New Scripting Guys webcast on scripting Windows XP Service Pack 2 available on-demand

The latest Scripting Guys' Webcast took place Friday, October 8th, and is now available from the TechNet Webcast archives in on-demand video form.

It's called Scripting with Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2: SOS! and you can find it at:

By the way, you now need to register for the event to view the on-demand video afterwards as well as the event itself, so you have to click the "Register for event" link in the left-hand pane.

Here's what Greg said about it:

This Webcast -- to be presented by the scripting songbird himself, Mr. Peter Costantini -- ... will introduce you to some of the new scripting objects found in XP Service Pack 2. Perhaps more important, it will also tell you how you can get your scripts to work with Service Pack 2 in the first place; by default, the new Windows Firewall prevents you from using scripts to remotely manage a computer running Service Pack 2. But don't despair: Peter will show you how to work around that issue, as well as show you how to do such things as manage the new Pop-Up blocker in Internet Explorer.

The webcast goes into some depth on:

  • Deploying and blocking deployment of SP 2 with scripting
  • Re-enabling remote administration on SP 2 hosts
  • Windows Firewall scripting
  • Scripting networking configuration
  • Scripting local security configuration
  • Scripting Internet applications
  • Other scriptable areas of SP 2

And it shows code examples for each area.

Here's a bit of dialogue from the section of the webcast on scripting registry changes:

Dr. Scripto:

The registry is Windows' heart of darkness.  Mister Kurtz designed it.


Think back to that English lit class you used to fall asleep in.  Remember Joseph Conrad's novel?  What was that they said about Mister Kurtz? "Mistah Kurtz, he dead"  And not only is Mister Kurtz dead, but he didn't tell anybody where he put the blueprints for the registry.

So the registry has grown organically, with its own logic  It's really less a database than an ecosystem, a sort of mysterious and chaotic digital rain forest.  It's a place of teeming life ... and violent death.

Listen!  Can you hear that flock of DWORDS high in the treetops of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE?  And look!  There goes a sinuous REG_SZ slithering through the undergrowth of HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT!

We can never tame the registry, but with patience we can learn to appreciate the ebb and flow of its seasons.  And very cautiously, we can make small changes in it.  Now as you may be aware, that's a controversial topic.

Mark Minasi, the columnist for Windows IT Pro magazine, has suggested that the standard registry warning in our documentation should be changed to read: "Manually changing the registry can cause sudden involuntary sex change."

Now Mark is a very smart and funny guy, but there is absolutely no truth to his allegation.

I do admit that we have heard completely unsubstantiated rumors that scripting the registry can cause hair to grow on the palms of your hands and, in extreme cases, temporary blindness and insanity.

But we want to reassure you that we have not been able to verify one single case of this and that there is almost no chance that this will happen to you.


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