11 utilities take command

Just in time for the holidays: a treasure trove of unique command-line tools for Windows NT/2000.

Software author Frank Westlake has written a plethora of Windows NT/2000 command-line tools, rescued from possible obscurity by Ted Davis and placed online at Davis's website: http://gearbox.maem.umr.edu/batch/f_w_util/.

Many of them are functions I haven't seen provided by other utilities anywhere else, and for that reason they're worthy of note. Administrators who need quick-and-dirty ways to do certain little things will no doubt enjoy what they find here. (The utilities do not come with source code, unfortunately.)

The tools include the following:

  • AttribNT: Sets file attributes including compression, offline and temporary file attributes.

  • FI: FileInfo displays names, links, file stream and security information as well as device and filter information for a given volume.

  • WaitDirChg: Waits for a change within a given directory tree and then reports that change. This is handy for creating a poor man's "watched directory" function.

  • TimeMath: Does math functions on time and date values. (This utility was not completed but is still functional.)

  • WriteMailSlot/WritePipe: Sends messages to a mail slot or a named pipe, and includes a utility for reading from same.

  • SysMetr: Prints the specified system metric to a file or the console; use sysmetr /l for a full list of available metrics to query.

  • Connect: Attempts a TCP/IP connection to a given port (default is port 80), and provides various error levels depending on the results.

  • Recycle: Deletes files by moving them to the Recycle Bin rather than performing a hard delete.

  • Event: Waits for or signals an event for inter-process communication as a way of performing a controllable pause within a batch script.

  • Tee: Redirects STDIN or STDOUT to or from a file; supports both appending and overwriting.

  • DNSLU: Performs a DNS lookup by name or IP. (This cannot be used to perform DNS lookups against a custom-specified DNS server, however, which limits its usefulness for things like open-relay blacklists.)


Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter. Check out his Windows 2000 blog for his latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- please share your thoughts as well!
This was first published in December 2004

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