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1. Microsoft® Windows Script Host: A Very powerful automation tool

What is Microsoft® Windows Script Host ? Well if you think something like those old dos batch files , you are in for a pleasant surprise.Not that .bat files are not executed anymore, they do work and work well but there is much more to scripting then just .bat extension. I say it to be very powerful windows automation tool. Microsoft® defines it as a language-independent scripting host for ActiveX scripting engines which brings simple, powerful, and flexible scripting to the Windows 32-bit platform, allowing you to run scripts from both the Windows desktop and the command prompt. Windows Script Host is ideal for non-interactive scripting needs such as logon scripting, administrative scripting, and machine automation. You can visit Windows Scripting Host Reference to get complete reference information. But in brief benefits are:-
A. Scripting work in Windows Environment by using WScript.exe(provides properties page for setting various features) and in Command Environment by using CScript.exe(provides switches for various overides).
B. Multiple Scripting files can be executed from single .WSF (Windows Script File)
C. Its memory requirement are considerably low
D. Language independence. You can write a good script either in VBSCRIPT or JSCRIPT (and many others as well) and it would work just fine. Host does the job of mapping your file extensions to corresponding Programmatic Identifiers. this means you can have file say xyz.vbs or xyz.js and it would work just fine.
E. Windows Scripting Host object model provides support for all ActiveX interfaces and functions like CreateObject,GetObject etc and functionalities like mapping a drive,displaying messages on screen,connecting to printers,retrieving and modifiying Registry and also the environment variables.

Windows Scripting host is integrated into Windows XP (In fact it was there in Windows 98 and Windows 2000 as well but I was dumb enough not to discover its power that early). Version 2.0 of Windows Scripting Host provides VBSCRIPT and JSCRIPT support with future versions aimed at supporting PERL,REXX or PYTHON and other popular scripts. But if you are like me, best way to learn any thing new is to see and feel its powering. Seeing is believing. All right, here are some examples of what is possible out of Windows Scripting Host. Just a note:
Some of these files are not created by me, I have got them on internet and as such author name and comments are preserved and indicate to actual creator of the software. Also as with anything, you are free to use it but use it at your risk and don't blame us for any problems
1. CreateExplorerShortcut.vbs This script would ask you to choose a folder and would create a short cut on your desktop. May be it sounds trivial but would give you an idea of what is possible with scripting.

2. Windows XP Professional How-to Articles for IT Pros

Microsoft has a series of good articles on How-tos for IT pros. You can find it all here In brief articles are categorised into following groups:
A. Deploying Windows XP
B. Windows XP Application Compatibility
C. Managing Windows XP
D. Installing Hardware on Windows XP
E. Networking Windows XP
F. Securing Windows XP
G. Other How-to Resources for IT Pros

If you have Windows XP for some time now, you must have noticed this. I think these are something that Microsoft forgot to do. If you look at the command prompt window or advanced tab window of Appearance section in Display properties, you would notice this. Click here to know more

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