Although Windows has a reasonable set of command line tools, they’ve not changed much in recent years. Microsoft presumably hopes you’ll master PowerShell and build anything else you need for yourself.
Alternatively, you could just install EventSentry SysAdmin Tools, a free collection of 35+ (mostly) console-based programs to help you with various file system, network and monitoring tasks.
Some of the tools are small and simple. Uptime displays the current system uptime; Sleep pauses script execution for a number of milliseconds; SuperDelete deletes all the occurrences of a single file in a directory tree, like superdel “c:\documents and settings” thumbs.db
Others are much smarter. DirMon monitors a folder tree and lists new or changed files in real time; GetHTTP downloads files from http links, and offers support for authentication, proxy servers and resuming broken transfers.
CheckURL is a particular highlight, checking the web page you specify to see if it’s changed, or includes particular text. The syntax can get a little complicated, as this example shows:
checkurl /checksum /lc /le /evt “CHECKSUM_CHANGE=Error, CHECKSUM_EQUAL=Ignore” http://www.eventsentry.com/support_knownproblems.php
Still, it’s also very powerful, here logging an event to your event logs when a “Known Problems” page changes. Set up Task Scheduler as well and you could have some application launched whenever that event occurs.
There are plenty of smaller command line goodies here, each performing some useful task. PurgeTemp deletes files in a directory tree which haven’t been modified in x number of days; ntpclient queries an NTP time server and optionally updates your system time; WakeOnLan wakes up the specified network computer, while DirectorySize displays the size of a complete folder tree.
The package also includes one or two GUI tools. ShutdownTimer, for example, is a simple program to power off/ reboot/ log off (etc) your PC at a particular time or after an interval. That’s a familiar idea, but this is a little smarter, with a “conditional” option that won’t proceed if files are open over the network.
EventSentry SysAdmin Tools doesn’t contain anything too surprising, and most of its features can be found elsewhere in other forms. It’s certainly easier to get them all in a single collection, though, and professional presentation (including detailed local help) means you’ll quickly learn how everything works. Worth a look.