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How to use the Window command line (DOS)

Izunna Okpala

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DOS1

This document covers the basic in navigating and using the Microsoft Windows command line. On this page, you’ll learn how to move around in the command line, find files, manipulate files, and other important commands.

This document covers the basic in navigating and using the Microsoft Windows command line. On this page, you’ll learn how to move around in the command line, find files, manipulate files, and other important commands. Keep in mind that there are over 100 different commands that have been used in MS-DOS and the Windows command line.

DOS1

Get into the Windows command line

Open a Windows command line window by following the steps below.

    Click Start
    In the Search or Run line type cmd and press enter.

Understanding the prompt

After following the above steps, the Windows command line should be shown (similar to the example below). Typically Windows starts you at your user directory. In the example below, the user is Mrhope, so our prompt is C:\Users\Windows>. This prompt tells us we are in the C: drive (the default drive letter of the hard drive) and currently in the Mrhope directory, which is a subdirectory of the Users directory.

DOS1

Key tips

    MS-DOS and the Windows command line are not case sensitive.
    The files and directories shown in Windows are also found in the command line.
    When working with a file or directory with a space, surround it in quotes. For example, My Documents would be “My Documents.”
    Filenames can have a long file name of 255 characters and a 3 character file extension.
    When a file or directory is deleted in the command line, it is not moved into the Recycle Bin.
    If you need help with any of command type /? after the command. For example, dir /? would give the options available for the dir command.

Listing the files

Let’s learn your first command. Type dir at the prompt to list files in the current directory. You should get an output similar to the example image below. By default, without using any dir options this is how dir output appears. As can be seen, you are given a lot of useful information, the modification or creation date and time, an indication if the listed item is a directory (<DIR>), and the actual name of the directory or file. In the example below, there are 0 files listed and 14 directories as indicated by the status at the bottom of the output.

DOS2

Every command in the command line has options, which are additional switches and commands that can be added after the command. For example, with the dir command you can type dir /p to list the files and directories in the current directory one page at a time. This switch is useful to see all the files and directories in a directory that has dozens or hundreds of files.

In addition to switches, the dir command can also be used to search for specific files and directories by using wildcards. For example, if you only wanted to list files or directories that begin with the letter “A” you could type dir a* to list only the AppData directory, in this above example. See the wildcard definition for other examples and help with using wildcards.

Moving into a directory

Now that we’ve seen a list of directories (shown below) in the current directory move into one of those directories. To move into a directory, we use the cd command, so to move into the Desktop type cd desktop and press enter. Once you’ve moved into a new directory the prompt should change, so in our example, the prompt is now C:\Users\Mrhope\Desktop>. Now in this desktop directory, see what files are found in this directory by typing the dir command again.

DOS3

Understand the files

Now in the Desktop directory in this example (as shown above), we now have 23 files and 7 directories. As can be seen in the above example, there are many different file types. In Windows, you are familiar with files having icons that help represent the file type. In the command line, the same thing is accomplished by the file extensions. For example, “forum posts.txt” is a text file because it has a .txt file extension, Time.mp3 is an MP3 music file, and minecraft.exe is an executable file.

For most users, you’ll only be concerned with executable files, which as mentioned above is a file that ends with .exe and are also files that end with .com and .bat. When the name of these files are typed into the command line, the program runs, which is the same as double-clicking a file in Windows. For example, if we wanted to run minecraft.exe typing “minecraft” at the prompt runs that program.

Note: Keep in mind that if the executable file you are trying to run is not in the current directory you’ll get an error. Unless you have set a path for the directory that contains the executable file, which is how the command line finds external commands.

If you want to view the contents of a file, most versions of the command line use the edit command. For example, if we wanted to look at the log file info.log we would type edit info.log at the prompt. For 64-bit versions of Windows that do not support this command you can use the start command, for example, type start notepad info.log to open the file in Notepad.

