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Chapter 29. Automating Routine Tasks > Saving More Than Time

Saving More Than Time

As a software author and consultant, I spend a lot of time moving files around, pushing data through various applications, and managing networks and computers. A few years ago I came to the conclusion that for many of these tasks, Windows's graphical user interface does not save me time or trouble. In fact, it can be a big drag.

Here's an example. Take a folder with 50 files named “file1.dat”, “file2.dat”, “file3.dat” and so on. Now, change their extensions to “.txt”: “file1.txt”, “file2.txt”, and so forth. If you have to do this with Windows Explorer, right-clicking and retyping each name one by one, by the time you reach file7, you'll be about ready to scream. Yet, in a Command Prompt window, you can do this by typing ren *.dat *.txt. Start to finish, it takes about 5 seconds.


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