Every once in a while I run across something so simple, yet so powerful, that I wonder why I've never heard of it before. Today I came across one of those situations.
Within Windows Server 2003 and Vista, there is a command line and PowerShell parameter called "Clip". This allows you to output the command line results directly to the clipboard. This is great if you need to output a large result, or even if you want to save the hassle of selecting text and copying to the clipboard when you could have done it in a single step.
It's very simple, just pipe (|) to the CLIP command.
For example, let's say I want to get a list of all IP addresses on a Windows Server 2003 box. (the server has dozens of IP addresses) In the past I would often pipe the results to a text file and then open the text file and save the results to the clipboard. Not anymore! The command would be like this:
ipconfig /all | clip
Now I have the detailed ipconfig in my clipboard to be pasted wherever I want. This works with large files and large output too. Be careful of course that you don't try to CLIP a 1000MB file!
Here's the help for clip:
Redirects output of command line tools to the Windows clipboard.
This text output can then be pasted into other programs.
/? Displays this help message.
DIR | CLIP Places a copy of the current directory
listing into the Windows clipboard.
CLIP < README.TXT Places a copy of the text from readme.txt
on to the Windows clipboard.
And yes, I used CLIP to capture that help information, like so: clip /? | clip
What about Windows XP users? CLIP was not included in Windows XP but you can get it easily enough. If you have access to a Vista or Windows Server 2003 computer, just copy the clip.exe file from C:\%windir%\system32 folder to your system32 folder. It will immediately work as expected.
There are many times when it is worthwhile to create a custom machineKey for your web.config file. This is worthwhile on a webfarm but also worthwhile on a stand-alone server so that your machineKey remains the same after an iisreset or application pool recycle.
I've put together a simple tool that will generate a valid random machine key. It will create a validationKey and decryptionKey which you can copy and paste into your web.config file. This is random so there is virtually no chance of anyone else having the same keys.
I hope you enjoy!