Adventures in Machine Learning

Boost Your Productivity: Essential Windows Settings and Developer Tools

How to Configure General Windows Settings:

App Execution Aliases,

Windows Updates, and Environment Variables

As a Windows user, you may find there are some settings that need to be configured to improve your user experience. These settings can range from tweaking app execution aliases to setting up additional environment variables.

In this article, we will outline some essential settings changes you can make to your Windows operating system.

App Execution Aliases

An app execution alias is a way to link a keyword or a command to an application or script, so you can execute this app or script in your command-line or PowerShell window. By default, there are several execution aliases already configured in Windows, such as notepad or calc.

However, its possible to create or edit aliases for any app. Many developers working with Python want to add their installed Python versions as execution aliases, so they can use them quickly and easily in their script.

To add a Python version to the app execution alias, you need to follow these simple steps:

1. Open your control panel and choose the System settings.

2. Click on Advanced system settings.

3. Click on the Environment Variables button.

4. You will see a list of environment variables used by your system.

Look for a variable named PATH and click edit. 5.

In the field for Variable value, add the path to your Python installation’s Scripts folder, separated by a semicolon. For instance, if youre using Python 3.9, you may add the path C:Python39Scripts.

This step will add all the scripts in your Python installation’s Script folder to the command-line interface.

Windows Updates

Keeping your Windows operating system up-to-date is crucial for your cybersecurity and system stability. However, the default setting in Windows will automatically install updates and restart your system afterward, which can be inconvenient if you lose unsaved work or have critical applications running.

Fortunately, you can disable the auto-restart function in Windows and set some advanced options for updating. Heres how:

1.

Click on the Start button and type settings. Open the Settings app.

2. Click on Update & Security.

3. Choose Advanced options.

4. You will see a list of advanced update options.

Look for the drop-down list under the ‘Restart this device as soon as possible when a restart is required to install an update’ label. Choose The notification will show on the lock screen.

5. You can also choose the active hours to avoid automatic restarts (e.g., if you work between 9 AM to 5 PM, you can set this period as an active hour to prevent your computer from restarting during the day).

By disabling the auto-restart function and changing the active hours settings, Windows will notify you when an update is ready to install without interrupting your work.

Setting Up Environment Variables

Environment variables are a set of dynamic values that can affect the behavior of your system or software. One of the most common environment variables is the PATH variable.

The PATH variable stores a list of directories where Windows can look for executable files when you type a command in the command-line interface. By default, the system includes some directories in the PATH variable, such as the Windows system32 folder.

However, you may have some software or custom scripts that require additional directories in the PATH. In this case, you can add these directories as additional environment variables.

Heres how to set up additional environment variables:

1. Open the Start menu and search for environment variables.

Select the option Edit the system environment variables from the search results. 2.

In the System Properties window, click on Environment Variables on the lower-right corner of the window. 3.

You should see two types of environment variables: User Variables and System Variables. To set up additional variables, click on New on the User or System Variables section based on your needs.

4. Enter the name of your environment variable as the Variable name and the directory where your files are located as the Variable value.

Then click on OK to save the changes. Having additional environment variables can be useful if youre working with software with CLI-based operations, for instance.

By adding the directory to the PATH, you can call the software’s executable directly from the command line without having to specify the full path.

Conclusion

Configuring Windows settings can be overwhelming, but these essential settings changes can improve your experience and make your workflow more efficient. By creating app execution aliases, disabling auto-restart function, and setting up environment variables, you can customize your Windows system and make it work best for you.

Installing Developer Tools:

Windows Terminal and

WSL

As a developer, having proper tools installed on your system is critical. Two essential tools that can enhance your productivity and workflow are

Windows Terminal and

WSL.

In this article, we will walk you through the installation and configuration of these developer tools.

Windows Terminal

Windows Terminal is a modern, fast, efficient, and powerful terminal application that allows you to run multiple shells and command-line tools simultaneously in the same window. You can use

Windows Terminal to run command-line applications, PowerShell,

WSL, and more.

Heres how to install

Windows Terminal:

1. Open the Microsoft Store on your Windows device.

2. Search for

Windows Terminal in the search bar.

3. Click on the

Windows Terminal app and then click on the Get button to install the app.

After installation, you can find the

Windows Terminal app in your Start menu. To open it, click on the

Windows Terminal icon.

