(2003 to 2005)

Notepad.exe I salute you!

Thu Mar 4 22:29:00 UTC+1100 2004


I've just seen a 10 billion message thread start up wrt to taking notes. Notes for meetings, notes for development doco. People started waxing philosophical about how this or that app help then organize their thoughts, or link stuff or whatever. No-one took the time to say:

Thank-you notepad.exe, you have always been there for us and we love you.

Dear notepad.exe,

Since I can remember, you have been my friend. You are still one of my favorite tools, and are only a WinKey+R => notepad => [Enter] away. Notepad, you are everywhere, and have helped me get through quite a few emergencies in the past. On a daily basis I use you to 'clean text' that has had HTML formatting included in the clip board, for making notes and thinking through things. Hey, I even used you to write this message on my blog, because who is going to trust data not to be lost in a HTTP POST..? That's right, no-one, notepad.exe you are there to save me.

Notepad.exe you used to help me edit autoexec.bat and config.sys files. Then as I grew you were there to help me poke around in win.ini. Oh, those were happy days, just you and me, together we could do anything on that old 386. From there on in, you've remained a close friend, always there when I needed you the most. My counter-strike config file, an ASP file on a live server that needed immediate patching, my /drivers/etc/hosts file, a web.config file that wasn't quite right, oh my friend, you were there. You held my hand as I fumbled through my first HTML pages, you were still there when I started to script them server side. You and I, together we entered the brave new world of XML and you never faltered, never gave in.

Sure, we've had our differences. You've always had 8 char tabs, but I was accommodating of your stubbornness, and grew with you to use 2 spaces, we know that a TAB just won't do, that's OK notepad.exe, I still love you. Sure you can't deal with \n, but hey, no-one's perfect. You may do funny things with my cursor when I save, and butcher word-wrapped text, but despite our differences, we've always had a close and meaningful relationship.

When I changed my window colour to black and my font to green, you were there. All those *other apps* had silly features that didn't use system colours, but not you notepad.exe, you did just what I wanted and together we've been everywhere.

You and me and 'hello world'. We've done them all. From QuickBasic, to batch files, to VB, to C, to C++, to Java, to Eiffel, to REXX, to PL/1, to ObjectREXX, to ASP, to ASPX, to JavaScript, to VBS, to HTML, to XML, to XSL, to XHTML, to T-SQL, to CSVs, oh you and me, we've seen them all, language or data format, it's never mattered to you. You taught me how combining diacritics work, you're there to show me my system fonts, and if I need to 'see' what was in a binary file well you've always stood up to the plate and had a go! From DLLs, to EXEs, to registry hives, to office documents, you were there.

Hey, I've even used your only feature: .LOG.

In high-school, you were with me to help me read phrack and CDC. At uni you helped me take my notes from the back row. You were there for my first job, showing me what exactly was in those file DSNs and UDLs. Even the day the systems went down and we started losing $20,000 per hour, you were there to help find the problem and fix it as soon as possible, with your calm and reliable demeanor. If I feel like telling you something personal, that I just can't tell anyone else, you've always been there to listen.

Notepad.exe, you are a true friend. I salute you!


Copyright © 2003-2005 John Elliot