Rob van der Woude's Scripting Pages

News Archives 2010 Q4


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December 24, 2010 Amstelpark Amsterdam, December 20 2010, © Rob van der Woude

Merry Christmas
December 22, 2010 • The Search page failed since the domain migration 2 weeks ago.
Its functionality has been restored again.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
December 20, 2010 • A real-life batch challenge: how to read the title of a batch file's own window.
Setting the title is easy (i.e. the TITLE command)...

• The Third Party Batch Files page has been "restyled", i.e. the source code is hidden until a file name is clicked.
And as of now, these third party batch files will also be listed on the batch files examples page.
December 18, 2010 • As promised, I restyled the DATE/TIME page: the batch source code is now hidden on opening the page.
Other pages will follow.
December 16, 2010 • New features have been added to DirComp.bat, it now performs a three steps comparison: total number of files and total file size, timestamps, and finally content.
This ensures faster detection of differences, useful for large directory trees.
December 15, 2010 • because of its huge length, I redesigned the DEBUG page.
The sample code is now hidden from view by default, and only exposed when the file name is clicked. And even now, it still takes quite some scrolling to reach the end of the page...
To view only a specific sample you can right-click the file name and choose "Open".

• Likewise, I also hid the source code in the Wait (batch delays) page.
More pages will follow soon.

• I added a list of image printers to my Printing Tools page.
December 13, 2010 • This time it was Ron Guggisberg who discovered a bug in DirComp.bat: the code to detect if FCIV is available failed.
The new corrected version is 3.10.

Thanks Ron
December 12, 2010 • Welcome back!
As you may have noticed, there have been some problems with the webserver(s) hosting this site the last week or so.
The hosting company was sold to another company, that decided to downgrade PHP without notice.
This site is now hosted elsewhere.
If you read this message, the transfer to the new hosting provider was successful.
December 10, 2010 • I discovered and fixed a bug in DirComp.bat: on Linux based network drives FCIV would not sort the files by their names, so the temporary files listing the checksums would differ, even if the files to be compared did not.
By adding a SORT command the batch file now works correctly even on Linux based network drives.
December 3, 2010 DirComp.bat has been updated to version 2.00.
I use it to check if BluRay data disks were burned properly (Nero always returns a warning), and if I checked the BluRay disk against the wrong directory, it would crunch for about 6 minutes before showing me the list of all mismatches.
The new version quickly checks the total number of files and bytes for both directories first, and aborts if they don't match, thus saving a lot of time.
December 2, 2010 • I once almost lost several hundreds of photographs due to copy errors that went undetected by ROBOCOPY.EXE.
So I decided to write a script that performs reliable file comparisons, more or less like FC.EXE does, and today I finally did: DirComp.bat.
It uses FCIV to calculate MD5 checksums for all of the specified files (which is faster than file by file comparisons by FC.EXE), and then uses FC to compare the lists of checksums.
November 29, 2010 • Mary Sorensen discovered an error in my Easter.bat: depending on Easter's date, it would sometimes calculate the wrong dates for Ascension day and Pentecost.
It took me far too long to find the source of the error in my own code, and better date math techniques have become available, so I completely rewrote the batch file, or at least the Ascension/Pentecost part.
The new code almost looks readable...

Thanks Mary

• While at it, I also upgraded Yesterday.bat: it now uses Julian date math too, and returns tomorrow's date as well.
November 28, 2010 • I added a paragraph on PortableApps to my unattended installation page.
November 22, 2010 FireFox (and Thunderbird and Lightning) has been added to my unattended installation of specific software page.
November 21, 2010 • I corrected (or should I say circumvented?) an error in the info for unattended installation of Adobe Reader: some of the setup executable's command line switches seem to have been changed or discontinued, so I describe the MSI installation instead.
November 19, 2010 • The info for unattended installation of Adobe Reader has been updated to apply to Adobe Reader version 10.

• Long overdue: I corrected the download links for the latest KiXtart version (4.61).
As still hasn't made this latest version available, the download links now point to my own site.
In case you're wondering how I got this version: registered KiXtart users get the latest updates per e-mail from Ruud van Velsen himself.
November 18, 2010 • I updated the Who is logged on to a computer? paragraph of the Useful commands for Windows administrators page: both NBTSTAT and NETSH can no longer be used to find the logged on user name in Windows 7 (not sure about Vista).
I also added a "one-liner" to make sure a local user's password never expires and another one to make sure it will expire.

• I added a recently discovered tweak: How to hotswap CompactFlash cards in Windows 7.
November 16, 2010 • Oops! Boris Shnayder noticed an error in my REG Query page.
I wrote that REG.EXE's /V switch was introduced with version 3.0 (Windows XP), but as could already be seen in the help texts, it was actually introduced with version 2.0 (Windows 2000).

