Social

fredag den 16. september 2016

Analyzing your bank statement using PowerBI

I wanted to figure out what we were spending our money on, but our bank is lacking behind when it comes to finance insight, so what better way than to use PowerBI?

First you need to export your bank statements into CSV. We have multiple accounts, so I just looked into the account that we use for everyday shopping (food, etc.). I had some trouble importing into PowerBI, so I imported the CSV data into Excel where you then have to select (all) the data and make it into a table (ctrl+t) before you can import it into PowerBI.

I had to sanitize the data; removing transfers from one account to another and purchases that should have been made on another account. If you spot something later simply remove the row in excel and import the file again.



You are now ready to create some reports based on the bank statement data. It should look something like this (if there is only a single row in the fields box it means that PowerBI was unable to make sense of the data):



Now check the box next to the Σ and then one of the other options and then click the pie-chart icon. My bank statement comes with category and sub-category for each entry. If you have some sort of categorisation, and checked that, then you will see something like this (without redactions):


Wow! Ok, you could do that in Excel also (I would spend hours how to figure this out in Excel though). It simply shows the distribution of purchases into each category. The big one is grocery-shopping, which is the primary purpose for this account.

Now comes the magic. Deselect the graph and then again click on the Σ, and whatever translates into an entry description and select the table icon. That is more or less just what we have in Excel, right?

Select one of the categories in the piechart and see what happens.



It now shows only the entries (summary of the amount) in the table that are related to the category that you selected. This is just the tip of the iceberg. PowerBI can do much more than that!

Finally you can figure out what your wife is spending all your money on ;)

How Awesome is Docker?

Fully configured Ubuntu server up and running in minutes? On Windows? Impossible you say? It is not!

Start by installing Docker. We will try to run the following Python code in the Docker container.


try:
    from slackclient import SlackClient
    #import os # we need this for the next line
    # print the environment variable we exported in Dockerfile
    print(os.environ.get('SOME_TOKEN'))
except Exception as e:
    print("Error when importing 'SlackClient'")
    print(repr(e))
else:
    print("Succes!!!'")    
finally:
    pass

Copy this snippet to a file and name it somecode.py. Create a file called Dockerfile and paste the following into it.

FROM ubuntu:latest
# update apt-get then install python3.5 and pip3
RUN apt-get -y update && apt-get install -y python3.5 && apt-get install -y python3-pip
# update pip3
RUN pip3 install --upgrade pip
# install python modulesslackclient
RUN pip3 install slackclient==1.0.0
# copy source files
COPY somecode.py /src/somecode.py
# export some tokens
ENV SOME_TOKEN='this is a token'
# run the bot
CMD ["python3.5", "/src/somecode.py"]

Then run these few lines of PowerShell.


cd $PSScriptRoot
# build the image (based on 'Dockerfile' in this folder) - ignore the security warning
docker build -t codebeaver/dockerisawesome --force-rm .
# run a container using the image we just created, --rm means we remove the container after it exists
docker run --rm codebeaver/dockerisawesome

It may take some time to download the Ubuntu base image (ca. 500mb).

I intentionally put in an error. We did not import the os library in the Python code. Uncomment import os and run the PowerShell code again. That was it. You can easily install additional Python libraries by editing the Dockerfile.

You can run the container in Azure and there are various services for running Docker containers for you.

søndag den 28. august 2016

How to Slack the Most in Life

What have you been doing this weekend? I have been slacking (don't tell my boss). Most people in IT have heard of Slack by now. If not, you should check it out.'

Slack is normally used for team collaboration, but I wanted to see if I could "be less busy" in my privatelife too. Just too many apps I cycle between to check if something is new; Feedly, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Huffingtong Post, Twitter to name a few.

For a private user you will most likely stay in the free tier. This means that you are limited to 10 apps/integrations. But as you will learn, you can get a long way with just a few apps.

So what I have done so far is create some channels.

  • general (default, can't leave it)
  • message
  • news
  • reminders
  • social
  • todo
  • youtube
The idea is to put stuff like email and other direct messages into the message channel. News is for, well news. Reminders is linked to my gmail calendar where I keep my private appointments and appointments for work that goes outside normal work hours. Social is for stuff like Facebook and Twitter. Todo is meant for keeping a todo-list, and finally the youtube channel is for my YouTube channel subscriptions.

