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Unexplained behavior can often seem mysterious and even magical, until the real, more mundane reasons are understood. And so it is with Windows.
A colleague at work got this from the Net. Please check it out and please, please, please try to explain. They're weird. Here it is:
Microsoft's Crazy Facts
Nobody can create a FOLDER anywhere on the computer which can be named as "CON". This is something pretty cool...and unbelievable. .. At Microsoft the whole Team, couldn't answer why this happened! TRY IT NOW, IT WILL NOT CREATE "CON" FOLDER
This is something pretty cool and neat...and unbelievable. .. At Microsoft the whole Team, including Bill Gates, couldn't answer why this happened! Try it out yourself...
Open Microsoft Word and type"
=rand (200, 99)
And then press ENTER
For those of you using Windows, do the following:
1. Open an empty notepad file
2. Type "Bush hid the facts" (without the quotes)
3. Save it as whatever you want.
4. Close it, and re-open it.
Is it just a really weird bug?
I know I'm straying just slightly off center here dealing with what is, essentially, just a forwarded urban legend email. But the neat thing about all three of these "magics" is that parts are true, parts are false, and all have completely rational reasons.
First, let's throw out the falsehood: plenty of people at Microsoft can tell you exactly what's going on in each of these cases. Even perhaps Bill himself, though he'd never actually get dragged into something silly like this.
#1: you can't create a folder called CON.
In fact, I think you'd have to jump through some hoops to get a file named CON as well. There may be ways to force one or the other, but in general, you can't create a file called CON.
"CON" is a reserved name that dates back to the days of MS-DOS and is short for "CONsole". The idea is that any program could write to the screen or read from the keyboard simply by opening and acting on a file by the name of CON. Try this sometime in a Windows Command Prompt:
COPY readme.txt CON
For our example "readme.txt" is any convenient text file you have laying about. That will cause the file to be "copied to the console" - i.e., displayed on the screen.
Other possibly reserved filenames include things like COM1, COM2, and so on for your serial or modem ports, and LPT1, LPT2 and so on for printer ports.
#2: =rand(200,99) in Microsoft Word outputs a bunch of stuff.
The rand() function is in Word specifically to automatically generate text. In some versions it produces the string "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" (every character in the standard English alphabet). Apparently, it may generate other text in other versions.
It's intentional, as documented here in Microsoft's knowledgebase.
The first number, by the way, is the number of paragraphs of automatic text to generate, and the second is the number of lines in each paragraph.
For even more fun, try the =lorem() function; same idea, different text.
#3: "Bush hid the facts" in notepad returns Chinese or other characters.
True. (Depending on your version of Notepad.)
I hadn't actually heard of this one, but sure enough - a quick search gave me the answer right away.
It's a bug in some versions of notepad that is nothing more than misinterpreting an ANSI text file as Unicode. While "Bush hid the facts" is popular among conspiracy theorists and internet meme generators, there are several different word patterns that can generate the same problem.
As I said, it's a known bug in Notepad. It appears to have been fixed in recent versions and updates of both XP and Vista.
It's also documented more fully here on Wikipedia.
None of these are "magic" at all. They're simply intended behaviors or explainable bugs.
Nothing to see here. Move along. (And don't forward the conspiracy email any further.)
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