LazyConsole Introduction


You may read either the Quick Introduction or the Full Introduction. The quick introduction is there for people who don't want to read as much, and the full introduction has more information. Note that parts that look like this apply only to the full version. Thank you for using LazyConsole!

Quick Introduction

Just to get you started, here are some things to remember: There is a help command, and a help window available. Use them. To view the help window, type "helpwin". You must separate commands and filenames from their parameters and switches with a "command separator" instead of just a space. The default command separator is a question mark (?). There is also a secondary command separator, which is a space by default. To change the command separator and other options, use the "chopt" command. View the help for more information. Also, you switch into directories by typing in just their names, because there is no "cd" command in LazyConsole. This will get you started, but there is more mentioned in the longer introduction.

Full Introduction

When you first run LazyConsole, it will be immediately obvious that it borrows a lot of ideas from DOS. But once you try typing something like "dir c:\" or "attrib *.txt" into the shareware version, you'll stumble across one of the most notable differences. The full version has an extra feature that will allow those commands to work anyway that I will explain later. LazyConsole uses what I decided to call a "Command Separator". It's basically a character that goes between a command and its parameters. When I say "command" here, keep in mind that I also mean names of runnable files, etc, and not just actual LazyConsole commands. The default command separator is the question mark (?), because no file name in windows can contain one. You can change it to any character you want, even a space if you want to make it more like DOS. Going back to the two examples I just gave ("dir c:\" and "attrib *.txt"), changing them to "dir?c:\" and "attrib?*.txt" will make them work just fine, assuming you didn't change the command separator. There is also an additional option for a secondary command separator in the full version, which is a space by default. This is why you can use a space or a question mark, and they both will work by default. If the command you want to type in contains the command separator character in it, you can just put the command in quotes. For example, if the command separator is a space and you want to switch into the My Documents directory, just type "My Documents", including the quotes. If you want to be able to leave out the quotes and still have a space as a command separator, there is an option called "FlexiParse". When enabled, LazyConsole will try other occurrences of the command separator, or even none, if using the first one results in an unrecognized command. For example, if a space is the command separator, and you type "Documents and Settings", minus the quotes, LazyConsole will first look for a command, directory, or something to run called Documents. If it doesn't find anything, it will next look for something called "Documents and". If nothing with that name is found, it will finally look for "Documents and Settings". Note, however, that if the defaults remain and the space is only the secondary command separator, the first thing LazyConsole will try is actaually "Documents and Settings", the whole thing. Then it will try Documents, etc. To change options, use the chopt command. To view their current values, you can type "options". Check the help text for these commands for more information.

You might've noticed in the last paragraph that I instructed you to switch into a directory by just typing its name, without using the cd command. In LazyConsole, there is no cd command. To switch to a directory, simply type its name. To switch to the parent directory, type "..". To switch to the root directory, type "\". If you have difficulty adjusting to this, you can make an alias for the run command and call it cd. Then you'll have a cd command that can be used to switch directories.

While we're on the subject of switching directories, LazyConsole allows you to move through network shares just as easily as normal directories. Simply type in "\\servername\sharename", and you're in. You can also go to "\\servername" and type dir to see all the shares on the server. Normal DOS would requires you to map these shares to a drive letter, and you would have to use the net command to view available shares.

LazyConsole is what I've chosen to call "space-sensitive". I'm not sure if there is an actual term for it, or if that term already applies for anything. Basically, all the spaces are counted. If you type in " dir" (minus the quotes), LazyConsole will look for a file named " dir" (including the space, but the not the quotes) and try to run it, instead of running the "dir" command. Also, when using the SET command to set an environment variable, "EnvVar = Value" is different from "EnvVar=Value". The first one will put a space at the end of the environment variable and the beginning of its value. So, basically, don't put extra spaces around things if you don't want them there, because they will usually be counted.

In DOS, when you wish to run a file, you can type in its name, and you don't need the extension (the part after the dot). But this only works with exe, com, bat, and maybe a couple more extensions. In LazyConsole, you aren't so limited. If you type in a filename without the extension, LazyConsole will look for any file with a matching name, even if it's an mp3 or doc file. Of course, files with an exe extension (and a couple others) will be preferred, so if you type "myfile", and there is a "myfile.exe" and "myfile.mp3", the exe will be picked out and run. You can also use wildcard characters (question mark [?] matches one of any kind of character, asterisk [*] matches zero or more of any kind of character) to specify a file instead of typing the whole thing out. For example, if you want to run "a file with a very long name.exe", and it's the only file with a name that starts with "a file", you can simply type in "a file*" to run it.

One thing that DOS has that I never put into LazyConsole is the input/output redirection and piping. Out of those, piping is probably the most important, because you could use "|more" to pause at each screenful of output from some command. To make up for this, I've included an alternate way of pausing at each screenful. That is the more command. For example, typing "more?dir", using the question mark as the command separator, would show a directory listing one screenful at a time. There is also a browse command that works just like the more command, except you can "browse" the output, scrolling up, down, left, and right as you go through it.

Use the help command to get information on the available commands and how to use them. Many LazyConsole commands differ significantly from their DOS counterparts. You might especially want to check out the changes to the move and copy commands. There is much more for me to say here, but I'll let you discover them for youself. Also remember that there is a help window as well. Type "helpwin" to view it. It generally does the same thing as the help command, but in a more user-friendly manner (you actually get to use the mouse).