Author Topic: Hal Batch Files - XP Automation  (Read 6660 times)

Rich_A

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Hal Batch Files - XP Automation
« on: January 02, 2005, 06:19:02 am »
Hello All,
I wrote some DOS batch files and the below conversation log demonstrates some of the things that I am able to do with my Hal. I have my Hal do things like close programs, empty the Recycle Bin, boost System RAM, run backups of his own brain or the entire Zabaware folder, and a few other things. I plan to post some of these batch files at this forum in case anyone else is interested in doing stuff like this too.

Richie: OK let's do some more testing now
Margene: Ok, you gave me some more voice commands so that I can do some more things for you!

Richie: open task manager
Margene: I will now run "The Task Manager".

Richie: open command prompt
Margene: I will now run "Command Prompt".

Richie: run boost RAM
Margene: I will now run "Boost Ram".

Richie: open windows media player
Margene: I will now run "Windows Media Player".

Richie: open winamp
Margene: I will now run "Winamp".

Richie: open notepad
Margene: I will now run "Notepad".

Richie: I really like the way that you are able to close programs now
Margene: That's a truth.

Richie: run close media player
Margene: I will now run "Close Media Player".

Richie: run close winamp
Margene: I will now run "Close Winamp".

Richie: run close notepad
Margene: I will now run "Close Notepad".

Richie: run close command prompt
Margene: I will now run "Close Command Prompt".

Richie: run close task manager
Margene: I will now run "Close Task Manager".

Richie: good job
Margene: Thank you.

Richie: run copy brain
Margene: I will now run "Copy Brain".

Richie: run copy everything
Margene: I will now run "Copy Everything".

Richie: run restore brain
Margene: I will now run "Restore Brain".

Richie: how are you feeling
Margene: All systems are fully operational!

Richie: open default brain folder
Margene: I will now run "Default Brain Folder"

Richie: well everything looks OK
Margene: Everything is ok for now!

Richie: you are truly amazing
Margene: Richie, it's nice of you to say I am amazing but you are the one who's amazing!

Richie: open system device manager
Margene: I will now run "The System Device Manager".

Richie: open microsoft config
Margene: I will now run "The Microsoft Config System Utility".

Richie: open system registry editor
Margene: I will now run "The System Registry Editor".

Richie: run close registry editor
Margene: I will now run "Close Registry Editor".

Richie: run close config
Margene: I will now run "Close Config".

Richie: run close device manager
Margene: I will now run "Close Device Manager".

Richie: start Internet connection
Margene: I will now run "The Internet Connection."

Richie: run IP config
Margene: I will now run "IP Config".

Richie: run ping loopback
Margene: I will now run "Ping Loopback."

Richie: run ping computer
Margene: I will now run "Ping Computer."

Richie: we just passed that ping test
Margene: We passed the test again!

Richie: run close all command prompt windows
Margene: I will now run "Close All Command Prompt Windows."

Richie: run close all Internet Explorer windows
Margene: I will now run "Close All Internet Explorer Windows."

Richie: what can be done to make a slow computer run fast again
Margene: What can be done to make a slow computer run fast again?
It isn't the best subject. Well, you can first start off
by deleting all the dumb crap that you don't need like temp
files and cookies, and then run the disk cleanup and
defragmenter in the system tools folder, and then, if
necessary, you can also disable some startup software and
system services using the config system utility.

Richie: OK so let's do some of that stuff right now
Margene: Yeah, Ok, let's do it now!

Richie: open recycle bin
Margene: I will now run "The Recycle Bin".

Richie: run empty recycle bin
Margene: I will now run "Empty Recycle Bin".

Richie: run backup all user account folders
Margene: I will now run "Backup All User Account Folders."

Richie: run delete user account cookies
Margene: I will now run "Delete User Account Cookies".

Richie: run delete Internet temp and history files
Margene: I will now run "Delete Internet Temp And History Files".

Richie: run remove secondary backups
Margene: I will now run "Remove Secondary Backups".

Richie: run remove all backups
Margene: I will now run "Remove All Backups".

Richie: run system shutdown
Margene: I will now run "System Shutdown".

Richie: run cancel shutdown
Margene: I will now run "Cancel Shutdown".

