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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:11 am 
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Maybe it's dumb to call these tricks, but they are things I didn't know about until recently that I wish I had known earlier. Maybe someone else would find it useful. Or maybe I'm the only one who still uses the command prompt all the time?

On a folder, if you hold shift and right click, it gives you an "open in command prompt" option. Yay, no more typing in cd "stupidly long directory name v1.4.56"!

In the command prompt, typing the name of a file alone will open it with it's associated program. I discovered this by accident, and was shocked and amazed. Just typing "smb.nes" in the command prompt for example does the same thing as double-clicking it in the file explorer.

Maybe these 2 features had been around forever and I was just ignorant? I don't know. Obviously I'm one who's old computing habits die hard. Hell, I was using DOS well into the year 2000, using Arachne for internet (or as my friend called it, the "Fred Flintstone web browser"), only launching Win3.11 only when I needed to. Skipped '95, and was a late adopter of 98. Looking at my Win7 install date, it looks I ditched XP only in 2013 (edit: had 2003 as a typo). Which is pretty fast for my usual standards, I suppose. And it was only this year that I finally bought myself a laptop (costing a whole $200, pretty amazing what you get for that, though!)

Oh, and the cmd.exe oddity I was going to mention, kind of random but.. I had made a few desktop shortcuts to cmd.exe that start in various directories for my different projects. What seems really strange to me is that in one of them, if I open it and type "cd.." I get the "'cd..' is not a recognized command etc." error message. Typing "cd .." (with space) works fine. "cd.." works fine everywhere else I've used it. Must be the folder name or something? It's only in "c:\proj\pic32\squeedo\" where that happens. It's not really what I'd consider a problem, I just don't get the logic behind that at all.

I've been pretty happy with Win 7 overall, really the only thing that pisses me off is that they took out the MIDI device options from the control panel. I used to think it was funny as hell that I could run my Squeedo synth mapped to a MIDI device, then in Windows XP I could select it as the system's MIDI-out device, so every old Windows game that uses MIDI would sound like my own custom chiptune thing. There was something strangely satisfying about playing canyon.mid in media player through that, heheh. But Microsoft had to go and take away my MIDI fun. Oh well, I guess if I went back I'd probably find lots of the stuff I haven't tried in while were probably 16-bit programs that wouldn't even work anymore, since I've gone to 64-bit. Of course any "serious" program that uses MIDI will let you select the device yourself, rather than only use the system default. I'm kind of afraid to see what else I'll lose if/when I go to Win10. My laptop is on 10, but I don't do much on it yet other than editing text.

Anyone else have any random windows 7 tips, it'd be interesting to hear. Doesn't have to be related to command-line stuff, that's kind of a small arena as it is. Any reason to not go to Windows 10? Yeah I know about the telemetry stuff everyone is up in arms about, that's documented everywhere already. But any other reason from anyone's experience?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:47 am 
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Memblers wrote:
On a folder, if you hold shift and right click, it gives you an "open in command prompt" option. Yay, no more typing in cd "stupidly long directory name v1.4.56"!

Yeah, this one's pretty useful. Also learned it a year or two ago. Notepad++ also somewhat recently added "Open Containing Folder in cmd" to tab's context menu, which is sometimes useful.

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In the command prompt, typing the name of a file alone will open it with it's associated program. I discovered this by accident, and was shocked and amazed. Just typing "smb.nes" in the command prompt for example does the same thing as double-clicking it in the file explorer.

Another useful command in the same vein is start. It can used to open files (like start smb.nes) and URLs (start http://nesdev.com). One thing that I do quite a lot is start . to open up the current working directory in Explorer.

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Download STREEMERZ for NES from fauxgame.com! — Some other stuff I've done: fo.aspekt.fi


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:16 am 
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Memblers wrote:
Anyone else have any random windows 7 tips, it'd be interesting to hear.

clip.exe


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:18 am 
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Memblers wrote:
On a folder, if you hold shift and right click, it gives you an "open in command prompt" option.

That's bizarre. Never would have found that by accident. Hard to tell what else this does to the menu with everything else that's going on in there. I notice it also adds an "open in new process" option, which I can't fathom. What does it mean??

What I had been doing was I made a shortcut to cmd.exe with an empty working directory, and left it on the desktop. Any time I needed to open command prompt in a folder, I just copied the shortcut there and ran it.

