Windows XP RunAs feature is horribly broken

Switching back to Windows XP from the Mac has been educational. Along with learning a lot more about Cygin than I had ever known before, I’m discovering new features-to-be-avoided in Windows XP. Here is a biggie: “Run As”.
Windows allows you to execute programs with another user’s credentials. You are probability thinking “Simple right?”. Well, it isn’t. Using this feature seems to consistently corrupt the RunAs-ed user’s profile. Corrupted profiles seem to be a mysterious thing with little to no way to fix them; creating a new profile is basically the only solution. In my case I restored from a nightly backup (because I know stuff like this is bound to happen on Windows). My takeaway:
Disable RunAs on Windows!
Here is how.

How To Create a User-Defined Service

Because I always forget how, here is how to create a user-defined service in Windows:

  1. Get a copy of the Windows 2003 Resource Toolkit
  2. Install the service:
    path\INSTSRV.EXE My Service path\SRVANY.EXE
  3. Open the service you just created in regedit here:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\[My Service]
  4. Right click the service itself and create a key named ‘Parameters’. This creates a new sub-folder.
  5. Select the ‘Parameters’ key and then right-click on the space to the right and choose the ‘New Key’ option. Name it ‘Application’.
  6. Its type will default to ‘REG_SZ’. Leave that alone.
  7. For its value enter in the executable path.
  8. You are done.

(via Microsoft Support)

Switching Caps Lock with Control on Windows

Getting the control key “back into the right spot” on PC keyboards is a goal shared between Emacs and UNIX folks. The following are a collection of links on how to do so (this list is sure to grow):

Addendum: 10/01/08
The Sysinternals solution is excellent, but it throws away caps lock. This was fine for me for a while, but believe it or not, now I need it back. As such, I now employ the solution found here.

Addendum: 1/11/11
This approach does not work on Windows 7 (I just started using Win7 this week).
KeyMapper works brilliantly though.
(via emacswiki)
Addendum: 2014-12-10

Coming back to Windows I found that KeyMapper quit working for me.

AutoHotkey seems to be doing the job of swapping:

  • caps lock with left control
  • left control with caps lock
  • enter with right control
  • right shift with enter
    • Seems to be the best way to use any keyboard out there
  • scroll up and down on the wheel mouse

Alt (Meta) - Enter doesn’t seem to work.

I’ll keep at it. Here is the config.

Send {WheelDown}
Send {WheelUp}