Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

Take Command Subscriptions

JP Software is planning to move to a subscription model for future Take Command upgrades. Subscriptions will be $49.95 for one year for single-system licenses, the same as the current upgrade price, and will include all major and minor updates released during the year. We plan to release major updates more frequently (every four to six months, as compared to the roughly 12 month interval in the past), so this will offer a significant savings versus paying twice a year for new versions. Renewing a lapsed subscriptions (i.e. more than one or two months) will be slightly more expensive.

For those of you who haven't upgraded to Take Command v13 yet, we are offering a "preview subscription". Upgrade at the normal price now, and you'll get free upgrades for one year, including the upcoming Take Command v14.

Windows 8 and Take Command

We have been running Take Command with the Windows 8 Customer Preview (both 32-bit and 64-bit) for several months, and have not encountered any problems. We have already incorporated into Take Command v13 the only changes in Windows 8 CMD thus far (two new file attributes for Windows 8 Server ReFS). We will continue to monitor any additional changes to Windows 8 prior to its release, and we expect Take Command to remain fully compatible.

If you are running the Windows 8 beta and have experienced any problems with Take Command, please let us know on the Support Forums.

Tip of the Month - Portable Take Command

(By Charles Dye, from the "Tips and Techniques" forum on the JP Software Support Forums.)

If you spend much time doing technical work on other people's computers, you may want to use your own licensed, personalized copy of Take Command or TCC. It's not difficult to carry one with you on a removable device. These instructions will walk you through creating a portable, personalized copy of Take Command version 13 on a USB flash drive.

Prerequisites

You will need a working copy of Take Command version 13 already installed on a computer. I'll refer to this computer as the "technician's computer." In addition to a working copy of Take Command, the technician's computer should have a working internet connection.

You will also need a USB flash drive, or some other removable, read-write media. A USB hard drive will not work, because Windows views it as a nonremovable fixed disk (the disk is "fixed" in the drive, even though the drive itself can be disconnected.) A CD-ROM won't work either, because it's a write-once medium. Other removable media such as SD cards or Zip disks can be used, but thumb drives are probably the most convenient; practically every system has USB ports nowadays, but not everyone has a card reader or a Zip drive.)

The flash drive must have a volume serial number; check the first line of a DIR listing to make sure. If the drive does not have a serial number, reformat it. The drive should have enough free space to hold your entire Take Command program directory, plus any other tools you want to carry. 64 megabytes should be plenty in most cases.

Finally, have your registration info ready to register the copy of Take Command on the portable drive.

Instructions

I will assume that your flash drive is E: -- adjust all examples accordingly.

1. Create a directory for Take Command on the flash drive. I use \BIN\TCMD in my examples. If you prefer another name, adjust these instructions to taste.

  md /s e:\bin\tcmd

Also create any other subdirectories desired. Perhaps you would like a UTIL directory for command-line tools and a BAT directory for batch files:

  md e:\bin\util e:\bin\bat

2. Copy all files except .KEY files from the Take Command program directory on the technician's computer to the desired location on the flash drive:

  copy /v /[!*.key] "%@path[%_cmdspec]*" e:\bin\tcmd\

You'll also want your .INI file, which may or may not be in the program directory:

  copy /v "%_ininame" e:\bin\tcmd\tcmd.ini

3. Close all running copies of Take Command and TCC, then start the copy of TCC on the flash drive. Press Win-R to open the RUN dialog, then type the full path to TCC.EXE (e:\bin\tcmd\tcc.exe in my example.) You will be prompted to re-enter your registration information, and a .KEY file will be created on the flash drive. (Again, you need a working Internet connection to complete the registration process.)

4. At this point your should have a startable, licensed copy of Take Command on your flash drive. Dismount it, unplug it, and plug it into another computer to test. Browse to the program directory and right-click on TCC.EXE, then select "Run as administrator" (if the second computer is running Windows XP or earlier, just double-click on TCC.EXE.) TCC's sign-on message should verify that this copy is registered; if you missed it, type VER /R to check.

5. Review the .INI file and remove any lines which are not suitable to portable use. In particular, watch for absolute pathnames. Any directives referring to the hard drive on the technician's computer should probably be removed. (If you absolutely require some directive with an absolute pathname, you can dynamically define it in TCSTART.) Also check for personal info such as passwords. If your USB drive is lost or stolen, directives like MailPassword might come back to haunt you. If you have an FTP.CFG file, consider deleting it from the flash drive.

6. Instead of just copying your existing TCSTART, it's probably a good idea to create a new one from scratch. Since the drive letter assigned to the USB flash drive will vary, one of the first things you need to do in TCSTART is to determine the correct drive letter:

  set usb=%@left[2,%_cmdspec]

If you want to load default aliases from a text file, you will probably keep it in Take Command's program directory:

  alias /r %@path[%_cmdspec]aliases.txt

Review all the aliases in ALIASES.TXT for absolute pathnames; rewrite them relative to %USB or %@PATH[%_CMDSPEC] if appropriate.

If you plan to keep command-line utilities on your USB flash drive, you will want to fix up the search path in TCSTART. Check the path before adding them; otherwise subshells will wind up with multiple references to the same directories in the search path, and flash drives are not terribly fast media.  For example (on one line): 

  if %@index[%path,%usb\bin\util;] == -1 path      %usb\bin\util;%usb\bin\bat;%path

Putting the last few suggestions together, your TCSTART file might begin something like this:

  @echo off
  prompt $P$g
  set usb=%@left[2,%_cmdspec]
  alias /r %@path[%_cmdspec]aliases.txt
  if %@index[%path,%usb\bin\util;] == -1 path %usb\bin\util;%usb\bin\bat;%path

If you removed any directives using fully-specified filenames from the .INI file, you can now add them to TCSTART as OPTION commands. For example, an FTPCFG=C:\BIN\TC13\FTP.CFG directive could be converted into an OPTION //FTPCFG=%@PATH[%_CMDSPEC]FTP.CFG command in TCSTART. (But this sort of thing should very seldom be necessary; most .INI directives default to Take Command's program directory.)

7. The first time you run Take Command or TCC on another computer, you will have to run it as administrator. Otherwise, TCC is not able to create registry keys which it requires, and you'll get a misleading error message. After the first run, you do not have to run it as administrator (though you probably want to.)

Take Command Educational Discounts

JP Software offers a 50% discount on Take Command (new copies and upgrades) to students and faculty. You will need a .edu address to qualify.

For information on how to order, contact us at support.jpsoft.com.

Take Command v13 Upgrades

Take Command v13.04.62 is the current release. You can see the full list of new features in v13 on the What’s New page in the v13 online help.

Upgrading from any prior version of Take Command, TCC, 4NT or 4DOS is only $49.95.

Download Take Command v13.0 30 day trial version
Download Take Command v13.0 x64 30 day trial version

Buy Take Command v13.0 at our web store

Offer 1 -- As an added inducement, we are allowing current users of Take Command or TCC / 4NT to purchase additional licenses at the upgrade price, including volume discounts. That's right, instead of $99.95 for additional licenses, you can get them for $49.95 or less. So if you want to add some additional licenses, now is the time. For example, if you have 5 licenses and want to add an additional 5, just order 10 upgrades and get them for the volume discount price of $36 per copy.

Offer 2 -- We are also offering a $30 discount on new copy prices if you go to our Facebook fan page (facebook.com/TakeCommand). The price is only $69.95 after discount. Feel free to forward this email to friends you think might benefit from the power of Take Command.