Magic Demistified

pradeep's Avatar, Join Date: Apr 2005
Team Leader
Today I received a mail from Tanaz ,stating some software magic which according to the mail no one could answer. I guess I have the answers...


An Indian discovered that 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!

A folder named con cannot be created 'cause it's the name of a windows device, precisely console (i.e. the keyboard), so, you can't create folders with names prn, aux, either.


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? :-??

Some of the more wide-eyed conspiracy theorists postulate that this result is a form of political commentary directed against US President Bush and was knowingly and deliberately programmed into Notepad by Microsoft.

Alas, the truth is far less compelling. It appears that a lot of other character strings in the pattern 4 letters, 3 letters, 3 letters and 5 letters will give the same result. For example, the phrase "Bill fed the goats" also displays the garbled text as shown below:

Bill fed the goats before closing Bill fed the goats after re-opening

In fact, even a line of text such as "hhhh hhh hhh hhhhh" will elicit the same results.

Since I first published this article, a few readers have pointed out that some character strings that fit the "4,3,3,5" pattern do not generate the error. For example, the phrase "Bush hid the truth" is displayed normally. However, conspiracy theorists should not take this as aiding their argument. "Fred led the brats", "brad ate the trees" and other strings also escape the error.

Thus, any hint of political conspiracy fades into oblivion and is replaced by a rather mundane programming bug. It seems probable that a certain combination and/or frequency of letters in the character string cause Notepad to misinterpret the encoding of the file when it is re-opened. If the file is originally saved as "Unicode" rather than "ANSI" the text displays correctly. Older versions of Notepad such as those that came with Windows 95, 98 or ME do not include Unicode support so the error does not occur.


This is something pretty cool and neat...and unbelievable... At Microsoft the whole Team, including Bill Gates, couldn't answer why this happened!

It was discovered by a Brazilian. Try it out yourself...

Open Microsoft Word and type

=rand (200, 99)

And then press ENTER then see the magic.

It's a test feature. It's been in Word for a long time, and I've known about it for a long time too . You can vary the numbers to get a different number of results. The first number is the amount of lines, and the second the amount of times the sentence is printed per line.

The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is a sentence that contains all 26 letters of the roman alphabet. As such, it's a convenient test phrase when testing things like fonts and markup.
shamvil's Avatar, Join Date: Mar 2008
Go4Expert Member
Thanks a lot for such wonderful answers.
pradeep's Avatar, Join Date: Apr 2005
Team Leader
The pleasure is all mine! Btw, welcome to the forums! Do, share your knowledge with us!
BSTU.UOK's Avatar, Join Date: May 2008
Go4Expert Member
great !!!!!!!!!!1thanks alot for giving such information..........
coderzone's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Team Leader
I read on some article here than we can create a con folder. hehe
faizulhaque's Avatar, Join Date: May 2008
Skilled contributor
Predap works gr8