Archive for the ‘Cool Tools’ Category

Google Search for the Command Line

December 16, 2006 2 comments

Nothing spectacular here, but occasionally I feel the urge to do a quick Google search from the command line and I decided to build one. Google apparently stopped supporting their SOAP API, but it’s still not shut down yet, so I threw together a command line Google search.


Categories: Cool Tools

Simple Search for Vista or Office 2007 Users

Do you, like I do, find it ironic that the default, so-called "simple" file search parameters in Windows are related to metadata rather than, simply, the file name and the directories? The amount of effort one must go through just to produce a filename search in a list of specific directories in Vista is atrocious. You have to choose the most distant and difficult-to-reach options just to specify the directories in which to search, and you can’t even use semicolons. The absolute quickest method of adding multiple directories for a search (using a keyboard) is as follows: (after Start menu -> search) … [tab] [tab] [space] [tab] [End] [tab] .. type a directory .. [Esc] [tab] [space] [tab] .. type another directory .. [Esc] [tab] [space] ..

I threw a fit in the Vista newsgroups and decided to build my own to bring the true simple search back to my life. Here’s a start, for your enjoyment. Source code included, throw in Regular Expression search support in the source code if you like, or whatever, but my needs are met.


Categories: Cool Tools

Manual Installation of PowerShell RTM on Vista RTM

November 24, 2006 6 comments

I’m impatient, and I can’t wait two months for a delay of PowerShell RTM to show up on Windows Vista RTM (which I now have running solidly on my new $600 El Cheapo laptop).

Here’s how I got PowerShell running on Vista RTM. I have no idea whether it’s a stable manual install or whether tons of features are missing, all I know is that I got powershell.exe to give me a prompt. This is completely unsupported by Microsoft and might mess things up on your Vista RTM computer once Microsoft releases the official build–you will have to manually uninstall by doing these steps in reverse.

[UPDATE (12/17/2006):] Looks like someone found a better way..!52B0837064D0B275!106.entry

This assumes that you are using Vista RTM 32-bit.

1. From a machine running XP SP2 with PowerShell RTM installed, copy the following directories with their contents to Windows Vista RTM.

– C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell
– C:\Program Files\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\WindowsPowerShell

NOTE: Some people are saying that the Reference Assemblies directory is invalid. Please view my 11/29/2006 comment in the comments (click on the Comments link). Someone found that they should be in C:\Windows\Assembly. I guess I found them in Program Files because I had previously installed a beta and that path got locked by way of a registry key.

2. Add the DLLs in the directory C:\Program Files\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0 to the GAC by using "gacutil /i assembly.dll" for each DLL (replacing "assembly.dll" with the filename).

3. Download, extract, and execute the registry set from the URL below. This set is basically all instances of "PowerShell" I could find in my XP registry… unfortunately, it also includes some old Windows SDK CTP references that the Windows SDK CTP uninstaller did not clean out. No harm done, just adds useless junk to the registry.

(Note: The HTTP host currently resolves to, beware port-blocking firewalls)

4. Start PowerShell from C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\PowerShell.exe

If I forgot to list something in this list, you’re on your own.

I had added a shortcut to PowerShell on my XP SP2 QuickLaunch toolbar. I copied the shortcut file from the XP environment to my Vista environment (this brings me the width/height/color settings). Still to-do: Be sure to ngen all the assemblies for improved performance.


Categories: Cool Tools

Vista RC1 and Iron Python 1.0 Now Available

Two interesting releases today:

Windows Vista RC1 (release candidate for a small happenstance OS that might be a bit of a distraction for standard computer shoppers)

.. and ..

IronPython v1.0 (Python language for .NET)

Categories: Cool Tools

There are some very handy tools available at They have a lot of amazing freeware to download. It’s unfortunate that the slickest freeware items available for download are not open sourced, but there is a lot of open source items as well.

Some of my faves:

  • FileMon – monitors and displays file system activity on a system in real-time
  • TCPView – a Windows program that will show you detailed listings of all TCP and UDP endpoints on your system, including the local and remote addresses and state of TCP connections. On Windows NT, 2000 and XP TCPView also reports the name of the process that owns the endpoint.
  • Regmon – a Registry monitoring utility that will show you which applications are accessing your Registry, which keys they are accessing, and the Registry data that they are reading and writing – all in real-time
  • Process Explorer – think Task Manager all "growed up", put on steroids, and cast away to the gym for ten years’ labor
Categories: Cool Tools