Chapter 6. The Command Line and Other Advanced Techniques
Believe it or not, some folks still do it: they type commands into a Command Prompt to get the computer to do what they want. I know, kitschy, isn't it? They do this, so the theory goes, to ensure error-free navigation and execution in the computing environment. You have to know exactly what you're doing, after all, in order to tell the computer what to do. You can't just mess things up with a few inopportune mouse clicks.
Another reason that people sometimes prefer the command prompt is, believe it or not, speed. Not so much the speed of typing commands, but rather the speed at which the commands are carried out. It takes far less computer horsepower to process a string of text than to paint a picture on a screen and present a graphical user interface. There are also times when you or your company uses legacy programs that require the Command Prompt. If this is the case, Command Prompt knowledge will help you use these programs.
Whatever your reason, it is likely that even if you just started using computers today, you will still be required at some time or another to use the Command Prompt.
The purpose of this chapter, then, is not to present an exhaustive compendium of command-line instructions. Rather, it is to highlight a few of the methods with which you can use the command environment to make your time using the Windows graphical interface even easier. It will also show you how to use the command environment more effectively for those times when you have to resort to typing.
We'll also be looking at some advanced techniques that help you get the most out of the operating system. Some of these technologies, such as Quotas and Offline Files, are only available on a Windows XP Professional machine, but they are usually very valuable to users of this more robust OS.