Archive for the ‘ Windows’ Category

Smartening up the Windows Command Prompt

I use Windows and OSX every day but spend more time on Linux than any other OS.

When I first moved to Linux as my primary OS, getting used to using the shell (command prompt) took me a little while, though it did help me wax nostalgic to all those years developing on DOS.

Soon though, I found myself hating the Windows command shell.

I came across a couple of free enhancements to the Windows Command shell so I thought I’d share them….

1.) Click

Clink enhances your productivity in Microsoft Windows’ “cmd.exe“.

2.) ConEmu

ConEmu-Maximus5 is a Windows console emulator

Have fun !

Find out when you installed Windows !

I have this machine in my office that’s been sitting quietly under a desk for a long time.

I’d decided to re-purpose it for IE6 compatibility testing and since I had it configured to auto-update I need to re-install Windows XP.

It made me wonder how long it had been running there and whether or not there is a way to find out what the origional install date of Windows was.

It turns out that SystemInfo.exe does the trick !

The PC Decrapifier

I haven’t tried it yet, but what a great idea !!

Tweak UAC

Does UAC give you a rash ?

It does me !!!

It’s not that it isn’t a good idea – it is. But I really wish I could train it or over ride it.

Maybe in a future Windows version – in the mean time, I’m trying Tweak UAC which provides a “Quiet Mode” for UAC.

[ Click HERE to get Tweak UAC ]

Note: UAC is a Security feature. Strictly speaking “Quiet Mode”  reduces your system’s security.

One of my test machines that is still running Windows XP just HUNG while performing Windows Update Today.

At the “Checking for latest updates” page it just kept checking and checking and checking…….

It turns out that it was some bad files. Maybe a prior failed dowload or something.

Here are the steps I used to solve the problem.

  • Click On Start –> Run
  • Enter Cmd and hit return.
  • At the command prompt and type ‘proxycfg -d’  (This will clear the proxy cache, don’t worry if it complains about there not being a proxy.)
  • Type ‘net stop wuauserv’ to stop the automatic updates service. (You must do this and it must succeed in stopping the service or your won’t be able to do the next step.)
  • Delete all the contents of C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution.
  • Go back to the command prompt and type ‘net start wuauserv’  to restart the automatic updates.
  • Run Windows update again.Viola !
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 Beta 2 is Here

    I’ve been working with VPC’s lately.

    I’m working on complex multi-machine demos and will need to bae able to do them on a single machine and so VPC is the way to go.

    This new app will let you create a VPC from a working hard drive image.

    I haven’t tried it yet. I’ll let ou know how it works out.

    Windows Vista Beta about to Expire !

    On May 31, 2007, pre-release versions of Windows Vista will expire. If you are running a pre-release version of Windows Vista (Beta 2, RC1, or RC2) you will begin to receive notifications about the upcoming expiration on May 18, 2007. To avoid work disruption and the loss of data, it is strongly recommended that PC users running any of these pre-release versions of Windows Vista migrate their PCs to the final version of Windows Vista prior to May 31.


    To install the final version of Windows Vista on any of these pre-release versions of Windows Vista, you may purchase the desired Windows Vista Upgrade. The Windows Vista Upgrade must be the same language version as the pre-release version you are replacing.


    If you participated in the Customer Preview Program, you have been using a pre-release version of Windows Vista Ultimate. Windows Vista Ultimate is the most complete edition of Windows Vista—with the power, security, and mobility features that you need for work, and all of the entertainment features that you want for fun.


    After a weekend with Vista

    Vista was driving me nuts and I posted some of my frustrations at the end of last week.

    The response was interesting. There were a couple ignorant slashdotters who chimed in with the used sore looser crap.

    Mostly though, I got reminded how smart my blog readers.

    There were answers or explanations to all my frustrations.

    My problem with the AJAX Control Toolkit download was simple. I just need to unblock the downloaded file before decompression or installation. Not too bad.

    The problem with access my pictures folders was an interesting. He link I was clicking on was a symbolic link to help with backward compatibility so that when a program expects the link which allays existed on Windows XP, things will work.

    Those links are hidden, but as a developer / systems weenie, when I install a fresh OS I un-hide everything. While I still think that administrators should be “all powerful”, it cures my frustration to know that the behavior is intentional and there was a reason behind the decision.

    So, after a weekend of Vista, I have all my core tools working. In fact, I have all my demos for PHP Quebec and Ajax World running on Vista including ASP.NET and PHP Interop, COM from PHP .NET from PHP, ATLAS from PHP Virtual Earth from PHP, even WPF/e from PHP.

    Change stings, especially when your work load doesn’t leave time for play, but I thought I’d update.

    For me IIS 7 is worth all the frustration to get up and started.

    Visual Studio 2005 seems to be working fine and is faster after replacing the beta “Visual Studio Update for Vista” with the release version.

    Orcas on Vista will be like Christmas.

    Thanks for all the hints and comments.

    And While I’m complaining about Vista Security.

    This really puzzled me.

    How can MY OWN pictures file be access denied. (Especially since in an admin on the box.)

    I asked my peers who quickly suggested that it was a parental controls thing because I’d put something naughty in my pictures folder  (Not True)

    Turns out that Vista creates a link in your documents folder to your Pictures folder so that legacy applications that expect such a link will work, but the Windows Explorer coughs on the link and throws this security error if you try and use that link to navigate TO the folder. (… and I thought that’s what links were for.)  

    Now, I’m sure this makes sense to somebody – just not to me

    Vista Hates Me !

    I wanna like Windows Vista, really I do.

    But, like a loud child, I have to WORK at liking it.

    After finally turning off all the redundant Security Dialogs….

    1. – Do you wanna do this ?
    2. – Are you SURE you wanna do this ?
    3. – It might be dangerous, are you really really sure ?

    I’m settling down to really work on Vista and I’m finding lots to complain about.

    Today’s complaint is this.

    I downloaded and installed the AJAX Control Toolkit and tried to open up the Toolkit Solution and I get this not trusted message.

    Well, it turns out that the files contained in the Zip file are not trusted because they came from the internet.

    So I can “Unblock”.

    My problem is that there doesn’t appear to be a way to do it at the directory level, so I have to do it for each of thousands of files.

    I know that I’m old and crotchety, and I( understand that these security enhancements are for users that need the security assistance.

    I want the Windows Vista Features.

    I also want6 w Wizard that I can run that tells Vista _ TRUST EVERYTHING I DO AND DON’T EVER ASK ME AGAIN !!!!!

    Curious about what features come with which version of Windows Vista ?

    Get comparative info here !