Numbered lists in Word

While developers would love to avoid ever writing documentation or reports, it happens to us all. One of the most frustrating bits of this can be getting the formatting to work as you’d like in Word – and I got bitten by this recently. So, as a memory jogger for my future self, here’s how to deal with misbehaving heading numbers: Continue reading

Clearing up a little confusion with Let’s Encrypt’s DNS challenges

I love Let’s Encrypt. I’ve been using SSL for all my personal projects for years. Until they came along I was using self-signed certificates and manually adding my own root certificate to all the machines I was using my sites from. And that lead to some fun… So I moved eagerly to Let’s Encrypt when the tooling supported Windows reasonably well, and set myself up with a certificate with multiple SANs authenticated via their “HTTP proofs” mechanism, and it all worked fine, despite it being a bit of a pain that I had to expose port 80 for sites I only wanted accessible via port 443.

But I realised recently that they now offer wildcard certs that would make my life simpler, and that there is now decent support for DNS-based proof-of-ownership. So recently I tried moving my server over to this model – and there was a bit of friction. Entirely PEBCAK though – so I’m writing this down for the next time I forget how DNS works 😉 Continue reading

A little PowerShell hack for sending files to a remote machine

I was asked to do some configuration on a remote computer recently, and discovered that the security-concious network admins had locked down the ability for me to share my local computer’s files with the server via RDP and the ability to get to services like OneDrive. I had a collection of config files I had been asked to deploy, and manually creating each file on the server and copying over its contents seemed like a lot of hassle. So I tried a trick with PowerShell to make my life easier… Continue reading

Dealing with .tar.gz files on Windows Server

A couple of times recently, I’ve found myself needing to deploy files that come wrapped in a .tar.gz archive onto servers. On your desktop that’s not too much of a problem – you just run the installer for your preferred 3rd party tool, or maybe use the new Unixy shell and you get on with it. But on client servers security can be higher and you don’t always get the option to run any old installer. So I needed an alternative… Continue reading

Pasting multiple cells into Excel from PowerShell

Sometimes the learning point from working on a misbehaving Sitecore server isn’t related to the CMS. Recently I learned something useful about Excel while I was addressing some other issues. Not sure if this is “so trivially simple I’m just the last one to realise” or whether it’s a really useful bit of trivia – but just because someone else might benefit: Continue reading

Thinking about errors in code pipelines

A while back I wrote a couple of posts on the subject of how code pipelines can work in a more functional .Net world. I’ve made use of those patterns in some code of my own, and I’ve found these posts have generated quite a lot of questions from readers here and followers on twitter. But I’ve never been quite happy with the implementation in my own code… Continue reading