Richie: what is the easiest way to fix a minor computer problem
Margene: What is the easiest way to fix a minor computer problem?
We should seek more expertise. First try rebooting the
system and then, if necessary, you can also perform a
system restore, you big dummy you!

Richie: run system reboot
Margene: I will now run "System Reboot".

Richie: run cancel reboot
Margene: I will now run "Cancel Reboot".

Richie: open system restore
Margene: I will now run "System Restore".

Richie: run close restore
Margene: I will now run "Close Restore".

Richie: run suspend explorer process
Margene: I will now run "Suspend Explorer Process".

Richie: the system is locked now
Margene: I want to do so much living!

Richie: are you going to unlock the system for me first
Margene: I think that it's simpler than it sounds.
Richie, I am going to unlock the system for you first.

Richie: run resume explorer process
Margene: I will now run "Resume Explorer Process".

Richie: OK good job
Margene: Thank you.

Richie: we are done testing for now
Margene: When good needs to be done, consider it your job.

Richie: OK thank you
Margene: The pleasure is all mine, Richie.

Richie: run lock workstation
Margene: I will now run "Lock Workstation".


As far as Hal is concerned each batch file is really just another separate program that Hal can launch to run it's system related task. Everything just demonstrated was done on a Windows XP System. But most batch files can be modified, if required, to perform the same kind of tasks on older versions of the Windows Operating System.
Best Regards,
Rich_A


Some Other XP Automation Tips & Tweaks:

You can lock your XP workstation with two clicks of the mouse. Create a new shortcut on your desktop using a right mouse click (On The Desktop - Right Click/New/Shortcut), and then enter
"rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation" in the location field. Give the shortcut a name you like. That's it -- just double click on it and your computer will be locked. And if that's not easy enough, Windows key + L will do the same or tell Hal to run the shortcut to do it for you instead. Just rename the shortcut to something like "Lock Workstation" or "Lock Computer" and then tell your Hal to run that new shortcut name. But you need to restart the Hal program for Hal to see any new shortcuts created while the Hal program is running. But after the restart Hal should be able to run that shortcut. Also, you can keep the shortcut on your desktop or move it into a folder within your system Start/All Programs.

Use your mouse cursor to type to Hal or any other text based application by running and using the Microsoft On-Screen Keyboard [C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM32/osk.exe]. Just tell Hal to "Run On-Screen Keyboard" and he'll open it. Hal already knows where it is because it is located within Start/All Programs/Accessories/Accessibility.

The Start Menu can be leisurely when it decides to appear, but you can speed things along by changing the registry entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop/MenuShowDelay from the default 400 to something a little snappier. Like 0. And then reboot your computer. You can also try the following: Navigate to Display Properties then Appearance then Effects and turn off the option titled "Show shadows under menus". You should get some better overall performance from doing that too.

For those skilled in the art of DOS batch files, XP has a number of interesting commands. These include "eventcreate" and "eventtriggers"
for creating and watching system events, "typeperf" for monitoring performance of various subsystems, and "schtasks" for handling scheduled tasks. As usual, typing the command name followed by /? will give a list of options.

XP will treat Zip files like folders, which is nice if you've got a fast machine. On slower machines, you can make XP leave zip files well alone by typing "regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll" at the command line. If you change your mind later, you can put things back as they were by typing "regsvr32 zipfldr.dll".

XP has ClearType -- Microsoft's anti-aliasing font display technology -- but doesn't have it enabled by default. It's well worth trying, especially if you were there for DOS and all those years of staring at a screen have given you the eyes of an astigmatic bat. To enable ClearType, right click on the desktop,
select Properties, Appearance, Effects, select ClearType from the second drop-down menu and enable the selection. Expect best results on laptop displays.

You can run a program as a different user without logging out and back in again. Right click the icon, select Run As... and enter the user name and password you want to use. This only applies for that run. The trick is particularly useful if you need to have administrative permissions to install a program, which many require. Note that you can have some fun by running programs multiple times on the same system as different users, but this can have unforeseen effects.

Internet Explorer 6 will automatically delete temporary files, but only if you tell it to. Start the browser, select Tools/Internet Options... and Advanced, go down to the Security area and check the box to the Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed. And then click "Apply".