Moving back a directory

You learned earlier the cd command can move into a directory. This command also allows you to go back a directory by typing cd.. at the prompt. When this command is typed you’ll be moved out of the Desktop directory and back into the user directory. If you wanted to move back to the root directory typing cd\ takes you to the C:\> prompt. If you know the name of the directory you want to move into, you can also type cd\ and the directory name. For example, to move into C:\Windows> type cd\windows at the prompt.
Creating a directory

Now with your basic understanding of navigating the command line let’s start creating new directories. To create a directory in the current directory use the mkdir command. For example, create a directory called “test” by typing mkdir test at the prompt. If created successfully you should be returned to the prompt with no error message. After the directory has been created, move into that directory with the cd command.

Switching drives

In some circumstances, you may want to copy or list files on another drive. To switch drives in the Windows command line, type the letter of the drive followed by a colon. For example, if your CD-ROM drive was the D drive you would type d: and press enter.

Creating a new file

You can create a new file from the command line using the edit command, copy con command, or using the start command to open a file.

Creating a new batch file

In the new test directory let’s create your first file. In most circumstances, you never need to create any file at the command line, but it is still good to understand how files are created. In this example, we are creating a batch file. A batch file is a file that ends with .bat and is a file that can help automate frequently used commands in the command line. We are calling this batch file “example”, so type edit example.bat at the prompt. As mentioned in the document on creating a file, if the edit command does not work with your version of Windows use the start command to open the batch file in notepad, so you type start notepad example.bat at the prompt.

Both of the above commands open a new blank example.bat window. In the file, type the below three lines, which clear the screen with the cls command and then run the dir command.

@echo off
cls
dir

After these three lines have been typed into the file save and exit the file. If you are in the edit command click File (or press Alt+F) and then Save. After the file has been saved and you are back into the command prompt, typing dir should display the example.bat in the test directory.

Now run the batch file to get a better understanding of what a batch file does. To run the batch file type example at the prompt, which executes the batch file and clears the screen and then runs the dir command to display the directory listing of the test directory.

Moving and copying a file

Now that we’ve created a file let’s move it into an alternate directory. To help make things easier, create another directory for the files. So, type mkdir dir2 to create a new directory in the test directory called dir2. After the new directory has been created, use the move command to move the example.bat file into that directory. To do this type move example.bat dir2 at the prompt, if done successfully you should get a message indicated the file was moved. You could also substitute the move command for the copy command to copy the file instead of moving it.

Rename a file

After the file has been moved into the dir2 directory, move into that directory with the cd command to rename the file. In the dir2 directory use the rename command to rename the example file into an alternate name. Type rename example.bat first.bat at the prompt to rename the file to first.bat. Now when using the dir command you should see the first.bat as the only file.

Tip: When renaming any file make sure the file has the same file extension. If you were to rename the .bat file to a .txt file, it is no longer an executable file only a text file. Also, keep in mind that renaming the file to a different file extension does not convert the file. For example, if you were to name the file to a .MP3 file it may look like an MP3 audio file in Windows, but it is not going to play music.

Deleting a file

Now that we’ve had our fun with our new file, delete the file with the del command. Type del first.bat to delete the first.bat file. If successful, you are returned to the prompt with no errors and the dir command shows no files in the current directory.

Tip: When deleting files you can also use wildcards to delete multiple files at once. For example, if the directory contained several .GIF image files you could type del *.gif to delete all files ending with the .gif file extension.
Renaming a directory

Go back one directory to get back into the test directory by using the cd.. command mentioned earlier. Now rename our del2 directory to something else using the same rename command we used earlier. At the prompt, type rename dir2 hope to rename the directory to hope. After this command has been completed, type dir and you should now see one directory called hope.

Removing a directory

While still in the test directory, remove the test directory by using the rmdir command. At the prompt, type rmdir test to remove the test directory.

