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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's Office 365 Admin Blog
What's going on with TK.
March 27
Podcast 451 - Evaporated from Both of our Memories

Shane and Todd are busy this week talking about a lot of fun technology stuff. They start off talking about how they're almost caught up to catching up in production. And then dive into some technical fun about Windows updates followed by some ChrEdge goodies and wrapping up with all the fun you can have with some phones and new apps.

Recorded 2/19/2020

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Running Time: 43:15

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04:20 UN SharePoint Hack. Should I worry?
28:10 Microsoft’s Unified Office App for Android Now Available to Everyone
31:55 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Microsoft Your Phone could change the way you use mobile tech

ShortURL: https://www.toddklindt.com/Podcast451

March 25
How to Keep Unwanted Visitors out of my Basement Office

With all of the working from home that’s going on, and all of the kids not going to school, it can be tough to keep the latter out of the former. In my continuing practice of making things more complicated than they need to be, I came up with a way for my kids to know they should not go down into the basement.

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Come on down. And…

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You shall not pass!

I posted those pictures on Facebook and a few friends asked me what I was using. It’s not as complicated as I’d like it to be, but it’s a work in progress. I can control it with an IR remote, an app on my phone, and with my digital assistant, Alexa. When I’m at my desk I only need to bark out, “Alexa, set busy lights to Red!” and she does.

I cobbled my solution together with parts I already had in “that damned box.” Since some of you don’t have that box (I feel so bad for you), here’s a link to a comparable package, Nexlux LED Strip Lights. If you want to put your own package together you’ll need three pieces; a power supply, a controller, and an LED light strip. You’ll find a nearly endless supply of combinations of those on Amazon. I used double-sided tape to stick the light strip to the door frame. The light strip has adhesive on the back, but my experience has shown that the heat from the LEDs degrades that adhesive pretty quickly.

I mentioned above that I have a few ways to change the light colors based on the controller I have. There is the included IR remote, the included app, and Alexa integration. Right now I don’t have any automation set up where the lights change based on my presence in Office 365 or my calendar. That may come later.

I was telling a friend of mine about this. He’s less inclined to nerd out on things like this. His loss. He thought he might just connect a string of Christmas lights up to a smart plug and get the same result. That would work too and would have all the same integration points depending on which smart plug you get. I have a few Wemo smart plugs from Belkin and they’ve treated me pretty well. They also integrate with IFTTT so I can have them flash a lamp when the garage door opens, fun things like that.

If this article was interesting, let me know. I’ll post some of my other home automation projects.

tk

ShortURL: https://www.toddklindt.com/SmartBusyLight

March 25
Podcast 450 - The Lost Episodes

Shane and Todd are back. They start with a summary of where all the podcasts have been hiding lately. Todd shares the total of the birthday charity drive this year. Then we talk about ChrEdge and how easy it is to question whether something is real or fake anymore. Wrapping up with a quick summary of upcoming events where one or both of them may be found.

Recorded 2/12/2020

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Podcast 450 - The Lost Episodes (Time 0_03_36;17)

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Running Time: 46:22

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22:55 Microsoft relented on Bing-Jacking
36:45 Home Stallone [DeepFake]

ShortURL: https://www.toddklindt.com/Podcast450

March 24
Podcast 449 - One Big Hot Blob

ChrEdge, PowerShell, and the Super Bowl top the topics on this week's Podcast.

Recorded 2/5/2020

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Podcast 449 - One Big Hot Blob (Time 0_31_27;22)

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Running Time: 44:07

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PowerPoint Live Presentations
SharePoint Continues to push you to Modern
Intro to Microsoft Forms

ShortURL: https://www.toddklindt.com/Podcast449

March 23
Sorting Hash Tables in PowerShell

I recently was working on a customer project and I was trying to find the name of a certain SharePoint list item property. (Spoiler, it was “_ModerationStatus”) I knew it was hiding in the item’s FieldValues property, but I wasn’t sure where. To get you up to speed, here’s the PowerShell that got me to this spot:

Connect-PnPOnline -Url https://m365x246038.sharepoint.com/sites/ContosoWeb1
(Get-PnPListItem -List "SitePages" -Id 5).FieldValues

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Not only is the list of FieldValues as long as my kids’ Christmas Lists, also like those lists, it’s not in alphabetical, chronological, numerical, or any other order I can conjure up. To say it’s random seems to be giving it more order than it really has.

