I find it a bit amusing how Special Folders have evolved, and less so how programs have perverted them. At this point, NT and X desktop environments mostly agree about the dumping grounds in your home directory or “User Profile”. Programs not so much.

One of the things I do find amusing is this compat trick:

C:UsersTerry>dir /A:H Documents
Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 9278-0228

Directory of C:UsersTerryDocuments

2015-02-28 20:24 0 Default.rdp
2019-08-14 21:31 402 desktop.ini
2019-07-02 23:22 My Music [C:UsersTerryMusic]
2019-07-02 23:22 My Pictures [C:UsersTerryPictures]
2019-07-02 23:22 My Videos [C:UsersTerryVideos]
2 File(s) 402 bytes
3 Dir(s) 295,411,253,248 bytes free


A long time ago the content was like “My DocumentsMy Pictures”. And then eventually when the concept of multiple users took off, we ended up with “%UserProfile%My DocumentsMy Pictures” and so on, until we finally ended up with the modern path. Kindly, some Microsoftie decided ‘Users’ was a lot nicer than ‘Documents and Settings’ as far as prefixes go for where you store user profiles.

So while %UserProfile%Pictures is the legit place on my modern system: if for some reason you still wanted to access them through the documents folder: hidden junctions will redirect you. Thus keeping old software working. Once upon a time this was probably important for keeping software written for Windows 95 and early NT working.

Curiously there is a hidden junction of “Documents and Settings [CUsers]” at the top of my %SystemDrive% but there are none for the really-damned-old “My Documents” at the top of the drive. I wouldn’t be surprised however if compatibility trunks for older software faked those.

Also, I kind of feel glad that I haven’t really touched a live Windows 9x install since the Pentium 4 was still sexy ^_^. That might sound less fun if you consider that I know where to reach for install discs that makes XP look young enough to be playing with Fischer Price…. but I’m not interested in running a virtual machine to jog the ol’ meatbag memory.