Month: February 2010

Useful Run Commands

Many tools, utilities, and control panel options can be run directly from the command line. 156 of them in fact according to this list. After the popularity of this post I realised this was something that people can use.

The original list is here however I wanted to include them here as a reference and in case the link stops working.

To Access Command
Accessibility Controls access.cpl
Accessibility Wizard accwiz
Add Hardware Wizard hdwwiz.cpl
Add/Remove Programs appwiz.cpl
Administrative Tools control admintools
Adobe Acrobat (if installed) acrobat
Adobe Designer (if installed) formdesigner
Adobe Distiller (if installed) acrodist
Adobe ImageReady (if installed) imageready
Adobe Photoshop (if installed) photoshop
Automatic Updates wuaucpl.cpl
Bluetooth Transfer Wizard fsquirt
Calculator calc
Certificate Manager certmgr.msc
Character Map charmap
Check Disk Utility chkdsk
Clipboard Viewer clipbrd
Command Prompt cmd
Component Services dcomcnfg
Computer Management compmgmt.msc
Control Panel control
Date and Time Properties timedate.cpl
DDE Shares ddeshare
Device Manager devmgmt.msc
Direct X Control Panel (if installed)* directx.cpl
Direct X Troubleshooter dxdiag
Disk Cleanup Utility cleanmgr
Disk Defragment dfrg.msc
Disk Management diskmgmt.msc
Disk Partition Manager diskpart
Display Properties control desktop
Display Properties desk.cpl
Display Properties (w/Appearance Tab Preselected) control color
Dr. Watson System Troubleshooting Utility drwtsn32
Driver Verifier Utility verifier
Event Viewer eventvwr.msc
Files and Settings Transfer Tool migwiz
File Signature Verification Tool sigverif
Findfast findfast.cpl
Firefox (if installed) firefox
Folders Properties folders
Fonts control fonts
Fonts Folder fonts
Free Cell Card Game freecell
Game Controllers joy.cpl
Group Policy Editor (XP Prof) gpedit.msc
Hearts Card Game mshearts
Help and Support helpctr
HyperTerminal hypertrm
Iexpress Wizard iexpress
Indexing Service ciadv.msc
Internet Connection Wizard icwconn1
Internet Explorer iexplore
Internet Properties inetcpl.cpl
Internet Setup Wizard inetwiz
IP Configuration (Display Connection Configuration) ipconfig /all
IP Configuration (Display DNS Cache Contents) ipconfig /displaydns
IP Configuration (Delete DNS Cache Contents) ipconfig /flushdns
IP Configuration (Release All Connections) ipconfig /release
IP Configuration (Renew All Connections) ipconfig /renew
IP Configuration (Refreshes DHCP & Re-Registers DNS) ipconfig /registerdns
IP Configuration (Display DHCP Class ID) ipconfig /showclassid
IP Configuration (Modifies DHCP Class ID) ipconfig /setclassid
Java Control Panel (if installed) jpicpl32.cpl
Java Control Panel (if installed) javaws
Keyboard Properties control keyboard
Local Security Settings secpol.msc
Local Users and Groups lusrmgr.msc
Logs You Out Of Windows logoff
Malicious Software Removal Tool mrt
Microsoft Access (if installed) msaccess
Microsoft Chat winchat
Microsoft Excel (if installed) excel
Microsoft Frontpage (if installed) frontpg
Microsoft Movie Maker moviemk
Microsoft Paint mspaint
Microsoft Powerpoint (if installed) powerpnt
Microsoft Word (if installed) winword
Microsoft Syncronization Tool mobsync
Minesweeper Game winmine
Mouse Properties control mouse
Mouse Properties main.cpl
Nero (if installed) nero
Netmeeting conf
Network Connections control netconnections
Network Connections ncpa.cpl
Network Setup Wizard netsetup.cpl
Notepad notepad
Nview Desktop Manager (if installed) nvtuicpl.cpl
Object Packager packager
ODBC Data Source Administrator odbccp32.cpl
On Screen Keyboard osk
Opens AC3 Filter (if installed) ac3filter.cpl
Outlook Express msimn
Paint pbrush
Password Properties password.cpl
Performance Monitor perfmon.msc
Performance Monitor perfmon
Phone and Modem Options telephon.cpl
Phone Dialer dialer
Pinball Game pinball
Power Configuration powercfg.cpl
Printers and Faxes control printers
Printers Folder printers
Private Character Editor eudcedit
Quicktime (If Installed) QuickTime.cpl
Quicktime Player (if installed) quicktimeplayer
Real Player (if installed) realplay
Regional Settings intl.cpl
Registry Editor regedit
Registry Editor regedit32
Remote Access Phonebook rasphone
Remote Desktop mstsc
Removable Storage ntmsmgr.msc
Removable Storage Operator Requests ntmsoprq.msc
Resultant Set of Policy (XP Prof) rsop.msc
Scanners and Cameras sticpl.cpl
Scheduled Tasks control schedtasks
Security Center wscui.cpl
Services services.msc
Shared Folders fsmgmt.msc
Shuts Down Windows shutdown
Sounds and Audio mmsys.cpl
Spider Solitare Card Game spider
SQL Client Configuration cliconfg
System Configuration Editor sysedit
System Configuration Utility msconfig
System File Checker Utility (Scan Immediately) sfc /scannow
System File Checker Utility (Scan Once At The Next Boot) sfc /scanonce
System File Checker Utility (Scan On Every Boot) sfc /scanboot
System File Checker Utility (Return Scan Setting To Default) sfc /revert
System File Checker Utility (Purge File Cache) sfc /purgecache
System File Checker Utility (Sets Cache Size to size x) sfc /cachesize=x
System Information msinfo32
System Properties sysdm.cpl
Task Manager taskmgr
TCP Tester tcptest
Telnet Client telnet
Tweak UI (if installed) tweakui
User Account Management nusrmgr.cpl
Utility Manager utilman
Windows Address Book wab
Windows Address Book Import Utility wabmig
Windows Backup Utility (if installed) ntbackup
Windows Explorer explorer
Windows Firewall firewall.cpl
Windows Magnifier magnify
Windows Management Infrastructure wmimgmt.msc
Windows Media Player wmplayer
Windows Messenger msmsgs
Windows Picture Import Wizard (need camera connected) wiaacmgr
Windows System Security Tool syskey
Windows Update Launches wupdmgr
Windows Version (to show which version of windows) winver
Windows XP Tour Wizard tourstart
Wordpad write

