This might be for real, even though it comes out at 7am

Date:August 19, 2005 / year-entry #234
Orig Link:
Comments:    37
Summary:One of our researchers IM'd me yesterday to let me know that someone she interviewed mentioned that some people suspected that I wasn't real because most of my posts are published at the same time every day. I dunno. The evening news comes on at the same time every day, but I'm pretty sure they're...

One of our researchers IM'd me yesterday to let me know that someone she interviewed mentioned that some people suspected that I wasn't real because most of my posts are published at the same time every day.

I dunno. The evening news comes on at the same time every day, but I'm pretty sure they're real. Maybe I should be more suspicious.

If I were real.

Comments (37)
  1. MSDN Archive says:

    The evening news is real?

  2. I wasn’t real because most of my posts are published at the same time every day

    Hhhmmm… Also, real people have lots of things to do at 7am, such as have breakfast, take a shower, wake up kids, drive to work,… how could they possibly be blogging !?

    Are you a robot or a starving, stinking, workless guy ?

  3. Steve Hall says:

    Well, this gives me cause to make sure I attend your PDC session to make sure you’re just not another one of those Borgs from the Collective… (What with the way you rattle off Win32 trivia on a daily basis, we can only surmise you’ve got some sort of Collective that’s putting all these words into your mouth, right? Certainly no human could be so encyclopedic! And who else but the Collective would have some of these unpublished API details? Indeed!)

    7AM is obviously the daily download-from-the-Collective time for this trivia…

  4. David Wragg says:

    I’m in Moscow, where Raymond’s posts arrive at 6pm. I’ve come to think of them as a reminder that it is time to leave work, and by now I have a Pavlovian association between them and a pleasant sense of closure to the working day.

  5. Mike Dimmick says:

    Raymond mentioned his ‘autopilot’ machine back in January 2004: I’m guessing he continues to use that application to do the daily posts, too.

  6. quanta says:

    echo Y|format c: !

  7. Mike Dunn says:

    C:> net start raymondc

  8. Wintermute says:

    Why would anyone care if you’re real or not. I mean anyone who reads this blog, of course.

    If it’s entertaining and/or informative keep reading, otherwise ignore it.

    Some people have too much time to think about conspiracies.

  9. Dave says:

    Larry Osterman said that Raymond is the wizard. Everybody knows that wizards cannot be robots! Thus, Raymond is not an automaton.

  10. michkap says:

    For a while I was posting at the same time every night (this was back before we could set times). Then I missed it once and mostly gave it up and now just post whenever. :-)

  11. BlackTigerX says:

    almost irreal is probably a good definition for Raymond =o)

  12. M Knight says:

    I’m positive Raymond has some program or scripts or something which posts the blog entries. Considering the whole pre-recorded blog entries when he is away, I would guess he just writes the blog entries as he wants and drops them in a queue with a bunch of flags set. Since it is just XML, that is utterly trivial for simple tools & scripts to process.

    Either that or he is frightenly regular.

  13. Matt Green says:

    What is real? How do you define real?

  14. Harrow says:

    I have long suspected that you are not real, but it has nothing to do with your regularity. I just don’t believe that one person could be so widely knowledgable.


  15. Most probably the researchers, living in their own mystical world, haven’t yet concluded that computers can be convinced to automate tasks at the same hour every day… how much was a day in O notation? ;)

  16. David Wilson says:


    I’m not sure where I first heard the name "Raymond Chen" some years ago, but upon discovering this weblog (and the excellent resource that it is), I headed over to to try and find a picture of a Raymond Chen that I could readily identify as having something to do with Microsoft.

    But there were none! I’d still love to know why. :)

  17. glenn says:

    I did a google image search on you too. I was wondering what you looked like being the only Microsoft employee that (religously) wears a suit to work every day (or so I’ve heard). Got lots of old chinese men in suits, but none that appeared to be of the Great Raymond.

    Oh well… I guess I’ll have to stick with your butt picture for now…

  18. Mike Dunn says:

    Here’s a random Raymond Chen pic. I don’t know if the person pictured is our postbot Raymond Chen, however. ;)

  19. krisztian pinter says:

    in fact, you are not real. when you recognise this, you achieve ethernal happiness.

  20. Ian Argent says:

    In reply to the guy who asked how you define real; doesn’t it depend on the language?

  21. Dave says:

    re: wearing a suite – it’s in a book so it must be true:

  22. Cheong says:

    It’s very interesting searching in for "Raymond Chen". I can find some business logos, and even the portrait of Albert Einstein. :D

  23. That brings up a question that this group may just be able to answer:

    When did "format c: /autotest" get put in?

    I’m pretty sure that the Raymond-bot knows this.

  24. Demeli says:

    When did "format c: /autotest" get put in?

    AFAIK with Windows 95 so the DOS-Based setup part that’d format your hard disk and run scandisk before it’d switch to the GUI part of setup could format it. But thats just my knowledge.

  25. Matt Green says:

    I cannot believe that everyone missed the Matrix reference in my previous comment! Shame on you! :)

  26. Tom Crofton says:

    I know he’s real. I’ve seen him hack his old apple ][ so he could learn to type on a dvorak keyboard.

    -tom crofton

  27. Edward says:

    Theres one picture near the bottom of this page.

    Could be??

  28. Ok to anyone in doubt: I certify that Mr. Raymond Chen is a real person. I can do this since I’ve met him!

    Now we only need someone to certify that I’m real and that I’m not lying…

    I guess the only person here who could is Raymond Chen but… uhm… then we’re back where we started…

  29. Goran says:

    :-)) Come on, people: it’s just not possible for a human that has actual job to do, to come up with so many (quality, imho) blogposts every single day for… what? two years, more? So, I reckon, there is at least two, three real ones of you who make the "being of Raymond Chen", plus the network of associates / helpers / temporary participants. I’ll concede that one of you is actually named Raymond in the real life, and he is the "ring bearer" of OldNewThing, though.

  30. Oh.. but Mr Chen is really to blame for it :)

    He is so camera shy that even the guys at Channel9 did not get to make him speak !

    Oh – and I mailed him many times before to blog about a rather theoritical CS topic and he never replied back even once of the three times…


  31. As the contact page clearly states in its opening sentence, suggestions for future topics should be submitted to the suggestion box.

  32. jeffdav says:

    Raymond is not real. We invented "Raymond Chen" as a codename for "let’s go eat lunch." The joke sort of spiraled out of control, as inside jokes do among developers, and we ended up creating the blog. When it became so popular, we had to keep generating output, thus the auto-post scripts were born. Whenever anyone in the group has an idea for a post, they put in the queue and the rest of us vote on it to move it up or down in the queue. Occassionally we have Raymond go on vacation, but that is just cover for all the Swedish posts. We have a robot that the test team built that we are sending to PDC. Getting him through the metal detector at SEATAC will be difficult, but we have a note from his "doctor." I can confirm that none of the posted picture links are pictures of the Chenbot.

  33. JenK says:

    Re: image searches, I think I have the Micronews article about "Make Raymond Wear Normal Clothes Day" somewhere. Including a picture of Raymond.

    Re: /autotest, I worked in MS-DOS tech support before transferring to the MS-DOS test team before being reorg-ed into the Windows test team. So I know a few things about DOS. /autotest was in DOS 3.x and possibly 2.x. Which was in the 80s, which was long before Win95. (FYI, we didn’t test /autotest during my tenure…)

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