HOWTO : Flex your muscles

A tongue in cheek headline :-). The post is not about body muscle, but about how you can flex your market power (muscle).

Here is a screenshot comparison of default apps settings in Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows 11. Notice how instead of just giving one option to change the default browser, Microsoft has moved the option to change it by file extension? Does a layperson even know the difference between htm, html, http and https? A clever way for Microsoft to make it a bit more difficult to switch away from edge (Microsoft’s new Internet browser). Some might even call it sinister šŸ™‚

Update Oct 11 : Looks like the main stream media is catching up on this. The Verge has a post on this topic

HOW TO : Add commas (,) at the end of every line using Notepad++

Thanks for this great nugget from Sumama Waheed

Many a time, you get some data as a CSV file and need to copy some of that data and include it in a SQL statement. For instance one of the rows in the CSV was first name in the format below


And you need to put it in a SQL statement as below

SELECT * FROM employee_table
WHERE employee_table.employee_id IN (1234,

That’s a lot of adding commas (,) at the end of every line. You can do it quickly in Notepad++ (you can do the same in any editor that supports regex) using the regex capability in search and replace using ($) as the search string and $, as the replace string.

DID YOU KNOW : Advanced Search in Microsoft Explorer

I was trying to search for some files on my laptop today and wanted to filter the search for filed modified in the last few weeks. Like, show me all files that contain the word “American” and modified in the last 2 weeks. Doing this on a Linux machine would have been a simple filter using find. But this is Microsoft :).

Thanks to some Googling, I ran across something called “Advanced Query Syntax” that is a core part of Microsoft’ ecosystem (OS, Office etc).

So the same search ended up being

American datemodified:this month

There are a lot of cool ways you can filter your queries using the other keywords in AQS.

HOW TO : count lines in windows command line

Say you are using netstat to checl all established network connections on a windows machine (confirmed to work on windows 7+ and windows server 2008+) and want to find out how many connections you have, you can use

netstat -an | find "ESTABLISHED" | find /v /c ""

breaking down the command string

netstat -an : Uses netstat command to display all connections and listening ports (-a) and displays them in numerical form instead of resolving DNS or using common names (-n)

| : piping (passing) output of one command to the next one

find “ESTABLISHED” : Uses find command to filter out to just lines that contain the string “ESTABLISHED”‘

find /c /v “” : exclude blank lines (/v “”) and count the number of remaining lines (/c)

If you wanted to something similar in linux, you can use

netstat -an | grep "ESTABLISHED" | wc -l

HOW TO : Parse IP Address in Windows Batch File

We had a recent challenge at work which required us to execute different actions based on which office a particular workstation was located in. Since we have unique network ranges per office, I thought this would be a good variable to use. Just for future reference, here is how we accomplished this in a batch file. The workstations were running Windows 7



FOR /f "tokens=3" %%I IN (
‘netsh interface ip show address "Local Area Connection" ^| findstr "IP Address"’
) DO SET ipAddress=%%I

REM "Office 1"
IF NOT x%ipAddress:10.130=%==x%ipAddress% (
ECHO "Office 1" + %ipAddress%
ECHO "do_something_else" )

REM "Office 2"
IF NOT x%ipAddress:10.140=%==x%ipAddress% (
ECHO "Office 2" + %ipAddress%
ECHO "do_something_else" )


Details of function used

  • netsh interface ip show address “Local Area Connection” : With this command we are extracting the IP information of just the LAN port
  • findstr “IP Address” : returns the line containing “IP Address”
  • IF NOTĀ x%ipAddress:10.130=%==x%ipAddress% : We are using the substitution function and returning false if the new string doesnt match the original
  • FOR /f “tokens=3” : Using the functions in the FOR loop to extract the third variable in the matching line

HOW TO : Combine landscape and portrait page layouts in Microsoft Word

Blogging this as a “memory” note for myself šŸ™‚

I was putting together a report for work and needed one of the pages in the word document to be in landscape mode, instead of the regularĀ portraitĀ mode. I thought it was a simple thing of adding a page break and applying the “landscape” layout in the page setup. But ended up either having all pages in landscape mode or inĀ portraitĀ mode. A bit of googling finally helped out :). Looks like the trick is to use section breaks instead of page breaks.

Here are the steps to do it in Microsoft Word 2010

  1. Add the content you want into word. In this example, I created two paragraphs, test landscape and test portraitĀ 
  2. At the place you want to split the page format, insert a section break, by going to Page Layout –> Breaks –> Section Breaks –> Next PageĀ 
  3. Now change the page orientation by going to Page Layout -> Orientation –> Landscape. This will only change the orientation for the current section.
  4. And voila you document now has two different page orientations šŸ™‚Ā 



Interesting (infrastructure) tidbits about Microsoft Azure

I attended a session organized by aditi regarding Microsoft Azure and Windows 8, called “Go Cloud 8” today. One of the speakers in the event was Deepak Rao, Microsoft’ Director of Cloud Computing. He shared some interesting numbers about the infrastructure running Microsoft Azure

  • 8 carrier grade data centers around the world. “Carrier” grade because of the sheer size of them.
  • The data center in Chicago houses more than 350,000 servers and is supported by only 30 FTEs (which makes me think about the number of contractors they have there šŸ™‚ )
  • 1 in 4 x86 servers produced were bought by Microsoft. Not sure if it was in 2011 or 2012!!

Deepak also gave an real world example of how one of their customers used Azure.

BPro Inc provides software to counties and states for helping report election results. They run their backend on the Azure platform. During normal periods, they run ~10 instances of compute nodes. But during the election day (11/6) this week, BPro spun up 8600 compute nodes in less than 15 minutes at 4:00 PM EST, to help support the load created by the demand for election results and than again shutdown all of them at around 1:00 AM EST when the demand decreased. Using the “list” pricing of $0.12/hr/compute node, that massive increase in capacity cost them ~$8K!!.

That is pretty impressive and I usually don’t use the work impressive in the sameĀ sentenceĀ as Microsoft šŸ™‚

For loop in Windows command shell

For my records, syntax for running a simple for loop in command prompt

[code]for %i in (SERVER1 SERVER2) do nslookup %i [/code]

note :

  • Looks like the variable can only be single characters. i.e you cannot name the variable %server
  • For using the same syntax in a batch file, you have to add another % to the variable. i.e. %i becomes %%i

DID YOU KNOW : Windows mobile and wildcard certs don't work together

Wildcard SSL certificates allow you to use one certificate for all sub domains (up to one level) of a host. Say I got a wildcard SSL certificate for *, I would be able to use it to provide SSL on,, and the clients won’t complaint about it.

For some reason though, Windows Mobile phones don’t like wildcard certs. So if you are ever scratching your head, why every other client works, but windows mobile devices don’t..stop scratching and get a regular SSL certificate for your website/application.

Apparently, this is the case with

  • Windows CE
  • Windows Mobile 5.0
  • Windows Mobile 6.0
  • Windows Mobile 7.0

Don’t you get the feeling that someone keeps using the same library and never bothered to check/fix it? And searching on MSDN or any other Microsoft resource won’t provide you this information. This is my own deduction after beating my head against the wall for more than 3 days :).