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Recommended Books Recommended Links Recommended Papers

Office Scripting



Monad shell



Pipes Regular expressions OFMs FAR


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The unique strength of Windows is that it uses the same language for both application scripting (VBA) and OS scripting (wsh)

Monad shell (msh) is the codename for the next generation Windows command shell (also known as Microsoft Shell). It includes many concepts from traditional UNIX shells such as bash and ksh, delivers rich scripting support challenging languages like Perl and Python and is built on the .NET Framework as a fully object-oriented system. 

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[Apr 18, 2008] CoScripter

A useful Firefox plug-in

CoScripter is a system for recording, automating, and sharing processes performed in a web browser such as printing photos online, requesting a vacation hold for postal mail, or checking flight arrival times. Instructions for processes are recorded and stored in easy-to-read text here on the CoScripter web site, so anyone can make use of them. If you are having trouble with a web-based process, check to see if someone has written a CoScript for it!

[Aug 9, 2005] Microsoft No Monad scripting in first Windows Vista - Computerworld removed from client, but will survive on the server: "On the operating system side of things, Monad is then expected to be included in Windows Server Longhorn, expected in 2007"

Just one day after the first public reports of viruses being written for an upcoming feature of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system (see "First Windows Vista viruses unleashed"), the company said it will not include the feature in the first generally available release of Microsoft Vista, due out in the second half of 2006.

The feature, called the Monad Shell, provides a way for users to access the operating system using text-based commands rather than the traditional Windows graphical user interface. In the past, Microsoft has said that Monad will be part of Longhorn, the code name for both the next client and server versions of Windows.

In an interview Friday, Microsoft director of product management Eric Berg said Monad will not be included in the first commercial version of Windows Vista when it is released. But the product is expected to be included in Windows over the next "three to five years," he said. "Our intention is to synchronize it with both client and server operating systems."

Security experts had worried that if Monad were included in a widely used client, it might become an attractive target for hackers -- especially if the shell were enabled by default.

Whether it will be enabled by default is unclear. "There are multiple ways that we could introduce this technology to the client stream," Berg said.

The first Microsoft product to use Monad will be the next release of Microsoft's Exchange messaging server, code-named Exchange 12, which is also due in 2006, Berg said.

On the operating system side of things, Monad is then expected to be included in Windows Server Longhorn, expected in 2007, and could be available in a future Windows Vista release, said Rob Helm, director of research at Directions on Microsoft Inc. "Presumably, as time goes on, all of Microsoft's products will have Monad scripting interfaces," he said.

AnandTech - Performance-oriented Windows tweaking In most cases deviating from the Windows defaults is simply not necessary or worthwhile.

Black Viper (amongst others) runs a Windows tweaks page offers many changes and customizations that users can make to MS Windows in the name of greater performance. BV recommends that many active-by-default Windows services be set to manual activation or disabled altogether, to save on memory useage and CPU cycles.

I have taken three systems with clean installs of Windows XP and reviewed these tweaks. Well, the third isn't really a clean install, it has a bunch of software running which any typical user would run e.g. firewall, antivirus, speedfan, etc. The first two are lower-end systems that should theoretically benefit most from this treatment, neither has the prefix "giga" in either its CPU speed or RAM capacity. The last one is a modern system (at the time of writing, anyway).

Display a description of the computer in Network Neighborhood (Windows 2000) at Registry Guide for Windows

Display a description of the computer in Network Neighborhood (Windows 2000)
This tweak allows you to add a description of the computer for display in Network Neighborhood.
This tweak can be easily applied using WinGuides Tweak Manager.
Download a free trial now!
Open your registry and find or create the key below.

Create a new String value, or modify the existing value, called "srvcomment" and set it according to the value data below.

Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

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Changing Windows XP settings should be done very carefully. Tweaking windows is probably more about getting right set of application and scripts and avoiding overloading the system with too many "greedy" applications then about Registry changes. Run disk defragmenter, disk cleanup and registry cleanup. Do not install unnecessary of "bloated" software. Delete applications that you do not need.

OS & Software tweaking - TechSpot

Beginners Guides 101 Tips and Tweaks for Windows -

Doug's Windows 95-98-Me-XP Tweaks and Tips

Windows at MIT Windows XP Professional

Random Findings

Tips on speeding up Windows XP faq779-4784 Posted: 28 Jan 04 (Edited 29 Jan 04) I found it quite strange of all the threads that have been started about this topic, that nobody has written an FAQ on the subject, so I will try and put one together.

