There are days I seem to live on RDC Man.  One day, I might try setting my Shell= to RDCman.exe.  On a VM, of course.

At any rate, there are times I need to switch back to the host machine.   While I would like to just see a ‘minimize RDC Man’ hotkey, I’ve had to make do with The Big Hammer: Ctrl-Alt-Del.  This brings up the ‘Windows Security’ screen (not my name: see for yourself at

A simple Ctrl-Alt-Del isn’t sufficient.  Exiting the Windows Security screen will drop you back into RDC Man. Starting a Task Manager (or switching to it, if already started), will send keystrokes to the host machine.  If you’re an old-school Unix-head like me, the mouse is The Absolute Last Resort.   So, I hit Alt+T to start taskmgr.exe.

Wait, there’s more!  You need to release the Alt key between Ctrl-Alt-Del and Alt-T.


Meta-blogging, start here.

Why this article?  Because, as familiar as the above process sounds to me, I actually reach for the mouse more than I should.  This is both a reminder of how to do it, and a reminder of why to do it: because a ‘context’ shift from keyboard to mouse and back is costly: it takes a smidgen of concentration to find the mouse, to manipulate it, and to switch back to the keyboard.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  First-world problems.

Moreover, why this blog?  Quite honestly, the subhead is the mission statement: it’s stuff I found useful.  The “if it’s useful to you as well, great!” portion is a fortunate side-effect.  I find myself returning to some tasks over and again, but separated by sufficient interval that I’ve forgotten the particulars.  Getting a recursive folder size list is one of them.  I would love to say that the 80:20 principle (a.k.a. Sturgeon’s Law) is at play here, but if it is, then it’d be “80% of my time, there’s only a 20% chance of me finding my own blog useful.  The other 20%, the chance rises to 80%.)

It’s a knowledge-base, a coworker said.  I add that it’s also a ‘doorframe’ – my earliest posts were very basic.  Over time, I see my scripting style change and mature.  I see my breadth expand.  I find it inspiring to review my earlier, cringe-worthy posts and measure my growth.

Thanks for indulging me this navel-gazing moment.