Tip: If the directory you are trying to remove contains any files or directories, you’ll receive an error. To prevent this error use the /s option. For example, if the hope directory still had the first.bat file you would need to type rmdir /s hope at the prompt.
Closing or exiting the command line window

After you are done with the Windows command line, you can type exit to close the window.

In conclusion

Following all of the above sections you should now have a good understanding on how to navigate in the command line, create directories and files, rename files and directories, and delete files and directories. As mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of other commands that can be used at the command line. If you want to expand your knowledge even more, we highly recommend looking at the options available for each of the above commands very well.

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Events

Facebook empowers 7,000 women with digital competencies in SSA

Izunna Okpala

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Facebook app

In 2019, Facebook trained more than 7,000 women-owned businesses in digital skills across sub-Saharan Africa.

Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa, said Facebook is committed to investing in its youth, entrepreneurs, creative industries, tech ecosystems and many other communities.

“I am excited about the future of Facebook and our family of apps here in Africa, as well as the potential of this young, mobile and dynamic continent. I also look forward to creating partnerships in 2020 and beyond.”

The tech company has hit its 45th developer group, now in 17 African countries with circles representing over 70,000 participants.

When celebrating the region’s key achievements, Facebook said some of its investments have translated into significant support aimed at increasing the developers, entrepreneurs, creatives, and other communities ecosystems. In a document called’ 2019 Year in Review,’ Facebook revealed its approach towards making the world a global village and celebrated 79 meetings with community leaders with over 2,650 people in attendance.

To combat fake news in Nigeria, Facebook in collaboration with MainOne launched Dubawa as a participant in its Third-Party Fact-Checking program. In Edo and Ogun States, this was to build and operate more than 750 km of terrestrial fiber network for metro fibre connectivity.

“Facebook hosted the first-ever iD8 Nairobi Conference with over 400 African developers and startups in attendance, expanded Third-Party Fact-Checking across 10 African countries, announced the creation of the world’s most detailed population density maps of Africa, created by Facebook AI researchers to help humanitarian aid and relief agencies; and much more,” the statement added.

In addition, in collaboration with satellite hubs across Nigeria, Facebook initiated an eight-week incubation program at NG Hub, focusing on mentoring and practical training for prospective entrepreneurs. The position of Safer Internet Day 2019, which has partnered with over 20 African Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) across 16 countries, should not be forgotten.

“We unveiled our first pop-up in Africa with ‘it’s Your Facebook: Lagos’, a creative space for visitors to explore our products and attend various training. We announced the creation of the world’s most detailed population density maps of Africa, created by Facebook AI researchers to help humanitarian aid and relief agencies. In the same year, we celebrated one year of NG Hub and our digital skills training in Nigeria – with over 526 events held, 11,490 attendees, and partner events with Co-creation Hub, US Consulate, SheLeadsAfrica, Paystack, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Women in Tech Africa.”

In the University tour aimed at boosting recruiting across the country, South Africa was not left behind and collaborated with the Dream Factory Foundation and the Youth Fellow Nadine Maselle Facebook Community Leadership Program to open a computer lab at Salt River High School in Cape Town. Facebook opened in collaboration with Samasource its Content Review Center in Nairobi and employed up to 100 local language content reviewers.

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How To's

13 Major Misconceptions about Content Marketing

Izunna Okpala

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Content Marketing Home

There are many misconceptions about content marketing. This article takes you on how to avoid the pitfalls.

1. ITS EASY

This the number one misconception, but the earlier you know the truth the better for you. Know the task ahead and sharpen your war tools and plan to win.

Note a person without a plan has planned to fail from the onset.

2. “Content Marketing is a new Concept”

There is this great infographic by Content Marketing Institute on the history of Content Marketing. It gives some great examples of Content Marketing long before someone even thought of internet: Have you heard of the Michelin Guides developed in 1900 by Michelin?

Selling of Content Marketing as a new concept is truly dangerous, as it can prevent you from learning from past examples. Having a history allows you to do better in the future and hopefully build on past success.

