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.
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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
simply intended behaviors or explainable bugs.”
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
#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
For even more fun, try the =lorem() function; same idea, different
#3: “Bush hid the facts” in notepad returns Chinese or other
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.)