For those who know UNIX will remember that the UNIX/Linux file system consider everything as either a file or directory. This directory contains what is known as device or special files and contains literally hundreds of entries that contain references to virtually any hardware device that could be installed on your system. Looking in this directory one finds files such as /dev/hda or /dev/hda1 , which refer to either the first IDE drive or the first partition (hda1) on that drive. Data written to these files (devices) actually are sent to the appropriate device. It may seem a little strange, but this actually simplifies the way the system is designed.
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