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Tabbed Command Prompt (multi-prompt)
By Kirill (on 2007-09-19 @ 09:44:00, in General, read 12364 times)

This is for those who suffer from nostalgia for command line. Or for those who's forced to use the good old type-to-achieve approach.

Searching for a way to adjust my mouse settings (MouseSensitivity or Pointer Speed) programmatically, I bumped into Scott Hanselman's article about better prompt. And even though his tricks with command prompt are fine and funny, but Console 2.00 attracted much more of my attention, because I'm one of the unfortunate ones, who can't always use point-and-click approach (editor's note: don't confuse with point-and-shoot) and have half a dozen command prompts floating around at any given time. Moreover, with my introduction to GIT, the situation has not exactly been improved.

As a general rule, I don't use beta versions, but having searched for this kind of enhancement to the good old Command Prompt for ages, it was worth a try. Side note: I do not want another shell, I want a way to group several cmd.exe together.

While playing with the app, I found that it:
  • is a beta version (some things are annoying, something are crashing under weird circumstances);
  • does not have copy-and-paste interface either of cmd.exe or of PuTTY;
  • behaves funny on dual-monitor system;
  • does not allow to use environment variables in the initial directory setting;
  • does not paste multiple lines into the cmd.exe correctly;
  • is not yet build with VS 2005.
I also found that it:
  • is a solid beta (if you don't push your luck with transparency, it keeps going);
  • can be adjusted to behave almost like cmd.exe or PuTTY in regards to Copy & Paste (see my settings file below; there is a section Copy & Paste under Behavior category of Console Settings and the Hotkeys->Mouse category);
  • will behave more predictable on dual-monitor system after disabling Snap to desktop edges setting (see my settings file below or check Appearance category, and while you're at it, check Use console window title, so the title command will update tab's title).
  • can be easily fixed with regards to environment variables, multiple lines and building with VS 2005. The solution for the latter is here.

Updated on September 19th:

So, in addition to posting patches for those easily fixable things, I decided to produce an unofficial build. So here you're:

Disclaimer: this is unofficial build. Do not ask Marko about the build (I'm not even sure whether I broke any law by providing you with the build). And as usual, I can not be held liable for any damages to your computer or any of your property caused by or in connection with this application, even if you advise me on a possibility of such a damage (this sentence is also known as "If it works, please, praises by e-mail. If it does not, I have no idea who wrote it").


Symptom: the app quietly dies.
Verify that you have console.xml in the same folder as console.exe and that it's a valid XML file, understood by Console 2.00. If in doubt, replace your file with the default one.

Symptom: on Windows XP (a) the app complaints that it's corrupted and need to be reinstalled; (b) events 32 and 59 from SideBySide in the System event log.
I saw that one with my previous attempt for the unofficial build. The solution was to download and install Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86). It is supposed to be fixed with the newer build (Console.zip, 1,011,862 bytes), which was tested on Win2K, WinXP SP2 with .NET 1.1, .NET 1.1 SP1, .NET 2.0 and another XP SP2 with all released .NET frameworks.

Happy Command Prompt'ing!