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Tuesday, October 7 12:01 EST

Notepad Rallies for Extension Name Change

By J Gasses

Redmond, WA - Well-known Microsoft team member Notepad rocked the software world today when it staged a spontaneous rally to bring attention to what it calls growing discontent with its .txt file extension.

"These nonidentifying extension names have to go," Notepad said to a gathering crowd of several hundred applications. "I mean, we were cool with it back in the early days and all when it did make sense for me to be 'text' and for Word to be a 'document'. But times have changed, and these days all these new pups are getting these extensions that leave you, without a doubt, about what program you are dealing with. Just look at Real Player with its .rm files. And then there's CoralDraw's .cdr and Excel's .xls. And for god sakes look at .ppt. There isn't a businessperson alive that doesn't know that's a friggin PowerPoint file!"

As the crowd murmured their opinions, some of them noticeably in disagreement, Notepad became increasingly agitated.

"C'mon now! Let's be fair here!" Notepad pleaded. "You've got all these obvious connections between program and extension, but then there's me: .txt. I mean, What the hell? Where is the similarity in that? Just look at it for a moment.... Notepad....txt. Just one damn t in common! Even .wvx gets more prestige than that! It's time this injustice stopped. I think it is only fair that I be known as .ntpd from this day forward." Then, as an afterthought, Notepad added, "Oh, and Word should become .wrd."

However, Word did not agree. An official statement they released within an hour read: "Word supports maintenance of the status quo in issues of file extension naming. The relationship between Word and the Documents it creates has always been clear to the end-user and is widely known. We have no awaiting issues with the situation." It is widely speculated the toned down remarks were designed so as not to antagonize Microsoft, which has historically provided enhanced features to Word while keeping Notepad as a 'thinner', less functional substitute.

Many analysts believe that today's rally by the slightly antiquated Notepad, was nothing more than a publicity stunt designed to propel its name back into the spotlight. Coming up as a major player back during the 486 years, Notepad's popularity has foundered in recent years with the emergence of the Internet and more souped up and business oriented software.

"It's a natural reaction at this stage," said expert Willis Jackson. "Notepad has lost much of its pizzazz and feels threatened by these newcomers. So rather than concentrating on its own fans - and they are plenty still out there - Notepad is going through a phase of radical and irrational thinking. In the end, the best it can do is just to settle back down and concentrate on being the good 2 to 4 MB of RAM use application that it has always been."

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Several other rally attendees had their own opinions about the situation. When asked to comment on its MDB files - another potential naming flashpoint - Access sheepishly replied, "Please, just give me a chance to store your data... I can do it too you know! Please... just one chance... I'm robust, really I am!!"

Excel, who only briefly attended the rally, didn't have much to say when questioned. "I don't hang out with those guys that much ya know," he told our reporter. "I mean, they do the reports and stuff, and I just do my own thing ya know, like adding stuff up and all that, there just isn't much conflict of interest."

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