Memblers wrote:
Any reason to not go to Windows 10?

I've yet to hear of any compelling reason to go to Windows 10. I'm not really sure what could be promised that would make it worth the risk of incompatible software, drivers, bugs from immaturity, etc. The other day a friend was complaining that drag-and-drop is completely busted for a bunch of programs in Windows 10.

thefox wrote:
Another useful command in the same vein is start. It can used to open files (like start smb.nes) and URLs (start http://nesdev.com). One thing that I do quite a lot is start . to open up the current working directory in Explorer.


I use start in batch files frequently. Since it opens a new process rather than blocking, it means you can open a program with a batch file without having a dangling command window lying around, or you can open multiple programs with the same batch file (very useful for parallelizing processes). It also has a few useful parameters, worth looking up.

Memblers wrote:
Anyone else have any random windows 7 tips?


I found out recently there's an accessory called "magnifier" that can be used to magnify an area around the mouse cursor. Quite useful for counting pixels.

There's a "shutdown" command that can be run with a timer option. Sometimes I want to put my computer to sleep in 60 minutes or something after I know a process will be finished.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:51 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I notice [Shift+RMB in File Explorer] also adds an "open in new process" option, which I can't fathom. What does it mean??

It opens the folder in another copy of explorer.exe. Or as you put it:
rainwarrior wrote:
it opens a new process rather than blocking

This means that if one Explorer crashes, the other's window doesn't disappear, and if a big file copy in one causes it to lag, the other won't lag quite as much.

rainwarrior wrote:
I've yet to hear of any compelling reason to go to Windows 10.

Continued security updates past January 14, 2020, is one reason. If you develop apps some of whose users are on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, or Xbox One, being able to develop and test UWP apps is another. And if you develop websites some of whose users are on Windows 10, being able to test in Edge is a third. But if you develop websites, you'll probably have to end up buying a Mac and running Windows on that, either in a virtual machine or in Boot Camp, so that you can test in both the Mac-exclusive Safari and the Windows 10-exclusive Edge.

rainwarrior wrote:
I use start in batch files frequently. Since it opens a new process rather than blocking, it means you can open a program with a batch file without having a dangling command window lying around, or you can open multiple programs with the same batch file (very useful for parallelizing processes).

I too have used start for basic open loop parallelization. But if you need a process in a parallel job to wait on two or more other processes to finish, you might want a more sophisticated tool. For that, I use a tool called GNU Make, which takes a "makefile" describing a dependency graph and starts processes on a pool of subshells. (Use make -j3 for a 3-process pool, suitable for 2 cores plus one I/O bound process.)

rainwarrior wrote:
There's a "shutdown" command that can be run with a timer option.

Doesn't that need to be run as administrator, in case other users are logged in but disconnected through Fast User Switching? One thing that irks me about Windows is that I haven't found an easy way to run a single command elevated from a Command Prompt that isn't elevated.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:16 am 
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Memblers wrote:
Looking at my Win7 install date, it looks I ditched XP only in 2003

Wasn't Windows 7 released in 2009?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:45 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I've yet to hear of any compelling reason to go to Windows 10.


tepples wrote:
Continued security updates past January 14, 2020, is one reason.

No, it isn't. It might be a reason in 2020. Perhaps this answer is for the necrobump this thread gets in 4 years' time? Windows 7 is very much still getting security updates right now.

tepples wrote:
If you develop apps...

Testing on various platforms is a different issue than choosing what platform to run as your home base. If you want to test for Windows 10 and 8 and 7, you need all three of these things. It's irrelevant to the point I was making. My statement was about the question of which one you should use for yourself.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:46 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
It might be a reason in 2020. Perhaps this answer is for the necrobump this thread gets in 4 years' time?

Upgrade now to avoid paying later.

The deadline to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without charge expires in 36 days. If you wait past July 29, 2016, to obtain your digital entitlement to Windows 10, then security updates past January 20, 2020, are projected to cost $119.99 if you currently run Windows 7 Home Premium or $199.99 if you currently run Windows 7 Professional (source).

rainwarrior wrote:
Testing on various platforms is a different issue than choosing what platform to run as your home base. If you want to test for Windows 10 and 8 and 7, you need all three of these things. It's irrelevant to the point I was making. My statement was about the question of which one you should use for yourself.

