Windows

Useful Software Tools

Here are some (mostly great) tools I use. I'm happy to recommend them here. Some are free and others cost money, but in general, even the non-free tools are worth it--otherwise they would not be listed here.

Instant Messaging

Text Editors

My favorite text editor for Windows:

  • UltraEdit (costs ~$40, but definitely worth it!)

A free alternative (but not as good) to UltraEdit when you can't afford/acquire a license for it:

File Tools

  • WinMerge -- compare folder trees and individual files. I love this tool! It has saved me lots of time when comparing book manuscript files (plain text, not binary) and source code. It's great for reconciling two different folder structures or simply understanding the differences.
  • Junction -- create symbolic links to other folders in Windows NTFS-formatted disks

Tweaking the Windows Registry

Tips:

Command Prompt AutoRun

Automatically run a program when opening a command prompt

From Tim Sneath's blog:

Monday, September 18, 2006 6:27 PM by Josh Einstein
I think I remember there being a way to get all command prompts to run the vsvars batch file so that the command prompt is actually usable. Do you remember what this is? I think it was a registry setting...

  1. re: Windows Vista Secret #1: Open Command Prompt Here

Monday, September 18, 2006 7:22 PM by tims
Josh, you're correct - it's a registry setting.

In HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor, add a new String value named AutoRun. Set the contents to the batch file you'd like to run (e.g. d:\tools\mycustomvsvars.cmd).

Customizing Windows

Tips:

Windows Run As Command

Microsoft recommends that, as a security best practice, interactive logins should done with non-administrative accounts, and tasks or programs that require administrative privileges should be run using the Run as... command.

Running a program as another user interactively

This can be accomplished by right-clicking the icon for a program and choosing Run as.... The following window displays (Windows XP):

Windows XP Run As Dialog

Choose "The following user" radio button and fill in the necessary credentials and click OK.

Running a program as another user interactively on the command line

At the command line, use the runas command:

runas /user:YourDomain\YourUserName normalCommandLine

where YourDomain is the Windows domain to which your account belongs and YourUserName is the name of the account you wish to run as, and normalCommandLine is the set of commands and options that you would normally execute (without concern for user account).

Microsoft Windows Security

Tips and Tricks

Running a command as another user

Microsoft recommends that, as a security best practice, interactive logins should done with non-administrative accounts, and tasks or programs that require administrative priveleges should be run using the Run As... command. Read more

Microsoft Windows

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