While most computer users would agree that the graphical user interfaces (GUI) was the best thing to have happened to the computer operating system, there are a few things that are done best using commands. Windows has a nifty little Command Prompt (previously known as MS-DOS) that lets users turn into keyboard-whacking ninjas. We at TheDailyBuggle like using our Command Prompt every now and then to get things done faster than the Windows GUI. Here’s a short list of the coolest uses for Command Prompt commands.
All of these commands require that you have Command Prompt window opened. To launch Command Prompt, go to Start > Run (or hit the Windows Key + R), type cmd and press Enter. Alternatively, you could also go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.
In an increasingly inter-connected world, it’s only too important to have devices that are connecting to networks properly. If you ever run into any network trouble, you can count on this little trooper to give you all the information you need about all the network adapters available on your computer.
Type in this Command Prompt command: ipconfig /all
The Command Prompt command above will list the present state of all network interfaces on your computer. You can then use this information to talk to a tech specialist and diagnose or troubleshoot your issues.
I’m sure that you’d definitely come across a file extension that’s unknown to you. It’s one of the most common problems faced by computer users (get the solution here). Having said that, the Command Prompt provides a really simple way of checking which extension belongs to which application.
Type in this Command Prompt command: assoc [extension]
Example: assoc .docx
Ideally, this will show you a single line output specifying the application to be used to launch this file with the unknown extension.
The color command is used to (surprise, surprise!) change the default colors of your Command Prompt window. This can be particularly useful when you are having readability issues in Command Prompt, or when you just want to have your two minutes worth of fun. The color command needs to be used with a two hexadecimal digits as arguments.
Type in this Command Prompt command: color [background][foreground]
Example: color 0A
As you can probably guess, the first digit is used to set the background color and the second one is used to set the foreground color. You can see a list of potential color codes by typing color /?.
Remember though, that the color change is not applicable across multiple sessions of the Command Prompt.
This is more of a command line switch than a command itself. But the amount of utility it provides makes it important enough to be featured as a dedicated command. This switch will print the entire documentation associated with a particular command in the Command Prompt window.
Type in this Command Prompt command: [command] /?
Example: dir /?
Now, whenever you come across a command you not familiar with, you know what to do.
This is another one of those prompts that you’d probably use more to please your geek ego than for any other practical uses. Prompt merely changes the prompt to any text you specify. So in place of c:\abc\xyz, you might now simply have $$.
Type in this Command Prompt command: prompt [pattern]
Example: prompt TheDailyBuggle\
The commands covered here are only the tip of the iceberg. The more you get into the world of Command Prompt, the more exciting and powerful it gets for you as a user. Let us know what your favorite uses and commands for Command Prompt are in the comments.