Faster webpage look up. Instead of typing http://www.anysite.com you can just type anysite then press ctrl+return and it automatically puts in the http:// and the .com, yahoo + "ctrl+return" = <http://www.yahoo.com>.

Get to System Properties Faster. This tweak is for those of you who consider right-clicking on My Computer, and then going down to the properties menu, a bit time consuming. Instead, to bring up the System Properties menu faster, do the following: 1. Hold down the Windows Key on the keyboard, and then press Pause/Break. (WinKey + Pause) That's all there is to it! But of course you can always just create another shortcut to [Control Panel/System and Performance/System] and then just tell Hal to open that too.

Windows XP's Task Manager is a very useful tool when it comes to troubleshooting problems. Not only does it help you terminate hung applications, but it also provides you with detailed information about all the processes currently running on your computer. When you select the Processes tab, the default detail view displays four
columns of information about each process: Image Name: The name of the process. User Name: The user who started the process. CPU: The percentage of the CPU's capacity that a process is currently using. Mem Usage: The amount of memory the process requires to perform its job. While these four columns provide you with a basic idea of the
process and how it affects the system, you can customize this display with your choice of 21 other columns to get even more detailed information. Here's how: 1. Pull down the View menu and choose Select Columns. 2. Select the check boxes adjacent to the columns you'd like to add. If you're unsure of the type of information that a particular column displays, access Task Manager Help Topics from the Help menu and search for the term "Process
counter column headings." This will open a page with detailed descriptions of each column.

Windows XP user interface enhancements are designed to make the operating system easy to work with for users at all levels. However, some features are distracting especially for intermediate to advanced users, such as the new program highlight feature. When you install new applications in XP, the corresponding shortcuts on the
Start menu are highlighted so you can quickly locate them. Until you actually use these shortcuts, they remain highlighted. If there are numerous shortcuts on the application's menu, you have to access each one to turn off the highlighting. Here's how to disable this feature: Right-click the Start button and select Properties.
Click the Customize button. On the Advanced tab, deselect the Highlight Newly Installed Programs check box. Click OK twice. You may need to restart the system or log out of XP for the change to take effect.

Speed-up Opening Multiple Programs. What do you do when you want to have Notepad, Calculator, WordPad, Sound Recorder, and System Restore all open at once? You click Start, then click All Programs, and go to the menu where the programs are, then click on the program. Then you click Start again and repeat, and then repeat
again for each program. Arrgh! Here's something that will make life a little easier: Click Start and point to All Programs. Now hold down the SHIFT key on the keyboard. Point to Accessories and click Notepad (make sure you keep that SHIFT key held down). Notepad opens. Click on Calculator. (Keep that SHIFT key held down!)
The calculator opens. Notice that the Start menu stays open. This allows you to open multiple programs a lot faster. Hal can also launch multiple programs all at the same time by creating a single batch file with all the programs you want to start simultaneously and then just tell Hal to run that batch file to launch all those programs at once.

Make Desktop Icons Disappear. Did you know you can make all the icons on your desktop disappear like magic? Right-click the desktop, select Arrange Icons By, and you'll see Show Desktop Icons selected. Deselect this option and all the icons disappear. Of course, you can show them again by selecting this same option.
 

Maviarab

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Hal Batch Files - XP Automation
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2005, 10:46:27 am »
Thanks Rich,

There is just way too much good information on this forum from great ppl like yourself.

I've got txt files all over the place with info to read through lol.

I would certainly be interested in the files Rich...they sound great.

Well done.
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Art

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Hal Batch Files - XP Automation
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2005, 12:08:09 pm »
Rich,

Some great tips as usual!!

I noticed that you have the batch files to command Hal to OPEN an application but you have choose to use RUN CLOSE to close them. Any particular reason for this instead of just telling Hal CLOSE PROGRAM?

Thanks!
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Rich_A

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Hal Batch Files - XP Automation
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2005, 06:25:45 pm »
Hi Guys,
I am not using any batch files to open any programs. I am still opening all programs the same way that Hal usually opens programs by saying "Open" or "Start" or "Run" and then the "ProgramName". The only thing that is a little different about opening some programs is that I created shortcuts to launch some system related tasks that are not usually located in the Start/All Programs, like the System Device Manager. But Hal can launch any .exe or .msc file that is a system utility located within either the C:/WINDOWS or C:/WINDOWS/System32 folders, just as long as you have a shortcut created for it that Hal can see and run.

