Monday, November 21, 2011

Making my work day EASIER via a quick script

When I get to work, I have a group of things on the Windows box (that I am stuck using) that I both have to and want to have open on my desktops:
Outlook, for that annoying now enterprise email
Browser: with mutliple tabls to highly used sites
Some tools I use on a daily basis
File Browser

Bottom line is that I LOVE scripts. Well, I just plain love programming, and ANY kind of code is fun code to me. I believe that anyone working in IT more than a day at least KNOWS the value of scripting some tasks. I take it a little further and will try to script anything and everything I can. Whether it's OS apps I need or new Macros in UltraEdit, I REALLY want to make things as easy and streamlined as possible.

There are multiple solutions to using startup scripts. In GPOs you can assign scripts to the user(s) or to the actual box, at both start-up or shutdown. You can use a scheduled task to do something after a login executes or at particular times (like open your timecard application at lunchtime, for instance).
Another preferred way, is write a simple bat file that will do what I want when I log onto the box, and I copy it to (Windows 7 Profession)
C:\Users\myusername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
Once I have a working bat file in this location, EVERY time I log in, the bat file runs and my world is at peace.

As an example one is below (really quick since I have a cert exam in 6 hours and it might be a good idea to get some sleep). I am doing this from memory so I am not 100% certain on the "start" syntax...but I know it's close.:

@echo off

start /d "MyEmail" /PATHTOOUTLOOK/ outlook.exe
start /d "MyPages" /PATHTOFIREFOX/ firefox.exe http://www
exit 0

In my example script, I am using firefox as opposed to IE. This is more than just personal preferrence. As of the last time I check, IE8 and IE9 did not support a way to open multiple tabs in one browser from the command line. I will recheck this and edit the entry if I find and test successfully some evidence contrary to what I initially read about this with IE8/9.