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Unix: Under the spell of magic numbers

Feb 26, 2013, 19:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sandra Henry-Stocker)

If you've ever wondered how Unix systems identify files, you might be surprised to learn that file names really aren't an important factor. Unix systems reach into files looking for special codes called "magic numbers" to figure out what your files really are. They also examine other file content to pick out additional details.

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