WSL

WSL or Windows Subsystem for Linux is a tool that allows you to run Linux commands and applications directly on your Windows machine.

WSL can improve your development workflow, especially if youre working with Linux-based applications.

Heres how to install and update

WSL on your Windows machine:

1. Enable

WSL from the Windows Features settings page.

To open it, click on the Start button and search for Turn Windows Features On or Off. 2.

Scroll down until you find Windows Subsystem for Linux and check the box next to it. 3.

Open the Microsoft Store and search for Ubuntu or the Linux distribution of your choice. 4.

Click on the distribution, then click on the Get button to install it. 5.

Once the distribution is installed, launch it and follow the on-screen instructions to create a new Linux user account and password. If youve already installed

WSL and want to update it to the latest version, you can follow these steps:

1.

Open the PowerShell window as an administrator. 2.

Type the following command: `wsl –update`

3. Press Enter to execute the command.

4. Wait for the update to complete, and then restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Configuring

Windows Terminal Settings

After installing

Windows Terminal, you can customize its appearance and behavior to your liking. Here are two ways to customize

Windows Terminal settings:

1.

Appearance Settings

Windows Terminal allows you to customize the appearance of the terminal window, such as the background color and font size. Heres how to access the Appearance settings:

1.

Open the

Windows Terminal app. 2.

Click on the downward arrow next to the plus sign, and then select Settings. 3.

Scroll down to find the Appearance settings section. 4.

Customize the appearance settings as you like, such as changing the background color, font size, or even adding new color schemes. 2.

Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts

Windows Terminal has a variety of keyboard and mouse shortcuts that can help you navigate through the terminal more efficiently. These shortcuts allow you to perform common tasks without reaching for the mouse or typing a long command.

Heres how to customize the keyboard shortcuts:

1. Open the

Windows Terminal app.

2. Click on the downward arrow next to the plus sign, and then select Settings.

3. Scroll down to find the Keybindings settings section.

4. Customize the keybindings as you like, such as setting a new shortcut for opening a new tab or splitting the current pane.

Similarly, you can also customize the mouse shortcuts to make it more convenient to use the mouse in

Windows Terminal.

Conclusion

Installing developer tools such as

Windows Terminal and

WSL is crucial for any developer working on a Windows machine. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can install and customize these tools to fit your development workflow.

Customizing the appearance and keyboard shortcuts can make your terminal experience more enjoyable and efficient, and can save you time in the long run.

Installing Python on Windows and

Visual Studio Code

Python is a popular programming language for data analysis, scientific computing, and web development. Installing Python on your Windows machine is a necessary step to start working with Python.

In this article, we’ll walk you through two ways to install Python on your Windows machine, and we’ll also show you how to install and customize

Visual Studio Code to enhance your coding experience.

Downloading and Installing Python with Microsoft Store

The easiest way to install Python on a Windows machine is by downloading and installing it from the Microsoft Store. Here’s how to do it:

1.

Open the Microsoft Store on your Windows computer. 2.

Search for ‘Python’ in the search bar. 3.

Select the version of Python you want to install and click on the ‘Get’ button to download and install Python. The installation process should take a few minutes to complete.

After the installation is complete, you can open a command prompt or PowerShell and type python to check if Python is installed. You should see the Python version number and prompt in the console.

Installing Python with Anaconda

Another way to install Python on your Windows machine is through Anaconda, which is a popular data science platform. Anaconda is useful because it also includes popular scientific libraries and tools such as NumPy and Pandas.

Here’s how to install Python with Anaconda:

1. Go to the Anaconda website and click on the Download button.

2. Choose the appropriate version of Anaconda based on your operating system (Windows in this case) and click on the Download button.

3. Once the download is complete, locate the installer in your download folder and double-click on it to install Anaconda.

4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

After the installation is complete, you can open the Anaconda application, launch a Jupyter notebook, and start working with Python.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a popular code editor developed by Microsoft that supports multiple languages and platforms. It can enhance your productivity and improve your coding experience with the help of its extensions.

Here’s how to install and set up

Visual Studio Code and its extensions:

Installation and Setup

1. Go to the

Visual Studio Code website and click on the Download’ button.

2. Choose the appropriate version of

Visual Studio Code based on your operating system and click on the Download’ button.

3. Once the download is complete, locate the installer in your download folder and double-click on it to install

Visual Studio Code.