3. Content Marketing is Digital

As stated before content marketing has a long history. Business people have been marketing with content for centuries without feeling the need to come up with a term for it. Content Marketing strategies that have been used long before the web was in existence include:

  • conferences
  • lectures, seminars, workshops
  • articles in industry magazines/papers
  • industry report
  • customer news papers
  • Special magazines, guides and publications for clients

Content Marketing is the art of producing and promoting useful and/or relevant content. There are many forms of content that businesses use to reach and communicate with current and future customers. Limiting your content strategy to digital and online marketing is limiting your action radius – and just because online marketing gives you new ways of reaching your audience does not mean you should ignore the traditional ways. In most cases the ideal strategy integrates both.

4. “Creating Content is Content Marketing”

You are producing content, so you think you are a content marketer?

Let me disappoint you: most likely you are wrong. There is much more to content marketing than producing content. A true content marketing strategy has to include concepts for content distribution, communication and interaction with the audience. You have to have a clear idea about which goals and which target group you want to reach.

Depending on your strategy, you need an editorial calendar and might need to include your company’s departments in your strategy for producing and distributing content.

5. “Content curation makes you an expert”

There is a lot of talk about content curation and sharing other peoples’ great content.

This can definitely help you in your content distribution especially if you yourself do not have an endless reservoir of own outstanding content. Yet, it is not enough to share other peoples’ content to make you a thought leader and stand out as an expert in your field.

If you always know where to find great content it makes you an excellent researcher and shows that you know the great content marketers in your field. But: In the end your own views, ideas and concepts are part of your personality and expertise and one of the most important assets of your content marketing.

True Content Marketing includes your own, hopefully outstanding, content. If you are solely sharing other peoples’ content you are at risk of only becoming a multiplier for other peoples’ content strategy.

6. “Every content is good content”

Being active online and in social media, sometimes you get the impression that there is a competition going on who creates the most content instead of going for the best content. The truth is: you can gain more with one outstanding piece of content in the right outlets or channels and it will give you much more attention, feedback and branding effect than hundreds of cheap pieces of content no one really needs or wants to see.

The risk of creating too much (and possibly irrelevant or even bad) content is: it can easily backfire and mark you as a spammer.

7. “Producing SEO Content is Content Marketing”

Google is a friend of good content and Google is a powerful tool to give your content the attention it deserves – so far so true. But producing content for search engine optimization is not content marketing and optimizing your content for search engines (i.e. keywords etc.) does not necessarily give you success in content marketing. Focusing on SEO content strategies leaves out all the other great possibilities content marketing might hold for you.

Content in content marketing is created for an audience. This audience wants a well composed, informative and entertaining piece of content. Keyword staffing and optimization can kill the user experience and you are lost – Google might still bring people to your content, but you will not successfully market with this content.

It works better the other way round: producing quality content that your audience likes and recommends produces backlinks and social signals that improves your search positions in return. Google loves quality content.

8. “Content (Marketing) is for Google”

Content Marketing is for a target audience. Google might help you reach this audience, but you are still creating content for an audience and not for Google.

If you are creating content for Google, you are doing SEO, SEO is not content marketing (see above). Content in content marketing is created for people: your target audience. It is meaningful, interesting, informative and entertaining – it is created to speak to your audience and not Google.

Besides, you could base a complete content marketing strategy on content, that would never go online.

9. “Content Marketing is not for Google”

If done right content in content marketing will speak to Google. If your content attracts an audience, they will backlink to it. They will share on social platforms. They will recommend your content and rate it well. Being able to place content on high quality outlets gives you the opportunity to produce high quality backlinks to your site.

Search engines try to record all of this – because they love quality.

The one thing Google is trying to accomplish with all the recent updates is to bring users useful content they are searching for. Even if your content creation is focused on bringing good content to your audience without any thoughts about keywords, Google will eventually appreciate your efforts and help you get your content to your audience.

