Tracker Pixel for Entry

Geeky stuff—thousands of file types

by Chuck Solly | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | October 11th, 2017

This is some of the basic computer technical information you have to know to be comfortable around Windows computers.

Long ago and far away, someone thought up some very basic definitions of computer files -- you know, the things you create on a computer to hold your writings or pictures or whatever.

Then someone decided that he or she needed a different type of file with a different name for his or her brand new software.

That is where naming of computer files really went off the rails. Everyone figured that they had to have a different type of file and then it became very confusing. When it comes to word processors, it’s a bit baffling that so many programs can’t read each other’s simple text.

They are just letters of the alphabet after all, right? Any five year old can read the alphabet, so why can’t my computer?

The answer is money. Soon after the advent of personal computers, some genius realized that there is money to be made here. That genius wrote his own word processor, used his own special filenames and made all other word processors up to that point obsolete. Then you had to buy his word processor.

Let’s examine filenames a little bit. A filename is composed of two parts, the name followed by a period and then a three letter or number extension. The generic example is: XXXXXXXX.XXX. The characters to the left of the period in a filename are the name of the file. The characters to the right of the period generally tell us what type of file it is.

Back in the dark days of computing, the longest a filename could be in Windows was eight characters. Now the length limit is 256 characters, with some exceptions. There are thousands of different file types.

Some Common file types are:

.txt -- this is the common text file

.rtf -- this file type is call a Rich Text File because it allows some formatting.

.doc -- This file type is generally used by Microsoft word processing software.

. pdf -- Portable Document Format. A file type that almost every computer user can read. Used to transfer files from user to user. Most operating systems have programs that can read .pdf files.

.mp3 -- video files

.jpg -- picture or graphic files

There are rules about how to handle files, depending upon the use of the file, too numerous to mention here.

The purpose of this diatribe is to let you know about a few of the common file types. There are lists of file types online identifying what they are and what software programs use them.

It is important to know that in the case of many file types, if you click or double click on the file in Windows, the application that uses the file will launch and load the file.

Another tip - You will accumulate files quickly on your computer. After 30 years of computer use I have over 356,000 files on my machine. This requires that you adopt a good method of organizing your hard drives.

We’ll get into more geeky stuff on file organizing next time.

Recently in:

MOORHEAD – While Justin Critt and his defense lawyer began arguing innocence to the murder of a Moorhead woman Monday morning, the mother of a missing Indigenous woman sat two rows behind, silent, but screaming with…

Culture

​The DCP wants YOU!

by John Showalter

By John Showalter and Sabrina HornungWe had a chance to chat with McKaila Ruud, the Events Coordinator for the Downtown Community Partnership (DCP) and she let us in on a few new and exciting tricks that the DCP has up their…

Sunday, May 20, 6 p.m.Plains Art Museum, 704 1st Ave N, FargoLadies and gentlemen start your engines... the votes are in. Erik Block will be the master of ceremonies while DJ Dextrious keeps the tunes rolling. Come celebrate our…

Time and aging is weird. It flies, it fleets, it stands still and all too often it passes us by. I lose track of time too easily and it seems like when the years meld themselves together I’m reminded how much has gone by once I…

We Aren’t Out of The Trees Yet!Ever since we climbed out of trees and walked on two legs we have been faced with a whole bucket of troubles: sex, greed, political power, race, and religion. In the 21st Century we are still…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

Once Andrew and Maddie Johnson left Fargo they moved to Andrew’s hometown.“We worked at the restaurant in Lisbon for a couple of months,” Maddie said. “We’re not about opening stuff in bags and pulling stuff from…

Nikki Lane is a trailblazer. Her unique voice could be described as a cross between Wanda Jackson’s grit and Neko Case’s hauntingly smoky vocals. It’s classic and it’s fresh. In 2017 she won an Ameripolitan award in the…

Earning a limited theatrical release following a successful run of festival appearances and a streaming deal with Shudder, writer-director Coralie Fargeat’s “Revenge” simultaneously embraces and subverts many tropes of the…

Arts

​Civility is for the Birds

by HPR Contributor

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduTucked in the back of Roberts Street Studio, if you follow the “yellow brick road” (a funny story, if you get the chance to ask her), you are likely to find local artist Mackenzie Kouba working…

Theater B is giving away seven tickets to go see “The Moors” by Jen Silverman, from April 26 until May 12. Described as part Brontë, part Twilight Zone, “The Moors” is a dark comedy set on a bleak and unforgiving…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

I consider myself an avid wine drinker, but I recently found out there are more than 10,000 varieties of grapes, and about 1,500 of those are used to make commercial wines. I don’t know about you, but I could probably name about…

I was amid some of the worst anxiety I have experienced in my life. I was worried about money, moving and multiple other things. My chest felt heavy and was dominated by a feeling of constriction and restriction; to both my life…

By Melissa Martin melissamartincounselor@live.com “I’m sorry” are two vital words to be used in relationships because human beings are imperfect people living in imperfect environments. Ask yourself the following…

By Ty Danksty.danks@ndsu.eduWith “Fake News” and “Alternative Facts” becoming a large and influential topic since the 2016 presidential election, many people have become more aware and concerned with the spread of…