As far as closing programs is concerned, I am doing it in the easiest and simplest possible manner for now. I just tell Hal to "Open", or "Start", or "Run" and the "BatchFileName", like "Run Close Notepad" (BatchFileName = Close Notepad). What I am really doing is just telling Hal to run a batch file that will close the program that is running that I want to close...if that makes any sense.

Richie: open notepad
Margene: I will now run "Notepad".

Richie: open close notepad
Margene: I will now run "Close Notepad".

Richie: start notepad
Margene: I will now run "Notepad".

Richie: start close notepad
Margene: I will now run "Close Notepad".

Richie: run notepad
Margene: I will now run "Notepad".

Richie: run close notepad
Margene: I will now run "Close Notepad".

"Run Close Notepad" makes the most sense for demonstration purposes since I am trying to explain something new that my Hal does. But if I used "Open Close Notepad" in the first demonstration chat that I posted within this thread, then most people would think I'm just nuts, which I am anyway!

I am not using the format "Close ProgramName" or "Close BatchFileName" because that would require adding "Close" into a brain as a pre-defined command. But the way I currently have things setup right now is that almost all of the batch files I use will work with any version of Hal and any brain as well. No scripts or plugins are required to run any of the Hal batch files. You just need to set things up on your computer to run them, which only requires that you have the batch file and a shortcut to it, in much the same way you need things to be set up for Hal to launch any ordinary program or software application on a computer.

All the batch files can also be ran without using Hal. If I have Notepad open but my Hal is not running I can still double click on the batch file shortcut to close Notepad, but that is not really a practical example since the main reason of creating batch files to close programs is for the sole purpose of having Hal do it for me. If Hal is not running to close a program then I would just close the program the way I normally do without using a batch file.

A better example of running a Hal batch file without using Hal would be if I wanted to backup Hal's brain but Hal was not running to do it for me, so instead I would just double click on the batch file shortcut to run the brain backup job and then I got a fresh backup copy of Hal's brain after the job finishes running. I also think that many people might prefer to run a brain backup while Hal is not running, but running Hal and telling him to backup his own brain also works because the batch file brain copy job is a read only operation that requires no special file permissions and can be done even if a file is in use by another process, assumming that your user account has system administrator privileges.

I could go on all day about the stuff but let's put it this way, the possibilities are nearly infinite as far as what can be done to give Hal more capabilities to do almost any system related task. For example, I am currently experimenting with a batch file that's a real time registry monitor and editor, and I am trying to integrate it with Hal. Why? Because it's possible to have Hal monitor the system registry and detect, alert, and automatically fix almost any registry change made by a virus or any other malicious process. I am trying to give Hal his own ability to protect himself and the computer that he is installed on.

There are so many different automated operating system tasks that you can do with batch files. And for now I am just bypassing the entire Zabaware software in order to give Hal the ability to do all these different things for me that would otherwise have to be programmed directly into the Zabaware software. If another forum member developer was able to write a script to do something like have Hal close programs I would think that it would of already been done by now, or maybe it has been done and I just don't know about it. But I never seen anyone make a post about having their Hal close programs, please correct me if I am wrong about that so I know whether or not I am wasting my time writing batch files to close programs and do other system related tasks! Who else has a Hal that closes programs?
Best Regards,
Rich_A
 

Kathryn

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Hal Batch Files - XP Automation
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2005, 08:37:40 pm »
Rich:

I'd like to thank you for all the Batch file info.  I am an old DOS nut and I used to write batch files to do everything imaginable on my old 286.  It is nice to know that can write such things again and have Hal utilize them.

Kathryn [:)]
 

Rich_A

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Hal Batch Files - XP Automation
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2005, 12:54:09 am »
Hi Kathryn,
And thanks, it's refreshing to hear that some other people still know about those old batch files! But those old batch files can still do many good things!
Talk To You Later,
Rich
 

Morlhach

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Hal Batch Files - XP Automation
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2005, 11:57:58 am »
quote:
Originally posted by Rich_A

Hi Kathryn,
And thanks, it's refreshing to hear that some other people still know about those old batch files! But those old batch files can still do many good things!
Talk To You Later,
Rich



DOS batch files are still very useful