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As a command-line junkie, I routinely use quite a variety of tools from LIST to PC-Write 3.02 (used as a text editor with word-wrap, box-mode processing, and a few other tricks), QBASIC (nice for really quick one-off programs) etc. While console utilities have some definite limitations, it can be nice to view a file and be returned to the command line when exiting the viewer (even if I've used other windows in the interim). Since those things won't work in Windows 7 without an emulator, what would be my best approach? Are there other utilities people would recommend that can run within a command-line window, or are there any emulators that can run within the command-line window that launched them (preferably wedged in as a replacement for the 'DOS no longer supported' message)? What would people recommend?

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They won't work in Windows 7 64-bit without an emulator, you mean. –  Alan B Oct 4 '10 at 8:18
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 4 '10 at 1:58

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5 Answers

Don't use cmd.exe, use PowerShell.

It is more powerful, more consistent and gives direct access to .NET, COM and WMI. Remoting included. Installed by default in Win7/2008R2 and available for supported earlier versions.

Best thing: replacing a text pipeline between commands with an object pipeline (no need to parse and re-parse numbers, dates, ... -- they keep their type).

Most applications (command line or window) will run from within PowerShell (as they would in cmd.exe).

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It's amazing that this question even need be asked in the 21st century. Most of the stalwarts of the "power utilities" MS/PC/DR-DOS user have had Win32 equivalents and better since the 1990s. In fact it's been so long that several Windows TUI tools have had time to themselves fall by the wayside. Here's a small taste of what's still around now:

The Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools, which contain another LIST program, are an example some of the Windows TUI tools that have since fallen by the wayside. There's no equivalent for Windows 7.

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Along the same lines as GNUWin32, there's Cygwin - Linux apps for Windows (mostly command-line).

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+1. Cygwin is awesome. –  Leif Feb 28 '11 at 3:30
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You might try installing andLinux: http://www.andlinux.org/ for access to many GNU and command line and linux tools.

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For a command-line junkie, GNUWin32 without a doubt. A lot of powerful GNU utilities ported to Windows in that collection.

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