to help me learn the basics.

Today, I’m going to show you how to create a responsive WPF from using PowerShell. This utilises runspaces and a synchronised hashta… never mind the technical stuff!

This is the code that I used:

#CREATE HASHTABLE AND RUNSPACE FOR GUI
$syncHash = [hashtable]::Synchronized(@{})
$newRunspace =[runspacefactory]::CreateRunspace()
$newRunspace.ApartmentState = "STA"
$newRunspace.ThreadOptions = "ReuseThread"         
$newRunspace.Open()
$newRunspace.SessionStateProxy.SetVariable("syncHash",$syncHash)      
#BUILD GUI AND ADD TO RUNSPACE CODE
$psCmd = [PowerShell]::Create().AddScript({   
    $xaml = @"
    <Window
    xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
    Name="Window" Height="400" Width="600">
    <Grid>
        <Grid.RowDefinitions>
            <RowDefinition Height="Auto" />
            <RowDefinition Height="Auto" />
        </Grid.RowDefinitions>
        <Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
            <ColumnDefinition Width="Auto" />
        </Grid.ColumnDefinitions>

        <Button Name="Button" Content="Press" Height="200" Width="580" Grid.Row="0" Grid.Column="0" />
        <TextBox Name="Textbox" Height="200" Width="580" Grid.Row="1" Grid.Column="0" />
    </Grid>
</Window>
"@
  
    #INTERPRET AND LOAD THE GUI
    $reader=(New-Object System.Xml.XmlNodeReader $xaml)
    $syncHash.Window=[Windows.Markup.XamlReader]::Load( $reader )

    #EXTRACT THE CONTROLS FROM THE GUI
    $syncHash.TextBox = $syncHash.window.FindName("Textbox")
    $syncHash.Button = $syncHash.Window.FindName("Button")

    #FINALISE AND CLOSE GUI RUNSPACE UPON EXITING
    $syncHash.Window.ShowDialog() | Out-Null
    $syncHash.Error = $Error
    $Runspace.Close()
    $Runspace.Dispose()
    
})
#LOAD RUNSPACE WITH GUI IN
$psCmd.Runspace = $newRunspace
$data = $psCmd.BeginInvoke()

Using this, you can then use the same command prompt used to launch the script to change the form. E.g. to change the text in the textbox we would use:

$syncHash.Window.Dispatcher.Invoke(
    [action]{$syncHash.TextBox.Text = "Updated text here"}
)

In another post, I’ll show you how to update the textbox using a button on the same form. Exciting stuff, right?

Leave a comment if you have any questions or issues. Enjoy!

SharePoint 2013 Prerequisite Installer Failing – Unable to Install IIS

Literally been banging my head against the table, wall and floor over this one. I kept getting the error you can see below when trying to run the SharePoint 2013 prerequisite installer:

After a LOT of research and trying a bunch of different “solutions”, all completely failing to fix the issue, I look into the error log file. I know, right. What a nerd!? There is referenced trying to use a “ServerManagerCMD.exe” in the system32 directory. I looked and could only find a “ServerManager.exe”.

“Well shit”, I thought to myself. Microsoft is bloody amazing and SharePoint is the cherry on top of the cake.

So to fix this, I copied the “ServerManager.exe” file and renamed it to be “ServerManagerCMD.exe”:

And surely enough, after closing the installer and retrying, everything went swimmingly!

Enjoy!

Hide Tags from WordPress Blog Posts

So you want to hide tags from your WordPress posts? Easy…

To remove the tags line, you need to find out how to reference it and change its style using CSS. This might sound alien and weird but trust me, you can do it. Or just post a comment if you’re having difficulty 🙂

  1. Open your website, open a post and open the dev tools in your browser. This is usually done by pressing F12
  2. Look at the screenshot below and follow the step:
    1. Press where arrow #1 hints to
    2. Hover over the “Tagged” section as arrow #2 shows
    3. Finally, see the name or ID that is given to that object (Mine is tags-links)

 

3. Now that we have that, we can add some CSS to our site to make this not appear.

4. Go into Appearance -> Customize -> Additional CSS

5. Here we will add the following lines (Note that you should replace this with whatever you found in section 2.3 above):

.tags-links{
    display:none;
}

6. You can see this below:

7. Now when we refresh the page, you should see that your tags have gone completely from all your posts!

Enjoy!

MAC Address Lookup API Using PowerShell

Meet macvendors.com! I’ve used this website quite a bit in the past and recently saw that they have an API. This means I can query MAC address vendors using PowerShell instead of loading the site every time.

