Uniformity of Linux files

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – How is it that, if you are in a folder with various files --- pictures, binary executables, scripts, even directories, zip files, just about everything --- how it is that when you hit ls -l, you get output that is similar (to the form) for all files? It is like the files are themselves placed in super files that are uniform, and has meta data attached, sort of like the control block structure of processes. And how come files that you expect would have nothing to do with Unix or Linux pose no problem? Is there like a file system preprocessor to deal with files from the Windows world? Or are f (HowTos)