So, even while content marketing is not SEO and should not focus on satisfying Google, your SEO can profit from your content marketing efforts – or even more you should make sure that your content marketing and SEO go hand in hand.

10. “Everything in your editorial calendar is content”

We once had a heated discussion in the office about what can be regarded as content and what isn’t content. The line between content and no content especially in social media is blurred, but I will try to give you some hints:

  • If you tweet links and pictures, the links and pictures are content while the tweets are not.
  • If you tweet a statement, your tweet might be considered content, depending on the statement and the audience.
  • If you are running a site for jokes and you tweet jokes, your tweets are definitely content.

The same applies for Facebook.

A Lady-picture might give you many likes on Facebook, but only in rare exceptional cases I consider it content.

11. “Your industry is too boring (or traditional) for content marketing”

Let’s just quote Lisa Barone of Overit here. She made a statement about this point in an interview with exploreB2B:

“Complaining your industry isn’t glamorous tells me two things about you:

  1. you don’t fully understand your customers need/pain points/ wants and
  2. you are boring.

The opportunity to create high-quality content is there, regardless of what industry you serve…. Just because your topic is toilets (or insurance, or telecom, or stained-glass windows), doesn’t mean your topic has to be 100-percent toilet focused.

Find those interesting periphery topics, or the topics your customers are passionate about, and create content around them.”

12. “Content Marketing is the right strategy for every situation/Business”

Content Marketing is a hype and sometimes I get the feeling it is the new holy grail of Marketing which everyone has to do.

As with any business strategy you need to assess if it is really the right concept for you and your situation. In the end you might come to the conclusion that content marketing is not the best, most efficient and most effective strategy for you and you should rather be doing something else.

That being said: We believe that most businesses can profit from a well designed and constantly refined content strategy – but in business you should always ask the necessary questions before running blindly into a new strategy.

13. “Content Marketing is a campaign”

This complete article was inspired by Joe Pulizzi, who in his recent article on Content Marketing Institute said: “Content marketing is not a campaign — it’s an approach, a philosophy, and a business strategy.

This sentence says it all. You can have a video, a famous article or eBook – that does not make you a content marketer and it does certainly not make your company successful in content marketing.

Content Marketing is much more than the content, it is the strategic and well tuned combination of producing, publishing, sharing content, communicating and interacting around content and being part of discussions with a goal in mind.

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5 Things To Consider Before Downloading An App

Izunna Okpala

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mobile apps

Those who have a tablet, smartphone or mobile device have used an app at least once or twice in their lifetime. Today, there are apps developed for playing games, getting directions, news, weather and other information. According to reports, consumers downloaded approximately 11 billion apps in 2015 alone.

While apps make the use of your smartphones more exciting, not all are created equal with no cost attached. In reference to this, we’re outlining the 5 Things To Consider Before Downloading An App.

Read the reviews

One of the best ways to determine if you can download an app is to read the review of other persons that has downloaded the same applications. Depending on the responses whether positive or negative, you can decide on whether that application is for you. If there are more positive reviews, you can download and vice versa.

Data usage of the app

Some apps usually consume more mobile data than others especially if you are intent on cutting down your data usage in the new year. So, before you download; check the data usage of the app. If your app is good for download, you can adjust the setting to stop real-time notifications.

Free Apps

There are a number of applications that clearly state that it is free. But after downloading, you will discover that it is the limited version that you are given. Meanwhile, to access the full version, you will be billed. Even the free applications are usually littered with adverts.

Privacy

Privacy should not be a problem when it has to do with downloading apps. However, there some apps that access your information like phone and email contacts, call logs, device location and other unrelated data. This may probably lead to your account been accessed by hackers.

Virus Infection

While most apps are pre-approved before being added to an app store, hackers have created apps that can infect smartphones and tablets. Be cautious when downloading apps and be sure to use a reputable app store or website to download.

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