Each channel will highligh if there is something new in them, and since I am the sole member on the team, I know it is an app or bot that has updated the channel.

So far I have been able to link my Gmail to the message channel using ifttt.com. This is one way, meaning I get notified of new email and can see the body of the email. I also would like my iMessages in there, but I have yet to find an integration that can do this. There are other integrations that I have not tried yet (I just dont use alot of messaging apps):
  • Skype
  • Facebook Messenger (LinkedIn messaging, etc.)
Facebook Messenger is not something I use alot, but sometimes. There is an integration through Smooch, but that seems to be limited to Facebook Pages (makes sense in a business perspective). Zapier (has loads of advanced Slack integrations) and looks also to target Pages.
It basically allows you to get messages send to a Facebook Page into Slack. And reply from Slack also.

For the news channel I have lots of RSS feeds. That is simply using an RSS app (there are 3 or so of those) and then adding configurations for each feed.
Some science news from Huffington Post
Now a little trick that I learned; There was no RSS feed for I fucking love science, so I resorted to https://twitrss.me/ as all (?) new articles are tweeted from the iflscience user. RSS feeds can sometimes be the answer when wanting to integrate something with Slack.
I have also connected slalert to the news channel. That is a more generic way to get news. I have yet to get something from Slalert, but then I have not put alot of keywords in it yet. It simply connects to a Slack webhook and whenever it finds something on the keywords you have given Slalert it will post it to the channel the webook is connected to. 

The reminders channel is currently linked to my Gmail calendar (there is an app called Google Calendar - doesn't get much easier than that). You can choose which of your calendars to sync to Slack and then how far in advance to remind you of an event.
You can also just tell the slackbot to remind you or someone else (or even a channel) of something.
Gotta keep hydrated





Resisting temptation to remind me again in 15 minutes :D
The social channel was supposed to cover me in Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. It would be nice to be able to get the Facebook news feed in Slack, but Facebook closed down that part of the API in 2015. I guess it allowed people to get the essence of Facebook on a different platform than Facebook, removing their main source of income (advertisements).
I guess the story will be much the same, now or in the future, for other social networks, so I will not even try.

The todo channel was to function as a todo-list. I can use something like Slack posts (a file of sorts) and star them. Or pin them to the todo channel. It is possible to pin all kinds of items.

The youtube channel is for my YouTube subscriptions. I can get the feed of each subscribed YouTube channel and add them to my RSS app. I could not find a way to programatically add all of the subscribed channels, so abit of manual work was needed. And when I subscribe to a new channel I will have to add it here. I guess it is a matter of time before someone writes a YouTube app for Slack.

So have I really slackified my life? Not quite. But it is a step in the right direction. Slack is still pretty new, and as apps are developed specifically for some of the things I have had to hack abit to get working, things will get better and more feature-rich.
The focus is obviously on features that can be used by actual teams (and not the solo-slacker). And still, limited by what APIs are offered by the provider in the other end. They will not be willing to just fully let go and have users leave their platform entirely.

torsdag den 9. juni 2016

Filtering on NULL in SMLets

No time since I wrote about Service Manager. Something that comes back to haunt me from time to time is filtering on NULL. I always forget how, so now I will document it, once and for all!

A script speaks a thousand words:


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$IRClass = Get-SCSMClass system.workitem.incident$
# get all IRs where the classification is not set
Get-SCSMObject -Class $IRClass -Filter "Classification -ISNULL"

# if we need to filter on a property from a class extension, specify that exact class
$MyClassExt = Get-SCSMClass incident.extension$
Get-SCSMObject -Class $MClassExt -Filter "CustomerProperty -ISNULL"

tirsdag den 24. maj 2016

Script for deploying Nano Server (TP5)

There are plenty of scripts around that helps deploying Nano server. But there seems to be issues between the various TPs, I had trouble with a script that worked for TP4 but not at all for TP5.

So I ended up creating my own. It should just run in one go, but I suggest you take a few lines at at time to sort out any issues.

The script as follows, and found on Technet gallery.


