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## PRO-TIPS for your (non-pro) Windows RT ##

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By nazoraios, Member on 7th April 2016, 12:03 PM
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Well I guess this is more of a 'list of utilities, commands, and features' that might be buried so deeply into windows rt that you didn't know it was there. I don't know about other surface/winrt users but I have gotten more advanced configuring my surface rt than I ever did on an x86. Now I usually end up needing to configure my x86 devices to provide the same functionality I expect on my tablets.

So I don't think we have a list like this and I'm sure a lot of you have your own 'pro-tips', so maybe we can compile a list of hidden gems we can use with windows rt into this thread so that we collectively can reference or individually don't forget

So here is a short list to start off :

Utilities -- Many more utilities can be found by browsing c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
WF.msc (type at command prompt or Win-R key run window) : (Windows Firewall with Advanced Security) although they removed the control panel applet it seems they left in this mmc plugin.
gpedit.msc : group policy editor... somewhat hidden but they left this in
resmon (Resource Monitor)
msconfig (System Configuration)
msinfo32 (System Information)
steps (Steps Recorder) : this is a utility that will capture your activity as screenshots to play back or upload for others to see.

Modify whether links or html files open in Desktop or Metro versions of Internet Explorer :
Open desktop Internet Explorer, click on gear icon and choose Internet options. Now click on 'Programs' tab and select your preference from the 'Opening Internet Explorer' section dropdown.

Keyboard Shortcuts :

Metro snap via keyboard : Hold Windows and tap . (period) Keep holding down windows key and tap left, right, up, or down
Win-Tab : While alt-tab lets you cycle 'desktop' programs, Windows key + Tab cycles through 'metro' app list
Win-X : Show advanced start menu (same as right clicking start menu)
Win-D : Show/Hide desktop
Win-P : Pick from various multi-monitor configurations (duplicate/extend/pc only/external monitor only)

Console Commands
'HELP' : Show a list of all commands you can get more help on.
'WHERE' : Type where wf.msc (for example) and it will tell you where that program/file exists if it is in any of your PATH'ed folders.
'WMIC' : a very deep well of information, type WMIC /? to see list of all modules
  • wmic volume list brief (shows all mounted drives/volumes)
  • wmic qfe list brief (shows all installed windows updates)
'SYSTEMINFO' : another system info command, sort of a command line version of msinfo32
'TREE' : show an 'ascii-art' tree of sub-folders for the folder you are in.
'ASSOC' : command line ability to set file associations
'CERTUTIL' : can be used (among other things) for computing file hashes
  • certutil -hashfile [filename] [MD5|SHA1|SHA256] so for example :
  • certutil -hashfile myfile.zip sha1

Associations / Context menu / 'Send To' programs :
  • Create a shortcut to control.exe /name Microsoft.DefaultPrograms to quickly go to this control panel applet.
  • Use command line ASSOC to set file associations
  • Manage 'Send To' folder by opening 'windows' explorer, typing shell:sendto into the location bar to be taken to a folder showing all your 'send to' programs'. You can drop shortcuts to other programs (provided those programs accept command line arguments). Now you can right click a file in windows explorer and 'send to' programs like 7-Zip, Paint.NET, notepad++, etc.
  • Add an "Open with Notepad++" or other top level context menu for all files :
    Open registry editor and browse to : HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell.
    Right-click on “shell” and choose to create a new key, calling it “Open with Notepad++”
    Create a new key below that one called “command”
    Double-click on the (Default) value in the right-hand pane and enter "c:\path_to_npp\notepad++.exe" $1
    To have the menu item show the notepad++ icon do these extra steps :
    Right click the "Open with Notepad++" key (which you created) and add a new string value called "icon"
    Double click new "icon" value and set its string value to "c:\path_to_npp\notepad++.exe"
    In all steps above make sure you enter the path to notepad++ on your machine instead of the path entered.
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...for-all-files/
  • Make 'command prompt here' context menu when right clicking folder in windows explorer : http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...windows-vista/
  • Enable 7-Zip Context Menu :
    Run regedit (Registry Editor), and drill into / expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers.
    Now right click on 'ContextMenuHandlers' and choose 'permissions'.
    Click 'Advanced' button.
    On advanced Security Settings screen (at the top) choose Change (owner) link.
    When selecting a user or group screen comes up click 'Advanced', then 'Find Now', and in search results choose 'Administrators' (may need to widen column to distinguish from singular 'Administrator').
    After highlighting Administrators, click OK button to go back to Advanced Security Settings screen.
    Now you are able to click on 'Administrators' and click 'Edit' and select 'Full Control' and click ok to apply permission.
    Keep clicking ok on dialogs till you are back at registry editor.
    Now run 7-Zip as administrator, go into tools menu and select options.
    Then on 7-Zip tab choose 'Integrate 7-Zip to shell context menu' and click ok to close dialog.
    Context menu should now appear when right clicking on files in windows explorer.