While I didn’t know exactly was the name of the property I did have a few ideas. Trying to find those random property names would make swimming upstream look like a piece of cake. Fortunately I’ve fought this battle before and I have the scars to prove it. I’m hoping I can save you all the pain I went through, over and over.

The secret is the GetEnumerator() Method of the Hash Table. This got me what I was looking for:

(Get-PnPListItem -List "SitePages" -Id 5).FieldValues.GetEnumerator() | Sort-Object -Property Key

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Isn’t that much better?

Once you introduce .GetEnumerator() into the picture you can also get crazy with things like Where-Object, like this:

(Get-PnPListItem -List "SitePages" -Id 5).FieldValues.GetEnumerator() | Sort-Object -Property Key  | Where-Object -Property Key -Like -Value "*mod*"

or

(Get-PnPListItem -List "SitePages" -Id 5).FieldValues.GetEnumerator() | Sort-Object -Property Key  | Where-Object -Property Value -Like -Value "true"

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Normally you would put the Where-Object before the Sort-Object so that the Sort has fewer items to churn through.

While I did this in the context of a hash of SharePoint list item properties, it’s applicable to all PowerShell hash tables.

Happy PowerShelling.

tk

ShortURL: https://www.toddklindt.com/PoshSortHashTables

March 23
Podcast 448 - Never Go Barefoot

Chromium Edge, Windows 7 is dead, and everyone should love Microsoft Forms.

Recorded 1/15/2020

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Podcast 448 - Never Go Barefoot (Time 0_01_43;28) 

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Running Time: 40:05

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16:54 Windows 7 is dead

ShortURL: https://www.toddklindt.com/Podcast448

March 05
PowerShell 7 and a Whole Lot More

I’ve been saying for years that you can’t be a good SharePoint or Office 365 admin without having a firm grip on PowerShell. I don’t just say that so you’ll come to my PowerShell sessions at conferences, I really believe it. In the last couple of days there have been a flurry of PowerShell updates and in this blog post I’m going to call them out, in no particular order.

PowerShell 7 is released (Download)

PowerShell Extension for VS Code (Setup instructions)

While you’re downloading all that PowerShell goodness you might as well include this:

Windows Terminal Preview

As always you can go to my blog post Office 365 PowerShell Module Installs to see which PowerShell modules I use with Office 365.

Happy PowerShelling.

tk

ShortURL: https://www.toddklindt.com/PowerShell7andmore 

February 20
Podcast 447 - Bob's Smarter than Us
February 19
Installing Web Apps on Chromium Edge

When Windows 10 came out I found out I had a pretty healthy dislike for the Edge browser that came with it. My dislike turned into public mocking and shaming. I was a Chrome man, like my father before me, and Edge had no chance of supplanting it as my browser of choice. No one liked Edge, probably not even Edge’s mother, and we all got a good chuckle at its expense.

And then Edge didn’t suck anymore.

In December of 2018 Microsoft announced that it was going to move to the Chromium engine for Edge. I remembered being pretty “Meh” about the announcement. It was confirmation of what I had always said, Edge was a stinker, and I was already using Chrome which was built on top of the Chromium engine, obviously, so what on Earth could Edge possibly offer me? I was about to find out.

Last year at Ignite Marc was telling me how he was using the Chromium Edge (henceforth affectionately referred to as ChrEdge) and he liked it. I asked him what was so great about it, besides it not being the crappy Edge. He slow played it and said “nothing much,” but that he enjoyed it. I kept my eye on it though. Considering how much work I do with Microsoft web technologies I had to. Plus I really like making fun of stuff, and if the first Edge was any indication, this Edge was going to find itself in my crosshairs too.

Then it grew on me.

The first thing I really liked about ChrEdge was not only did it have the profiles that I used constantly in Chrome, it allowed me to set up the Sync for those profiles with Microsoft accounts. That made my ears perk up. Most of my work is with Microsoft accounts and this made things a lot easier. I started using ChrEdge more and more each day.

And then it did the undoable, it made me hate Microsoft Teams less!

