Command Prompt - Useful Or Obsolete by primusboy


									Command Prompt - Useful Or Obsolete?
When IBM decided to get into the personal computer business, they
selected Bill Gates to provide an operating system. Gates' answer was DOS
or Disk Operating System. Simple at first but growing to meet the demands
of evolving hardware, DOS was a must know for serious computer users.
Using DOS a computer booted (started) and read a config.sys file for
drivers and then an "autoexec.bat" for a list of instructions. Unless
instructed by the autoexec to execute a program the PC would finish with
a command prompt. The user was then required to type in commands to
perform their task.
Windows 3 came along. DOS was still the engine under the hood. First DOS
had to be installed then Windows ran as a program or shell.
Windows 95 was a different animal. It did not require DOS to run.
Microsoft was aware of the investment users had already made in DOS
software. Rather than tell their users they had to throw all of that
away, Microsoft provided a method of using this older software. That
method was a command prompt or DOS emulation.
Microsoft has continued to provide that method till today. Vista is the
latest in this trend.
Reading the first few paragraphs of this you might wonder why Microsoft
bothers with something that old.
Good question, one that is hard to answer with words. If you know someone
who is considered a "Guru" today, watch them. When there is a really
difficult problem they'll pull up an old command prompt.
What are some of the things you can do with a command prompt?
* Make a list of all installed drivers
* Create a tree of all the folders on a computer
* Display a files access list (Have one you can't delete?)
* Fix errors on your hard drive
* Compare files
* Build a command file that can then be scheduled
* And probably most important, troubleshoot your network connections
True most of these things can be done with a mouse, if you have the time.
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