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Monaday #1

December 10, 2007

powershell logo The DOS box is dead, long live the DOS box!

Except we now call it Windows PowerShell 1.0. Originally codenamed “Monad”, Windows PowerShell is a replacement for the old familiar cmd.exe DOS prompt. It provides a command line interface with Windows but is claimed to be a major advance.

PowerShell works with both Vista and XP SP2 but is bundled with neither. It is though freely available for download from Microsoft here.

This is an old-ish article on Monad, but still interesting background.

I’ve decided to start a series exploring PowerShell, weekly on a Monday, so I’m calling it the Monaday series. Quirky, I know, but it will remind me to post a new item on time.

So far I’ve not got much further than downloading and installing it. But I have made a useful discovery. The old DOS commands (think of dir, cd, etc) seem to work on PowerShell so Microsoft appear to have had the good grace to make it backwards compatible. Still, we’re supposed to get used to the new style commands with a verb-noun format (eg get-process) because that will make use of PowerShell more intuitive as we get into it more. The clever bit is that if you use the get-help command with an old DOS keyword it will give you the new format equivalent, as in the example below:

windows powershell monad

The old DOS box is still available but I’m hoping to learn, over the coming weeks, whether PowerShell genuinely is the more modern and technically superior alternative.

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