Windows Command Prompt

First, a disclaimer: I am a linux person through and through, though I am getting nearly competent in the Windows environment.

Today in our project room, someone asked, “What’s wrong with the Windows command prompt?” (vs. using cygwin, for example). I retorted that the lack of a command line history and tab completion were big problems for me. I was then told than those things do in fact exist in Windows, a point which I argued for all of 30 seconds until I was shown that they do exist.

This was very confusing to me, as I vividly remembered NOT having them just last week. I did a bit of investigation, and discovered that there are actually two distinct Windows command prompts. If you run “command”, you end up with the semi-useless window I’m used to. If you run “cmd”, you end up with a useful window, complete with command line history and tab completion.

So, while I may have ended up looking ignorant and foolish, I wasn’t entirely wrong. I still don’t know why you’d want both, but at least now I know which one to use.

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