Scheduling mySQL backups

I’m sure there is no need to explain the virtues of regular backups. Below are three steps to peace of mind

1) Configure a backup directory on the server

mkdir /var/lib/backupfolder
cd /var/lib/backupfolder

2) Make a backup script


# MySQL server username goes here
# MySQL server password goes here
# List of DBNAMES for Backup
#date timestamp used in the log
DATE=`/bin/date +%Y-%m-%d_%Hh%Mm`
# format the output file
#working directory
#cd $DIR
# Do the MySQL Backup
/usr/bin/mysqldump --database $DBNAME --opt --single-transaction -u$USERNAME -p$PASSWORD | /usr/bin/gzip -9 > $OUTDIR$OUTFILE

Dont forget to change permissions

chmod +x

3) Schedule the backup in crontab

crontab -e

Add something along the lines of:

30 23 * * * /var/lib/backupfolder/

To backup at 11:30PM every day. Just as important as to backup up is to test restores; – it’s no good having backups and feeling at ease if you cant recover in the event of catastrophe!

Is PHP Agile?

A client recently asked if PHP was an Agile programming language, and during the (rather lengthy) explanation a few principles worth exploring were covered:

In the context of software development Agile is really no more than a set of principles and values. At a meeting in February 2001 people who were then developing software differently to traditional processes drew up a manifesto; they formalised practices favouring constant feedback and change, flat hierachy, and delivered early and often.

PHP is generally considered a lightweight language, – often it is used because it can get things done quicker than with other languages. A language is never agile because it does not generally define the processes used when developing with it. However it can have qualities that can make its development quicker; PHP is light, interpreted, and it is simple. Unfortunately these reasons have also attracted people unconcerned with best practices in order to ‘just get their sites up and running’

Agile doesnt mean doing the job quickly, – dont expect to finish the project earlier, but you will deliver earlier. A part of the system that is testable, usable, and something that adds value. From the feedback the team and customer will decide what will be delivered next. The iterations are closer together than other approaches and in order to deliver quickly you will only deliver what you need.

As far as web application development is concerned, being an interpreted, lightweight, embeddable, simple language, with fairly reasonable object oriented support, PHP is in a fairly unique position to fulfill the needs of agile development teams. The elements are available, but of course it is up to the enterprises to take the step and use what is there for setting up their own agile development environment.

Obfuscating email with PHP

This is a function to protect email addresses on your website from bots or spiders that harvest email addresses for spam purposes; it uses a substitution cipher generating a unique key for every page load.
PHP encrypts your email address and generates javascript to decrypt it because most bots and spiders can’t execute javascript. A visitor of your web page will not notice this as long as they have javascript enabled, otherwise they will see “[javascript protected email address]”

As the script contains quite a lot of special characters, a downloadable version is available here

echo hide_email(‘’);

Further reading
Ross Killen’s implementation here
Methods to hide email addresses in page source here