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Automate things with batch files

They also work on today’s computers!

If you’re familiar with MS-DOS, you’ll remember that it’s a command-driven operating

system that performs the functions issued at the C:> prompt.

The only way to make an MS-DOS computer do something was to type a command

at this prompt and if you can imagine it was a rather cumbersome way of using a computer.

For example, to load the simple Microsoft editing program, you need to type the name

of the drive where the program was located, the directory where the program was located,

and then the name of the program.

Therefore, if Microsoft Edit was in a directory or folder named “Process”, you can start

the program by typing “C:> process \ edit.com”. Then, and only then will the program be loaded for use.

This is a small command, but imagine having a program deeply nested in a series of folders.

You could end up typing a command as wide as your computer screen or worse,

long enough that the entire command should wrap the next line!

Now imagine having to type these long commands every time you want to start a program.

Yikes!

This is one of the reasons why batch files have become so popular.

Batch files are small text-based documents that contain a series of these commands

on their lines.

When executed, they would process each command without the user having to write them all and each one.

When Windows was developed, the need to type commands was essentially eliminated

thanks to the introduction of the point-and-click interface (mouse). But this did not stop

the batch file fever started under MS-DOS – and in some small circles, batch files are still

as popular as the beginning.

Although you can use Windows XP or Vista, batch files can save you a lot of time by

automatically starting multiple programs and performing different tasks with just one

click of a button.

They do not require extensive programming background and do not need to be encrypted

with some weird and expensive compiler.

Batch files are simple text files and you can create one for personal use with Windows Notepad.

For example, you can create a batch file that loads your favorite websites, or create

a batch file that fills the desktop with the most important applications of the day.

To do this requires only a little knowledge of the positions of these applications. 

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