4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

After the installation is complete, you can open

Visual Studio Code and start using it.

Extensions

Visual Studio Code has a wide range of extensions that can help you to customize your coding experience and improve your productivity. Here’s how to install extensions in

Visual Studio Code:

1.

Go to the

Visual Studio Code marketplace in your web browser and browse the extensions that interest you. You can also search for specific extensions by typing in the search bar.

2. Choose an extension and click on it to view its details.

3. Click on the Install’ button to install the extension.

4. Once the extension is installed, it will appear in the

Extensions panel in

Visual Studio Code.

5. To access the

Extensions panel, navigate to the left side of the

Visual Studio Code window and click on the squares icon to open the panel.

6. From there, you can enable, disable, or uninstall extensions as you like.

Some popular extensions for Python development include Python,’ Python Docstring Generator,’ and Jupyter.’

Conclusion

Installing Python on a Windows machine is necessary if you want to start working with Python. You can download and install Python from the Microsoft Store or install it through Anaconda, which is useful for data science applications.

Additionally,

Visual Studio Code is a powerful code editor that supports multiple languages and platforms and can enhance your productivity with the help of its extensions. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can get started with Python and

Visual Studio Code in no time.

Git and GitHub and PowerShell: Installation, Setup, and

Basic Commands

Git and GitHub are powerful tools that allow developers to manage and collaborate on code projects efficiently. PowerShell, on the other hand, is a command-line interface for Windows that lets you automate and customize your system.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to install and set up Git and GitHub, and we’ll also teach you the basic commands for version control and collaboration. Finally, we will explore the customization and configuration options for PowerShell.

Installation and Setup

To get started with Git, you first need to download and install it on your computer. Here’s how to do it:

1.

Go to the Git website and download the installer for your operating system (Windows in this case). 2.

Double-click on the installer to begin the installation process. 3.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. Once Git is installed, you need to set up your GitHub account.

To do so:

1. Go to the GitHub website and sign up for an account.

2. After signing up, you can create a new repository from the GitHub dashboard.

Basic Commands

Git is used for version control, so that multiple developers can work on the same codebase efficiently. Here are some basic commands for Git that you should know:

1.

‘git init’: initializes a repository in the current directory. 2.

‘git add .’: adds all files in the current directory to the staging area. 3.

‘git commit -m “commit message”‘: creates a new commit with a message. 4.

‘git push origin branch-name’: pushes the changes to the specified branch on GitHub. These commands allow you to keep track of changes in your code and collaborate with others efficiently.

Powershell

Basic Commands

Powershell is a command-line interface for Windows that allows you to automate and customize your system. Here are some basic commands for Powershell:

1.

‘ls’: lists the files and directories in the current directory. 2.

‘cd’: changes the current directory to the specified directory. 3.

‘mkdir’: creates a new directory with the specified name. 4.

‘rm’: removes the specified file or directory. These commands allow you to navigate through your system, create directories, and remove unwanted files or directories.

Customization and Configuration

Powershell can also be customized and configured to fit your needs. Here’s how to do it:

1.

Customize the Command Prompt: You can customize the look of the Powershell command prompt by changing the font size, background color, and text color. To do so, right-click on the title bar of the Powershell window, select ‘Properties,’ and then choose ‘Colors’ or ‘Fonts.’

2.

Modify the Profile: You can also modify the Powershell profile to add custom functions or aliases that you use the most. To modify the profile, type ‘notepad $profile’ in the Powershell window, and this will open the profile file in Notepad.

3. Install Third-Party Modules: You can also install third-party modules that can enhance the functionality of Powershell.

To install a module, type ‘Install-Module module-name’ in the Powershell window, and this will download and install the specified module.

Conclusion

Git and GitHub are essential tools for version control and collaboration on code projects, whereas PowerShell is a powerful command-line interface for Windows that allows you to automate and customize your system. By following the installation and setup instructions as well as learning the basic commands for Git/GitHub and PowerShell, you can start using these powerful tools in no time.

Customizing and configuring Powershell to fit your needs can also enhance your productivity and improve your overall experience with the command-line interface. In this article, we covered a range of useful tools and techniques for developers working on a Windows machine.

We started with installing Python and

Visual Studio Code and then moved on to Git, GitHub, and Powershell. We learned how to install these tools and explored

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