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Windows 7 and Vista Guide to Scripting, Automation, and Command Line Tools by [Knittel, Brian]
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Windows 7 and Vista Guide to Scripting, Automation, and Command Line Tools Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The addition of the mouse and the Graphical User Interface made the computer accessible to many more people than would have been possible otherwise. Still, "pointing and clicking" can be tedious when performing routine or repetitive tasks. Just as people learn to use menu shortcuts (the Alt key) to save time, savvy users and administrators learn to write batch files and scripts to avoid having to type the same commands over and over. Scripts save time, increase accuracy, and serve as documentation to boot. Windows 7 and Windows Vista come with scripting, batch file, and command line tools that can make a power user or administrator's life easier - if she or he knows what they are and how to use them. However, a general lack of information and awareness prevent their widespread use. Most current Windows users have no idea how powerful and effective these tools can be. The new scripting languages are a mystery to most Windows users. And, in Windows 7, most command line tools aren't even discussed in the Windows Help system. Microsoft has released a completely new scripting and command line environment called the Windows PowerShell, but few users are aware of its existence, let alone its power and potential.

About the Author

Brian Knittel has been a software developer for more than 30 years. After doing graduate work in electrical engineering applied to nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging technologies, he began a career as an independent consultant.An eclectic mix of clients has led to long-term projects in medical documentation; workflow management; real-time industrial system control; and, most importantly, over 25 years of real-world experience with MS-DOS,Windows, and computer networking in the business world. Brian has coauthored Que’s Windows 7 In Depth; Upgrading and Repairing Microsoft Windows; and bestselling books in the Special Edition Using series covering Windows Vista,Windows XP Professional and Home Edition, and Windows 2000 Professional.


Brian lives in Oakland, California. He spends his free time restoring antique computers (for example, www.ibm1130.org) and trying to perfect his wood-fired pizza recipes.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 17870 KB
  • Print Length: 844 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (1 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G60B44
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #718,034 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides a comprehensive coverage of Windows scripting, with a focus on Windows 7 and Vista as the title suggests. It covers VBScript in great detail and later on Windows PowerShell scripting language. In fact, I liked this book for its coverage of PowerShell, despite the fact that it covers this topic with less detail than it deserves, but very effective in clarifying the PowerShell language which new beginners almost certainly find very confusing (and many books fail to debunk that confusion!).

If you want a [nearly] complete book on Windows scripting, this is one book to have on your bookshelf. However, I am a bit surprised why Windows PowerShell didn't get more prominence in the coverage; it looks as if the book was written with some bias toward VBScript particularly when PowerShell is the future in Windows scripting. I am sure this point can be easily addressed with the next edition if there will be one.

If you are into Windows scripting, this book provides a good reference source with coverage of wide topics.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x92b7b5ac) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92d26d08) out of 5 stars To The Point and Informative 10 Jan. 2011
By Little Commandlet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is well worth it to anyone serious about learning to tame the Windows beast. The jargon is kept to a minimum and the author gives excellent analogies to help the non-technical grasp the content. Full of useful techniques and lists all CMD commands, even the ones not listed in the command shell. The only reason it did not get 5 stars from me is because of the bulkiness of the book. Weighing in at 815 pgs. including index, I feel the author could have condensed the content, however, it was probably done for the sake of clarity. Great as a tutorial, reference, and brick after you're done!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9260d318) out of 5 stars Excelent guide to scripting in Vista and Win 7 7 Mar. 2011
By x - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is useful if you are running XP, Vista, or Win 7. Although the book covers PowerShell, I bought it because it covered vbscript, batch files, and the numerous utilities and programs that ship with windows or are available for download from Microsoft or in the OS's resource kit. This is one of the most readable, well organized, and informative computer books that I have had the pleasure of reading. The tables in the back of the book are a trove of reference material such as lists of administrative tools, batch commands, GUI programs that can be invoked from a script, language references, lists of environmental variables, etc. There is also a useful index to the script and batch file examples. If you don't mind spending your life wading through cryptic and outdated tech notes on Microsoft's website you can find much of this information, but the author has done the leg work, brought it up to date, organized it, and put it in one easy to read volume.

If you have programming experience, by following the author's advice you will be writing useful scripts within the hour. If you are still writing DOS style batch files, buy this book and start writing vbscripts instead because you can do more and do it more easily. The author suggests using VBSEdit as a programming environment. The book is worth the price just for that suggestion.