Disabling Connected Standby :
This is only a good idea if your tablet will always be left on a charger or 'shut down' when not in use. If you turn off connected standby and set your display to turn off after... say 5 minutes, then after 5 minutes your display will really power off (backlight as well) but any desktop programs will continue to run. You might want to do this if you are running a web server or some other process in background. When you disable connected standby, many other options appear in your power options 'advanced power settings' page. If you do this I recommend you 'Create a power plan' on the 'Choose or customize a power plan screen first'.

To toggle connected standby feature on or off, modify the :
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Power\CsEnabled key, setting to 0 for 'off' or 1 for 'on' and reboot to take effect.

Node Chakracore :

This is really an undocumented bonus 'add-on', made by Microsoft which you can run even on windows rt devices which are not in test-signing mode. For those who are not familiar, NodeJS is a console-based javascript scripting environment. Standard Node.js uses v8 javascript engine (same as google chrome), however this 'node-chakracore' version uses the chakra javascript engine (which is the latest version used in edge browsers). Microsoft is providing this for raspberry pi users running Windows 10 on ARM but they also work on Windows RT.

I made a utility here if you prefer to try an automated means of installing

Install Node.JS (node-chakracore) :
(Optional) Install/Setup NPM (lets you install packages from npm repository) :
  • Download https://github.com/npm/npm/archive/master.zip, save somewhere.
  • Extract it to (for example) c:\npm.
  • Open windows explorer and type %AppData% into the address bar and hit enter.
  • Within your AppData directory, create an "npm" directory.
  • Double click on npm folder you just created from windows explorer
  • Click into the address bar to see the full path and remember (or copy) this path for next step and later.
  • Save the following to file named "npm.bat" and save into the directory you just created/copied
    Code:
    @node c:\npm\npm-master\cli.js %*
  • (If you extracted npm elsewhere, update the batch file to reflect actual location)
  • Create an etc directory under this appdata npm folder
  • Create an separate etc directory under your node folder (c:\nodejs if you used suggested default)
  • Copy .npmrc file from c:\npm\npm-master to c:\node
  • Rename and get rid of the '.' from the filename so the filename is just npmrc
  • edit that npmrc file In notepad and add the following lines :
    Code:
    globalconfig=c:\users\username\appdata\roaming\npm\etc\npmrc
    prefix=c:\users\username\appdata\roaming\npm
    (make sure to substitute your username in the above this base folder is the folder I told you to remember/copy in previous steps)
  • Having saved those changes to npmrc under c:\node\etc, copy that file to your appdata\npm\etc directory as well.
  • Add the path of your appdata\npm directory your path environment variable. If you install global packages they will install commands/batch files into this folder. If it is pathed you can exec them as native commands. This path is also where we put the npm.bat so it can be run from anywhere.
A useful demonstration if you have configured the both npm and node correctly is to install cash (an implementation of unix shell commands) by typing from a command prompt :

Code:
npm install -g cash
That should take a several minutes to complete (hopefully successfully). When done you can run 'cash' or just '$' at a command prompt to bring up simulated Linux prompt from which you can type 'help' to see supported commands. These commands interop with windows commands as well so you can mix (see cash link above).
(Thanks to @black_blob for discovering this node/npm)

