Commanding Windows
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Commanding Windows

How to get more efficient by using the cmd command line interface.

About the Book

I started on computers when there was nothing more than the command prompt, back in the day hackers had to play with config files, initialization files, and system drivers just to be able to run a game, or a particular program. Now some 30 years afterwards people have abandoned the command line, and spend lots of time clicking here and there scrolling through menus, experimenting with checboxes and radio buttons, then repeating the same stuff over and over. Many times it is a lot more efficient to write commands, and Windows, contrary to popular belief has a lot of commands, which you can put to work together trough piping and redirecting, and automate by writing smart batch files. This book is about recovering that, and gaining efficiency in the way. I will start with the basic commands, move to piping, and redirection, later covering environment files, to have the basis to start doing batch files, then we will get smart with our batch files by adding decisions, based on errorlevels and other conditions, and add iteration to perform repetitive tasks.

The idea is to do practical things, that can be used in everyday situations, and give some ideas of where you may go with it, I will also try to show some of the tricks I've learn trough the years.

Finally we will touch on some freeware you can use within your command line to get an extra umph, including tools like sysinternas, and gnu commands which will allow you to do very useful things.

Looking at the literature, the Windows command prompt has been to some extent overlooked and deserves a little more attention, and if this book turns out ok it will be one step in the right direction.

About the Author

Mauricio Fernández
Mauricio Fernández

I am an Electronics Enginer, with 20 years of experience in the high tech industry, with big companies such as Intel and HP, I also spend some time teaching Assembly language in the University, and I am enthusiast of programming and hacking (in the original positive way) in general. In my life the three more satisfying things I can think of are, figuring how to do stuff that to my knowledge has not been done before, learn new things by really understanding them, and explain both of these things to others (teaching, writing, or just sitting with someone interested and telling him about it). I've been called a "jack of all trades" and on occasions an "expert" on some things, but I think my lifelong quest is for knowledge, and finding smart ways to apply it.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One: Introduction
    • The Windows command line
    • Why would I want to read this book?
  • Chapter Two: First Steps
    • Starting the command prompt.
    • What is this Path thing?
    • Navigating around
    • Getting the map
    • Just checking the water

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