[texhax] installation of TEX

Pierre MacKay pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Fri Feb 9 15:33:17 CET 2007

>On 2/8/07, Philip Taylor (Webmaster) <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk> wrote:
>>Thank the Lord for that !  Why /any/ operating system should believe
>>that it can unambiguously identify a file by reading the first few
>>bytes remains a complete mystery to me; surely operating system
>>designers know that /binary/ files are just that, and that
>>given infinite time, and an infinitely large room containing
>>an infinite number of monkeys,  every possible byte pattern can
>>and will occur in every position in an arbitrary binary file.
You've got to be kidding.  I have yet to have "file" fail me except for 
a few really messed up text files.  Of course, one can create a 
collection that will include some false positives by using "split" on a 
large binary file and then trying all the fragments in order, but even 
then, you have done no harm.  The /usr/share/file/magic* files suggest 
that there is a large, perhaps excessive, universe of strange file 
formats out there, and some of them introduce ambiguities, but what user 
is working in that universe?  Most of us get along with fewer than a 
hundred, even including graphics formats.

Pierre MacKay

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