Last May I went to TechEd and won a really cool prize just by attending a presentation (and participating in a raffle in Twitter) from the @OfficeGarage “Office 365” booth.

I love this device.   It’s small and light, runs full Windows 8.1 and has an Atom processor, meaning I can run normal apps within my Enterprise.

I had been considering what it would take to make this a “Normal PC” short of running Hyper-V.

Challenge one, connect up a keyboard and mouse.

There is a MicroUSB connector on the side which is used for charging the Device.   If you grab an OTG adapter (which converts this to a female USB device) you can attach a standard USB hub which gives you access to standard external USB keyboards, mice, hubs and goodies.

‘Woohoo!’ I would have shouted out if not for the fact that the device has a Battery…. which has SOME type of limited lifetime.   Certainly not twelve (12) hours if I were to be running Excel spreadsheets, doing research on the Internet (ok fine, playing “Bejeweled Blitz”, you caught me) and going through the usual pile of email in the Inbox and delet…. READING it.

This means the device would require power.  

Ah, but it DID have a Bluetooth connection.    I happened to have in my pile of goodies from the Microsoft Store a Microsoft Wedge Bluetooth Keyboard which offers up a cover which doubles as a stand for devices.   I also owned a Microsoft Sculpt Mouse which is Bluetooth Capable as well.

Smiling to myself ‘I have a solution!’

….or so I thought until my 24” monitor was staring back at me.   ‘What about me?’ It seemed to say.

I thought.  ‘Wireless video, if only I had wireless video….’

Interestingly enough, the Dell Venue 8 supports Miracast.    Off to the Microsoft Store… online and purchase myself a NetGear Push2TV adapter.

Now some things to note about hooking up a Miracast with an HDMI connection.

Be aware that a cheap cable that might be working with JUST video on your TV might produce effects such as

  • Snow
  • Blinking
  • Sound Dropping

This is not the fault of your Miracast or your Intel Widi adapter.  It’s the fault of the HDMI cable you thought were “oh So Smart” and bought at the local “Buck A Roo”, “CheapOHeaven” or found buried in the box of cat litter as a treasure.

Easy answer to that, BUY A NEW CABLE!

When you get your NetGear Push2TV, Follow the SUPPLIED SHEET AND INSTRUCTIONS and DOWNLOAD and INSTALL THE FIRMWARE UPDATE.

I have done this in ALL CAPS so nobody ELSE did the dumb stupid thing I did like say…. oh… I don’t know… IGNORING THE RTFM?

Once updated, the Push2TV gave me Miracast…. which has now given me a connection to my now happier 24” monitor.

…which means my Dell Venue 8 Pro is now a “real PC”

Now my next task…. see if I can find a powered USB hub to connect to my Dell Venue 8 Pro via Bluetooth. 

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    The Cost? Zero, Nada, Nothing.  Just a day off and a time to fill your brain to capacity.

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One of the cooler features with Windows 8 and 8.1 is the ability to let your settings roam from Device to device. A perfect example of this is your wireless profiles.

Earlier versions of Windows settings for the Wireless configuration were maintained upon each individual computer. The drawback to this of course would be that if I had a new computer, the settings for any Wireless networks would need to be re-configured again each time.

When we sign into Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 with a Microsoft ID (such as Hotmail.com or Live.com) those settings can now float from one computer to the next. This is amazing convenient when I start up on a brand new computer.

I however have stumbled into an interesting challenge. Since my computer now can remember all of these old networks, the list can get rather cluttered and large over time.

For a regular Home user this is not a problem, but for those with a Tablet device roaming from location to location it can be. There are times you may encounter new Wireless networks with the same SSID as previous ones. Generic names such are "wireless" or default vendor names are not uncommon choices.

In my own particular laptop I had a problem which required me to clean out some Wireless profiles. Without Windows PowerShell you can find this out using the NETSH command

NETSH WLAN SHOW PROFILE

This will produce a large list on your screen that may look something similar to this.

clip_image002

In the case of my laptop I found over thirty seven (37) profiles from clients, conferences, my home and even my former employer.

If you need to remove one of these profiles you have two methods to work from. In Windows 8.1 you can choose to access the GUI under Settings/Change PC Settings/Network/Connections and click on "Manage known networks"

clip_image004

Clicking on "Manage known networks" will yield the list of Wireless networks in your laptop configuration. At this point you can click on a name and select the "Forget" button to remove it from your list of wireless profiles.

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You can also do this from the command prompt using the NETSH command in this fashion.

NETSH WLAN DELETE PROFILE NAME="Eot-Secondary"

This would delete the Wireless network named Eot-Secondary

The problem we have is trying to delete multiple wireless networks. With both the GUI and the NETSH solution it's still a pretty manual process. Manually select and Network and click "Forget" or Manually type in the Wireless SSID name to remove it using NETSH.

Yet somewhere in the distance I sense a solution using Windows PowerShell. At the VERY least we can build a function to pass the SSID to the NETSH command line. With this in place you could have a CSV file of SSID names to purge them

This is quite easy with a simple function like this

Function Remove-WIFIProfile($SSID)

{

(NETSH WLAN DELETE PROFILE NAME=$SSID)

}

What can now do is clean out old Wireless profiles in this simple format

Remove-WIFIProfile –SSID Eot-Secondary

This is all well and fine but what about that big list the computer has? Is there some way to make that useful?

Ahem…. Windows PowerShell can help there as well. Let's capture the output from the NETSH command to list the wireless profiles first.

$SSIDList=(NETSH WLAN SHOW PROFILE) | Select-String 'All User Profile'

Now we only have the output which contains the lines with the Wireless SSIDs. We can take this output and build a CSV file to store the information.

The first thing we'll do format the output into something we can output directly to a csv.

$SSIDList | Foreach { [pscustomobject]@{SSID=$_.line.substring(27) }}

We can visually verify the output first.

clip_image008

With an EXPORT-CSV added on, we can store this output away into something we can use later.

$SSIDList | Foreach { [pscustomobject]@{SSID=$_.line.substring(27) }} | Export-Csv C:\data\wifi.csv –NoTypeInformation

At this point you'll have a list of all of your wireless profiles which you can sort through and clean with Excel (or Notepad if you are so daring!).

We can then take this cleaned up list and clean up old profiles with our earlier function in this fashion.

Import-Csv C:\data\wifi.csv | Foreach { Remove-WifiProfile –ssid $_.SSID }

You can now proudly smile at your much cleaner list of wireless profiles and a just well done thanks to Windows PowerShell.

Sean

Remember the Power of Shell is in YOU