Please note: I take absolutely no credit for this as these ideas are suggestions from people who have much more knowledge than I. I will make a reference when I use somebody elses idea.

1. First thing to do is check out this website, it has a full list of programs that start up automatically when Windows XP boots and then tells you, depending on the type of machine you want, which are safe to turn off and what other programs rely on these services. I printed it off and made the changes to my computer and it was great.

2. cdogg suggests using a program called bootvis which can be downloaded here:

bcastner also has an FAQ that deals with this problem, I just ran it on my computer and I cannot begin to describe the difference it makes on booting up time. My computer went from booting in about 45 seconds to booting in 20 seconds, let me tell you I was thoroughly amazed at the difference.

3. This excerpt was put together by linney and I think it is an excellent group of website, it was taken from the thread below:

Computer Speed and Performance May Decrease (Q310419)

HOW TO: Set Performance Options (Q308417)

819017 - Long Delay Before Files Appear in My Computer in Windows XP;en-us...

819101 - Temporary Decline in Performance Occurs When You Right-Click a File or Folder in Windows Explorer;en-us...



The last two will check your computer for spyware and adware, these are various things that find their way onto your hard drive from websites you viste that give you messages and can slow your computer down alot.

4. Another thing to do is search your computer for temporary files and folders and delete them. Go to search and look in all files and folder and search for *.tmp files. Also in IE under tools --> internet options there is a button you can push to delete all those wonderful cookies that accumulate when going to different websites.

5. One thing to note is that if you have anti-virus software and firewalls such as Norton, Mcfee, etc., these programs are running continuosly in the background and can contribute to slowing down your machine, but as long as you have a decent amount of RAM (most recommend no less than 256 Mb as the min, 512 Mb is just great), this shouldn't be much of an issue.

6. The issue of virtual memory has come up many times before. I won't go into details explaining what virtual memory is, it is basically using your hard drive to simulate RAM for your computer, a more detailed definition can be found here.

There has been much debate on whether increasing virtual memory really increases the speed of your computer, personally I think it does and so I will tell you how to change it and you can read this article because it makes a pretty good argument:

The default size for Windows XP virtual memory is 1.5 times the amount of RAM you have, so if you have 256 Mb then VM = 1.5*256 = 384 Mb etc. Here's how to change it.

Control panel -> system -> advanced tag -> settings button under performance -> advanced tag -> go down to virtual memory and click on the button change. From here just click on the drive that you want (the one with you OS on it) and it will give you an initial size (name 1.5*RAM on your computer) and a maximum size, change it to something you want and your off.

7. My final suggestions are pretty standard ones, run disk defragmenter and disk cleanup. To run these go to my computer and right click on the drive that you want (like C: or D:) and look under properites and they are both there. Personally I use Norton to do my cleaning, there Cleansweep program is much better than disk cleanup, but that is just my opinion.

Again, I take no credit for these ideas as they are just merely ones I found from reading through various forms and I would like to thank cdogg, linney, and bcastner because most of the ideas belong to them. - Disable XP Boot Logo

It is possible to disable XP splash screen, which will slightly speed up the overall boot process. Be aware that removing the splash screen will also cause you not to see any boot-up messages that might come up (chkdsk, convert ... ), but if your system runs without any problems then it should not matter.

1. Edit boot.ini
2. Add " /noguiboot" right after "/fastdetect".

(or check the /noguiboot switch in msconfig on the boot.ini tab)

Upon restarting, the splash screen will be gone. It can be re-enabled by removing the new switch. - Disable unnecessary services to free system resources

A good listing of services, what they do and suggestions for which ones can be disabled can be found at: - Intel Application Accelerator - speed up disk access

It would be great to download drivers that sped up your hard-disk access by 10's of percent wouldn't it? Well perhaps you can, Intel has made their Application Accelerator (IAA) available since last September. It reduces storage sub-system bottlenecks apparently. If you have a compatible Intel chipset (810 to 860) and a Pentium Celeron, III , 4 or Xeon chip then get on down to :

Read through everything before you start downloading and installing. You may need to pre-install the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility if you have XP running on a 830 or 845 chipset. Intel also provide a chipset identification utility if your unsure of what you have - it's linked from the same page.

