Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Post #5 (Or "Resource Gathering Ain't Just For RTSs.")

I have quite a few posts coming down the pipeline. Bear with me as I try to get them pieced together and posted.

For now, I wanted to get a couple of posts up about what I considered to be some clever solutions to some problems I was having. In all actuality, they were probably just me overcomplicating things, but that is neither here nor there. Read on!

In an effort to really dig deep into my studies, I have been compiling reference books/lists of things such as:

•All native Windows .DLLs

•All native PowerShell cmdlets

•All native wmi classes

•All native .NET functions, classes, etc.

•All native Windows syscalls

•Etc., etc., etc.

I have been able to locate most of these things with a single Google query, but the list of .DLLs was a bit of a trick. I found some awesome databases that Nir Sofer put together, but as much as I love how the databases were put together as a web reference, I still have some love for hard copies of large reference sets. To that end, I was unable to locate one single page with all of the .DLLs. I did notice he had single pages for each letter of the alphabet, though, so that got me thinking.

First, I headed over to the ever-reliable wget command. I could've scripted this, I am sure, but considering it took next to no time to just run the single command and cancel it when all 26 desired pages had downloaded, I didn't want venture in to the lands of losing efficiency in the pursuit of efficiency.

Once all 26 .HTML files had downloaded, I was faced with the issue of printing them. Opening each page in a browser and printing them one-by-one seemed tedious, so I opted for another idea. There is a utility in existence named wkhtmltopdf, and it is miraculous. From the command line, it allows you to specify an input file that is in .HTML format and output it as, say, .PDF. And it supports wildcards. So, within a few minutes, I had 26 .PDF files containing all the native Windows .DLLs. One step closer to my goal of a single printed reference of all native Windows .DLLs.

The final step was easy enough. I long ago installed PDFTools by SheelApps, and it took seconds to combine all 26 .PDFs into a single, unified .PDF. Once that was done, I repeated this entire process for the remaining OS versions, and then combined the penultimate files into the last and complete .PDF file containing all native Windows .DLLs for WinXP, Win7/Vista, and Win8/8.1. Then I printed it.

Below, find the links to the Nir Sofer reference web pages, as well as the finalized .PDF I created.

WinDLLs.pdf (helpfully scrubbed of metadata by exiftool.)

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