Thanks Boris

• Thomas Willig sent me a useful tip to improve ExcelRd.vbs: by adding "IMEX=1;" to the connection string, cells with formats that differ from the first line's won't be ignored.

Thanks Thomas
November 10, 2010 CheckPSP.bat is a new batch file that uses Phil Harvey's ExifTool to list all of the specified photographs that were edited with Paint Shop Pro.
Feel free to modify it to look for other software (e.g. PhotoShop).

Country.bat has also been updated to work with any known version of REG.EXE. Other REG based batch files will follow soon.
November 9, 2010 • A couple of days ago, Gary A. Lavery reported a bug in GetDate.hta after installing a Windows XP security update. When loading, the HTA would show a "Type Mismatch" error.
I located the source of the problem and corrected it, and Gary has tested it and confirmed that the problem is now solved.

Thanks Gary

• My REG Query page has been updated. It now discusses almost all known versions of REG.EXE.

IEVer.bat has also been updated. It will now work with any version of REG.EXE.
November 8, 2010 • I added an item on unattended installation of Foxit Reader  4.2  4.3

• The FAQ has been updated with an item about translations of my (or any) site.

GetUninstall.bat finds the uninstall command(s) for the specified programs.
It is a (Windows 7) batch version of GetUnins.vbs and uses REG Query /F /S to search the registry.
November 6, 2010 • I added a page on searching the registry with REG Query /F /S
November 2, 2010 • Menno Vogels sent me an e-mail about the undocumented dymamic environment variable %__CD__% (CD surrounded by double underscores): try it, and you will notice that the value it returns is identical to %CD%'s except for %__CD__%'s trailing backslash! I think %__CD__%helperfile.ini is easier to explain than %CD%.\helperfile.ini, but the latter will even work in MS-DOS and Windows 9x/ME.

Thanks Menno
October 22, 2010 • Out of office message: I am away for a week, to take pictures of White Tailed Eagles in Stepniczka, Poland.
It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. 😉
I will be back next Friday.
October 15, 2010 • I am performing link checks on my site with Tilman Hausherr's Xenu's Link Sleuth, so you'll find lots of pages listed in the What's New list.
October 11, 2010 MSIInfo.bat is a simple batch file to find and run the latest version of MSIInfo.exe installed on the local computer.
The executable is part of the Windows SDK installation(s).
Type MSIInfo.bat /? for more details on the available command line options.
October 9, 2010 DPPEEE.vbs has been updated, by using WMI instead of registry keys it no longer generates an error message on non-Asus EEE netbooks.
October 8, 2010 • The WMI Code Generator, WMIGen.hta, has been updated to version 5.10.
By default, it will now list all WMI classes in the ROOT\CIMV2 namespace, instead of only the Win32_* classes.
To list only Win32_* classes, you need to use the new /WIN32 command line switch.
I also added a /NOPERF switch, which can be used to exclude all Win32_Perf* classes.
October 5, 2010 • Because I sometimes waste too much time debugging XPath expressions only to find out I made a typo, I wrote XML2XPath.bat.
XML2XPath.bat uses XML2XPath.xsl and an XSLT processor (in this case: Saxon) to list the contents of an XML file as a series of XPath expressions.
So now all I have to do is copy and paste the XPath expressions (often I still need to edit them to narrow the selection).
The batch file is based on an article by Paul Gallagher, who also created the XSL file used by this batch file.

Thanks Paul
October 4, 2010 • I will soon travel to Stepnica (Poland) for a week, to photograph White Tailed Eagles.
Last year I lugged my laptop with me. This year I intend to use my EEE PC netbook instead.
My RAW editor software, Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP), requires a screen resolution of 1024x768, whereas the netbook's default resolution is 1024x600. I usualy forget to change the screen resolution before starting DPP, so the netbook will crunch for a while and then DPP returns an error message.
That's why I wrote DPPEEE.vbs, which changes the resolution, starts DPP, and restores the original screen resolution when DPP is closed.
The script requires Ian Sharpe's SetRes.
It can easily be adapted for other software requiring a non-standard screen resolution.
October 2, 2010 • I don't regret replacing Windows XP by Windows 7, except when I need to search for files. Let's just say I'm not too pleased with Windows 7's Search function.
Today I found Agent Ransack, a free file searching utility by Mythicsoft Ltd. I love its speed, its preview window, its integration in Explorer and its regex support.
If you don't like the product name, it is also available as FileLocator Lite.
For a fistful of dollars you get FileLocator Pro with even more functionality (e.g. IFilter support, which enables searching inside WordPerfect or OpenOffice documents).
Absolutely recommended.


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