I will add more info or cleanup as needed, feel free to post your own, if needed I can compile it into first post to work towards a guide if anyone wanted to make one.
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7th April 2016, 06:29 PM |#2  
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I modded the Windows 10 Chakra(non-core) to run on 8.1 as a part of my earlier NodeJS port. By the way, I also had Microsoft Edge running with it at a time.(EdgeHTML)
I wonder if I should continue my backports from Win10
7th April 2016, 10:56 PM |#3  
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You mean other programs/frameworks? You have brought over some great stuff, so yes absolutely! Anything you have in mind?
11th April 2016, 12:09 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazoraios

You mean other programs/frameworks? You have brought over some great stuff, so yes absolutely! Anything you have in mind?

I have in mind to backport the UWP framework, or maybe even a FrankenKernel(10 kernel, 8.1 userspace). Microsoft Edge works without needing UWP, as you can use edgehtml like mshtml for embedding
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13th April 2016, 11:20 PM |#5  
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You would definitely be my hero if you could bring over Edge, preferably with somewhat recent (EdgeHTML? rendering) and Chakra javascript engine.

Not sure how FrankenKernel and UWP support could work out but both could potentially be awesome... guess its the details which I'm sure you have a better idea than me. So do you think we would be able to run (open source?) Windows 10 apps and would the 'developer mode' be brought over with the kernel or is that 8.1 userspace which would require 8.1 developer license signing (and renewing every 6 months)? Or would the UWP part just be for console or node-chakracore like it is on IOT?
14th April 2016, 06:48 AM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazoraios

You would definitely be my hero if you could bring over Edge, preferably with somewhat recent (EdgeHTML? rendering) and Chakra javascript engine.

Not sure how FrankenKernel and UWP support could work out but both could potentially be awesome... guess its the details which I'm sure you have a better idea than me. So do you think we would be able to run (open source?) Windows 10 apps and would the 'developer mode' be brought over with the kernel or is that 8.1 userspace which would require 8.1 developer license signing (and renewing every 6 months)? Or would the UWP part just be for console or node-chakracore like it is on IOT?

Windows 10 kernel & system, Windows 8.1 explorer.exe, dwm and other tiny GUI bits
I have a Windows Server ARM64 build, but that's not 32-bit
14th April 2016, 10:54 PM |#7  
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Yea that sounds daring... Don't brick your device please Too bad no 32bit gui bits to borrow. I doubt they would bring the Ubuntu for Windows 10 subsystem to arm, but technically i'm sure they could since Ubuntu has arm and pi2 image.... still would be neat. Also I think they added ssh server to pi2 but not sure if it would be easy to 'extract' and borrow.

We will be watching you commander...
15th April 2016, 07:08 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazoraios

Yea that sounds daring... Don't brick your device please Too bad no 32bit gui bits to borrow. I doubt they would bring the Ubuntu for Windows 10 subsystem to arm, but technically i'm sure they could since Ubuntu has arm and pi2 image.... still would be neat. Also I think they added ssh server to pi2 but not sure if it would be easy to 'extract' and borrow.

We will be watching you commander...

The Ubuntu support uses the Linux binary compatibility SubSystem, also known as Astoria
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28th April 2016, 08:51 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black_blob

I have in mind to backport the UWP framework, or maybe even a FrankenKernel(10 kernel, 8.1 userspace). Microsoft Edge works without needing UWP, as you can use edgehtml like mshtml for embedding

That would be even more amazing than a running build of Windows 10 Mobile. So you'd have a "full" OS with the befinits of running UWP. That would def. insure the future of Windows RT.

It would be even better if astoria would work on it too. So you'd even able to run android apps.
22nd August 2016, 06:15 AM |#10  
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I need help for the nodejs and the npm instructions. Can you explain it out in details for morons?
28th August 2016, 01:57 PM |#11  
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Sorry late reply... which steps are you getting confused at (for node/npm install) ? So for starters :

- if you open a command prompt and type "node -v" does it tell you the version of node your running? If so, what version does it say?
- if you type "npm -v" does it tell you the version of npm you are running or give an error? Tell version or error.

So i'll start with that to make sure your paths are set up.
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