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For the:
Halifax Computer Club
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

As I end every column with "Remember: The Power is at the Command
Line", I thought I would discuss a few of the advantages of using the
command line versus slogging through memu after menu as one does wth a
GUI operating system.

The first advantage is that one can do any operation in DOS from anywhere else in DOS wthout having to go there first. So one may be in the C:\ root directory and issue:


This would copy the file BU.TXT from the BACKUP directory off the root to the \TEMP directory without having to navigate to either the BACKUP or the TEMP directory. This eliminates those steps plus a search through the list of directories each time as one would have to do with a GUI file manager.

Another usage is to run utilities directly instead of through their interfaces. For a compression example, with a GUI, one would have to click on each file to be compressed, go to a menu where the selection of a compression ratio and a host of other options would have to be done, and then select a destination.

At the command line, it might be:


That would place BU.ZIP in the \BACKUP directory and it would include all the .txt files in the current directory and below, including their paths. It's all done with one command instead of a lot of menu slogging and tree climbing.

One need not go looking for a file. If one wants to load a document when startng say, WordPerfect, one simply enters:

WP filename.ext

Why look for the file when WordPrerfect can do it for you?

Want to delete all temporary files on your hard drive?


DEL will start at the root directory and delete the ".tmp" files there and in all directories below via the `/S' switch.

Do you need to start a program with differing options each time? Instead of dealing with GUI check boxes every time, simply issue the command with the required options.

Those are just a few examples of the time and hassle savings to be had at the command line. These can be reduced further through the usage of batch files so that the examples above could be rduced to just simple one-word commands.

The Power is at the Command Line!

Richard Bonner is a DOS power user and has his own DOS website:

The DOS Operating System

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