May 2004 - Posts

Symbolic links are a way to create an "alias" for a file. This is not the same as a shortcut in Windows but rather is a "pointer" to a file or directory with another name. In fact, quite a lot of people think that this is a UNIX-only feature. However, this is available for NTFS as well (okay, I have to admit - it's living in the Services For Unix package :-)). Actually, there's more. We're not happy to tell you should use Servcies For Unix to do this, so in Windows Server 2003 you can do it using the fsutil tool as well. Let me explain:

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>fsutil hardlink create test.cpy test.txt

Hardlink created for C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\test.cpy <<===>> C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\test.txt

By doing this, you can access the test.txt file using test.cpy now as well. You'll find the file if you're performing a dir command, just as you expect. When you modify something in the test.txt or test.cpy file it will be visible on the test.cpy and test.txt files respectively (since it's physically the same file of course). The use of erase on file.cpy will not delete the test.txt file itself, but only the link to the file. When you delete the test.txt file using erase, the file won't be deleted since a link to the file still exist (his is important to know!).

When you're using the ln.exe tool, it works almost the same. The only thing you should take care of is the use of the correct parameters. For a file link, you should use ln.exe -f <original file> <alias>. If you're using ln.exe -fs, the result is pretty cool (or is it a bug?):

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>type test.txt
Hello
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ln -fs test.txt test.cpy

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>type test.cpy
IntxLNK?t e s t . t x t

As you can see, the fle contains a link. But when you open the file using Notepad, the tool doesn't see this quite well:

????test.txt

The ln.exe -f in contrast works well:

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ln -f test.txt test.cpy

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>type test.cpy
Hello

I guess I'm experimenting a bit too much :-)

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Tired to copy-paste the output of commands from the command-line window to the clipboard? Then the clip command can be something for you. An example looks as follows:

  • Start, Run, cmd, OK
  • tasklist | clip
  • Open Notepad
  • Paste (CTRL-V)

Really simple and very useful when you're writing articles or papers and you want to copy the results of a command-line command to some text editor (or a dev environment).

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Installation has finished. Longhorn has just started in Virtual PC. The fun is about to begin :-). About 3 GB of installation but it seems to be worth the download and the setup. The first thing I'm doing is recompiling my samples with MSBuild using the System.Windows namespace instead of MSAvalon (one of the changes in this new build). Furthermore I'm already seeing some nice changes to the UI that make the system cuter (still no Aero but it's already pretty nice now).

But let me restart the VPC first and increase the memory to 512 MB. It's now using > 400 MB and the explorer.exe process is growing again (memory leak not fixed yet?)...

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For some developments I need to be able to test various language settings, so I need this to be set up in Windows. Unfortunately, this can be quite annoying, when the AZERTY keyboard flips over to QWERTY. However, there is a nice keystroke you should remember if you have been grmbl-ing on this: ALT-SHIFT. This keycombination switches between different language settings (take a look at the effect in the language bar, you'll see that it will change).Del.icio.us | Digg It | Technorati | Blinklist | Furl | reddit | DotNetKicks

MSDN Subscribers, get ready to download a 733.7 MB file (actually a DVD ISO file) from MSDN Subscriptions containing the bits of the WinHEC 2004 build of Longhorn. Installation has just started over here, more news to come...Del.icio.us | Digg It | Technorati | Blinklist | Furl | reddit | DotNetKicks

It seems quite a lot of people that suffer from worms such as Sasser and Blaster (I'm patching my systems, so I didn't see these myself) don't know you can abort the shutdown initiated by these worms (the countdown dialog saying that the system will shut down in 00:00:30 seconds), therefore allowing you to get the fix from the internet and apply it to the affected system.

The trick is this: when the countdown starts, open a command prompt (Windows-R, cmd, OK is the fastest way to do this) and type shutdown /a. This will abort the shutdown. This will work on Windows XP, 2003.

In fact, I'm demonstrating this quite a lot since Windows Server 2003 introduces some new command-line commands and this is one I'm showing the audience. Luckily the default shutdown delay is 30 seconds, so after a shutdown /s, I have 30 seconds time to execute shutdown /a (which is about 2.3 seconds per letter, should be enough for everybody, isn't it?).

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Have been working on the SchoolServer solution again today (we're finalizing the 'Release Candidate' for the local region). While doing some setups of Windows Server 2003 I used the SHIFT-F10 trick to investigate the steps done by the setup (using unattended setups etc). So what is it? When you're in the graphical part of the Windows Server 2003 Setup, it's possible to press the SHIFT-F10 keys to open up a command prompt on your system that can be used to do some manipulations on the system during the system. I already knew this key combination for a while, but I'd like to share it with you :-). I can assure you, some people really like guys that know a lot of key combinations (my trick to get a party up to speeds :-)).Del.icio.us | Digg It | Technorati | Blinklist | Furl | reddit | DotNetKicks

Posted Friday, May 07, 2004 4:41 PM by bart | with no comments
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