Install favourite Windows apps with a Chocolatey Gist

I'm a big fan of the chocolatey package manager for Windows. While not perfect, it still saves a bunch of time.

Many people build meta-packages that install everything they need, but I feel this pollutes the package namespace. As an alternative, I've prototyped a gist that can be pasted and run to install packages I use.

Being a batch file, it's not as clean as.. well almost anything. Powershell would be a sane choice here, but I don't use Windows enough to justify learning it. There's also something quite fun about twisting batch files to do what you want. Hopefully this is useful for anyone that wants to use gist to store their own package list.

Scripts to help workflow now on google code.

I've uploaded my scripts to help workflow to google code, naming the project batch flow. Heres a summary of some of the things you can do.

Clipboard integration

Go to a directory in the clipboard.

If you have the address bar enabled in explorer: Copy the location, go to the prompt and enter 'pcd' to go to that folder Go to the location of a setting in netbeans or eclipse: Copy the location , go to the prompt and enter 'pcd' to go to the folder (or folder containing the file).

Get the current directory without dragging:

Enter 'ccd'

Directory bookmarks

dirsave and dirload let you save named bookmarks.

Using hotkeys

If you use the alternate shell 4nt (or the free TCC/LE) you can use the supplied configuration and aliases to access the bookmark functionality from the keyboard: In the 4nt or tcc/le prompt enter "option", under the "TCStart/TCExit" path, change the location to the location where batch-flow is installed + "\conf", for instance on my computer batch-flow is installed to c:\usr\batch-flow, so I set it to
Now in new TCC/LE prompts F5-F10 are reserved for directories: Ctrl+Fkey to save, and Alt+Fkey to load.  Alt-F12 lists these shortcuts. Note:  Alt-F12 only lists shortcuts on FKeys, to list these and other shortcuts enter dirload /l
batch-flow comes with other handy hotkeys, use 'alias' in TCC/LE to see what they are.

Path manipulation


It's annoying after installing a program to have to add it to the path, so there is an 'addpath' command to do this.


This is a more general utility for viewing the registry path, you can list it, validate it, check for the location of files within it. Also useful is 'regpath /L' which sets the local prompts path to the one in the registry.

Further help

Most of the commands have help builtin, which you can access by using the /? option.

Making Windows Usable – colourisation

Human beings are visual creatures, so in this post I'll introduce some ways of making your life easier using colour.

Colour Your folders with iColorFolder

IColorFolder gives folders a context menu which lets you change the colour.  Unfortunately this doesn't work fully in Vista yet, and you'll need to manually change the icon, navigate to Program Files\iColorFolder\iColorFolder.dll to get access to the folder icons. Incidentally if you want have a shortcut to a folder, you can use the same workaround to use a coloured icon.

Colourise your commandline

Colour ls

It's equally useful to have colour folders when using the commandline, to achieve this you can use msls from utools. Download it and place it somewhere within the path (I use \usr\bin, which I added to the path earlier). Now, to get colour directories you can type "ls --color".  However it would be better to have that happen all the time. To set color as the default, set the environment variable LS_OPTIONS to --color:
  1. Press Windows+Pause,
  2. Click through these buttons: Advanced, Environment Variables, New
  3. Set the name as LS_OPTIONS and the variable to --color
Next time you launch the commandline and type ls, it will be in colour.  You can also combine options here, for instance if you want -l to be default as well.

Using 4NT/TCC-LE

Another way of getting colour directories is to use 4/NT or TakeCommand-LE (The free cut down version) from JPSoft.  This replaces the whole command shell and has many enhancements that help day-to-day. Once you've downloaded the shell, if you want to change colours for particular kinds of files, then type option, go to the windows tab, and you can set directory colours. To set EXE CMD and BAT files to be bright white enter: EXE,CMD,BAT:15 If you want bright white on blue enter EXE,CMD,BAT:15,1 Semicolons seperate file types - here I've set executables yellow and documents white: EXE,CMD,BAT:14;TXT,DOC,PDF:15 The colours are arranged foreground, background and can be any of the ones used below (note background only has 8 colours to choose from, while foreground has 16, the last being the brighter versions). Note:  These are the default textmode colours, if you change the command prompt colours yours may be different.

Tango in putty

The tango project is a usability project for free software, the colours are very pleasing and have been ported to putty, alternatively the Igvita theme is nice. The tango port comes with the bitstream vera mono fonts too, so everything should look pretty good once installed.

Colourise your browser

If you use firefox you can install ColourfulTabs which makes it easier to find that tab among the crowd (especially useful if like me, you have lots open).

Colourise gmail (sometimes)

This one is a little annoying as it seems to be broken, but I'll include it anyway in case it gets fixed. If you install greasemonkey and the gmail colouriser, then all your gmail will be coloured by label (for instance I have a label for mailing lists I subscribe to).      When the gmail colouriser is working this works great for finding certain kinds of mail in the long list. Unfortunately this isn't working for me at the moment, so no screenshot... if I knew how to debug greasemonkey scripts I might have a look at fixing this as it's so useful - it seems to choke on certain mail names but I'm not sure what they are.

JEdit with tango goodness

I've been using a patched version of JEdit with tango icons for a while, but seems like I missed the fact that 4.3 pre 14 came out with Tango support. Go forth and download... Via Tango is a project to bring tasty icons to open source projects, those on windows can also see tango icons in the current version of the gimp, in linux you can see them in gnome and kde.