Alternative Windows/DOS command interpreter
Once upon a time, the command-line was the Way of Power. In fact, it was the only way for many personal computer users before the advent of Microsoft Windows. Even then, in the days before Windows 95, it provided power users with the ability to control their systems better, carry out housekeeping and manage disk space and memory. The MS-DOS command interpreter COMMAND.COM provided only basic services to experienced and demanding users, and compared with the control that Unix users had, it was a mean and paltry solution.
Into the fray came alternative command interpreters, with more tools, and more power. 4DOS was one such command interpreter. Released by JP Software in 1989, 4DOS was designed to replace and enhance the Microsoft COMMAND.COM program. The beauty of 4DOS (and it's NT companion, 4NT) is that it contains not just enhanced versions of the standard commands, but additonal commands and facilities, many of which will be familiar to XNIX mavens. As with any alternative CLI you can use this instead of default, by using the COMSPEC command in CONFIG.SYS.
Tab completion, command-line history and editing, and command aliases are a component part of the system, along with an enhanced range of environment variables, access to operating system and hardware information, local environment variables and batch file commands.
It has command-line ftp and sendmail commands, and the file management tools (copy, move, ren etc.) are internet-friendly, in that they can manipulate in ftp and http protocols. The scripting language is so rich that advanced users can write quite complex utilities.
A list of internal commands is shown below:
? ACTIVATE ALIAS ASSOC ATTRIB BEEP
BREAK CALL CANCEL CASE CD CDD
CHCP CHDIR CLS COLOR COPY DATE
DEFAULT DEL DELAY DESCRIBE DETACH DIR
DIRHISTORY DIRS DO DRAWBOX DRAWHLINE DRAWVLINE
ECHO ECHOERR ECHOS ECHOSERR ENDLOCAL ENDSWITCH
ERASE ESET EXCEPT EXIT FFIND FOR
FREE FTYPE GLOBAL GOSUB GOTO HELP
HISTORY IF IFF IFTP INKEY INPUT
KEYBD KEYS KEYSTACK LIST LOADBTM LOG
MD MEMORY MKDIR MOVE MSGBOX ON
OPTION PATH PAUSE PLAYAVI PLAYSOUND POPD
PRINT PROMPT PUSHD QUERYBOX QUIT RD
REBOOT REM REN RENAME RETURN RMDIR
SCREEN SCRPUT SELECT SENDMAIL SET SETDOS
SETLOCAL SHIFT SHORTCUT SHRALIAS START SWITCH
TASKEND TASKLIST TEE TEXT TIME TIMER
TITLE TOUCH TREE TRUENAME TYPE UNALIAS
UNSET VER VERIFY VOL VSCRPUT WHICH
Enhanced exit codes provide fine control over batch files, and the command language is powerful enough to create applets which can be compiled using a special software tool. Complete access to internal variables and built-in functions, as well as graphics, keystroke and mouse button capture, and string input add a great deal of control to the mix.
For anyone serious about the DOS command line, this piece of shareware is definitely worth a look. More information is available at http://www.jpsoft.com, and there is a newsgroup at comp.os.msdos.4dos.