If you are a kid who has a PC, get the book, learn to write scripts (vbscript comes with the windows OS)and have a blast.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91c9a5a0) out of 5 stars First Class Job of Organization 8 May 2012
By Len Umina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an incredible job by the author who is obviously talented at presenting the incredible amount of data necessary to do ALMOST anything with Windows at the script level. I rated it 5 stars because if you are trying to write Windows scripts, this is a good place to get started. The issue I have, however, is with the topic and Windows. Windows and most applications that run on it are really not set up for scripting, and that especially includes the obvious programs like OneNote that need it the most. Therefore don't expect an easy solution to a complex problem.

Windows suffers from an ill conceived and poorly implemented operating system architecture held together with a rats nest of bandaids and timeouts, and these are your true enemy. Scripting can't fix this problem, its built in. For example, you can print a PDF file to onenote but how do you tell when OneNote is ready for the next sequential print job so that the documents are stored in order in your notebook? You can't. All you can do is code time delays and hope that the machine always completes its task before your timeout sends it more data. If you really want to expand your control over windows, you can also use autohotkey which will inject keys, allow you to program time delays, and permit you to control the active window and sense when it changes.

The beauty of WSH is the architectural split between the various language interpreters you can use or install (like perl, python, etc) and the management of the scripts and additional functionality it exposes. This is nice, but most (if not all) of that functionality is already exposed in libraries and components for most scripting languages anyway. Its just nicer having it all in one place and documented, hopefully in a way that maintains consistency in the future as the OS evolves. (not likely though)

So if you think you want to develop some scripts for Windows, this is a resource you do need, but don't get involved in trying to make your Windows machine into a computer. Windows is designed as a single user, multiple application environment that relies on the fact that you can't press keys very fast. If you do, applications will bleed memory, crash, and sometimes even Windows will crash. The buffers, the handshaking, the gui response are simply not appropriate for high performance application utilization in Windows. If you need that, use Linux which is a multiuser, multiapplication system from the ground up. It suffers however from a dearth of applications like MS Office 2010, OneNote, Acrobat, etc. If you are a generic user, there are open source apps that will do most of what you need, and the good news is they are probably free. In Linux the applications must assume that they don't have the entire machine, they can't use timeouts, and they generally have very sophisticated command line interfaces, with bidirectional information flow to support scripting in a high performance multiuser environment.

So why did I buy this book, if I'm a linux guy? Well, so far most of you are still using Windows, and that means I need to be able to deliver solutions such as they are, to people who don't know what computing can really be like! To that end, this book is a well organized manual, reference tool, and its commentary is quite frank and honest. The author admits, for example, that programming a Windows application using keyboard insertions is a "nightmare". He's obviously done it, and those of us who have wake up screaming on occasion when we remember what it takes to make sense out of the response of a Windows application to real world heavy duty problems.

The bottom line is that WSH is not going to turn Windows into Linux. It's not going to make your applications respond in a predictable and timely manner or avoid the numerous shortcomings of Windows when it comes to handling large and repetitive tasks (like memory bleeding). It will give you a platform upon which you can develop some standardized, supportable, modern, scripts using your favorite language and up to date objects for your version of the operating system. So set your expectations accordingly and buy this book. Its far better than most books relating to Windows in terms of content delivery, and if you are still writing .bat scripts, you will benefit immensely. Things have changed dramatically since those days!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91b38828) out of 5 stars Well written and good links in Kindle version. 24 Sept. 2012
By lquievryn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This large text book is easy to understand but not dumbed down. The author has great teaching skills. I'm listening to it on my Kindle using the text to speech while commuting, then reviewing the tables and trying the examples later. I'm glad there are plenty of live links in the Kindle edition -- most of the text books I get in Kindle format have little or no links, and are hard to navigate.
I plan to use the book first as a learning tool, then as a good reference for batch and script design.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91997858) out of 5 stars Ahhh, knowledge is power 30 Mar. 2013
By DigiKiwam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book, well laid out, easy to read and the author doesn't loose the reader in a web or IT Terminology.
I am well on my way to becoming a command line commander. Actually, it's a refresher for me as I've been doing it for years but just in the first few chapters I learned stuff I never even thought off. If you want to learn how to control your PC without the GUI - buy this book.
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