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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it (SP1)

    The last true DOS that I used under Windows Me was PC DOS 7 from IBM. It came with a 597 page User's Guide plus there was complete system documentation on the hard drive. This more or less conformed with the documentation available for the various MS DOS versions I've used for the past two decades. Windows XP has replaced that with the Windows Command Processor which seems to have very different support requirements. While the power of each individual command seems to have been increased extensively (command /? tells me this), there does not seem to be any user manuals or online overall documentation available.

    How can I learn this new batch (script?) facility. Are there any books or internal system documentation on the subject?

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it

    Take a look at this for a starting point. There are several resources and books available if you want to learn the power of the command line in Windows XP.
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it

    Thanks for the referral. You say that there are several books available. Do you recall any titles?

    John

  4. #4
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    Re: Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it

    The best book I've come across is by Tim Hill. The Major Flaw I found in it (!) was that he didn't seem to know that you could write a blank line to the screen using ECHO. !

    There is a tutorial website by William and Linda Allen, which is worth ploughing through, although it is a bit Windows 98...

    You could always try typing "Windows Batch files" or "Windows Shell Scripts" into Google, and filter the results.

    Ritchie Lawrence has written a number of useful self-contained BATch file functions.

    See Rob van der Woude's website for some BATch file solutions.

    Simon Shepherd's website is mostly about NT commands, but includes some COMMAND examples.

    A couple of News Groups are worth keeping up with, such as alt.msdos.batch.nt and microsoft.public.win2000.cmdprompt.admin.

    I have about 300 "example" BATch files (1.5 MB) in my collection, many of which discussed with my BATch file guru, Garry Deane from Perth, Australia. I've attached a sample as a TXT file!

    I feel it is fair to point out that, although I work with and write BATch files every single working day, they are being supplanted by {spit} WMI and Visual Basic-type stuff. Only us olde DOS types seem to think they are a valuable and practical method of doing the same thing on (say) a couple of hundred servers, for example. On the other hand, I used to write FORTRAN!

    John

    Long Live the Command Line!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it

    I see John has provided you with a plethora of resources. I was going to say that the reference I used to rely on was written for NT 4, and is somewhat dated as a result. Worse still I don't recall the title since it remained in the previous office I occupied when they closed it down. <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>

    The upshot here is that you can find a bunch of resources on Amazon. Search their book offerings for Windows command line and you will get a huge set of results, and you can look inside most of them as well as check out other folks' reviews on the individual titles.
    -Mark

  6. #6
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    Re: Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it

    John,
    In my 30 years of programming, Fortran was probably the only language I didn't write in.

    Mark, John
    Thank you for your recommendations. As you said "Long live the command line."

    John

  7. #7
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    Re: Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it

    I started with machine language on the IBM 1620 in about 1960. Then came the IBM 1401 and I discovered assembly language -- thought I had died and gone to heaven! Fortran came much later. Batch files in DOS are still about the quickest and easiest way to accomplish simple tasks.

  8. #8
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    Re: Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it

    <hr>Batch files in DOS are still about the quickest and easiest way to accomplish simple tasks<hr>
    So true. The thing about Visual Basic is that it's so fun, you don't care! <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  9. #9
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    Re: Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it

    Chuck, You've got me by one machine generation. I started with the 1401 and 7090 assembler (oh, yeah, and 407 boards). Thirteen languages later, with most time in PL/1 and pascel, I don't regret having missed fortran at all.
    Thank you all for your contributions.
    John

  10. #10
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    Re: Windows Command Processor - I want to learn it

    Since you seem to have gotten what you need in the thread, John, I'll risk adding my nothing comments. Every time one of these topics comes up, the nostalgia wells up in me and I yearn for the "good ol' days." I've NEVER considered myself a programmer and don't have one iota of the skills I'm sure you guys all have, but those days were fun and most educational. I too started with a 1620 and dabbled in Fortran, later moving on to a little APL, of all things. When I went on to Apple Basic (Apple IIc) I thought I was positively "there," at least until PC DOS came along. I've always been amazed at the tasks one can accomplish from the command line. However, once I discovered spreadsheets (Visicalc, Multiplan, Lotus 1-2-3) I quickly realized that most of what I wanted to do with a computer was "application" oriented and Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel became my home. Since my retirement, I don't do ANYTHING with my beloved spreadsheets and have let myself get VERY out of touch. Thanks for the memories!

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