Intel claim very significant increases in boot times and application speed. On a personal note, on my P4 2GHz, applications do start a lot faster. I suggest you do some benchmarking first (a stopwatch is an easy way to measure boot time). I would be interested in results people have had. This also works for 98SE,ME,NT4 and 2000.

NOTE: IAA works well for most, but not all. Judge for youself. It's easy enough to uninstall if you don't like it. - Microsoft unveils Freeze Dry for Windows Vista

Microsoft unveils Freeze Dry for Windows Vista

Posted 9/1/2005 by Steve Sinchak

Windows Vista will include a new technology known as Freeze Dry designed to maintain application states and unsaved documents even when patches are automatically applied and PCs are rebooted.

Speaking at the Australian Tech Ed conference on the Gold Coast in Queensland this week, senior product manager Amy Stephan offered a preview of the Freeze Dry technology.

Many IT managers plan to automatically install patches and updates on machines during periods when they are inactive, such as overnight or on weekends. However, as some patches require machines to reboot, users who leave documents open and unsaved run the risk of losing that data if the machine is automatically updated.

Freeze Dry eliminates that problem by automatically saving application state and documents and then restoring them once the system restarts, Stephan said.

Read Full Story at ZDNet - Windows XP Shared Computer Toolkit

Windows XP Shared Computer Toolkit

Posted 7/6/2005 by Steve Sinchak

Microsoft created the Shared Computer Toolkit to help make shared computers more reliable and less time-consuming to maintain. Unlike personal computers, shared computers are:

• Used by many different people who generally don't know or trust each other
• Used in public places where personal privacy and security are big concerns
• Subjected to greater wear and tear due to their frequent use and public availability

The Shared Computer Toolkit is ideal for computers in schools, public libraries, community technology centers, and Internet cafιs. It allows those who manage shared computers in these environments to easily:

• Restrict untrusted users from accessing system settings and data.
• Defend shared computers from unauthorized changes to their hard disks.
• Enhance the user experience on shared computers.

Restrict untrusted users from system settings

Shared computer users can't always be trusted-they are often anonymous, and sometimes mischievous. The Windows Restrictions tool makes it easy to create restricted local user profiles so users have limited access to Windows system utilities, files, and data. You can prevent user access to Control Panel, the command prompt, any drive on the computer, the Registry Editor, and many other system utilities. You can also prevent users from running unauthorized software on a shared computer.

The Windows Restrictions tool is best suited for workgroup environments in which users share accounts and passwords, and where Active Directory is not present.

The Windows Restrictions tool lets you:

• Restrict access to Windows system utilities
• Prohibit access to important data
• Prevent users from running unauthorized software
• Simplify the Start menu

Defend shared computers from unauthorized changes to the hard disk

Unauthorized changes to a hard disk can make shared computers less reliable. Windows Disk Protection helps to prevent users, viruses, spyware, or other programs from making permanent changes to the hard disk by clearing changes each time the computer restarts.

Because certain changes, such as critical updates and antivirus signatures, need to be permanently saved, Windows Disk Protection allows you to schedule such changes to occur automatically at whatever time you choose.

The Windows Disk Protection tool:

• Helps protect operating system files
• Clears changes when the computer restarts
• Automates critical and antivirus updates
• Lets you choose to save changes to disk

Enhance the user experience

Users generally prefer a consistent, familiar, and private shared computer experience. The toolkit helps shared computer operators create an interface that will not confuse or distract users with unnecessary programs or options.

The toolkit also helps to protect user privacy by refreshing the desktop, user settings, and user data each time a new user logs on. Plus, it consolidates several accessibility features into one user interface, so users can more easily access the features they regularly use. For users who are new to computers, the toolkit also provides a variety of suitable online learning resources.

The Windows Accessibility tool lets users:

• View and control all accessibility features from one place
• Easily enable or disable wanted accessibility features

Click Here to download the beta toolkit. - New Powertoy SyncToy

Now there is an easier way. SyncToy is a free PowerToy for Microsoft Windows XP that provides an easy to use, highly customizable program to help copy, move, and synchronize different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without adding complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of directories at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another. Unlike other applications, SyncToy keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder.

Click Here to Download



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