Tag Archives: windows

pkill script for cygwin

pkill is a basic necessity of life. For cygwin, this comes in the package procps which is not available for x64. You can of course ps and grep then awk but who has the time.

This small script from cygwin mailing list archives to the rescue:

tskill is actually a kill equivalent in the Windows world.

Fixing bad sectors

Something went wrong and my work laptop running Windows 7 turned off without suspending when the lid was closed. Turned it back on to find that everything’s darn slow and the hard disk light is lit all the time. Shut it down and restarted a several times with the same result. Booting with a CD or a USB wasn’t an option since this is a locked machine. Some googling suggested that chkdsk would be a good idea.

So I typed in cmd at the start menu, right clicked and chose Run As Administrator. Even though I don’t have admin access, it’s possible to run an app ‘as administrator’. Then typed in chkdsk /r to the prompt and pressed Enter. The /r flag would let chkdsk locate bad sectors and try to recover readable information. It wasn’t able to run the scan then and there coz I’d booted the OS with the same hard disk, but offered to schedule the check for the next time the system restarts. Restart the machine and chkdsk would run for several hours depending on the hard disk size/speed. It took nearly 4 hours in my case and several bad sectors were recovered. After this Windows would boot without a hitch.

Skitch for Windows is here

Evernote has finally released Skitch for Windows. It comes in two flavors: Skitch for Windows Desktop and Skitch for Windows 8. I tried out the former and it’s just amazing. Ability to pixelate and highlight the captures comes really handy if you’re into software development or design (or whatever you do with the computer). And the best thing is that it integrates with Evernote, so you can have all the captures and annotations in one place. Skitch was available for Mac and iOS for a long time and the Android version came some time back. Features and some cool uses of the new Windows client can be found in their blog post.

The official Windows client has also been updated with Skitch integration.

Chocolatey brings package management to Windows

Chocolatey is the topic in the town these days. When it comes to installing software, Windows is far behind most Linux distributions. Chocolatey is a package manager like apt-get on Debian and Ubuntu. Install it by entering the command

@powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -Command “iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString(‘http://bit.ly/psChocInstall’))” && SET PATH=%PATH%;%systemdrive%chocolateybin

(yes, in a Windows command prompt) and you’re good to go. The list of available packages can be found here. There’s no huge list of apps like in apt-get as yet though. If you want to install, say, expresso, just type

cinst expresso

in the command prompt. It’s said Chocolatey works in Cygwin as well, but I’m yet to try that out.

Chrome like tabs for Windows Explorer

In case you didn’t know, Windows Explorer sucks. There are about a dozen alternatives available, but most aren’t free. I’ve used Cubic Explorer and Nomad.NET in the past, both of which are free and open source, but didn’t stay with any. Lifehacker reported today about Clover, which is in fact an extension to Windows Explorer which brings a Chrome-style tabbed interface. Click on a tab and you get a menu just like the one you get in Chrome.

No more half-a-dozen Windows Explorers cluttering the task bar.