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# note this is written for Server 2016 TP5 - it probably doesn't work on other TPs

# create this folder and copy the NanoServerImageGenerator from the 2016 media
cd D:\NanoServer

Import-Module .\NanoServerImageGenerator\NanoServerImageGenerator.psm1


$BasePath = "D:\NanoServer"
$TargetPath = "$BasePath\Nano01.vhd"
$ComputerName = "Nano01"
$Password = ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -String "Password" -Force

$IPAddress = "192.168.0.42"
$GatewayAddress = "192.168.0.1"
$DNSAddresses = ('192.168.0.21','8.8.8.8')
$Ipv4SubnetMask = "255.255.255.0"

$Domain = 'my.domain'

$Parameters = @{
    DeploymentType = 'Guest'
    Edition = 'Datacenter'
    MediaPath = "E:\"
    BasePath = $BasePath
    TargetPath = $TargetPath
    ComputerName = $ComputerName
    AdministratorPassword = $Password
    Ipv4Address = $IPAddress
    Ipv4SubnetMask = $Ipv4SubnetMask
    Ipv4Gateway = $GatewayAddress
    Ipv4Dns = $DNSAddresses
    InterfaceNameOrIndex = "Ethernet"
}

New-NanoServerImage @Parameters -ErrorAction Stop

# credentials for the nano server
$User = "$IPAddress\Administrator"
$Credential = New-Object -TypeName System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -ArgumentList $User, $Password

# add it to trusted hosts
Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value $IPAddress -Force -Concatenate

# size of the vhd - WOW!
[int]((Get-ChildItem -Path $TargetPath).Length / 1MB)

# can only install IIS and SCVMM offline
Find-NanoServerPackage *iis* | Install-NanoServerPackage -Culture 'en-us' -ToVhd $TargetPath -Verbose
Find-NanoServerPackage *scvmm* | Install-NanoServerPackage -Culture 'en-us' -ToVhd $TargetPath -Verbose

# create a new VM
$VMName = "Nano01"
New-VM -Name $VMName -MemoryStartupBytes 512MB -SwitchName MGMT -VHDPath $TargetPath -Generation 1 -Verbose

# and start it
Start-VM -Name $VMName

# we wait - first boot can be "slow" :D
Write-Verbose "waiting abit for VM to boot for the first time..."
Start-Sleep -Seconds 20

# need to run this with administrative priviliges in the domain
djoin.exe /provision /domain $Domain /machine $ComputerName /savefile .\"$ComputerName.txt"

# create session object
$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName $IPAddress -Credential $Credential

# copy domain join blob file to nano server
Copy-Item -ToSession $Session -Path .\"$ComputerName.txt" -Destination "c:\"

# enter the session
Enter-PSSession -Session $Session

# domain join nano server
djoin /requestodj /loadfile c:\$env:COMPUTERNAME.txt /windowspath c:\windows /localos

# and do a restart
Restart-Computer

# wait for restart

# need to create a new session after it restarts - and we will use domain credentials
$User = "$Domain\Administrator"
$Password = ConvertTo-SecureString "domainadminpassword" -AsPlainText -Force
$Credential = New-Object -TypeName System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -ArgumentList $User, $Password

$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName $IPAddress -Credential $Credential

# enter the session
Enter-PSSession -Session $Session

# install the nano server package provider

Install-PackageProvider NanoServerPackage
Import-PackageProvider NanoServerPackage

Find-NanoServerPackage

mandag den 2. maj 2016

Automated module installation to Azure Automation

Ever needed to install a bunch of modules to an Azure Automation Account? This script can do it for you. Only thing you need to do is point it at the ARM-template that deploys the module. These templates are easy to obtain by following the description in the script-file. A simple loop can install multiple modules (example on how in the file).

Get it while it's hot.

tirsdag den 26. april 2016

Generate ARM template parameter file

I find it tedious to create parameter files for my ARM templates. With the script I just wrote you don't have to.

Simply point at the ARM template that you need a parameter file for, and the function will spit out the json that matches. Pipe it to Out-File or "clip" to put it in your clipboard and paste it into Visual Studio or other ARM template editor of choice.

Go grab it here - remember to rate if you like it :D

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