I imagine that most people have access to their home base more often than they have access to a dedicated testing environment. Therefore, people are likely to use as a home base one of the platforms for which they are expected to test. To plug some concrete numbers into the issue, what's more likely to get fixed promptly: a misbehavior that a developer can reproduce on his home base or a misbehavior that a developer can reproduce only on a platform to which he has access only once every two weeks?

Besides, some applications aren't even available for Windows 7. One example is that Windows 10 will soon become able to play Xbox Play Anywhere games, even titles that aren't on Steam. For another example, is there even a cross-compiler to produce UWP apps for Windows 10 on Windows 7?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:54 am 
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Memblers wrote:
On a folder, if you hold shift and right click, it gives you an "open in command prompt" option.
I definitely remember turning that on using TweakUI/PowerTools in ... at least as early as WIn98.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:55 am 
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tepples wrote:
Upgrade now to avoid paying later.

This is idiotic.

tepples wrote:
Therefore, people are likely to use as a home base one of the platforms for which they are expected to test.

I asked for a reason to switch to Windows 10. Your ramblings are working from the premise that Windows 10 is the primary platform. I'm asking WHY WOULD I WANT IT TO BE MY PRIMARY PLATFORM? This is tautological nonsense.

(And from a market share perspective it is OBVIOUSLY NOT THE BEST CANDIDATE currently.)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:00 am 
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tepples wrote:
For that, I use a tool called GNU Make, which takes a "makefile" describing a dependency graph and starts processes on a pool of subshells.

I prefer tup. It's a lot easier to use than any variety of Make. I don't think it's a complete replacement, but it can certainly handle parallel execution using dependency graphs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:11 am 
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Even if you accept the premise that only idiots like saving money on continued security updates, I can still think of two reasons to switch to Windows 10:
  1. You are replacing a PC that runs Windows 7 with a new PC. Use of Windows 7 downgrade rights or a retail license may fail if one or more hardware components of a new PC lacks a working Windows 7 driver. Choosing parts more carefully in order to avoid components that lack a Windows 7 driver is more difficult for those who prefer laptops.
  2. You plan to use a Windows 10-exclusive application regularly.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:17 am 
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Oh my god would you stop talking about empty hypotheticals. I'm not asking if there's some hypothetical condition where it would be good. That's what I'm calling idiotic. "If you want what Windows 10 has, this is a good reason to use Windows 10." Wow, thanks so much for that insight.

What's a Windows 10 exclusive piece of software that you think is worth switching for? What's a piece of hardware that you know about that has Windows 10 drivers but not Windows 7?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:35 am 
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I switch to Windows 10 because my Windows 7 installs (my existing one, and also a few fresh ones on other machines) inexplicably had broken Windows update processes. It seemed doing a fresh install of 7 would seldom work as intended after 10 came out. I wondered if the Windows 7 update servers were being hammered, or perhaps had been reduced in number to provision more resources for Windows 10.

I miss the compact, utilitarian Windows Classic theme. I do appreciate the more verbose file copy and task manager.

If I could have the Windows XP shell, on top of a modern kernel, I'd be happy.

If somebody wishes to give me a list of customizations to {favorite desktop environment} to resemble Windows Classic, please don't - I've certainly already gone through the motions.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:51 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
What's a Windows 10 exclusive piece of software that you think is worth switching for?

If one is a programmer: The UWP SDK. Or is targeting UWP in the first place part of the tautology?

If one is a gamer: The initial list of Xbox Play Anywhere titles (source) includes Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, ReCore, Sea of Thieves, Halo Wars 2, Scalebound, Killer Instinct Season 3, State of Decay 2, Ark: Survival Evolved, Cuphead, We Happy Few, and Crackdown 3. I will grant that the other way to play these is to add an Xbox One console and a KVM switch to your existing Windows 7 PC. I will further grant that I personally have played none of those games.

rainwarrior wrote:
What's a piece of hardware that you know about that has Windows 10 drivers but not Windows 7?

Windows 7 on any PC with a Skylake or newer Intel CPU is unsupported. (source) (source) I will grant that I personally do not own a PC with a Skylake or newer Intel CPU.


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