If there’s one new Microsoft technology I would complain about more than legacy Edge, it was Teams. I don’t want to get into all of my grievances here (it’s a long, long list, and this is a family friendly site) but I will highlight two of them. The Windows Desktop client is excruciatingly slow to switch tenants or identities, and in some cases it will disconnect you from a meeting if you do. Not cool, Teams, not cool. The other thing I hated was if you wanted to do two things at once it was difficult to navigate the interface to do that. For instance two chats, or heaven forbid, a chat and a meeting. And like I mentioned before, if those things were in two different tenants you had to wait for the context switching and your call would get hung up if you were on one. Teams wouldn’t come right out and kick you in the shin when you did it, but I’m sure that’s on the Teams roadmap somewhere.

One day, after a full complement of coffee, I’m sure, I got the bright idea to make the Teams experience suck just a little bit less by opening up the web client. I pointed ChrEdge at https://teams.microsoft.com/ and was able to experience the bliss that is being in a video call with Person A while chatting with Person B. I wasn’t saying anything about about Person A to Person B, I swear.

While I was poking around in ChrEdge I saw this new menu option I had never seen before, Apps. What is this? Chrome doesn’t have this! I clicked it and saw the option, “Install this site as an app!”

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I’m the curious sort, I clicked it. Some whirring happened and the next thing I know there’s a new icon in my Taskbar.

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The outlined icon, on the left, is the app that ChrEdge installed. The icon next to it is the regular Windows Teams Desktop client. You can see this web app looks like the real app, not like ChrEdge in the Taskbar. The icon is cool and all, but how does the app itself compare? Here’s a side by side comparison.

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The ChrEdge web app for Teams is pretty good. In Red I highlighted a couple of the differences between the two. In the lower left the web app has a link to download the full app. Obviously the full app doesn’t have that. Smile The web app also has an extra title bar across the top, which honestly is usually the only way I can tell them apart during the day when I’m flittering about between them. That title bar has a three dot drop down menu that offers some browser specific goodies like printing, zooming, casting, and uinstalling. Nothing obvious is missing from the web app. In Green I highlighted a couple of pleasant similarities. In the upper right of the web app you can see that we can switch tenants just like the full app. This is handy if you are on a call in the full app and want to reply to an IM in another tenant. I also use this to maximize the video in a video call on one screen then have the chat window for that same video call in the web app on another screen. Finally, I was happy to see that the web client can also do audio and video calls just like the full app.  Color me impressed Teams and ChrEdge, color me impressed. <slow clap>

Fresh off of this victorious life hack I started looking for that little “Apps” menu option in other Microsoft web apps. I found it in Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive, among others. It popped up enough that I knew this wasn’t just a Teams or Office thing. Turns out it’s a web standard called Progressive Web Apps, PWAs. Many companies are taking part in this, not just Microsoft. Microsoft does, though, offer some guidance on making PWAs for Windows.

Since PWAs aren’t simply a Microsoft concoction you can find them all over the Internet. Wikipedia, Disney+, Amazon, and Slack among others have the option of installing a web based PWA.

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You may be asking yourself why you’d want a PWA version of something that has a legit app. There are a few reasons. For one, you may be on a platform that doesn’t support the regular app, like a Chromebook or a machine running Windows S mode, like my Surface Go. Or, you just might not want to sully your machine with a big bulky download. Regardless of the reason, they’re worth a look. If you’re on Windows you can find the installed PWAs listed in the “Apps & Features” or at edge://apps in ChrEdge.

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I indulged myself in a bit of a PWA sidetrack there. Thanks for sticking around. Long story short, the PWA version of Microsoft Teams in ChrEdge, was a game changer. It made me more productive and lowered my blood pressure by a considerable amount.

tk

ShortURL: https://www.toddklindt.com/ChrEdgeTeams

February 19
Podcast 446 - Cascade of Events

Todd and Shane are finally back. With the holidays and some conferences, they've had a hard time being able to keep up as well as being able to publish the previous podcasts. They start with catching up on some language fun that they've noticed. They talk about a few technical topics with the Teams changes for private channels and wrapping your head around that, PowerShell for the Graph, and saving files from Power Apps to SharePoint. They also talk about some cord cutting changes. Wrapping up with kicking off the annual TK Birthday Charity Drive.

Recorded 12/18/2019

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Podcast 446 - Cascade of Events (Time 0_19_35;22)

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Running Time: 46:49

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05:50 Lexicon Valley
05:51 Because Internet
14:37 SPFest in Chicago
17:48 SysKit Insights
24:17 YouTube TV
36:50 Graph PowerShell
40:35 Save files from Power Apps directly to a SharePoint Document Library
42:42 TK Charity

ShortURL: https://www.toddklindt.com/Podcast446

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