Monday Interview with a MVP Richard Mueller

Hello everyone, and welcome to Monday Interview. This week is my pleasure to present the Wiki Ninja Richard Mueller, top contributor to Technet Wiki and Techent Forum.

Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?


I’m Richard Mueller and I live in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. I worked at a large Electric Utility for 22 years where I was responsible for IT at 13 interconnected sites. Recently I’ve worked with a partner on an application that tracks school lunches. My main specialty is Active Directory, which I’ve worked with since 2000. I also work with SQL Server, mobile applications, scripting (VBScript and PowerShell), and Visual Basic.



How did you become an MVP? Do you have any suggestions for other community members who hope to eventually become MVPs?


I was first named an MVP in Windows Server SDK in 2003. I’m sure I was awarded because of my work answering questions in the old newsgroups. I remember monitoring at least 10 on a regular basis. At first I didn’t even know what an MVP was, but I enjoyed not only answering questions but learning from others. My guess is that I was nominated in part for my work developing scripts to convert Integer8 (64-bit) Active Directory attributes, like lastLogon and pwdLastSet, into date/time values in the local time zone. Since then I’ve been named MVP in Active Directory – Directory Services. I was recently named for the tenth year. I have always found the MVP’s I work with extremely professional and willing to help. I am still pleased by how much I learn by investigating and answering question, first in the newsgroups, then later in the forums. For anyone aspiring to be an MVP, I would stress that it is not just how much you know that counts. More important is how willing you are to help others. Being patient and professional is always appreciated.



How did you get introduced to TechNet WIki? And what was your first collaboration?  


At first I was leery about contributing myself. Eventually I saw that some of the material I developed over the years on my web site was perfect for the Wiki. It was the result of much testing in my lab, and did not seem to covered anywhere else. My first articles were:


· Documentation on LDAP syntax filters that can be used to query information in Active Directory. The table of examples is a bit long, but I wanted to cover all the filters I’ve found useful over the years.

· Documentation on escaping characters, especially in Active Directory, but also in VBScript and PowerShell scripts, and when using command line utilities. Some of this information was found by others and reported to me after I published the original page on my web site.


Besides your work on TechNet Wiki, where do you contribute?


I am a moderator in “The Official Scripting Guys Forum!” and the “TechNet Wiki Discussion” forums. I also participate in other forums, including “Directory Services”, “General” (General Discussion on Windows Server), and “Windows PowerShell”. I’ve contributed 6 scripts (all PowerShell) to the Script Gallery. Finally, I maintain my web site (Hilltop Lab),, dedicated to scripting solutions to help administer and manage Active Directory networks.


What are your big projects right now?


I met Eric Battalio at the last MVP summit and we had a great discussion about the TechNet Wiki. I was concerned about coordination of Wiki articles and being able to find them. I’m considering a Active Directory Portal Wiki. There are many great articles already. I’d like to encourage more Active Directory MVP’s to contribute. Many are authors of excellent books, so they are well qualified, but they are also in great demand for their services.


What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?


My job at present is consulting, so I use TechNet to research questions. More and more I’m finding Wiki articles about best practices, step by step instructions, and code examples that help a great deal.


What is it about TechNet Wiki That interests you?


The many excellent articles that assist people contributing to the Wiki’s. Also the fact that articles can be continuously improved.


On what articles have you collaborated with other community members on #TNWiki? What was that experience like?


My first collaboration might have been with fellow MVP Santhosh Sivarajan’s excellent article on Commands and Scripts for Active Directory. Also Patris_70’s classic article documenting Active Directory attributes corresponding to fields in ADUC (Active Directory Users and Computers). The entire experience was positive and encouraged me to do more.


What are your favorite articles you’ve contributed?


I found little documentation on the default and extended properties supported by the Active Directory module cmdlets, like Get-ADUser. So I developed a series of articles on this subject, based on testing in my lab. The main article is: This article links to others for the extended properties supported by Get-ADUser, Get-ADComputer, etc. To be honest, the definition of extended properties is my own, so others may disagree. But the TechNet Wiki is an excellent place for such an issue to be discussed and resolved.


Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?


I’m especially impressed by the work Ed Price has done in all areas. He must work 24 hours a day. Yottun8, Patris_70, Fernando Veltem, and Luciano Lima have done excellent work either authoring articles in other languages or translating existing articles. And I have to acknowledge Peter Geelen who spent time troubleshooting technical problems in the Wiki’s, then documenting the fixes.


You’ve done fairly well on the Wiki. Do you have any tips or recommendations about editing or authoring articles?


Check the Wiki’s written to assist you in this effort. Among the many great articles: