Krista's Coding Corner


Automatize your work: make the computer do your painful duties

If there is one thing I wished people know about computers, it could be the batch-files (if using Windows, in *nix they normally are .sh-files). Now someone probably wants me to commit seppuku but I think I’ll still keep my opinion.

As many people work with a computer these days, it would be nice if even some of them could use even a small amount of the computers potential. Creating programs for computers can be painful, I admit that, and creating batch-files really is hideous. But when you have the file ready, you can use it again, again and again as programs don’t wear out :)

What is a batch-file? It could be called a script but if we make this really easy: it is a file which you can double-click and it does the tasks it was designed to do. Or you can just drop files into its icon, and it does the tasks it was designed to do to the files.

There are many things computers do well: like listing and sorting things, and normally people aren’t too good at those as they are boring tasks that need lots of caution. So why not to give them to your tireless friend?

Examples of tasks that your batch-file could do:

* Convert your funny-files into pdf.

* Print all your pdf-files from a folder.

* Modifies all file names in certain folder to start with certain letters.

* Make a list of the filenames or folders you have somewhere.

* Run your program with multiple different parameters.

Or just some repetitive command sequences… or if you have to help someone who isn’t too great with computers to run some commands, then just give them a batch-file as then no command-line is needed.

But those examples aren’t even the tip of the iceberg; from the Internet you’ll find batch-files after batch-files. What I wish you to understand is that if you do some task over and over again and they are mechanic: look into batch-files. At first it seems like real trouble to find or create the batch-file but after you have it: it is like heaven as you can just put the computer to do your boring tasks! :) Time savings probably won’t happen on the first run but after a couple of times you will definitely see the results.

PS. After some time you will have your own library of useful batch-files which is more valuable than gold <3

Comment log

- 07.05.2011 Added "PS."-part

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