Ken Baker Consulting
PC Network Engineering And
|Below are articles and howto's that I've written for customers
or myself that are an aid (or reminder) on how to do certain tasks.
|Here's a little something for those who are enamored
of batch files.
Batch files (remember your old DOS days?) were originally designed to enable us to run a series of DOS commands to perform a task. Windows 95 came along and the functionality of batch files as we knew them pretty much went away because (1) they were generally used for file management and (2) file management is now done with Windows Explorer or something similar. It's not that batch files no longer work - they do - but long filenames and paths can make things a bit unwieldy.
What I'm presenting here is a method to easily launch multiple applications by running a single batch file. Sounds like pretty standard stuff, but there's a twist that you might not be expecting. I'm not launching the applications, but their associated documents.
for those wondering what applications I'm talking about: The info
presented here should give you an idea of what can be done with batch
files in the Windows graphical environment. The Palm Desktop and
MS Streets and Trips are very old and no longer used - at least by
me. Just look at this as a method rather than a set of strict
procedures. For the record, I now use Google Maps, my Google Apps
Calendar, and Excel; all launched manually.
I track my mileage and travel expenses using an Excel spreadsheet. I calculate the miles using a template in MS Streets & Trips. My schedule resides in the Palm Desktop. All of these items have shortcuts. The Excel sheet has a shortcut to the sheet, the Streets shortcut points to a template, and the Palm shortcut points to PALM.EXE. There are two things to consider here; all these items are shortcuts with the .LNK extension and .LNK files are executable.
As you've surmised, I created a batch file that launches the shortcuts. Works
great and is a good click saver. There are some caveats to keep in mind if
you try this.
Here's a copy of the mileage tracking batch file I described above:
This launches all three tools that I use to calculate and track my mileage. All I do is cool-key (Alt-Tab) from one to another as needed.
Pretty simple stuff, and handy as well. Create your own little beastie in any text editor and give it a go.