PowerShell: Get Computer Software and Version

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Something that I have found useful in getting a hard copy of is a computers installed software, vendor and version. Today I’m just going to work with the local computer. In another post I will talk about the ability to get all software installed on a group of computers. In PowerShell there are a few ways to do what I am going to show you. The one I prefer is Get-CimInstance. I use this over Get-WMIObject becasue it gets me more information and Get-WMIObject is actually the older way from PS 2.0. It has really been replaced with Get-CimInstance. If you go to Introduction to CIM Cmdlets (MSDN Blog) you will find this quote:

“Getting/Enumerating instance of a class is the most commonly performed operation. We wanted the new Get-CimInstance Cmdlet to have better performance and even better user experience as compared to the old Get-WmiObject cmdlet. To achieve these goals we made the following design decisions:”

So, how do I write the code?

Get-ciminstance Win32_Product


Gcim Win32_Product (gcim is the alias for Get-Ciminstance)

That just spits out the information in the ugly format below:


I like my data so I can read it properly and with all the data I really want. Lets add a Piped command:

| Format-Table name, version, vendor

This gives you the results below:


Okay, so that’s nice, but how about in a CSV file that I can print or look at later? Cool, lets do it:

Gcim Win32_Product | Select-Object name, version, vendor | Export-Csv C:\software1.csv

I know, your saying wait you changed the second line from Format-Table to Select-Object and you would be correct. Why did I change it, well format-Table is for output to the console, not for something you are piping to Export-CSV. You have to Select the Objects you want to send to the CSV file to get proper data. Go ahead and try to use the Format-Table once to see you get nothing you can use in the CSV file. The output you get when you use the Select-Object is below. That’s how I would like it, how about you?


Tips For Google’s New Minimalist Look

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I have seen some people say they don’t like the new Google “Cleaner” or minimalist look. Depending on the app, like Google+ it looks good because of the amount of items on the page. Some, like Gmail or Calendar it seems just a bit too much white space. I have kept my Gmail with my Pebbles theme because as you can see from the screen shots it is way to much white with no borders. I have moved to the new look in Calendar because there are border lines to break up the look.

Here are a few Thumbnails from each, click them to enlarge:


  1. If you want you don’t need to change on Gmail from your current theme. Right now it is not a requirement and I would not see them making it one.
  2. In Google Calendar you can click the gear on the upper right of the page and choose “Use the Classic Look” if it’s not right for you.

Delete Unwanted Suggestions in the Firefox Awesome Bar

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For some reason when I typed an URL the other day it accidentally added a few letters after making it .comen. So, every time I wanted to go to that web site Firefox would suggest and auto-complete the address taking me to the unknown URL. Of Course that was a pain and I was not happy, but there is a quick solution to the problem. I don’t want to shut down the awesome bar altogether because I do use it, so I just needed to delete this one entry. To do this I just started typing the offending website into my address bar and when the suggestion showed up in the awesome bar I just moved my mouse over the suggestion to highlight it and pressed the DELETE key on the keyboard.

Presto, no more offending auto-complete, no more hassles.