Miscellaneous Windows utilities

In honor of Raymond Chen, it's link clearance time! This one is devoted to Windows utilities I've discovered over the last few weeks.

First up is the Elevation PowerToys. This is just a bunch of scripts related to privilege elevation. In particular, I like the "elevate" command included with this. It's kind of like sudo for UAC - you use it to elevate to admin with a UAC prompt rather than having to use runas.

Next is Shell Link Extension. As the name suggests, this is just a shell extension for creating symlinks and hardlinks. It's a bit rough around the edges, but it's nice not to have to drop down to a cmd.exe prompt.

On a more eye-candy note, I recently discovered PuttyTray, an improved version of PuTTY. It includes systray integration and supports configurable window transparency. The eye-candy support is fairly limited compared to the options available in the UNIX world (how many configuration options did aterm have just related to transparency?), but overall it's not too bad.

Similarly, I also just discovered PowerShell Glass. Basically, it's just a utility to enable Aero glass in PowerShell terminals, rendering the window transparent. While it's a nice idea, it doesn't seem to work that well. Sure, the window turns transparent, but I can't read what's in it half the time. The text and background coloring isn't quite right and isn't configurable to any great degree, so depending on what's behind your terminal window, it can be very hard to read.

Edit: Apparently I spoke too soon on the PSGlass colors. I Googled it yesterday and noticed a comment that the transparency seems to work best with the dark blue Aero color scheme. So I tried changing my color scheme and, lo and behold, it worked. Turns out I had my desktop set to the "frost" scheme, which looks like it's probably the worst possible setting for PSGlass. The "twilight" (dark blue) setting does seem to be the most readable, but it's a little too blue for my taste. I ended up settling on "slate", which still gives you readable text when the window is active, but is a little less "in your face" color-wise.

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