Rob van der Woude's Scripting Pages

News Archives 2012 Q2


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June 29, 2012 • Minor updates for CapsLock.exe, NumLock.exe and ScrollLock.exe: besides 0 and 1 to set the key lock state, you can now also use ON and OFF; and the programs no longer raise an error when called with /? or an invalid command line argument.

IsDST.exe was also updated because it suffered from the same design error: it too used to raise an error when called with /? or an invalid command line argument.

• And the same goes for Printing.exe.
June 25, 2012 Drives.exe has been updated: besides drive types, the /T switch now also displays file systems; to skip drives that are not ready, use the new /R switch instead of /T.
June 19, 2012 • A bug (actually a design error) in IsRedirected.exe has been fixed: it would raise an error when called with /? or an invalid command line argument.
June 12, 2012 • The Perl version of Which has been corrected (see yesterday's entry).
Other versions were not affected by the design error.

Thanks again Patrick
June 11, 2012 • Patrick Wyatt noted a design error in Which.exe: it would also return file names without extension if such files existed.
The updated version only returns external commands if they have an extension, either specified on the command line or as listed in PATHEXT.
The same design error exists in (some of) my other script versions.
The batch versions for NT and XP have been updated too, the other script versions will follow soon.

Thanks Patrick
May 31, 2012 • Another update of Which.exe: I finally managed to make it also check against DOSKEY macros.
Most people would never have missed it, but it does make the results more accurate.
I also added an optional /X switch, to skip DOSKEY macros and internal commands, and return external commands (i.e. file names) only.
May 22, 2012 • A minor update of Which.exe: it now does take into account CMD.EXE's internal commands (from a hard-coded list), but it still ignores DOSKEY macros.
I guess that makes the XP batch version the most accurate one.

• And another minor update of RC.bat: it now automatically inserts a CALL statement if the first command line argument is a batch file.
May 21, 2012 Which.exe is a simple "port" of the Unix command.
It does not take into account CMD.EXE's internal commands.
You can optionally tell it to list all matching programs and scripts (default: stop at first match).
May 20, 2012 Tail.exe is a simple "port" of the Unix command (actually: a stripped-down version of ReadLine.exe).
It accepts standard input or a file name, and you can optionally specify the number of lines to be displayed (default: 1).
May 19, 2012 ReadLine.exe has been updated: I fixed some errors in the interpretation of negative line numbers and optimized (deduplicated) the code.

RC.bat has also been updated: besides the return code ("errorlevel") returned by a command, it now also displays the time it took to execute the command.
May 14, 2012 • I have often considered writing a command line calculator when using the awkward GUI of Windows' Calculator; today I finally did write ClCalc.exe.
It uses temporary JScript code to evaluate the expression on the command line, as described and demonstrated by "markman", found in a discussion section at
May 11, 2012 • Where there is Chr.exe there is Asc.exe, its counterpart or reverse function.
Asc.exe will return the decimal character code for the specified ASCII character, both on screen and as exit code ("errorlevel").
May 10, 2012 Chr.exe is a new command line utility, written in C#, to return the ASCII character for a specified decimal character code.
Some time ago I provided Chr.bat, with similar functionality, but it seems to "challenge" the readability of the batch files the code is used in.
May 1, 2012 • Because I always forget the PDF Tool Kit's command line for merging PDFs, I wrote MergePDFs.bat, a wrapper for PDFTK.
It can be used to merge any number of PDF files into a single new one.
The entire PDF files will be merged, if you want to select specific pages only, have a look at PDFTK's command line.
April 20, 2012 • I completely rewrote Drives.bat: version 2.* uses WMIC to query and list drive types.
I hope this ensures it will still work in future Windows versions, unlike the old batch file that relied on specific registry values.
I also added some new command line switches, to allow filtering on drive types.
The old batch file was renamed DrivesXPHome.bat and is still available for download, as the new version won't work in Windows XP Home Edition.
April 18, 2012 • Jaime Ramos sent me a link to some interesting information on escaping exclamation marks when delayed variable expansion is active.
I added it to my Escape Characters page, together with a new table listing known escape sequences for several situations.

Thanks Jaime
April 17, 2012 Drives.exe has been updated, with the new optional /T switch it will list all drive letters used and the drive types.
I also reverted the update of Drives.bat, since it turned out to return unreliable results in Windows 7. The batch file has been downgraded to version 1.01 again, which can be used in XP only. Use the executable with the /T switch in later Windows versions.
April 11, 2012 • After a problem was reported with the executable, both Drives.exe and Drives.bat were updated.
I'm not sure yet if it fixed the bug, but an error message was missing in the C# code anyway.
The batch file dated from 2003, and refused to run in XP or later, all I did was remove the OS limitation.
April 8, 2012 • And yet another "new" utility written in C#: ReadLine.exe reads one or more lines from standard input or from a text file.
Unlike its batch counterpart it doesn't ignore blank lines by default.
It is still in beta, so please let me know if it does not perform as it should according to its on-screen help.
April 6, 2012 Tee.exe is another "new" utility, written in C#.
I'm often asked where a self-contained working TEE port can be found on the web, and the locations seem to change so often that I decided it would be easier to write one myself.
Consider this a "lite" version: the only argument it accepts is a valid file name, and text will always be appended if the specified file exists.
April 5, 2012 Drives.exe is a new utility, written in C#, to list all available drive letters, or all drive letters in use, or both.
I wrote it to be used without requiring elevated or administrative privileges (unlike ListDrives.exe, which does require elevated/administrative privileges).


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