So I quickly threw together a small test to see if this would work using Invoke-WebRequest. You can see this below:

$mac_example = "3C-07-71-75-BC-32"
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri "https://api.macvendors.com/$mac_example"

This returns the following information:

StatusCode        : 200
StatusDescription : OK
Content           : Sony Corporation
RawContent        : HTTP/1.1 200 OK
                    Connection: keep-alive
                    x-request-id: lhgjrrs7mf0desm40sifji9reoehi08b
                    Content-Length: 16
                    Cache-Control: max-age=0, private, must-revalidate
                    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8...
Forms             : {}
Headers           : {[Connection, keep-alive], [x-request-id, lhgjrrs7mf0desm40sifji9reoehi08b], [Content-Length, 16],
                    [Cache-Control, max-age=0, private, must-revalidate]...}
Images            : {}
InputFields       : {}
Links             : {}
ParsedHtml        : mshtml.HTMLDocumentClass
RawContentLength  : 16

This provides with a lot of useless information. All I really want is the content field which contains the manufacturer information. So what I’m going to do is wrap the Invoke-WebRequest in brackets and select the content field as shown below:

(Invoke-WebRequest -Uri "https://api.macvendors.com/$mac_example").content

Which simple returns “Sony Corporation”. Perfect. Enjoy!

FizzBuzz in C++

Something really out of my comfort zone here. I completed the C++ course on codecademy and did what I normally do when I’m learning a new programming language. I try to make the FizzBuzz game in as many different ways as I can to get used to the syntax and different operations.

This is was the first attempt at it and I think the easiest to do. It’s not clean but I like learning and you need to make mistakes in order to really learn something:

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    for (int i = 0; i < 101; i++){
        if (i % 5 == 0 & i % 3 == 0){
            std::cout << "FizzBuzz\n";
        }else if (i % 5 == 0){
            std::cout << "Fizz\n";
        }else if (i % 3 == 0){
            std::cout << "Buzz\n";
        }else{
            std::cout << i << "\n";
        }
    }
}

My second iteration was a little more sophisticated and would make any alterations to the rules of FizzBuzz easier to account for:

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    for (int i = 0; i < 101; i++){
        string output;
        output = "";
        
        if ( i % 5 == 0 ){ output += "Fizz"; }
        if ( i % 3 == 0 ){ output += "Buzz"; }
        if ( output == "" ){ output = to_string(i); }
        cout << output << "\n";
    }
}

No doubt that I will be jumping back to create new ways when I have the time. Let me know what you come up with.

Enjoy!

Change ownCloud User Home in MYSQL

So I recently created a new ownCloud 10 server to get away from ownCloud 9. This meant creating a new CentOS 7 VM bladybladyblah…

One thing that caught me out, among many to do with ownCloud, was that the original user created during the setup process couldn’t save or view files after I had reconfigured the home directory to be more secure.

After looking in the MYSQL database, I saw that the original user’s home directory had not been updated to match the new path. To check this I used the following commands and looked for the home column:

USE owncloud;
SELECT * FROM oc_accounts;

After those commands, I updated the users home setting by using the following command:

UPDATE oc_accounts SET home="/new/dir/username" WHERE user_id="user";

Nice simple fix for an issue that was driving me up the wall.

Hope you enjoy!

LAPS WinForm 2

New and improved LAPS WinForm because the original one, found here, was kind of crap. It didn’t handle exceptions very well and I don’t think the group policy update worked at all after some further debugging.

I am please to present the new GUI for LAPS:

The best place to download this from would be my TechNet gallery

Enjoy!

Linux Directory Checking Script

Morning! Oh wait, it’s the afternoon…

Today, I finally got around to making a script that will run automatically on my network storage server (Raspberry Pi with a dinky USB hard drive) and check if the USB HDD is accessible.

This issue started a couple of weeks ago where I was getting weird IO errors on the USB disk about every 2 weeks. Instead of buying a new drive, creating a RAID array or anything else equally as intelligent and appropriate, I decided to just reboot my Raspberry Pi every time this happened. Now, I don’t want to do this manually every time so I finally created a script and added it to my cron jobs.

You can see the script I used below:

#!/bin/bash

if [ ! -d "path/to/check" ]; then
    #Directory is not found and HDD is not okay, do whatever is below
    uptime=$(uptime)
    currenttime=$(date)
    echo "Host rebooted at $currenttime. Uptime was$uptime" >> /path/to/output.txt
    sudo reboot
fi

My crontab job is running as root because the sudo reboot part was giving me a couple of issues. This is the entry in the root crontab:

@hourly /path/to/sh/file

Enjoy!